Life and Beyond according to the Quran


In the Quran life in this world is an inseparable part of a continuum, a unified whole – life, death, life – which gives our life a context and relevance. In this context, the life of the individual is made meaningful and enriched inasmuch as it is full of ‘good works’. Life in this world leads to the afterlife, a belief which is fundamental in the Quran. The afterlife is not treated in the Quran in a separate chapter, or as something on its own, for its own sake, but always in relation to life in this world.

Linguistically it is not possible in the Quran to talk about this life without semantic reference to the next since every term used for each is comparative with the other. Thus: al’ula and al-akhira (the First and the Last life), al-dunya and al-akhira (the nearer and the further/latter life). Neither has a name specific to itself, or independent of the other. Consequently, the frequency of the terms in the Quran is the same, in the case of dunya and akhira- each appears 115 times.

There is a reference, direct or indirect, to one aspect or another of the afterlife on almost every single page of the Quran. This follows from the fact that belief in the afterlife is an article of faith which has a bearing on every aspect of the present life and manifests itself in the discussion of the creed, the rituals, the ethics and the laws of Islam. In discussing the afterlife, moreover, the Quran addresses both believers and non-believers. The plan of two worlds and the relationship between them has been, from the beginning, part of the divine scheme of things:

It is God who created you, then He provided sustenance for you, then He will cause you to die, then He will give life back to you. Quran 30:40

It is We who give life and make to die and to Us is the homecoming. Quran 50:43

He created death and life that He might try you according to which of you is best in works. Quran 67:2

According to the Quran, belief in the afterlife, which is an issue fundamental to the mission of Muhammad, was also central to the mission of all prophets before him.

Belief in the afterlife is often referred to in conjunction with belief in God, as in the expression: ‘If you believe in God and the Last Day’. Believers are frequently reminded in the Quran, ‘Be mindful of God and know that you shall meet Him’ (Quran 2:233) (used in this instance to urge fitting treatment of one’s wife in intimate situations). ‘To Him is the homecoming/ the return’ (Quran 36:83; 40:3 and passim). As a belief in the afterlife is so fundamental to Islam, it is only right that Muslims should regularly be reminded of it not only throughout the pages of the Quran but also in their daily life. Practicing Muslims in their five daily prayers repeat their praise of God at least seventeen times a day, ‘The Master of the Day of Judgment’ (Quran 1:4) . Being inattentive to the afterlife (Quran 30:7) or to the prospect of coming to judgment (Quran 32:14) are signs of the unbeliever.

All this heightens the believer’s sense of responsibility for actions in this life. In fact the principles and details of religion are meant to be seen within the framework of the interdependence of this life and the afterlife and to color the Muslims’ conception of life and the universe and have a bearing on their actions in this life.


 

Excerpted from “Understanding The Quran” by Muhammad Abdel Haleem

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By: muhammad abdel haleem | Source: IslamiCity | Category: Articles, Faith, Featured | Topic: afterlife, quran | Views: 24,577 | Comments: 13

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13 Comments

  1. The concept that Allah is everywhere needs a little clearance. In fact Allah is over His throne at the seventh heaven and He is present eveywhere BY HIS KNOWLWDGE but He is not present physically everywhere, as some believe wrongly.

    Wama Tufiqui illa biAllah.

  2. In one of the comments posted, the writer mentioned that “Allah is every where”. I would like to relate my personal experience on this. One moon lit night I was driving alone 80 km from home. To pass the time I started singing all the songs I knew. Then I ran out of songs. So I started reciting the Al Fatihah. Then it happened. It was as if I was driving on another planet. Things appeared beautiful. Then I realized it was because I was looking at the road and at the same time I was thinking of Allah. The following year I made a pilgrimage to Mecca.Alhamdullilah

  3. Belief gives a believer confidence as it prepares him for the real life to come in the Hereafter. If one has no belief he only follows conjecture and desires not sure what to do or meets after death.As the article rightly mentions the Quran does not negate our transitory life in this World.Alhamdu Lillahi only the one who has such belief will understand.The life is like dream one wakes up to the reality only after death and faces the consequences of his evil or starts to reap the fruit of his effort in this world.Guidance is only given by nobody even the Prophets including Jesus Moses and Muhammad could not guide whom they wanted.It was only Allah that used to give guidance previously and now its only Him that gives the same guidance and would continue to guide whom He wills of His Bondmen.So Rasulullah only shows the way of guidance to people whom Allah has willed that they will be guided like all other Prophets.This is the right path.The Path of Allah unto Whom belongs whatsoever is in the Heavens and whatsoever is in the earth.Behold all things do indeed tend towards Allah.Who does greater wrong than he who invents a lie concerning Allah or denies the truth when it comes unto him? Allahu Akbar the message of Quran is straight forward no crookedness placed therein.But unfortunately majority of people would only realise after death but alas is too late.Allah said in His Holy Book; Could you but see when they are terrified with no escape and are seized from near at hand and they say: we now believe therein but never can they reach faith from afar off and a gulf is set between them and that which they desire as was done for people of their kind of old.Lo they were in hopeless doubt.

    One thing interesting worth mentioning about the Quran it challenges the whole humanity and Jinns together that they could not produce the like of it even if they were to help each other as stated in Sura Bani Israel Verse 88 so read it yourself as the reference was given.Allah guide us

  4. Allah Tallah is everywhere as you all know & only if you take take the time in your busy life to remember him constantly only then you will see the results of his remembrance. When one speaks to Allah Tallah He/She should always speak from their heart earnestly. Only then you will feel totally close to Allah Pak. Happy new year & may Allah Tallah bless each & every one of us. Thank you.

  5. 786

    Asalaamu Alaykum…

    Firstly, I am no expert – but allow me to make some (hopefully constructive) criticism…

    …As far as I am aware ‘akhira’ implies “other” – NOT “after” or “next”… Furthermore, ‘life’ is itself an attribute of Allah: “Al Hayy” – so, if you believe in 2 separate ‘lives’ then you commit shirk. This shows that an “Afterlife” is an erroneous conception – exposing merely a dogmatic and irrational frame of mind (and a false hope!). I can, however, quite clearly accept that my life (as a whole – in balance) could be described pragmatically as more ‘duniya’ or more ‘akhira’ – depending upon whether I am behaving in the wrong way or the right way (according to Islam) respectively… A positive way of living begets a positive reward (and vice versa) in a single “lifetime”. I have no need for the ‘smoke and mirrors’ of a second “life”… Allah has given us all the opportunity to act now (in this life); the garden is beholden only by those with eyes to see it… Wasalaam.

    PS – The 115 instances of both ‘duniya’ and ‘akhira’ also support my analysis of a single equivalent lifetime; albeit lived differently.

    PPS – The article itself partially supports my view but is incoherent in places – also I don’t think ‘life’ and ‘world’ are synonymous; as I see it, life (Al Hayy) is a singular but world (alamin) can be a multiple.

    PPPS – Please feel free to provide me with evidence to the contrary. Quran[46:33] could be a starting point?

  6. Amazing how a New Zealander is consoling a Chinese Malaysian in the previous posts. This is the true face of Islam. It cuts through all man-made barriers and make us all brothers and sisters unto each other. Glory be to God who put this love in our hearts so that we may believe in being a One Soul manifested in many bodies. Sadly, I do not see a hundered comments here as we normally see when there is a subject about cartoons, terrorism or any other such futile subjects. The most important subject to all humanity is that this life is temporary. God says in the Quran: I remember those who remember me. Now that we know this, then why just wait for 5 times in the day to remember God? Why not remember HIM with every breath, then know for sure that HE remembers us with every breath. Yes, that is a guaranteed possibility for those who choose to remember God (Allah) with every breath and thus be guaranteed that not only this life is a bless but the next is much more blessful. Everything is made perfect. We need not resist anything. God is PERFECT and whatever HE makes must be PERFECT.

  7. Who said Majority of terrorist are Moslems? Are Terrorist as numberous as the people who brought him to power? christian zionist evengalicals, the bible belt, the Bubbas of Americas? Forums are full where they clearly and openly advocate killing moslums, and implementing it on pratical level in Iraq, what you call that? There exist no bigger group of terrorist then America, period.

  8. Chen, may I offer you some help (inshaAllah) from my own experience?

    When I was at the same stage as you, wanting to believe but not able to… I sat alone and talked out loud to God: “God, if you exist…” I just said what was in my heart. I said that I couldn’t find belief in my heart but I wanted to believe. I asked for understanding and forgiveness if there was a god (for insulting him by not believing), I asked for his help to believe (since he must have that power if he existed).

    And I sat quietly and listened. I asked LOTS of questions (because Islam is an INFORMED choice made with the brains God created) and finally came to the conclusion with Allah’s help.

    Just be honest. After all, who knows better that God what is truly in your heart?

    And be encouraged. I am now strong in my religion alhamdulillah and have grown much over the past few years since that lonely, scarey time when I was reaching out to someone I wasn’t sure was there.

    The terrific thing is, Allah knows what is in our hearts. When we admit it, it’s no shame or sin.

    And he LOVES to hear the searching of an honest, open heart and to help you find the truth.

    May Allah bless you in your search and bring you

    Salaam, God’s peace in your heart.

  9. May Allah bless this brother for this writing. It is a reminder for us all to re-examine how we view life hereafter, including the immediate period after death. It is incumbent upon us all to live as if the afterlife occurs at any second, any unannounced second. Allah swt makes reference to the afterlife in each chapter of the Qu’ran. I am often in awe of those who have experienced the beginning of this transition. It is important for us to closely examine if we are living this life as a probationary one, which will determine favorable events of life hereafter. I pray for us to take this scholarly writing and review the revelation from the Greatest of All, and dissect each phrase for understanding. May Allah ta ala guide us to greater understanding of the mission of our dear Prophet (saw) hence, InshaAllah, we may /will understand Allah’s descriptive announcements in His Book. Ameen. May allah bless us with many more scholars for the growth of Al Islam in the world; especially in America. Thank you for the article. As salaam alaikum.

  10. Chen, this is for you. If I may suggest, please remember God when you have a free moment. Like if you’re walking somewhere, just remember him. If you’re waiting for a bus or a train, remember him. Over time, you’ll be amazed how you’ll feel.

    Best of luck.

  11. i hope i know islam better since my heart now are totally blind. i believe islam is the right path but i really dont apply islam rules in my way f life..

    hope by reading this article im going to change even a little..

  12. jesus pbuh by definition was muslim. Muslims revere him as one of their own prophets. Don’t call muslims names and blame them. It’s such people who call others names and play the hate game no matter on what side who are the real terrorists. They follow the war loving devil, not the peace loving Mohammad pbuh, or Jesus pbuh.

  13. TO: Jane, The very fact that you said ” majority of terrorists are muslims ” is a transparent indication of how completely credulous, .. and naive you are. You are a victim of the incessant, deliberately schemed lies/indoctrinations and machinations by the imperialistic media and their cohorts who are in cahoots with them in their vested interests, of promoting their devilish and malicious plans by staging terrorist acts and then blaming them on the Muslims, so that people who are their subjects will stay indoctrinated that there is an “enemy” out there that should be fought against. By manipulating and feeding lies to the masses, (and most of the public unfortunately has become gullible); the Criminals who own/run the media and the other Criminals and their accomplices, exploit this gullibility on the part of most of the general public, by waging their wars of plunder, butchery and animosity. Every clear thinking, well-informed, honest humanbeing knows well that the real terrorists are those Criminals in the Media and in Power who are falsely blaming the victims. There are many incidents, though the guilty media doesnot want you to know, one of which for instance, the BRITISH soldiers in Iraq were caught Red-handed, planting Bombs in Baghdad while malevolently disguising themselves in Arab garbs,(so that the innocent arabs will be blamed). When the bombs explode and innocents people are massacred, then the Criminal Media in cahoots with the other Criminals, as always, ruthlessly begin their everyday falsehood observances. Jan, try to do some little research and go beyond the likes of the bbc, cnn, foxnews, and so on, who are the actual Criminals and purveyors of monstrous lies and dis-information. Try to look for other sources and make up your own mind. Don`t let others do the thinking for you. You owe it to yourself

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