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Do Muslims believe in ghosts?

(38 Posts)
GoodKingQuintless Tue 23-Dec-14 21:56:36

Just like some Christian priests/pastors will help spirits over to the "other side", through prayer, etc, is there any room in Islam for the belief that some peoples souls stay behind as a ghost?

I am not wording myself well, but I hope you get the gist.

greeneggsandjam Sun 28-Dec-14 18:05:39

No, no ghosts but there are jins, though these are not people who have died, they are separate beings but we can't see them. Some are good and some are bad. There is no doubt lots of info on them on the web if you care to read but I have no idea whether the stuff you come across will be true or not!

QuintlessShadows Sat 10-Jan-15 18:20:03

Thanks for responding (sorry it dropped out of my threads so I did not see your reply before).

So, does this mean that it is impossible for the soul of a Muslim to "haunt" a place?

greeneggsandjam Sat 10-Jan-15 23:02:08

Hi, yes that's right, Muslims don't believe they/their soul can come back to haunt people but like I say, there are jins.

QuintlessShadows Mon 12-Jan-15 11:02:00

So, if a Muslim person dies tragically, and somebody can sense their soul not having left, what does that mean? That other people who do be believe in ghosts can "see" them?

I dont understand.

greeneggsandjam Mon 12-Jan-15 22:20:31

I don't really understand what you mean QuintlessShadows. When you say 'somebody can sense their soul not having left' do you mean the person who has died or a person who happens to be near them? Or perhaps you mean something else. No, even people who believe in ghosts cant see the ghost of a Muslim because Muslims don't believe ghosts exist.

I am not aware of any human being seeing the soul of someone who has just died. You die, there is no ghost but your soul leaves the body straight away. It doesn't make a difference how you died as far as I am aware. I think the angels gather around your body at the time of death to record all your good and bad deeds. I forget a lot of the information I used to know on the subject I'm afraid but it is very interesting!

QuintlessShadows Tue 13-Jan-15 13:14:20

It is really difficult to explain. Perhaps my question makes more sense if I explain what I believe first...

I believe that there are ghosts, or people whose soul need help passing over to wherever it is they should be going, or people who return to assist. I believe the corporeal body dies, but then there is the essence, or soul, that separates from the body and goes on. Or maybe the soul ceases to exist for some, or most?

Can your faith decide what really happens to you after you die? So, no ghosts of Muslims because they dont believe it to be possible? But people who believe in reincarnation will be reincarnated, and people who believe there is no kind of life after death will just extinguish, and people who believe in ghosts may hypothetically be able to stay behind as ghosts?

If somebody see a ghost, or sense a lost soul, is it because they both hold the same belief that this is possible?

How can it be possible to see a ghost, or sense the soul of a person who has died, if they were Muslim? Maybe they were lapsed, or no longer believing? How can it be?

capsium Tue 13-Jan-15 13:51:28

Quintless, I am Christian, not Muslim, and there are various beliefs concerning ghosts within the church - some backed up by scripture (although interpretation varies), some backed up by church traditions. Essentially what you end up believing boils down to the nature of your own belief and relationship with your particular faith.

Then if you disregard religious belief for a moment, eyesight perception varies amongst people (some people see sounds for example) so even if you do see something, what exactly is going on with your perception is still somewhat mysterious. Whether you believe there is dysfunction or in fact more sensitive perception, again, can be matter of belief.

Whether our faith and beliefs affects our life experiences / perceptions, I would say they do. This article is one which shows differing perceptions between different societies, which in turn could affect our experiences:

www.psmag.com/magazines/magazine-feature-story-magazines/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

May I ask where your own beliefs originate from?

capsium Tue 13-Jan-15 13:56:59

^ talking of the various beliefs, within the Christian church, some believe there are ghosts (tends also to be linked with a belief in Purgatory) some believe the ghosts are in fact restless spirits that could be attempting to deceive (there is also a belief by some of the church that our spirit sleeps after death until Judgment Day - so no ghosts of deceased people).

QuintlessShadows Tue 13-Jan-15 14:02:20

I am a Christian, but I think I am rather inspired by catholic mysticism.

HolyTerror Tue 13-Jan-15 14:07:55

Quint, you are coming at this from the point of view that ghosts exist, and that they are the souls of dead people who are for some reason prevented from going to wherever they are meant to be. Surely then it's obvious that people's belief/or not in the supernatural is constructed out of their religious beliefs, cultural traditions and/or personal of group philosophies? (The ghost stories I was told as a child in rural Catholic Ireland were about the devil trying to stop a priest getting the last sacrament to a deathbed, or dead souls returning in November because the masses they had been promised after their deaths hadn't been said - totally from within a catholic worldview.)

Muslims, to the best of my knowledge, have no concept within Islam of being haunted by the souls of dead people - supernatural activity is credited to jinns/jinnii (genies) which can be good, bad or neutral, but were never human.

But that's irrelevant to what you're asking, I think - you're asking the wrong question, rather. It's not whether a Muslim soul 'could' haunt a place, but whether whoever is being 'haunted' believes in ghosts. Are you saying you believe you are being haunted by the ghost of someone Muslim?

capsium Tue 13-Jan-15 14:08:17

I have been thinking a bit about the subject myself recently (from reading this threads and others), and looked up supporting scriptures / read about various traditions. However the thing is the thought of a medieval kind of purgatory really unsettles me - all the buying of indulgences and, well, the nature of the suffering in purgatory because everyone leads less than a completely holy life.

QuintlessShadows Tue 13-Jan-15 14:18:03

Holy, I have not myself seen a Muslim ghost.

It is a tragic story really, as there was a fire, and a young mum died. A friend of mine told me she could feel a desperate presence in the ruins of a person not realizing she was dead. My friend is very open to the spiritual. However, she did not know the person who sadly died, and did not know that the woman was Muslim.
It got me thinking about the issue, and I find it very confusing.

I accept that not everybody believe in ghosts, and I accept that some people do. But if you believe in ghosts, and the "ghost" in question did not believe in this, how can they stay behind and "haunt" a property?

QuintlessShadows Tue 13-Jan-15 14:19:35

Or in other words "how can a deceased Muslim be a ghost, when her faith does not include such phenomena?"

capsium Tue 13-Jan-15 14:23:49

Quintless How? Well if you assume ghosts are real, this is the ghost of someone who does not realize they are dead and cannot 'pass over' (rest/the after life)

If you assume ghosts are not real but spirits (not of dead people) or jinns are, then this is a jinn that has deceived the woman who could feel a desperate presence.

If you do not believe in the supernatural then this person has invented / imagined this - purposely or involuntarily.

QuintlessShadows Tue 13-Jan-15 14:23:50

To clarify, whether there IS a ghost or not is not the point, but the idea.

Hypothetically:

From my perspective, If I can see a ghost, and a person has died there, my logic tells me it is possible that the ghost could be "Amelia" (hypothetically)
So, I see the ghost of Amelia. But Amelia was a Muslim, so even if MY faith allow me to see ghosts or goblins, I would not be able to see Amelia, because HER faith does not allow ghosts. So, what is it that I see?

A figment of my imagination?

What does this say about the belief in ghosts? Pure speculation? Hallucinations? Psychosis?

I am just confused and trying to reason myself around that dilemma.

capsium Tue 13-Jan-15 14:27:04

I guess you are also looking at this from a rather post modern relativist point of view, Quint. If you consider the truth to be real, universal, regardless of our realisation of it, then what is real is real for everyone.

QuintlessShadows Tue 13-Jan-15 14:27:52

Capsium - So, the only way to explain it, ( if we believe that something really was seen/felt in the ruins of that house), is by a jinn, not a ghost?

Why would a jinn be there?

HolyTerror Tue 13-Jan-15 14:28:13

Again, Quint, you are assuming that it's the 'ghost's' own belief system that governs whether it is capable of 'haunting' a place, whereas I would say that it is the belief system of your friend that is what is governing whatever it is that she perceives to be happening.

It doesn't matter that the dead person was Muslim/Pagan/Quaker/Jedi, it matters that the friend who believes she is perceiving the phenomena believes in the possibility of post-death 'activity' after a traumatic death, which is of course a common (and often entirely unrelated to religious creed) belief in our society.

capsium Tue 13-Jan-15 14:28:45

I don't think there is much reasoning to be had around the supernatural. What ever is supernatural by definition is unknown, scientifically.

QuintlessShadows Tue 13-Jan-15 14:29:28

I guess I am.

But that just means that reality for me is dependent on how I see/interpret it, so could possibly be miles away from the Pure truth, although it is MY truth.

HolyTerror Tue 13-Jan-15 14:29:32

X-post. What you see relates to your own belief system, not to anyone else's.

capsium Tue 13-Jan-15 14:30:37

Quint Why would a jinn be there? Well if a jinn is similar to a spirit I suppose they could be anywhere and everywhere.

QuintlessShadows Tue 13-Jan-15 14:32:17

Holy - I see where I am going wrong, I need to turn it on its head, for what she sees/feels is nothing to do with the deceased woman, but her own perceptions of what might be happening.

how can she help herself then? Prayer?

QuintlessShadows Tue 13-Jan-15 14:32:57

Capsium - I see there would not be a jinn there, only my friends perceptions of what she expects.

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