What do Muslims believe about the afterlife? In Islam, death is the end of life on earth and the beginning of the afterlife though Muslims do not move immediately on to either eternal peace or punishment. Death isn’t seen as the end of life but instead as the door through which you pass in order to continue life in another form. Islam afterlife beliefs say that life in this world is a test which then determines how you get to wait for the final judgement on the last day.
The Five Pillars of the Islam Afterlife
Those who are followers of Islam and die go through a ‘final exam’ known as the Grave Trial. During this trial two angels question the dead about their life and how closely they followed the Five Pillars of Islam. The Five Pillars are:
Shahadah or Faith – the belief in one God and that Mohammad is his prophet
Salat or Prayer – Praying five times a day
Sawm Ramadan or Ramadan – properly going through Ramadan
Zakat or Almsgiving – honestly going through the giving of alms
Hajj or Pilgrimage – Making the special pilgrimage to Mecca
If they answer the questions from the two angels correctly then, according to Islams view of the afterlife, the soul is removed from the body in a peaceful and easy manner. Then these believers are granted a taste of what paradise will be like for them while waiting in the grave in peace. However if they answer incorrectly then they are subjected to punishments. During the In-Between or Barzakh while they wait for the day of Judgement, the sinners are taken to a place of judgement where their souls are called to come out and face punishment. The soul will try to hide within the body leading to the body being beaten while angels try to rip the soul from the body as painfully as possible. It is finally wrapped in foul smelling cloths and carried upwards towards paradise where it is rejected and sent back down to punishment until Judgement.
The Day of Judgement in Islam’s view of the afterlife is the day when Allah will raise all people and jinn from the dead to be judged. The decayed and decaying bodies of the deceased will be recreated and all will be judged according to their deeds. Whether they end up in paradise or hell is determined once and for all at this time. Judgement is described as being forced to walk over a narrow bridge. If you have lived a life of sin then the weight of your sins will pull you down off the bridge and into the torments of hell. Otherwise you will pass across the bridge and into paradise. There are only two exceptions to these rules. The first is in the case of warriors for Allah who die fighting for his causes. They are sent immediately to the presence of Allah. The other exception is the ‘Enemies of Islam’. These people are immediately sent to hell upon death.