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Spirituality & the Soul
The intelligent thinker always asks, sooner or later, 'What is on the other side of death?' To the materialist, who believes in the brain as the only factor of perception, there is no hereafter. To those who believe in tradition, there is another life, but mostly they are very vague as to its real meaning. For those who are seeking the truth, there is a right way and a wrong way of finding out about it. The right way consists of the study of the self, and the wrong way is in seeking to communicate with spirits.
Heaven can be defined in three ways. One way is the conception of creeds, as in Arabia, when the Bedouin came to the Prophet, and asked him, what is Heaven? he said, 'Heaven is a place where there are rivers of milk, tanks of honey, and emeralds and pearls and rubies and diamonds is to be found, and all that is good and beautiful is to be found there.' They said, that is the place we are looking for. And the Prophet said, that place you will only enter if you will do good. But if you will lie and thieve and rob you will go to the other place, then he showed the other place with all kinds of torture. That is the place which is taught to the ordinary man.
Then there is a Heaven which is reached above. What is above us is Heaven. The plane where we stand is the earth, and the plane to which we look forward is Heaven. And we all look forward to something, not only human beings, but also the earth is reaching upwards in the form of mountains and hills. The water is reaching upwards in the form of rising waves. Birds try to reach upwards by flying, and the animals try to reach upwards by standing on their hind legs. And in this way every creature is trying to reach upwards, though he does not know where he wants to, and what he wants to, reach. But he wants to reach upwards.
(To the righteous soul will be said:) "O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!
Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him!
Enter thou, then, among My devotees!
Yea, enter thou My Heaven!"
Qur'an 89:27 - 89:30
What does Islam teach about the Day of Judgment, Heaven, and Hell?
Islam teaches that after we die, we will be raised up again for judgment by Allah. On the Day of Judgment, all people will either be rewarded with eternity in Heaven, or punished with eternity in Hell. Learn more about how Muslims view sin and the afterlife, heaven and hell.
The idea of heaven and hell exists in some form or another in all religions. This gives the religions a great hold upon the masses keeping them completely under their sway, inducing them to do good and to keep from evil. Without this it would be almost impossible, for man is always being tempted to evil, and great difficulties stand in his way when he attempts to do good, since the wicked seem to possess the kingdom of the earth, while the righteous look to the mercy of God. If no such promise had been given, no other reward, however great, would ever have united mankind in the religion of faith.
The reward that God gives is quite different from any earthly comforts and riches, but in early times, and even with most people now, it could only be expressed in the form of earthly rewards. That is why the Apostles received the power to speak to every man in his own language.
Imam Warith Deen Mohammed (may Allah rest his soul in peace), the past leader of the largest group of Muslims in the US said the following about symbolism in scripture:
“What much of the masses of people have been given as religion are shells devoid of the kernel of real knowledge. This includes Christians, Jews, and Muslims. They have been fed fairy tale, kindergarten concepts and have belief in "stories" that are meant to convey profound ideas instead of being taken literally. The masses of people read scriptures thinking it is telling them how the first man and woman were made, how the physical sun, moon and stars were made, how Moses parted the red sea with his staff, how Noah got pairs of every animal on earth on his ark and other kindergarten fairy tale stories. Never do they understand that these scriptural descriptions are symbols that have to be decoded. They are symbols being used to convey profound knowledge but without the ability to decode the symbols the average person is lost. The high ups in religion know the real meanings but they have denied that to the masses.”