Defining is There Life after Death in Different Religions

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“You die in the middle of your life, in the middle of a sentence”. (John Green, 2017)

Life is the biological development of every creature that can breathe and act (Tom Baranski, Somerset, New Jersey). It is a mirror that reflects our behavior, so we should make it valuable by adding a meaning to it through our actions, otherwise it would be nothing else but nonsensical. But we are all aware that eventually no one can be eternal. The life of any creature is just like a movie, they both have an end, but the only difference between them is that life lasts longer. Talking about the end, human beings have always argued about whether there is an afterlife. Some of them have a serious fear of not getting a second opportunity to meet their loved ones and siblings. You can find them, in a funeral, staring at the person who left them for long hours, because they deem that it is the only opportunity to see his face and memorize his facial features for the last time. The others believe that the physical life is only one or at most two chapters of the whole life. They are not afraid of death or of losing someone, as they are sure that they will see each other one day in a completely different dimension. Obviously, the afterlife controversy can be seen from three different angles. First, we mention the Abrahamic religions, that believe in the afterlife. Second one stands for the eastern religions that completely deny this supernatural fact. And the last ones are humanists who only believe in science. 

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First of all, let us start with explaining the beliefs of “the three Abrahamic religions” (Oxplore, University of Oxford, Is there life after death?, 2017) that are: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. It is known that people that are following one of these religions, admit that Abraham is their premier prophet on earth. And believe that when someone dies, its soul remains alive but in another dimension or in another world that normal people cannot see.

Muslims and Christians have practically the same understanding of life after death. After reading and knowing more about the explanation of the Koran and Bible’s contents, they believe that our body is a gift that god, ‘Allah’ in Arabic words, gave us in order to accomplish our tasks and daily activities to survive and to use it carefully so that we can realize whatever our soul wants. And by this we can say that Muslims and Christians think that the human body is just a convenient tool that helps us achieving our goals and realizing our needs. They have beliefs that when someone dies, its soul is transmitted to another mysterious world, and when the world ends, god will judge this spirit (religion facts, Islamic Beliefs About the Afterlife, 2015). If its owner did honorable things in his life time, such as helping others and following god’s requirement and instructions, its soul will be rewarded through sending it to paradise (why islam, 2017), a heaven, with seven marvelous layers that have different degrees, which mean that people are placed in these layers depending on the level of good things that they did in their life . The seven layers also exist in Hell, the place where all non-believers go after the day of judgment, but these layers are extremely different from heaven’s ones (Oxplore, University of Oxford, Is there life after death?, 2017). And according to Christians view of things, there are three extremely important places in the afterlife; the first one is ’The Celestial Kingdom’ where god and Jesus live, so if someone believed in Jesus and followed precisely his instruction, he will be sent to this wonderful layer near to his ‘heavenly father’. The second one is ‘The Terrestrial Kingdom’, and this is where all the good non-believers go, which means that even if a person is a non-believer but did respectful and satisfying things during his life, he will however be sent to this kingdom, and this shows the empathy and fairness of god. The last one is ‘The Telestial Kingdom’ where all sinners who continued with doing mistakes, go (ComeUntoChrist, What happens when we die,2018). Even though god will judge everyone with justice and clemency, there are some mistakes that are unforgivable. Therefore, its owners will be sent to a highly painful places where he will be penalized in different ways. But Muslims and even Christians believe that this punishment can be temporary, with mean that a sinner can be transferred to paradise after having its appropriate torture (Oxplore, University of Oxford, Is there life after death?, 2017). To recapitulate, we can say that Christians believe in resurrection, and this belief was built in them after the miracle of Jesus rebirth. And by that, all Christians after this incident, have faith that their bodies and will be one day reunited in a way better place than this physical world.

Concerning the last Abrahamic religion which is Judaism, Jewish people believed at first that it exists a place called ‘Sheol’ where all people go after dying no matter what they did in their life. In this place there is no punishment and no rewards. But this idea changed after the development of standing-up day in the Talmud. Jewish beliefs are now similar to those of Christians and Muslims; which means that they also believe that after the day of judgment, people will be divided into different categories, the good one will be transferred to heaven, which they call (Olam Ha-Ba), and sinners will go to hell, called (Gehenna) in their religion. The only difference between Judaism and the two previous religions, is that people that will be sent to hell, are going to spend only a “period of twelve months at most” (Oxplore, University of Oxford, Is there life after death? 2017) in that painful place. Only the true evil will remain in hell for an eternity.

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