Life after Death : Its Fruits
LIFE AND HEREAFTER
The Quran states that this worldly life is a preparation for the eternal life after death. But those who deny it become slaves of their passions and desires, and make fun of virtuous and God-conscious persons. Such people realize their folly only at the time of their death and wish in vain to be given a further chance in the world. Their miserable state at the time of death, the horror of the Day of Judgment, and the eternal bliss guaranteed to the sincere believers are very beautifully mentioned in the following verses of the Quran.
“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 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.” (Quran 23:99-104)
The belief in life after death not only guarantees success in the Hereafter, but also makes this world full of peace and happiness. This is through making individuals exceedingly responsible and dutiful in their activities due to their awe of God: the fear of His punishment and hope for His reward.
Think of the people of Arabia. Gambling, drinking, tribal feuds, plundering and murdering were the main traits of their society when they had no belief in a life hereafter. But as soon as they accepted the belief in 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 has its consequences not only in the Hereafter, but also in this world. When a nation as a whole denies it, all kinds of evil and corruption become rampant in that society and ultimately it is destroyed. The Quran mentions the terrible end of the ‘Aad, Thamud and the Pharaoh in some detail:
“(The tribes of) Thamud and ‘Aad disbelieved in the judgment 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 you might see the people laid prostrate in it 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 what 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 known my reckoning! Would it had been the end! My wealth has not availed me, my authority is gone from me.’” (Quran 69:4-29)
Thus, there are very convincing reasons to believe in life after death.
First, all the prophets of God have called their people to believe in it.
Secondly, whenever a human society is built on the basis of this belief, it has been the most ideal and peaceful society, free of social and moral evils.
Thirdly, history bears witness that whenever this belief is rejected collectively by a group of people in spite of the repeated warning of their Prophet, the group as a whole has been punished by God, even in this world.
Fourthly, moral, aesthetic and rational facilities of man endorse the possibility of life after death.
Fifthly, God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy would have no meaning if there is no life after death.