Aug 13, 2015

Bridge for souls (Sirat ćuprija)

Such belief confirms the belief that when the deceased is buried he is visited in the grave by angels, judges, Azrail and Džibrail. They question the deceased about his good deeds and sins, and if he is sinful they hit him and bury him into the ground. Folk claim that they can bury him up to 77 meters into the ground. In some parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina it is believed that the worst case scenario for the deceased is to be buried in the eve of Tuesday and Saturday, since then he will be visited by scary Jinn called suhaladžije, which beat the deceased until they break and shatter all his bones.

Road from this earthly world leads to heaven across a bridge called sirat bridge, which is according to belief "thinner than a hair, sharper than a sword, longer than thousand kilometres". Underneath the bridge is a scary chasm - hell. There a large and powerful hell fire for which it is claimed among the Bosnian people that it is so hot and strong that no earthly fire can compare to it "since our fire is washed by 99 waters". Apparently, when out of "spite" only one spark from hell fire would jump out the entire world would burn. That fire heats up a cauldron which contains a black mass "tar like", which is boiling and when sinners fal in it they are turning like bean beads in a boiling pot.

The soul of the deceased slowly crosses the bridge (thousand kilometres). That road could be cut shorter and the road could be crossed sooner if for Eid he would sacrifice his best, most healthy ram. The soul of the ram - kurban, will carry him across the bridge "like a horse", it is believed.

Depending on the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sandžak, the people have their beliefs on the movement of the soul. One part of the belief claims that the soul of the deceased leaves the earth after seven days, graveyards and the house and across the siratbridge carrying the good and bad deeds tries to reach the blissful, eternal life. It is believed that the man, while crossing the sirat bridge, carries the good deeds in his right hand or right shoulder, and the bad deeds on his left shoulder or left hand which he is hiding behind his back, that's why he is walking sideways so that the judge (Allah) has a harder time seeing the sins.
Similarly, it is believed that the head needs to be raised high, and eyes looking at the sky. So that the soul doesn't see where it is walking when crossing the bridge. Out of many other beliefs a very interesting one is that if the deceased had sexual intercourse with someone else's wife during his lifetime, her menstrual blood will drip into his mouth and he will fall into hell. A similar punishment will be given to the one who has denounced a woman, broke up a wedding or killed someone.