This article was initially written after a UK based magazine approached me to write for them. But after waiting for several months of no response I finally decided to upload it on my blog.
The mystery of life after death is the biggest mind boggling question of a mankind’s existence. Also it is assumed that it can be only answered by someone who has had a near death experience or someone who has got the tools to scientifically measure near death experiences in the hospital. But unfortunately I come in neither of these categories. I am just a psychology major who dreams big and small and sometimes takes some time off from her work to reflect on the purpose of this life.
Every day I wake up to another day with all sorts of tasks on my mind to get done with. I have a set of goals to achieve for that day which always lead to an achievement of a bigger goal. During that same day there are millions departing from this life and millions opening their eyes to this life for the first time. This world seems like a rat race where we are just rushing through to get somewhere. You may think you rule the time but it is actually the time that is ruling you.
When I think of my purpose in this world I have this feeling that it just can’t be me becoming something big or doing something great. If I look around I can see that everything existing in the nature has a purpose in this world to create, destroy or enhance a life. When I look at myself in the mirror I am no way near those objects in the nature because I have got a mind with intellectual capabilities, I have got a body that functions in collaboration with this mind. So it cannot be that I am just in this world to achieve several goals in this life, then die and be wrapped by oblivion. How can so much doings in this world have no meaning once a person dies? Especially, a life which has no guarantee because I am not even aware of my expiration date. It’s like life itself is telling me to be prepared for something greater than life.
While I was a student I encountered several teachers who didn’t believe in warning their students about upcoming tests because they believed that students should be prepared with their lessons every day. It’s like in order to score well we need to be a good student everyday and not just one day before the test. I can sense the same message from my life.
Of course, coming from a Muslim background and being one of those who thoroughly believes in Qur’an, is also one of the reasons I have faith in the afterlife. My religion has taught me to be a good person, to not hurt anyone and to treat my fellow humans with respect, all so that I can cherish a prosperous afterlife in the paradise.
Moreover, I believe that with so much suffering in this world there has to be a place outside life that will end all sufferings. Also, when we suffer it is just not physical suffering but a pain that can be sensed beyond physical sensations. I can sense the presence of a soul somewhere within or around me. When my body craves for all sorts of pleasure it is my soul that craves for morality and etiquettes. It is my soul which constantly prompts me to do well. When I give charity it is not my body that feels any pleasure but it is my soul that gets enlightened. When I share food with a friend, my body doesn’t likes it because it wants all that is on the plate but it is my soul that feels right about it. All this makes me feel that even when my body lies dead it will be my soul that will remain.
Our bodies can defeat us in many ways. In fact every day our body is defeating us by growing older and weaker. It keeps changing shapes no matter how much pleasure I give to it. What remains the same about me is my soul. The good or bad I feed to my soul remains with me at all times. When a person meets with an accident and ends up with a deformed body, there is something still same about them and that of course is their soul. It is because of this soul we recognize our friends even after years of absence and despite all the bodily changes they have been through.
So if I can see my soul alive even after I die I sure believe that another life awaits once I die. Though what kind of a life will it be is yet again a mystery. Religion categorizes afterlife with hell and paradise. Even though the idea of hell makes me shudder, I feel that maybe this is what we are on this Earth for. There are people in this world who are suffering because of the actions of other people and they are suffering to such an extreme point that they die while suffering from it. So there has to be a place after their death where their souls will get to live freely from all sorts of sufferings. Then those who are the cause of other’s sufferings and death cannot be left just like that, there has to be something after their death which will teach them what it is like to suffer. I really do believe in karma that not only works in this life but also in the afterlife.
This whole idea about an afterlife helps me keep going. Whenever I feel depressed because of an unwanted situation in my life I can see something beyond life. I see this world as a trial for the next world, a trial that will decide the ultimate position of my existence.