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What Does The Quran Say About The Afterlife?

What Does The Quran Say About The Afterlife?

In Islamic tradition, the Quran is revered as the direct word of God, delivered to Prophet Muhammad  via the angel Gabriel with no change or alteration. In terms of contents, it can best be described as a rich tapestry of theology, history, genealogy, and self-help.

It focuses very heavily on this life, dealing out worldly wisdom and tips on how the Prophet’s followers can improve the world in which we currently live. However, the Quran also devotes a great deal of time to discussing what awaits us in the next life.

Additional details on the afterlife can be found in hadith. Hadith are a collection of sayings from the Prophet Muhammad , many of which shed further light on topics covered in the Quran. In this article, we’re going to be examining some of the most interesting facts about the afterlife mentioned in the Quran and the hadith.

Allah Will Resurrect Everybody  

The Quran teaches us, in no uncertain terms, that Allah will resurrect everybody on the Day of Judgment. Each individual shall then be held accountable for their deeds in this life and be permitted into Paradise or cast into the Hellfire. Allah’s will in process is stressed time and time again, as you will see in the below Quranic extract:

“And they say, ‘There is not but our worldly life; we die and live and nothing destroys us except time.’ And they have of that no knowledge; they are only assuming. And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, their argument is only that they say, ‘Bring [back] our forefathers, if you should be truthful.’ Say, ‘God causes you to live, then causes you to die; then He will assemble you for the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt,’ but most of the people do not know.”- Quran 45:24-26

This passage was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in response to the idolaters of his time. They held the belief that the afterlife was a non-issue and that man simply lived and died in this world and that was that.

They regularly mocked the Prophet for his teachings about the next world, challenging him to bring back their ancestors from the dead if he truly had the power to do so. Of course, Prophet Muhammad didn’t have the power to bring people back from the dead, nor did he ever claim to. Only Allah is capable of resurrecting those who have passed away, which is again stressed in the following extract:

“And he (the non-believer) presents for Us an example (that death is the end of consciousness) and forgets his creation. He says, ‘Who will give life to bones while they are disintegrated?’ Say, ‘He will give them life who produced them the first time; and He is, of all creation, Knowing.’ [It is] He who made for you from the green tree, fire, and then from it you ignite. Is not He who created the heavens and the earth able to create the likes of them? Yes, [it is indeed the case]; and He is the Knowing Creator.”- Quran, 36:78-81

This passage is significant as it not only confirms Allah’s ability and intention to resurrect all human beings on the Day of Judgment, but also reaffirms His status as the creator of the universe. It brings our existence full circle and assures us of our resurrection.

To conclude, all humans will be resurrected on the day of judgement to be judged for their deeds. Based on their deeds they will enter heaven or hell.

Allah’s Judgment Is Final 

Throughout the Quran and the hadith, we are told that Allah is a forgiving and benevolent being. He wants all of mankind to dwell with Him in Paradise after being risen up on the Day of Judgment. As such, there are certain portions of the Quran which profess a willingness on Allah’s part to extend mercy and pardon certain misdeeds in order to ensure the highest number of people can enjoy the bliss of Paradise.

However, Allah’s mercy is accompanied by incorruptible justice. Those who are truly undeserving of being saved will not have the privilege of a second chance. This is made clear in the following extract of the Quran:

“When death comes to one of them, he says, ‘My Lord, send me back! So that I can do good in the things I neglected.’ By no means! It is a mere word that he speaks.”- Quran, 23:99-100

This passage speaks of the inevitable regret the non-believers will experience when they are cast into Hellfire. In an attempt to avoid eternal suffering, they will plead with Allah and His angels for a second chance in the realm of the mortals.

Of course, this second chance will not be forthcoming. Some scholars have also pointed out a tinge of distrust, which can be found in the final sentence of the above passage. While the doomed non-believer will promise to do good things if Allah would only allow them to return to their life in this world, the Quran states that their promise is “a mere word that he speaks.”

Even if the non-believer were permitted to return to this world to perform good deeds, they would likely fall back into their old ways sooner or later. Allah is aware of this, which is why He affords each of us only one chance to prove our worthiness.

70,000 Will Enter Paradise Without Judgment 

While Allah’s judgment on the last day is final, there are some who won’t have to worry about it. In the seventh book of the seventh volume of Sahih Bukhari, Ibn ‘Abbas رضي الله عنه recalls a story told by the Prophet Muhammad.

Discussing a spiritual encounter, Prophet Muhammad describes nations being displayed before him. Along with them, he was shown prophet after prophet, many of whom were accompanied by only a few followers. He was then shown a multitude of people coming over the horizon in a crowd so great they were impossible to number.

At this juncture, Ibn ‘Abbas narrates the Prophet saying: “It was said to me, ‘This is your nation out of whom seventy thousand shall enter Paradise without reckoning.’” – Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 7, Number 606

Much to the chagrin of those to whom Prophet Muhammad was speaking, the Prophet did not provide any further detail on the 70,000 people who will be granted admission to Paradise without judgment.

Naturally, the prospect of assured entry into Paradise was an extremely alluring topic among the early Muslims. As such, the identity of the fortunate 70,000 followers was the subject of much debate.

In the same hadith from which the above passage was taken, Ibn ‘Abbas tells us: “So the people started talking about the issue and said, “It is we who have believed in Allah and followed His Prophet; therefore, those people are either ourselves or our children who are born in the Islamic era, for we were born in the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance.’”- Sahih Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 7, Number 606

As we can see, these early believers assumed that they would be among the 70,000 granted immediate entry into Paradise. Despite what you may initially assume, this was not merely bravado on their part. They based their belief on the fact that they were the first to believe the message of the Prophet Muhammad.

At a time when he was being mocked and persecuted by the dominant forces of Mecca, these early followers aligned themselves with the Prophet. They uprooted themselves and traveled across the desert at his command. They fought – many even dying – for Muhammad’s right to spread the message of the Quran and for their right to believe it.

It should come as no surprise, then, that most contemporary Islamic scholars agree that these founding followers of Islam and their immediate offspring will make up the 70,000 Muslims permitted to enter Paradise without judgment.

To conclude, on the day of judgement 70,000 people will enter paradise without judgement. 

Angels Guide Departed Souls

An individual’s journey into the afterlife actively begins in the moments leading up to their death. According to the Prophet Muhammad, as a person – be they a believer or a non-believer – prepares to enter into the afterlife, a number of angels will appear to them. Sometimes, these are the Angels of Mercy.

Once the individual has passed away, they claim his or her soul and carry it with them to Paradise. Still carrying the soul in their possession, they journey through the various layers of Heaven but stop just short of the seventh, where Allah resides.

While the soul waits for further guidance from the angels, they are free to interact with other departed souls, many of whom will inquire about mutual friends and acquaintances who are still in the realm of the living. Information on this journey into Paradise can be found in a number of popular Muslim writings. You’ll find an excerpt from the most notable of these below. 

“Then the souls of the believers come to him and they rejoice more over him than any one of you rejoices when his absent loved one comes to him. They ask him: ‘What happened to so and so, what happened to so and so?’ They say: ‘Let him be, for he was in the hardship of the world.’ When he says, ‘Did he not come here?’ They say: ‘He was taken to the pit (of Hell).’”- Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2758

The experience described above must be truly wonderful and hopefully it is one that we and all of our readers may take some day. For those who are unworthy of entering Paradise, however, the journey into the afterlife is far less pleasant. Discussing the faith of those bound for Hellfire – often referred to in Islam as a “kafir“- the passage discussed above goes on to say: 

“When the kaafir is dying, the Angels of Punishment come to him with sackcloth and say: ‘Come out discontent and subject to divine wrath, to the punishment of Allah. So it comes out like the foulest stench of a corpse. They bring him to the gates of the earth, where they say: ‘How foul is this stench!’ Then they bring him to the souls of the kuffaar.”- Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 2758

From this, we can gather that each of us will have an encounter with angels who will guide us to our destination in the next world. The only question is will they be the Angels of Mercy or the Angels of Punishment? There are some Muslims who are of the belief that they will be granted entry to Paradise by onus of their religious identity alone.

This, however, is not the case. Although the term “kafir” is often taken to mean non-believers, it can also be used to describe Muslims who do not adhere to the guidelines set by the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad. It is not enough to simply refer to oneself as a Muslim. If you wish to be greeted by the Angels of Mercy and not the Angels of Punishment as you pass into the next life, you must uphold the pillars of Islam to the best of your ability.

To conclude, when a person passes a way his soul will be guided by angels to his destination. Some will be guided by the angels of mercy and others will be guided by the angels of punishments based on their deeds.

The Day of Judgment 

Throughout this article, we have referred to the Day of Judgment. This is the end of times during which every Muslim and non-Muslim will be deemed either worthy or unworthy based on their works and faith. But what exactly can we expect to happen on the Day of Judgment? The Quran answers this question in great detail. Behold:

“Then when the Horn is blown with one blast, and the earth and the mountains are lifted and leveled with one blow. Then on that Day, the Occurrence [a mass resurrection] will occur, And the heaven will split, for that Day it is infirm. And the angels are at its edges. And there will bear the Throne of your Lord above them, that Day, eight. That Day, you will be exhibited [for judgment by Allah]; not hidden among you is anything concealed. So as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will say, “Here, read my record! Indeed, I was certain that I would be meeting my account.” So he will be in a pleasant life – In an elevated Garden, Its [fruit] to be picked hanging near. [They will be told], “Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth (literally, advanced in anticipation of reward in the Hereafter) in the days past.” But as for he who is given his record in his left hand, he will say, “Oh, I wish I had not been given my record, and had not known what is my account. I wish it [my demise] had been the decisive one (with no afterlife to consider or experience). My wealth has not availed me. Gone from me is my authority.” [Allah will say to him], “Seize him and shackle him. Then into Hellfire drive him. Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits insert him.” Indeed, he did not used to believe in God, the Most Great.”- Quran, 69:13-33

You may have noticed while reading the above extract that there is an apparent major contradiction between its teachings regarding the afterlife and those of the hadith. In the previous section, we discussed the hadith’s proclamation that a soul is claimed by either the Angels of Mercy or the Angels of Punishment in the seconds before death. That soul is then either taken to Paradise or thrown into the Hellfire.

The passage of the Quran examined in this section, however, seems to indicate that nobody will be judged until the designated Day of Judgment. While these two teachings may seem at odds at first, they actually exist together in harmony.

Many scholars hold the belief that when the Angels of Mercy or Punishment claim a soul, they take it to reside with those who lived a similar life. The just are sent to reside with the just, while the wicked are sent to reside with the wicked. Together, they await the Day of Judgment, when they will all receive their individual record. If a person receives their record in their right hand, their entry into Paradise is confirmed. On the other hand – no pun intended – those who receive their record in their left hand are confirmed for eternal damnation.

To conclude, On the day of judgment, Allah will resurrect all humans and all will be judged for their deeds. And regarding what happens to the soul when it departs the body, it is said that each soul will be taken by the Angels of Mercy or Punishment and sent to reside with those who lived a similar life.

Life after death Quran verses.

Let’s go through some of the verses about life after death in Islam and Quran:

كُلُّ نَفْسٍۢ ذَآئِقَةُ ٱلْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ ۖ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ ٱلنَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ ٱلْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ وَمَا ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَآ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلْغُرُورِ ١٨٥

“Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” (Surah Al ʿImran, 3:185).

قَالَ كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ عَدَدَ سِنِينَ قَالُوا لَبِثْنَا يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ فَاسْأَلِ الْعَادِّينَ قَالَ إِنْ لَبِثْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا لَوْ أَنَّكُمْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثًا وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لَا تُرْجَعُونَ

He will ask ˹them˺, “How many years did you remain on earth?” They will reply, “We remained ˹only˺ a day or part of a day.1 But ask those who kept count.” He will say, “You only remained for a little while, if only you knew. Did you then think that We had created you without purpose, and that you would never be returned to Us?”  (Surah al-Mu’minun, 23:112-115).

Allah Almighty says in the holy Quran about life after death in Islam:

وَمَا ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَآ إِلَّا لَعِبٌۭ وَلَهْوٌۭ ۖ وَلَلدَّارُ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةُ خَيْرٌۭ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ ۗ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ ٣٢

“This worldly life is no more than play and amusement, but far better is the ˹eternal˺ Home of the Hereafter for those mindful ˹of Allah˺. Will you not then understand?” (Surah al-Anʿam, 6:32).

إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلْنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخْتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلْأَرْضِ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلْأَنْعَـٰمُ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَخَذَتِ ٱلْأَرْضُ زُخْرُفَهَا وَٱزَّيَّنَتْ وَظَنَّ أَهْلُهَآ أَنَّهُمْ قَـٰدِرُونَ عَلَيْهَآ أَتَىٰهَآ أَمْرُنَا لَيْلًا أَوْ نَهَارًۭا فَجَعَلْنَـٰهَا حَصِيدًۭا كَأَن لَّمْ تَغْنَ بِٱلْأَمْسِ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ ٱلْـَٔايَـٰتِ لِقَوْمٍۢ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ٢٤

The life of this world is just like rain We send down from the sky, producing a mixture of plants which humans and animals consume. Then just as the earth looks its best, perfectly beautified, and its people think they have full control over it, there comes to it Our command by night or by day, so We mow it down as if it never flourished yesterday! This is how We make the signs clear for people who reflect. (Qur’an, Surah Yunus, 10:24).

What does the Quran say about heaven?

There are many verses about life after death in Quran that describe heaven, so, here are some of them:

وَمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَهْوٌ وَلَعِبٌ ۚ وَإِنَّ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ لَهِيَ الْحَيَوَانُ ۚ لَوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ

“And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter – that is the [eternal] life, if only they knew.” (Qur’an, Surah al-ʿAnkabut, 29:64).

يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَٰذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ

“O  my people! This worldly life is only ˹a fleeting˺ enjoyment, whereas the Hereafter is truly the home of settlement.” (Qur’an, Surah al-Ghafir, 40:39).

Allah almighty also says about life after death in Quran:

ٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا لَعِبٞ وَلَهۡوٞ وَزِينَةٞ وَتَفَاخُرُۢ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَتَكَاثُرٞ فِي ٱلۡأَمۡوَٰلِ وَٱلۡأَوۡلَٰدِۖ كَمَثَلِ غَيۡثٍ أَعۡجَبَ ٱلۡكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُۥ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَىٰهُ مُصۡفَرّٗا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَٰمٗاۖ وَفِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ عَذَابٞ شَدِيدٞ وَمَغۡفِرَةٞ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٰنٞۚ وَمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَآ إِلَّا مَتَٰعُ ٱلۡغُرُورِ

Know that this worldly life is no more than play, amusement, luxury, mutual boasting, and competition in wealth and children. This is like rain that causes plants to grow, to the delight of the planters. But later the plants dry up and you see them wither, then they are reduced to chaff. And in the Hereafter there will be either severe punishment or forgiveness and pleasure of Allah, whereas the life of this world is no more than the delusion of enjoyment. [Surah 57:20]

كُلُّ نَفْسٍۢ ذَآئِقَةُ ٱلْمَوْتِ ۗ وَإِنَّمَا تُوَفَّوْنَ أُجُورَكُمْ يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَـٰمَةِ ۖ فَمَن زُحْزِحَ عَنِ ٱلنَّارِ وَأُدْخِلَ ٱلْجَنَّةَ فَقَدْ فَازَ ۗ وَمَا ٱلْحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنْيَآ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلْغُرُورِ ١٨٥

“Every soul will taste death. And you will only receive your full reward on the Day of Judgment. Whoever is spared from the Fire and is admitted into Paradise will ˹indeed˺ triumph, whereas the life of this world is no more than the delusion of enjoyment.”

Among the verses about heaven and life after death in Quran are the following:

لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ وَلَدَارُ الْآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ وَلَنِعْمَ دَارُ الْمُتَّقِينَ جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ لَهُمْ فِيهَا مَا يَشَاءُونَ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَجْزِي اللّٰهُ الْمُتَّقِينَ الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ ۙ يَقُولُونَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Whereas it is said to those who keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety: What is it that your Lord sends down (on the Messenger)? They answer: That which is purely good and to our benefit (in both worlds). For those devoted to doing good in this world, aware that God is seeing them, there is good, and the abode of the Hereafter is indeed better. How excellent indeed, is the abode of the God-revering, pious! Gardens of perpetual bliss which they will enter, through which rivers flow. Therein they will have whatever they may desire. Thus does God reward the God-revering, pious – Those whose souls the angels take while they are in a pious state (free of evil, and worshipping none but God alone), saying: Peace be upon you! Enter Paradise for what you have been doing. (Qur’an, Surah al-Nahl, 16:30-32).

Here is another verse about heaven, rewards of the believers, and life after death in Quran:

عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مَوْضُونَةٍ مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَيْهَا مُتَقَابِلِينَ يَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَانٌ مُخَلَّدُونَ بِأَكْوَابٍ وَأَبَارِيقَ وَكَأْسٍ مِنْ مَعِينٍ لَا يُصَدَّعُونَ عَنْهَا وَلَا يُنْزِفُونَ وَفَاكِهَةٍ مِمَّا يَتَخَيَّرُونَ وَلَحْمِ طَيْرٍ مِمَّا يَشْتَهُونَ وَحُورٌ عِينٌ كَأَمْثَالِ اللُّؤْلُؤِ الْمَكْنُونِ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا وَلَا تَأْثِيمًا إِلَّا قِيلًا سَلَامًا سَلَامًا

(They will be seated) on lined thrones (encrusted with gold and precious stones), reclining upon them, facing one another. There will go round them immortal youths, with goblets, and ewers, and a cup from a clear-flowing spring, from which no aching of the head ensues, nor intoxication of the mind; and with fruits such as they choose, and with the flesh of fowls such as they desire; and (there will be) pure maidens, most beautiful of eye, like pearls kept hidden (in their shells). A reward for all (the good) that they used to do. They will hear there neither vain talk nor accusing speech; (they will hear) only speech (wishing) peace and security after peace and security. (Qur’an, Surah al-Waqiʿah, 56:15-26).

وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَمَسَاكِنَ طَيِّبَةً فِي جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ ۚ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِنَ اللّٰهِ أَكْبَرُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

God has promised the believers, both men and women, Gardens through which rivers flow, therein to abide, and blessed dwellings in Gardens of perpetual bliss; and greater (than those) is God’s being pleased with them. That indeed is the supreme triumph. (Qur’an, Surah al-Tawbah, 9:72).

إِنَّ الْمُــتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَنَهَرٍ فِي مَــقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ عِنْدَ مَلِيكٍ مُقْتَدِرٍ

And the God-revering, pious ones will be in Gardens and by rivers; In the assembly of honor composed of the loyal and truthful in the Presence of the One All-Omnipotent Sovereign. (Qur’an, Surah al-Qamar, 54:54-55).

What happens after death in Islam

The first thing that will happen on the day of judgment is resurrection, as Allah said about life after death in Quran:

اللّٰهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ لَيَجْمَعَنَّكُمْ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ۗ وَمَنْ أَصْدَقُ مِنَ اللّٰهِ حَدِيثًا

Allah, there is no god ˹worthy of worship˺ except Him. He will certainly gather all of you together on the Day of Judgment—about which there is no doubt. And whose word is more truthful than Allah’s? (Qur’an, Surah al-Nisa’, 4:87).

فَإِذَا جَاءَتِ الصَّاخَّةُ 33 يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ الْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ وَأُمِّهِ وَأَبِيهِ وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَبَنِيهِ لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِنْهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ شَأْنٌ يُغْنِيهِ

But when the piercing cry (heralding the resurrection) sounds; On that Day when a person flees from his brother, and from his mother and father, and from his spouse and his children; everyone on that Day has concern of his own enough to make him heedless (of anything else). (Qur’an, Surah al-ʿAbasa, 80:33-37).

All humans will be resurrected and judged for all their deeds:

فَاللّٰهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

So, God will judge between you all on the Day of Resurrection. (Qur’an, Surah al-Nisa’, 4:141)

Then comes the record of deeds which includes all the good deeds and bad deeds a person has ever made.

وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ فَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يَا وَيْلَتَنَا مَالِ هَٰذَا الْكِتَابِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّا أَحْصَاهَا ۚ وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا ۗ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا

And the record ˹of deeds˺ will be laid ˹open˺, and you will see the wicked in fear of what is ˹written˺ in it. They will cry, “Woe to us! What kind of record is this that does not leave any sin, small or large, unlisted?” They will find whatever they did present before them. And your Lord will never wrong anyone. (Qur’an, Surah al-Kahf, 18:49).

After which each one will go to heaven or hell based on their deeds.

لِلَّذِينَ أَحْسَنُوا فِي هَٰذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةٌ وَلَدَارُ الْآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ وَلَنِعْمَ دَارُ الْمُتَّقِينَ جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ يَدْخُلُونَهَا تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ لَهُمْ فِيهَا مَا يَشَاءُونَ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَجْزِي اللّٰهُ الْمُتَّقِينَ الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ ۙ يَقُولُونَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

 

Whereas it is said to those who keep from disobedience to God in reverence for Him and piety: What is it that your Lord sends down (on the Messenger)? They answer: That which is purely good and to our benefit (in both worlds). For those devoted to doing good in this world, aware that God is seeing them, there is good, and the abode of the Hereafter is indeed better. How excellent indeed, is the abode of the God-revering, pious! Gardens of perpetual bliss which they will enter, through which rivers flow. Therein they will have whatever they may desire. Thus does God reward the God-revering, pious – Those whose souls the angels take while they are in a pious state (free of evil, and worshipping none but God alone), saying: Peace be upon you! Enter Paradise for what you have been doing. (Qur’an, Surah al-Nahl, 16:30-32).

فَمَنْ يَــعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَـيْرًا يَرَهُ وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرًّا يَرَهُ

So then, however, has done an atom’s weight of good will see it, and whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil will see it. (Qur’an, Surah al-Zilzal, 99:7-8).

A Final Word 

 The existence of an afterlife is one of the most hotly debated topics among humankind and has been for as long as we have been on earth. For Muslims, however, there is no debate about the existence of an afterlife. Nor is there debate as to what awaits us in the afterlife. Islam teaches people, perhaps, the most fleshed out image of the next world of any religion. Thanks to what is written in the Quran and the hadith, a Muslim knows exactly what is going to happen from the seconds before they pass away to the moment they are handed their record on the Day of Judgment. This certainty provides a firm foundation for both faith and actions, allowing Muslims the world over to confidently dedicate themselves to Allah and His messenger.