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Life after Death

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2237 2013/03/30 2024/05/23

Life after Death

What's the Proof?


All religions speak of two levels of existence. one is that of this phenomenal world, which we experience with the five senses characteristic of our body made of matter. The other is that of the transcendent world where we are believed to exist as a spirit.


In this life itself, we have both the body and the spirit. The body is measurable or quantifiable, whereas the spirit is abstract, incommensurable. Only measurable entities can be subjected to scientific studies; and only those entities that are subject to some form of scientific scrutiny or observation by qualified persons can be "proved" (in the scientific sense) to exist.

The 'hereafter' which belongs to the metaphysical (beyond the physical) world cannot be subjected to any scientific study as the methods and/or tools of science are not suited to study non-material, spiritual, transcendental entities.


But when people speak of the "proof" for the existence of the hereafter, they usually mean rational or logical proof; and such proofs can be presented for the existence of the hereafter. 


In fact, the Quran makes a very simple but effective appeal to our everyday experience to convince us of the existence of the hereafter.


*{It is Allah who sends forth the winds, so that they raise up the clouds, and we drive them to a land that is dead, and revive the earth therewith after its death: even so [will be] the resurrection!}* (Fatir 35:9)


The same God who with a rain revives dead earth, will bring back to life the dead bones too. That is, if Allah can revive dead earth, he can revive dead bones too.


And note how rationally Allah in the Quran handles the question:

*{And he makes comparisons for us, and forgets his own (origin and) creation: he says, 'who can give life to (dry) bones and decomposed ones (at that)?' say, 'he will give them life who created them for the first time! for he fully knows all! - the same who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold! ye kindle therewith (your own fires)! is not he who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like thereof?' - yea, indeed! for he is the creator supreme, of skill and knowledge (infinite)!}* (Ya-Sin 36:78-81)

Throughout history, all the prophets of God had been calling people to believe in life after death. Their great confidence in handling this metaphysical question, even when they were greatly opposed by their people on this very same issue, points to that the source of this belief was God himself.

Indeed, the necessity of life after death ought to be evident to the moral consciousness of man. Without an afterlife, the very belief in God becomes, one may say, irrelevant.


Surely there will be a day of judgment, when God will raise all the dead. On that day, the whole universe will be destroyed and then again the dead will be resurrected to stand before God.


That day will be the beginning of the never-ending life in the other world, when every person will be rewarded according to his or her deeds:

*{The unbelievers say, 'never to us will come the hour': say, 'nay! but most surely, by my lord, it will come upon you;— by him who knows the unseen,— from whom is not hidden the least little atom in the heavens or on earth: nor is there anything less than that, or greater, but is in the record perspicuous: that he may reward those who believe and work deeds of righteousness: for such is forgiveness and a sustenance most generous.' but those who strive against our signs, to frustrate them,- for such will be a chastisement,- of painful wrath.}* (Saba' 34:3-5)

The belief in the hereafter is a great incentive for people to be responsible and dutiful in their activities.

The people of pre-Islamic Arabia who didn't believe in the hereafter used to indulge freely in gambling, drinking, plundering and murdering. But soon after they accepted the belief in the one God and life after death, they became the most disciplined nation of the world. They gave up their vices, helped each other in hours of need, and settled all their disputes on the basis of justice and equality.

Similarly the denial of life after death also brings its inevitable results in this world. When a whole society denies it, all kinds of evils and corruptions become rampant in that society, until eventually it is destroyed.

The Quran mentions the terrible calamity of the end of times:

*{Then, when one blast is sounded on the trumpet, and the earth is moved, and its mountains, and they are crushed at one stroke,— on that day shall the (great) event come to pass.

And the sky will be rent asunder, for it will that day be flimsy, and the angels will be on its sides, and eight will, that day, bear the throne of thy lord above them.

That day shall ye be brought to judgment: not an act of yours that ye hide will be hidden.


Then he that will be given his record in his right hand will say: 'Ah here! Read ye my record! Did I really think that my account would (one day) reach me!'

And he will be in a life of bliss, in a garden on high, the fruits whereof (will hang in bunches) low and near. Eat ye and drink ye, with full satisfaction; because of the (good) that ye sent before you, in the days that are gone!


And he that will be given his record in his left hand will say: 'ah! Would that my record had not been given to me! And that i had never realized how my account (stood)! Ah! Would that (death) had made an end of me! of no profit to me has been my wealth! My power has perished from me!'...


(The stern command will say): 'seize ye him, and bind ye him, and burn ye him in the blazing fire. Further, insert him in a chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits! This was he that would not believe in Allah the most high. And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent!

So no friend hath he here this day. nor hath he any food except the foul pus from the washing of wounds, which none do eat but those in sin.'}*(Al-Haqqah 69:13-39)

These indeed are all very strong reasons urging us to believe in life after death.




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