Hinduism’s False Beliefs About Death and the Hereafter
The rejection of the belief in the hereafter is one of the most fundamental aspects of pagan Eastern religions. They instead have an imaginary system of karma by which the lives of sentient beings revolve in endless cycles of death and reincarnation. The superstitious Hindu religion’s view of death and the life on earth is based on these principles.
From the 4th century Hindus have pictured the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in the human form, often used to decorate temple entrances. Pagan Hindu faith suggests that rivers respond in a number of ways to reverence offered by people.
Reincarnation is the name given to the mistaken belief that can be summarized as the return of the soul after each death into another body In Hinduism, reincarnation goes by the name of samsara and works by an imaginary system based on causality called “karma”. According to the Karma belief, for which there is no supporting evidence, evil deeds committed in the present life will form a negative karma which results in a reincarnation into a “lower” body in the next life. Likewise, good deeds make good karma and in the subsequent reincarnation, the person is born into a “higher” being. In this way, people are continuously reborn into a different body. However, no one seems to be able to provide an answer as to who formed this imaginary system or how it can work. According to the manmade Hindu belief, every living being goes through 8.400.000 forms of being before becoming a human.13 It is not revealed under whose control these reincarnations take place but the ultimate purpose is to break the «life-death-rebirth-life-death» cycle by attaining so-called freedom, “enlightenment,” the state of “Nirvana” or meeting “Brahma”. All this however are only myths and tales of human origin, based on the Hindu scriptures and therefore, the beliefs of karma and reincarnation are nothing but irrational nonsense.
Say: “Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible and He will inform you about what you did.” (Surat Al-Jumu‘a: 8)
The Hindu scriptures define clearly the “laws of karma”. Through these manmade laws Hindus can anticipate what their next incarnation will hold for them based on what they do in the present life. For instance, according to Hindu scriptures, someone who steals corn will become a mouse in his next life. A dog that steals fruit or a hedgehog that steals dyed fabric will be reborn as a leper.14 However, it is not known how these cause and effect rules operate, who the maker of these laws is, who determines right and wrong and who operates this system. There is no rational explanation available that would clarify the situation and no Hindu inquires into this matter, nor does he seek answers in this respect from the scriptures.
According to Hindu belief, washing in the Ganges River cleanses all sins and provides for a higher form of existence. The dead body being incinerated and its ashes strewn into the Ganges occupies a major place in superstitious Hindu belief. The corpses of the dead are brought to the shores of the Ganges River on buses, and then incinerated by priests who then also perform the last rites. It is believed that if even a fraction of the ashes is not cast into the river, the subsequent life will bring much suffering.15 These scriptures, written thousands of years ago by ignorant people, are not based Allah’s revelation and yet there are around 1 billion people who blindly believe in them.
Much has been written over the centuries about this religion which has no divine or rational basis. They are the product of the Aryan power of imagination. Especially in recent years the karma belief has been much discussed in the West. When reincarnation is considered in the light of the verses of the Qur’an and Allah’s revelations about the life on earth, the fact that this is a grave aberration is seen right away:
He Who created death and life to test which of you is best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever-Forgiving. (Surat al-Mulk: 2)
It is revealed in this verse that people will be tried throughout their earthly lives. The world is a temporary abode where genuinely faithful people as well as deniers are revealed for who and what they are. It is a place of learning where believers are purified, attain the spirituality of paradise, and mature by their efforts of winning the good pleasure of Allah, Who has clearly revealed His limits that must be observed and what He approves and disapproves of. According to his morality in his life on earth, every human being will either meet with reward or punishment in his eternal life in the hereafter and therefore every moment of our lives on earth, is either a step towards paradise or hell.
Man will not be reincarnated time after time as the false reincarnation belief suggests, but he will meet his death which will terminate his worldly life. Everyone around him, his friends, relatives and everybody else on earth will most certainly die like the billions of people who have come before them. Allah reveals this fact: “Every self will taste death…” (Surat al-Anbiya’: 35). Forgetting this inevitable reality is one of the worst mistakes anyone can make. Man, who will never be able to prevent his death, will die at a place and time unknown to him from one cause or another. The situation of people who forget about death and immerse themselves into this life is revealed in the verses:
As for those who do not expect to meet Us and are content with the life of this world and at rest in it, and those who are heedless of Our Signs, their shelter will be the Fire because of what they earned. (Surah Yunus: 7-8)
In spite of the inescapable reality of death and Judgment Day, some people close their eyes to this reality and choose instead false beliefs like karma and reincarnation. They unceasingly condition themselves to disregard death and fool themselves by saying that they “do not fear dying”, but this type of aberration earns them a great loss on earth as well as in the hereafter. Those who believe in karma consider death to be the portal into their next life and reject the idea of the Day of Judgment and the hereafter. This is nothing but self denial, because irrespective of how much they refrain from contemplating death and Judgment Day, they will nevertheless meet both. This escape can only last for the duration of ones lifetime or 60-70 years. Every human being will die, be judged, and receive the return for his actions whether or not he ponders this unavoidable reality. Allah reveals this fact:
The throes of death come revealing the truth. That is what you were trying to evade! (Surah Qaf: 19)
Allah will not give anyone more time, once their time has come. Allah is aware of what you do. (Surat al-Munafiqun: 11)
Those who disregard the reality of death in the belief that death is but the beginning another cycle of rebirth into the next life will have to answer for all their actions on the Day of Judgment. In the end, they too will believe in Allah and the hereafter, and will come to now that evading the Day of Judgment is impossible:
They will shout out in it, “Our Lord! Take us out! We will act rightly, differently from the way we used to act!” Did We not let you live long enough for anyone who was going to pay heed to pay heed? And did not the warner come to you? Taste it then! There is no helper for the wrongdoers. (Surah Fatir: 37)
Everything they did is in the Books. Everything is recorded, big or small. (Surat al-Qamar: 52-53)
Another verse warns those who stray from Allah’s path of righteousness in the following way: “… Those who are misguided from the Way of Allah will receive a harsh punishment because they forgot the Day of Reckoning.” (Surah Sâd: 26)
The Qur’an Refutes Superstitious Reincarnation
People in general have little knowledge of reincarnation and karma, and some people even believe that these false beliefs are compatible with Allah’s religion conveyed to mankind by His messengers. Reincarnation has no basis in Islam, and Muslim’s point of view in this regard (as with everything else too) is the perspective of the Qur’an. Those who try to present reincarnation and karma as natural laws are in clear violation of the Qur’an.
They were only ordered to worship Allah, making their religion sincerely His as people of pure natural belief, and to establish prayer and give the alms -that is the religion of the correct. (Surat al-Bayyina: 5)
Allah reveals in the Qur’an that death and resurrection happen once. Man comes into being by the life Allah gives, lives this one life and, when the appointed time of his death has come, he dies. After his death, it is not a new life on earth that begins but the life of the hereafter. All people are judged after their death and sent to hell or paradise accordingly where they will spend their eternal lives. Allah reveals with the following verse that every human being will die: “… Death, from which you are fleeing, will certainly catch up with you.” (Surat al-Jumu‘a: 8). Our Lord’s message to those who follow false beliefs like the karma is clear:
There is a ban on any city We have destroyed; they will not return. (Surat al-Anbiya’: 95)
Allah reveals the phases of human life in the following verse: “… you were dead and then He gave you life, then He will make you die and then give you life again, then you will be returned to Him? (Surat al-Baqara: 28). In another verse he says: “Allah is He Who created you, then provides for you, then will cause you to die and then bring you back to life. Can any of your partner-gods do any of that? Glory be to Him and may He be exalted above anything they associate with Him!” (Surat ar-Rum: 40)
Our Lord reveals in the 28th verses of the Surat al-Baqara that to begin with man was dead, or in other words that before His creation, he was dead matter like soil, water and mud. Then Allah gave this lifeless mass life: “He Who created you and formed you and proportioned you” (Surat al-Infitar: 7). Then, after a certain amount of time has passed since his creation, man is made to die and returned to soil where he decomposes into soil himself. This is his second death and his final creation is awaiting him, which is in the hereafter. Every human being will be resurrected in the hereafter, realize that there is no way back to earth and be held accountable for all his actions in his life there. Allah reveals in the verses that there is only one death once life on earth has begun:
They will not taste any death there – except for the first one. He will safeguard them from the punishment of the Blazing Fire. A favor from your Lord. That is the Great Victory. (Surat ad-Dukhan: 56-57)
The above verses very clearly state that death is only once irrespective of how much some people try to make themselves foolishly believe in karma and reincarnation in order to defeat their fear of death and the hereafter and to deceive themselves, the truth is they will never return to earth. Every person will die just once and then his eternal life in the hereafter will begin as determined by Allah, Who will either reward him for his good actions on earth with paradise or punish him with hell for his evil. Allah is infinitely just, compassionate, and merciful and everybody will receive his fair due. It is no doubt a great loss to seek salvation in false beliefs in the hope of escaping death and the probability of hell. Allah warns people who believe that their lives will never end thus disregard the reality of the hereafter:
No indeed! We have given these people enjoyment, as We did their fathers, until life seemed long and good to them. Do they not see how We come to the land eroding it from its extremities? Or are they the victors? (Surat al-Anbiya’: 44)
Conscientious and rational people should turn to Allah with a true heart and abide by the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) in order to escape hell and to win paradise if they have fears in this regard. No one should forget that to date, no amount of wealth, nor youth, power or beauty has saved anyone from death and no one should therefore disregard the reality of death. Irrespective of whether death is disregarded or not, it will come: “… On the Day that the Hour arrives, that Day the liars will be lost.” (Surat al-Jathiyya: 27)
13. "Çeşitli İnanışlara Göre Reenkarnasyon", http://ufonet.150m.com/konular/reenkarnasyon.htm
14. Dr. Ali İhsan Yitik, Hint Kökenli Dinlerde Karma İnancının Tenasüh İnancıyla İlişkisi, Ruh ve Madde Yayınları, s. 111
15. Time, 24 Mart 1997, s 28-29