Life after Death

One day a group of philosophers came to debate with Sayyidina `Ali (r) the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (s), about the reality of life after death and Heaven and Hell. His answer was simple:

“We each have a 50% chance of being right, so look at it like this: if you are right that there is nothing beyond this life, then nothing matters at all. If I am right, you are in deep trouble.” The philosophers became Muslim.

The trouble in our time comes from the belief that when we die we have no consequences to face, the logic of this is that there is no need to follow any moral code whatsoever. Result – overriding selfishness, greed and intolerance. 

Time to turn things around and work towards true love and respect of each other as jewels in the crown of creation!

Blue and white eternity

4 responses to “Life after Death”

  1. Three things are wrong here: first, just because there are only two possible answers to a question, it doesn’t mean that each has a 50% chance of being right. I can give one answer to a calculus questions and a mathematician could say I’m wrong. It doesn’t mean that we each have a 50% chance of being right.
    Second, even if it were true that there was no heaven, it doesn’t follow that there is no meaning in life. In fact, for some it might mean that this life has even more meaning since it is the only one we have.
    Third, whether non-believers are more selfish than believers is an empirical question. There are facts to look at. I don’t think there is any proof that non-believers are less moral than believers. Some might even conclude the opposite: are prisons full of believers or non-believers?

    1. Bismillah!

      I am not a mathematician, but I think that in the specific case in point we have an either/or situation, a case of logic rather than calculus? The question being: is there life after death or no life after death – the answer can only be yes or no.

      I know that many people take the view you mention in your second point, and good for them.

      Unfortunately – the alcohol consumption, the violence, the adultery, the divorce rate, the abuse rate, corporate theft, dishonesty in government, cheating and stealing, pornography, lose sexual values are rife. Too often people are written off as expendable collateral damage. General standards of morality are low. The desire for freedom to do what one wants, whenever, wherever with whomever one wants is a constant message in most media, based on the idea, “why restrict yourself if there is no comeback?” Crazy but true.

      If people SINCERELY believe that their behaviour in this life defines their eternal life, they will try harder to fulfill the moral requirements of treating others with love and respect, and behaving within the boundaries of morality defined by their religion. (The minority of extremists aside).

  2. Life after death isn’t a yes/no question. Let’s take the opposite for a moment. Life is difficult to define. Is a comatose person who lacks all brain functions but is on a ventilator alive? Is life defined by a beating heart or consciousness?
    So what is it to be alive after death? Is there consciousness? What about bodily integrity?
    In one sense, no one dies. Our chemicals are recomposed. On that everyone agrees. But some see this as immortality. Other think it is besides the point. Some see life after death as a continuation of life as we know it. Others say there is life after death but it is pure consciousness.
    I have no doubt that for some a belief in an afterlife keeps them living ethically. Others may react to an afterlife as an escape hatch from living ethically in this life.
    I know from Holocaust studies that religion was important for some in becoming rescuers while other rescuers were atheists. Conversely, many murders were religious and many were anti-religion. Religion, it turned out, was no predicator of altruistic or murderous behavior.

    1. Bismillah

      Salaam `alaykum! I love this greeting because it means “Peace be with you!”, in the Qur’an it says, Salaamun qawlan min Rabbin Raheem, “Peace is a Word from the Lord of Mercy.”

      I must beg to differ: whether there is life after death or not, is a yes/no question. What form that takes is another question; there are certainly many opinions about this! I follow the teachings of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and the saints of Islam regarding the reality of our existence here and hereafter.

      Certainly, for the silent majority of practicing Muslims who are Sunni and Sufi, a fear of God and a desire to follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) are the overriding factors that guide them in their lives.

      Personally, my knowledge of what the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) would do in a situation gives me strength to try to emulate him. He was kind, generous, tolerant, he never turned anyone away without giving them what they had asked, he never blamed anyone or asked, “Who did this?”, his smile was like the radiant moon, and when he addressed people he turned his whole attention to them, he had a smiling happy nature when dealing with people; he never shouted at people or treated anyone with contempt or rudeness, he was humble beyond imagining, he never kept any money or food for himself – it was always distributed to the needy, he slept on the floor and his cushion was leather filled with straw. He spent most of the night in prayer such that his feet and legs would swell, and he cried many tears for all humanity. His constant prayer was for all Mankind.

      And certainly atheists too perform good deeds.
      And ‘believers’ perform bad deeds.

      Whatever our belief – may we try to treat each other with goodness:)

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