Those who abused the bounties of the Lord, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), and did not care about the life to come will be in the most miserable state. Drawing a comparison between them, the Quraan says:
أَفَمَنْ وَعَدْنَاهُ وَعْدًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ لَاقِيهِ كَمَنْ مَتَّعْنَاهُ مَتَاعَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ هُوَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِينَ [القصص: 61]
“Is then the one, to whom We have made a good promise which he is going to meet, like the one whom We have given the benefit of enjoying the worldly life, then on the Day of Judgment he will be among those arraigned.” (Al-Qasa 28:61)
The Quraan also states that this worldly life is a preparation for the eternal life after death. But those who deny it become slaves of their passions and desires and make fun of virtuous and Allah-conscious persons. Such persons realize their folly only at the time of their death, a time when their wish to be given a further return to this life and make amends will be in vain. Their miserable state at the time of death, the horror of the Youm ul Hisaab, and the eternal bliss guaranteed to sincere believers are presented very clearly and powerfully in the Quraan:
حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ قَالَ رَبِّ ارْجِعُونِ • لَعَلِّي أَعْمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيمَا تَرَكْتُ كَلَّا إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ هُوَ قَائِلُهَا وَمِنْ وَرَائِهِمْ بَرْزَخٌ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ• فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَلَا أَنْسَابَ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَلَا يَتَسَاءَلُونَ • فَمَنْ ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ • وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ فِي جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدُونَ • تَلْفَحُ وُجُوهَهُمُ النَّارُ وَهُمْ فِيهَا كَالِحُونَ [المؤمنون: 99-104]
“The infidels go on doing their misdeeds) until when death comes to one of them, he will say: ‘My Lord send me back, so that I may act righteously in that (world) which I have left behind’. Never! It is simply a word he utters, and in front of such people there is a barrier till the day when they will be resurrected. Thereafter, when the Soor (the trumpet) is blown, no ties of kinship will remain between them anymore, nor will they inquire about one another. So, the one whose scales (of good deeds) turn out to be heavy, then such people are the successful ones, and the one whose scales turn out to be light, then such people are the ones who harmed their own selves; in Jahannam (Hell) they are to remain forever. Fire will scorch their faces, and they will be disfigured therein.” (Al-Muminoon 23:99-104)
The belief in life after death guarantees success in the Aakhirah and also makes this world a place of peace and happiness by transforming people into individuals who are more responsible and dutiful in their activities.
Consider the example of the people who lived in the Arabian Peninsula before the advent of the Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho ‘Alaihe WaSallam). They were great lovers of gambling, wine, tribal feuds, plundering, and murdering. As they had no concept of a life after death, why not enjoy themselves as they saw fit? But as soon as they accepted the belief in the One God i.e. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and an afterlife i.e. Aakhirah, they became a very disciplined nation. They gave up their vices, helped each other whenever required to do so, and settled all their disputes on the basis of justice and equality.
The denial of life after death also has consequences in this world.
When an entire nation denies belief in the Aakhirah, all kinds of evils and corruption are unleashed and the society is set on the path to ultimate destruction. The Quraan mentions the terrible end of such pre-Islamic peoples as the ‘Aad, the Thamood, and the Pharaoh of ancient Egypt:
كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ وَعَادٌ بِالْقَارِعَةِ • فَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِالطَّاغِيَةِ • وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ • سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومًا فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ • فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُمْ مِنْ بَاقِيَةٍ • وَجَاءَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَنْ قَبْلَهُ وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَاتُ بِالْخَاطِئَةِ • فَعَصَوْا رَسُولَ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَهُمْ أَخْذَةً رَابِيَةً • إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَى الْمَاءُ حَمَلْنَاكُمْ فِي الْجَارِيَةِ • لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً وَتَعِيَهَا أُذُنٌ وَاعِيَةٌ • فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ نَفْخَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ • وَحُمِلَتِ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ فَدُكَّتَا دَكَّةً وَاحِدَةً • فَيَوْمَئِذٍ وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ • وَانْشَقَّتِ السَّمَاءُ فَهِيَ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَاهِيَةٌ • وَالْمَلَكُ عَلَى أَرْجَائِهَا وَيَحْمِلُ عَرْشَ رَبِّكَ فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ ثَمَانِيَةٌ • يَوْمَئِذٍ تُعْرَضُونَ لَا تَخْفَى مِنْكُمْ خَافِيَةٌ • فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَيَقُولُ هَاؤُمُ اقْرَءُوا كِتَابِيَهْ • إِنِّي ظَنَنْتُ أَنِّي مُلَاقٍ حِسَابِيَهْ • فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَاضِيَةٍ • فِي جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ • قُطُوفُهَا دَانِيَةٌ • كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئًا بِمَا أَسْلَفْتُمْ فِي الْأَيَّامِ الْخَالِيَةِ • وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِشِمَالِهِ فَيَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَابِيَهْ • وَلَمْ أَدْرِ مَا حِسَابِيَهْ • يَا لَيْتَهَا كَانَتِ الْقَاضِيَةَ • مَا أَغْنَى عَنِّي مَالِيَهْ • هَلَكَ عَنِّي سُلْطَانِيَهْ [الحاقة: 4-29]
“Thamood and ‘Aad had denied (the happening of) the Shocking Event (the Day of Judgment). As for Thamood, they were destroyed by that (dreadful cry), which exceeded all limits. And as for ‘Aad, they were destroyed by a violent windstorm that He imposed on them for seven nights and eight consecutive days; so you could see them thrown on the ground, as if they were trunks of hollow palm-trees. Now, do you see any remnant of them. And Fir‘aun (Pharaoh) and those before him and the overthrown towns came up with evil and they disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He seized them with an extremely severe seizure. When the water overflowed (in the Deluge of Nooh), We let you (O mankind!) board the floating ship so that We make it a reminder for you, and so that a preserving ear (that hears their story) may preserve it. Then, once the Soor (Trumpet) will be blown for the first time and the earth and the mountains will be lifted and crushed into pieces with a single blow then on that Day the Happening will happen and the sky will burst apart, while it will have become frail on that day. And the angels will be on its borders. And on that Day, the Throne of your Lord will be carried above them by eight (angels). On that day, you will be brought forward in a way that no secret of yours will remain secret. Now, as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he will say (to his colleagues): ‘Come here, read my book. I was sure that I would encounter my reckoning.’ So he will be in a well-pleasing life, in a lofty garden, the fruits of which will be close at hand. (It will be said to such people,) ‘Eat and drink with pleasure, as a reward for what you did in advance during past days’. As for him who will be given his book in his left hand, he will say: ‘Oh! Would that I had not been given my book and I had never known what my account is. Oh! Would that it (death) had been the end of the matter. My wealth has not been of any use to me. My power has gone from me’.” (Al-Haaqqah 69:4-29)
There are very convincing reasons to believe in life after death.
First: All the prophets of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) have called their people to believe in it.
Second: Whenever a society is built on the basis of this belief, it has been the most ideal and peaceful society, free of social and moral evils.
Third: History bears witness that whenever this belief has been rejected collectively by a group of people in spite of the repeated warning of the prophet, the group as a whole has been punished by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) even in this world.
Fourth: The moral, aesthetic, and rational faculties of man endorse the possibility of life after death.
Fifth: Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s attributes of justice and mercy have no meaning if there is no life after death.