This article explains the concept of life hereafter in Islam and how it affects society.
The concept of hereafter
The concept of ‘life hereafter’ refers to life after the death or time beyond the mortal existence of a person.
There are many religions according to which this world is temporary. There is another world that is eternal where a man actually returns. In that world, man will be judged on his deeds and action of the temporary world. Those with good deeds would be rewarded, those with evil deeds would be punished
Concept of life after death in Islam
In Islam, this world is not an eternal abode for man. We are placed here temporarily and tested in terms of our obedience to the will of Allah. There is the life hereafter called Akhirat. Akhirat is also referred to as Ma’ad in Arabic which means resurrection.
What is the purpose of hereafter in Islam?
Allah Almighty created men and held them answerable for their deeds by giving them freedom. If there were no life and judgment after the death, there would be no justice. In such a case, the creation of human beings with a conscience would have been pointless. According to Islamic teachings, Allah Almighty is just and always acts justly. Hence, it is the absolute demand of justice that there should be a Day of Judgement.
What is the impact of this concept on society?
The belief in the Hereafter naturally has a great influence on the life of a believer. When a person knows that God is watching all his actions, he/she will behave responsibly. A person will endeavor to live a life in accordance with the will of Allah thus setting his/her foot on the right path.
The belief in the day of resurrection gives meaning and purpose in the life of a Muslim. He/she will not give in to greed, fraud, evil deeds. Instead of living a materialist life, he/she will be acting for the collective good of the society as enjoined by Islam. This is because he/she knows this world is temporary and comes to an end one day. It will inculcate a spirit to create a balance in worldly life and spiritual life.
The Quranic verses about the hereafter
In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty has emphasized men live his/her life keeping in mind the life hereafter.
The following are different verses from the Holy Quran related to the Islamic belief of Akhirat ( hereafter):
- “To God, we belong and to Him, we shall return” (2:156).
- “Every soul will taste death. Then to Us will you be returned” (29:57).
- “Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you about what you used to do.” (62:08).
- “Allah has created death and life to test which one of you is best in conduct.” (67:1)
- “The life of this world is merely an amusement and a diversion; the true life is in the Hereafter, if only they knew” (29:64).
- And the moon is eclipsed, and the Sun and the Moon are fused together, on that Day man will ask, “Where can I run?” No indeed! There will be no safe place. That Day, the only resting place will be your Lord. (75: 8-12)
- “Eternal life in the gardens of Heaven or an everlasting albeit torturous lie in the fires of hell.
- “On the Day of Judgment, every individual will be resurrected to be accountable for their lives.
- “On that day, people will come forward in separate groups to be shown their deeds: whoever has done an atom’s weight of good will see it, but whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil will see that.” (99:6-8)