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Purpose Of Hereafter- What Next After Heaven/hell?

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As salam alaikum,

 

For some background: My mother is Hindu but more spiritual,doesnt believe in rituals etc., dad neutral about religions and a lot more spiritual, and brother is a downright atheist - I'm Muslim lol..and all of us live together so some of our discussions can be..well..interesting and disturbing..

 

Based on these discussions, I have a question: What is the purpose of creation and afterlife, as per Islam?

 

I understand the purpose of our temporary earthly life is as a test to ensure jannah in the hereafter, through the worship of our creator....but then what? We enter jannah, live there...and then? Whats the point really?

My dad asked me this...and I dodged the question coz I wasn't very sure on how to handle it....his view is that we don't know what happens after death, n there is no way to experience it, so how can you just believe something a book says?

 

Mum believes in re-incarnation and the idea that the soul needs to be freed...but after its freed after several thousands of lifetimes, we don't know what will happen...

 

My brother says: well we have no idea what happens once we die - so live this life fullest...following religion or rituals will not allow you to maximize your potential in terms of career and the rest coz it takes up too much time...in terms of creator and universe, he says "there's no way I would think that there is a creator who created this universe...its all physics and quantum mechanics" I ask him who created gravity, how did all of that exist? He says we are not qualified enough in the field of physics to know that...there may be 10 to 15 people in the world who can tell you what existed before the Big Bang and how it was created....but we are not at that level of education, but surely you cannot believe that a God created it...that would just make life so boring - imagine not being able to use your own critical analysis and science backed evidence of the existence of physics laws...and just coming to a conclusion of "oh one creator created all of this"...thats just plain silly and provides no intellectual stimulation in his opinion...

 

They all see religion as being something just for people who haven't got a career or are not educated, to be happy and content with whatever little they have..in the false hope that there will be something better after death, so its ok if there's no money etc now...therefore they will not strive for the most, and will be more focused on religious things...

All of them truly believe that religions are all man made to control and manipulate crowds who cannot think for themselves...but for critical thinkers like them (especially my super highly educated brother), it is a joke and very sad to think that you would need to live within certain limits set by someone (something) else....unless its the law of the state, noone else should have any authority over your being except yourself....he doesn't agree with a creator or soul or any of that...and immorality and morality to him is a social construct - the only things which all humans can agree are immoral are those that hurt others: murder, stealing, rape, and sometimes cheating but not always.....he can't understand why marriage is such a huge deal and premarital sex or LGBT is a problem...or the concept of chastity...according to him its all in the heads of people and society has formed it that way - in nature however, if we look at animals, there are many who are homosexual, and there is no such thing of premarital issues, or even issues with one night stands...so why do humans have to make such a big deal and complicate life so much?

 

So based on the above viewpoints, there are many times I don't know how to answer them because I just can't deal with their perspectives...its inconceivable for me to ever think of the idea of not believing in a creator...I have pursued the quest for God since I was a kid...so I really need help answering some of these questions..

 

My belief is that life is temporary and it is there as a test for the hereafter....but what happens if we go to heaven, or hell for that matter...what is the purpose of getting gardens in which rivers flow? What happens after that? Yes our souls can get close to God, but then what?

And ok God will punish those in hell, keep punishing them continuously, but then what? What's the point there? Why would a God do that anyway? What does He get by putting us in heaven or hell?

 

These are the kind of questions I'm afraid to answer, but I really do need something to understand this..and I'm becoming curious of this as well..I'm sure there is a reason I don't know it yet, and I may even believe if Allah has said it is not for us to know, but that won't work with my family...so any help would be greatly appreciated in this matter...

I know there are several different points - opinions on all would be great...but the most crucial is the purpose of creation, hereafter and the rest...

 

JazakAllah...

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(bismillah)

(wasalam)

Firstly bro, Allah (swt) doesn't get anything out of punishing us or benefiting us. He doesn't need us; or anything at all for that matter.

It's his right to create and It is He who repeats. It is Allah who sets values and takes away.

 

To answer your question about Paradise and Hellfire, the point is that this life is a world of deeds and is a cradle, and the prime order of every single soul is to worship their creator: Allah.

It is out of His limitless Mercy that Paradise exists, and Hellfire too can be a blessing in disguise. Think of it this why, wouldn't a merciful and kind Lord not want to reward those who believed in His Promise, His Existence, obeyed Him and Worshiped him? Even if there was no afterlife, Salah would still be obligatory on every thing that lives. Allah has the right to do whatever He wishes; that's something you should take into consideration; especially in the context of your questions, and Allah has made it upon Himself to be Merciful to his creations and He will never be unjust to anyone.

The true life we are supposed to live is not on this world but in Paradise. Everyone has to acknowledge that it won't be easy in any way to get in to Paradise. Allah has deemed it the Supreme Achievement. Hellfire is for those who are worthy of punishment.

Hopefully this helped you.

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(wasalam)

 

Your post made me bothered at first specially where you say that you don't know how to answer to them or deal with their perspectives. I can only imagine how frustrating it is to deal with your own family and realize that they can't see the point of the hereafter. The answer is extremely simple, so simple that people like your family won't understand it because it can't only be understood by reason, but with faith and that is an element that they seem to be missing, the fact that they don't find their creator worthy of worship despite providing them everyday with innumerable things that they cannot obtain as much as they would try, such as oxygen, heart beat, blood circulation, mental and physical abilities... and u know the list can go on and on........ their unfaithfulness has made them unthankful and perhaps due to that, they have being deprived of the sublime blessing of feeling near God and yearning to be near HIM and the simple answer to what happens next after having died and what is the purpose of gardens in which rivers flow, is being with your creator! is being in the presence of the divine, and all of the perfection that our brain would not possibly ever imagine. If you are not thrilled by the thought of experiencing the mercy of your creator in being admitted to the ultimate goal of life which is being at his presence, then I'm not sure what perception you have of your creator if simple human love would make you yearn to be in the presence of that person, then how can your creator deserve any less when its greatness can't even be compared.?  

 

What scares me the most from any human is when they think things such as what you mentioned that your family says: "They all see religion as being something just for people who haven't got a career or are not educated, to be happy and content with whatever little they have..in the false hope that there will be something better after death, so its ok if there's no money etc now...therefore they will not strive for the most, and will be more focused on religious things..."

 

That is truly heart breaking and completely shallow, as I mentioned: HOW on earth can they pay more attention to a career, being educated having houses, cars and all that when at any second all of that can be gone by the will of God?

 

anyway i have to go but inshallah someone else can give you practical solutions to your problem.

 

(wasalam)

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^^ Asalam alaikum,

 

Thankyou both for your answers...I completely agree with the above..I thought it would be the nearness to Allah as well that on its own should be worthy of wanting to attain jannah...but then my dad would question it as "but what is God? is God a physical being that you can be near? What do you mean by near? Don't you believe God is omnipresent and always around" I'm like "yes ofcourse He's omnipresent and even closer than our jugular veins now also...but in the hereafter its ofcourse not physical, but a spiritual manifestation - your soul would be close"  - I may still need some help making them understand that closeness...I get the idea, just not sure how else to explain it...

His response "ok then what? You get somehow close to God, without God actually having a physical presence..and then what?"

 

so back to square one...

 

And Alhumdulillah its taken them yearsss to get to a point to accept my religion..and my dad asks me to read him Quran once in a while as a bed time story, and they understand me wanting to go to mosque etc....Its just been a few years, and being an Indian girl living with her parents, its not easy...but I'm grateful for the progress so far compared to the taqiyya I did 5 years ago where I was scared for my life and livelihood...so Alhumdulillah...but its just at times like this where I don't know where to look and how to answer them...I pray for their hidaaya but then I'm scared that I hope Allah has not permanently sealed their hearts, eyes and ears...especially my brother - although younger than me, he's very aggressive, vocal and loves to debates, sounding sooo confident and scary, I go blank with him..if science can't prove it, it doesn't exist and has no basis in his view..

Has anyone dealt with people like that? Or has Allah really sealed their ability to understand and hardened their heart?

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Salam,

 

If all humans can live peacefully, don't kill each others, don't destroy the earth, don't oppress others then we don't need religion.  But, when these negative events are not controlled with set limits then entire humans are at risk.  Religion comes to set the direction and limits so that humans can have more peaceful ways of moving forward.

 

Islam is not against richness but Islam want the rich people not to forget the poor.  Islam want  humans not to be destitute, because it is dangerous.  We are asked to be moderate.  We are not allow to kill others except in self defense and with no other alternatives.

 

The current world is temporary and we all know all living things will taste death.  Therefore, it is temporary.  The life in this world is short and lack of fun (to put in simple language).

 

As for the life in hereafter,  we will have all the fun to the maximum.  However, we need a vehicle to enjoy the fun.  The type of vehicle is based on our actions before we die.  If we make heaven for people on the earth before we die, then we will get good vehicle to travel to the new universe (beyond the 4 billion light years that we can perceive now).  If we do not have a good vehicle, we may end up to be sucked to a red giant star and stay there for 10 billion years until it is running out of fusion energy and exploded and against we be throw unknown space continuum.  People with good vehicles travel together and guided by leaders of good people.  Their vehicles have good guidance system. Those with bad vehicles travel alone.

 

Layman

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As salam alaikum,

 

For some background: My mother is Hindu but more spiritual,doesnt believe in rituals etc., dad neutral about religions and a lot more spiritual, and brother is a downright atheist - I'm Muslim lol..and all of us live together so some of our discussions can be..well..interesting and disturbing..

 

Based on these discussions, I have a question: What is the purpose of creation and afterlife, as per Islam?

 

I understand the purpose of our temporary earthly life is as a test to ensure jannah in the hereafter, through the worship of our creator....but then what? We enter jannah, live there...and then? Whats the point really?

My dad asked me this...and I dodged the question coz I wasn't very sure on how to handle it....his view is that we don't know what happens after death, n there is no way to experience it, so how can you just believe something a book says?

 

 

(wasalam) inshAllah I hope everything works out and your family comes to the path of truth. The purpose of life in Islam is to strive to reach perfection. Enjoin Good and Forbid evil. Continue to struggle in life by doing good and following the deen of truth. The purpose of the afterlfe is simple, Allah created us for heaven, and it is an eternal bliss. This temporary life is nothing compared to heaven. No one denies that life is precious, but what is beyond life is heaven. Where life will forever flourish and all your good deeds will be worth it. The mercy of God is in fact giving us existence, and an eternal one. What is the purpose of working hard in life? Is that not to find an abode and retire peacefully while living in happiness? Do we call that purposeless? Of course not, so saying "then what" for the afterlife is short changing your own self. God doesnt expect anything from us then. God sees us for who were truly are, else why did He command angels to bow down to us? Allah chose us because we are worthy and Allah grants us heaven because He the beneficent. We have down our job by our own will. But the best worshiper is that which worships God because He is worthy of being worshiped and loved. Not for rewards and not for the fear of hell. We believe all this because it is evident to us that in life there must be a purpose, and that life isnt just chance and then, nothing comes from it. We believe it because we have faith in Allah. Allah who is the most just and the all good.

 

Imam As-Sadiq [as] said about the meaning of worship: “Worship is of three kinds: some people worship Allah, because they fear Him – so it is the worship of slaves; and a group worships Allah, Blessed and High is He, to seek reward – so it is the worship of hirelings; and a group worships Allah, Mighty and Great is He, because of (His) love – and this is the worship of the free, and it is the most excellent worship.” (al-Kafi)

 

 

 

Mum believes in re-incarnation and the idea that the soul needs to be freed...but after its freed after several thousands of lifetimes, we don't know what will happen...

 

 

Reincarnation is truly flawed for if it was real it is truly unjust. There is no justice for wrong doers and the good doers did good for the sake of nothing. There is no means to the end. This article refutes it well but I will quote a few parts of it: http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa736

 

The famous philosopher, Sadrul Mutaahhilin (Mullah Sadra) says: "the nafs, in its first level of being brought to existence, stands at the level of nature. Then in proportion to its materialistic motion towards perfection, the nafs evolves all the way through being a plant and an animal to being a human. And if the nafs, at any level fulfills its potential (quwwah), even in the most subtle amount, it is impossible for this actuality (fi’liyyah) to regress back into pure potentiality once more. In addition to this, as was said before, the matter (maddah) and form (surah) are a united entity that bears the two aspects of actuality and potential, that take on the path of evolution together, advancing and developing at any point and chance possible, therefore, it is impossible for a soul that has passed the vegetative or animate level to attach to a form of sperm or fetus (be reincarnated in these forms)."[4]

 

The second flaw in this theory is that how can we claim the oneness of an entity in which hypothetically exists in two different times? Throughout our lives, every single one of us has put behind various stages consisting of diverse physical and psychological traits, but what brings all of these diversities together are links that we call our memories; it is these memories that allow us to call each of us one person, despite all the diversity we experience in our lives. But this can't be said if we believe in reincarnation. How does reincarnation explain the oneness of a person in one life with the person in another life if they have nothing in common, not even memories (because reincarnation says that when one transmigrates into another body, in almost all cases, it forgets all its memories). The physical body cannot be an explanation for unity either because the theory claims that one might return as a woman or a man, a human or an animal, so the two don’t share anything, neither memories, nor the same body. Likewise, psychological similarities also would not help since in that case whichever two people with the same psychological traits would therefore be one, which is obviously an absurd thing to say. In other words, the objection can be put this way; how much psychological similarity is needed in order to determine the unity of two people? Hence we can deduce that the extension of one entity through two separate times is logically unacceptable.[5]

 

 

 

 

My brother says: well we have no idea what happens once we die - so live this life fullest...following religion or rituals will not allow you to maximize your potential in terms of career and the rest coz it takes up too much time

 

Any intellectual being will tell you, that one whom looks towards the future is better than the one who looks only at his present. The argument is this, if there is truly nothing in the end of life, then we Muslims do not lose. This religious was worth living our lives for and we have no regrets for it all makes sense and there is wisdom behind everything. So we are living our lives to the fullest. Now if there was a hell and heaven, well, those who did not believe end up as losers, while we who did end up as winners. It is a win, win for us. What better way of living our life then to do goodness and forbid evil? What is better then being a moral individual? That is was Islam is, it is a religion of morality. No money or status can compare to a good being. A rich arrogant person is worse than a poor moral individual.

 

Who says following religion does not maximize your potential. In fact, not only does it maximize it, but it does so in a moral and a non regretful way. Oh and no scientist knows what happened before the big bang, for science falls apart then. Science is faulty, there is never certainty and it is only empirical. Science cannot tell you what is good or bad. This is a huge flaw in depending on science in your life. Science is a creation of God, His proof.

 

 

 

And ok God will punish those in hell, keep punishing them continuously, but then what? What's the point there? Why would a God do that anyway? What does He get by putting us in heaven or hell?

 

I highly suggest looking up lectures on youtube of the lecturer: Hassanain Rajabali and I highly suggest you kindly ask your family to watch it to understand why you choose to follow Islam. This way they might even become convinced. This years Ramadan series of his was amazing and it answered this specific question.

 

You can find all his lectures for the month of Ramadan I posted here:

http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/235023507-hassanain-rajabali-month-of-ramadan-2014-lectures/

 

I recommend watching the full lecture but the specific answer starts at 20 minutes, but I recommend watching the whole thing. He speaks of a muslim girl almost becoming a jahova witness because she could not fathom hell. Brother Hassanain BEAUTIFULLY explains and answers Allah's mercy regarding hell.

 

 

 

 

 

Please search for him on youtube and find his lectures. Or at least watch the lectures from this ramadan I promise it will solve your questions and clear your doubts.

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=purpose+of+life+rajabali

 

 

(wasalam)

Edited by PureEthics

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Salaamun Alaykum,

 

Understanding the purpose behind creation requires understanding God, for He is the source of creation and also the ground of all being. God is the possessor of all the attributes of perfection, and because His Essence is not compound, all His attributes are one with His Essence and one with each other, so He is absolute knowledge, absolute power, absolute life.

 

He created us and put us into this low world so that by our own effort we can strive to reach Him. In this way we have the potential to attain a much higher level of perfection than if He had just put us directly into Paradise. And a necessary facet of this opportunity for spiritual growth is that we have free will - which means that people can misuse it and will have to be punished in Hell; like a person who damages his own body  and has to undergo surgery.

 

So our purpose is to strive to get closer to God, but God is not a physical being, so it is not a case of quantitative closeness, but qualitative closeness - i.e. to become more and more like God. And this is an infinite journey which will continue in Paradise, and will result in ever increasing levels of perfection, bliss, and fulfilment.

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