What does Islam teach about life after death?

Islam teaches that there is life after death, and this is known as Akhirah. In Islam, it is Allah who decides when a person dies and most Muslims believe that when they die, they will stay in their graves until Yawm al-din, the Day of Judgement. On that day, they will be raised from their graves and brought before Allah and judged on how they lived their earthly lives. This belief is known as the resurrection of the body.

Those who have performed more good deeds than bad will enter Jannah, or Paradise. Jannah is a place described as a 'garden of everlasting bliss' and a 'home of peace'. In Jannah there will be no sickness, pain or sadness.

Those who have performed more bad deeds than good will enter Jahannam or Hell. This is a place of physical and spiritual suffering.

Muslims believe that Allah is forgiving, merciful and compassionate, so not all bad actions will be punished. Allah will forgive those who have repented for their sins and those who have done some good in their lives, for example showing kindness to others.

There are, however, some sins that many Muslims believe to be unforgivable. These include the sin of shirk.

Why do Muslims believe in life after death?

The main source of authority for Muslims is the Qur'an.

Muslims believe that Allah is in charge of their lives and decides how long they will live. The Qur'an says:

Nor can a soul die except by Allah’s leave. The term being fixed as by writing.Qur'an 3:145

People's deeds will be taken into account on the Day of Judgement. The Qur'an states that the good will receive reward, while the bad will receive punishment:

Of the good that they do nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knoweth well those that do right. Those who reject faith – neither their possessions nor their (numerous) progeny will avail them aught against Allah: they will be companions of the fire, dwelling therein forever.Qur'an 3:115-3:116

Belief in life after death is central to the meaning and purpose of most Muslims' lives. Many Muslims believe that they are on this earth for a relatively short time and during this time they are preparing themselves for eternal life after death. They view this life as a test and try to do as many good deeds as they can. In order to get to Jannah, they must also fulfil their Islamic obligations.