In Islam, an individuals life after death or
their Hereafter, is very closely shaped by
their present life. Life after death begins with
the resurrection of man, after which there will
come a moment when every human will be shaken as
they are confronted with their intentions and
deeds, good and bad, and even by their failure to
do good in this life. On the Day of Judgment the
entire record of people from the age of puberty
will be presented before God. God will weigh
everyones good and bad deeds according to His
Mercy and His Justice, forgiving many sins and
multiplying many good deeds. One who excels in
goodness will be rewarded generously, whereas
one whose evils and wrongs overweigh his good
deeds will be punished. Those who emerge
successful in this judgment will go to paradise and
the doors of eternal bliss will be opened to them.
Those who are condemned and deserve punishment
will be sent to Hell - the abode of fire and torture.
Those who disbelieve say: The Hour will never come
unto us. Say: Nay, by my Lord, it is coming unto you
surely. (He is) the knower of the unseen. Not an
atoms 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 are pardon and a rich provision.
But those who strive against our revelations,
challenging (Us), theirs will be a painful doom of
[Al-Quran: 34: 3-5]
The Need to Believe In Life After Death
Belief in life after death has always been part of the
teachings of the Prophets and is an essential condition
of being a Muslim.Whenever we are asked to do
something, it is our very nature to think about its
benefits and its costs.We regard a useless action as
unnecessary and are not prepared to waste our
time doing it. Similarly, we are not very eager to
avoid a thing that is harmless. The deeper our
conviction about the usefulness of something, the
firmer our response to it will be. The more doubtful
we are about its usefulness, the more wavering and
shaky would be our attitude.After all, why does a
child put his hand in fire? Because he is not sure
that fire burns. Why does he evade studying?
Because he does not fully grasp the importance
and benefits of education.
This Belief Divides People Into Three Categories
, there are those who do not believe in the
Hereafter and regard life on this earth as the only
life and nothing destroys them except time.
Naturally, they judge something to be good if it
produces desirable results and evil if it brings
about undesirable results.
there are those who do not deny the
Hereafter, but they depend on the intercession or
atonement of someone to absolve them of their
sins. Among them are some who regard themselves
as Gods chosen people, who will receive
only nominal punishment, however grave their
sins may be. This deprives them of the moral
advantage, which they could have derived from
their belief in the Hereafter. As a result their
behavior becomes very much like that of those
who deny the Hereafter.
, are those who believe in the Hereafter
and do not delude themselves that they have any
special relationship with God or that anyone can
intercede on their behalf. They hold themselves
accountable for their actions and their belief in the
Hereafter becomes a great moral force. As a result they
find a permanent guard, stationed within them, which
cautions and admonishes them whenever they deviate
from the right path. There may be no court to
summon them, no policemen to apprehend them and no
public opinion to pressure them. Instead the guard within
them is ever alert and ready to remind them when
they transgress.The consciousness of this inner presence
makes them fear doing anything that is prohibited.
Should they succumb to temptation and violate the law
of God, they are ever ready to offer sincere regrets and
to enter a firm contract with God not to repeat the same
mistake in the future.
A person who is focused on successes or failures in this
world alone will be concerned with the benefits and
harms that come to him in this life only. He may be
reluctant to do good deeds that have no worldly benefit.
Similarly, he may not be prepared to stop doing
awrong act that will not harm him in this world.
On the other hand, a person who believes in life after
death would look upon all worldly gains and losses as
temporary and would not put at stake eternal bliss for a
transitory gain. Belief in the next world instills in one the
desire to do well and avoid the wrong, however costly it
may be in terms of worldly sacrifices.
What! Do those who seek after evil ways think
that We shall hold them equal with those who believe
and do righteous deeds, - that equal with their life
and their death? Ill is the judgment that they make.
God created the heavens and the earth for just ends,
and in order that each soul may find the recompense
of what it has earned, and none of them be wronged.
There is a big difference in the way of life of the two types
of people. For one, the idea of a good act may be limited to
its value in this temporary life: for example gains in money,
property, public recognition or similar things which give
one position, power, reputation or worldly happiness.
Such things become the objectives of life and they may not
deter one from pursuing cruel and unjust means in their
achievement. In contrast, for a believer, all that pleases God
is good and all that invokes His displeasure and wrath is evil.
A good act for a believer will remain good even if it brings
no personal benefit in this world.
A believer will be confident that God will reward him in the
eternal life and that would be the real success. Similarly,
they would not fall a prey to evil deeds merely for some
worldly gain, for they would know that even if they escape
punishment in this short worldly life, they would still have
to answer to God.
True justice becomes apparent by believing in Life after Death.
God created people and made them responsible
for their actions. In this world, we notice that the
virtuous often live in a wretched state while the
wicked often seem to have the good things in life.
Innocent people often suffer at the hands of
exploiters and criminals, who seem to gain rather
than suffer by their crimes in this world. If there
were no future life in which the virtuous are
rewarded and the vicious are punished, there
would be no justice. There would be no point in
creating people with a conscience and in sending
Prophets to remind them of their responsibility.
We shall set up scales of justice for the day of
Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with
unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than)
the weight of a mustard seed,We will bring it
(to account): And enough are We to take account.
God is the Most Just; He will establish justice
among all His creatures and no one can escape
from God. Islam, therefore, places great emphasis
on having absolute assurance of the Hereafter.This
assurance should be similar to the certainty we
have in death (which can overcome us at any time).
Therefore, striving to earn the pleasure of God
becomes the objective of life.