Afterlife and Salvation
Written by: Beth Davies-Stofka
In contrast, paradise is a blissful garden where the blessed are at peace and are content. The conversation is pleasant, the wine has no ill-effects, and the food is endlessly abundant. The faithful, dressed in silk robes, relax on beautiful couches while servants tend to their every need. Men and women are attended by beautiful and handsome young members of the opposite sex. Choirs of angels sing in Arabic and all the bounties of heaven are enjoyed endlessly. No one is ever full. There are many descriptions of paradise in Islamic literature. The Quran describes it this way:
And God will guard them from the evil of that day and will cast on them brightness and joy; and their reward for their patience shall be Paradise and silk! reclining therein upon couches they shall neither see therein sun nor piercing cold; and close down upon them shall be its shadows; and lowered over them its fruits to cull; and they shall be served round with vessels of silver and goblets that are as flagons—flagons of silver which they shall mete out! and they shall drink therein a cup tempered with Zingabîl, a spring therein named Silsabîl! and there shall go round about them eternal boys; when thou seest them thou wilt think them scattered pearls; and when thou seest them thou shalt see pleasure and a great estate! On them shall be garments of green embroidered satin and brocade; and they shall be adorned with bracelets of silver; and their Lord shall give them to drink pure drink! Verily, this is a reward for you, and your efforts are thanked. (surah 76.11-22)
1. Does one have to be a Muslim to obtain salvation? Why or why not?
2. What will happen on the Last Day? What events does the Quran teach will happen before it comes?
3. How is the afterlife, or paradise, described?