The great difference between Life and Afterlife

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The following is extracted and adapted from Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller’s Suffering and Divine Wisdom.

What is the life of this world but amusement and play? but verily the Home in the Hereafter,- that is life indeed, if they but knew. [Qur’an al-Ankaboot, 29.64]

The significance of joys and sufferings in this world will dwindle to nothing before the next world not only quantitatively, because of its eternity, but qualitatively because of its nature.  The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) said, “The person who had the most pleasing life in this world, of any of the people of Hell, will be summoned on Resurrection Day and utterly plunged into the hellfire, then asked, ‘O man, have you ever beheld any good at all; have you ever felt a single joy?’

And he will say, ‘No by God, my Lord.’

And the most miserable sufferer in this world, of any of the people of Paradise, will be summoned and utterly plunged into Paradise, then asked, ‘O man, have you ever seen any bad at all; have you ever experienced a single misery?’

And he will say, ‘No by God, my Lord: I have never seen any bad or suffered a single misery’

They are not lying, but what their testimony means is that nothing in this worldly life can even be called ‘joy; or ‘misery’ compared with the life after death ”

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