Death and the Afterlife

Guide Posts

Guide Posts EVERLASTING LIFE (Bashir Ahmad Orchard) “And the life of this world is only a temporary provision; and the Hereafter is certainly the one for permanent stay.” (Ouran 40:40). One of the main differences between man and other living creatures is his capacity to improve his relationship with God and also with his fellow-beings. This is the purpose of our existence on earth for which God has provided divine guidance through His Prophets from time to time throughout the ages; and the Prophet to bring the final guidance for all mankind was the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him). Islam directs much attention to the Hereafter which is a continuation of this life. The Hereafter is a realm vibrating on frequencies beyond the ability of the human senses to perceive or fully recognise: “The blessings of paradise are things which the eye has not seen, the ear has not heard nor has the mind of man conceived.” Nevertheless a glimmer of heavenly blessings may be experienced and enjoyed on this side of the grave. This experience may be described as paradise on earth. God says in the Holy Ouran: “We (angels) are your friends in this life and in the Hereafter.” (41:32). “For them (righteous believers) are glad tidings in the present life and in the Hereafter. ” (10:65). “But for him who fears and stands before his Lord there are two gardens. ” (55:47). Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam has interpreted the last of the above 6 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS verses to mean that there are two paradises – one in this world and the other in the world to come. Strictly speaking we never die but live an unbroken life of eternity commencing at birth. Our real self is the soul and not the physical body in which it exists. We are a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul. All revealed religions have stressed the importance and need of perpetual development through love for God, prayer, service to others and self- purification. The fruit of this practice is the elixir of life which enables us to enjoy in measured degree the blessings of paradise in this very life on earth. It behoves us to adopt these principles. God says in the Holy Quran: “Persevere in the Right Path.” (10:9). “Vie with one another in good works.” (2:149). “Verily he truly prospers who purifies himself.” (87:15). This is the world of opportunity in which we should strive to win the pleasure of God because in the life to come the ability to do right or wrong ceases. Spiritual advancement in the Hereafter is dependent solely on the grace of God and not on any action or effort on our part other than praying for further enlightment. Believers will pray: “Our Lord, perfect our light for us.” (66:9). There is no higher or more purposeful aim in life on earth than to improve one’s spiritual state and connexion with God: ” … Strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah. That is best for you if you only knew.” (9:41). In the next life we will be beseeching God to perfect our light for us. That is to say being drawn closer and closer to him. When that is what we yearn for in the next life it is also what we should yearn for in this life; and the way of doing so is not only to pray but also to avail every opportunity and means to assist us in our holy aspiration.