023 Believing in afterlife is mandatory for a complete faith
One of the religious obligations for an absolute faith is to have faith in afterlife. It is ordered in a Quran verse:
"Any who denieth Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messenger, and the Day of Judgment, hath gone far, far astray." [Nisaa, 136].
In the famous hadith that every Muslim knows by heart, which is known as a "amantu", it is ordered:
"I believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Prophets, in the Last Day, and that Fate, good and bad is given by Allah, and the life after death.” [Bukharî, Muslim, Nasai]
Even so, many people have doubts about afterlife, including our Muslim brothers. Now when you read my lines, you may ask “How can you know, did you see through their hearts?” I shall answer this with a word from a dear friend of mine: “Would there be any evil in this world if people completely had faith in afterlife?”
Probably as a result of this weakness to believe in afterlife, Allah (swt) has mentioned about it along with His name in his Book.
"This instruction is for all amongst you, who believe in Allah and the Last Day." [Baqarah, 232]
"Of the people there are some who say: "We believe in Allah and the Last Day;" but they do not (really) believe." [Baqarah, 8]
"any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord;" [Baqarah, 62]
There are hundreds of verses from the Quran that mentions afterlife and life in the afterlife. I checked the index and tables of a Quran translation and encountered nearly 160 verses mentioning afterlife. And yet, why is this weakness to believe in afterlife? The primary reason for this, I assume, is not knowing Allah enough and not having a complete faith in Him with all His attributes.
Allah (swt) is an absolute being. His existence is known through reason and descriptions of himself in His books. He cannot be seen with the seeing mechanisms of living organisms in this material world that He created. Because these mechanisms are only designed to perceive in this material world. All the visible and invisible worlds He created are relative and ephemeral beings that endure only through His creation, management, development, initiation and termination. He can sustain some things forever, upon his will.
"He is the First and the Last, the Evident and the Hidden:" [Hadid, 3]
Allah (swt) is the creator and owner of everything. He is the one who gives power and energy to every being. He knows every hidden and apparent thing. He is the only sovereign of the universe. He does not resemble any of His creatures. He owns all the perfect attributes. He is far from deficiencies and flaws. He has an absolute power to do everything. He is never tired of creation. He does not sleep or doze off. If he wishes, he can destroy everything and recreate them.
"Allah is the Creator of all things" [Zumer, 62; Mu’min, 62]
"His are all things in the heavens and on earth." [Baqarah, 255]
"the Living, the Self-subsisting, Supporter of all." [Baqarah, 255]
"But Allah knows all that is in the heavens and on earth:" [Hujurat, 16]
"He hath power over all things." [Tauba, 39; Hud, 4; Furqan, 54; ...]
"It is Allah Who created you in a state of (helpless) weakness, then gave (you) strength after weakness" [Rum, 54]
"To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth." [Shura, 49]
"and the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) are subservient by His Command. Verily, His are the Creation and the Command" [Araf, 54]
"O ye men! It is ye that have need of Allah. but Allah is the One Free of all wants, worthy of all praise. If He so pleased, He could blot you out and bring in a New Creation." [Fatir, 15-17]
"See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, has power to create the like of them (anew)?" [Isra, 99]
"Were We then weary with the first Creation, that they should be in confused doubt about a new Creation?" [Qaf, 15]
Dear readers; we shall not have any doubt about the power of Allah who has the power to destroy and recreate all His creations. If He wishes, He can destroy this order in which we live in and He can create a brand new universe with new rules. This is not a hard affair for Him.
The most distinctive characteristics of the Almighty Creator that makes Him different than creatures are the Qidam and Baqa (Eternal existence in the past and future) attributes of Him. The one who is eternal is only Allah. Every creature is mortal. Even the most durable things vanish in time. Stars fade, mountains become hills, buildings collapse, cars crash. There are no scientific or logical excuses in materialist philosophy to assume the universe as immortal. On the contrary, all evidence shows that the universe and everything that lies in the universe are mortal and ephemeral. Everything has a beginning, middle and an end. Allah is the one who determines how things emerge, endure and perish. He is the reason of reasons.
Living creatures are the best examples for this phenomenon. Every living thing is born, every living thing lives and dies. There are no refutations against this. Everybody witnesses this reality. Although mankind celebrates birth and life, he never wants to accept death. Mankind avoids it. It has always drawn my attention: once the subject matter is about death in a family meeting, people intend to change the topic and feel depressed. Nobody wishes to speak of death.
Dear readers; avoiding, indeed, will not change the reality. It is ordered in a Quran verse that:
“The Death from which ye flee will truly overtake you: then will ye be sent back to the Knower of things secret and open:” [Jumua, 8]
Death is the fate of every living being. It is the beginning of afterlife for mankind. Avoiding speaking of it will not change this concrete fact and it will even turn you into a unwary being. On the contrary, the reality of death should be considered every time. Mankind should be ready for his own death and for the Judgment Day. Rasulullah (s.a.w) ordered:
“It is surprised that person, he aspired to the world, death aspired to him..” [Abu Nuaim]
"Remember death that spoils your appetite and hope; remember it often!” [I. Hibban]
"Remembering death protects from sin and distracts you from the world.” [Ibn Abid-Dunya]
"Those who think of death twenty times a day reaches to a martyr rank.” [I. Ghazali]
"Think of death a lot; he who remembers death, his heart shall recover and have a peaceful death.” [Daylami]
“Remembering death is a good deed like sadaqah (charity).” [Daylami]
“Hearts rust out with sins just like steel becomes rusty. Recovery of hearts is possible through remembering death and reading Quran.” [Bayhaqi]
Dear readers; attachment of heart to the world resembles the bondage of oxygen and hydrogen in water. This bondage is so strong that mankind does not even realize how this love for the world drifts him toward a disaster. He can only realize this after he knows his nafs (ego). Getting to know the nafs is like a beginning to know Allah. The Prophet (s.a.w) ordered:
"He who knows his nafs, knows Allah." [Imam al-Munawi, Daylami]
The very beginning of knowing your nafs is the moment when you restrain your earthly desires in your heart, which means the beginning of faith. That is why, although many people are unaware, “faith” is like the source of life. Faith eradicates the earthly desires in your heart. Instead, it puts the love of Allah who everything is in need of his mercy. Before this light touches his heart, man cannot draw a lesson from what he witnesses. He won’t understand or hear Allah’s word. Guidance would not work on him. Visiting the sick or attending to the funeral of the dead will not help the people who have dedicated their life to mundane desires. If such a person attends to a funeral of his relative, he would talk about the heritage and material issues even during the burial of the death. It is not an easy affair to disconnect these strong bonds between the world and the heart. Once these attachments are broken off, then the person may reach to an absolute faith level.
Only those who even have a bit of faith in his heart shall be guided and aided by Allah. Thus, man enlarges this love in him through being remembered of Allah (swt), much remembering the death and reading Quran. And this gradually enables the heart to get rid of all mundane desires, worldly attachments and self-indulgence; in return to be replaced by the love of Allah.
May Allah Grant us the chance to become servants who draws a lesson from death and give us the power to get prepared for afterlife.
Be entrusted to Allah.
Dr. Ismail Ulukus