Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya relates that the soul travels after death. Different souls have different places. Bad souls go to a place called sijjeen or it will go to the grave. A lowly place where souls are being punished. But it will not leave this world. Sometimes the soul might not be getting punished so it remains in the grave, but ultimately it will not leave this world. Allah (swt) will not allow it to leave this world.
No! Indeed, the record of the wicked is in sijjeen.
Surah al-Mutafifeen, Ayah 7
However, if your a good soul, your soul will have a different station. That station is illiyin. This is mentioned in Surah al-Mutafifeen. The soul will go into illiyin.
No! Indeed, the record of the righteous is in ‘illiyun.
Surah al-Mutafifeen, Ayah 18
When the soul comes to illiyin, your family members, if we’re good souls, they start to ask, who is it? Your parents, your grandparents, great-grandparents they will come to greet you at the gates of illiyin. Subhan’Allah. They will all come and meet you and open their arms to receive you. They will hug you. According to a hadith from our beloved Prophet (saw), they will ask, “How is so and so in the world? How is your son? How is my other daughter? How is your sister? What is the latest news in the world? This is the high station of illiyin.
Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya has said that within illiyin there are three stages. You can be very high, medium, or low. If you in the highest stage, you’ve got a lot more freedom. Allah (swt) may give you permission to go and visit other heavens. If you are a shaheed, Allah (swt) may give you permission to go back to this world and visit in a different form. According to a sahih hadith in Sahih Muslim, the one who dies a shaheed, Allah (swt) will put his/her soul into a green bird and it’s clear the Prophet (saw) said that the green bird will roam around the heavens, will go over Jannah. There’s actually a station above this and that’s the station of the Prophet’s. There is clear evidence for this. When the Prophet (saw) went on the Miraj, who did he see there? He saw the Prophets in the form of their souls. He passed over the grave of Musa (as) and saw Musa (as) praying in his grave. Another sahih hadith states that the Prophet (saw) met Musa (as) in Jannah where he told our beloved Messenger (saw) to have the salah reduced from 50 to 5. The Prophet’s have the most freedom and Allah (swt) has bestowed them with the utmost honor. These are all sahih narrations from authentic sources. May Allah (swt) allow us to have good souls that enter into the illiyin. Ameen.