Afterlife

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The afterlife (also referred to as life after death) is a purported existence in which the essential part of an individual's identity or their stream of consciousness continues to live after the death of their physical body. The surviving essential aspect varies between belief systems; it may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit of an individual, which carries with it and may confer personal identity or, on the contrary, nirvana. Belief in an afterlife is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death.

In some views, this continued existence takes place in a

esotericism and metaphysics
.

Some belief systems, such as those in the

Abrahamic tradition, hold that the dead go to a specific place after death, as determined by God, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life. In contrast, in systems of reincarnation, such as those in the Indian religions
, the nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life.

Different metaphysical models

Theists generally believe some afterlife awaits people when they die. Members of some generally non-theistic religions believe in an afterlife without reference to a deity. The Sadducees
were an ancient Jewish sect that generally believed that there was a God but no existence after death.

Many religions, whether they believe in the soul's existence in another world like Christianity, Islam, and many pagan belief systems, or reincarnation like many forms of Hinduism and Buddhism, believe that one's status in the afterlife is a consequence of one's conduct during life.

Reincarnation

Reincarnation is the

Theosophy, and Eckankar. It is found as well in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Australia, East Asia, Siberia, and South America.[6]

Although the majority of denominations within the

Roman era as well as the Indian religions have been the subject of recent scholarly research.[9] Unity Church and its founder Charles Fillmore
teach reincarnation.

Rosicrucians[10] speak of a life review period occurring immediately after death and before entering the afterlife's planes of existence (before the silver cord is broken), followed by a judgment, more akin to a final review or end report over one's life.[11]

Heaven and Hell

Seven Heavens, pure lands, Tian, Jannah, Valhalla, or the Summerland, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, angels, jinn, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate
, and earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases, enter heaven alive.

Heaven is often described as a "higher place", the

universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith or other virtues or right beliefs or the will of God. Some believe in the possibility of a heaven on Earth in a world to come
.

In Hinduism, heaven is considered as Svarga loka. There are seven positive regions the soul can go to after death and seven negative regions.[12] After completing its stay in the respective region, the soul is subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma. This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Moksha or Nirvana. Any place of existence, either of humans, souls or deities, outside the tangible world (heaven, hell, or other) is referred to as otherworld.

eternal destination, while religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations. Typically, these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the earth's surface and often include entrances to hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include purgatory and limbo
.

Traditions that do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward merely describe hell as an abode of the dead, the grave, a neutral place (for example, Sheol or Hades) located under the surface of earth.[13]

Ancient religions

Ancient Egyptian religion

The afterlife played an important role in Ancient Egyptian religion, and its belief system is one of the earliest known in recorded history. When the body died, parts of its soul known as ka (body double) and the ba (personality) would go to the Kingdom of the Dead. While the soul dwelt in the Fields of Aaru, Osiris demanded work as restitution for the protection he provided. Statues were placed in the tombs to serve as substitutes for the deceased.[14]

Judgment of the Dead in Duat
books of the dead
.

Arriving at one's reward in afterlife was a demanding ordeal, requiring a sin-free heart and the ability to recite the spells, passwords, and formulae of the

Ma'at.[15] If the heart was lighter than the feather, they could pass on, but if it were heavier they would be devoured by the demon Ammit.[16]

Egyptians also believed that being mummified and put in a

dead live again in the Fields of Yalu and accompany the Sun on its daily ride. Due to the dangers the afterlife posed, the Book of the Dead was placed in the tomb with the body as well as food, jewelry, and 'curses'. They also used the "opening of the mouth".[18][19]

Ancient Egyptian civilization was based on religion. The belief in the rebirth after death became the driving force behind funeral practices; for them, death was a temporary interruption rather than complete cessation of life. Eternal life could be ensured by means like piety to the gods, preservation of the physical form through

mummification, and the provision of statuary and other funerary equipment. Each human consisted of the physical body, the ka, the ba, and the akh. The Name and Shadow were also living entities. To enjoy the afterlife, all these elements had to be sustained and protected from harm.[20]

On 30 March 2010, a spokesman for the Egyptian Culture Ministry claimed it had unearthed a large red granite door in Luxor with inscriptions by

18th Dynasty Queen Hatshepsut who ruled between 1479 BC and 1458 BC, the longest of any woman. It believes the false door is a 'door to the Afterlife'. According to the archaeologists, the door was reused in a structure in Roman Egypt
.

Ancient Greek and Roman religions

The Greek god Hades is known in Greek mythology as the king of the underworld, a place where souls live after death.[22] The Greek god Hermes, the messenger of the gods, would take the dead soul of a person to the underworld (sometimes called Hades or the House of Hades). Hermes would leave the soul on the banks of the River Styx, the river between life and death.[23]

Asphodel Fields. The Elysian Fields were for the ones that lived pure lives. It consisted of green fields, valleys and mountains, everyone there was peaceful and contented, and the Sun always shone there. Tartarus was for the people that blasphemed against the gods or were rebellious and consciously evil.[24]
In Tartarus, the soul would be punished by being burned in lava or stretched on racks. The Asphodel Fields were for a varied selection of human souls including those whose sins equaled their goodness, those who were indecisive in their lives, and those who were not judged.

Some heroes of Greek legend are allowed to visit the underworld. The Romans had a similar belief system about the afterlife, with Hades becoming known as

Labours of Heracles, the hero Heracles had to travel to the underworld to capture Cerberus
, the three-headed guard dog, as one of his tasks.

In

out of body experience, of the soul traveling high above the Earth, looking down at the small planet, from far away.[25]

In Book VI of Virgil's Aeneid, the hero, Aeneas, travels to the underworld to see his father. By the River Styx, he sees the souls of those not given a proper burial, forced to wait by the river until someone buries them. While down there, along with the dead, he is shown the place where the wrongly convicted reside, the fields of sorrow where those who committed suicide and now regret it reside, including Aeneas' former lover, the warriors and shades, Tartarus (where the titans and powerful non-mortal enemies of the Olympians reside) where he can hear the groans of the imprisoned, the palace of Pluto, and the fields of Elysium where the descendants of the divine and bravest heroes reside. He sees the river of forgetfulness, Lethe, which the dead must drink to forget their life and begin anew. Lastly, his father shows him all of the future heroes of Rome who will live if Aeneas fulfills his destiny in founding the city.

Other eschatological views populate the ancient-Greek worldview. For instance, Plato argued for reincarnation in several dialogues, including the Timaeus.[26]

Norse religion

The Poetic and Prose Eddas, the oldest sources for information on the Norse concept of the afterlife, vary in their description of the several realms that are described as falling under this topic. The most well-known are:

  • Valhalla: (lit. "Hall of the Slain" i.e. "the Chosen Ones") Half the warriors who die in battle join the god Odin who rules over a majestic hall called Valhalla in Asgard.[27]
  • Fólkvangr: (lit. "Field of the Host") The other half join the goddess Freyja in a great meadow known as Fólkvangr.[28]
  • Hel
    : (lit. "The Covered Hall")
  • Niflhel: (lit. "The Dark" or "Misty Hel")

Abrahamic religions

Judaism

Sheol

Sheol, in the Hebrew Bible, is a place of darkness (Job x. 21, 22) to which all the dead go, both the righteous and the unrighteous, regardless of the moral choices made in life, (Gen. xxxvii. 36; Ezek. xxxii.; Isa. xiv.; Job xxx. 23), a place of stillness, (Ps. lxxxviii. 13, xciv. 17; Eccl. ix. 10), at the longest possible distance from heaven (Job xi. 8; Amos ix. 2; Ps. cxxxix. 8).[29]

The inhabitants of Sheol are the "shades" (

rephaim), entities without personality or strength.[citation needed] Under some circumstances they are thought to be able to be contacted by the living, as the Witch of Endor contacts the shade of Samuel for Saul, but such practices are forbidden (Deuteronomy 18:10).[citation needed
]

While the Hebrew Bible appears to describe Sheol as the permanent place of the dead, in the Second Temple period (roughly 500 BC – 70 AD) a more diverse set of ideas developed. In some texts, Sheol is considered to be the home of both the righteous and the wicked, separated into respective compartments; in others, it was considered a place of punishment, meant for the wicked dead alone.[30] When the Hebrew scriptures were translated into Greek in ancient Alexandria around 200 BC, the word "Hades" (the Greek underworld) was substituted for Sheol. This is reflected in the New Testament where Hades is both the underworld of the dead and the personification of the evil it represents.[30][31]

World to Come

The Talmud offers a number of thoughts relating to the afterlife. After death, the soul is brought for judgment. Those who have led pristine lives enter immediately into the Olam Haba or world to come. Most do not enter the world to come immediately, but experience a period of reflection of their earthly actions and are made aware of what they have done wrong. Some view this period as being a "re-schooling", with the soul gaining wisdom as one's errors are reviewed. Others view this period to include spiritual discomfort for past wrongs. At the end of this period, not longer than one year, the soul then takes its place in the world to come. Although discomforts are made part of certain Jewish conceptions of the afterlife, the concept of eternal damnation is not a tenet of the Jewish afterlife. According to the Talmud, extinction of the soul is reserved for a far smaller group of malicious and evil leaders, either whose very evil deeds go way beyond norms, or who lead large groups of people to utmost evil.[32][33] This is also part of Maimonides' 13 principles of faith.[34]

Messianic era. According to Maimonides, an afterlife continues for the soul of every human being, a soul now separated from the body in which it was "housed" during its earthly existence.[35]

The

Gehenna not as a place of punishment for the wicked but as a place of spiritual purification for souls.[36]

Reincarnation in Jewish tradition

Although there is no reference to reincarnation in the Talmud or any prior writings,[37] according to rabbis such as Avraham Arieh Trugman, reincarnation is recognized as being part and parcel of Jewish tradition. Trugman explains that it is through oral tradition that the meanings of the Torah, its commandments and stories, are known and understood. The classic work of Jewish mysticism,[38] the Zohar, is quoted liberally in all Jewish learning; in the Zohar the idea of reincarnation is mentioned repeatedly. Trugman states that in the last five centuries the concept of reincarnation, which until then had been a much hidden tradition within Judaism, was given open exposure.[38]

Shraga Simmons commented that within the Bible itself, the idea [of reincarnation] is intimated in Deut. 25:5–10, Deut. 33:6 and Isaiah 22:14, 65:6.[39]

Yirmiyahu Ullman wrote that reincarnation is an "ancient, mainstream belief in Judaism". The Zohar makes frequent and lengthy references to reincarnation. Onkelos, a righteous convert and authoritative commentator of the same period, explained the verse, "Let Reuben live and not die ..." (Deuteronomy 33:6) to mean that Reuben should merit the World to Come directly, and not have to die again as a result of being reincarnated. Torah scholar, commentator and kabbalist, Nachmanides (Ramban 1195–1270), attributed Job's suffering to reincarnation, as hinted in Job's saying "God does all these things twice or three times with a man, to bring back his soul from the pit to... the light of the living' (Job 33:29, 30)."[40]

Reincarnation, called gilgul, became popular in folk belief, and is found in much Yiddish literature among Ashkenazi Jews. Among a few kabbalists, it was posited that some human souls could end up being reincarnated into non-human bodies. These ideas were found in a number of Kabbalistic works from the 13th century, and also among many mystics in the late 16th century. Martin Buber's early collection of stories of the Baal Shem Tov's life includes several that refer to people reincarnating in successive lives.[41]

Among well known (generally non-kabbalist or anti-kabbalist) rabbis who rejected the idea of reincarnation are

Leon de Modena. Saadia Gaon, in Emunoth ve-Deoth (Hebrew: "beliefs and opinions") concludes Section VI with a refutation of the doctrine of metempsychosis
(reincarnation). While rebutting reincarnation, Saadia Gaon further states that Jews who hold to reincarnation have adopted non-Jewish beliefs. By no means do all Jews today believe in reincarnation, but belief in reincarnation is not uncommon among many Jews, including Orthodox.

Other well-known rabbis who are reincarnationists include Yonassan Gershom, Abraham Isaac Kook, Talmud scholar Adin Steinsaltz, DovBer Pinson, David M. Wexelman, Zalman Schachter,[42] and many others. Reincarnation is cited by authoritative biblical commentators, including Ramban (Nachmanides), Menachem Recanti and Rabbenu Bachya.

Among the many volumes of Yitzchak Luria, most of which come down from the pen of his primary disciple, Chaim Vital, are insights explaining issues related to reincarnation. His Shaar HaGilgulim, "The Gates of Reincarnation", is a book devoted exclusively to the subject of reincarnation in Judaism.

Rabbi Naftali Silberberg of The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute notes that "Many ideas that originate in other religions and belief systems have been popularized in the media and are taken for granted by unassuming Jews."[43]

Christianity

English versions of the Nicene Creed in current use
include the phrase: "We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."

When questioned by the

angels in heaven.[44]

Jesus also maintained that the time would come when the dead would hear the voice of the Son of God, and all who were in the tombs would come out; those who have heard His "[commandments] and believes in the one who sent [Him]" to the resurrection of life, but those who do not to the resurrection of condemnation.[45]

The Book of Enoch describes Sheol as divided into four compartments for four types of the dead: the faithful saints who await resurrection in Paradise, the merely virtuous who await their reward, the wicked who await punishment, and the wicked who have already been punished and will not be resurrected on Judgment Day.[46] The Book of Enoch is considered apocryphal by most denominations of Christianity and all denominations of Judaism.

The book of 2 Maccabees gives a clear account of the dead awaiting a future resurrection and judgment in addition to prayers and offerings for the dead to remove the burden of sin.

The author of

demons in an epic battle at the end of times when all souls are judged. There is mention of ghostly bodies of past prophets, and the transfiguration
.

The non-canonical Acts of Paul and Thecla speak of the efficacy of prayer for the dead so that they might be "translated to a state of happiness".[47]

Hippolytus of Rome pictures the underworld (Hades) as a place where the righteous dead, awaiting in the bosom of Abraham their resurrection, rejoice at their future prospect, while the unrighteous are tormented at the sight of the "lake of unquenchable fire" into which they are destined to be cast.

Gregory of Nyssa discusses the long-before believed possibility of purification of souls after death.[48]

Pope Gregory I repeats the concept, articulated over a century earlier by Gregory of Nyssa that the saved suffer purification after death, in connection with which he wrote of "purgatorial flames".

The noun "purgatorium" (Latin: place of cleansing[49]) is used for the first time to describe a state of painful purification of the saved after life. The same word in adjectival form (purgatorius -a -um, cleansing), which appears also in non-religious writing,[50] was already used by Christians such as Augustine of Hippo and Pope Gregory I to refer to an after-death cleansing.

During the

angels are married), children in heaven (where they are raised by angel parents), time and space in heaven (there are none), the after-death awakening process in the World of Spirits (a place halfway between Heaven and Hell and where people first wake up after death), the allowance of a free will choice between Heaven or Hell (as opposed to being sent to either one by God), the eternity of Hell (one could leave but would never want to), and that all angels or devils were once people on earth.[51]

The Catholic Church

The Catholic conception of the afterlife teaches that after the body dies, the soul is judged, the righteous and free of sin enter Heaven. However, those who die in unrepented mortal sin go to hell. In the 1990s, the Catechism of the Catholic Church defined hell not as punishment imposed on the sinner but rather as the sinner's self-exclusion from God. Unlike other Christian groups, the Catholic Church teaches that those who die in a state of grace, but still carry venial sin, go to a place called Purgatory where they undergo purification to enter Heaven.

Limbo

Despite popular opinion, Limbo, which was elaborated upon by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, was never recognized as a dogma of the Catholic Church, yet, at times, it has been a very popular theological theory within the Church. Limbo is a theory that unbaptized but innocent souls, such as those of infants, virtuous individuals who lived before Jesus Christ was born on earth, or those that die before baptism exist in neither Heaven nor Hell proper. Therefore, these souls neither merit the beatific vision, nor are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin although they have not received baptism, so still bear original sin. So they are generally seen as existing in a state of natural, but not supernatural, happiness, until the end of time.

In other

Christian denominations it has been described as an intermediate place or state of confinement in oblivion and neglect.[52]

Purgatory

The notion of purgatory is associated particularly with the Catholic Church. In the Catholic Church, all those who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven or the final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The tradition of the church, by reference to certain texts of scripture, speaks of a "cleansing fire" although it is not always called purgatory.

resurrection of the dead and in the possibility of "continuing to grow in holiness there", but Methodism does not officially affirm this belief and denies the possibility of helping by prayer any who may be in that state.[53]

Orthodox Christianity

The Orthodox Church is intentionally reticent on the afterlife, as it acknowledges the mystery especially of things that have not yet occurred. Beyond the second coming of Jesus, bodily resurrection, and final judgment, all of which is affirmed in the Nicene Creed (325 CE), Orthodoxy does not teach much else in any definitive manner. Unlike Western forms of Christianity, however, Orthodoxy is traditionally non-dualist and does not teach that there are two separate literal locations of heaven and hell, but instead acknowledges that "the 'location' of one's final destiny—heaven or hell—as being figurative."[54]

Instead, Orthodoxy teaches that the final judgment is one's uniform encounter with divine love and mercy, but this encounter is experienced multifariously depending on the extent to which one has been transformed, partaken of divinity, and is therefore compatible or incompatible with God. "The monadic, immutable, and ceaseless object of eschatological encounter is therefore the love and mercy of God, his glory which infuses the heavenly temple, and it is the subjective human reaction which engenders multiplicity or any division of experience."

St. Isaac the Syrian observes that "those who are punished in Gehenna, are scourged by the scourge of love. ... The power of love works in two ways: it torments sinners ... [as] bitter regret. But love inebriates the souls of the sons of Heaven by its delectability."[55]
In this sense, the divine action is always, immutably, and uniformly love and if one experiences this love negatively, the experience is then one of self-condemnation because of free will rather than condemnation by God.

Orthodoxy therefore uses the description of Jesus' judgment in John 3:19–21 as their model: "19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God." As a characteristically Orthodox understanding, then, Fr. Thomas Hopko writes, "[I]t is precisely the presence of God's mercy and love which cause the torment of the wicked. God does not punish; he forgives... . In a word, God has mercy on all, whether all like it or not. If we like it, it is paradise; if we do not, it is hell. Every knee will bend before the Lord. Everything will be subject to Him. God in Christ will indeed be "all and in all," with boundless mercy and unconditional pardon. But not all will rejoice in God's gift of forgiveness, and that choice will be judgment, the self-inflicted source of their sorrow and pain."[56]

Moreover, Orthodoxy includes a prevalent tradition of

Hilarion Alfeyev.[57] Although apokatastasis is not a dogma of the church but instead a theologoumenon, it is no less a teaching of the Orthodox Church than its rejection. As Met. Kallistos Ware explains, "It is heretical to say that all must be saved, for this is to deny free will; but, it is legitimate to hope that all may be saved,"[58]
as insisting on torment without end also denies free will.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Plan of Salvation in LDS Religion

Joseph F. Smith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presents an elaborate vision of the afterlife. It is revealed as the scene of an extensive missionary effort by righteous spirits in paradise to redeem those still in darkness—a spirit prison or "hell" where the spirits of the dead remain until judgment. It is divided into two parts: Spirit Prison and Paradise. Together these are also known as the Spirit World (also Abraham's Bosom; see Luke 16:19–25). They believe that Christ visited spirit prison (1 Peter 3:18–20) and opened the gate for those who repent to cross over to Paradise. This is similar to the Harrowing of Hell doctrine of some mainstream Christian faiths.[59] Both Spirit Prison and Paradise are temporary according to Latter-day Saint beliefs. After the resurrection, spirits are assigned "permanently" to three degrees of heavenly glory, determined by how they lived – Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. (1 Cor 15:44–42; Doctrine and Covenants, Section 76) Sons of Perdition, or those who have known and seen God and deny it, will be sent to the realm of Satan, which is called Outer Darkness, where they shall live in misery and agony forever.[60] However, according to the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, most persons lack the amount of knowledge to commit the Eternal sin and are therefore incapable of becoming sons of perdition.[61]

The Celestial Kingdom is believed to be a place where the righteous can live eternally with their families. Progression does not end once one has entered the Celestial Kingdom, but extends eternally. According to "True to the Faith" (a handbook on doctrines in the LDS faith), "The celestial kingdom is the place prepared for those who have "received the testimony of Jesus" and been "made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood" (Doctrine and Covenants, 76:51, 69). To inherit this gift, we must receive the ordinances of salvation, keep the commandments, and repent of our sins."[62]

Jehovah's Witnesses

Great Flood or at Armageddon, are given no hope of an afterlife. However, they believe that after Armageddon there will be a bodily resurrection of "both righteous and unrighteous" dead (but not the "wicked"). Survivors of Armageddon and those who are resurrected are then to gradually restore earth to a paradise.[65]
After Armageddon, unrepentant sinners are punished with eternal death (non-existence).

Seventh-day Adventists

The Seventh-day Adventist Church's beliefs regarding the afterlife differ from other Christian churches. Rather than ascend to Heaven or descend to Hell, Adventists believe the dead "remain unconscious until the return of Christ in judgement". The concept that the dead remain dead until resurrection is one of the fundamental beliefs of Seventh-day Adventist.[66] Adventists believe that death is an unconscious state (a "sleep"). This is based on Matt. 9:24; Mark 5:39; John 11:11-14; 1 Cor. 15:51, 52; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Peter 3:4; Eccl. 9:5, 6, 10. At death, all consciousness ends. The dead person does not know anything and does not do anything.[67] They believe that death is creation, only in reverse. Ecclesiastes 12:7. When a person dies, the body turns to dust again, and the spirit goes back to God, who gave it. The spirit of every person who dies—whether saved or unsaved—returns to God at death. The spirit that returns to God at death is the breath of life.[68]

Islam

An artist's representation of "Muhammed's Paradise" with its seven levels. Persian miniature from The History of Mohammed (1808), Bibliothèque nationale de France
, Paris.

The Quran (the holy book of Islam), emphasizes the insignificance of worldly life (ḥayāt ad-dunyā usually translated as "this world") vis-a-vis the hereafter.[Note 1] A central doctrine of Islamic faith is the Last Day (al-yawm al-ākhir, also known by other names),[Note 2] on which the world will come to an end and God will raise all mankind (as well as the jinn) from the dead and evaluate their worldly actions. The resurrected will be judged according to their deeds, records of which are kept on two books compiled for every human being—one for their good deeds and one for their evil ones.[70]

Having been judged, the resurrected will cross the bridge of As-Sirāt over the pit of hell; when the condemned attempt to they will be made to fall off into hellfire below; while the righteous will have no trouble and continue on to their eternal abode of heaven.[71]

shameless women
" being punished in Hell.

Afterlife in Islam actually begins before the Last Day. After death, humans will be questioned about their faith by two angels, Munkar and Nakīr. Those who die as martyrs go immediately to paradise.[70] Others who have died and been buried, will receive a taste of their eternal reward from the al-qabr or "the grave" (compare the Jewish concept of Sheol). Those bound for hell will suffer "punishment of the grave", while those bound for heaven will find the grave "peaceful and blessed".[72]

Islamic scripture — the

Isra and Mi'raj journey) -- give vivid descriptions of the pleasures of paradise (Jannah) and sufferings of hell (Jahannam). The gardens of jannah have cool shade [Quran 36:56-57] adorned couchs and cushions [ 18:31] rich carpets spread out, cups [ 88:10-16] full of wine [ 52:23] and every meat [ 52:22] and fruit [ 36:56-57]. Men will be provided with perpetually youthful, beautiful ḥūr, "untouched beforehand by man or jinn",[73] [ 55:56] with large, beautiful eyes [ 37:48
]. (In recent years some have argued that the term ḥūr refers both to pure men and pure women,[74] and/or that Quranic references to "immortal boys" ( 56:17, 76:19) or "young men" ( 52:24) (ghilmān, wildān, and suqāh) who serve wine and meals to the blessed, are the male equivalents of hur.)[73]

In contrast, those in Jahannam will dwell in a land infested with thousands of serpents and scorpions;[75] be "burnt" by "scorching fire" [ 88:1-7] and when "their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins" to repeat the process forever [ 4:56]; they will have nothing to drink but "boiling water and running sores" [ 78:21-30];[76] their cries of remorse and pleading for forgiveness will be in vain [ 26:96-106].[77][78]

Traditionally jannah and jahannam are thought to have different levels. Eight gates and eight levels in Jannah, where the higher the level the better it is and the happier you are. Jahannam possess seven layers. Each layer more horrible than the one above.

The Quran teaches that the purpose of Man's creation is to worship God and God alone.[Note 3] Those it describes as being punished in hell are "most typically", unbelievers, including those who worship others besides Allah [ 10:24], those who deny the divine origin of the Quran [ 74:16-26], or the coming of Judgement Day [ 25:11-14].[79][80]: 404 

Straightforward crimes/sins against other people are also grounds for going to hell: the murder of a believer [ 4:93] [ 3:21], usury (Q.2:275) [ 2:275], devouring the property of an orphan [ 4:10], slander [Quran 104:], particularly of a chaste woman [ 24:23].[81] However it is a common belief among Muslims that whatever crimes/sins Muslims may have committed, their punishment in hell will be temporary. Only unbelievers will reside in hell permanently.[82][Note 4] Thus Jahannam combines both the concept of an eternal hell (for unbelievers), and what is known in Christian Catholicism as purgatory (for believers eventually destined for heaven after punishment for their sins).[85]

The common belief holds that Jahannam coexists with the temporal world.[86] Mainstream Islam teaches the continued existence of the soul and a transformed physical existence after death. The resurrection that will take place on the Last Day is physical, and is explained by suggesting that God will re-create the decayed body ("Have they not realized that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, can ˹easily˺ re-create them?" [ 17:99]).

Ahmadiyya

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the soul will give birth to another rarer entity and will resemble the life on this earth in the sense that this entity will bear a similar relationship to the soul as the soul bears relationship with the human existence on earth. On earth, if a person leads a righteous life and submits to the will of God, his or her tastes become attuned to enjoying spiritual pleasures as opposed to carnal desires. With this, an "embryonic soul" begins to take shape. Different tastes are said to be born which a person given to carnal passions finds no enjoyment. For example, sacrifice of one's own rights over that of others becomes enjoyable, or that forgiveness becomes second nature. In such a state a person finds contentment and peace at heart and at this stage, according to Ahmadiyya beliefs, it can be said that a soul within the soul has begun to take shape.[87]

Sufism

The

Ibn 'Arabi defined Barzakh as the intermediate realm or "isthmus". It is between the world of corporeal bodies and the world of spirits, and is a means of contact between the two worlds. Without it, there would be no contact between the two and both would cease to exist. He described it as simple and luminous, like the world of spirits, but also able to take on many different forms just like the world of corporeal bodies can. In broader terms Barzakh, "is anything that separates two things". It has been called the dream world in which the dreamer is in both life and death.[88]

Baháʼí Faith

The teachings of the

womb. The Baháʼí writings state that the soul is immortal and after death it will continue to progress until it finally attains God's presence.[89] In Baháʼí belief, souls in the afterlife will continue to retain their individuality and consciousness and will be able to recognize and communicate spiritually with other souls whom they have made deep profound friendships with, such as their spouses.[90]

The Baháʼí scriptures also state there are distinctions between souls in the afterlife, and that souls will recognize the worth of their own deeds and understand the consequences of their actions. It is explained that those souls that have turned toward God will experience gladness, while those who have lived in error will become aware of the opportunities they have lost. Also, in the Baháʼí view, souls will be able to recognize the accomplishments of the souls that have reached the same level as themselves, but not those that have achieved a rank higher than them.[90]

Indian religions