What does Islam teach about life after death? • Human being not only has a body, but also has a “spirit” given to him/her by God. • The spirit is the seed from which a higher form of life grows within man, higher than physical life. • When a person dies the physical body is finished, but the spirit remains, as he or she had molded it by their deeds when alive.
How is the spirit shaped during our life here? Just as our physical actions and habits affect the body and leave their impressions upon it, so does the good or evil of our deeds affect the spirit leaving an impression upon it. If we nourish the spirit through prayer to God, do good and righteous deeds, the spirit will develop and grow properly.
If the spirit is neglected and bad deeds are done, it suffers harm. • It is as God has given each person a piece of soft clay. It is then up to the individual to shape it into something beautiful or ugly by his deeds.
Is man rewarded after death for his good deeds and punished for the bad ones? Good deeds benefits the spirit and evil deeds harm it. The effects of good and bad deeds upon the spirit is what constitutes the reward or punishment for ones deeds In this life, we can occasionally feel this effect, but only very faintly and vaguely.
After death when only the spirit is left, bearing all the impressions of deeds done throughout life, the effects of those deeds will be left clearly and vividly. It is this which is the reward for good deeds and suffering for evil deeds.
What are heaven and hell? • Heaven and hell are not places somewhere in the universe, but really our inner conditions or the condition of the spirit resulting from our deeds • Heaven and hell begin in this life within a person’s heart. • The feelings of bliss and contentment at doing good is the heaven in one’s heart. • The guilt, shame and greed felt by an evil doer is the hell of the heart.
After death, the heaven or hell that developed in the heart is unfolded before us and becomes the world in which we live, and we live in it not with the physical body of this life but the “spiritual” body made from our deeds.
The exact nature of these things cannot be known in this world because they are in an entirely different world where our ideas of space, time, feelings,etc. do not apply. The holy Quran mentions many blessings and comforts in paradise and many painful punishments in hell. What is the nature of these?
To describe them to us, physical terms have to be used such as “ gardens and rivers” in paradise, and the “fire” of hell, to give an idea of what they feel like. All the things of next world actually begin in one’s heart in this world
The “fire” of hell is the same fire of low desires and greed that burns in a person’s heart in this world. • The “fruits” of paradise are really the fruits of good deeds that a person starts tasting in his heart in this life
What is the day of judgment? Just as the life of an individual had an end, and the life of a nation has an end, so does the life of this entire physical world has and end. The day of judgment is the day which will bring the spiritual world into full manifestation, in place of the present physical one.
It is called the day of judgment because each person shall then become fully conscious of the effects of his deeds in this life, and have a “body” made out of his or her own deeds.
Is there any other significant point about paradise and hell disclosed by Islam? Yes, life after death is actually the starting point of further progress for man. Those in paradise are advancing to higher and higher stages in knowledge and perfection of faith. Hell is meant to purify those in it of the effects of their bad deeds, and so make them fit for further advancement Hell, is a punishment, but not everlasting.
Do Muslims believe in reincarnation? No, Islam teaches continuous progress of the soul and so it can not return to this world after death of the body. Islam believe that each person is born with a pure soul, without any burden to bear from a past life In God’s eye, the best person is he or she who acquits himself best in the conditions they meet.
The holy Quran states that there will be a life after death because the moral consciousness of mankind demands it. • If there is no life after death, any belief God Himself becomes irrelevant. Such a situation would mean that God is unjust and indifferent, for how could he create mankind and then lose interest in His creation?
What is the significance of the Muslim belief in life after death? It encourages man to do good and restrains him from doing evil. It teaches man to look at the inner worth of himself and of others, rather than the outward appearance (wealth, position, beauty or education).
This is because he knows that it is the inner part of man which is the real thing and which survive forever, while the outward possessions are certainly lost a death and often before then.
What is the Eastern perspective on Death? No Hindu really fears death, nor does he look forward to it. Death for Hindus is merely transition, simultaneously an end and a new beginning. “Death is like falling asleep and birth is like awakening from that sleep.”
What is this “soul” which never dies? Our individual souls is the spiritual body of light that animates life and reincarnates again and again until all necessary karmas are created and resolved its essential unity with God is fully realized. Our soul is neither male or female. Soul can not be hurt or damaged in any way. The body of soul is constant radiance
Its mind is super consciousness containing all intelligence, and is constantly aware. The body of the soul lives in the eternity of the moment, simultaneously conscious of past and future as one cycle.
What happens at the point of death? As the physical forces wane, all energy goes into the mental and emotional astral body (nonphysical body) When the physical body dies, this automatically severs the subtle silver cord that connects the astral and physical bodies This cord is like a thread that connects the astral body through the navel to the physical body
It is painful to the astral body to have the physical body cut or disturbed seriously within seventy two hours after death. The soul can see and feel this, and it detains him from going on. As soon as you tamper with his physical body, he gets attached, becomes aware that he has two bodies and this becomes a problem.
When you die, your physical body goes up in flames, and immediately you know it’s gone.
What are the inner worlds? Hinduism describes three primary lokas (in Sanskrit means “world, habitat, realm or plane of existence”) Bhutloka: “Earth world” The world perceived through the five senses Antarloka: “Inner or in between world” know in English as the subtle or astral plane Karanaloka: “World of God”, and of the Gods and highly level of vibration.
Antarloka is a world of superconsciousness and extremely refined energy, the quantum level of the universe
What determines where one goes after death? • Where the soul goes in the astral plane at sleep or death is dependent upon his earthly pursuits and quality of his mind. • If somebody dies in the states of anger and fear, he goes into the lower worlds of those states of consciousness. • When you are dead, your astral body might just float over your physical body and be “dead”.
No exit if one commits suicide!!! The Hindu knows that death must come naturally, in its own course and that suicide only accelerate the intensity of one’s karma
The dying should always remember that the place where one will reincarnate is the place that he is thinking about prior to death. • The last thoughts before death are the most powerful thoughts in creating the next life
What should one do to prepare for death? • Everyone is prepared to die and whether it happens suddenly or slowly, each individual knows exactly what he is experiencing and about to experience. • You don’t need any counseling, it is a blessing to know when you are going to die because then you can prepare for it, make a decision whether you are going to be reborn, make preparation.
When one knows he is going to depart the physical body, he should not hesitate to tell his relatives he is going to die, and that is a wonderful blessing from them as they can prepare for his great departure. In turn, the family and friends should release him, be happy. Don’t cry, you will make him unhappy.
Should I fear dead? Our soul never dies; only the physical body dies. We are not the physical body, mind or emotions, we are the immortal soul We neither fear death nor look forward to it, but revere it as a most exalted experience Life, death and the afterlife are all part of our path to perfect oneness with God People wonder whether death is a painful process, such as the case of cancer victims.
Cancer produces a lot of pain and it is a process of life which results death, but death itself is not painful. Death is blisssful, and is like a meditation that is why it is called maha (great). Hindu is prepared from childhood for that mahasamadhi. Remember, pain is not part of the process of death, that is the process of life which results in death…
What do Jewish people believe happens after death? The ancient Israelites had some concept of the ideas about life after death The ancient Egyptians obviously believed in Life after Death In Jesus’ day, the two most powerful sects (like denominations) in Judaism were Pharisees and Saducees One of the major differences between the two groups was that Pharisees believed that people would raised from the dead on Judgment day and the saducees did not.
Most of what we have known as Judaism is derived from what Pharisees believed • The Jewish people also believe that the soul maintains a relationship with the body for one year after death and this is considered a year of purgatory, at least for the wicked • After that one year passed, the righteous were supposed to gain entrance to Paradise and the wicked into hell
Death, Heaven and Hell In General In general, Jewish thinkers have focused on the ways to lead a good life on Earth and improve this world, leaving concerns about death and beyond until the appropriate time. Judaism has stressed the natural fact of death and its role in giving life meaning. Of course, issues of death are important too.
The fear of death, concern about the fate of our own soul and those of our loved ones, ethical concerns that some people die unfairly, all these and many other issues are discussed in Jewish literature.
Since God is seen as ultimately just, the seeming injustice on Earth has propelled many traditional Jewish thinkers into seeing the afterlife as a way to reflect the ultimate justice of human existence. • Traditional thinkers considered how individuals would be rewarded or punished after their deaths. There are a few rare descriptions of life after death.
Traditionalists gave the name Gehenna to the place where souls were punished. Many Jewish thinkers noted that since, essentially, God is filled with mercy and love, punishment is not to be considered to be eternal.
There are, similarly, many varying conceptions of paradise, such as that paradise is the place where we finally understand the true concept of God. • It is also possible that there is no separate Heaven and Hell, only lesser or greater distance from God after death. • In addition, punishment might be self-determined on the basis of suffering in kind the suffering the person brought about.
Judaism doesn't have a clear sense of Heaven and Hell, with different places in Hell for different punishments. • Rather, the idea is that God uses the afterlife to provide ultimate justice and for the wicked to seek some sort of final redemption.
Judaism does not believe people who are Gentiles will automatically go to Hell or that Jews will automatically go to Heaven on their basis of their belonging to the faith. • Individual ethical behavior is what is most important. • Many traditional Jews believe that Judaism provides the best guide to leading such an ethical life.
Comparison and Contrasts Hinduism:Believe about reincarnation Islam: No reincarnation Judaism: No reincarnation Islam: Believe on Hell and Heaven and Judgment day Judaism: Believe on Hell and Heaven and Judgment day Hinduism: No Hell, Heaven or Judgment day
Islam:Belief that Hell is not eternal • Judaism: God is filled with mercy and love, punishment is not to be considered to be eternal. • Judaism:The Jewish people believe that the soul maintains a relationship with the body for one year after death. • Islam: Muslims believe that a dead person’s soul comes to his home every night for one year to see his/her family members.
Questions to be considered: What are the most significant facts about spirit according to religions? Which one is considered higher physical body or nonphysical ? Why? How would humans behave in this world if there was no Life after Death? Why do “Hindus do not fear death”, do you think that they welcome death?