Seven Stages of Life in Islam
SOURCE: KYAW KYAW OO
Islam is submission to the Will of Allah (GOD).
Islam has beginning and end. Those who embrace Islam are called Muslims. The word Muslim is derived from the word Peace. The traditional Muslim greeting is peace be unto you.
Who is Allah? Allah is The One and The Only God who created the worlds, Angels (created by light), Jinn (created by Fire), Satan (devil) is an outcast Jinn, man (created from sounding clay), animals and contents of the universes. Allah is One, there is no God other than Him, without any partners, He is eternal without a beginning and enduring without end, Absolute, Self-Sufficient, Self-Existing, never dies, not borne nor gives birth, has no companion and nothing is comparable to Him. He never sleeps nor slumbers. All-Knowing, All-Hearing, All-Seeing. Nothing happens except what He wills. He gives life and death. He is The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful. He is intensively and continuously merciful to his creatures even though Non-Muslims do not believe in him. He is far above from any created being. He is The Creator of everything in the universe, heaven and earth and its content. He will never perish or come to an end. When Allah wants anything to happen he says “Be” and it is. Muslims do not believe that Allah assumed Human form and came down to this earth. Human body form has animal properties and animal characteristics are created by Allah. Allah is high above all the creations.
Creation of Mankind
The first Man’s (Adam ) body was created from sounding clay. His companion woman “Hava ” was created from Adam’s rib. All his descendant’s bodies are created by sperm of man and ovum of women. Jesus (Prophet ISA) son of Mariam (Mary) was created by Allah’s word (Be and it is) like Adam but in Mariam’s womb. Jesus was a human prophet and not son of God. He was not crucified but taken up alive (Holy Quran).
Allah breathed into the body of man part of His spirit called (Ruh) Soul . When the soul enters the body it becomes alive. When this soul is withdrawn from the body it dies and the body decays, putrefies and is eaten by microorganisms. Every day man experience temporary death at night when he sleeps and resurrects when he wakes up. Allah keeps his soul in a safe place during his sleep. Allah has appointed angels as guardians to the right and left side and allowed satan to disturb humans. All these facts are described in Holy Quran.
Stage 1. Life in Lau Ho Mahfuz.
Allah created all the souls of the descendants of Adam and Hava who were predestined to come to this earth. Everything about the universes and our soul before and after creations are documented and recorded in the tablet (book) board in heaven (Lau Ho Mahfuz).
Allah once asked all the created souls, “who is your Lord?”. All the souls said “You are our Creator our Lord”. But souls forget the covenant when they descend to the earth. Some have faint or vague memory of Allah (God) in the inner core of the heart. At times of life threatening danger man will automatically shout “Oh God !”. But who is that God? If no one tells him he will not know. At that time they usually do not address false gods. They usually point up to the heaven and say Almighty God meaning ALLAH.. If they say that many times they will forget false gods. That is the inner instinct of Humans.
Stage 2. Life in the mother’s womb.
The soul is sent down to this earth into the body of fetus developed in the mother’s womb and the fetus becomes alive. The fetus was swimming in the amniotic fluid inside the uterus like a fish. It does not breathe air. The fetus was fed by the blood through the placenta of the mother and supplied to the body of the fetus by means of umbilical cord. In pregnant women there is no menstruation until the baby is born. Do we remember how we lived 9 months inside the mother’s womb?
Stage 3. Life in this world.
At the fetal age of 36 to 40 weeks (pregnancy) the baby is born. The baby breaths the first time and cries. Whereas the nurses, friends, parents and relatives laugh, are happy and praise the baby. When the same baby become old and dies, the relatives and friends cry. Some practice infanticide (kill babies) if the baby is female. Islam does not allow infanticide and abortion. The newly born baby is clean, innocent , free from sins, grows, develops , learns and is brought up in Muslim families or in non-Muslim families. The soul in the baby forgot Allah and the promise (covenant) given in the heaven that Allah is his Creator and Lord.
The babies brought up in Muslim families will be taught Quran and reminded about Allah and Islam to worship only The One Allah. To avoid worshiping false gods. False gods are either made by man from wood or stone or the creation of Allah (such as sun , moon, tree, fire, water, animals , spirits, the content of the universe). Muslims only worship one creator (Allah) but not the creations. Muslims do not associate anything with Allah. Allah has sent 124,000 Prophets from the time of Adam to the time of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the last Prophet, to remind all mankind to worship one God Allah. There were divine revelations (books) sent down through Prophets including Abraham, David , Solomon, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (Pbuh).
Muslims believe all the Prophets and their books (psalms, Torah, Bible and Quran). Quran is the latest divine revelation (words of Allah) revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) 1400 years ago and is preserved without any flaws and amendments done by humans up to date. Whereas all the other Holy books were altered or corrected by humans and the original statements were corrupted and become doubtful. Allah said in Quran he will preserve the Holy Quran until the end of the world so no man can alter it. Quran is preserved in the hearts of Hafizs (Those who have memorized the whole book Holy Quran by heart). There are millions of Hafizs in this world. Burning all the copies of Quran will not make miraculous Quran disappear from this world. Quran is revealed in Arabic language whereas the Bible was revealed in Hebrew language. Quran updates all the previous holy books and teaches mankind about universal laws, moral concepts and narratives. The Quran’s timeless text remains a miracle, an inspiration and guide to all humanity.
Muslims believe in Quran and follow Prophet’s saying and example of his way of life. Those who believe in one Allah, his prophets, his books, his angels, the last day of judgment, the next life, good or bad come from predestined decree of Allah, the existence of hell and heaven, reward for good people and punishment of bad people are called Muslims. All souls are provided with limited free will to choose. There is no compulsion in Islam. All souls have to taste death. When the soul leaves the body, relatives and friends cry. The soul of man will be extracted by the angel of death either gently or roughly when the time is ripe. When a soul is pulled out from the body man must remember his faith in Allah (that Allah is his Creator) otherwise he will be sent to hell.
Satan, the devil is proud and cast out by Allah because he is jealous of Adam, disobeyed Allah, and became avowed enemy of Mankind. He has the power to disturb man from the front, behind, by the sides and can enter the body, whisper evil in Man’s heart as approved by Allah. Satan, the devil’s job is to mislead man to hell. It is easy for Satan to mislead non-muslims to worship other than Allah but not true Muslims. Satan will destroy Muslims by using many tactics but especially by 1. Jealousy and 2. Greediness . Satan was punished because of jealousy and Adam was punished because of greed. Satan certainly will try to persuade muslims at the time of death when a person is in semi conscious state to say that there are other gods than Allah. If Satan succeeds the soul of Muslim or non Muslim will go out from the body at the time of death without faith and that soul will enter hell.
Muslims therefore practice and profess “there is no God except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah” (in Arabic “La ilaaha illallah Muhammadur Rasullulah“) it must be said by mouth and believed in the heart all the time and practiced all the time to make it habitual during sleep or while awake or in shock or distress. Allah has provided a way for mankind to drive away Satan by uttering the divine revelation ‘A-‘oo thu bil-laa-hi mi-nash-shai-taa-nir ra-jeem. Bis-mil-laa-hir- Rah-maa-nir Ra-heem.” meaning “I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast, In the name of Allah , The Most Gracious , The Most Merciful”. Whenever a Muslim starts to do anything e.g. eat, drink, sleep, travel, switch on the computer, open the book to read or write, enter bath room , twilight , travel, enter into vehicle, sleep with his wife, gets up from sleep, he recites this verse to drive away Satan.
Muslims always say in good or bad status Alhamdulillah (All praises and thank be to Allah), that is submission to the Will of Allah. Muslims will say to Allah “Thee do we worship and Thine aid we seek. Please show us the right way.” Muslims must understand that we are tourists travelling and not permanent in this world. We must love Allah more than our life. Family and other worldly things come next. Allah says in Holy Quran “Man and Jinn are created for nothing except to worship (serve) Allah”. So our first priority is to serve Him and to please Him with good intention. Allah will not accept the worship or service if performed without good intention e.g. To Pay charity or pray to show off will not be accepted. Intention of doing any good must be to please Allah. Muslims are Vicegerent (representatives) of Allah. Muslims always say Insha Allah (God willing) before they plan to do things. Masha Allah (will of God) to appreciate things.
In order to die as a Muslim with faith one must also practice virtues of Islam (good practice) such as the 5 pillars of Islam.
1. Faith (“Laa ilaha illallah Muhamadur Rasullulah“) “there is no God except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”, it must be believed in the heart and said by mouth repeatedly to become habitual and to not forget at the time of accident or sleep or distress or death. This is the most important faith. This is the visa to enter paradise. Without faith one may not enter paradise. The biggest tug of war inside our soul is faith. A Muslim will not bow his head to anything living or non living to worship except Allah.
2. Pray five times a day (dawn, afternoon, evening, sunset and night).
3. Pay Zakat (poor man’s money Alms)
4. Fasting one month in Ramadan
5. Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) once in a life time.
The first two are compulsory and a must for all Muslims. The other three depends upon one’s health and wealth. The above practice with good intention will make a Muslim the best person on the earth and remember Allah at the time of death. At the time of death if a Muslim or a non-Muslim remembers Allah and utters “La ilaaha illallah Muhamadur Rasullulah” (“there is no God except Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”), he will be taken to paradise and otherwise to hell. So non-Muslims may remember The Creator just before death and enter paradise because Allah has kept open His door of forgiveness and mercy until before his death. A Muslim cannot point at the non-Muslims and say he is going to hell because he himself is not sure about hell or paradise.
Therefore this stage 3 is very important testing ground for human being. It is the duty of Muslims to remind each other and his non-Muslim friends about Allah, death, the next life (resurrection), reward and punishment, hell and paradise. Muslims are like living in jail in this temporary world. Muslims must obey the laws stated in Quran, avoid adultery, alcohol, gambling, cheating, observe Halal (lawful) and Haram (unlawful) food and Halal and Haram money and usury, etc. Muslims must undergo many tests and practice Islam. Muslims must be patient constantly, must bear and accept that good and bad are preordained and decreed by Allah and say Alhamdullilah (All praise and thank be to Allah) all the time in order to enjoy reward in the Hereafter, which is everlasting. Muslims must work hard in this third stage temporary world with fear, repentance , ask forgiveness for wrong doing mistakes with hope and mercy from God to prevent from hell fire and enjoy reward in the next life. Muslims will say “Our prayers, our good deeds, our life and death are for Allah our Lord, Creator of the Worlds.” Allah created evil but He does not like it. Allah created good and He likes it. He encourages us and guides us to do good. He will guide and protect the obedient servants. But those who refuse to accept Allah’s revelation sent to prophets, and follow Satan, Allah will not guide them any more. They will go astray. Allah will forgive all kinds of sins except Polytheism.
Stage 4. Death.
After the soul is drawn from the body Allah keeps it in a place called Alam Barzaak. Good people’s soul are kept in a good place and bad people’s soul in a bad place until Kiyamat (Judgment day) arrives, when everything is destroyed except Allah. There will be resurrection of all Mankind
Stage 5. Resurrection on the Judgment day.
All souls will get up from the graves. Obedient souls will go to paradise for ever. Disobedient souls will go to hell for punishment. Those who ignore or reject or refuse to believe Allah and who worshiped false gods rather than Allah, The Creator , in this world , will go to Hell forever in the next world. Muslims do not believe in Incarnation (reborn again) to this world.
Stage 6. The end stage for disobedient soul is to enter Hell fire.
Stage 7. The end stage for obedient soul is peaceful to enter paradise in the form of new creation with different forms. Allah said that it is easy for Him to do so (Holy Quran). In paradise they will be free from sickness, illness and will at all times be healthy, clean, peaceful and satisfied with provisions, with beautiful young companions and of no ageing, to dwell in forever. This is because Allah is satisfied with the soul who is obedient to His Divine laws and the soul is also satisfied with Allah.