Life after death what Islam? Who will be in heaven?
Life after death: What Islam says
Part Six in the what you don't but should know about Islam series.
Life after death isn't just a simple question, nor does it have a simple answer. It can't be measured by scientific methods; as science normally deals in quantifiable information that can be sensed and recorded, through our own bodies or scientific technology. Man has only been studying science as we know it today, for a few centuries, where as we have been captivated by the idea of life after death long before recorded history. Newtons discovery of gravity only happened just a short time ago, on the time line of human history, but man has worshiped our Lord God, for thousands of years.
Some holy men have stated that even the slightest doubt in life after death, meant the total denial of God. Every single Prophet(pbuta) of God has covered the subject of eternal life. The time periods that they roamed the earth is spread out by thousands of years, yet every single one of there messages were exactly the same. One could argue that there source must be one and the same, God. Many times the Prophets(pbuta) were often chastised for spreading the concept of the life after. The idea baffled just as many people then as it does now. Yet still the Prophets(pbuta) won over many souls then and still to this day. So why then would a person deny there rational mind for something that, us humans, can't measure? Well, simply put, they opened their hearts and their minds. They realized that the beliefs of their fore fathers were wrong. We as humans often mistake our hearts as scientific tools much like our minds. But how do we know its real? When we can't perceive the afterlife in our conscious mind. To experience life after death is just no possible for the living. God gave us along with a rational mind, the ability of other levels of consciousness. We have the perceptual, rational, aesthetic and moral consciouses. When we use all of them, we can then comprehend the concept of life after death. We can even begin to quantify it when we open our minds and use all of our levels of consciousness together. That is why the Prophets(pbuta) appealed to so many different aspects of our lives. They knew that we would have to awaken our entire mind to understand such things. One example of this is, when the pagans of Makkah denied the slightest possibility of the afterlife, God showed the weakness of their minds by using a very rational and logical argument to support the idea; The Qur'an tell us what that argument was:
"And he has coined for us a similitude, and has forgotten the fact of his creation, saying: who will revive these bones when they have rotted away? Say: He will revive them who produced them at the first, for He is the Knower of every creation. Who has appointed for you fire from the green tree, and behold you kindle from it. It is not He who has created the Heavens and the earth, able to create the like of them? Yes, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-Knowing." Qur'an 36:78-81
And another example the Qur'an gives us to prove the unfounded reasons the unbelievers use to deny the Here After is this:
"They say, 'There is nothing but our present life; we die, and we live, and nothing but Time destroys us'. Of that they have no knowledge; they merely conjecture. And when our revelations are recited to them, their only argument is that they say, 'Bring us our fathers, if you speak truly.'". Qur'an 45:24-25
God will raise the dead, but He will do it in His own time, according to His own plans. On that day the entire universe will perish, and the dead will be resurrected once again to face God in their final judgement. That is when the eternal life will start, and God will give us our rewards or punishments as we deserve them according to the lives we lead in this life. All the tyrannical leaders, and the directors of genocide, and murders and rapists will surly pay their toll. God is just and only the righteous will walk in His Kingdom. The price of pleasing the flesh and sinful desires in this world, is paid in the next. So is it worth it to give up the unmoral desires and temporary pleasure we have in this life, for a life of eternal pleasure in the Here after? I don't know about you but its worth it to me.
Without the belief in the Here after there is no belief in God. It is pointless for God to create us without giving us the chance of eternal life. Because this life is so short, the punishment for our evil deeds are not possible in this life, and there fore are not equal to the crimes we commit against man and God. The day of Judgement will decide for each and everyone of us, the punishment or reward we receive, its stated in the Qur'an here:
"Those who disbelieve say: The Hour will never come unto us. Say: Nay, by my Lord, but it is coming unto your surely. (He is) the Knower of the Unseen, Not an atom's weight, or less than that or greater, escapes Him in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a clear Record. That He may reward those who believe and do good works. For them is the pardon and a rich provision. But those who strive against our revelations, challenging (Us), theirs will be a painful doom of wrath." Qur'an 34:3-5
On this day, we will surly know the Justice and Mercy of God. He will show Mercy like no other to those who suffered for His sake in this world. Yet those who cause the suffering or disobeyed God and abused His Grace in this life, will surly pay a grave price in the next life. The Qur'an tells us this:
"Is he, then, to whom we have promised a goodly promise the fulfilment of which he will meet, like the one whom We have provided with the good things of this life, and then on the Day of Resurrection he will be of those who will be brought arraigned before God?" Qur'an 28:61
The Nobel Qur'an also tells us this life is a test to prepare us for the next. The unbelievers give in to their desires and passions, with no regard for the welfare of others of the Will of God. They ridicule and chastise those who fear God, and obey His Will. When the Day of Resurrection comes, they will beg God for another chance, and plead with Him that they didn't know, but God knows all and their pleas will be in vain and fall of deaf ears. The misery that the unbeliever and deniers is explained in the Qur'an as such:
"Until, when death comes unto one of them, he says, 'My Lord send me back, that I may do right in that which I have left behind!' But nay! It is but a word that he speaks; and behind them is a barrier until the day when they are raised. And when the Trumpet is blown there will be no kinship among them that day, nor will they ask of one another. Then those whose scales are heavy, they are successful. And those whose scales are light are those who lose their souls, in hell abiding, the fire burns their faces and they are glum therein." Qur'an 23:99-104
Not only does the belief in life after death give us the gifts in the Here after but it increases the quality of life for all in this life. When one fears the Wrath of God on the day of Judgement, he lives right in this life, and feed the hungry and clothes the poor. He does not hate, and forgives. He does not fight and spreads love. He does all of this in fear of the Here after. So then why is the belief in the next life such a bad thing? I would rather believe in the next life and be wrong than not believe and be wrong, lucky for me I know for a fact there is life after death, and this is why I write these blogs. If I can reach just one person, that is more than enough to make all of this worth it to me.
Lets take a minute and think of all the people in the world that: murder, gamble, drink, sell drugs and sex, hate, steal, and start wars. These people obviously have no belief in the life after, what since does it make to do this if they know they will suffer in hell for such actions, unless they are just insane and unable to understand their actions. When people who live these lives, not unlike myself, begin to believe in God they tend to become the most devout and and disciplined people in the world. The belief in the One changes their ways, and they fear their past action, so they do all they can to make up for these actions. Lucky for us, when God says forgive and forget, He actually does. When we accept God, he erases our entire book of sin, and we start with a blank page, and then can rewrite our fate in the next life. WOW! What an amazing thing that is. God gives us every possible chance and advantage to make it to Paradise. But what happens when an entire nation becomes consumed in evil and destruction, the Qur'an tells us this:
"(The tribes of) Thamud and 'Aad disbelieved in the judgement to come. As for Thamud, they were destroyed by the lightning, and as for 'Aad, they were destroyed by a fierce roaring wind, which He imposed on them for seven long nights and eight long days so that your might see the people laid prostrate in its as if they were the stumps of fallen down palm trees. Now do you see remnant of them? Pharaoh likewise and those before him and the subverted cities. They committed errors and those before him, and they rebelled against the Messenger of their Lord, and He seized them with a surpassing grip. Lo, when the waters rose, We bore you in the running ship that We might make it a reminder for you and for heeding ears to hold. So when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast and the earth and the mountains are lifted up and crushed with a single blow, then on that day, the Terror shall come to pass, and the heaven shall be split for upon that day it shall be very frail. Then as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall say ' Here take and read my book! Certainly I thought that I should encounter my reckoning.' So he shall be in a pleasing life in a lofty garden, its clusters nigh to gather.' Eat and drink with wholesome appetite for that you did long ago, in the days gone by,' But as for him who is given his book in his left hand, he shall say: ' Would that I had not been given my book and not known my reckoning! Would it had been the end! My wealth has not availed me, my authority is gone from me.' " Qur'an 69:4-29
So there are some legitimate and valid reasons to believe in God. Let's review; All the Prophets(pbuta) have called for us to believe with the same message from God. When people build on the principle of life after death, that society is the most ideal and peaceful, with little to no crimes, and a happy successful population. We are shown throughout times that countries who reject God, destroy the lives of its people, there is more crime, hunger, and death. When we use every level of our conscience, life after death makes sense. The Mercy of God is pointless if there is no life after death. And like I said before, is it better to believe and be wrong? or not believe and be wrong? Who do you hurt by believing in God and the Here after? The answer to that is, no one. Does it make you less intelligent? Of course not, some of the greatest minds in history were believers in God. I hope that you all can open your hearts and minds to see the truth, there is an after life and our God is the one true God.
This blog is dedicated to my butterfly, thanks for being such an amazing friend.