For the Muslim believer, there is no need of any direct argument or cause, in order to believe in Resurrection Day and the Hereafter, because he/she already believes through his/her faith and the Prophets’ words and teachings. However, the Holy Qur'an has given man some arguments, to familiarize the human mind with the concept of “Ma’ad” [i.e. Resurrection]. The Holy Qur'an’s Arguments are divided into three categories:
1. Some of these arguments show that there are no obstacles whatsoever, in the path of resurrection.
2. Some others state that many of the events on Resurrection Day are happening in the very world of ours and clarify the fact that there is no way whatsoever, for any negation or the possibility of any improbability.
3. Then again, some others point out the necessity of a definite existence of Resurrection Day and consider it as a necessary and mandatory thing for the existence of a perfect divine universal order and its wise creation.
In the noble surah “Ya-Sin” [verse 78], it is announced,
“And he makes comparisons for us and forgets his own [origin and] creation: He says.
“Who can give life to [dry] bones and decomposed ones [at that] …?”” - 36:78
A number of divine verses speak about examples, similar to the actual happening of Resurrection Day; these holy verses are divided into two categories:
1. The holy verses that deal with events that had happened in the past, such as the story of Prophet Abraham [as], which is thus recounted:
And [remember] when Ibrahim [i.e. Abraham] said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He [i.e. Allah] said, “Do you not believe?” He [i.e. Ibrahim] said, “Yes, [I believe], but to be stronger in Faith.” He said, “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you [then slaughter them, cut them into pieces], and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them: they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” - 2:260
2. The noble verses, which address the current existing order of the universe, state a truth: it shall act exactly like the ways of earth, which leaves the freshness and vigor of summertime to enter the sorrowful lifelessness of autumn, in order to complete and achieve the transformation. Then again, when spring arrives, and trees and plants grow and bloom, in like manner, the entire world will one day go to a state of silence, coldness, and depression. Then, all of a sudden, all the creatures in the whole world will once again, come to life and begin a new existence; this time, with a different quality and a different condition.
The holy Prophet Muhammad (S) once said, “Whenever you witness spring, remind yourselves of the Day of Resurrection”1; in other words, spring is a perfect example and model for the event, known as Resurrection Day.
A number of the holy verses of the Holy Qur'an introduce Resurrection Day as an inevitable and necessary divine event, which will have to happen, inexorably; and they consider its inexistence as something unacceptable and impossible. These holy verses are divided into two categories:
In the noble surah “Sad”, after stating the fact that the sinners are deviated from the Path of God and that some day, they will face eternal torments from God Almighty, it also speaks about the true concept and philosophy of Judgment Day. It says,
“Shall we treat those, who believe [in the Oneness of Allah - Islamic Monotheism] and do righteous good deeds as "Mufsidūn" [i.e. those, who associate partners in worship with Allah and commit crimes] on earth, or shall We treat the "Muttaqūn" [i.e. the pious] as the Fudjjar" [i.e. criminals, disbelievers, the wicked]?” – 38:28
In the holy surah of "Djassiyah" [verses 21, 22] the same, identical concept has been mentioned, once again. In these holy verses, divine Justice has been mentioned as the main reason and the sole purpose for the occurrence of Judgment day.2 Several points regarding this subject should be studied subsequently, such as for example:
In a broad sense, justice means, “to give a justified right and rightfulness to somebody, without performing any sort of discrimination toward him/her.” Therefore, divine Justice, here, means, “there shall be no discrimination, oppression, and injustice done towards any creature, as much as possible, so that no creature whatsoever, shall be denied of his/her justified right and rightfulness.”
In other words, eternal and divine Justice do indeed refer to divine grace and mercy towards all the creatures, which dwell in this earthly plane. Therefore, the reason that not all the creatures have everything they wish for is because of the fact that they have neither the necessary condition nor the actual possibility to possess them.3
Among other creatures, human beings have unique tendencies, capabilities, abilities, and talents in higher levels of immortality and far beyond the possible capacity of this earthly world. Actions and motivations, such as having a far superior level of knowledge, and being fully conscious of ethics and moral values or being endowed with scientific and/or religious aspirations, along with a sense of true devotion and servitude to God Almighty.
Thus the ability to do good, by worshiping the rightful God, and by having faith in Allah, while performing the right deeds are certainly, most useful and beneficial to them; however, in the real sense of the word, the actual benefit that one could retrieve from these things differ from one human being to another.
A person, who sacrifices his/her physical life for the sake of achieving great goals would, in fact, plant a seed, which can only be grown in an eternal life, full of bliss and nothing more... Therefore, man can fly higher and far better than in his usual natural state, in a realm where faith and good deeds prevail and dominate triumphantly.
In like manner, in a realm where only disbelief, misdeeds, and sins prevail, his actions will deviate more and more from their natural state, by entering a wicked mental state, in an eternal, immortal surrounding. In fact, those actions will even get past the usual and natural physical limits and needs, to bring on terrible suffering and atrocious pains to him, and to make him become at last, a dweller of hell.
Therefore, inside the human beings’ nature, there is not only the reflection of greatness but also a tremendous desire and aspiration to reach immortality. In other words, the human beings not only wish for immortality, but they also possess, fortunately or unfortunately, various instincts, which will encourage and incite them to go for it and possess immortality by any means, whatsoever. In other words, the human beings have the capability and capacity of obtaining immortality for themselves.
The fact of preventing mankind from the possibility of reaching immortality and an eternal existence, in regards to his talents and capabilities is indeed a form of injustice; and it is thus, against the principles of divine justice. The human beings, who have walked in the path of faith in God and done the rightful deeds, are similar to those studious students, who have correctly done their assigned homework.
In like manner, those human beings, who are against any faith in Allah Almighty and perform ugly, wrongful deeds, are similar to those lazy students, who only spend their time, by doing no fruitful action whatsoever; and eventually, the teacher would punish and deprive them of their marks. This form of deprivation is nothing but cruelty and it is against the principles of divine Justice.4
On the other hand, this world does not have the limit and capability of giving and directing the penalty of the deeds and actions of the human being, whether right or wrong. This is because after some particular rightful actions such as wanting to sacrifice oneself for the sake of the others or the sense of abnegation and devotion, the very existence and life of the human being ends there and then; thus, there will be no opportunity for any divine bounty and reward from God Almighty in that moment.
Therefore, there must exist another world, where people, who have done good deeds and then again, those, who have committed wrongful misdeeds could face their misbehaviors and/or good deeds and see the consequences of their deeds/misdeeds as well; for otherwise, it will certainly be against the principles of divine justice.
Allah is Just and thus rewards anyone, who has the potential and the capability of doing good deeds; then again, He deprives no one from His infinite mercy, whatever limit he/she may possess within his/her inner self. Therefore, the existence of the hereafter and eternal life for the human being is an inevitable event and it is considered as the means and instrument for divine mercy and justice, granted here by God Almighty, as a divine blessing to the human being.5
A number of verses in the Holy Qur'an have spoken about Allah’s wisdom, and the fact that nothing in this world is in any way, futile, vain or sent down as a playful thing.6 It speaks of the non-futility of the creation of the universe by God and His intention, concerning the humans; it also explains and proves the existence of Resurrection Day.
These holy verses mention the importance of God’s Creation as well, based upon the fact that this world is in no way, a place for worldly amusements and/or a vain and useless distraction for its inhabitants. Such as the noble surah below [Al-Mumenūn- 115, 116], which announces,
“What did you then think that we had created you in vain and that you shall not be returned to Us? So exalted be Allah, the True King; no God is there but He, the Lord of the honorable Dominion!” – 23:115-116
The meaning of this noble surah is given to us with subtlety, and by using a question, which is made, by negating an evident fact, in order to reach an inevitable truth. Meaning that Man has wrongly assumed that God has created him/her in vain and pointlessly; and did Man really believe that he would not return to his creator one day? Then the noble verses affirm that such presumption is absolutely, a false assumption. For Allah is pure and exempt from such false and vain accusations! They then affirm that if man had known Allah correctly and properly, he would have never approved nor accepted this false assumption; this is because, such assumption, according to the divine attributes that God possesses is inadmissible and utterly impossible.
The Holy Qur'an mentions three divine attributes, each one, refers to one of the means and causes of such futile and useless thinking from man, and then it negates them strongly and categorically. Thus, the main origins of committing vain and futile actions are:
Sometimes, a person begins to do something, but because of his/her incompetence and disability, he/she cannot accomplish it. Therefore, he/she would confess that. “I have done a futile thing”.
Here, the Holy Qur'an invites us to concentrate on the word “Mulk” [i.e. Dominion], which points at the absolute dominion and omnipotence of Allah, and shows us that for this particular reason, the Divine actions do not end in futility and vainness.
An individual, who is essentially afflicted with an imperfection, a sense futility and vainness, along with a state of impatience in his nature often tends to do vain and futile actions; on the other hand, one should know that whatever is produced from an eternal essence would be nothing but righteous; thus perfect deeds and actions come forth.
Now, everything that comes forth from such an essence is always righteous and just, endowed with perfection, and in complete accordance with that essence. In like manner, anything that is created in vainness and futility is doomed to be false and erroneous; therefore, no falsity or vainness comes from the glorious essence of the unique God, whatsoever. By using the word “Al-Haqq”, the Holy Qur'an has given a tremendous attention to this essential and important characteristic of God and explains that for this very particular reason, there is no futility and vainness at all in the Universe, created by Allah Almighty, which is considered as His action.
Sometimes, the existence of obstacles and other people’s troubles and disturbances is the main reason that actions and deeds would not be accomplished, thus, reaching the limit of futility and vainness. Here, by referring to the Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah, “La-Illaha-Illa-Allah [i.e. there is no God but Allah]” the existence of any form of obstacle and barrier such as associating other divinities to Allah and/or giving Him any partner are indeed negated categorically and strongly. This also goes along for His divinity and undisputed sovereignty, “Rabūl-Arshil-Azim [i.e. the Lord of the Great Throne]”. Therefore, the divine actions are far more superior, glorious, and sublime; and they are not considered at all, as something vain and useless.7
In the noble surah of "Ad-Dukhan" [34-40], it is indeed insisted that,
“Most surely, these do say, “There is naught but our first Death and we shall not be raised again.” So bring our fathers [back], if you are truthful. Are they better or the people of "Tubba" and those before them? We destroyed them, for surely they were guilty. And We did not create the heavens and the earth and what is between them in sport. We did not create them both but with the truth, but most of them do not know. Surely the day of separation is their appointed term, of all of them.” – 44:34-40
Indeed, this verse shows that:
1. The inexistence of Judgment day means that there is no purpose in the divine creation of the universe, which would ultimately signify that the existence of this world of ours is aimless and pointless; and that there would be nothing but entertainment and distraction for its inhabitants as a result, which is not true at all.
2. The divine essence is exempt from all kind of amusement and sport; God Almighty never accomplishes anything pointlessly and/or based on futility or amusement; for He does everything, according to a great truth and for the good of all. Therefore, the creation of the universe, which is indeed God’s Work, -Sublime and All-Wise He is!- will eventually finish its natural course in an eternal dwelling place and there is no other way to this, whatsoever.
In fact, the difference between the verses above and the verses 115-116 of the noble surah of "Al- Mūmenūn", which were mentioned earlier is that in those verses, the Holy Qur'an points out the vainness of mankind’s creation by God, minus the arrival of Resurrection Day. On the contrary, the above verses [Ad-Dukhan"-34-40] try to expand the subject, regarding the purpose of Creation even further, and by negating the claim that the world was created without the existence of Resurrection Day. 8
In order to discover the connection between Resurrection Day and divine wisdom, it is important to pay attention to these important points below:
Wisdom can generally be referred to as performing beneficial actions and deeds and being endowed with the characteristic of goal-mindedness [i.e. having an ultimate positive goal in life], while on the opposite side, we can face vainness, futility in our actions, and the execution of all kinds of aimless deeds, false distractions, and useless amusements. Yet, it should be noted that knowledge [i.e. reason] or wisdom towards divine actions [i.e. actions, which are only performed by God the Sublime] and the actions and deeds of the human beings are significantly different from one another.
An action, which is the production of the human intelligence and wisdom causes him to reach to higher spiritual levels and the aspired human perfection, which are worthy of him and which will eventually take away all kinds of imperfection from his inner self. For instance, actions such as learning something and trying hard to provide for one's provision and a place to live and things to wear are done to satisfy man's primary needs.
However, it should be noted that due to the fact that God is absolutely perfect in his divine essence and absolutely free from any kinds of need towards the others, therefore, the significance and meaning of knowledge and wisdom in His divine actions cannot possibly be as similar as those of the human beings. Therefore, Divine Wisdom associated with Allah means that He wants all His creatures to reach their own unique level of perfection and spiritual evolution, of which they are worthy, and which the will of God Almighty can only do. In other words, their Creation is based on the human efforts to attain the ultimate human perfection, so aspired, and so valued, and so worthy of them…
It is thus understood that by distinguishing the differences, which exist between the significance, the execution, and the usage of wisdom, in regards to God and man, the meaning and the interpretation of "vainness" and "futility" in man’s deeds differ thus greatly from that which is done by Allah Almighty. Therefore, the existence of any pointlessness and futility in God's eyes means to be away from the ultimate, sublime goal of any matter whatsoever, where the identity of that matter revolves around reaching that particular ultimate goal; and this is something, which completely differs from the action of God's bestowing and granting something to the human being. 9
According to what was discussed earlier, not only human beings always seek immortality and perpetuity but they also wish for their own survival and their much valued immortality. He also has powerful potentials, talents, and capabilities, which appear to be far beyond the capacity of this earthly world…
Mankind’s sublime and transcendental potentials, capabilities, and actions require a horizon far greater than this world’s limited horizon. Furthermore, this earthly plane is nothing but the finite, small universe, which embraces the fetus. It is nothing but a place [or should we say, a recipient], which only acts as a place of growth and acquiring great knowledge. A place where man is educated and taught accordingly to reach higher and more prominent spiritual and mental levels; however, man can only seek his final goal in another world, where the horizon is limitless and where everything in it is far better and far more superior than this actual world in which we live.
There are different interpretations, concerning the vainness and futility of divine creation and/or that of mankind, along with the inexistence and absence of any form of Resurrection Day.10
By referring to the verses of the Holy Qur'an, one can reach the rational conclusion that not only the hereafter [i.e. the Afterlife] exists inside the deep significance of God's creation of mankind, but that it already includes purgatory and resurrection day in itself, naturally and essentially.
It also implies that in all forms of life, there is always the notion and concept of a "return" to God, as the Almighty, sublime creator. In fact, if such concept [that is, the return to God] did not exist, the entire concept of divine creation would have been pointless and futile! And no Creation would have been made in the first place either, because it would have appeared as something utterly useless and devoid of any usefulness and cause.
Just as similar as the fact that if the entire existence of the fetus was to be limited and restricted only to the maternal womb, the formation and the creation of the human being's eyes and ears and then again, all the different parts of his/her body would have been pointless as well. Therefore, those which explain the "purposeful" nature of the Universe and then the existence of Mankind with all the existing characteristics, which only belong to him are indeed that same "marching progress" and "advancement" towards God Almighty. And the fact of going from this earthly plane to a higher, better, and far more superior world, which can only appear as "the" permanent dwelling-place of Man, as a natural ending…
- 1. Or, volume 7, page 129
- 2. In the noble surah of [Djassiyah, 28] the principles of wisdom and knowledge are also mentioned, and they will be later discussed in “The divine argument of wisdom”.
- 3. For more information, please refer to “The complete works of Professor Mutahhari” volume 1, pages 78-86, 115-132
- 4. Idem, volume 2, page 534
- 5. Idem, pages 532-534 or, volume 7, pages 135-136-140
- 6. For more explanation, regarding the difference between falsehoods, please refer to the book, entitled: “the Hereafter” pages 68-69. Or volume 3 of the Complete Works
of Professor Mutahhari, pages 141-142; there is also another explanation regarding the existence of a connection between Divine Justice and the necessity for the existence of Resurrection Day that are not valid; therefore, the erudite author had preferred to state what is mentioned here as the more valid statements. For more information, refer to volume 7, page 134-135.
- 7. Extract from the book “The Hereafter”, pages 65-66
- 8. There are other verses in the Holy Qur'an, which discuss the same subject, in the surah Al-Djassiah-21-22-27-28, Al-Hajj-5-7, etc, etc…
- 9. Idem, page 132
- 10. Please, refer to the book “The Hereafter” pages 90-91; or volume 7, pages 132- 139; then again, the "Complete Works", volume 2, page 536; and "The Social Evolution of Man" [Takamol-e Edjtemaii-e Ensan] , pages 75-76