What the Members of the Societies of Ignorance Believe about Death and the After-life.

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Although many among the societies of ignorance know of the Afterlife, in their own way they try to run away from it by avoiding thinking of it. They also disregard the fact their beliefs are grounded without consideration to it. Indeed, they look only to the life of this world to fulfill their aims and wishes, seeking fulfillment in mundane affairs. Due to the attachment they feel for this world, they would hope it to never end. In the Qur’an Allah tells us that they do not want to believe that death is real, and therefore, the Afterlife never enters their minds:

No indeed! We have given these people enjoyment, as We did their fathers, until life seemed long and good to them... (Surat al- Anbiya’, 44)

Belief in the Afterlife would not allow them to be excessively attached to this world.

In the Qur’an, Allah tells us that this life is a distraction, and that the real life is in the next world:

The life of this world is nothing but a game and a diversion. The abode of the Hereafter—that is truly Life if they only knew. (Surat al-‘Ankabut, 64)

In spite of this, they avoid giving careful consideration to this. They fail to realize that they have nothing to lose, but everything to gain, if they believe in the Afterlife. If they believed, they could gain not only the blessings of this world, which they would enjoy in the best possible way, but they could also hope to gain Allah’s good pleasure and an eternal life in Paradise. And, in the life in Paradise, they will live an eternal life in which concepts like boredom, wearisome and monotony are not created. In this life they will be surrounded by unlimited good, an endless variety of blessings and, most importantly, that life will be eternal. That is, a person who desires the Afterlife will gain the benefits of this world and of the world to come. But those who are satisfied only with this world will certainly lose the Afterlife. This is related in one of the verses of Allah as follows:

… (he) loses both the world and the Hereafter. That is indeed sheer loss. (Surat al-Hajj, 11)

By such an example, it is easy to discern the difference between real loss and gain. But, the people of a society of ignorance have difficulty in grasping these facts since they do not think giving due consideration. According to their shallow thinking, they are already enjoying the benefits of this world. Nevertheless, lacking a sure faith in the Afterlife caused them to doubt. In the Qur’an Allah gives the following response to this hesitance of the people of ignorance:

Whatever you have been given is only the enjoyment of the life of this world. What is with Allah is better and longer lasting … (Surat ash-Shura, 36)

… They rejoice in the life of this world. Yet the life of this world, compared to the Hereafter, is only fleeting enjoyment. (Surat ar-Ra‘d, 26)

But, merely because they do not want to sever their attachment to this world, the ignorant refuse to consider the reality depicted in the verses of the Qur’an. Rather, they offer unfounded excuses in order to deceive themselves and quiet their consciences. Throughout history, each prophet related to the community to which he was sent about the truth of the Afterlife, Heaven and Hell, and warned them to heed his message while they still had time. But, most turned a deaf ear to the warnings of the messengers, denying the Afterlife with responses related in the following verses:

... “Who will give life to bones when they are decayed?” (Surah Ya Sin, 78)

... “When we have been absorbed into the earth, are we then to be in a new creation?”... (Surat as-Sajda, 10)

“We and our forefathers were promised this before. This is nothing but the myths of previous peoples!” (Surat al-Muminun, 81)

And, Allah responded in the following way to their rejection:

Say “He Who made them in the first place will bring them back to life. He has total knowledge of each created thing; He Who produces fire for you from green trees so that you use them to light your fires.” Does He Who created the heavens and Earth not have the power to create the same again? Yes indeed! He is the Creator, the All-Knowing. His command when He desires a thing is just to say to it, “Be!” and it is. (Surah Ya Sin, 79-82)

We can see that, whether or not the ignorant believe, the reality of Heaven and Hell cannot be denied. By refusing to believe, they deceive themselves. However, when they are finally faced with this reality, they will know its truth:

On the Day when those who were disbelievers are exposed to the Fire, they will be asked, “Is this not the truth?” They will say, “Yes, by our Lord.” He will say, “Then taste the punishment for having been disbeliever.” (Surat al-Ahqaf, 34)

2012-01-21 14:36:46

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