This will definitely come as an even greater shock but this is also true. There is no “heaven and hell” in the Koran. There is no afterlife or resurrection either.
There is no single verse in the Koran which says that after death there shall be a resurrection with the resurrected being sent to an afterlife called heaven or hell. You cannot find this idea written down in any verse in the Koran. This is a certainty.
It is actually an extrapolation by the mullahs patching together bits and pieces of different verses from the Koran to cobble together what is essentially a pagan belief inherited from Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, Judaism, Christianity and other ancient religions of the Middle East. The idea of a heaven and a hell have long been prevalent among the judeo-christians.
Large swathes of humanity do not have this idea of ‘heaven and hell’ in their belief systems. The buddhist based civilizations (China, Korea, Japan) and the hindus do not have any idea of a permanent afterlife in a heaven or hell. That is almost half the human race. We cannot simply dismiss the intellect of half the human race.
The idea of a heaven and hell is obviously a control mechanism which comes in handy to keep the superstitious in line. Smart beggars called themselves priests and frightened the masses with burning hellfire if the masses did not listen to them. Those who listened to them, accompanied by donations in the box, would be promised the delights and promises of heaven. The 72 virgins promised to the muslim suicide bombers all over the world are just variations of the same idea. The underlying falsehood remains the same.
The Koran does not support the idea of a heaven or hell. When we study the Koran, it is important to pay attention to how particular words are used throughout the text. This is a book which claims to provide guidance for all of humanity, hence by necessity it must be very carefully written. Indeed it is an extremely well written book and its words have been carefully chosen.
Here is a verse from Surah Al Baqarah:
2:26 ALLAH does not shy away from citing any kind of allegory, from the tiny mosquito and greater. As for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord. As for those who disbelieve, they say, "What did ALLAH mean by such an allegory?" He misleads many thereby, and guides many thereby. But He never misleads thereby except the wicked.
This is a very important verse. This verse 2:26 lays the ground rule that in the Koran, Allah also teaches by using examples or allegories. The keyword here is allegory represented by the Arabic word ‘mathalan’.
Lets look at a few other verses from the Koran which mention this word ‘mathalan’ or allegory.
24:35 ALLAH is the light of the skies and the earth. The allegory (mathalu) of His light is that of a concave mirror behind a lamp that is placed inside a glass container. The glass container is like a bright, pearl-like star. The fuel thereof is supplied from a blessed oil-producing tree, that is neither eastern, nor western. Its oil is almost self-radiating; needs no fire to ignite it. Light upon light. ALLAH guides to His light whoever wills (to be guided). ALLAH thus cites the allegories (mathalu) for the people. ALLAH is fully aware of all things.
It does not mean here that Allah is the actual light (like a torchlight or street lamp) of the skies and the earth. The sufis confuse this particular verse and make much about the ‘spiritual light of Allah’. Allah is not a spirit and there is no such thing as spirituality or spiritual light either.
This verse explains clearly what is an allegory. An allegory is not real. We have to use our imagination. We have to imagine a bright lamp, solidly built in clear glass which is dependable which throws useful illumination so that we can see in the dark. That gives us an idea of what is Allah’s guidance. It does not mean that Allah actually shines a torchlight at anyone or that His “light” actually comes from a lamp behind a glass set in a niche in a wall somewhere in the “heavens”. There is no such thing.
Here is another example:
29:41 The allegory (mathalu) of those who accept other masters beside ALLAH is that of the spider and her home; the flimsiest of all homes is the home of the spider, if they only knew.
This is another allegory or ‘mathalu’. Again here we must use our imagination. The scientists say that pound for pound the silk in the spider’s web is stronger than steel. But despite the spider’s silk being inherently strong, the actual fact is that when there are strong winds the spider webs do get damaged. The strands of silk are too thin. So indeed the spider lives in a very flimsy home.
Extending the allegory, it means that those who take for masters other than Allah are putting themselves at great risk too. Their safety and their existence become very precarious – just like living in a spider web. A flimsy and unpredictable fate. These are allegorical descriptions but we get the idea.
The idea of a heaven and hell is also taken from the Bible. The Koran does not mention a heaven or hell. The Koran mentions ‘jannah’ which literally means a garden. The ‘naar’ mentioned in the Koran means fire. It implies torment, hardship and difficulty. We will see this shortly.
Here is another verse that also talks about an allegory or ‘mathalu’. This verse also requires us to use our imagination.
47:15 The allegory (mathalu) of the garden (jannah) that is promised for the righteous is this: it has rivers of unpolluted water, and rivers of fresh milk, and rivers of wine - delicious for the drinkers - and rivers of strained honey. They have all kinds of fruits therein, and forgiveness from their Lord. (Are they better) or those who abide forever in the hellfire, and drink hellish water that tears up their intestines?
Note carefully that this verse uses the word ‘mathalu’ or allegory. These are just allegories and not real. It is illogical and impossible to have actual “rivers” of fresh milk. Or rivers of honey or wine. Even in the biblical heaven one cannot possibly have an actual river flowing with milk, honey or wine. Where would one stop to drink it – from a heavenly ferry boat? Rivers of wine, honey and milk are in the realm of imagination only. Its just an allegory. It simply implies a state of plenty, ease and comfort. It can never be real rivers of wine, real rivers of milk or real rivers of honey.
People who are righteous, who work hard and who are productive will get to enjoy a comfortable life. Their life becomes like an allegorical garden (jannah) with rivers of goodness and plenty. The allegorical ‘jannah’ or garden that is mentioned in the Koran is therefore descriptive of a life here on earth. There is no heaven beyond the skies somewhere in outer space.
The final part of 47:15 says ‘they have all kinds of fruits therein, and forgiveness from their Lord’. Again fruits grow on earth. There are no “heavenly” fruits. This is a description of a plentiful life.
And here is 2:25 in the Koran which again describes fruits in the garden.
2:25 Give good news to those who believe and lead a righteous life that they will have gardens (jannatin) with flowing streams. When provided with a provision of fruits therein, they will say, "This is what was provided for us previously." Indeed they are given the same. They will have pure spouses therein, and they abide therein forever.
2:25 here does not refer to a “heaven” beyond the skies in outer space. It refers to people who believe and lead a righteous life who will be provided gardens with flowing streams from their righteous works and effort. They will harvest fruits which they have seen before – meaning these are earthly fruits and not “heavenly” fruits. It means plenty, ease and comfort here on earth. There is no such thing as a magical heaven somewhere in outer space.
Please note the verse which follows (2:26) which is already quoted above, where Allah speaks about using allegories (mathalan) to teach us something.
The context of 2:25 continues into 2:26 meaning the description of a garden (jannah) with flowing streams, fruits, rivers of honey, wine and milk are all allegorical descriptions of plenty and ease.
There is no real “heaven” in outer space with an actual river of milk, honey or wine.
Here is one more verse which uses the word allegory or ‘mathalu’ :
13:35 The allegory (mathalu) of the garden (jannah), which is promised for the righteous, is flowing streams, inexhaustible provisions, and cool shade. Such is the destiny for those who observe righteousness, while the destiny for the disbelievers is the fire.
Again streams, provisions and cool shade are all part of an allegorical jannah or garden. A life of plenty. There is no actual “heaven” somewhere in outer space with provisions and cool shade. That is more akin to the imaginary animation in Hollywood cartoons and movies meant to excite children.
People who observe righteousness will enjoy a comfortable life. Around the world today we see that people who use common sense, technology, logic and are productive are the ones who enjoy comfortable lives.
The advanced countries of the world (both in the East and the West) are already enjoying their garden or jannah. Their supermarkets have rivers of milk, wine and honey on sale. Their people live in comfortable homes and enjoy shade and warmth. This is the jannah or garden that is promised to those who work righteousness. These are also the believers. These are the real muslims who have been blessed by Allah. We will see this in more detail later.
We will also need to look at the word naar (fire) which is traditionally taken as “hell”. Hell is also a Biblical term. The naar of the Koran simply refers to tribulation, hardship and calamity in this world that we live in. It is not a real “hell” somewhere beyond the skies in outer space.
Here is an interesting verse which proves again that the jannah (garden) and the naar (tribulation, hardship) are indeed here on earth.
7:50 The dwellers of the naar (fire) will call on the dwellers of the garden (jannah): "Let some of your water, or some of ALLAH's provisions to you flow towards us." They will say, "ALLAH has forbidden them for the disbelievers."
The people who are in incessant hardship (the dwellers of the fire) will ask the people who are in ease and plenty (the dwellers of the garden) to give them some water and some provisions.
Obviously then the naar (fire) and the jannah (garden) are next door neighbours. They are close enough for the dwellers of “hell” to ask their neighbours in “heaven” to actually pass cups of water over the neighbourhood fence.
How can this be? Wont the “fires of hell” singe the people of “heaven” if they are so close to the “hell fire”? And what sort of pleasurable “heaven” would it be to see your unfortunate neighbors, family and friends screaming and burning in “hell” right next door to you?
This verse only makes sense if the jannah (garden) and the naar (fire) are here on earth. The jannah and the naar represent the condition of our being. Some people live in ease and plenty (jannah) while others live in misery (naar).
Indeed since ages, access to clean drinking water has been an issue and a matter of survival – but usually in those countries which suffer huge overdoses of religion and acute shortages of common sense. The so called Islamic countries fall in this category quite eminently. Hence even the simple routines of daily life often become a struggle for them.
The people living in the jannah (the West and the rich countries) can send them aid and water in bottles for some relief. But once the aid is finished they go back to living in the fire or 'naar'.
To conclude, the descriptions of jannah (garden) and naar (fire) in the Koran are all allegories or ‘mathalu’. They are not real. Jannah and naar refer to a condition of our being. Jannah and naar are not the heaven and hell of the Bible. It is no point telling someone ‘Go to hell’. There is no such thing.
The Koran repeats the following phrase four times
‘haatu burhanukum inkuntum sadiqeen’ which means “bring your proofs if you are truthful’. This is also the beginning of the scientific method.
2:111 Some have said, "No one will enter the garden except Jews or Christians!" Such is their wishful thinking. Say, "Show us your proof, if you are truthful."
(Transliteration : Waqaloo lan yadkhulu aljannata illaa man kaana hoodan awnasara tilka amaaniy yuhum qul hatoo burhanakum inkuntum sadiqeena).
The garden or jannah implies success. It does not refer to a biblical “heaven” in outer space. In this verse there is a challenge to those who believe in a biblical heaven in outer space. They must show their proofs for its existence. ‘Haatu burhanukum inkuntum sadiqeen’ or ‘show us your proof if you are truthful’.
If you believe in a biblical heaven and hell, then show us your proofs if you are a truthful people. Where is your proof? Haatu burhanukum inkuntum saadiqeen? If you cannot show proofs it simply means you are not truthful.
The biblical heaven and hell of the mullahs is an idea plagiarised from the Bible. The Koran only talks about the jannah (garden) and the naar (fire). These are mathalu or allegories. Garden refers to a good and productive life with milk, honey, wine and plenty. Naar or fire refers to trial, tribulation, war and misery. It does not refer to the biblical hell.
The biblical belief in a heaven and a hell is collectively known as the hereafter, another idea which the mullahs have plagiarised. The idea of the hereafter is also not found in the Koran.
The mullahs interpret the Koranic word ‘aakhirat’ as hereafter. This is incorrect. Aakhir means the last, ultimate, the ends, the conclusion, the finality, the effect as in “cause and effect”. Here are some examples from the Koran:
38:7 We never heard of this in our final (aakhirati) practises. This is a lie.
(Maa sami’na bi hatha fil millati al-aakhirati in hatha illa ikhtilaaqun)
53:25 To Allah belongs both the end (aakhiratu) and the beginning.
Fa lillahi al-aakhiratu wal-oola
79:25 Consequently, Allah committed him to torment in the end (aakhirati) and in the beginning.
Fakhathahu Allaahu nakala al-aakhirati wal-oola
92:13 And upon Us is the end (aakhirata) and the beginning.
Wa-inna lanaa al-aakhirata wal-oola
93:4 The conclusion (aakhiratu) will be far better for you than the beginning
Walal-aakhiratu khayrun laka minal oola
11:16 It is they who gave up their share in the end (aakhirati) and consequently, the fire is their lot. All their works are in vain; everything they have done is nullified.
Ulaa-ika allazeena laysa lahum fil aakhirati illa an-naaru wahabita ma sana’oo feeha wa baatilun ma kanoo ya’maloona
27:66 In fact their knowledge concerning the end (aakhirati) is confused. In fact, they harbor doubts about it. In fact, they are totally heedless thereof.
Balid-daraka a’ilmuhum fil aakhirati bal hum fee shakkin minha bal hum min haamoona
29:20Say, ‘Roam the earth and see how He began the creation then Allah will again initiate the creation in the end. Surely Allah is omnipotent over all things.
Qul seeroo fil ardi fanzuroo kayfa bada’a al khalqa thumma allahu yunshi-u al nash-ata al-aakhirata innallaha alakulli shay-in qadeerun
In 29:20 above the Koran says that the creation will be initiated again here on this earth. Roam the earth and see how He began the creation then Allah will again initiate the creation in the end”.
So life just continues on the earth, again and again, as it has for millions and millions of years. The creation and recreation are here on earth. Humans, animals and plants live and die on earth. After death they will disintegrate and be absorbed into the earth. Their molecules and atoms will be recycled and reborn again and again. Life just goes on. There is no heaven, hell or an afterlife.