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HomeIslamic Faith PrinciplesBelief In The Afterlife In Islam

Belief In The Afterlife In Islam

One of the pillars of the faith in Islam is the belief in the afterlife. [1] The afterlife means the life that begins with the end of the life in this world and lasts forever. The events that will take place in the afterlife are as follows: Resurrection of people (resurrection)[2], reckoning[3], mîzan (a measure of justice for weighing everyone’s deeds) [4], crossing the Sirat Bridge[5], ruling that one will go to Heaven or Hell, and the beginning of life in Heaven or Hell.

The existence of the afterlife is directly related to the existence of the test in this world. Because the absence of a life after death means that injustices and evils in this world are not held to account. Therefore, believing that the Creator is just in every way and at all times brings along the belief in the afterlife. As a matter of fact, belief in Allah and the afterlife is mentioned together in many places in the Qur’an: “And what burden were it on them if they had faith in Allah and in the Last Day, and they spent out of what Allah hath given them for sustenance? For Allah hath full knowledge of them..”[6]

The answer Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh) gave when he was asked “Who is the wisest of the believers?” is important: “The one who remembers the death the most and is prepared for their life after death in the best way.”[7] Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh) stated that a person who believes in the afterlife treats their guests, does not disturb their neighbors and prefers remaining silent when they have nothing good to say.[8] Believing in the afterlife means believing that every good deed in this world will be rewarded and that no evil will go unpunished.[9] Therefore, people who believe in the afterlife are not disappointed when they do a favor and get nothing in return or they are aware that when someone does them wrong, that evil act will be punished. In other words, they are grateful when everything is good and they are patient in the difficult times.

The life in this world means many things to Muslims. First of all, the life in this world is like a field. The afterlife is the place where they will harvest what they sowed and get their products. Secondly, the world is the trading place. Here it is necessary to buy the things that need to be bought and stay away from the futile and harmful goods in order to gain paradise. Thirdly, the life in this world is a hospitage for Muslims. It is not the homeland or a place to stay. It is to behave as Allah, the real owner of the house, wants, and to be aware that when the time comes, you will return to your original homeland. [10]

For Muslims, the world is the field of the afterlife: “And whatever good ye send forth for your souls, ye shall find it in Allah’s Presence.” [11] Muslims believe that what they do in this world is building what they will meet in the afterlife, and according to them; every moment they breathe is an opportunity to save their afterlife since they do not know when the death will come. They are aware that it is in their own hands to make the most of this opportunity. In other words, Muslims’ love for life is a result of their faith. However, their love for life does not cause them to feel hatred towards death. In fact, dying is not a fact that should be forgotten and not be talked about for Muslims. Because Muslims do not perceive the death as going to non-existence like non-believers do. Therefore, the longing they feel for the afterlife is a subject that non-believers have difficulty in understanding. There are 5 reasons why the Muslims feel longing for the afterlife:

  1. With aging, delights and pleasures of this world become bitter for people, and the person who feels this desires an eternal life,
  2. After most of the people a person loves and associates with go to the afterlife, they want to go to the afterlife and see them again,
  3. Human’s need for rest due to the weakness in their creation and the heavy burden of this life
  4. The fact that a person, who knows that the death is not an execution but a change of place, perceives this world as a dungeon as compared to the afterlife,
  5. The fact that the Qur’an states that the love and interest for this world are meaningless because it emphasizes that the world is just made up of games and entertainment expresses the longing of the Muslims for the afterlife. [12]

[1] Bakara, 177.
[2] Say: “(Nay!) be ye stones or iron, “Or created matter which, in your minds, is hardest (to be raised up),- (Yet shall ye be raised up)!” then will they say: “Who will cause us to return?” Say: “He who created you first!” Then will they wag their heads towards thee, and say, “When will that be?” Say, “May be it will be quite soon! İsra, 50- 51.
[3] “That Allah may requite each soul according to its deserves; and verily Allah is swift in calling to account.” İbrahim, 51.
[4] “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.” Enbiya, 47.
[5] “Not one of you but will pass over it: this is, with thy Lord, a Decree which must be accomplished. But We shall save those who guarded against evil, and We shall leave the wrong-doers therein, (humbled) to their knees.” Meryem, 71- 72.
[6] Nisa 39.
[7] İbn Mâce, Zühd, 31.
[8] Ebû Dâvûd, Edeb, 122- 123.
[9] Müslim, Sıfâtü’l-münâfıkin, 56.
[10] Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, 17th Word.
[11] Müzemmil, 20.
[12] Bediüzzaman Said Nursi, 17th Word.


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