afterlife

afterlife - Islam and Life after Death What does Islam...

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Islam and Life after Death
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What does Islam teach about life after death? Human being not only has a body, but also has a “spirit” given to him/her by God. The spirit is the seed from which a higher form of life grows within man, higher than physical life. When a person dies the physical body is finished, but the spirit remains, as he or she had molded it by their deeds when alive.
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How is the spirit shaped during our life here? Just as our physical actions and habits affect the body and leave their impressions upon it, so does the good or evil of our deeds affect the spirit leaving an impression upon it. If we nourish the spirit through prayer to God, do good and righteous deeds, the spirit will develop and grow properly.
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If the spirit is neglected and bad deeds are done, it suffers harm. It is as God has given each person a piece of soft clay. It is then up to the individual to shape it into something beautiful or ugly by his deeds.
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Is man rewarded after death for his good deeds and punished for the bad ones? Good deeds benefits the spirit and evil deeds harm it. The effects of good and bad deeds upon the spirit is what constitutes the reward or punishment for ones deeds In this life, we can occasionally feel this effect, but only very faintly and vaguely.
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After death when only the spirit is left, bearing all the impressions of deeds done throughout life, the effects of those deeds will be left clearly and vividly. It is this which is the reward for good deeds and suffering for evil deeds.
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What are heaven and hell? Heaven and hell are not places somewhere in the universe, but really our inner conditions or the condition of the spirit resulting from our deeds Heaven and hell begin in this life within a person’s heart. The feelings of bliss and contentment at doing good is the heaven in one’s heart. The guilt, shame and greed felt by an evil doer is the hell of the heart.
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After death, the heaven or hell that developed in the heart is unfolded before us and becomes the world in which we live, and we live in it not with the physical body of this life but the “spiritual” body made from our deeds.
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The holy Quran mentions many blessings and comforts in paradise and many painful punishments in hell. What is the nature of these? The exact nature of these things cannot be known in this world because they are in an entirely different world where our ideas of space, time, feelings,etc. do not apply.
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To describe them to us, physical terms have to be used such as gardens and rivers” in paradise, and the “fire” of hell, to give an idea of what they feel like. All the things of next world actually begin in one’s heart in this world
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The “fruits” of paradise are really the fruits of good deeds that a person starts tasting in his heart in this life The “fire” of hell is the same fire of low desires and greed that burns in a person’s heart in this world.
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What is the day of judgment? Just as the life of an individual had an end,
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This note was uploaded on 11/19/2011 for the course REL 101 taught by Professor Ernst during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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afterlife - Islam and Life after Death What does Islam...

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