THE SOUL OF A BELIEVER
Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
«نَسَمَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ طَائِرٌ يَعْلُقُ فِي شَجَرِ الْجَنَّـةِ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَهُ اللهُ إِلى جَسَدِهِ يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُه»
(The soul of the BELIEVER becomes a bird that feeds on the trees of Paradise, until Allah sends him back to his body when He resurrects him.)
This Hadith states that the souls of the believers are in the shape of a bird in Paradise.
As for the souls of martyrs, they are inside green birds, like the stars to the rest of the believing souls. We ask Allah the Most Generous that He makes us firm on the faith.
~ Tafseer Ibn Kathir
This Hadith has a unique, authentic chain of narration that includes three of the Four Imams. Imam Ahmad narrated this Hadith from Muhammad bin Idris Ash-Shafi`i who narrated it from Malik bin Anas Al-Asbuhi, from Az-Zuhri, from `Abdur-Rahm an bin Ka`b bin Malik that his father said the above