Michael greeted his two friends as soon as he had signed into the chat room. Rajiv greeted him back, while Yousef responded by saying:
Yousef: Wait for me a little, I am preparing a very exciting video for you both. Have you watched the video of the Italian football player Morosini, who played in the Livorno team in its match in Serie B with the Pescara club? He suddenly died after having cardiac arrest and collapsed to the ground. It was a complete and utter shock to the spectators as they saw him dying and his heart stopping after he was blazing with action, before their very own eyes!
Michael: Even more impressing was what happened when the Bolton team player Muamba fell during the match between his team and Tottenham in the FA Cup. The player fainted after he was struck with heart failure, and all claimed he was dead. However, in an extremely rare incident, his heart started beating again after it had stopped for 78 minutes!! This was what several doctors considered as death for 78 minutes, and it prompted Tobin, the team doctor, to exclaim, "He (Muamba) was, in effect, clinically dead at that time. We all feared for the worst and didn't think we'd witness the recovery we saw. It's simply incredible." Muamba died and then came back to life.
Yousef: Death is the only truth that is recognized and agreed upon by all human beings. But, what comes after death? Is it the end, or is there another start after death - The Last Day, as many people believe?
Rajiv: Faith in the Last Day is an inherent doctrine that has been carried by humans since the beginning of life on this earth. Archeological discoveries and historical evidences have shown that this doctrine existed in ancient civilizations. It was known to the ancient Egyptians, to the Mayans and to the Romans in Mesopotamia... and to others... In addition, no heavenly revealed religion has been without this doctrine, and even human made religions such as Brahmanism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Confucianism and Sabianism believe in it too.
Yousef: It is true what you say, and this doctrine the Prophet of Islam called on us to believe in, and it was also conveyed by other prophets to their people, and believing in it is one of the conditions of Islam at all times, for there is no meaning of faith in Allah and His books and His messengers without this doctrine.Michael: However, I notice that the effect of this doctrine in people's lives is not the same, and only a few of them have a place for it in their consciousness, or consider it in their behavior.
Yousef: That's right; people all admit it at the level of theoretical belief, but few of them actually put that belief into practice, and the evidence for this is that if we imagine that a siren sounds to announce an air raid during the days of war, the expected norm is that the streets would empty quickly and be free of pedestrians and traffic, and he who does not run for shelter will be described as being foolish or crazy. If that is the case in relation to a small matter in this world, then how should it be if the matter was even more dangerous and much more important!? It is a danger that people believe will inevitably happen, and the Almighty, the Creator of this universe, warned us about it, and He announced it on the lips of all His apostles. It is logical then that people's response to this Divine warning should be stronger and more intense.
Michael: I think that the reason for this is that the people can physically see and hear the danger that the siren is sounded for. Even if they haven't experienced war, they have seen it in other cases, or in other places, or they may have observed its effects. As for the Last Day, the wall of death stands between it and us, and it is not apparent to our eyes today. This is what creates the difference in certainty between the two cases.
Yousef: Yes, it's true what you say, but it is assumed that humans reach facts and are certain of them through their minds too, not only through their senses. The reason for the weakness of certainty in these people is that they do not use the eye of their minds, for if they look at the matter carefully and used their minds well to understand it properly, they would realize that what they see with their own eyes is not more certain than what is absent from their view.Moreover, there are things that if one waits to see or test, will perish; because these things cannot be experienced except once. If someone, for instance, were to challenge another by saying that he could throw himself from the top of a high building and fall unharmed, and the other were to say that they should try it, then that would be their first and last experiment. It is not by such an experiment that one can prove the validity or incorrectness of this claim, but it is with the realization of the mind and by looking at previous cases and similarities that we can reach the expected outcome of the experiment - without actually going through it.Rajiv: So, we need to reach this certainty, to prove this doctrine with mental evidence and with scientific parallels.
Yousef: I do not mind that, but I say that the strongest evidence in this case is the confidence in the truthfulness of He who told us so, Who is Allah, on the lips of His messengers, and this is what is required of us to believe in, in order have faith in Him. He knows best and He is most careful in guiding us to what is best for us.As for what you have requested as mental evidence and scientific parallels, they are many... but I'll mention only some, as follows:
The first argument: Is that he, who is able to start something, is able to do it for a second, third, fourth or even fifth time. This means that if we were certain that Allah created us the first time, then He Who created us the first time out of nothing is certainly able to give us life again after death. It is even more possible for another life to happen, in theory, than it is possible for the first.
The second argument: Is the altering of materials and objects from one state to another, and from one nature to another. The Qur'an gives as an example of that, which all people can test, it is the making of fire from a green tree, for He Who makes something out of its opposite and makes created matter subjugated to Him, all of which is not difficult for Him to do, can give life to bones when they have rotted away and become dust.
The third argument: Is the changing of the creatures from one state to another: Death then life, then death, then life again. From a rigid inanimate seed grows a lush green plant that blossoms and bears fruit. Then from that living plant again we have inanimate seeds that do not grow. From living birds come inanimate eggs and from these eggs again come out animate living birds. Life lies in what we think is lifeless. The same applies to all humans and animals.
The fourth argument: Is the witnessing of the phenomenon of resurrection in the lives of humans, animals and plants. The normal human body consists of 260,000,000,000,000,000 cells that change every second, and this number decreases rapidly, but this decrease is made up by food. The human body then alters itself, by itself, in a continuous manner, just like a flowing river, and so our body is subjected to the continuing process of change, so that there comes a time when none of the old cells exist in the body. This process is repeated in youth and childhood quickly, while it continues slowly in old age. This change occurs on average once every ten years.From this we conclude that the actual physical body changes continuously, but the human being inside does not change: His knowledge, habits, memory, aspirations, and thoughts, all remain as they were. If the human perishes when the human body perishes, then it is necessary that he is at least affected by the death of cells and its full change. This confirms that human life is something other than the body, and it remains despite the change of the body and the continuous change of its cells, but then finally it perishes.
The fifth argument: Is that modern day science indicates that the universe’s devices are recording all human actions fully. It is, therefore, one of the most important objectives of the afterlife: Reward or punishment for the good deeds or evil actions which were committed in this world according to what is recorded of the human being’s actions, which includes: Intentions, utterances, and actions. Scientific evidence demonstrates that these dimensions do not disappear in vain; but can be called and retrieved after their completion:For intentions or ideas that come to the mind and then we forget... we see them during sleep or we talk about them in conditions of hysteria or insanity, without realizing it. This undoubtedly proves that the mind or the memory are not just the things that we feel and sense, but that there are other parts of the memory that we do not feel, and these have an independent existence, and science has proved that we are not able to erase them.As for utterances, modern science proves that the voices that we hear are waves in the air, and it has been definitely proven that these waves remain in the air after the first time they have occurred, and can be heard again even after the passage of centuries, though scientists have not been able to apply that in practice yet. Still, this proves that everything spoken by man is recorded.Lastly, there is the issue of actions that amazingly proves the possibility of an afterlife. Modern science proves that all our movements and our actions, in light or darkness, exist in space in the form of images, and that it is possible at any moment to compile these images. For all objects, animate or inanimate, permanently emit heat, which in turn reflects the forms and dimensions of these objects. A very accurate machine has been invented to capture the heat waves that are projected from any object, but these machines cannot capture thermal waves except for a few hours after the occurrence of the event.
Michael: If we accept the inevitability of the occurrence of the Last Day, and we know its place in Islam, what are the most important features of this doctrine in Islam?
Yousef: The details of this doctrine in Islam are very different from what is mentioned in most other religions, but generally this doctrine can be summed up in the following:1) That Allah will obliterate this world and all the creatures that exist, on a day known as the Day of Resurrection.2) Then He - the Almighty and Exalted, will give them back their souls and will gather them before Him. This is what is known as Resurrection.3) After that all that these people have done, good or evil, nothing more nothing less, will be presented in front of a Divine Court.4) Then Allah Almighty will weigh every single person’s good and evil actions. If the good deeds outweigh that of the evil, Allah will forgive him, but if the scale of the bad actions outweighs that of the good, then that person will be punished, if Allah wills.5) Those who are forgiven will enter Paradise, and those who are punished will enter Hellfire.
Rajiv: Indeed, it is a gravely serious matter.