Islamic beliefs about the afterlife
Islamic beliefs about the afterlife are very important. Muslims believe in the continued existence of the soul and a transformed physical existence after death. Islam teaches that there will be a day of judgment when all humans will be divided between the eternal destinations of Paradise and Hell.
A central doctrine of the Quran, and one of the most important teachings of Muhammad, is the Last Day, on which the world will be destroyed and Allah will raise all people and jinn from the dead to be judged. The Last Day is also called the Day of Standing Up, Day of Separation, Day of Reckoning, Day of Awakening, Day of Judgment, The Encompassing Day or The Hour.
Until the Day of Judgment, deceased souls remain in their graves awaiting the resurrection. However, they begin to feel immediately a taste of their destiny to come. Those bound for hell will suffer in their graves, while those bound for heaven will be in peace until that time.
The Nature of the Day of Judgment
The resurrection that will take place on the Last Day is physical, and is explained by suggesting that Allah will re-create the decayed body (17:100: "Could they not see that God who created the heavens and the earth is able to create the like of them"?). On the Last Day, resurrected humans and jinn will be judged by Allah according to their deeds. One's eternal destination depends on balance of good to bad deeds in life. They are either granted admission to Paradise, where they will enjoy spiritual and physical pleasures forever, or condemned to Hell to suffer spiritual and physical torment for eternity.
The day of judgment is described as passing over Hell on a narrow bridge in order to enter Paradise. Those who fall, weighted by their bad deeds, will remain in Hell forever. The Quran specifies two exceptions to this general rule:
- - Warriors who die fighting in the cause of God are ushered immediately to God's presence (Surah 2:159 and Surah 3:169); and
- "Enemies of Islam" are sentenced immediately to Hell upon death.