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Muslim Beliefs 8 – After Death

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Jamal Badawi

Channel: Jamal Badawi

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Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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In the name of God the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, I greet you with the greetings of all the prophets from Adam, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them Assalamu alaikum which means peace be upon you.

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Today we have our eighth program in the series on Muslim beliefs. In today's program, we will complete our discussion on the soul. And in the latter part of our program, we'll begin our examination of the belief of life after death, and the Day of Judgment. I'm your host, Ahmed Rashid. My guest today is Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University. Welcome to Islamic focus, brother Jamal.

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Last week, we entered the beginning of the program on our discussion of the soul we talked about the question of suicide, euthanasia, mercy killing, care for the dying soul, what happens to the soul and the grave and so on? Could you perhaps just go back and highlight some of the major points that we touched upon in our discussion last week? Certainly, on the question of suicide, we indicated that this is a sin according to Islam. The reason being is that life is given to us as a trust from God, we are not supposed to dispose of it according to our whims. We have to respect that trust and fulfill our mission on earth using that life.

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The question of euthanasia we said this is regarded as one form of killing, there is no mercy and killing. If the person is desperately ill, all he has to do is really pray for God's relief, he should be also aided by any medication, but to inject the person

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with something fatal or give him an overdose just to destroy his life or her life is not permissible.

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We talked also about the the care for the terminally ill and the dying. And again, we indicated that one of the crucial thing is to remind the person also his destiny to make peace with God to repent, before it's too late. And we described also the various processes of speedy burial after the actual death,

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and the funeral prayer and so on. Then we touched briefly on what happens to the person in the graves and we described again, that according to various

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saying of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and according to the Quran, particularly the crucial verse we cited was in chapter 14, verse 46, that describes the punishment day or night of the pharaohs, or the people of the Pharaoh, who persecuted Moses and his followers, even before the day of judgment has come. So the punishment and reward is there. And I tried to explain it by making some maybe a remote analogy with

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nightmares, that nightmares a person feel enjoyment or

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suffering without the body actually being affected. So that could happen also after death. It does happen, in fact.

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And finally, I think the last point was the fact that

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the soul, even after it departs from the body, can still be aware of some of the things that goes on our physical world. This is just in capsule form. What

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I like to pick up on that last point in terms of the soul being aware of what's going on in the physical world. I think many of our viewers will be familiar with the seances we see on TV and so on and people indeed people actually do some people believe that, you know, you go and they have this, I think they call it seance and you can get in touch with the with the souls of dead people parents can speak to speak to parents and so on.

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Given the fact that we said in the program last week at the there is this awareness

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is it possible for souls and the to actually get in touch with the, you know, the souls of the dead to actually contact the souls of the living?

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The possibility is there but not through science. This is an area where I'm quite skeptical about because it gives you the impression that somebody has this sword under his or her disposal. You can just evoke or bring the soul of X or Y. Many times it's its participation.

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Just partly exploitation of other people. I don't think really, that this kind of claim the way most people understand it is true. And there have been so many people who have been involved in these types of experiences who reported that there was some kind of fraud or the other. Some people even acknowledge that they used to push baskets, sometimes the people would hold the basket with a pen. And that the soul supposedly would be writing responses to certain questions. And in some cases, people admitted that they were actually pushing the basket in one direction or the other. However, the whole notion of a possibility of contact between the soul of the dead and the living, it could

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happen.

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There is one difference in the Quran to that so I have to take it carefully. And perhaps I should mention, or quote the area from the Quran on this.

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It says a la jolla tawassul emphasis in America when Latina Tamati, Miami for him sequatchie acaba, Allah Hello, while you're still

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in a few velyka, la comida Corona, this is a very interesting, I am in a sense of defining the nature of that contract without going into all kinds of gimmicks that people usually do. The rough translation of the meaning goes like this, that God, or Allah, God takes the souls of persons who died, that we know that the soul is taken.

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Also, that is also God takes the souls of those who did not die in their sleep, which would have to meaning that people who did not die while sleeping, or that during our sleep, our souls also is taken not really taking totally from the body or as the body would die, but that the soul would be connected with the body during sleep in a different way than during the waking hours. And also in a different way from taking the soul totally at the time of actual death, to continue then with the transmission,

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and also the souls of those who did not die during sleep, as to those on whom he has passed the decree of death. Those who have died before that he will that they will die, he keeps back from returning to life.

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But the rest that the rest of the salts he sends to their bodies, for an appointed term, verily in this are Signs for those who reflect the clear indication from this

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verse, as many interpreters

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explained, is that during the sleep, for example, when you have a dream, and you see somebody who died sometime back, it is actually a process of meeting between the source of the living and the dead, for the period of the dream.

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Before you wake up, the souls of those who died before is kept away from returning to life. Your soul now comes in the fullest sense to you, when you wake up in the morning. In a way, this reminds me with one aspect that most people do not really pay so much attention to

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every day, we seem to have a rehearsal of coming to life, dying and resurrecting.

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When you wake up in the morning, after sleep, it's almost like a rehearsal of resurrection and the Day of Judgment, when you wake up from the bigger sleep.

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When you go to bed at night.

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It is almost like a minor death. Actually could say that sleeping like when somebody's sleeping is the twin brothers of death.

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So every night we keep or every day we keep repeating this process that actually eventually will happen to us coming to life, dying, resurrecting the following day. So in that sense, yeah. Could you accept that not in the other commercialized? What about the situation of

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the souls of the dead contact among themselves? Is that possible?

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There is an indication of that, actually, in the Quran, very clear indication. And that has also been confirmed and explained in more detail in some of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.

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For example, in the Quran, in chapter three, verse 170, there is talk there about the souls of the martyrs

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and it uses the term ysf Sharona bill Levine, Allah jaccob him the word in Arabic actually means that those are the souls of those martyrs who died for the cause of God.

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Carry to each other's, the good news of other pious people who are left behind them, which means then that this

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solds communicate among themselves, about what's going on in the physical world that they have left before. There's also an evidence that could be regarded as more indirect type of evidence, but still on the same line, in the Quran in chapter four, in verse 69,

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it describes those are the rewards of those who are obedient to God and His messengers. And the transition has meaning it says, All those who obey Allah, or God and His Messenger, are in the company of those on whom is the grace of God, of the prophets, the sincere lovers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous, Ah, what a beautiful company, or fellowship. So here it talks about people who are obedient, being in the company, of prophets, martyrs, and lovers of truth, and this could apply both to company in the interim period between death and resurrection, and also company ultimately, in the in the Day of Judgment. So in that sense, he has the, there could be this

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contact. And there are like I said before also various saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, which also gives the impression that there's this kind of contact.

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We've just made reference to the interim period between the time of death and the time of resurrection. Is there this raises another question, in my mind, is there a particular place where the soul resides between the time of death and the time of resurrection?

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Well, before answering that question, it seems that we have to be clear in mind first, that the biggest problem, when people try to conceive something about the soul

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is to try to materialize it, even though it's something beyond material. It's something above our normal understanding of physical world. And that's why in my previous program, I recall, we indicated that a Muslim, for example, does not believe that the soul resides in any part of the body, like the heart or brain, or blood. Because if the soul resides in the blood, and you get somebody's leg amputated, for example, where does that part of the sword go? In case a person bleeds, and you have to give him a blood transfusion? Does that mean that some of his soul has gone out and he's getting the salts of many people who donated that blood. So this is the problem of

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wrong analogy, by imagining the soul in a very limited physical sense. However, we find indications in the saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him is that, for example, in narration, in our collection of Hadees by Ahmed,

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it is indicated there that the soul is returned, immediately after this to face the accountability or the initial questioning in the grave. This is one of the sayings of the Prophet that we discussed in a previous program, what happens exactly immediately after barrier.

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In that sense, then you could say that the soul may unite in some way that you don't understand with the body immediately after barriers.

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On the other hand, we find others nourishing other hobbies, like in Muslim, for example,

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that the souls of believers will be in paradise. Actually, some of the description indicates that this will be in the bellies of birds, or green birds in paradise again, let's not put it in a physical sense. But that could also give us an allegory that this source would be as free as the birds would be in paradise. The exact nature we don't know exactly is that again, the first to paradise. This is one thing

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that are mentioned also of the souls of wicked people are unbelievers being in some saying of the Prophet that they are in Hellfire suffering, and others say that some of them would be imprisoned in the lowest of Earth. Again, exactly physically how we can really understand it, but it shows at least the notion of, of suffering or, or punishment. On the other hand, in the previous program, we also indicated that when the person passes by graveyard and greet, the people who are dead This is that God causes the believers among them to respond to that call, we said that this applies, does that mean that the souls are only on earth?

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See, if you look at it in a very literal sense, it would appear that there's some confusion there. What are the souls?

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Are they on the earth so that when you pass by the rivers, they reply to you? Are the souls of wicked people down the earth in Hellfire, the souls of martyrs and good people deserts in paradise? Does that show any inconsistency that says that? No, they are not contradictory. If we approach the soul as a different thing altogether from material objects that you think of one of the great scholars of Islam, his name is ignored. He explained it in a very nice way said there is no content

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In between all of this, it just like the sun, and its rays, physically, the sun may be located, and heavens to us are up there.

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Meanwhile, you can also talk about the rays of the sun on earth here as sun rests on the sunshine, right? There's no contradiction. In the same way the soul could also be in heaven, or in paradise. But it still in some kind of contact, like raise also with the burial place and still can meet with people in dreams without necessarily contradicting let alone the fact that the soul also does not need any jet airplanes to travel by, it could sell within seconds, splits of seconds, between Earth and Heavens. So in that sense, then we can conclude by saying that the main notion that's given in this totality of saying of the Prophet peace be upon him is that the souls of believers would be

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enjoying itself would be in paradise in some form or the other the souls of those who are wicked or unbelievers would be suffering.

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But no specific housing, right talk that you can just talk about,

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or just before we conclude our discussion on on the soul and move into our examination of life after death when they have judgment. But a couple more questions.

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As we've been discussing the thought of reading carnation,

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across my mind

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is the Muslims believe in the reincarnation of soul. No, my understanding that the reincarnation is part of the Hindu faith, it has nothing to do with Islam. I cannot pretend to have any authority on that. But my understanding from reading on that is that basically, the Hindus believe that the soul reincarnate in cycles, so when you die, your soul come and appear in another body. And that body could be a body of a human or an animal.

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If your life here was good, your soul would be reincarnated. They claim into a better life. So a good human beings and not suffering person. If the person is a wicked person that is solely being committed, in another human being who suffers or even in a lower animal, I would like to indicate again and emphasize that this has nothing to do whatsoever with the belief of the Muslim person does not believe in the any reincarnation with a reincarnation of God in some form or reincarnation of the soul after this in any shape, or form. Actually, sometimes the question arise in the mind that if the souls are just reincarnating, it might give them permission that the number of salts have

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been constant throughout history where as we know that the population is increasing where this new salts came from. The Muslim belief is quite different. The Muslim belief is that the number of salts actually increase rather than keep coming in seconds is,

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as we indicated in the first program that we talked about the soul, that according to the saying of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, which is based on revelation also, that the soul starts coming into being

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while the fetus is beginning, its fifth month of pregnancy. And that's an interesting point, I said, it hasn't been researched. Some people would say this is probably about the same time that the brain start developing. We don't know it's a mystery. Why the hobbyist 1400 years ago, mentioned specifically, the beginning of the assessment. And then as we indicated before, that the soul is indestructible after that, it lives with the body.

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It departs the body but still lives after death, and then it unites with the body again. So the notion of reincarnation is totally

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alien to Islamic thinking.

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Now,

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some Muslim writers and indeed some Muslims have heard refer to the three states of the soul. Can you perhaps clarify for us? What is meant by this expression, three states of the soul, okay, the understanding actually two three terms used in the Quran to describe the soul. And Nuff said, Amara, when NASA when NASA was not in the three words meaning the the soul that prompt us to do evil America, and secondly, the soul that is self reproaching that is aware of its sin and regret. And thirdly, an absolute nightmare, the sword which is at perfect peace and tranquility.

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Actually, this is based on the Quran each of this term has been used in the Quran to describe one state of our existence of our souls. For example, in in the chapter in the Quran dealing with the story of Prophet Joseph, this be upon him. That's in chapter 12 and verse 53.

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It says that the human soul is certainly prone to evil unless my lord

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Do bestow His mercy

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on that on that salt. Now, that shows then that one state of the sword is a Mara a sword that push us to do evil. That is, in other words, the

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the bad parts of our existence are the physical part that pushes us, or pull us to Earth away from the path of God, which is part of our creation that you have to resist. The second term is used in the Quran in chapter 75. In verse two, it's called the neffs. And lo wema, the self reproaching soul, it has to meaning actually, it could mean the soul of both believers and unbelievers, because the word lawanna could also mean a soul that does not stay in one state, that we are always changing

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the the moods and the attitudes, the goodness or even us seem to rotate. So it could apply to both. But some interpreters also understand lawanna or self reproaching, as a soul, which is more aware of its mistakes of its sin and try to correct itself like some psychologists talk for example, about the super ego, what what is it and what is appropriate to do?

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The third, and the ultimate stage of the soul, the perfect stage where the soul should really strive at is enough. So what are the peace, the peaceful

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soul, this has mentioned also in the Quran in chapter 89.

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In verses 27, to

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30, this was an interesting one, because maybe I should go to directly.

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It says,

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to the righteous soul, a peaceful soul, will be said, all you saw in complete trust and satisfaction, come back you to your Lord, well pleased thyself that is you are pleased as a soul, and well pleasing unto him unto God, enter you, then among my devotees, he enter you, my paradise. So this is the ultimate and most perfect state of the three states of

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that. Yes, thank you very much. I'd like to move now into our examination of the Day of Judgment. And first of all, I wonder if perhaps you might,

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for the purposes of clarity in our discussion, which follows give us some explanation of the meaning of a day of judgment and some indication of its place in Muslim beliefs. Well, according to Muslim belief, this the world, the physical world as we know it,

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today, will come to an end sometimes that this life on earth will not just continue perpetually, endlessly, that someday there will be upheavals, in nature. And we come to discuss that later if you want to raise questions on that. And the whole world as we know it today will destroy that all those who are remaining living the time will eventually die. And then after that, all those who died from the beginning of creation until the day of judgment, or until the end of the life on earth will resurrect again.

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They will face the accountability before God and then they will be rewarded with paradise or Hellfire depending on their belief and righteous

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God but of course, the grace of God is given to those who are strong in terms of their belief and good deeds to earn it.

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The importance of the second part of the question, how important it is, it is very important in fact, any person who claim to be a Muslim, would deny or reject the notion of life after this and here after he cannot be regarded as a Muslim, it is one of the fundamentals or pillars of faith.

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The reason behind that are one of the possible human reasons that we can understand is related to the role of the human on Earth, that we are created here on Earth as responsible being. And the Quran makes it clear that you are not created here for no purpose or just as a sport that

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has no aim in this life. More particularly in the Quran in chapter 23, verses one 16th through 116. It says,

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Did you think that we that God had created you in jest, or in vain, or with no purpose for no serious purpose, and that you would not be brought back to us, therefore exalted to be God, the king, the reality? There is no god but He Lord of the Throne of honor

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So that the whole notion even of our mission on earth hinges on this whole notion of punishment and reward, in fact, the Quran just to get you to complete the answer in a way of indicating what does the Muslim understand by the day of judgment as a term, there are alternative terms, in fact that appear in the Quran for the judgment. And perhaps if I go through a few of them, you can get the feeling a little better. It's also called the Day of Resurrection. That's in chapter 30, verse 56, it's called the hour, the hour, important, our lesson chapter 21, verse one, Chapter 22, verse one, it's called also the hereafter.

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In chapter 87, it's called the day of reckoning.

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And in chapter

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it is called the day of accountability. And as in chapter 14, verse 27, the day of meeting Tilak, and chapter 14, verse 15, it's called the Day of Gathering. That's where all the people who lived on earth will be gathered again, and 64. Nine, it's called the day of heroes are coming out in 5042. The overwhelming, that's in chapter 79, versus

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5034, and 35. That is, because it overwhelms everybody, because of the horror and the fear and the,

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you know, the difficulty faced by many people, it's called also the death knell and chapter 80. Because of the template, or the blowing in the template, it's called also the revealer. Because all the truth would be revealed on that day. And also in chapter 15, verse 34, it's called also the day of eternity Yama, they have eternity, something that would be the Harbinger or just the beginning

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of life that is constant eternity. For the humans.

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We only have about two minutes left on today's program. So we're not going to be able to finish our examination of this left, come back next week and finish it off. But before we close up today's program, like to talk a bit about the question of resurrection,

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with the resurrection, the resurrection of the just the soul, or the resurrection of the body, or a combination, and if it is the resurrection of the physical flesh body as we know it, how then can we cannot be accounted for when you know, we, we know that the body when when when we die, it ceases to exist, we could probably have time for the first question on the Okay, that is the weather that is actually the resurrection is by body and soul or both. According to the Quran, it is both body and soul. This has been emphasized a great deal. And in fact, the net confusion that arise in the minds of many people is that

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when the Quran talks about his reduction in soul and body, they presume that it must be exactly the same body that we had here on Earth. In fact, we find evidence in the Quran that this may not necessarily be the case it is physical existence, but it might be a different type of physical existence, for example, and this short citation, it says

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that's particularly in chapter 56 and verse 60. On

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we have decreed death, to be your common law. And we are not to be frustrated from changing your forms and creating you again, in forms that, you know not. In other words, God is able to create us recreate us in different physical form that then that we had here on Earth, but it is both physical and spiritual.

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This is raising many many interesting questions. We want to get into those questions. But unfortunately, we don't have time in today's program to be able to do that. So we'll have to come back next week and develop the topic further. For those viewers of the black horizon program, who is Islam and focus program who might want to follow us as we go through these series of programs and don't have copies of the Quran, copies can be obtained from Islamic Association in the maritime provinces. Brother Jamal, we want to thank you for appearing on our program today. Thank you for watching. Please join us next week. Assalamu alaikum Peace be upon you.