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  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

God And The Life Hereafter

A Ray of Hope

Billy Graham, a well-known American missionary, writes that he once received an urgent message from an American billionaire who wanted to meet him without a moment’s delay. On receiving this message, Billy Graham cancelled his other appointments and immediately set out. When he arrived at the billionaire’s palatial home, he was immediately taken by him to a private room, where they sat on chairs facing one another. Then, with great seriousness, the billionaire said to Billy Graham, “You see, I am an old man and life has lost all meaning. I am going to take a fateful leap into the unknown... Young man, can you give me a ray of hope?”

An American billionaire is not the only person to be faced with this question. Every individual, man or woman, born into this world, is faced with this question at one time or the other. But it is solely the concept of the world Hereafter which gives us a valid answer. If we do not believe in a world after death, then this universal question will forever remain unanswered.

The End of Contradiction

A careful study of the human condition shows that all men and women have two contradictory themes running through their lives right from birth. On the one hand, they are consumed by a limitless desire to establish a dream world for themselves—a world which is in keeping with their ideals and where they may lead their lives in future—‘tomorrow’—with all the sought-after pleasures and comforts. But, on the other hand, they are faced with this contradiction that, despite having apparently surrounded themselves with all the material things conceivable, they somehow fail to build their pictured world. Boredom, loss, illness, accident, the infirmities of old age and finally death within a period of even less than 100 years—that is the story of every individual born into this world.

Inherent in the psyche of all men and women there is the concept of the ideal. But all are destined to die before the realization of their beautiful wishes.

We can come to grips with this seeming paradox by examining the clearly observable phenomenon of the principle of pairs, which is universally operative in this world. Everything here comes in pairs; everything becomes complete only when it is along with its pair—the negative and positive particles in an atom, the male and female in animals and humans and even in plants. The answer to what we can hope for in the future is to be found in the application of this universal principle. In accordance with it, the entire world is a ‘pair’ world. That is, along with this world there exists another world, and by joining that world, our present world completes itself.

The Completion of the Beginning

Now, looked at in the light of the above observations, it becomes very clear that the concept of the world of the Hereafter is a valid one. The world of the Hereafter is the “pair” world by joining which the present world completes itself. Without joining it, our present world remains incomplete, just as other things of this universe remain incomplete in the absence of their opposite numbers.

The existence of our world as one of a pair is extremely meaningful. It follows that human existence becomes complete after accepting this other world. Everything becomes meaningful. Everything falls into place.

The Right Framework

This concept gives us the framework by which everything in life and in the universe can be satisfactorily explained. It also makes it clear what paradise and hell are. Paradise is a resting place for sincere and truth-loving people, while hell is a place for the insolent and the false.

The picture we form is that of the present world having been made by its Creator to serve as a testing ground for mankind, whereas the next world has been created as a place where we shall reap the rewards of (or punishments for) our actions in this world.

Man has been created as an eternal creature. Every man and woman has been granted an eternal personality. But although the mind is eternal, the body is transient. The study of human physiology shows that the human body is composed of living cells which keep transforming themselves. In this way the body is renewed at regular intervals. It is regenerated just like the water in a running stream. The body eventually dies and is resurrected, but the spiritual personality, or the soul, remains unchanged and lives on. This is because the human personality, being eternal, has an existence independent of the human body. To put it in another way human life can be likened to an iceberg, a very tiny part of which is visible, while the rest remains submerged. By analogy, the human lifespan is divided into two parts: the first, the infinitesimal part runs its course in this world, while by far the greater part unfolds in the Hereafter.

While everything in this world is so designed as to permit man to develop his personality, we must remember that everything in the present world more importantly serves as a test paper for man. For instance, the present world is filled with all kinds of bitterness and animosity. This had all been devised so that, by undergoing these experiences, man might prove that he could lead his life with positive feelings even in negative situations. It is only those who are capable of such positivism who will gain admission to the ideal world of Paradise. On the contrary, those who fall a prey to reaction and respond negatively to bad experiences will be held undeserving of entry into Paradise. Instead, they will be thrown into Hell from where they will never be able to extricate themselves.

In modern times, the acceptance of the concept of organic evolution as a scientific fact is not based on the evidence of observation. The sole reason for its acceptance is that the scientists can find an understandable explanation of biological facts. Thus the concept of evolution is a workable theory rather than an established theory, as is generally believed.

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