Necessity of Resurrection (ep 25)
Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem.
Alhamduliilahi Rab Il A’alameen Wasalaatu Wasalaamu Alaa Khayri Khalqihi Muhammadin Wa Alihi Altayibeen Altahireen.
Today we are going to talk about Resurrection.
The fifth pillar of Religion or Faith in Islam.
Believing in life after death is one of the essential issues that every Muslim must believe in. In another way we put it this way to say that the whole purpose of creation is not complete without the belief in the life to come, hereafter or the Day of Resurrection.
If we imagine that we are in a course at the college, any of our University there are hundreds of students who are attending with different abilities and different effort made by each.
The only way to distinguish between those who are working really hard and with those who are not taking the study seriously is to order them to sit the exams at the end of the year, at the end of the course. It is only within the exams that the real function and achievement will appear there.
So, if there is no test, if there are no exams, if those who compete with one another to reach the final destination, if there is no such a thing, no competition, no exams, how can we realise between those who deserve the Honour of Paradise, to be rewarded with the bliss or to those who are legally entitled to some sort of chastisement?
That is exactly what we mean by the Necessity of Resurrection.
It is only logical and reasonable to say that people are not left free to do whatever they want.
Allah swt tells us in Surah Al Ankaboot (Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem, Alif lam meem, ahasiba naasu an yutraku an yaqulu amanna wa hum la yuftanoon. Wa laqad fatanna allatheena min qablihim falaya’lammana Allahu wa la ya’lamanna al thalimeen )- Trial and tests are a nessecity and if people think that, or Muslims for example, believe that we are not going to hold them accountable for their deeds, no they are wrong because we did this to all previous nations and the only purpose is (falaya’lamma Allah allatheena sadaqu wa laya’lamanna al kathibeen)- Those who are truly committed to the faith and those who are pretending that they are following the footsteps of the Prophet, committing themselves to Religion.
Imam Ali (as) tries to explain the link between this life and the hereafter by saying (Ayuha al nas. Inna ma al dinya daru majazin was aa’khiratu daru qarar. Fa khuthu min mamarrikum limaqarrikum)- This life, according to Imam Ali (as) explaining the whole idea of Resurrection and the Day of Judgement, is only a passage, only a bridge which connects us going from this materialistic and physical life towards the eternal life.
So the abode, the final place to stay is the hereafter, is what will happen after resurrection.
But here whatever we do we do only for preparation for that Day and here is clear that whatever we do is a reflection of our deeds, wether they are good or evil will appear there in the Day of Judgement and everybody will be rewarded or held accountable for whatever they did.
Indeed we build our future by our own deeds and efforts.
So the Imam (as) says that this is that only you pass and cross the bridge in order to reach there. (Fa feeha ikhtubirtum wa li ghayriha khuliqtum)- The big difference between this life and the hereafter is that in this life you are put under trial, you are tested. You have to sit the exams. You have to show your ability and your characteristics in a way that either they entitle you to the reward or it is the other way around.(Fa feeha ikhtubirtum)- In this life you are on trial. (Wa lighayriha khuliqtum)- You have been created for other than this temporary life.
In the Quran we see many Ayaat which refer to this fact. In Surah al Baqara, Surah number 2;156 Allah swt says (Truly we are Allahs and to Him we shall return)- (Inna lilah Wa inna ilayhi raji’oon)
So although we live in this temporary life for, for example a span of 60,70,80 and sometimes 100 years, but we have to return (Wa inna ilayhi raji’oon) That to Him we shall return.
In Surah number 75;12 Allah swt again addresses the Muslims, believers, the humankind to say ‘Your final destination is with your Lord’ so the destination is not here. It is only one step, one stage in order to let us reach the final destination.
In the same Surah, Surah AlQiyama, Surah 75;30 Allah swt says that ‘You will be driven to your Lord on that Day’ which is the Day of Judgement.
So All these including Ayah 42 from Surah 53 Allah swt says that ‘Your Lord is your final destination’ So in every trip, in every voyage, you start the journey but the destination is totally different, so you are putting every effort, you are trying your best to reach your destination.
Once you reach the destination thats it.
So we are living in a materialistic life, limited by time,space and measure. You are restricted to certain span of life here.
Our abilities are limited whilst Allah swt made the hereafter eternal, endless joy or suffering.
Allah swt says that ‘You, your body, yes is made for this life but your psyche, your soul, your spirit is not suitable for this particular temporary and physical life. It is rather made and created to match that eternal life in the Hereafter.
So all these prove one thing, and that is the Necessity if Resurrection where everybody must sit the exams and this journey doesn’t end up here in this life as many seculars or materialistics believe to say that death is the end of everything, the full chapter is closed and nothing to happen after. No, the Islamic belief is this, that we are moving to the final goal, the final destination and that final goal and destination is what we are made for, we are created for. That is what everybody must bare in mind that ‘I’m not going to stay in the bridge’. Have you seen someone that he takes his bed ,for example, and uses the bridge as accommodation?
No, the bridge is only used to cross it and go to the other side of the river and at the same time that this life is not to stay here forever, it is only a passage, a bridge to allow us to move to the final destination.
Does creation have a purpose or aimlessness is governing all our existence?
Allah swt clearly says that this purposefulness of our creation is so important in the whole Quranic terminology.
Allah swt tells us that ‘Do you suppose that we created you aimlessly? and that you will not be brought back to us? (Afahasibtum annama khalaqnakum abathan wa innakum ilayna la turja’oon)
This purposefulness is so important in the Islamic ideology. That if everything is moving and changing from one stage to another stage without any order, without any design, without any purpose?
Allah swt negates such an idea to say that there is a purpose in this.
Although in many Ayaat we read that Allah swt says that (Wa ma khaqtul inna wal insa illaa liya’budoon)- I haven’t created the human being and jinn but they worship me.
So this worship couldn’t be understood in the literal way that ,ok, the whole purpose is just people who prostrate before me and do prayers or fasting or pilgrimage, no, the whole worship is based on, from awareness of your Almighty Creator.
The whole worship is based on full understanding about the purpose of the Creation, and that purpose of the creation is that you feel that you are, and believe, that you are connected to the Lord and you are in the continuous struggle and strive to meet Him. (Ya ayuahal insaan, inaka kadihun ila rabika kadhan fa mulaqeeh) - The struggle, the strive to compete with one another in doing good, to compete with another in offering the best of good deeds, to compete with one another to obey Allah swt in a sense that we do whatever pleases Him and of course Allah swt is pleased with his servants when they are full of ethics, morality, goodness, caring and all characteristics which bring them closer to Allahs satisfaction and pleasure.
So in this way we are continuously moving. We are not still but we are moving everyday towards the better life, better understanding and closer to the purpose of the creation.
In this way, in every step we try to achieve something good, add to our qualities of merits and try to eliminate and get rid of all filthy habits, evil acts, those actions which are separating us from Allah swt. In this way we see that devoting your time, devoting your understanding, focusing on this spiritual connection to Allah, not physical because you can’t physically go close to Allah, only your spirit is elevated and getting higher and higher in whatever called (assiratul mustaqeem)- the right path.
Now, the purposefulness is there. There is no aimless action or creation which Allah swt created the whole Earth, created the Universe, the Human being without guiding them, putting them on the right path, on the right destination, to move toward that destination.
So we add to that something very very important, that we said it before but now we are going to elaborate on it more. That allah swt describes Himself that He does not wrong anybody. Allah swt keeping the justice as one of the principles and core values of Islam and the whole creation, the whole existence. This justice, the concept of justice cannot be practiced, cannot be seen, cannot be presented to people if there is not a day that they sit the exams, they will be judged for their actions. So this sense of accountability and being aware not to break the law, not to go beyond your limits, not to exceed your limits. This will create someone who is full of understanding, who is understanding the philosophy of the life, who is knowing that he is in continuous effort to achieve the perfection, which means the possible stage for the perfection for human beings.
The closer when you go to Allah swt you definitely have understood the purpose of creation better and in this way we see that there are a lot of Ayat in the Quran, many Ayat of the Quran, to talk about even incidents before the Prophet Muhammad (saww) that took place and understood in a way that death is not everything.
It is possible and it is to believe in the hereafter and life after death.
Lets go back to the words of Imam Ali (as) when he said that this life is only a bridge that you cross towards the final destination. Then the Imam (as) says that when a person dies, people would say how much wealth he left behind, but the angels will say how much good works he sent forward.
See the difference between two judgements, two understandings about life and death and both are created as in Surah AlMulk (Howa allahi khalaqa almawta wal hayata liyabluwakum) -Allah swt has created both life and death in order that he tests you (liyabluwakum ayyukum ahsanu ‘amala)- Who is offering a better good actions and good deeds.
So Imam (as) says that ‘Look, the mentality of Human beings, because they are preoccupied with what? worldly affairs, with wealth, with status and this and that. So they say (qaala anasu ma tarak)- How much wealth he’s leaving behind for his children,for his heirs ,whilst the angels who speak about what suits the whole purpose of the creation and the whole ideology of Islam, they say (ma qaddam)- What did he send forward? Because always to secure the best of the positions in the hereafter you need to prepare yourself here to do good deeds and this is what we always see in the Quran that Iman and faith is not sufficient. It must be combined with what? (al a’malul saalih)-good deeds.
Only via these two wings the bird can fly. Airplane can only fly with two wings and they must be, there is balance between them, so any loss of balance or damage to the balance in this way will cause a lot of threat to the airplane and the passengers.
A bird cannot fly with one wing, the same applies to faith and salvation in the hereafter.
That faith is only one wing, it must be combined with the second and that is (al a’malul salih)- the good deeds.
By preparing these two, by having a sincere faith in Allah swt, in what the Prophet Muhammad (saww) brought for us and to the community, to the whole Muslim nation, to the whole world and at the same time doing every effort to do good and through that purification of the soul and getting in advanced stages of closeness to Allah swt, only salvation it is possible for that.
So in summary we can say that Resurrection is essential and death is not the end of the file. After death still there is more to come and we beseech Allah swt to enable us to pass all those tests and exams successfully.
Allahumma Sali Alaa Muhammadin Wa Aali Muhammad.