On The Hereafter

Ayatollah Shaheed Beheshti

The Hereafter is a world where one will enjoy the fruits of his efforts in this world on a very wide scale and where his qualities and his conduct will become absolutely clear

In that world pleasures and success and similarly miseries and afflictions are pure and absolute. In contrast, in this world everything is relative and mixed.

Man’s complete and pure success in all the dimensions of his life presents itself in Paradise where all his desires, hopes and aspirations are fulfilled and he prospers physically, spiritually, materially and mentally. Similarly his failure in all fields reveals itself in Hell.

The following few verses throw ample light on the vastness of enjoyment in Paradise:

“Hasten and seek the forgiveness o f your Lord and the Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth “. (Surah al‑Hadid, 57:21).

“As for those who will be happy (that day) they will be in Paradise, ‑where they will abide so long as the heavens and the earth last unless your Lord pleases otherwise. This shall be an everlasting reward” . (SurahHud, 11:108).

“There you shall have all you desire and there you shall have all for which you pray “. (Surah Fussilat, 41:31).

“Therein they shall find everything which may satisfy the hearts and delight the eyes “. (Surah al‑Zukhruf, 43:71).

These verses show that Paradise is vast beyond imagina­tion. From the point of view of time, it is everlasting. Whatever one can desire is available there without any limitation or restriction. It is more than ideal.

Its blessings and pleasures axe both material and physical as well as spiritual and mental. In the Surah al‑Saffat, verse 41 and thereinafter, a mention has been made of fruits, gardens, couches and delicious cups. In the verse 49 of the same Surah, in the Surah al‑Rahman, verses 64 ‑ 71 and in the Surah al‑Waqi’ah, verse 36 the existence of houries, beauty, vivacity, freshness, cheerfulness and friendly atmosphere in Paradise have been described. In some other verses its pleasant climate, rivers, green and blooming trees, magnificent and lovely palaces, perfumed and sweet air etc. have been mentioned. On the whole, Paradise contains pleasures and material achievements at such a high level that it is beyond imagination.

On the other hand there are some other verses which emphasize spiritual and. sentimental dimensions and describe high human tendencies: “Such are the people who will behbonoured in Paradise”. (Surah al‑Ma’arij, 70:35). “They are guided to gentle speech “. (Surah al‑Hajj, 22:24). “There they shall dwell forever. What a wonderful abode and dwelling place”. (Surah al‑Furqan, 25:76). “We shall remove whatever rancour there may be in their hearts and make them as brethren reclining on couches facing one another”. (Surah al‑Hijr, 15:47). “Allah will receive them while they will be beaming with joy “. (Surah Dahr, 76:11)

Such verses show that in Paradise there exist joy and happi­ness, comfort and cheerfulness. Its dwellers are far away from any fear, restlessness, rancour and foul language and they never face any discomfort or anxiety.

It is evident that as in Paradise there is everlasting bliss, and every one can have all that he may desire, there can be no clash of interests and hence there can be no feeling of jealousy, no anticipation of danger and no desire to wreak vengeance.

In every case all needs are met and all desires are fulfilled. As a result a man who enjoys his life in all its dimensions, fully feels the truth of human life.

At the same time evolutionary progress and advancement towards perfection continue. Allah Himself says that He multiplies (things) for whomever He pleases. Especially those who have developed their thinking and their intellec­tual faculties in a fruitful manner, shall make further progress in their life of Paradise.

Above all what we have mentioned, the greatest achieve­ment of a dweller of Paradise is the attainment of Allah’s pleasure, which is the supreme success for a sublime soul.

” What is more, Allah shall be pleased with them. That is the supreme triumph”. (Surah al‑Tawbah, 9:72).

A dweller of Paradise finds that Allah, the essence of every perfection and virtue and the absolute truth to whom the motion and evolution of the entire world ends, is well ­pleased with him. He feels that he has obtained all that he could aspire for, and finds that there is no distance between himself and Him, who is the source of all that is good and beneficial, in whom all hopes are centered and to seek whose pleasure every effort should be made. He has a feeling that he has succeeded in attaining proximity to Allah.

The effect of believing in the Hereafter on making the life balanced

Consequent upon what we have so far read about man, his future, the inevitable results of his deeds and efforts and his reappearance in the Hereafter in all dimensions of his existence, we come to the conclusion that a true belief in the Hereafter should make man more careful and vigilant about making himself and giving shape to his efforts. When one is sure that any sort of perversion in meeting his desires and the commitment of any excess by him, will be detrimental to his interests and will cause only harm to him, and knows that his appearance in the Hereafter with an imbalanced and defective personality will culminate in nothing but his ruin and his going to Hell, he will make every effort to develop his existence in all dimensions.

We have seen that Paradise is the manifestation of a perfect and all‑inclusive human life. Islam aims 2,t man’s leading such an ideal life in this world also within its limitations.

It wants a healthy body as well as a healthy soul. It aims at the provision of food, clothing, shelter and other physical comforts as well as at the healthy spiritual development.

A man having belief in the Hereafter tries to improve this worldly life in every respect and pays attention to his education, research, health, work, industry and all round progress. At the same time he believes in justice, brother­hood, freedom, human rights, sincerity, law and order, clear thinking, reasonableness, philanthropy, good will and spirituality. The correct belief in the Hereafter makes a man balanced, versatile and industrious.

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