Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Hereafter


I've believed that there was nothing after this life for mots of my life. I've mostly always believed that there was no God, mostly because of this feeling inside me that there was nothing after this life. Sometimes I felt there was, other times I didn't. But I always figured the logical answer was that there was not, but considering I didn't think there was anything after this life, it seemed unimportant to consider a creator.

I've recently begun to believe in a creator more than before, but my thoughts on the hereafter... well they haven't changed that much. I'm trying to wrap my mind around the concept. From what I understand about Islam and the Day of Judgement, when we die, we become timeless and appear directly at the Day of Judgement, same as everyone who will have died until humanity is done on earth, all at the same "time".

It's hard to imagine because although there are descriptions in the Qur'an about the afterlife, that is not how it would be (I use would since I don't know if I believe in it). These are words used to convey to a human how great or how awful it can be but in no way do I believe it would actually be with literal fire in Hell or literal gardens in Heaven. And it's hard to imagine because of how important and structured and constant time is now and how different even just that factor would be. It makes me think more about how different even our thinking might be, even if we are still us. I guess it would be normal to think differently after having had something spectacular unveiled to us (whether it's Heaven or Hell and all that comes along with these two things), but would we still feel what we do for our family and friends? Will we be fully individual? How is that still us? Will we have the memory of what it was like on earth and all our experiences? If not, again, how is that still us? If so, it's so "earthly" to be considered Heaven or Hell.


What are your thoughts?

3 Comentários:

Aalya said...

Kind of an interesting thought...will we be 'us' in the hereafter. I would like to think so and that I will be re-united with friends and family!

As for the gardens and 'fire' I really do believe in that stuff...I think we are rewarded with the gardens and the fire is always a reminder that we need to be 'good' and live a pious life. But really at the end only God knows what we will get...but best to strive to be the best and faithful!

Sarah said...

I have difficulty with the black-and-white view of heaven and hell, and with the idea of an infinite punishment for finite sins. Although I've found there are some views out there (Islamic and Christian also I think) in which the punishment would be finite.

Another thing is that both Christianity and Islam state that one has to have faith in order to get to heaven, which I find scary.

Can I just say I am really glad to have found your blog. To see someone thinking deeply about things is encouraging to someone who does the same. I hope that my comments haven't offended or confused you.

Candice said...

Aalya- About the gardens and fire, what I meant is that if there's a hereafter, what it is is so beyond our imaginative capacities that using earthly words like "garden" and "fire" is really all that could have been used to convey the idea of it... (not that it's something I fully don't believe, although it's obvious I'm not sure at all!)

I simply can't believe that it's a garden and fire in the same way as what we have it as here on earth. I think that we are too limited to imagine what would possibly be in the hereafter.

Sarah- Welcome! I'm so very glad you found my blog to! I was actually getting discouraged until Aalya told me I had my profile set on private. :P You don't need to be afraid of offending me! I put this blog up to get my ideas and thoughts out there and most importantly receive thoughts from others.

I also wonder about the infinite rewards and punishments. I either figure that 1) there are finite rewards and punishments (some time here, some time there), 2) that it's relatively easy to get forgiven for your sins and go to heaven (only really BAD people go to Hell) or that there are stages ranging from this terrible Hell to this wonderful Heaven.

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