Note [original edition] :
The original word barzakh, here translated bar, primarily signifies
any partition, or interstice, which divides one thing from another; but is
used by the Arabs
not always in the same, and sometimes in an obscure sense.
They seem generally to express by it what the Greeks
did by the word Hades;
one while using it for the place of the dead, another while for the time of
their continuance in that state, another while for the state itself. It is
defined by their critics to be the interval or space between this world and
the next, or between death and the resurrection; every person who dies being
said to enter into al barzakh
; or, as the Greek
expresses it, [Greek text]2
tells us that in the Korân
it denotes the grave; but the
commentators on this passage expound it a bar, or invincible obstacle, cutting
off all possibility of return into the world, after death. See chap. 25,
where the word again occurs.
Some interpreters understand the words we have rendered behind them, to
mean before them (it being one of those words, of which there are several in
tongue, that have direct contrary significations), considering al
Barzakh as a future space, and lying before, and not behind them.
V. Pocock. not. in Port. Mosis, p. 248, &c., and the Prelim Disc. §. IV. p. 77.
Ebn Maruf, apud Gol. Lex. Arab. col. 254.