Abdul Rashid is a member of the Ottawa Muslim community, the Christian-Muslim Dialogue and the Capital Region Interfaith Council.
It is a fundamental article of faith among Muslims that this life is only a short sojourn and death is a way station towards a permanent abode in the Hereafter. There is hardly a page in the Muslim scripture, the Holy Koran, without a direct or indirect reference to this subject.
It is a composite belief that includes the concepts of resurrection, accountability of our actions in this world in the Divine court, final judgment and eternal life thereafter. The position of each person in that life will depend on his or her deeds in this world (60:3, 3:25). The reward for good deeds will be a place in heaven or paradise.
The Hereafter is metaphysical and our knowledge of life therein is limited to Divine revelations, which are often in terms of similes and allegories. The descriptions in the Holy Koran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet of Islam are vivid and cover almost all aspects of our likes and dislikes in this world.
Among the blessings of heaven is that our Merciful Creator has promised to reunite the family (and, by extension, friends) in the next world, provided they were righteous in this world: “Those who patiently persevere seeking the countenance of their Lord, establish regular prayer and spend, secretly and openly, out of what We have bestowed on them for their sustenance, and repel evil with good, for them is the attainment of the (eternal) home: gardens of perpetual bliss, which they shall enter together with the righteous from their parents, their spouses and their offspring” (13:22-23).
Those who understand the spirit of religion know that the true reward in the Hereafter is nearness to our Merciful Creator.
For believers, heaven will be: “Some faces will on that Day be bright with happiness, looking up to their Sustainer” (75:22).
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