Islamic Date09 Shawwal
English Date31 May
Souls in Green Birds
Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Their (shuhada’s) souls are in the crops of green birds, which have lamps hanging from the Throne, and they roam freely wherever they want in Paradise, then they return to those lamps. Their Lord looked down upon them and said: ‘Do you desire anything?’ They said: ‘What could we desire, when we can roam freely wherever we want in Paradise?’ He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) did that with them three times, and when they saw that they would not be left without being asked, they said: ‘O Lord, we want You to restore our souls to our bodies so that we may be killed in Your cause again.’ When He saw that they had no need, they were left alone.” [The Book of Leadership: Sahih Muslim]
This was the reply given by Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) when Abdullah Ibn Masud (radi Allahu anhu) asked him about this ayat: “And do not regard those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead, rather, they are alive with their Lord, being provided for.” [Al-Quran 3:169]
While the rest of humankind is in their graves, the shuhada go straight to Jannat to begin to enjoy its blessings. They are so happy here that there is nothing more that they can desire. When Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) insists on asking them what else they could want, they say that they desire to be martyred again for Allah's cause in order to become more worthy of the extreme felicity that they are enjoying.
They are in this form of birds in Paradise till the Day of Judgment; the period known as the ‘barzakh’. Then their souls will be put into the bodies that the people of Jannat will have, after which they will enjoy life in Jannat in the form mentioned in numerous ahadith and in the Quran.
The best bargain that could be made is the bargain we made with Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), that is to exchange our short earthly lives obeying Allah, in exchange for immortality spent in never ending happiness.