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Article appeared Friday, December 14th, 2018 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (551) yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD


How many days on earth do we individually have? Should we reflect about this and also on
what to do in the limited number of days allotted? Could we ask, for example, what is this
temporary life about? Could life be about developing a status, gathering as much wealth as
possible, grabbing and demonstrating power over others, enjoying physical pleasures of life as
much as possible, etc? Which of these things would benefit us individually when we are dead?

What would it be like if we could extend our life beyond death and never die? What if we could
design an eternal life with the things that give us peace, happiness and joy? Given these ideas,
have we ever thought how much we value the life that we have? If we were told, for example,
that we can have the highest of status, all the wealth in the world, be the most powerful and
have whatever pleasures exist, but in return, would have to give up our life, would we agree? If
not, why not? Could it be that holding on to our unique life is more valuable than everything else
put together? Without life, what point would there be, in having these things? Is there anything
that we pursue in our daily life of more value than life itself? Indeed, none of these things are of
any value without the blessing of our own unique life.

So, is it possible to have eternal life? If there are ideas or methods to extend life beyond death,
would these be important to pursue? Would ending up with a peaceful, happy and fulfilling
eternal life beyond death be a worthwhile goal? As we can only see the visible living world
around us and as we don’t have any knowledge of what will happen after death, how and where
can we find out? Would God, our Creator, reveal or inform us about death and its purpose? Or
even about the possibility of life after death? How, where? We know that the Holy Scriptures are
revealed from God, as such, would they contain the answer?

Before we look for answers in the Holy Scriptures, would it be pertinent to ask some logical
questions that help us think about the creation of life and the idea of eternal life after death? For
example, if God Himself is eternal, i.e., unaffected by time, is He likely to create beings that are
temporary, i.e., whose life ends with death? In other words, would it be worthwhile God’s effort
to create human beings for only a few years?

To find answers from the Holy Scriptures, we must first ask questions. For example, if God has
created each individual as an eternal being, what is the purpose of death? In answer to this
question, we find the following Verse in Chapter 67 of the Holy Scripture, the Al-Qur’an.
“He has created Death and (subsequent) Life that He may try which of you is best in
deeds: and He is the Exalted in Might Oft-Forgiving.” [67.2]

What could this Verse mean? He has created the event of Death and then Life again so that He
can reward those with the best deeds. How does having a major event like death help? We all,
generally, fear death. Having “death” as a deadline then allows humans to focus and provides
an opportunity to plan and prepare for the event. As none of us know the exact date and time of
our individual death, which may even be the next moment, how should we live our life?
Imagining that we may die soon, helps us prioritize and plan to do the things that are more
important to us. Being Most Wise and Merciful, God has created Death as a warning. Next
question, what will happen in the life after? Or what is the purpose of the life after death?
“Every soul shall have a taste of death: in the end to Us shall you be brought back. But
those who believe and work deeds of righteousness to them shall We give a Home in
Heaven lofty mansions beneath which flow rivers – to dwell therein forever; an excellent
reward for those who do (good)!” [29.57 – 29.58]

What are the Verses 29.57 and 29.58 informing us? No one can escape death. After death, we
will face our Creator. Those who have believed, i.e., searched for God and established faith and
have done deeds that are righteous, i.e., activities that have pleased God will be rewarded. The
imagery of the reward is tall mansions under which streams will flow. They would continue to
live there forever, i.e., they will have an eternal afterlife rewarded by God. Would such an
eternal life, simply by pleasing God, be a worthwhile goal of our life?

Did the Prophets sent by God, throughout the ages, bring a different message? The following
Verse in the Al-Qur’an confirms,
“Before this (message in the Al-Qur’an) We wrote in the Psalms after the Message
(given to Moses): My servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth."” [21.105]

What was the message that Moses brought? Who was Moses and his brother sent to? Why?

23.45 “Then We sent Moses and his brother Aaron with Our Signs and an
authority manifest.”
To convince Pharaoh and his subjects, Moses and Aaron were sent with authority from God
Himself with nine different signs.
“To Moses We did give nine Clear Signs: ask the Children of Israel: when he came to
them Pharaoh said to him, "O Moses! I consider you indeed to have been worked upon
by sorcery!"” [17.101]

Pharaoh’s arrogance did not allow him to see the truth and reality behind the signs or miracles
being shown by Moses.

23.46 “To Pharaoh and his Chiefs: but they behaved insolently: they were
arrogant people.”
Their arrogance forced them to look for excuses not to believe – it also blinded them from
seeing that Moses and Aaron were simply carriers of the message of mercy sent by God
Himself.

23.47 “They said, "Shall we believe in two men like ourselves? And their people
are subject to us!"”
Complete power was in the hand of Pharaoh. Little did he realize that power is a blessing from
God as well as a responsibility. To point out this fact, God indicates in the Al-Qur’an,
“He (Pharaoh) will go before his people on the Day of Judgment and lead them into the
Fire (as cattle are led to water): but woeful indeed will be this leading (and) the place led
to!” [11.98]

23.48 “So they accused them of falsehood and became of those who were
destroyed.”
As they denied the signs brought by Moses, Pharaoh and his Chiefs were drowned.

23.49 “And We gave Moses the Book in order that they might receive guidance.”
God saved the Children of Israel and proceeded to arrange for revealed guidance through
Moses.