How will our Bodies be Resurrected – the Same or Different?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

I was listening to a Shaykh who was mentioned bodies being different at the resurrection. I also found this version of a Hadith that it sounded like he was reading another version:

‘Amr ibn Shu’ayb reported via his father that his grandfather related that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “On the Day of Rising, the proud will be gathered like specks in the form of men. Abasement will envelop them on every side. They will be driven to a prison in Jahannam called Bulas. The hottest of fires will rise over them. They will have to drink the pus of the people of the Fire, the foul fluid that their skins excrete.”

I also read that bodies will remain the same as before. Could you please explain?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide every dimension of our lives to that which pleases Him.

Humankind will be resurrected on the Day of Judgement with their souls return to their worldly bodies, or that which resembles their worldly bodies, Allah knows best.

Physical Resurrection

The Sunni belief (ahl al-sunna wa al-jama’a) is that the next life is a physical life composed of both body and soul. Death is the separation of body and soul; resurrection is their reunification. Allah says, “And when the souls are paired […]” [Quran, 81:7]

About the above verse, the renowned scholar of Fiqh and Tafsir, Imam Jalal Al-Din al-Mahalli, explains in his commentary that this verse refers to the reunification of the soul with the body. Standard texts of Sunni belief, such as the Jawhara of Imam Laqqani, also corroborate the physical nature of the resurrection.

The physicality of the resurrection and afterlife is necessarily known of our religion, which is why Imam Ghazali declared certain philosophers of his time beyond the pale of Islam because they advocated a purely spiritual afterlife. [Ghazali, The Incoherence of the Philosophers]

Our Worldly Bodies

Among the evidence that our bodies will be as they were in this world:

Allah says: “And on the Day when He will gather them, [it will be] as if they had not remained [in the world], but an hour of the day, [and] they will know each other. Those will have lost who denied the meeting with Allah and were not guided.” [Quran, 10:45]

The above verse indicates that the bodies we will have after the resurrection will be the bodies for which others will recognize us. In other words, people will be able to recognize one another on the Day of Judgement, and therefore, the bodies we will have, are the bodies (or will resemble the bodies) we had in this world.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.