A Brief Look at What Happens after Death

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A Brief Look at What Happens after Death
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The fifth fundamental belief in Islam is the belief in life after death and in Ma'ad (the return).

If life comes to an end with death, then why should one follow the religion or observe its morality? Why should not everyone be absolutely self-centered and enjoy whatever they like and possess whatever they can; why should they do good and avoid evil?

The concept of Ma'ad contains the following elements:

1) The story of a person's life does not come to an end with death. The journey of the soul continues on a different level after death:

Did you suppose that We created you aimlessly, and that you will not be brought back to Us?" 1

2) After death, the soul continues to live in a condition determined by its deeds in this world. After death it is in an intermediate realm (the barzakh), where it is subject to either a pleasant or a wretched state in accordance with its deeds until the end of the time (resurrection day).

…And before them is a barrier (Barzakh)until the day they will be resurrected." 2

3) The world will come to an end on an appointed day (the day of the rising, qiyama). Everything will then be annihilated.

And the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will fall dead except whom Allah wills…" 3

4) All men will be resurrected and presented before God, who will decide their fate according to their deeds. The bodies of the dead will be revived.

The Hour will come without a doubt, and God will raise those who are dead." 4

According to the Qur'an, belief in the hereafter and in the principle of ultimate human accountability was emphasized by all the prophets. One who denies life after death or hell and paradise cannot be a Muslim, because its denial makes the whole Islamic system of religion and morality meaningless.

5) Good-doers will be rewarded and will live eternally in paradise, while evil-doers will be punished and live eternally in hell.

Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds [that] for them there is forgiveness and great reward. But those who disbelieve and deny Our signs - those are the companions of Hellfire." 5

According to the Qur'an, belief in the hereafter and in the principle of ultimate human accountability was emphasized by all the prophets. One who denies life after death or hell and paradise cannot be a Muslim, because its denial makes the whole Islamic system of religion and morality meaningless.
If life comes to an end with death, then why should one follow the religion or observe its morality? Why should not everyone be absolutely self-centered and enjoy whatever they like and possess whatever they can; why should they do good and avoid evil?
The main reason for believing in Ma'ad is not only that the prophet (S) and the Qur'an and other scriptures and the human intellect inform us about it, but also that man has an intuitive awareness that he has a soul which does not die with the body.

[1] أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْجَعُونَ
[23:115]
[2] وَمِن وَرَائِهِم بَرْزَخٌ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ
[23:100]
[3] وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَصَعِقَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا مَن شَاءَ اللَّـهُ
[39:68]
[4] وَأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ آتِيَةٌ لَّا رَيْبَ فِيهَا وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ يَبْعَثُ مَن فِي الْقُبُورِ
[22:7]
[5] وَعَدَ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ ۙ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا أُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ
[5:9-10]

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Daily Hadith
لا يكونُ أخوكَ أقوى مِنكَ على مَودّتِهِ.
Do not let your brother be stronger than you are in your amity for him.