All Saint’s Day and All Souls’ Day are two celebrations that Muslims do not participate in as these two are religious celebrations that Muslims should not have any form of participation whatsoever. But Muslims do not disregard these two solemn holidays because we do not see remembering and preparing for our own deaths as insignificant. It is just a mere observance of what a Muslim is allowed or not allowed to do or participate with. Muslims, actually are more meditative with regards to death and the Afterlife that we do not need a special holiday for it.
PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF AN AFTERLIFE
For most people, it is easy to deny any kind of an Afterlife or life after death as most of the evidences presented about these have something to do with belief of some kind in a religion, a scripture or a supreme being which are not really popular especially among the materially driven people of today. People who do not believe in afterlife may not necessarily call themselves atheists or agnostics as most of them simply do not care. Any talk about the afterlife is immediately dismissed by these people as mere fiction or a delusion that some enterprising people were able to sell as real and just plain waste of time to talk about.
But the belief in life after death could be deducted despite our own finite understanding of the world around us. This could be reached by using the principle of pairs. The principle of pairs states that everything in the universe operate in the universal principle of having something that is direct opposite pair that repels each other or a complementary pair that pulls each other.
Atoms, for example, are composed of both negative and positive charges, living beings reproduce by having male and female species while magnets work by having a south pole and a north pole. It is therefore not totally crazy or unacceptable for man to believe that beyond this finite world, there is an infinite parallel world in the afterlife where absolute justice, harmony and never-ending life could exist for those who deserve it according to the designs of its creator – God. People who believe in a religion call this place as Paradise. The only place where humans could fulfill their infinite desires that could never be fulfilled in a finite world where we grow old and weak and we could only acquire so much material possessions until we find ourselves in conflict with the others.
Prophet Muhammad said, “If the son of Adam had two valleys of money, he would wish for a third, for nothing can fill the belly of Adam’s son except dust, and Allah forgives him who repents to Him.” Narrated by Imam Al Bukhari. Therefore, Paradise is the ultimate destination that the human could wish for and strive for if he wanted his dreams to be really fulfilled as there is only too much that we could achieve in this finite world using our finite abilities.
On the other hand, there is another part of this parallel world that is reserved for those who will not be deemed deserving of the eternal blessings of living in Paradise especially those who have built their Paradise here on Earth. Prophet Muhammad said, “The world is a prison-house for a believer and Paradise for a non-believer.” Narrated by Imam Al Bukhari. We know this place as Hell.
Another philosophical basis is the cause and effect theory that states that nothing in the universe exists except that there is a reason or purpose in its creation and this further validates any form of belief in an Afterlife. Since God is the designer of humans as He is the creator, he created humans and put them on Earth for a purpose – to be tested in this finite world and be rewarded in the infinite world.
THE MUSLIM’S MODERATE VIEW OF LIFE AND AFTERLIFE
Muslims literally remember death and prepare for it, each and every day of their lives. In a prophetic narration, Abdullah bin Omar reported “Allah’s Messenger took hold of my shoulder and said, ‘Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler.” The sub-narrator added: Ibn `Umar used to say, “If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and take from your life for your death.” Narrated by Imam Al Bukhari
Muslims are ordered in this narration to make the most out of their lives in enjoying that which they could enjoy of the wholesome, allowed and good things in life and yet they are made to remember death often and treat each moment as if it was their last. This makes Muslims on the path of moderation in terms of their worldly life and their afterlife. There are people who have shunned every kind of material possession in order to focus on acts of worship while some people focus themselves on worldly matters exclusively without even looking at the possibility of an afterlife. Muslim come in between these two.
SYSTEMATIC WAY OF ACHIEVING A GOOD AFTERLIFE
But Muslims do not simply hope for a good life in the Hereafter in a haphazard, random manner as if he is betting on a lottery. Allah has clarified the methodology on how humans could reach Paradise with nothing left out to chance whether a person shall enter Paradise or not. God’s design is perfect and any chaos that we observe in this world is part of His plan of making this world a testing ground for His creation which gives this chaos purpose. Everything that people undergo through is designed to test whether he or she will remain faithful to God or be among those who shall be thankless and proud in worshipping God alone without partners according to the way He wished to be worshipped.