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If you heard a child give detailed information about a dead man’s life that he could not seemingly have known through normal means, would you believe he is that man’s reincarnation?
Psychologist Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson, professor emeritus at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, has long studied reincarnation. He has highlighted a case he began investigating in 2000 in which a boy named Nazih Al-Danaf gave many correct details about his purported past-life incarnation.
Dr. Haraldsson worked with a local researcher, Majd Abu-Izzeddin, in Lebanon to interview the boy’s family members and the family of the deceased man Nazih may have been. All witnesses were interviewed multiple times several months apart, and the story remained by and large the same. The most striking testimony came from the dead man’s wife, who tested the boy’s knowledge of her life with her husband.
First Talk of Another Life
At the age of about one and a half, Nazih told his mother, “I am not small, I am big. I carry two pistols. I carry four hand-grenades. I am ‘qabadai’ (a fearless strong person). Don’t be scared by the hand-grenades. I know how to handle them. I have a lot of weapons. My children are young and I want to go and see them.”
He used words his parents didn’t expect him to know at that age, showed an unusual interest in cigarettes and whisky, talked of a mute friend who had only one hand, said he had a red car, and said he died when people came to shoot at him. He said he was taken in an ambulance to the hospital, and was given an anesthesia shot in his arm on the way. He asked to go to his home in Qaberchamoun, a small town that is about 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) away.
Nazih has family near Qaberchamoun, but had never been in the town itself and didn’t know anyone from the town. After years of pestering, his parents finally took him to Qaberchamoun when he was 6 years old, in 1998. Some of his sisters went too.
Finding the House, Talking to His ‘Wife’
They arrived at an intersection of six roads in Qaberchamoun. Nazih pointed to one and said to follow it. He then instructed his father to wait for the next fork in the road, then go up to where his house is. His father, Sabir Al-Danaf, did as the boys said. He was eventually forced to stop the car, because the road was wet and became difficult to drive on. Nazih jumped out and ran on ahead. His father followed him, and the women got out to talk to a local man while waiting for Nazih and Sabir to return.
As the women described what Nazih had told them, the man was stunned. The details matched his deceased father. Dr. Haraldsson interviewed this man, Kamal Khaddage, whose father, Fuad Assad Khaddage, had died many years earlier.
Nazih was unable to recognize any of the houses ahead, so he and his father returned to the car. Khaddage asked his mother, Najdiyah, to come speak to the boy. Having heard that the boy may be her husband’s reincarnation, she tested him.
She asked him: “Who built the foundation of this gate at the entrance of this house?” Nazih replied: “A man from the Faraj family.” This was correct.
She asked him if she had had any accident when they were living at the house in Ainab. Nazih said she had dislocated her shoulder one morning. He took her to the doctor when he got home from work, and she had a cast on for a while. This was correct.
She asked him if he remembered how their daughter, Fairuz, had become ill. He said, “She was poisoned from my medication and I took her to the hospital.” This was correct.
Nazih went to a particular cupboard of his own accord and said that that’s where he had kept his weapons, though none were in there at the time. That was where Fuad had kept his weapons. The boy asked Fuad’s widow if she remembered how their car had stopped twice on the way from Beirut and Israeli soldiers had helped them start it again. This had indeed happened. The boy mentioned a barrel in the garden he used to teach his wife to shoot, and ran out to see if it was still there. It was.
Najdiyah showed Nazih a photograph of Fuad and asked: “Who is this?” The boy replied: “This is me, I was big but now I am small.”
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*Image of boy in water via Shutterstock