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The Resurrection in Revealed Scriptures

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Essentials of the Islamic Faith

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The Qur'an, the last heavenly Scriptures, has four main themes: God's Existence and Unity, the Resurrection and afterlife, Prophethood, and worship and justice. It emphasizes the Resurrection far more than all previous Scriptures.

Despite the distortion it has suffered, the Torah still has verses concerning the Resurrection. The Gospel came to restore this corruption and to affirm what had remained intact. However, it also was distorted. Not long after Jesus' departure from this world, about 300 Gospels appeared and were circulated. Their internal contradictions and those with other Gospels led to many distortions that only grew over time. However, there are still some Gospel passages about the Resurrection and the Hereafter, such as the following:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven... Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God…Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven... Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:3, 7-8, 10, 12)

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands and two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of Hell (Matthew 18:7-9)

The dead will be raised physically and spiritually. According to the context, the Qur'an mentions either spiritual or bodily resurrection. For example: O soul at peace! Return unto your Lord well-pleasing and well-pleased! Enter among My (righteous) servants. Enter My Paradise! (89:27-30).

These verses mention the soul's return to its Lord. However, many other verses describe the Resurrection and the other world in such material or physical terms that we must accept that it also will be physical. The Qur'an discusses the truth of Paradise and Hell, either in detail or in brief, in 120 places. While describing these realms and explaining who deserves which one, it stresses the combination of our soul and our body.

For example, the faces of the people of Paradise will shine with happiness, and they will find prepared for them whatever they desire. They will be together with their spouses and family members who deserve Paradise. God will rebuild the women of Paradise without defect and as virgins, and they will excel Paradise girls in beauty. The people of Paradise will live in magnificent palaces set in gardens full of splendid trees, beneath which will flow rivers of honey, pure water, milk, and other beverages. On the other hand, the people of Hell will suffer great remorse and burn in fire. When their skins are scorched or burned completely, they will be exchanged for new ones. In addition, those bodily parts with which they sinned will witness against them.

Hell, because of its terror, warns people to reject unbelief and sin, and Paradise urges those with sublime feelings to strive for perfection. And so the Qur'an mentions both Paradise and Hell as a favor or grace:

This is Hell which the guilty deny. They go circling round between it and fierce, boiling water. Which is it, of the favors of your Lord, that you deny? But for him who fears the standing before his Lord there are two gardens. Which is it, of the favors of your Lord, that you deny? (55:43–47)