The question whether there is a life after death does
not fall under the jurisdiction of science as science is
concerned only with classification and analysis of
sense data. Moreover, man has been busy with
scientific enquiries and research, in the modern
sense of the term, only for the last few centuries,
while he has been familiar with the concept of life
after death since times immemorial.
prophets of God called their people to worship God
and to believe in life after death. They laid so much
emphasis on the belief in life after death that even a
slight doubt in it meant denying God and made all
other beliefs meaningless. The very fact that all the
prophets of God have dealt with this metaphysical
question of life after death so confidently and so
uniformly - the gap between their ages being
thousands of years - goes to prove that the source of
their knowledge of life after death as proclaimed by
them all, was the same, i.e., Divine revelation. We
also know that these prophets of God were greatly
opposed by their people, mainly on the issue of life
after death as their people thought it impossible. But
in spite of opposition the prophets won so many
The question arises what made
those followers forsake the established beliefs,
traditions and customs of their forefathers
notwithstanding the risk of being totally alienated
from their own community? The simple answer is:
they made use of their faculties of mind and heart
and realised the truth. Did they realise the truth
through perceptual consciousness? Not so, as
perceptual experience of life after death is
impossible. Actually God has given man besides
perceptual consciousness, rational, aesthetic and
moral consciousness too. It is this consciousness
that guides man regarding realities that cannot be
verified through sensory data. That is why all the
prophets of God while calling people to believe in
God and life after death, appeal to the aesthetic,
moral and rational consciousness of man.
For example, when the idolaters of Makkah denied even
the possibility of life after death, the Qur'an exposed
the weakness of their stand by advancing very
logical and rational arguments in support of it:
And he has coined for us a similitude, and has
forgotten the fact of his creation, saying: who
will revive these bones when they have rotten
Say: He will revive them who produced them at
the first, for He is the knower of every creation.
Who has appointed for you fire from the green
tree, and behold! you kindle from it.
Is not He who created the heavens and the earth,
able to create the like of them? Yes, and He is
indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-knowing.
At another occasion the Qur'an very clearly says that
the disbelievers have no sound basis for their denial
of life after death. It is based on pure conjectures:
They say, 'There is nothing but our present life,
we die, and we live, and nothing but Time
destroys us'. Of that they have no knowledge;
they merely conjecture. And when our
revelations are recited to them, their only
argument is that they say. 'Bring us our fathers,
if you speak truly.'
Surely God will raise all the dead. But God has His
own plan of things. A day will come when the whole
universe will be destroyed and then again the dead
will be resurrected to stand before God. That day
will be the beginning of the life that will never end,
and that Day every person will be rewarded by God
according to his or her good or evil deed.
The explanation that the Qur'an gives about the
necessity of life after death is what moral
consciousness of man demands. Actually if there is
no life after death, the very belief in God becomes
irrelevant or even if one believes in God, that would
be an unjust and indifferent God: having once
created man not concerned with his fate. Surely,
God is just. He will punish the tyrants whose crimes
are beyond count: having killed hundreds of
innocent persons, created great corruptions in the
society, enslaved numerous persons to serve their
Man having a very short span of life in
this world, and this physical world too being not
eternal, punishments or rewards equal to the evil or
noble deeds of persons are not possible here. The
Qur'an very emphatically states that the Day of
Judgement must come and God will decide about
the fate of each soul according to his or her record of
Those who disbelieve say: The Hour will never
come unto us. Say: Nay, by my Lord, but it is
coming unto you surely. (He is) the Knower of
the Unseen. Not an atom's weight, or less than
that or greater, escapes Him in the heavens or in
the earth, but it is in a clear Record. That He may
reward those who believe and do good works.
For them is pardon and a rich provision.
But those who strive against our revelations,
challenging (Us), theirs will be a painful doom of
The Day of Resurrection will be the Day when
God's attributes of Justice and Mercy will be in full
manifestation. God will shower His mercy on those
who suffered for His sake in the worldly life,
believing that an eternal bliss was awaiting them.
But those who abused the bounties of God, caring
nothing for the life to come, will be in the most
miserable state. Drawing a comparison between
them, the Qur'an says:
Is he, then, to whom we have promised a goodly
promise the fulfillment of which he will meet, like
the one whom We have provided with the good
things of this life, and then on the Day of
Resurrection he will be of those who will be
brought arraigned before God?
The Qur'an also states that this worldly life is a
preparation for the eternal life after death. But those
who deny it become slaves of their passions and
desires, make fun of virtuous and God-conscious
persons. Such persons realise their folly only at the
time of their death and wish to be given a further
chance in the world but in vain. Their miserable
state at the time of death, and the horror of the Day
of Judgement, and the eternal bliss guaranteed to
the sincere believers are very beautifully mentioned
in the following verses of the Holy Qur'an:
Until, when death comes unto one of them, he
says, 'My Lord send me back, that I may do right
in that which I have left behind! ' But nay! It is but
a word that he speaks, and behind them is a
barrier until the day when they are raised. And
when the Trumpet is blown there will be no
kinship among them that day, nor will they ask of
one another. Then those whose scales are
heavy, they are successful. And those whose
scales are light are those who lose their souls, in
hell abiding, the fire burns their faces and they
are glum therein.
The belief in life after death not only guarantees
success in the Hereafter but also makes this world
full of peace and happiness by making individuals
most responsible and dutiful in their activities.
Think of the people of Arabia. Gambling, wine,
tribal feuds, plundering and murdering were their
main traits when they had no belief in life after
death. But as soon as they accepted the belief in the
One God and life after death they became the most
disciplined nation of the world. They gave up their
vices, helped each other in hours of need, and settled
all their disputes on the basis of justice and equality.
Similarly the denial of life after death has its
consequences not only in the Hereafter but also in
this world. When a nation as a whole denies it, all
kinds of evils and corruptions become rampant in
that society and ultimately it is destroyed. The
Qur'an mentions the terrible end of 'Aad, Thamud
and the Pharaoh in some detail:
(The tribes of) Thamud and 'Aad disbelieved in
the judgement to come. As for Thamud, they
were destroyed by the lightning, and as for 'Aad,
they were destroyed by a fierce roaring wind,
which He imposed on them for seven long nights
and eight long days so that you might see the
people laid prostrate in it as if they were the
stumps of fallen down palm trees.
Now do you see remnant of them? Pharaoh
likewise and those before him, and the
subverted cities. They committed errors and
they rebelled against the Messenger of their
Lord, and He seized them with a surpassing grip.
Lo, when the waters rose. We bore you in the
running ship that We might make it a reminder
for you and for heeding ears to hold. So when the
Trumpet is blown with a single blast and the
earth and the mountains are lifted up and
crushed with a single blow, then on that day, the
Terror shall come to pass, and the heaven shall
be split for upon that day it shall be very frail.
And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that day, bear
the Throne of your Lord above them.
That day shall you be brought to judgement, not a secret of you will be
Then as for him who is given his book in his right
hand, he shall say 'Here take and read my book!
Certainly I thought that I should encounter my
reckoning.' So he shall be in a pleasing life in a
lofty garden, its clusters nigh to gather.
'Eat and drink with wholesome appetite for that
you did long ago, in the days gone by.'
But as for him who is given his book in his left
hand, he shall say: 'Would that I had not been
given my book and not known my reckoning!
Would it had been the end!
My wealth has not availed me, my authority is
gone from me.'
Thus there are very convincing reasons to believe in
life after death.
Firstly, all the prophets of God have called their
people to believe in it.
Secondly, whenever a human society is built on the
basis of this belief, it has been the most ideal and
peaceful society, free of social and moral evils.
Thirdly, history bears witness that whenever this
belief is rejected collectively by a group of people in
spite of the repeated warning of the prophet, the
group as a whole has been punished by God even in
Fourthly, moral, aesthetic and rational faculties of
man endorse the possibility of life after death.
Fifthly, God's attributes of Justice and Mercy have
no meaning if there is no life after death.