Since time immemorial, we humans have wondered whether death terminates our life or does it carry on subsequently. To arrive at the proper conclusion is of fundamental significance as it decides our conduct throughout this life. If living did come to an end with demise and there was nothing ahead, people would be justified in feeling that “we only live once and so let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die”
(Luke 12:19, Ecclesiastes 8:15, 1 Corinthians 15:32).
These would be the ones who think that the here and now is the be-all and end-all and that it may be okay to believe that the end would justify the means. [23:35-37] “Does he promise you that, after you die and turn into dust and bones, you will come out again? “Impossible, impossible indeed is what is promised to you” We only live this life—we live and die—and we will never be resurrected.
But we know this is not so.
[45:24-26] They said, “We only live this life; we live and die and only time causes our death!” They have no sure knowledge about this; they only conjecture. When our revelations are recited to them, clearly, their only argument is to say, “Bring back our forefathers, if you are truthful.” Say, “GOD has granted you life, then He puts you to death, then He will summon you to the Day of Resurrection, which is inevitable. But most people do not know.”
There has always been a strong concept of resurrection. Hindus have a conviction that they will be reborn in accordance with the way they lived their life. A belief of reincarnation of souls with a continuous sequence of
rebirths till they accomplish moksha. The Egyptian Pharaohs were entombed in colossal pyramids with all their jewellery and valuable possessions to be used by them after resurrection. The ancient Greeks believed in a netherworld called Hades, the dwelling of the dead as well as a sinister purgatory. The Zoroastrians of ancient Persia were of Aryan ancestry sharing philosophies akin of recompense and chastisement as the Semitic people had—the people of Abrahamic faiths. However, in the same Abrahamic faiths the Jews believed in Heaven and Hell with the provision that being God’s chosen people, they would endure the anguish of Hell for only a restricted phase. In the Christian New Testament—the Book of Revelations—there is an explicit portrayal in figurative words of a series of events including the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This is followed by six angels blowing their trumpets, one after the other which will obliterate the cosmos and finally the seventh angel’s trumpet (Rev. 11:18) will announce the achievement of “God’s secret plan”, when the Ark of the Covenant is seen.
Today’s Muslims are no better. Most believe that their saints and religious leaders will intercede on their behalf and escort them to Heaven. We all know that there is no defence from God’s law.
Satan’s Most Effective Bait: The Myth of Intercession
[9:80] Whether you ask forgiveness for them, or do not ask forgiveness for them—even if you ask forgiveness for them seventy times—GOD will not forgive them. This is because they disbelieve in GOD and His messenger. GOD does not guide the wicked people.
The Quran is clear on the concept of the Hereafter. First, we are informed as to why we are here, what are our duties and responsibilities and why answerability is obligatory.
One of the primary attributes mentioned in the very first Sura of the Quran is that God is the Master of the Day of Judgment. If we truly recognise this, we should act in the most upright way during our life knowing that we are answerable about our deeds after death.
[83:10-12] Woe on that day to the rejectors. They do not believe in the Day of Judgment. None disbelieves therein except the transgressor, the sinful.
We believe in the Hereafter because God says so. We reason it out because as humans we should be conscientious and therefore accountable to our Maker for all our actions—good, bad and neutral. We know that this life at hand is transient and that it is ordained to conclude on an Hour known only to God. We also know that our winning or losing in the next life is not derived from our capacity or incapacity to obtain riches, power and influence here. [6:164] Say, “Shall I seek other than GOD as a lord, when He is the Lord of all things? No soul benefits except from its own works, and none bears the burden of another. Ultimately, you return to your Lord, then He informs you regarding all your disputes.”
We know that this earth will be replaced with a new earth and that all humankind will be recreated afresh and gathered round for verdict. It will be done for each soul in the most accurate and just manner.
[82:9-14] Indeed, you disbelieve in the religion. Oblivious to the fact that there are (invisible) keepers around you. They are honest recorders. They record everything you do. Surely, the pious have deserved bliss. While the wicked have deserved Hell.
Cont’d on page 3