Fear a Day when no soul will be able to compensate for another in any way. No intercession will be accepted from it, no ransom taken from it, and they will not be helped. (Surat al-Baqara: 48)
One of the unbelievers’ greatest spiritual problems is that they do not believe in the Hereafter, as if people had just “made it up” to console themselves after someone dies. The clearest indication of this doubt is their attitude when they speak of death or when someone dies. They do not like to speak of death, and so try to avoid the topic or turn the conversation toward something else. On the contrary, those who believe in the Hereafter do not grieve over death, for Allah has given their life and He will give it back from them. For someone who believes in the eternal life after death, death is not an event for which to feel sorry. Those who have little or no belief in the Hereafter devastate people who are distant to the morality of the religion. When a relative dies, they say consoling words based on the Qur’an: “Don’t be sad. He was a good person, so Allah will take him to Paradise.” But because they lack sincere belief in the Hereafter, their words have no affect on their conscience. In their hearts, they believe that the world is real and that the Hereafter is nothing but a cloudy, unclear legend. As revealed in the Qur’an: “They know an outward aspect of the life of this world but are heedless of the Hereafter” (Surat ar-Rum: 7). But the Hereafter is totally real; if there is anything deceptive and doubtful, it is life in this world. If you ask the “people of Hell: “…How many years did you tarry on Earth?” they will answer: “…We tarried there for a day or part of a day.” In this regard, Allah says:
You only tarried there for a little while, if you did but know. Did you suppose that We created you for amusement and that you would not return to Us? (Surat al-Mu’minun: 112-115)
Allah meets all of the desires that He has put into a person’s lower self with the blessings He grants. For example, people want to eat and drink and so Allah created things to eat and drink. People like to love and be loved, be respected and talk with others, and so Allah created humanity as men and women. People desire what is beautiful, so Allah created the world and the universe and endowed them with endless beauty. Indeed, the purpose in His creating these desires in people’s hearts is to grant them these blessings.
In addition, people want to live forever. But according to the unbelievers’ mistaken logic, death makes this impossible. In fact, by creating the Hereafter and making human beings so that they can live forever, Allah has responded to this desire. Death is only a passageway, the first stage in a journey that starts in this transient and deceptive world and leads to eternal life. It is the spirit that is real, not the body. With death, the spirit lives on in a different form.
According to their deeds, people will receive their true reward and punishment in the Hereafter. In this world, a believer may have a difficult life while an unbeliever may be rich and live in splendid debauchery. This is a requisite of the test in this life, for Allah’s eternal justice demands that believers be rewarded and unbelievers be punished. He created the Day of Judgment, as well as the Garden and Hell, for this very purpose.