Dwellers of the Town


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

Allah the Almighty says:

﴿وَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ مَّثَلاً أَصْحَـبَ القَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَآءَهَا الْمُرْسَلُونَ – إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ اثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍ فَقَالُواْ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ مُّرْسَلُونَ – قَالُواْ مَآ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا وَمَآ أَنَزلَ الرَّحْمَـنُ مِن شَىْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ تَكْذِبُونَ – قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ – وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ الْمُبِينُ ﴿قَالُواْ إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُواْ لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُمْ مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴾

﴿قَالُواْ طَـئِرُكُم مَّعَكُمْ أَءِن ذُكِّرْتُم بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ ﴾

﴿وَجَآءَ مِنْ أَقْصَى الْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌ يَسْعَى قَالَ يقَوْمِ اتَّبِعُواْ الْمُرْسَلِينَ – اتَّبِعُواْ مَن لاَّ يَسْـَلُكُمْ أَجْراً وَهُمْ مُّهْتَدُونَ – وَمَا لِىَ لاَ أَعْبُدُ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ – أَءَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِهِ ءَالِهَةً إِن يُرِدْنِ الرَّحْمَـنُ بِضُرٍّ لاَّ تُغْنِ عَنِّى شَفَـعَتُهُمْ شَيْئاً وَلاَ يُنقِذُونَ – إِنِّى إِذاً لَّفِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ – إِنِّى ءَامَنتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَاسْمَعُونِ ﴾

(قِيلَ ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ قَالَ يلَيْتَ قَوْمِى يَعْلَمُونَ – بِمَا غَفَرَ لِى رَبِّى وَجَعَلَنِى مِنَ الْمُكْرَمِينَ – وَمَآ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِن بَعْدِهِ مِن جُندٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا كُنَّا مُنزِلِينَ – إِن كَانَتْ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وَحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ خَـمِدُونَ ﴾

{And put forward to them a similitude: the (story of the) dwellers of the town, when there came Messengers to them. When We sent to them two Messengers, they belied them both; so We reinforced them with a third, and they said: “Verily we have been sent to you as Messengers.” They (people of the town) said: “You are only human beings like ourselves and the Most Gracious (Allah) has revealed nothing. You are only telling lies.” The Messengers said: “Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you.” And our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message).” They (people) said: “For us, we see an evil omen from you: if you cease not, we will surely stone you, and a painful torment will touch you from us.”They (Messengers) said: “Your evil omens be with you! (Do you call it “evil omen”) because you are admonished? Nay, but you are a people Musrifun (transgressing all bounds by committing all kinds of great sins, and by disobeying Allah). And there came a man running from the farthest part of the town. He said: “O my people! Obey the Messengers. ” “Obey those who ask no wages of you (for themselves), and who are rightly guided. “And why should I not worship Him (Allah Alone) Who has created me and to Whom you shall be returned.” “Shall I take besides Him alihah (gods)? If the Most Gracious (Allah) intends me any harm, their intercession will be of no use for me whatsoever, nor can they save me?” “Then verily, I should be in plain error.” “Verily! I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me!” It was said (to him when the disbelievers killed him): “Enter Paradise.” He said: “Would that my people knew. “That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!” And We sent not against his people after him a host from the heaven, nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing). It was but one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead, destroyed)}. (Al Qur’an-36:13-29)

‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas, Ka’b Al-Ahbar and Wahb Ibn Munabih and many others narrated a story of a town called Antioch (Antakiyah), governed by the king Antikhis Ibn Antikhis. This king used to observe idol worship. Allah Almighty sent him three Messengers whom he severely belied. The Messengers were: Sadiq, Masduq and Shalom.

It is evidently apparent that they were Messengers sent by Allah the Almighty. Qatadah claimed them to be messengers sent by Jesus Christ. The same view was held by Ibn Jarir after Wahb after Ibn Sulaiman after Shu’ aib Al-Jiba’i who added that: those messengers were called: Shimon, Jonah and Paul and the town was called Antioch. This view is groundless because the people of Antioch – when received three of the disciples of Jesus Christ (Peace be upon him) -were the first to believe in him at that very time. Thereupon, Antioch was one of the first four towns in which there first existed Christian Patriarchs. These four towns were Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Rome. However, the people of these towns were not destroyed, whereas the people of the aforementioned town in the Qur’anic verses were totally annihilated, following the killing of their companion whom Allah sent to admonish them. Allah the Almighty says: {It was but one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead and destroyed)}. (36:29) There is no contradiction between the two interpretations, if the case was that the three Messengers of Allah were sent to the earlier dwellers of Antioch and that they were belied, the matter which incurred complete destruction. Then, their land was re-inhabited and during the lifetime of Jesus (Peace be upon him) the new dwellers believed in his three messengers.

The claim that the story mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an is that of the messengers of Jesus (Peace be upon him) is very absurd and groundless. Obviously, the context shows that they, the Messengers were sent by Allah the Almighty.

Allah the Almighty says: {And put forward to them a similitude} i.e. for your people 0 Muhammad (Peace be upon him). {The (story of the) dwellers of the town, when there came Messengers to them. When We sent to them two Messengers, they belied them both, so We reinforced them with a third} i.e. We supported them with a third Messenger, {and they said: Verily we have been sent to you as Messengers}. The people of the town said that the Messengers were only human beings and they set aside the idea that Allah Almighty might send human beings as His Messengers to mankind. The Messengers asserted that Allah knows that they have been sent to them and that if they lie to Him, He would certainly give them the severest of all punishment. They added: {our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message)} i.e. what they were sent with and that guidance and misleading are in the Hand of Allah the Almighty Alone. {They (people) said: For us, we see an evil omen from you} i.e. from what you have brought us. {If you cease not, we will surely stone you} with bad words and stones as well; {and a painful torment will touch you from us} i.e. they threatened them with afflicting humiliation (bad words) and killing (stoning to death). {They (Messengers) said: Your evil omens be with you!} i.e. they will badly affect you. {(Do you call it “evil omen “) because you are admonished?} i.e. because we reminded you with guidance and invited you to it you threatened us with killing and afflicting humiliation. {Nay, but you are a people Musrifun} i.e. you transgress all bounds by committing all kinds of sinful deeds, and by disobeying Allah.

Allah the Almighty says: {And there came a man running from the farthest part of the town} to support the Messengers and to declare his faith in them. {He said: O my people! Obey the Messengers. Obey those who ask no wages of you (for themselves), and who are rightly guided} i.e. they invite you to the absolute truth without asking wages or reward for themselves of you. Then he invited them to worship Allah Alone, and not to worship other than Him that can do nothing in this present life or in the Hereafter. {Then verily, I should be in plain error} i.e. if I abandoned the worship of Allah and worshipped anything else besides Him.

Then, the believing man said to the three Messengers: {Verily! I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me!}, i.e. you should listen to my statement and bear witness to this before your Lord. Or, O my people! Listen to my declaration of faith of these Messengers. Thereupon, the people killed him either by stoning him to death, or biting, or making one sudden assault against him. Narrated Ibn Ishaq after some of his counterparts on the authority of `Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud that the people stepped over his body till they broke his neck.

Narrated Ath-Thawri after `Asim Al-Ahwal after Abu Majlaz his saying: The name of that believing man was Habib Ibn Murriy who was said to be a carpenter, or rope-maker, or shoe-maker. It is also said that he used to observe his religious rituals in an isolated cave. `Abdullah Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: He was Habib, the carpenter who was afflicted with leprosy. He was charitable, but killed at the end at the hands of his own people. Then, Allah the Almighty says: {Enter Paradise} i.e. when he was killed by his people, Allah Almighty admitted him into Paradise. When he saw of the pleasures and joys therein, he said: {Would that my people knew? That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!}, i.e. to believe in what I have believed in and thus gain what I have just obtained. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: He advised his people during his life saying: {O my people! Obey the Messengers}, and after his death {Would that my people knew? That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!}. In addition, Qatadah said: The believer always gives counseling because of what he sees of the rewards granted by Allah {Would that my people knew? That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honored ones!}, i.e. he wished that his people would know the honor Allah bestowed on him. Qatadah added: By Allah! Allah did not admonish or even blame those people after killing him (the believing man) {It was but one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead, destroyed)}. Allah the Almighty says: {And We sent not against his people after him a host from the heaven, nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing)}, i.e. it was not needful for Allah the Almighty to send against them a host from the heaven to avenge the Messengers.

Mujahid and Qatadah said: This means that Allah did not send them another Message. Ibn Jarir said: The first interpretation looks more proper because Allah the Almighty says after this: {nor was it needful for Us to send (such a thing)}, i.e. Allah was not in need to send such a thing to punish them when they belied His Messengers and killed His godly man, {It was but one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead, destroyed)}.

Interpreters said: Allah the Almighty sent Gabriel (Peace be upon him) who maintained a grasp on their town’s gate and made a single shout {one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were still (silent, dead, destroyed)}, i.e. they turned to be silent, motionless and dead.

Finally, all these indicate that the town mentioned in the Qur’anic verses was not Antioch because the people of Antioch believed in Allah and followed the messengers of Jesus (Peace be upon him). Moreover, Antioch was said to be the first town to declare faith in Jesus (Peace be upon him).

Source:Tafsir Ibn Kathir

People of Garden


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

People of Garden

People of Garden

Allah the Almighty says:

﴿إِنَّا بَلَوْنَـهُمْ كَمَا بَلَوْنَآ أَصْحَـبَ الْجَنَّةِ إِذْ أَقْسَمُواْ لَيَصْرِمُنَّهَا مُصْبِحِينَ – وَلاَ يَسْتَثْنُونَ – فَطَافَ عَلَيْهَا طَآئِفٌ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ – فَأَصْبَحَتْ كَالصَّرِيمِ – فَتَنَادَوْاْ مُصْبِحِينَ – أَنِ اغْدُواْ عَلَى حَرْثِكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـرِمِينَ – فَانطَلَقُواْ وَهُمْ يَتَخَـفَتُونَ – أَن لاَّ يَدْخُلَنَّهَا الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّسْكِينٌ – وَغَدَوْاْ عَلَى حَرْدٍ قَـدِرِينَ – فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهَا قَالُواْ إِنَّا لَضَآلُّونَ بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ قَالَ أَوْسَطُهُمْ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَّكُمْ لَوْلاَ تُسَبِّحُونَ ﴾

قَالُواْ سُبْحَـنَ رَبّنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـلِمِينَ- فَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ يَتَلَـوَمُونَ- قَالُواْ يوَيْلَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا طَـغِينَ- عَسَى رَبُّنَآ أَن يُبْدِلَنَا خَيْراً مّنْهَآ إِنَّآ إِلَى رَبّنَا رغِبُونَ- كَذَلِكَ الْعَذَابُ وَلَعَذَابُ الاْخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ-﴾

(Verily, We have tried them as We tried the people of the garden, when they swore to pluck the fruits of the (garden) in the morning. Without saying: Insha’Allah (If Allah wills). Then there passed by on the (garden) a visitation (fire) from your Lord at night and burnt it while they were asleep. So the (garden) became black by the morning, like a pitch dark night (in complete ruins). Then they called out one to another as soon as the morning broke. Saying: “Go to your tilth in the morning, if you would pluck the fruits.” So they departed, conversing in secret low tones (saying): No Miskin (poor man) shall enter upon you into it today. And they went in the morning with strong intention, thinking that they have power (to prevent the poor taking anything of the fruits therefrom). But when they saw the (garden), they said: “Verily, we have gone astray.” (Then they said): “Nay! Indeed we are deprived of (the fruits)!” The best among them said: “Did I not tell you: why say you not: Insha’ Allah (If Allah wills).” They said: “Glory to Our Lord! Verily, we have been Zalimun (wrong-doers).” Then they turned one against another, blaming. They said: “Woe to us! Verily, we were Taghun (transgressors and disobedient). We hope that our Lord will give us in exchange a better (garden) than this. Truly, we turn to our Lord (wishing for good that He may forgive our sins and reward us in the Hereafter). Such is the punishment (in this life), but truly the punishment of the Hereafter is greater if they but knew). (Al-Qur’an:68:17-33)

The People of Garden decided not to give charity from their produce

This is an example set by Allah the Almighty for the polytheists of Quraish as He favored them with sending the honorable and great Prophet, Muhammad (Peace be upon him), but they belied him and rejected what he had brought them. Almighty Allah, says:

(أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ بَدَّلُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ كُفْرًا وَأَحَلُّواْ قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ – جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَوْنَهَا وَبِئْسَ الْقَرَارُ)

(Have you not seen those who have changed the Blessings of Allah into disbelief (by denying Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his Message of Islam), and caused their people to dwell in the house of destruction? Hell, in which they will burn, -and what an evil place to settle in!). (Al-Qur’an-14:28,29)

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: They are the polytheists of Quraish whom were likened to the people of the garden that contained various fruits and plants that were ripe and the time of their harvesting has come. Thus, He, Glory be His, says: {When they swore} secretly {to pluck the fruits of the (garden)} i.e. to harvest it; {in the morning} in order not to be seen by either a poor, or a needy and be forced to donate to or give them any of its fruits. So, they swore to this without saying “If Allah wills”. Consequently, Allah the Almighty disabled them and sent over their garden fire that burnt it and left nothing thereof. He, Glory be His, says: (Then, there passed by on the (garden) a visitation (fire) from your Lord at night and burnt it while they were asleep. So the (garden) became black by the morning, like a pitch dark night (in complete ruins)).

The garden burnt in the night

Allah the Almighty says: (Then they called out one to another as soon as the morning broke), i.e. they got up in the morning and they called out one to another saying: {Go to your tilth in the morning, if you would pluck the fruits}, i.e. go early to your garden and pluck the fruits before the poor and needy persons come to ask you for charity. The story goes: {So they departed, conversing in secret low tones}, i.e. talking one to another in low tones saying: {No Miskin (poor man) shall enter upon you into it today}, i.e. they agreed upon that and made mutual consultations thereto. The story goes on: {And they went in the morning with strong intention, thinking that they have power (to prevent the poor taking anything of the fruits there from)}, i.e. they went forth with seriousness, power and strong bad intention.

`Ikrimah and Ash-Shu`abi said: {And they went in the morning with strong intention}, i.e. rage and bad intention against the poor. {But when they saw the (garden)}, i.e. when they reached their garden and found what had happened to it, upon this {they said: Verily, we have gone astray}, i.e. we have lost our way to our own garden, then they said: {Nay! Indeed we are deprived of (the fruits)!}, i.e. we have been punished because of our bad intentions and were deprived of the blessing of our tilth.

And, {the best among them said} Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), Mujahid and others said: He was the best and the most moderate and just one among them all. {Did I not tell you: why say you not: Insha’Allah (If Allah wills)}, it was said: To say a good word instead of what you have intended. {They said: “Glory to Our Lord! Verily, we have been Zalimun (wrong-doers).” Then they turned one against another, blaming. They said: “Woe to us! Verily, we were Taghun (transgressors and disobedient)}, they regretted and showed sorrow when both could do them nothing, and they confessed their sinful deed after they had been punished and all that went in vain.

They had bad intentions - Not to give charity

It was said: That they were brothers and they inherited that garden from their late father who used to give much and much in charity. But, when they possessed the garden they denied the acting of their late father and intended to deprive the poor of its fruits. Thereupon, Allah the Almighty punished them and gave them the severest of penalties. For this, Allah the Almighty commanded that charity must be taken out of fruits and it is preferably to be paid on the day of harvesting. He says:

(كُلُواْ مِن ثَمَرِهِ إِذَآ أَثْمَرَ وَءَاتُواْ حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ)

{Eat of their fruit when they ripen, but pay the due thereof (its Zakah, according to Allah’s Orders l/lOth or 1/20th) on the day of its harvest}. (Al Qur’an:6:141)

Pay the due thereof (its Zakah, according to Allah's Orders l/lOth or 1/20th) on the day of its harvest

It was said: They were from the Yemen, from a town called “Darwan”. It was also said: They were from Abyssinia. Allah knows best!

Allah the Almighty says: {Such is the punishment}, i.e. like this We punish those who disobey Our Command and does not show kindness to the needy from among Our creatures. {But truly the punishment of the Hereafter is greater} than that of the present life {if they but knew}.

This story resembles Allah’s Saying:

﴿وَضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً قَرْيَةً كَانَتْ ءَامِنَةً مُّطْمَئِنَّةً يَأْتِيهَا رِزْقُهَا رَغَدًا مِّن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ فَكَفَرَتْ بِأَنْعُمِ اللَّهِ فَأَذَاقَهَا اللَّهُ لِبَاسَ الْجُوعِ وَالْخَوْفِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَصْنَعُونَ – وَلَقَدْ جَآءَهُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَخَذَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَهُمْ ظَـلِمُونَ ﴾

{And Allah puts forward the example of a township that dwelt secure and well-content: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the Favors of Allah (with ungratefulness). So Allah made it taste extreme of hunger (famine) and fear, because of that (evil, i.e. denying Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) which they (its people) used to do. And verily, there had come unto them a Messenger (Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) from among themselves, but they denied him, so the torment overtook them while they were Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers)}. (Al Qur’an:16:112,113)

It was said that this example was of the people of Mecca set for themselves and verily, there is no contradiction in this. Allah knows best!

Source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Is there life after death?


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 own existence here on earth is brief.

The question of whether there is life after death does not fall under the jurisdiction of science, as science is concerned only with classification and analysis of sense data. Moreover, man has been busy with scientific inquiries and research, in the modern sense of the term, only for the last few centuries, while he has been familiar with the concept of life after death since time immemorial.

All the Prophets of God called their people to worship God and to believe in life after death. They laid so much emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a slight doubt in it meant denying God and made all other beliefs meaningless.

The very fact that all the Prophets of God have dealt with this metaphysical question of life after death so confidently and so uniformly – the gap between their ages in some cases, being thousands of years – goes to prove that the source of their knowledge of life after death as proclaimed by them all, was the same, i.e. Divine revelation.

We also know that these Prophets of God were greatly opposed by their people, mainly on the issue of life after death, as their people thought it impossible. But in spite of opposition, the Prophets won many sincere followers.

The question arises: what made those followers forsake the established beliefs, traditions and customs of their forefathers, notwithstanding the risk of being totally alienated from their own community? The simple answer is: they made use of their faculties of mind and heart and realized the truth.

Did they realize the truth through perceptual consciousness? They couldn’t, as perceptual experience of life after death is impossible. God has given man besides perceptual consciousness, rational, aesthetic and moral consciousness too. It is this consciousness that guides man regarding realities that cannot be verified through sensory data. That is why all the Prophets of God while calling people to believe in God and life after death, appeal to the aesthetic, moral and rational consciousness of man.

For example, when the idolaters of Makkah denied even the possibility of life after death, the Quran exposed the weakness of their stand by advancing very logical and rational arguments in support of it:

 And he (i.e. man) presents for Us an example (i.e. attempting to establish the finality of death) and forgets his [own] creation. He says, “Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated?” Say, “He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing.” [It is] He who made for you from the green tree, fire, and then from it you ignite. Is not He who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes, [it is so]; and He is the Knowing Creator.  (Quran, 36:78-81)

On another occasion, the Quran very clearly says that the disbelievers have no sound basis for their denial of life after death. It is based on pure conjecture:

 And they say, “There is not but our worldly life; we die and live (i.e. some people die and others live, replacing them) and nothing destroys us except time.” And they have of that no knowledge; they are only assuming. And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, their argument is only that they say, “Bring [back] our forefathers, if you should be truthful.” Say, “God causes you to live, then causes you to die; then He will assemble you for the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt,” but most of the people do not know.  (Quran, 45:24-26)

Surely God will raise all the dead. But God has His own plan of things. A day will come when the whole universe will be destroyed and then the dead will be resurrected to stand before God. That day will be the beginning of a life that will never end, and on that day every person will be rewarded by God according to his or her good or evil deeds.

The explanation that the Quran gives about the necessity of life after death is what the moral consciousness of man demands. Actually, if there is no life after death, the very belief in God becomes meaningless or even if one believes in God, it would be n unjust and indifferent God, having once created man and now not being concerned with his fate.

Surely, God is just. He will punish the tyrants, whose crimes are beyond count – having tortured and killed hundreds or thousands of innocent people, created great corruption in society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their whims, etc., because man has a very short life span in this world and because numerous individuals are affected by one’s actions, adequate punishments and rewards are not possible in this life.

The Quran very emphatically states that the Day of Judgment must come and that God will decide the fate of each soul according to his or her record of deeds:

 But those who disbelieve say, “The Hour (i.e. the Day of Judgment) will not come to us.” Say, “Yes, by my Lord, it will surely come to you. [God is] the Knower of the unseen.” Not absent from Him is an atom’s weight within the heavens or within the earth or [what is] smaller than that or greater, except that it is in a clear register – That He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds. Those will have forgiveness and noble provision. But those who strive against Our verses [seeking] to cause failure (i.e. to undermine their credibility) – for them will be a painful punishment of foul nature.  (Quran, 34:3-5)

The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy will be in full manifestation. God will shower His mercy on those who suffered for His sake in the worldly life, believing that an eternal bliss was awaiting them. But those who abused the bounties of God, caring nothing for the life to come, will be in the most miserable state. Drawing a comparison between them, the Quran says:

 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)

The Quran also states that this worldly life is a preparation for the eternal life after death. But those who deny it become slaves of their passions and desires, making fun of virtuous and God-conscious persons.

Such persons realize their folly only at the time of their death and wish to be given a further chance in the world but in vain. Their miserable state at the time of death, and the horror of the Day of Judgment, and the eternal bliss guaranteed to the sincere believers are very clearly and beautifully mentioned in the following verses of the Quran:

 [For such is the state of the disbelievers], until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “My Lord, send me back that I might do righteousness in that which I left behind (i.e. in that which I neglected).” No! It is only a word he is saying; and behind them is a barrier until the Day they are resurrected. So when the Horn is blown, no relationship will there be among them that Day, nor will they ask about one another. And those whose scales are heavy [with good deeds] – it is they who are the successful. But those whose scales are light – those are the ones who have lost their souls, [being] in Hell, abiding eternally. The Fire will sear their faces, and they therein will have taut smiles (i.e. their lips having been contracted by scorching until the teeth are exposed).  (Quran, 23:99-104)

The belief in life after death not only guarantees success in the Hereafter but also makes this world full of peace and happiness by making individuals most responsible and dutiful in their activities.

Think of the people ofArabiabefore the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad . Gambling, wine, tribal feuds, plundering and murdering were their main traits when they had no belief in life after death. But as soon as they accepted the belief in the One God and life after death they became the most disciplined nation of the world.

They gave up their vices, helped each other in hours of need, and settled all their disputes on the basis of justice and equality. Similarly the denial of life after death has its consequences not only in the Hereafter but also in this world. When a nation as a whole denies it, all kinds of evils and corruption become rampant in that society and ultimately it is destroyed.

The Quran mentions the terrible end of Aad, Thamud and the Pharaoh in some detail:

 [The tribes of] Thamud and Aad denied the Striking Calamity [i.e. the Resurrection]. So as for Thamud, they were destroyed by the overpowering [blast]. And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a screaming, violent wind which He [i.e. God] imposed upon them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you would see the people therein fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees. Then do you see of them any remains? And there came Pharaoh and those before him and the overturned cities (i.e. those to whichLotwas sent) with sin. And they disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He seized them with a seizure exceeding [in severity]. Indeed, when the water overflowed, We carried you [i.e. your ancestors] in the sailing ship (i.e. which was constructed by Noah). That We might make it for you a reminder and [that] a conscious ear would be conscious of it. (Quran, 69:4-12)

Events of the Day of Judgment

God states in the Quran about the events of the Day of Judgment:

 Then when the Horn is blown with one blast, and the earth and the mountains are lifted and leveled with one blow [i.e. stroke] – Then on that Day, the Occurrence [i.e. Resurrection] will occur, And the heaven will split [open], for that Day it is infirm (i.e. weak, enfeebled and unstable). And the angels are at its edges. And there will bear the Throne of your Lord above them, that Day, eight [of them]. That Day, you will be exhibited [for judgment]; not hidden among you is anything concealed (i.e. any person or any secret you might attempt to conceal). So as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will say, “Here, read my record! Indeed, I was certain that I would be meeting my account.” So he will be in a pleasant life – In an elevated Garden, Its [fruit] to be picked hanging near. [They will be told], “Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth (i.e. literally, advanced in anticipation of reward in the Hereafter) in the days past.” But as for he who is given his record in his left hand, he will say, “Oh, I wish I had not been given my record, and had not known what is my account. I wish it [i.e. my death] had been the decisive one (i.e. ending life rather than being the gateway to eternal life). My wealth has not availed me. Gone from me is my authority.” [God will say], “Seize him and shackle him. Then into Hellfire drive him. Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits insert him.” Indeed, he did not used to believe in God, the Most Great. (Quran, 69:13-33)

The Prophet Muhammad  taught that three things continue to benefit a [believing] person even after death – charity which he had given (which continues to benefit others), beneficial knowledge which he had left behind (i.e. authored or taught), and supplication on his behalf by a righteous child (Narrated by Saheeh Muslim).

Thus, there are very convincing reasons to believe in life after death:

1)  All the Prophets of God have called their people to believe in it.

2)  Whenever a human society is built on the basis of this belief, it has been the most ideal and peaceful society, free of social and moral evils.

3)  History bears witness that whenever this belief is rejected collectively by a group of people in spite of the repeated warning of the Prophet, the group as a whole has been punished by God even in this world.

4)  Moral, aesthetic and rational faculties of man endorse the possibility of the life after death.

5)  God’s attributes of Justice and Mercy have no meaning if there is no life after death.

Source:  WAMY