10 Nov Belief in The Hereafter: Part 1
What is the hereafter?
It is the eternal world to go to after this world.
Belief in the hereafter is one of the six fundamentals of belief.
1. Stages of Life in the Hereafter
There fourteen stages in the life in the hereafter:
1- Life in the grave
2- Blowing of the trumpet
3- Qiyama (Apocalypse)
6- Delivering the book of deeds
9- Kawthar Pool
12- Purgatory (Araf)
1. Grave / Barzakh Life
A verse: “Then, He causeth him to die, and putteth him in his Grave; Then, when it is His will, He will raise him up (again).” (Abasa, 21-22).
The stage from the death of men in the world till they are resurrected after the apocalypse is called the life of grave. This life is also called “barzakh life or barzakh world” because it expresses the transitional period between the world and the hereafter. Barzakh means a drawback, barrier, or curtain between two things.
It is not necessary to put the body of a man in the grave for him to live the life in the grave. Whether the dead person is put into the grave or his body is eaten by wild animals or it is eaten by the fish in the sea or it is burnt to ashes, his life in the grave starts. It would be better to use the term barzakh life in order to prevent misunderstanding because grave means a place dug in the ground.
Our Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) describes life in the grave as “the first stop of the hereafter” in a hadith (Tirmidhi, Zuhd, 5). In another hadith, our prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) says: “Grave is either a garden from the gardens of Paradise or a hole from the holes of Hell” (Tirmidhi, Qiyama, 26) , stating that there will be torture or reward in the life in the grave.
In yet another hadith he says;
“After man dies and is put into the grave two angels called Munkar and Nakir will come and ask him questions like “Who is your Lord? Who is your Prophet? What is your religion?…. The believer answers these questions easily. As for the unbeliever, he cannot answer them and suffers grave torture” (Tirmidhi, Janaiz, 70), informing us about the life that will last till the day of resurrection.
2. Soor (Trumpet) and Blowing of the Trumpet
The trumpet is an instrument blown by the angel Hazrat Israfel to start the apocalypse and after the apocalypse to resurrect people and to gather them in the gathering place. According to what the Quranic verses tell us Hazrat Israfel will blow the trumpet twice. During the first blowing everything on the earth and in the heavens, except what Allah wishes, will be shaken fearing it and die and the apocalypse will take place. With the second blowing, everything will be resurrected and will run towards their Lord in order to gather in the gathering place. Let’s give two of these verses as an example:
“The Trumpet will (just) be sounded, when all that are in the heavens and on earth will swoon, except such as it will please Allah (to exempt). Then will a second one be sounded, when, behold they will be standing and looking on!” (Zumar, 68).
“The trumpet shall be sounded, when behold! from the sepulchers (men) will rush forth to their Lord!” (Ya Seen, 51).
3. Qiyama (Apocalypse)
Qiyama has two meanings: the first one is the breakdown of the order in the universe, everything turning upside down, destruction of everything and the end of the world.
The second is the resurrection of dead people and their walk towards the gathering place. Qiyama in the first sense will start with the first blowing of the trumpet by Hazrat Israfel, in the second sense with the second blowing. So qiyama is a very important event that involves the death of all men and their resurrection.
The Quranic verses inform us about it. Allah states the following in one of the verses about qiyama:
“O mankind! fear your Lord! For the convulsion of the Hour (of Judgment) will be a thing terrible! The Day ye shall see it, every mother giving suck shall forget her suckling-babe, and every pregnant female shall drop her load (unformed): thou shalt see mankind as in a drunken riot, yet not drunk: but dreadful will be the Wrath of Allah.”(Al-Hajj, 1-2.).
“He (man) questions: “When is the Day of Resurrection?” At length, when the Sight is dazed, And the moon is buried in darkness. And the sun and moon are joined together―That Day will Man say “Where is the refuge?” By no means! no place of safety! Before thy Lord (alone), that Day will be the place of rest” (al-Qiyama, 6-12).
Although the Quran mentions qiyama often, it does not answer the questions about the time of it and emphasizes that no one except Allah has any knowledge about it. Our Prophet (PBUH) gives some information in his hadiths that there will be some signs of the qiyama when it approaches.