Life After Death
Belief in life after death, which pertains to the Day of Judgement, bodily Resurrection, Heaven and Hell, is one of the articles of faith in Islam. The word, generally, used in the Quran to indicate life after death is Al-Akhirah.
The Holy Quran gives great importance to this belief, placing it next in importance to faith in Allah at many places in the Holy Quran. It says.
” Any who believe in Allah and the Last Day and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord..” (2:62).
A man’s life on this earth ends with his death, after which another life begins in the state of Barzakh, which is an intermediate state in which the soul is placed after death till the resurrection. The state of the grave is, therefore, the same state as that of Barzakh.
Immediately after death the lesser Judgement or Qiyamat-e-Sughra takes place, after which the righteous are spoken of as tasting the fruit of their good deeds while the evil-doers have to taste the evil consequences of their wrong deeds. In this connection, a companion reported that the Holy Prophet PBUH said: “When a man dies, his abode (in next life) is brought before him morning and evening, in Paradise if he is one of the inmates of Paradise, and in fire, if he is one of the inmates of Hell.” (Muslim)
The Quran describes the events of the last day in a very clear and awe-inspiring language. It says that at a time known only to Allah this world will be brought to an end with a deafening noise. The earth will split apart and become a level stretch, and the mountains will crumble to dust and will fly here and there like wool. The sun will be folded up, the moon will be in darkness, the stars will become dim and fall, and the oceans will boil over and burst forth. All landmarks on this earth will be lost, the world will cease to be in the form we see now.
There will be a new heaven and a new earth. The Quran Says:
“One day, the earth will be changed to a different earth and so will be the Heavens” (19:48)
All those who are alive on earth at that time will die. Then the bodies of the dead will be raised from their graves and rejoined with their souls. All men will then Stand before Allah to give an account of their actions in this world. They will be given their book of deeds which they will be asked to read. The good will be given their record in their right hand, while the sinners in their left hand or from behind their backs. The Quran says:
“Then he who is given his record in his right hand, soon will his account be taken by an easy reckoning behind his back soon will he cry for perdition, and he will enter a blazing fire.” (84: 7-12)
No injustice will be done on the Day of Judgement. People’s hand feet and tongues will bear witness against them. There will be no bargaining, no friendship or intercession. Parents, children, spouses and relatives will be of no avail.
The Quran says: ‘At length when there comes the deafening noise that Day Shall a man flee from his own brother, and from his mother and his father, and from his wife and his children. Each one of them, that Day, will have enough concern (of his own) to make him indifferent to the others: (80:33-37)
Those who rejected Allah and ignored His guidance and the warning conveyed through His Messengers and Prophets Will be thrown into Hell a terrible and fearsome abode which the Quran describes as:
“The fire of (the wrath of) Allah kindled (to a blaze) which doth mount (right) to the hearts.” (104: 6,7)
These people, along with their companions, will be in a state of agony and torment. For them, the Quran says: “…. They are the companions of the fire. they will abide therein” (10: 27). As for those people who believed in Allah, who obeyed and submitted to Him and did righteous deeds, the Quran says: They are the best of creatures. Their reward is with Allah: Gardens of eternity, beneath which rivers flow, they will dwell therein forever: Allah well pleased with them and they with Him…” (98:7-8)
And also: “.. they are the companions of the Garden, they will abide therein.” (10: 26) The two states of Heaven and Hell are not spiritual. They will be experienced in physical forms by the new bodies with which Allah will raise men up.
Islam lays the greatest stress on the individual’s accountability to Allah. The human being’s life in this world is a trial, an examination period, during which he prepares himself, either for reward or punishment, for the next life which is ever-lasting.
It is obvious that a person who has lived his life in submission to Allah is in an entirely different state from the one who has lived all his life in rebellion and ingratitude to Allah. Those who do not believe in a future life become immoral and irresponsible because for them the short life on this earth is everything. On the other hand, those who have a firm belief in life after death fear Allah, follow the straight path, do good deeds and abstain from all evil deeds.