It was 6 December 2013. I switched on my radio to listen to the morning news. Suddenly the breaking news announced that Nelson Mandela had passed away. Then after a moment, that speech was broadcast which Mandela had delivered as the President in the South African Parliament on 10 May 1994. The speaker was physically no more, but his voice could be heard by all without the slightest alteration.
Experiences of this kind are very common. They remind us of the fact that when a person dies, he is still living through his voice. Voice is part of the human personality.
And if a part of our personality is alive after death, why cannot the whole personality be alive after death?
According to dictionary, death is the permanent end of life. However, the Quran maintains that the human being is an eternal being, and death is only a phase in its eternal journey.
Apart from other reasoning it offers for life after death, the Quran also gives the above argument in these words: “And by the Lord of the heavens and the earth, it is most surely the truth, just as you do speak” (51:23).
Speech is part of a person, and modern technology has proved that the speech of a person is repeatable. If a person’s speech is repeatable, then certainly the personality itself is also repeatable. In previous centuries this seemed to be a claim but now it is a verified fact.
Death is like a door through which we go from the present world into the next world. Death is a reminder of the reality that there is a world Hereafter. We must prepare ourselves to be able to find a proper place in the next world.
This first appeared on 12 January, 2014. The writer could not write this week due to unavoidable circumstances. His latest column will appear next week.