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The Islam religion is a very interesting religion because it is both similar and different to other religions we know. Islam is similar to Judaism and Christianity in the sense that they have similar stories and beliefs about Jesus. One of the things that sets Islam apart from other religions is that Muslims only believe in one God, unlike Hinduism that has many of them. When it comes to death Islam has similarities with some religions, but also has many differences. Before conducting any research, I did not know anything about the Islam religion and their views on death. I just assumed that it would be the same as Christianity or Judaism, but later on I realized that I was wrong. Why are the Islamic religion’s views on death different from other religions?
When a person is born, the day of their death and where they will be going in the afterlife has been predetermined by Allah. In the Islamic religion this is referred to as qadar. When a Muslim is born, are they already born with malicious or good intent that their fate is already decided for them? According to what I have learned in class, there is a debate regarding if Muslims have free will because of qadar. I don’t know what to think because I feel like they have free will but then they don’t. The question that always forms in my head when I think of this is, “how can one have free will if everything is already decided for them?” But then I think of how people have the right to do whatever they want, as in they get to decide for themselves what they want and don’t want to do. However, no matter what decisions they make their fate cannot be changed. Therefore, from all of this thinking, I believe that Muslims have free will, but an unchangeable fate. Ajal is the time between birth and death. Ajal is ended on the day of the person’s death. In Islam, like many other religions, the way you live your life affects your afterlife. According to Dr. Jameson’s lecture during our religion class, if you live a life full of good deeds and submitting to the one and only Allah, then you will have a great afterlife. However, if you did not believe in Allah during your lifetime then you will not have a good afterlife. When you die before the final judgement, you stay in your grave until the day comes. When you first die, you are visited by angels that ask you a set of questions. If you answer the questions correctly, the stay in your grave will be a pleasant one because it will expand and become roomy. If you answer the questions wrong, then your stay in the grave will be horrible. The grave will become smaller and smaller until it is squeezing you. It is also said that there is a window that you can look out to and the view of that window is the place to where you are headed, your final destination. Ghayb is the hidden realm. It is what we can’t perceive with our eyes. This is not only a place we as humans can’t see, it is also every phenomena that we cannot see or explain because of its nature. In other words, Allah, angels, paradies, hell, etc. are all in Ghayb.
The mu’aqqibat are angels. They can either be followers or succeeders. Angels are beings that were formed of light by Allah. They can shapeshift and do not need food to survive. The mu’aqqibat do not have free will like we humans do. Their sole purpose is to serve Allah and nothing more. There are many angels that it would be impossible to name them all, however there were some that were identified in the Quran. These include Gabriel, Azrael, and Raphael. These angles play a key part in the Islam religion. Gabriel is one of Allah’s messengers, Azrael is the angel of death, and Raphael is the angel that will sound the trumpet when the world will be destroyed and when the world comes to be again. There are also angels that go to the tomb of someone who has recently died to go interview them to decide whether or not they will be having a comfortable staying in their tomb. There is another type of angels which are kiraman katibin, which are referred to as the writers. These angels are in charge of writing down all of your deeds, good or bad. There are Muslims that believe that the one on the right is Kiraman and the one on the left is Katibin.
All of these terms are connected because they are all aspects of the Islam religion. Without one the rest can’t happen. They are all integrated with each other. These terms can also impact the way an individual makes his or her decisions. This can influence the way they live their lives. These terms are under mortality and morality because the way you live your life during your ajal can impact your life in the afterlife. In Islam, death is not seen as something bad, instead it is seen as a gift because you get to be closer to Allah. Having the chance of be closer to Allah is a great privilege in Islam and allows an individual to demonstrate their lifestyle. An individual being able to demonstrate their lifestyle is significant because it justifies if they lived their life as good or bad.
In conclusion, I have expanded my knowledge about Islam in a great abundance in regards to the characteristics of Islam. The terms qadar, ajal, ghayb, the mu’aqqibat, and kiraman katibin all play a significant role in Islam in creating the foundational beliefs of the religion. As a result, the foundational beliefs of Islam revolve around the idea of mortality and morality. It is from all of this we as a society can better understand how Islam relates to other religions in regards to beliefs and how different it can be.
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