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    Questions and Answers from the Risale-i Nur Collection
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Can any Information be taken from a Dead Person?


When we are alive, our spirit suffers pain and feels joy and happiness. Although the spirit feels pain apparently through the nervous system and uses this extremely complicated system to communicate with all parts of the body, scientists still do not understand the interaction between the spirit and the body, especially the brain. Any bodily failure that causes death can make the nervous system stop operating. However, it has been established scientifically that certain brain cells live on for some time after death. Scientists try to receive signals from these cells after the person has died. If they succeed in doing so and can decipher those signals, it will be useful, especially in criminology, in solving unsolved crimes. For example, the Qur’an tell us how, during the time of Prophet Moses, upon him be peace, God revived a dead person, who identified his killer:

When Moses said to his people: “God commands you to sacrifice a cow” ... they sacrificed her, a thing they had scarcely done. And when you killed a living soul, and disputed thereon—God disclosed what you were hiding—so We said: “Smite him with part of it”; even so He brings to life the dead, and He shows you His signs, that haply you may have understanding. (2:67, 72–3)

Torments of the grave and Hell

As the spirit suffers pain and feels happy, and as it continues its relation with the body (via those essential bodily particles that do not rot) in the intermediate world, it is meaningless to discuss whether the spirit, the body, or both will enjoy Paradise or suffer Hell.

Since the spirit lives the worldly life together with the body and shares all its joys and sorrows, God will resurrect people both bodily and spiritually. The Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama‘a agree that the spirit and the body will go either to Paradise or Hell together. God will build bodies in forms unique to the Hereafter, where everything will be alive: This life of the world is but a pastime and a game. Lo! the home of the Hereafter, that is life if they but knew (29:64).


This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.