Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour
Question: I have heard from reliable people (family and friends) who claim to see and/or speak with people who have passed away.
I have also read what Quran & Hadith say about the soul and after life which seems that my friend’s stories are contradicting to what i have understood from Quran and Hadith. As per my understanding, there are basically 2 types of souls. Good and Evil. There are levels in the good souls like Prophets, Siddiqeen, Shuhada & Saliheen. I heard stories that pious souls have benefited/helped people in this world. I have also read stories that all souls remain in Barzakh and good souls are enjoying the bounties from Allah (SWT) and evil souls are being punished.
Can all souls return to this world and communicate with the people in this world?
The Soul is Matter from Allah
The first and most important thing to remember when discussing the soul is that we cannot understand the true nature of it. When some of the Jewish residents of Medina asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) about the soul, he recited the revelation, “They ask you about the soul. Say, ‘The soul is a matter of my Lord” [Quran 17:85]
The Light of the Sun
In the Madhkal of Ibn al Hajj, the author mentions that what has been narrated about the soul is that it resides in the place where it was buried. But to explain the reports of experiences people would have seeing the deceased, he mentioned the likeness of the sun. Ibn al Hajj showed that in the same way that the sun never moves from its place but we experience its light from far away, so too is the soul in that it could remain in the grave of its owner and yet shine brightly and far away for others to witness, experience and communicate with.
For more on this topic please read the following Seekers Guidance answer:
For further reading to learn more about the soul, you may look into the following titles:
Imam al Qurtubi’s Tadhkira or the abridged version of the text entitled Mukhtasar al Tadhkira.
Imam al-Haddad’s The Lives of Man
Imam Ghazali’s Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife