The Beyond

    Everybody's Journey

    The Beyond

    Now it is time to discuss the important issue of what lies beyond the end of the Road. The combined understanding of both science and religion tells us that one day the human race shall cease to exist on this planet. What happens after that is what they may dispute. But as for people who have been following the Divine path, they have foreknowledge that on a certain day – hidden by God and known only to Him – every human being will be brought back to life again and required to give an account for what he had done during his lifetime. Every individual will receive on that day a reward or punishment according to his good or bad deeds. Those who do not believe in this Day of Account will always argue:

    And they used to say: When we die and become dust and bones, shall we then be raised? Say: The ancients and those of later times will surely be gathered together for the appointed hour of a known day. [13]

    The concept of the Hereafter is very remote from the area of our human experience. It is not easy to conceive that a person who died physically will continue to live spiritually or that he will live later, long after he died. Science, though not able to disprove the possibility of life after death, is not able to give any support to such a concept.

    Although awareness of the Hereafter is part of the belief in the unseen, therefore beyond the area of our human experience, it is entirely logical. To adopt the scientific theory of ‘constants’ in this universe necessitates, from the macro to the micro, that every single cause or action has an effect. Nothing happens without there being a direct or indirect reaction to it. This leads us to the concept of universal balance: which from a spiritual point of view leads us to the belief in ultimate justice administered from the Divine attribute of a Just God.

    By the laws of this universally manifest principle, God is not likely to leave a good doer without a reward, nor should we expect Him to leave an oppressor unpunished or unaccountable.

    Millions and millions of good doers, oppressed and persecuted, lived and died without being compensated. Millions and millions of wrong doers, persecutors, murderers, and tyrants lived and died without being penalized in this world. The Just God, Who is All-Powerful, should not let such wrong doers escape the consequence of their actions; nor should He leave the good doers uncompensated. There must be another dimension where there will be ample time for implementing the heavenly justice.

    On that Day, people will come forth as scattered individuals, so that they may be shown their works. So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it. [14]

    The commonality of faith between all major Monotheistic religions regarding the Hereafter is actually one of the strongest things that unite us; no matter which part of the Religious spectrum you come from.

    Surely those who believe (and surrender to God in Islam) and those who are Jews, and the Christians . . . whoever believes in God and the Hereafter and does good, they have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them nor shall they grieve. [15]

    The final destination of every soul Beyond the Day of Judgment is known only to God. But we have been encouraged, no matter how many times we have erred on the path, to seek His forgiveness and limitless Mercy.

    No one will have the right to intercede on their behalf without God’s permission. But we know that the Almighty will listen favorably to His chosen messengers on behalf of their followers, and this is why we should not reject any of the Chosen Prophets or make distinction between one and another of them. They came to preach the same message of Unity and brotherhood and this culminated in the sending of the Last Prophet Muhammad, through whom the clear teachings of belief and good deeds delivered by prophets before him have been reaffirmed.

    O people of the Book (Torah, Gospel and all Divinely revealed Scriptures) There has come to you our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much. Now has come unto you light from God and a clear Book; Wherewith God guides all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety, and leads them out of darkness, by His will, unto the light and guides them unto a straight path. [16]

    The ultimate reward is given by God Himself to His servants, the Garden of eternal bliss wherein a soul will be able to enjoy everything he or she wishes for, without diminishment of pleasure; where the after effects of eating or drinking, of companionship and love, will only feel better with no ill consequences. It is a place where everything is exactly as you would want it, and no one is there to endanger or threaten your happiness any longer. In comparison with this world, the Last Prophet gave us a parable: “By God! What is this world in comparison to the next world except the parable of someone who puts his finger in the sea; then let him look at what [his finger] returns with.” [17] In comparison, the punishment of the Hereafter is something one wishes not to contemplate. The endless disappointment of failing to please God with your deeds or repentance will only infuriate and lead to no respite from the endless anguish of the inferno.

    The major reason for souls failing to escape such an end is their negligence in understanding life’s message, clearly delivered by all the prophets and messengers of God’s path: “This world is retreating and the next world is advancing, and for each of them are children. So be children of the next world; and not children of this world. For today there are actions but no accounting; but tomorrow there will be accounting but no actions.” [18]

    Yusuf Islam
    Ramadan 1427 AH / September 2006 AD

    13 The Qur’an, Al-Waqi’a (That which is Coming) 56:47-50
    14 The Qur’an, Al-Zalzalah (The Earthquake) 99:6-8
    15 The Qur’an, Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:62
    16 The Qur’an, Al-Ma’idah (The Feast) 5:15-16
    17 The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Sahih Muslim
    18 Ali ibn Abi Talib