10 Nov Belief in The Hereafter: Part 2
Stages of Life in the Hereafter
4. Resurrection after death
During the history of mankind, the question of “death” occupied people’s minds in the past, it is occupying today and it seems that it will occupy in the future too. Man has the desire to live forever and does not want to die. However, no one can resist death and everybody becomes helpless against death.
The Quran informs us that resurrection is possible by reason and that it will definitely take place in various ways:
a. A being that creates something out of nothing can create it again a second time.
The Quran proves this creation by the following verses:
“And he(man) makes comparisons for us, and forgets his own (Origin and) Creation: He says “Who can give life to (dry) bones and decomposed ones (at that)?” Say “He will give them life Who created them for the first time! For He is well-versed in every kind of creation!” (Ya Seen, 78-79).
In another verse Allah states the following:
“O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm then out of a leech-like clot, then out a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (Our Power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much)” (Al-Hajj, 5).
In this verse, Allah first mentions the course of man’s first creation concisely for the people who deny resurrection after death. Then He explains the stages of his first creation beginning from the stage of sperm to his coming to the world. Then with these statements He reminds man his miraculous creation out of nothing and makes man think logically about his second creation in the hereafter following his death. In addition He emphasizes that it should not be seen as far from being rational.
b. A being that creates something difficult can definitely create something easy.
The creation of the earth and heavens is more difficult than the creation of man. Allah, who created the earth and heavens and holds them in the spaces without any support, is definitely capable of creating man again after his death. Furthermore, the first creation of man is more difficult than his second creation. Allah, who is capable of creating man for the first time, is more capable of creating him for the second time. This meaning is stated in the Quran through the following verses:
“See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and never wearied with their creation is able to give life to the dead?” (Al-Ahqaf, 33.)
“It is He Who begins (the process of) creation; then repeats it; and for Him it is most easy.” (Ar,Room, 27.)
“Were We then weary with the first Creation, that they should be in confused doubt about a new Creation?” (Qaf, 15.)
“(O ye people!) And your creation or your resurrection is in no wise but as an individual soul: for Allah is He Who hears and sees (all things).” (Luqman, 28).
It is explained in these verses that Allah, who created the heavens and the earth can create man more easily. It is also stated that since He was not incapable in the first creation, He will definitely not be incapable in the second creation, which is easier than the first one. Attention is attracted to the fact that men will be resurrected and come out of their graves. It is also emphasized that the creation of men out of nothing and their resurrection after death is as easy as the creation and resurrection of one man.
Difficulty and easiness depend on men
As a matter of fact concepts like difficulty and easiness are relative concepts. They are difficult or easy for us, for Allah there is nothing like difficult or easy. Everything is easy for him. We are weak beings created with a limited power, knowledge, will and all other things. Allah is eternal in all aspects and He is the supreme creator, who is omnipotent over all things. Since Allah’s power, knowledge, will, all of his attributes and names are endless, there is no difference for Him between few and many, big and small in creation. Therefore there is no difference for Him between the creation of an atom and the sun, creation of billions of men and one man. Nothing is difficult for Him. For Him to create a spring is as easy as to create a flower.
Allah addresses us in the Quran so that we can understand; therefore He uses those statements. As a matter of fact there is no difference for Him between the creation of an atom or the whole universe.
c. Allah, who revives the earth that is dead, can revive man too.
“And We send down from the sky Rain charged with blessing, and We produce therewith Gardens and Grain for harvests; And tall (and stately) palm-trees, with shoots of fruit-stalks piled one over another― As sustenance for (Allah’s) Servants;― and We give (new) life therewith to land that is dead: Thus will be the Resurrection” (Qaf, 9-11.).
The sultans that have the power of state and other groups that have the power reward people who obey the laws that they made and punish people who disobey them. Similarly, Allah, who has a magnificent sultanate of divinity, will reward those who obey Him and punish those who disobey Him. However, the rewards and punishments in this world are not applied sufficiently. So, there is another world where they will be applied completely. That world is the hereafter. Therefore everybody will be sent there willy-nilly.
The names of Allah necessitates the existence of the hereafter
The names of Allah show and want the hereafter and the resurrection there. Allah is eternal. Therefore His names and the manifestations of these names will be eternal. For instance the manifestations of Allah’s names, the Generous and the All Compassionate, are seen in the universe in the maximum way.
Allah is generous. That is, He has endless generosity. We see it in his granting various fruit and vegetables in the universe. He fills the laps of the trees with fruit and sends presents to the heads of plants. The world of plants seems to be servants. They carry Allah’s grants in convoys to men. The world of animals becomes another convoy. They bring grants like milk and meat. They are all evidences for an endless generosity and the owner of that generosity.
However, the fact that man’s life is short shows that man could not and will not obtain the endless generosity in a short time. However, endless generosity wants to grant endlessly. Since the world is mortal, the manifestation of this name of Allah’s necessitates the existence of an eternal world where men will receive endless grants.
Similarly, Allah is All Compassionate. That is, He has endless compassion. One of its evidences is that He put compassion in the hearts of all mothers and ensured the protection of babies through compassion. For instance; a hen feeds its chick when it is young but takes its grain from it by hitting it when it gets old. This shows that it is not the mother that is compassionate towards the chick. It is Allah, who gives the mother the feeling of compassion and takes it back when its function ends. The protection of all young animals and babies through the compassion that is given to all mothers in the universe is the evidence for an endless compassion.
Through this compassion, mothers take pleasure in looking after their babies. A mother even sacrifices her life for her baby. However, the thought of parting from her baby without returning again makes the mother think of parting from her baby eternally; so this time compassion torments the mother. The owner of an endless compassion does not allow this eternal parting; because it is contrary to real compassion. So the evidences of the endless compassion seen in the universe want an eternal togetherness. He does not allow eternal disappearance. This shows the existence of life in the hereafter and that it is eternal.
Allah is also perfectly wise. That is, He has endless wisdom. We understand this wisdom by seeing that everything in the universe is created in accordance with a wisdom and purpose. For instance, when we are asked “Why are our ears like bowls?”, we say “so that they will collect the sounds”. When we ask “Why are leaves green?” a purpose or a benefit is stated. All sciences examine the universe. They discover wisdom, purpose or a benefit in everything and tell us about it. That is, they prove that the administrator of the universe operates with endless wisdom. Wise creation is opposite to unnecessariness, purposelessness, immoderation and planlessness. That is, a Wise being does not waste a being that operates wisely. So, the maker of the universe, who makes the whole universe a servant for man, does not put man into the ground so that he will not resurrect again, wasting all of the outcomes of the universe. So the wisdoms in the universe prove the existence of an eternal world.
We see that Allah gives each being the most suitable food and drink and that He feeds each being in the nicest and most affectionate way as a necessity of his name, the Sustainer. Since this world is mortal and transitory, His names are not manifested fully here. The manifestation of these names completely, fully and eternally necessitates the existence of the hereafter world and the resurrection of those who die here. Therefore Allah will bring the hereafter and revive us there again.
It should not be forgotten that when we, men, came to this world found everything at our disposal, like a newborn baby. A newborn baby does not prepare its cradle and the living environment that is necessary for it; similarly man did not prepare the living environment necessary for him when he came to this world. He found everything at his disposal when he came to this world. The Being that brought us here did not ask us before we came to this world whether we wanted to come here or not and did not consult us.
That Supreme Creator does not ask us when he takes us from childhood to youth, from youth to the old age and from old age to death whether we want them to happen or not. That is, he did not ask or consult us when He created us out of nothing and brought to this world; He does not ask or consult us when he takes us from this world; nor will he ask us when resurrecting us and gathering us.
The fact that a baby in the uterus denies the other world because it cannot perceive the world does not negate the world; similarly the fact that we cannot see the hereafter and that we deny it because we do not know its true nature does not negate the hereafter world, Paradise and Hell. To deny the hereafter does not prevent its existence. It prevents us from entering Paradise. What we should do is not to deny the hereafter but to believe that after death the gathering morning will come and the resurrection will take place as definitely as we believe that winter comes after autumn and morning comes after night and prepare ourselves for the hereafter with belief and good deeds.
With our denial we will be deprived of the happiness of the eternal Paradise life and will suffer from a great and irreparable harm. We will not revive by our own will and power in the hereafter. Allah will revive us just as we did not come to this world by our own will and power and Allah brought us by His power. Creation and resurrection are Allah’s deeds, not ours. What is impossible in terms our limited power is very easy for Allah’s power, and He will do it when it is due.
On the other hand, when we have a look at the baby in the uterus, we see that organs like hands, feet, eyes and ears are not necessary for the baby there and that it does not use them there. We understand by reason that the creator that gave it these organs gave them to the baby to use them in the world outside the uterus and that He created it for the outside world. Similarly, we cannot use some of the feelings that were given to us in this world sufficiently here.
What is more, our feelings like living eternally and the desire of immortality have no corresponding feelings in this world. So the place to satisfy these desires is not here but the hereafter. This world is transitory for man like the uterus, as for the hereafter, it is the place to live eternally. The feelings of man and the spiritual and material instruments given to him do not fit in this world, and they want the hereafter.
Resurrection after death will take place both bodily and spiritually. This is very easy for Allah. As it is possible to give light to all of the lamps in the world from one center, the dead bodies will be given life in an instant. Just as the members of an army that take a rest come together at once, so will the souls come to the bodies and man will be resurrected in the twinkling of an eye.