Muslims believe very strongly in the afterlife. They also believe the Koran is the primary source for God’s revelation to humanity concerning afterlife as per the following quote.
“While what has come down to us of the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel – The scriptures revealed to early prophets – all speak of a hereafter. It is only through God’s final revelation to humanity, the holy Koran, as revealed to his final prophet, Mohammed, that we learn most about the afterlife. And as the Koran is, and will forever remain, preserved and uncorrupted by human hands, the insight it gives us into the world of the unseen is, for the believer, as factual, real and true as anything that can be learned through any scientific endeavor (and with a zero margin of error!).”
Muslims heartily believe in paradise and hell. In fact their primary focus is on the future. They consider the existence of one’s life to be in three stages, i.e. physical life on earth where a person’s actions determine where and how they will spend eternity, the time between physical death and their resurrection on the day of judgment, and the time span of eternity after their deeds have been judged.
Paradise is described eloquently in the Koran in terms that appeal to the senses, i.e. companionship of members of the opposite sex, unlimited exotic food and drink, lavish furniture, etc. Muslims believe that everything that a person desired during their lifetime will be available to that person in paradise. Muslim paradise is succinctly summarized in the following verse:
“…And therein (in paradise) is what each soul desires and delights the eyes…” Koran 43:71
Students or varied religions find it interesting that the writer of Genesis addressed that very issue within a different context.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes…she took of its fruit and ate…” Genesis 3:6
The Apostle John confirmed the Genesis account which described mankind’s first sin.
“For…the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes…is not of the Father…”
I John 2:18
It should be noted that paradise in the eyes of Muslims is only available to believers in Allah and his prophet Mohammed. The determination of whether or not a Muslim is qualified to enter paradise is accomplished with a brief interview.
Between death of a Muslim and their resurrection on judgment day two angels named Munkar and Nakeer visit the deceased and ask several questions:
• What is your religion? Only acceptable answer: Islam
• Who is your Lord? Only acceptable answer: Allah
• Who is your prophet? Only acceptable answer: Mohammed
• How did you come to know these things? Only acceptable answer: I read the book of Allah and I believed.
The incorrect and damning answer to any of the above is, “Alas, alas I don’t know.”
If and when the departed passes the above test a voice from the heavens will call out:
“My slave has spoken the truth, supply him with the furnishings from paradise, clothe him from paradise, and open a gate for him in paradise.”
The Koran is equally adamant about the probability of a non-Muslim entering paradise. The religion of the Muslims leaves absolutely no provision for paradise for anyone but one of their own.
For the disbeliever, “The gates of heaven will not be opened to them and they will not enter paradise until a camel can pass through the eye of a needle.”
Hell is also described in great detail in the Koran. It is described as the temporary abode for Muslims whose evil deeds out weighed their good deeds and the permanent abode for all non Muslims. Muslims believe any Muslim who is sent to hell is sent there only temporarily. After suffering for a time, their misdeeds on earth are forgiven and they are then reassigned to paradise.
Hell according to Muslims is divided into seven regions to receive the different classes of the damned. For example, the first region of hell is where wicked Muslims are sent initially prior to their transfer to paradise. The second region of hell is the region reserved for Jews. The third region is specifically designated for Christians.
As previously stated, tolerance of varied religions in the United States including Islam is allowed by our constitution. Problems arise, however, when such tolerance is one sided and one religion attempts to force its adherence on others. We’ll discuss the tolerance issue in more detail in future columns. The religious aspect of Islam, however, is just the tip of the iceberg.
For a wealth of information, Google ‘describe paradise and hell for Muslims’.