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Death Resurrection Hell

Harun Yahya (Adnan Oktar)



Did you suppose that We created you for amusement and that you would not return to Us? (Surat al-Muminun: 115)



About the Author

Now writing under the pen-name of HARUN YAHYA, Adnan Oktar was born in Ankara in 1956. Having completed his primary and secondary education in Ankara, he studied fine arts at Istanbul's Mimar Sinan University and philosophy at Istanbul University. Since the 1980s, he has published many books on political, scientific, and faith-related issues. Harun Yahya is well-known as the author of important works disclosing the imposture of evolutionists, their invalid claims, and the dark liaisons between Darwinism and such bloody ideologies as fascism and communism.

Harun Yahya's works, translated into 63 different languages, constitute a collection for a total of more than 55,000 pages with 40,000 illustrations.

His pen-name is a composite of the names Harun (Aaron) and Yahya (John), in memory of the two esteemed Prophets who fought against their peoples' lack of faith. the Prophet's seal on his books' covers is symbolic and is linked to their contents. It represents the Qur'an (the Final Scripture) and Prophet Muhammad (saas), last of the prophets. Under the guidance of the Qur'an and the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet [saas]), the author makes it his purpose to disprove each fundamental tenet of irreligious ideologies and to have the "last word," so as to completely silence the objections raised against religion. He uses the seal of the final Prophet (saas), who attained ultimate wisdom and moral perfection, as a sign of his intention to offer the last word.

All of Harun Yahya's works share one single goal: to convey the Qur'an's message, encourage readers to consider basic faith-related issues such as Allah's existence and unity and the hereafter; and to expose irreligious systems' feeble foundations and perverted ideologies.

Harun Yahya enjoys a wide readership in many countries, from India to America, England to Indonesia, Poland to Bosnia, Spain to Brazil, Malaysia to Italy, France to Bulgaria and Russia. Some of his books are available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Urdu, Arabic, Albanian, Chinese, Swahili, Hausa, Dhivehi (spoken in Maldives), Russian, Serbo-Croat (Bosnian), Polish, Malay, Uygur Turkish, Indonesian, Bengali, Danish and Swedish.

Greatly appreciated all around the world, these works have been instrumental in many people recovering faith in Allah and gaining deeper insights into their faith. His books' wisdom and sincerity, together with a distinct style that's easy to understand, directly affect anyone who reads them. Those who seriously consider these books, can no longer advocate atheism or any other perverted ideology or materialistic philosophy, since these books are characterized by rapid effectiveness, definite results, and irrefutability. Even if they continue to do so, it will be only a sentimental insistence, since these books refute such ideologies from their very foundations. All contemporary movements of denial are now ideologically defeated, by means of the books written by Harun Yahya.

This is no doubt a result of the Qur'an's wisdom and lucidity. the author modestly intends to serve as a means in humanity's search for Allah's right path. No material gain is sought in the publication of these works.

Those who encourage others to read these books, to open their minds and hearts and guide them to become more devoted servants of Allah, render an invaluable service.

Meanwhile, it would only be a waste of time and energy to propagate other books that create confusion in people's minds, lead them into ideological confusion, and that clearly have no strong and precise effects in removing the doubts in people's hearts, as also verified from previous experience. It is impossible for books devised to emphasize the author's literary power rather than the noble goal of saving people from loss of faith, to have such a great effect. Those who doubt this can readily see that the sole aim of Harun Yahya's books is to overcome disbelief and to disseminate the Qur'an's moral values. the success and impact of this service are manifested in the readers' conviction.

One point should be kept in mind: the main reason for the continuing cruelty, conflict, and other ordeals endured by the vast majority of people is the ideological prevalence of disbelief. This can be ended only with the ideological defeat of disbelief and by conveying the wonders of creation and Qur'anic morality so that people can live by it. Considering the state of the world today, leading into a downward spiral of violence, corruption and conflict, clearly this service must be provided speedily and effectively, or it may be too late.

In this effort, the books of Harun Yahya assume a leading role. by the will of Allah, these books will be a means through which people in the twenty-first century will attain the peace, justice, and happiness promised in the Qur'an.

To the Reader

A special chapter is assigned to the collapse of the theory of evolution because this theory constitutes the basis of all anti-spiritual philosophies. Since Darwinism rejects the fact of creation—and therefore, Allah's existence—over the last 150 years it has caused many people to abandon their faith or fall into doubt. It is therefore an imperative service, a very important duty to show everyone that this theory is a deception. Since some readers may find the opportunity to read only one of our books, we think it appropriate to devote a chapter to summarize this subject.

All the author's books explain faith-related issues in light of Qur'anic verses, and invite readers to learn Allah's words and to live by them. All the subjects concerning Allah's verses are explained so as to leave no doubt or room for questions in the reader's mind. the books' sincere, plain, and fluent style ensures that everyone of every age and from every social group can easily understand them. by means of their effective, lucid narrative, they can be read at one sitting. Even those who rigorously reject spirituality are influenced by the facts these books document and cannot refute the truthfulness of their contents.

This and all the other books by the author can be read individually, or discussed in a group. Readers eager to profit from the books will find discussion very useful, letting them relate their reflections and experiences to one another.

In addition, it will be a great service to Islam to contribute to the publication and reading of these books, written solely for the pleasure of Allah. the author's books are all extremely convincing. for this reason, to communicate true religion to others, one of the most effective methods is encouraging them to read these books.

We hope the reader will look through the reviews of his other books at the back of this book. His rich source material on faith-related issues is very useful, and a pleasure to read.

In these books, unlike some other books, you will not find the author's personal views, explanations based on dubious sources, styles that are unobservant of the respect and reverence due to sacred subjects, nor hopeless, pessimistic arguments that create doubts in the mind and deviations in the heart.

Contents

1. Death

Introduction

Superstitions and Facts

The Veil of Heedlessness

The Actual Death and What Is Observed About Death

The Temporary Life of This World

The Situation of Those in This World And The Hereafter Who Do Not Take Lessons

From Death

2. Resurrection

Introduction

The Death of the Universe

The Second Blast of the Trumpet And Raising of the Dead

3. Hell

Introduction

The Torments in Hell

The Spiritual Torment in Hell

4. The Deception of Evolution

Death

Say: ‘Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible and He will inform you about what you did.’ (Surat al-Jumu‘a: 8)

Introduction

Death may catch up with you at any time. Who knows, perhaps this is the moment. Or, it may be much closer than you have ever expected.

These lines may be the last opportunity, the last reminder, the last warning before death comes upon you. as you proceed with these lines, you can never know that you will still be alive in the next hour. Even if it proves to be so, nothing can guarantee you another hour. Let alone an hour, not even after a single moment, is it certain that you will be still living. There is no guarantee that you will ever finish reading this book. Death will, most likely, come upon you at a time when, only a moment before, you never thought about dying.

You will most certainly die, as will all your loved ones. Before you or after you, they will certainly die. a hundred years from now, there will not be a single soul you are familiar with in this world.

Endless aims pertaining to life occupy man's minds; to finish high school, to enter university, to graduate, to have a respectable occupation, to marry, to bring up children, to lead a peaceful life… These aside, there are thousands of others devised to address one's personal circumstances.

Death is one of the few things in life certain to occur. This is a one hundred percent certainty.

After years of hard work, a student succeeds in entering the university, yet may die on the way to class. or someone who has recently been hired for a job may lose his life on his first morning commute to his work. a traffic accident may end the lives of a newly married couple on their wedding day. a successful businessman may prefer to fly to save time, and his life may end in an unexpected way.

Leaving behind plans doomed to remain unfinished for all eternity, they head for a point of no return—and yet it is a destination they never planned for. Ironically, for years, they spent too much time detailing plans which would never be put into operation, yet never gave a thought to the one certain thing—death—that would happen.

How then should a man of wisdom and conscience establish his priorities? Does he have to make his plans for the one thing certain to happen or for something unlikely to happen? Some people give priority to goals which they can never be certain of accomplishing. No matter which phase of life they are passing through, they resolutely plan for a better and more fulfilling future.

This tendency would be quite rational, if man was immortal. Yet the fact remains that all plans are doomed to that absolute end, called death. Thus it is irrational to disregard death, which is certain to occur, and devote all one's attention to all those things which may or may not materialize.

Yet, owing to an incomprehensible heedlessness enslaving their minds, some people fail to notice this obvious fact. These people strive for the goals they have set for this world, as if they will live a very long life or even as if they will not die. They never think about their real life which is due to start with death. They do not prepare themselves for it. Once they are resurrected, they are faced with this truth and feel deep remorse because of the irrecoverable mistakes they have made all through their lives.

The intention in writing this book is to make man ponder over and warn him against an imminent and ineluctable event…

Avoiding thinking about it cannot, by any means, provide a solution.

Superstitions and Facts

Everyone who appears on this earth is destined to die. Man only lives until a certain day and then dies. Some die very young, while still babies. Others go through all phases of life and face death in their latter years. Nothing a man possesses, neither property, fortune, status, fame, grandeur, confidence nor good looks can repel death. Without exception, all men are helpless against death and will remain so.

The majority of people avoid thinking about death. It never occurs to them that they will be confronted with this absolute end someday. Some people harbor the superstitious belief that if they avoid the thought of it, that it will make them immune from death. in daily conversations, those who intend to talk about death are interrupted and cut short. Someone who does talk about death, recalls a sign from Allah, and even if it is slightly, contributes to the removal of a thick cloud of heedlessness that covers in people’s minds. Nevertheless, some people who make indifference a way of life, feel uneasy when such "disturbing" facts are presented to them. Yet, the more they try to escape from the thought of death, the more they are obsessed by thoughts about the moment they might die. Their impetuous attitude will determine the intensity of the terror and bewilderment they will experience at the moment of death, on the Day of Judgment, and during the eternal torment.

You can never find a man who has resisted ageing and death. This is impossible because man has no influence whatsoever on his body or on his own life. That he himself did not decide his birth makes this fact obvious. Another piece of evidence is man's desperateness in the face of death. the owner of life is the One Who grants it to man. and whenever He wills, He takes it back. Allah, the Owner of life, informs man about this in the verse He revealed to His Prophet (saas):

We did not give any human being before you immortality. and if you die, will they then be immortal? (Surat al-Anbiya': 34)

At this moment, there are millions of people living around the world. From this we conclude that countless people appeared and passed away since the creation of the first man on earth. They all died without exception. Death is a certain end: for people in the past as well for those currently alive. No one can avoid this inevitable end. This truth is revealed in the Qur'an thus:

Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Resurrection. Anyone who is distanced from the Fire and admitted to the Garden has triumphed. the life of the world is just the enjoyment of delusion. (Surah Al 'Imran: 185)

Falsely Assuming Death to be Coincidence

Death, as is the case with all other incidents, happens by Allah's decree. Just as the birth date of a man is predestined, so also is the date of his death right down to the very last second. Man rushes towards that last moment, rapidly leaving behind every hour, every minute granted to him. the death of everyone, its location and time, as well as the way one dies are all predetermined.

Despite this, however, some people assume death to be the last point of a logical sequence of events, whereas its actual reasons are known only to Allah. Everyday death stories appear in newspapers. After reading these stories, some people make ignorant comments like: "He could have been saved, if necessary precautions had been taken" or "He would not have died, if so and so had happened." Not a minute longer or less can a person live, other than the time determined for him. However, people, who are remote from the consciousness granted by faith, view death as a component of a sequence of coincidences. in the Qur'an, Allah warns believers against this distorted rationale which is peculiar to unbelievers:

You who have faith! Do not be like those who disbelieve and say of their brothers, when they went on journeys or military expeditions, 'If they had only been with us, they would not have died or been killed.' Allah will cause them to regret their words. It is Allah Who ordains life and death. Allah sees what you do. (Surah Al 'Imran: 156)

Assuming death to be a coincidence is sheer imprudence. as suggested in the verse above, this gives great spiritual anguish and irresistible trouble to man. for unbelievers losing a relative or a loved one is a cause of anguish and remorse. Attributing death to bad luck or negligence, they think there could be some leeway to avoid death. This is the rationale which indeed adds to their grief and regret. This grief and regret, however, is nothing but the torment of disbelief.

Nevertheless, contrary to the received wisdom, the cause of death is neither an accident, nor a disease nor anything else. It is surely Allah Who creates all these causes. Once the time granted to us in our destiny terminates, our life ends for these apparent reasons. Meanwhile, none of the material resources devoted to saving one from death will bring another breath of life. Allah reveals this Divine law in the following verse:

No self can die except with Allah's permission, at a pre-determined time... (Surah Al 'Imran: 145)

A believer is aware of the temporary nature of the life of this world. He knows that our Lord, Who gave him all the blessings he has enjoyed in this world, will take his soul whenever He wills and call him to account for his deeds. However, since he has spent his entire life to earn Allah's good pleasure, he does not worry about his death. Our Prophet Muhammad (saas) also referred to this good character in one of his prayers:

Jabir ibn Abdullah narrated, "When Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) commenced the prayer he recited: Allah is the Greatest; then said: Verily my prayer, my sacrifices, my life and my death are for Allah, the Lord of the worlds." (Al-Tirmidhi, 262)

The Distorted Understanding of Destiny

People entertain many misconceptions about destiny, especially when death is the issue. False ideas, e.g. that one may "defeat one's destiny" or "change one's destiny" are prevalent. Deeming their expectations and assumptions to be destiny, some people believe it is destiny that changes when events do not proceed as they anticipate or predict. They assume an unwise attitude and act as if they have read destiny beforehand and events have not proceeded in line with what they have read. Such a distorted and inconsistent rationale is surely the product of an inadequate understanding of destiny.

Destiny is Allah's perfect creation of all events past and future in timelessness. Allah is the One Who creates the concepts of time and space from nothing, Who keeps time and space under His control and Who is not bound by them. the sequence of events which was experienced in the past or which will be experienced in the future is, moment by moment, planned and created in the Sight of Allah.

Allah creates time, thus He is not bound by it. in His Sight, both the beginning and end of an event are plain. Similarly, there is no doubt about where this event is situated on the plane of eternity. Everything has already taken place and finished. This is similar to a person watching a movie; just as the person cannot exercise any influence on the movie and change it, human beings who play their individual roles in life cannot influence the flow of events recorded on the destiny. Human beings have no influence whatsoever on destiny. Just the contrary, it is destiny which is the determining factor in people's lives. Man, an absolute component of destiny, is not separate and independent from it. Man is unable to go beyond the boundaries of destiny. for a better understanding, we can draw a parallel between a man and an actor in a film. the actor cannot slip out of the film, acquire a physical existence and start making changes in the film by deleting unfavorable scenes or adding some new ones. This would surely be an irrational suggestion.

Consequently, it is impossible to defeat destiny or divert the flow of events. One who says: "I defeated my destiny." is only deceiving himself—and the fact that he does so is a matter of his destiny.

For example, a person may remain in coma for days. It may seem unlikely that he will revive. Yet, if he does recover, this does not mean that "he defeated his fate" or "doctors changed his fate." This is simply an indication that his time is not yet over. His recovery is nothing but a component of his own ineluctable fate. His sickness and recovery are like that of all other things determined in the Sight of Allah. Allah reveals in the Qur'an thus:

and no living thing lives long or has its life cut short without that being in a Book. That is easy for Allah. (Surat al-Fatir: 11)

Our Prophet (saas) said the following to a believer who was praying to Allah to enable her to derive benefit from her loved ones:

You have asked from Allah about durations of life already set, and the length of days already allotted and the sustenances the share of which has been fixed. Allah would not do anything earlier before its due time, or He would not delay anything beyond its due time. (Book 33, Number 6438, Sahih Muslim)

According to another piece of false belief, the death of a person dying in his 80s is "destiny" whereas the death of a baby, a young or a middle-aged man is a "dire event." to be able to accept death as a natural phenomenon, some people try to make death fit their established criteria. According to these heedless people, death seems acceptable after a long and severe illness while, death by a sudden sickness or accident is an untimely disaster. That is why some people often meet death in a rebellious spirit. However such stance is a clear sign of being unaware of Allah's justice, infinite compassion and the fact that Allah creates everything for good and with wisdom. Those nurturing such a frame of mind will be doomed to live in constant grief and trouble in this life unless they submit themselves fully to Allah.

The False Belief in Reincarnation

One of the common irrational beliefs people hold about death is that "reincarnation" is a possibility. Reincarnation means that on the physical death of the body, the soul transmigrates to or is born again in another body with a separate identity in a different time and location. Recently, it has become a perverted movement attracting many adherents among unbelievers and followers of superstitious beliefs.

In technical terms, the reasons why such superstitious beliefs receive support—on the basis of no concrete evidence whatsoever—are the concerns disbelieving people subconsciously harbor. Having no faith in the hereafter, people are afraid of being reduced to insignificance after death. Those of poor faith, on the other hand, feel uneasy about the thought of being sent to hell since they are aware, or at least, consider it a probability, that Allah's justice entails their punishment. for both, however, the idea of the rebirth of the soul in other bodies at various times sounds extremely alluring. Thus, particular circles who exploit this distorted belief succeed in making people believe in this fallacy with the help of a little window-dressing. That their followers do not demand any further evidence encourages the efforts of these opportunists.

Such a perverted belief also finds adherents in Muslim circles. These are mostly the type of Muslims who are anxious to project an intellectual and liberal self-image. There is another serious dimension to this issue that deserves mention; such people strive to confirm their views with the help of verses in the Qur'an. to this end, they distort the explicit meanings of the verses and fabricate their own interpretations. Our intention here is to emphasize that this perverted belief is totally at variance with the Qur'an and Islam and wholly contradictory to the verses of the Qur'an which are absolutely precise.

These circles claim that there are a few verses in the Qur'an which corroborate reincarnation. One of these verses they mention is the following:

They will say, 'Our Lord, twice You caused us to die and twice You gave us life. We admit our wrong actions. Is there no way out?' (Surah Ghafir: 11)

On the basis of this verse, people who believe in reincarnation claim the following: man is given a new life after he has lived in this life for some time and then dies. This is the second time he comes into being and also the period during which his soul completes its development. After the second death following this second life, they claim, man is resurrected in the hereafter.

From the verse, it is evident that man experiences two states of living and dying. in this context, a third state of being dead or alive is out of question. This being the case, one question comes to mind: "What was man's initial state? Being dead or alive?" We find the answer to this question in the following verse:

How can you reject Allah? Did He not give you life when you were dead and will He not cause you to die and then give you life again? Will you not return to Him at last? (Surat al-Baqara: 28)

The verse is self-explanatory; initially, man is dead. in other words, owing to the very nature of his creation, he is originally made up of inanimate matter such as water, earth, etc., as the verses inform. Then, Allah made this heap of inanimate matter alive, "created and shaped" it. This is the first death and thus the first rising from the dead. Some time after this first rising from death, life ends and man dies. He returns to earth again, just as in the first phase, and is reduced to insignificance. This is the second transition to the state of death. the second and last event of rising from the dead is the one taking place in the hereafter. Since this is the case, there is not a second resurrection in the life of this world. Otherwise, this would necessitate a third resurrection. However, there is no reference to a third resurrection in any of the verses. Both in Surah Ghafir: 11, and Surat al-Baqara: 28, there is no reference suggesting the possibility of a second resurrection in the life of this world. on the contrary, these verses explicitly reveal the existence of one resurrection in this world and another one in the hereafter.

In addition, several other verses in the Qur'an make it clear that there is only one life where man is put to the test and that it is in the life of this world. That there is no return to this life after death is stated in the following verse:

When death comes to a wrongdoer, he says, 'My Lord, send me back again, so that perhaps I may act rightly regarding the things I failed to do!' 'No indeed! It is just words he utters. Before them shall stand a barrier until the Day they are raised up.' (Surat al-Mu'minun: 99-100)

The dialogues in the verse make it clear that after death, there is no return to this life. Meanwhile, in this verse, Allah draws our attention to the fact that unbelievers entertain desperate hopes about a second raising from the dead, a second return to this life. However, the verse clarifies that these are just words suggested by unbelievers which have no validity.

That the people of paradise will not experience another death other than the "first" death is described in the following verse:

They will not taste any death there—except for the first one. He will safeguard them from the punishment of the Blazing Fire. a favor from your Lord. That is the Great Victory. (Surat ad-Dukhan: 56-57)

The great bliss of the people of paradise is described in another verse. This bliss is due to the fact that they will not experience another death except for the first one:

Are we not going to die, except for our first death? Are we not going to be punished? Truly this is the Great Victory! (Surat as-Saffat: 58-60)

The above verses leave no room for further questions. the conclusion is, there is only one death which man experiences. at this stage, the following question may arise: "Despite the reference to two deaths in the previous verses, why is only one death mentioned in Surat as-Saffat: 58?" the answer to this question is given in the 56th verse of Surat ad-Dukhan, which says: "They will not taste any death there—except for the first one." Indeed, there is one and only one death that man meets consciously. He encounters it, and with all his senses, perceives it. This is the death one meets at the moment his life ends. He surely cannot perceive the very first state of death since at that time he is deprived of senses and consciousness.

In the face of such definite and clear explanations as the Qur'an brings, maintaining that there are more deaths and states of rising from the dead and holding that there is transmigration of the soul would be an overt denial of the Qur'an verses.

The Veil of Heedlessness

Man is intrinsically selfish; he is extremely sensitive about issues linked to his own interests. Ironically, he displays indifference towards death, which ought to be a matter of paramount concern. in the Qur'an, this state of mind peculiar to "those who do not hold firmly to Faith" is defined by Allah in one word: "heedlessness".

The meaning of heedlessness is a deficiency in full comprehension of facts owing to a blurring of awareness or even total unawareness and the resultant failure to arrive at sound judgments and give pertinent responses. an example of this is given in the following verse:

Mankind's Reckoning has drawn very close to them, yet they heedlessly turn away. (Surat al-Anbiya': 1)

People feel certain that one who is afflicted by a fatal or incurable disease will die. Yet, no less than this patient, these people who harbor such feelings of certainty, too, will die. That this will happen some time in the future or very soon does not change this fact. Often, heedlessness obscures this truth. Maybe death will come upon him long before it comes upon that person with a fatal disease.

Family members grieve over patients on their deathbeds. Yet, hardly ever do they grieve over themselves, who will definitely die one day. However, given the certainty of the event, the response should not vary depending on whether it occurs shortly or at some far-off time.

If, in the face of death, grief is the correct response to give, then everyone should immediately start grieving for himself or for another, before the time of death comes. Or, he should overcome his heedlessness and strive to have a deeper understanding of death.

To this end, being acquainted with the reasons for heedlessness will be useful.

Causes for Heedlessness

— a Lack of Sagacity: Some people are not accustomed to thinking over serious issues. Making heedlessness a way of living, they do not think about death. Trivial issues, already "congesting" their minds, do not allow them to give serious thought to grave issues. Thus, they spend their lives drifting in the daily flow of events. Meanwhile, at the death of somebody, or when the conversation turns to the subject of death, they derive comfort from blurted phrases and simply avoid the subject.

— the Complexity and Vividness of Life: Life flows very fast and it is alluringly vivid. in the absence of exceptional mental effort, man is likely to take no notice of death, which may overcome him sooner or later. This is true especially for people who do not comprehend destiny, putting trust in Allah and submission to Him. From the moment these people become conscious of themselves, they strive to ensure a good living. Such people constantly chase after new plans, interests and objectives and do not ponder on death. and one day, they unpredictably and therefore with no preparation, face the reality of death. but then it is too late for them.

— the Deception of Population Increase: One of the reasons for heedlessness is the recurrence of births. the population of the world keeps increasing; it never shrinks. Once dragged into the spiral of life, however, man may, because of misconceptions, believe in alluring yet utterly false notions like "births replace deaths", thereby maintaining an equilibrium of population. Such a rationale makes conditions ripe for the formation of a heedless outlook upon death. However, if from now on, no more births ever occurred around the world, we would still witness deaths one after another and, as a result, a shrinking world population. Then the horror of death would start to be felt. Man would see the disappearance of the people surrounding him one by one and would realize that the inevitable end would likewise afflict him. Years pass by, but still every day, those still alive go to sleep in a state of anxiety over whether the next day it would be their turn. Never do they fail to remember death, not for one second.

Ironically, the actual situation is no different from the aforementioned example. New-borns have no effect whatsoever on the ones destined to die. This is only a psychological misconception. the inhabitants of the world who lived 150 years ago are not around today. the following generations did not save them from death. Likewise, 100 years from now, those currently living, with a few exceptions, will not be alive. That is because the world is not a permanent place for man.

Methods of Self-Deception

About from the reasons which make us disregard death and plunge into heedlessness, there are also certain defense mechanisms which people employ to deceive themselves. a few of these mechanisms are mentioned below.

— Postponing thinking about death to the latter years of life: People generally take it for granted that they will live until their mid-sixties or seventies. This explains why generally young and middle-aged people employ this defense mechanism. With such calculations in mind, they postpone thinking about such issues to the latter years of their lives. the latter years of life are inescapably the time when one cannot get the best out of life and this period is thought by many people to be the most appropriate phase in which to think sedulously about death and become prepared for the next life. This also brings spiritual relief, since it provides a sense of doing something for the hereafter.

Nevertheless, it is evident that making such long-term and inconclusive plans makes no sense for one whose next breath is not even guaranteed. Every day he sees many people of his age or even younger ones dying. Obituaries constitute a considerable part of daily newspapers. Every hour, television channels report news of deaths. Often man witnesses the death of people surrounding him. Yet, little does he think that people around him will also witness his own death or read about it in the newspaper. on the other hand, even if he lives for a very long time, nothing will change in his life, since his mentality will remain the same. Until he is actually facing death, he just postpones thinking about death.

— Making the assumption that one will "serve one's sentence" in hell only for a certain period: This view, which is prevalent in society, is inaccurate. in no part of the Qur'an do we find any reference to "serving one's sentence" in hell for some time and then being forgiven, unless Allah wills so. Quite the contrary, in all relevant verses, there is specific mention of the separation of believers and unbelievers on the Day of Judgments. Again we know from the Qur'an that believers will remain in paradise for all eternity, while unbelievers will be cast into hell, where they will suffer everlasting torment:

They say, 'The Fire will only touch us for a number of days.' Say, 'Have you made a contract with Allah—then Allah will not break His contract—or are you rather saying about Allah what you do not know? 'No indeed! Those who accumulate bad actions and are surrounded by their mistakes, are the Companions of the Fire, remaining in it timelessly, forever. Whereas those who believe and do right actions, such people are the Companions of the Garden, remaining in it timelessly, forever. (Surat al-Baqara: 80-82)

In another verse Allah reveals thus:

That is because they say, the Fire will only touch us for a number of days.' Their inventions have deluded them in their religion. (Surah Al 'Imran: 24)

Hell is a place of unimaginable torment. Hell is the place where the attributes of Allah, al-Jabbar (The Compeller) and al-Qahhar (The Subduer) are manifested to the utmost degree. the torment in hell is incomparable to any pain in the world. a person who cannot endure even a burn on his finger saying he can readily undergo such torture is merely demonstrating weak-mindedness. Furthermore, a person who does not feel terrified by the Wrath of Allah fails to give Allah due esteem. Such a person is entirely deprived of wisdom.

— Thinking "I already deserve paradise": There is also a group who assume themselves to be the people of paradise. Engaging in some minor deeds they assume to be good deeds and avoiding some wicked deeds, they think they will go to heaven. Steeped in superstition and mouthing heresies which they associate with religion, these people actually adhere to a faith completely divorced from that of the Qur'an. They present themselves as true believers. However, according to the verses in the Qur'an as such people ascribe partners to Allah, they are not true believers.:

Give them this parable. Once there were two men. to one of them We gave two vineyards surrounded by date-palms, with some cultivated land in between. Both gardens yielded their crops and did not suffer any loss, and We made a river flow right through the middle of them. He was a man of wealth and property and he said to his companion, while conversing with him, 'I have more wealth than you and more people under me.' He entered his garden and wronged himself by saying, 'I do not think that this will ever end. I do not think the Hour of Doom will ever come. but if I should be sent back to my Lord, I will definitely get something better in return.' His companion, with whom he was conversing, said to him, 'Do you then disbelieve in Him Who created you from dust, then from a drop of sperm, and then formed you as a man? He is, however, Allah, my Lord, and I will not associate anyone with my Lord. (Surat al-Kahf: 32-38)

With the words, "But if I should be sent back to my Lord", the garden owner expresses his lack of sound faith in Allah and the hereafter and consequently reveals that he is an idolater who harbors doubts. Meanwhile, he claims that he is a superior believer. Moreover, he feels no doubts that Allah will reward him with paradise. This false belief is very common among people.

These people, deep inside, know that they are entirely fraudulent, yet once they are questioned about it, they try to prove their innocence. They claim that observing the commandments of religion is not so important. Furthermore, they try to clear themselves, claiming that the seemingly religious people they see around them are immoral and dishonest. They try to prove that they are "good people" by stating that they do not mean any harm to anyone. They state that they do not hesitate to give money to beggars, that they have been serving honestly in public service for years and these are the things that make a sincere Muslim. in an endeavor to base their distorted religion on some kind of rationale, they subscribe to certain fallacies. This is actually typical of their insincerity. to legitimize their own life, they seek refuge in slogans like: "The best form of worship is to work" or "what matters is sincerity of heart." in the Qur'an, it is revealed that this is just "inventing lies against Allah" and it merits the punishment of eternal hell. in the Qur'an, Allah describes the situation of such people as follows:

What is the matter with you?

How do you reach your judgment?

Will you not pay heed?

Or do you have some clear authority? Bring your Book, then, if you are telling the truth! (Surat as-Saffat: 154-157)

— Double-Standard Rationales: Sometimes when people think about death, they assume they will disappear for all eternity. Such a startling idea makes them develop another defense mechanism; they only give half credence to the fact that "there is an eternal life promised by Allah." Such a conclusion raises some hope in them. When they consider the responsibilities of a believer towards his Creator, they prefer to completely ignore the fact of an eternal life. They comfort themselves thinking: "After all, we shall be reduced to insignificance, decomposing completely in the soil. There is no life after death." Such an assumption represses all fears and concerns, such as giving an account of one's deeds on the Day of Judgment or suffering in hellfire. in both sets of circumstances, they lead their lives in heedlessness until the end of their days.

The Consequence of Heedlessness

In the previous sections, as we have said, as long as one lives, death inevitably calls itself to one's attention. These reminders sometimes prove to be beneficial, prompting man to re-examine his priorities in life and to re-evaluate his outlook in general. but there are other times when the above-mentioned defense mechanisms take over, and with each passing day, the veil of heedlessness before one's eyes becomes thicker.

If unbelievers await death in a tranquil mood and have an irrational feeling of comfort, even when they are intensely aware of its approach in the latter years of their lives, it is because they are completely swathed in this veil. That is because death for them connotes restful and sound sleep, tranquility and calmness, and an eternal relief.

Contrary to what they think, however, Allah, the One Who creates every being from nothing and the One who makes them die and who will give life to all creatures on Judgment Day, promises them eternal regret and grief. They will, too, witness this fact at the moment of death, a time when they assume they will go to an eternal sleep. They realize that death is not total disappearance, but the initial moment of a new world full of anguish. the coming of the angels of death in a terrifying way is the first sign of this great torment:

How will it be when the angels take them in death, beating their faces and their backs? (Surah Muhammad: 27)

At this moment, the pre-death arrogance and insolence of the unbelievers turn into terror, regret, desperation and eternal pain. in the Qur'an, Allah reveals this truth thus:

They say, 'When we have been absorbed into the earth, are we then to be created afresh?' in fact, they deny they will ever meet their Lord. Say: 'The Angel of Death, who has been given charge of you, will carry off your souls, and then you will be sent back to your Lord.' If only you could see the evil-doers hanging their heads in shame before their Lord: 'Our Lord, we have seen and we have heard, so send us back again and we will act rightly. Truly we are now firm believers.' (Surat as-Sajda: 10-12)

There Is No Escape From Death

Death, especially at an early age, seldom comes to mind. Considering this as the end, man even escapes from the thought of it. However, just as physical avoidance provides no cure for death, neither does avoidance of thinking about it. Besides, it is impossible to ignore death. as indicated before, every day, newspapers run headlines about the deaths of so many people. One frequently comes across hearses or pass by cemeteries. Relatives and associates die. Their funerals or visits to offer condolences inevitably bring death to mind. as one witnesses the death of others, and especially the death of beloved ones, he inevitably thinks about his own end.

No matter how strongly the individual resists, wherever he seeks refuge or how he tries to escape, he may actually encounter his own death at any moment. He has no other choice. Ahead of him, there is no other exit. the countdown never stops, not for a moment. Wherever he returns, death meets him there. There is no change in Allah's law. the death catches up the person when his time comes. Allah reveals this truth in the Qur'an as follows:

Say: 'Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible and He will inform you about what you did.' (Surat al-Jumu'a: 8)

Wherever you are, death will catch up with you, even if you are in impregnable fortresses. (Surat an-Nisa': 78)

That is why one needs to stop deceiving himself or disregarding facts and strive to earn the good pleasure of Allah during this period predetermined by Him. Only Allah knows when this time will be over.

Our Prophet Muhammad (saas) also said that one of the best ways to prevent one's conscience from hardening, and attain a good character is by frequently remembering death:

Abdullah ibn Umar narrated, "Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, 'These hearts become rusty just as iron does when water affects it.' on being asked what could clear them he replied, 'A great amount of remembrance of death and recitation of the Qur'an.'" (Al-Tirmidhi, 673)

The Actual Death and What Is Observed about Death

The Death of the Soul (The Actual Death)

Have you ever thought about how you will die, what death looks like and what will happen at the moment of death?

So far, nobody has appeared who died and was raised again and who could share his actual experiences and feelings about death. This being the case, it is, technically, impossible to gather information regarding what death is like and what one feels at the moment of death.

Allah, the One Who bestows life upon man and takes it back in due course, informs us in the Qur'an about how death actually occurs. Thus, the Qur'an is the only source from which we can learn about how death really occurs and what someone who dies actually experiences and feels.

Death, as referred in the Qur'an, is quite unlike the "medical death" people observe from outside.

Primarily, in the Qur'an we are informed with events as seen by the dying person himself, which can never be perceived by others. This is related in the Surat al-Waqi'a:

Why then, when death reaches his throat and you are at that moment looking on—We are nearer him than you, but you cannot see. (Surat al-Waqi'a: 83-85)

In another verse it is related that the unbelievers experience death as a great source of torment.

Do not let their wealth and their children impress you. Allah merely wants to punish them by them in this world, and for them to expire while they are unbelievers. (Surah at-Tawba: 85)

Unlike the unbelievers' death, that of the believers is blissful:

...the angels reclaim the souls of the just, saying: (to believers) 'Peace be upon you! Enter the Garden as a reward for your labors.' (Surat an-Nahl: 32)

In these verses we are informed about a very important and unchanging fact about death: at the moment of death, what the dying person goes through and what those nearby observe are dissimilar experiences. for instance, a person who spent his entire life as an unyielding unbeliever may be perceived from outside to experience a death in his sleep. However, the soul, in a totally different dimension now, tastes death in a very painful way. Alternatively, the soul of a believer, despite seemingly suffering great pain, leaves his body "in a virtuous state".

In brief, the "medical death of the body" and the death of the soul, which is referred to in the Qur'an, are totally different events.

As mentioned earlier, the death "tasted" by unbelievers is a great source of torment for them, while it turns out to be bliss for believers. in the Qur'an we are given a detailed account of the difficulty the unbelievers undergo while their souls are taken away, because of the way angels deal with the soul of an unbeliever at the moment of death:

The angels will take the unbelievers in death by beating their faces and backs:

How will it be when the angels take them in death, beating their faces and their backs? That is because they followed what angers Allah and hated what is pleasing to Him. So He made their actions come to nothing. (Surah Muhammad: 27-28)

In the Qur'an there is also reference to the "throes of death," which are actually the result of the angels giving the news of eternal torment at the moment of death:

...If you could only see the wrongdoers in the throes of death when the angels are stretching out their hands, saying, 'Yield up your souls. Today you will be repaid with the punishment of humiliation for saying something other than the truth about Allah, and being arrogant about His signs.' (Surat al-An'am: 93)

If only you could see when the angels take back those who were unbelievers when they died, beating their faces and their backs: 'Taste the punishment of the Burning! That is for what you did. Allah does not wrong His servants.' (Surat al-Anfal: 50-51)

As the verses make it clear, just the death of an unbeliever is an entire period of agony in itself. While people surrounding him see a seemingly untroubled death in his bed, a great spiritual and physical torment begins for him. the angels of death take his soul, inflicting pain and humiliation on him. in the Qur'an, the angels who take the souls of unbelievers are described as: "those who pluck out harshly". (Surat an-Nazi'at: 1)

In other verses the death of the unbeliever is explained as follows:

No indeed! When it (the soul) reaches the gullet and he hears the words, 'Who can heal him now?' he knows it is indeed the final parting. (Surat al-Qiyama: 26-28)

At this moment, the unbeliever faces the truth he denied all throughout his life. With death, he will start to suffer the consequences of his great guilt, his denial. Angels "beating their backs" and "plucking (the soul) out harshly" are only the beginning and a minor indication of the grief awaiting him.

On the contrary, death for the believer is the beginning of eternal happiness and bliss. Unlike that of the unbeliever who suffers bitterly, the soul of the believer is "drawn out gently" (Surat an-Nazi'at: 2) with the angels saying: "Peace be upon you! Enter the Garden as a reward for your labors." (Surat an-Nahl: 32) This is similar to the state of sleep.

This is the ultimate truth about death. Externally, people witness only the medical death: a body gradually losing its corporeal functions. Those watching from the outside a person on the brink of death see neither his face and back being beaten, nor his soul reaching the gullet. Only the soul of the person concerned experiences these feelings and sees these images. However, the actual death is "tasted" in all of its aspects by the person dying in a dimension unfamiliar to those witnessing death from the outside. in other words, what is experienced during the course of death is a "change in dimension."

The Death of the Believer

— Being aware that death is inevitable, the believer prepares himself for death all throughout his life and ultimately passes on.

— Angels of death greet him and give him the glad tidings of paradise.

— Angels take the soul of a believer gently.

— The believer feels the need to give the glad tidings to other believers in the world that Allah's promise is assured and that there is neither fear nor sorrow for believers. Yet, this is not allowed.

The Death of Unbeliever

— He meets the death he has always avoided all throughout his life.

— He suffers from intense fits of shaking during the course of death.

— Angels extend their hands to him and give him the tidings of the degrading punishment of the Burning.

— Angels take him in death, beating his face and back.

— The soul is taken with a great inner pain.

— The soul is taken as it reaches the gullet and at that moment there remains no one to heal him.

— The soul is taken with difficulty while he is indulging in denial.

At the moment of death, his faith or repentance is not accepted.

When he sees the truth, he feels immense regret and says "If only we could have another turn [on Earth] then we would be among the believers!" (Surah Ash-Shu'ara'). but his wish is not accepted.

There are also lessons to be drawn from the "medical death" people witness from outside. the way medical death reduces the human body to insignificance makes one see certain very important facts. Therefore, the "medical death" and the grave, awaiting each one of us, also deserve mention and contemplation.

The Death of the Body (As Witnessed from Outside)

At the moment of death, as the soul leaves the dimension the human being lives in, it leaves behind the lifeless body. as in the case of living beings changing their skins, it leaves behind his body and proceeds towards its real life.

However, the story of the body which remains here in this world is important, especially for those who attach more importance to the body in this life than it actually deserves.

Have you ever thought in detail about what would befall this body when one dies?

One day you will die. Maybe in a way you have never expected. While going to the grocery to buy bread, a car will hit you. Or, a fatal disease will bring your life to an end. Or, simply, your heart will stop beating for no reason at all.

So, you will begin experiencing death.

From then on, you will have no relation with your body whatsoever. That body, you possessed as "yourself" all your life, will turn into an ordinary heap of flesh. With your death, your body will be carried by other people. There will be people around weeping and mourning. Then that body will be carried to the morgue, where it will remain for a night. the next day, the burial operations will start. the lifeless body, now very rigid, will be washed all over with cold water. Meanwhile, the traces of death will start to appear and some parts of the body will turn purple.

Then, the body will be wrapped in a shroud and put in a wooden coffin. the hearse will be ready to take the coffin. Proceeding towards the graveyard, life will be as always on the streets. Seeing that a hearse is passing by, some people will show respect, but the majority will go on with their daily tasks. at the graveyard, the coffin will be carried by those who love you or by those who seem to love you. Most probably, there will again be people around weeping and mourning. Then, people will arrive at the inescapable destination: the grave. on the marble stone, your name will be inscribed...Your corpse will be taken out of the coffin and placed in the pit. Finally, people with shovels will start to cover your body with soil. Soil will also be thrown into the shroud. It will fill your mouth, throat, eyes and nose. Then the soil will gradually cover your shroud. Soon, the funeral will be over and people will leave the grave. Then, the graveyard will return to its deep silence. Those attending the funeral will go on with their everyday lives and for your buried body, life will no longer be meaningful. a beautiful house, a pretty person, a breathtaking landscape will mean nothing. Your body will never meet a friend again. From then on, the only certainty for the body will be the soil and the worms and bacteria inhabiting it.

Have You Ever Thought about What Your Body Will Look Like After Death?

With burial, your body will undergo a rapid process of decay, caused by internal and external factors.

Soon after you are placed in the grave, the bacteria and insects proliferating in the corpse due to the absence of oxygen will start to function. the gases released from these organisms will inflate the body, starting from the abdomen, altering its shape and appearance. Bloody froth will issue from the mouth and nose due to the pressure of gases on the diaphragm. as corruption proceeds, body hair, nails, soles, and palms will fall off. Accompanying this outer alteration in the body, internal organs such as lungs, heart and liver will also decay.

In the meantime, the most horrible scene takes place in the abdomen, where the skin can no longer bear the pressure of gases and suddenly bursts, spreading an unendurable disgusting smell. (The smell of the dead body is one of the worst smells in the world.)

Starting from the skull, muscles will became detached from their particular places. Skin and soft tissues will completely disintegrate. the brain will decay and start looking like clay. This process will go on until the whole body is reduced to a skeleton.

Your body, you think to be yourself, will thus disappear in a terrible and disgusting manner. While those you leave behind carry out the customary rituals, worms, insects and bacteria in the soil will eat the body away.

If you die by an accident and are not buried, then the consequences will be even more tragic. Your body will be worm-eaten, just like a piece of meat left at room temperature for a long time. by the time the worms have eaten the last bit of flesh, your body will have become a skeleton.

This is the way, a human being's life, created in "the best of forms", comes to the most horrible end possible.

Why?

It is surely by the Will of Allah that the body ceases to exist in such a drastic way. That it does so actually carries a very important inner message in itself. the terrible end awaiting man should make him acknowledge that he is not a body himself, but a soul "encased" within a body. in other words, man has to acknowledge that he has an existence beyond his body. Such a striking end, with its many lessons, is made ready for man so that he may understand that he is not mere "flesh and bones," but he has a soul.

Man should look at this body to which he attaches importance, as if he would stay in this temporary world forever, and should contemplate the end of it—its death. for it will decay under the soil, become worm-eaten and finally turn into a skeleton.

The Temporary Life of This World

Have you ever thought why does man need to devote so much time and effort to keeping his body clean? Why does an unclean body, a foul-smelling mouth, greasy skin or hair seem so unbecoming? Why does man sweat and why is the odor accompanying sweat so disturbing?


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