Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
The above one minute video clip is by Jaggi Vasudev also known as Sadhguru.
His criticism certainly needs to be tackled by the three Abrahamic faiths, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as they all believe in Afterlife.
Many a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim believe that their belief in Afterlife gives them hope, inspiration and sense of purpose.
To state the obvious, Afterlife and heaven and hell are described both in the Bible and the Quran.
The believers base their belief in the Afterlife on their faith in the respective scriptures, which is all well and good. But, this does not open up an avenue of discussion for them against the views of the agnostics, the atheists or those who do not believe in their respective scriptures.
The holy Quran does not only claim Afterlife but also suggests a poignant philosophical argument for it that is based in science.
The simple yet very profound argument has two parts:
A. This universe is not an accident. Its beauty, complexity and wonderful organization suggests an Insightful, All Knowing Creator.
B. The Creator of the first creation, in His creation, has certainly demonstrated His ability to recreate it.
Now, I propose to elaborate these two claims.
According to a Gallup poll in 2019, a large majority of the US population, 78% to be exact, believes in God the Creator, this includes both the camps of those who believe in guided evolution or creationism.
Despite the fact that significant population now identifies itself as unaffiliated to any religion, only 22% of Americans do not believe God had any role in human evolution.
I believe in guided evolution, as I believe both in a Creator God and in the facts of biological evolution.
Scientists and philosophers from all Abrahamic faiths, including myself, have laid out forceful arguments for our Creator God and I have been collecting these over the years and I propose to put them at your finger tips here:
The above should suffice for the first part of my thesis: This universe is not an accident. Its beauty, complexity and wonderful organization suggests an Insightful, All Knowing Creator.
Once the reader is comfortable with the first part, the next part, the Creator of the first creation, in His creation, has certainly demonstrated His ability to recreate it, naturally flows from it.
The holy Quran presents this reasoning, with different aspects of God’s creation several times. For starters: “Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, has the power to create the like of them?” (Al Quran 17:100)
Next I present, a verse of the Holy Quran, where Allah cites gravity and planetary motion as a pointer, towards His creativity and eventual hereafter:
Allah is He Who raised up the heavens without any pillars that you can see. Then He settled Himself on the Throne. And He pressed the sun and the moon into service: each pursues its course until an appointed term. He regulates it all. He clearly explains the Signs, that you may have a firm belief in the meeting with your Lord. (Al Quran 13:3)
The Quran offers only one line of reasoning for the second creation, namely the first creation. Allah argues that one who has created this complex and awe inspiring universe and all the life forms on our planet earth, should be able to recreate human life and of course the individual humans.
The Holy Quran discusses reincarnation in greater detail in the following verses in the chapter Yasin, adding the domain of biology to that of astronomy as the argument is built further, from the first creation:
Does not man see that We have created him from a mere sperm-drop? Yet lo! he is an open quarreler! And he coins similitudes for Us and forgets his own creation. He says, ‘Who can quicken the bones when they are decayed?’ Say, ‘He, Who created them the first time, will quicken them; and He knows every kind of creation full well. He Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, and behold, you kindle from it. Has not He Who created the heavens and the earth the power to create the like of them?’ Yea, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-Knowing. Indeed, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, ‘Be!,’ and it is. So Holy is He, in Whose hand is the kingdom of all things. And to Him will you all be brought back. (Al Quran 36:78-84)
In several places the Quran uses biology and regeneration of earth in spring as a metaphor for Afterlife:
Among His Signs is this that you see the earth lying withered, but when We send down water on it, it stirs and swells with verdure. Surely He Who quickens the earth can quicken the dead also. Indeed, He has power over all things. (Al Quran 41:40)
He brings forth the living from the dead, and He brings forth the dead from the living; and He gives life to the earth after its death. And in like manner shall you be brought forth. (Al Quran 30:20)
The debate we are having here is not a new one but is an age old conflict between the believers and non-believers, as the holy Quran describes:
They say, ‘What! when we are dead and have become mere dust and bones, shall we indeed be raised up again? This is what we have been promised before, we and our fathers. This is nothing but fables of the ancients.’ Say, ‘To whom belongs the earth and whosoever is therein, if you know?’‘To Allah’, they will say. Say, ‘Will you not then be admonished?’ Say, ‘Who is the Lord of the seven heavens, and the Lord of the Great Throne?’ They will say, ‘They are Allah’s.’ Say, ‘Will you not then take Him as your Protector?’(Al Quran 23:83-88)
The Quran is well aware of comments of critics like Jaggi Vasudev:
And they say, ‘There is nothing but this our present life; we die and we live here; and nothing but Time destroys us.’ But they have no knowledge of that; they do but conjecture. And when Our clear Signs are recited unto them, their only contention is that they say, ‘Bring back our fathers, if you are truthful.’ (Al Quran 45:25-26)
The Quran has a clear answer for its critics. As long as the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and other scientist are able to demonstrate there is a Creator of our universe, we are on very firm grounds to believe in the Afterlife. The first creation is proof enough for the future second creation.
I rest my case.