The Resurrection In Revealed Scriptures
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. 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)
Further explanation on Buddhism
Buddhism is regarded as a religion without a God or an eschatology. This must be largely due to its concentration on the individual’s spiritual perfection and purification and a harmonious social life. The Buddha stressed the supremacy of ethics, and his outlook was definitely practical and empirical. In fact, he did not tolerate any doctrines that appeared to divert the mind from the central problem of suffering, the cause of suffering and its removal, and the urgency of the moral task. Therefore it cannot be said that Buddhism directly and absolutely rejects belief in a Supreme Being.
The conclusion of Wendy Erickson, a Canadian writer who became an agnostic while an atheist after her studies on God and Revelation, drew on the “objective” nature of God is significant on this point:
In his book, Medusa’s Hair, Gananath Obeyesekeri has shown us that even today Buddhist ascetics in India mystically experience the divine as a painful (and simultaneously ecstatic) possession by another being that completely takes over their bodies.
Experience has led people in all religious traditions to make very different faith statements about the “objective” nature of God or Ultimate Reality. Buddhists experience the Ultimate as Oneness, Creativity, or Consciousness. Jews, Christians and Muslims have sensed the Ultimate as transcendent Love, Power, and, yes, Creativity too. Monistic Hindus perceive the Ultimate as a hidden Self, or Atman, which is one with the Godhead, Brahman. When Love is the predominant sense, transcendence is often sought after through worship and compassion toward others. Believers seek to get beyond themselves by recognizing that the world does not revolve around them; there is an Ultimate Reality that exists beyond their selves, is much bigger than them and, in some sense, more real. Prayer can be seen as one way for a believer to cultivate a sense of being in God’s presence. This Reality (God) also exists within each individual. http://atheism.about.com]
What Buddha said about his faith and mission demonstrates that, rather than rejecting a faith or a transcendent reality, his real aim was to found a society on moral values and the cessation of pain in individuals:
Bear always in mind what it is that I have not elucidated, and what it is that I have elucidated. And what have I not elucidated? I have not elucidated that the world is eternal; I have not elucidated that the world is not eternal; … I have not elucidated that the soul and the body are identical; I have not elucidated that the monk who has attained (the arahat) exists after death; I have not elucidated that the arahat does not exist after death; … I have not elucidated that the arahat neither exists nor does not exist after death. And why have I not elucidated this? Because this profits not, nor has to do with the fundamentals of religion; therefore I have not elucidated this. And what have I elucidated? Misery have I elucidated; the origin of misery have I elucidated; the cessation of misery have I elucidated; and the path leading to the cessation of misery have I elucidated. And why have I elucidated this? Because this does profit, has to do with the fundamentals of religion, and tends to absence of passion, to knowledge, supreme wisdom, and Nirvana. [Henry Clarke Warren, Buddhism in Translation (Harvard University Press: 1922), 122; Majjhima Nikaya 63, in John B. Noss, Man’s Religions (New York: Macmillan, 1956), 166. (Tr.)]
By M. Fethullah Gulen