Guilty is the fruit of Godly sorrow

The Concept of Life After Death in Islam

Muslims believe that the present life is a trial in preparation for the next realm of existence. When a Muslim dies, he or she is washed and wrapped in a clean, white cloth (usually by a family member) and buried after a special prayer, preferably the same day. Muslims consider this a final service that they can do for their relatives and an opportunity to remember that their existence here on earth is brief. Allah says:

يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ

“O, my people! Only this, the life (of) the world, (is) enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – it (is the) home, (of) settlement.” (SurahGhafir 40:39)

On the Day of Judgment, the entire record of people from the age of puberty will be presented before God. God will weigh everyone’s good and bad deeds according to His Mercy and His Justice, forgiving many sins and multiplying many good deeds. One who excels in goodness will be rewarded generously, whereas one whose evils and wrongs overweigh his good deeds will be punished. Allah says:

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

“The One Who created death and life that He may test you, which of you (is) best (in) deed. And He (is) the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (Surah Al-Mulk 67:2)

Once death arrives, the opportunity to do good ceases. It will be too late to repent and our fate will be determined solely by our beliefs and deeds that we do in our current life. Man’s life is divided into two parts: a brief stay in this world, and an eternal life in the next. Eternal bliss is far more beneficial than short-lived pleasures on earth.

Faith in life after death is one of the fundamental beliefs required of a Muslim to complete:

  1. God created the heavens and the earth for just ends
  2. God will weigh everyone good and bad deeds 
  3. God created responsible for their actions
  4. God will see to His Mercy and His Justice
  5. God gives life to kindness to neighbours
  6. God obeys to earning an honest living
  7. God will reward him in the eternal life 
  8. God order to respecting parents
  9. God set up scales of justice
  10. God has infinite value for all
  11. God establishes justice among all 
  12. God has life for a test in this world
  13. God has the dignity of all human being
  14. God commands love, mercy, and peace
  15. God acts for a believer will remain good 
  16. God forbids to hateful words and actions
  17. God excels in goodness will be rewarded
  18. God looks upon all worldly gains and losses
  19. God emphasis on assurance of the Hereafter
  20. God gives life to think you will be accountable

Life is a test that ends in death, but it does not mark the end of one’s existence. In Islam, an individuals life after death or their Hereafter is very closely shaped by their present life. The purpose of life is to create your meaning and to bring it to fruition. So, Muslims are required to observe righteousness in their daily life, based on Quranic teachings. Allah says:

يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ

“O, my people! Only this, the life (of) the world, (is) enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – it (is the) home, (of) settlement.” (Surah Ghafir 40:39)

Life after death begins with the resurrection of man, after which there will come a moment when every human will be shaken. Whenever we are asked to do something, it is our very nature to think about its benefits and its costs. We regard a useless action as unnecessary and are not prepared to waste our time doing it. Allah says:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْيِي وَنُمِيتُ وَإِلَيْنَا الْمَصِيرُ

“Indeed, We give life and [We] cause death, and to Us (is) the final return.” (Surah Qaf 50:43)

Allah created mankind and made us responsible for our actions by granting us freedom of choice, and intelligence to discern right and wrong. If there were no afterlife in which the good were rewarded and the bad punished, that would contradict the perfect justice of Allah. Hence it is an absolute demand of justice that there be a Day of Judgement on which every soul is brought to account.

Allah Almighty says in the Holy Quran:

  • And enough are We to take account.” (Quran: 21:47)
  • God created the heavens and the earth for just ends, and so that each soul may find the recompense of what it has earned, and none of them is wronged.” (Quran 45:21)
  • “What! Did you think that We had created you without purpose and that you would not be brought back to Us? Exalted be Allah, the True King….” (Quran: 23:115-116)
  • “Then is he whom We have promised a good promise which he will meet (i.e. obtain) like he for whom We provided enjoyment of worldly life [but] then he is, on the Day of Resurrection, among those presented (for punishment in Hell)?” (Quran, 28:61)
  • “Think not of those, who are martyred in the way of Allah, as dead. No, they are living with their Lord and provided with food.” (Quran 3:169)
  • “That Day will proceed the mankind (in) scattered groups to be shown their deeds.” (Quran, 99:6)

In addition to the life after death that every one of us will have, there is an exception as well. It is of the people who die in the name of Allah. Such Muslims are called ‘Martyrs’ and as per Islamic doctrines, the martyrs don’t die once their worldly body ceases to breathe, rather they are the ones who keep on living even before the Judgment day forever. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ ۙ يَقُولُونَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“The angels will receive the souls of good men saying: Peace be with you. Enter Paradise, the reward of your labours.” (Quran 16:32)

Those who believe in Allah as the only God worthy of being worshipped, and perform good deeds, will be rewarded with Paradise. 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.

Purpose of Life According to Islam

  • Life is a Test: God describes this life as a test, and people are tested in different ways. We cannot control what happens to us, but we can control how we react.
  • Life is Momentary: The life that is currently lived on this earth will not last forever. It is only a momentary thing.
  • Life in Heaven Will be Better: That’s why it’s not good to only care about the materialistic things that exist in this life.
  • Dutiful Worship: Purpose of life according to Islam and the Quran is for Muslims to always remember Allah. This can be done by carrying out all the dutiful worship.
  • Live According to the Rules of Islam: When a Muslim is willing to dedicate oneself to Allah, then they must live according to the rules of Islam.
  • Life Motivation: If a Muslim doesn’t know what their life goal is then they could lose the motivation to carry on with life.
  • Live Life in Kindness: A Muslim must always remember to be kind while living on Earth. Every living and non-living thing is Allah’s creations and one should try to be kind to them all.
  • Understanding the Quran: Muslims can learn Quran to understand the way the Quran addresses the issues and concerns related to life after death.
  • The present life is a trial: Muslims believe that the present life is a trial in preparation for the next realm of existence. 

About the period between the departure of the soul and burial and questioning in the grave, for the believer, it is the first stage of eternal happiness, as he is given the glad tidings of Paradise and eternal bliss, and his book is recorded in ‘Illiyoon (the highest heaven); then his soul will rejoice and be happy, and will never feel misery again. Allah says:

وَقَالُوا مَا هِيَ إِلَّا حَيَاتُنَا الدُّنْيَا نَمُوتُ وَنَحْيَا وَمَا يُهْلِكُنَا إِلَّا الدَّهْرُ وَمَا لَهُم بِذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ

“And they say, “Not it (is) but our life (of) the world, we die and we live, and not destroys us except the time.” And not for them of that any knowledge; not, they (do) but guess.” (Surah Al-Jathiyah 45:24)

The return of the soul to the body in the grave will not be like when a person’s soul is in his body in this world, because that is the life of al-barzakh and we do not know how it is, because we have not been told about the nature of that life. About all matters of the hereafter of which we have not been told, what we are required to do about such matters is to accept them. Allah says:

وَاللَّهُ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ الرِّيَاحَ فَتُثِيرُ سَحَابًا فَسُقْنَاهُ إِلَىٰ بَلَدٍ مَيِّتٍ فَأَحْيَيْنَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ النُّشُورُ

“God sends forth the winds which set the clouds in motion. We drive them on to some dead land and give fresh life to its barren soil. Such is the resurrection.” (Surah Fatir 35:9)

Death is inevitable. Our purpose in life is to worship Allah alone, perform acts of righteousness and to avoid all that is forbidden. Our fate is being decided on the basis of our present actions, so we can either make use of our opportunities on Earth to ensure an eternal place for ourselves in Paradise, or we can waste them and condemn ourselves to eternal punishment in Hell. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ ۙ يَقُولُونَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

“Those who take them in death the Angels (when they are) pure saying, “Peace (be) upon you. Enter Paradise for what you used (to) do.” (Surah An-Nahl 16:32)

The end of worldly life as we know it and the immediate thing that will happen afterwards. Once the Trumpet is blown, it will stand as a signal for the start of Judgment procedure and what happens afterwards is the weighing of the deeds of a person. The ones who have deeds heavy than their sins are the ones who are successful and will go on to heaven and the ones who are on the contrary will go to hell. May Allah guide us all to the right path and help us in earning good deeds and may He forgive our past sins.