REINCARNATION ACCORDING TO THE
IDEA OF KARMA
Belief in karma is an important element in superstitious eastern religions
such as decadent Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Karma is a Sanskrit word
meaning "action" or "movement". In Indian religions, karma is conceived
of as "the law of cause and effect". According to those who believe in
karma, in the future people will experience the consequences of whatever
they have done in the past. Good comes from good, and evil from evil.
It therefore follows that the situation they are in today is the result
of the past.
Reincarnation-the concept that people come back to the world in another
body after their death-follows from the belief in karma and is absolutely
fundamental to Indian religions. The relationship between karma and reincarnation
is explained in a book entitled Dinler Tarihi (The History of Religions)
in the following words:
Reincarnation is the belief that the soul passes from
one body into another after death. Reincarnation is part and parcel of
the philosophy of karma. According to this belief, a soul is either high
born or low born in terms of its degree of development. A person may be
reborn as a plant, an animal, a human being or a god, depending on his
or her actions. (Thus, people are the architects of their own fates.)
This rebirth takes place as a result of cause and effect. By means of
reincarnation, it is possible for us to be given the moral and spiritual
reward of our actions. Happiness in one's next life depends on right action.
Every individual is responsible for his or her own situation. There is
no need to fear death. Through continuous rebirths, people achieve their
desires and enjoy continual satisfaction. They live in the god Brahma.
It is claimed that this belief endows the native of India with a powerful
As we see here, the belief in karma does not imply a belief in the afterlife;
in place of this, there is a belief in rebirth into this world with the
same soul but in a new body. This, however, is an erroneous and superstitious
belief that conflicts with what Allah tells us in the Qur'an.
Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full
on the Day of Rising. Anyone who is distanced from the Fire and
admitted to the Garden has triumphed…
(Surah Al'Imran: 185)
Do you then bear witness that there are other gods together with
Allah?' Say: 'I do not bear witness.' Say: 'He is only One God,
and I am free of all you associate with Him.'
(Surat al_ An'am: 19)
Another erroneous aspect of this philosophy that calls for attention
is the belief that people can be reborn as gods. This is the most superstitious
and unrealistic claim ever made in the history of mankind. Such a claim
is polytheism. It is an open denial of Allah's indivisibility. It is obvious
that no one can be a god; there is only one God and He has not given birth
to anything, nor was He given birth to. Allah is the Lord, the Creator,
the Protector and the Sole God of the whole universe and of all living
things. He is Unique and has no equal. Our Lord, Allah, tells us this
in the Qur'an:
Say: "He is Allah, Absolute Oneness, Allah, the Everlasting
Sustainer of all. He has not given birth and was not born. And no one
is comparable to Him". (Surat al-Ikhlas: 1-4)
Those who hold any belief other than this have departed from the right
road and it will be to their detriment in the life after death.
There is no reincarnation; death and resurrection
happen only once
Reincarnation is a superstitious belief unconfirmed by any divine source.
However, there are people all over the world, apart from those who follow
Indian religions, who believe in reincarnation, or rather would wish that
the idea of reincarnation were true. The reason for this is that people
who do not believe in religion, who deny the existence of an afterlife
and are afraid of either ceasing to exist or of living in Hell forever
after their death, see reincarnation as a way of overcoming these fears.
Belief in reincarnation necessitates believing that one should not be
afraid of death; it misleads one into thinking that he will achieve his
desires by means of rebirth.
However, the Qur'an tells us that death and resurrection occur only once.
Every one of us has only one life to live in this world; after that life,
we die, and after death we are brought to life again. Then we stay in
the Garden or in the Fire for eternity, depending on what we have done
in this world and whether we have worshipped Allah without associating
partners to Him. In other words, we only live once in this world, and
then we have an afterlife, which goes on forever. The Qur'an tells us
quite clearly that we will not be able to return to this world after death:
There is a ban on any city We have destroyed; they will
not return. (Surat al-Anbiya: 95)
When death comes to one of them, he says, "My Lord, send
me back again. so that perhaps I may act rightly regarding the things
I failed to do!" No indeed! It is just words he utters. Before them there
is an interspace until the Day they are raised up. (Surat al-Muminun:
As we see from these verses, when some people meet death, they cherish
the hope that they will be brought back to life again. However, at that
moment it will be explained to them that this is not possible. In another
verse, Allah says this about our death and rising from the dead:
How can you reject Allah, when you were dead and then
He gave you life, then He will make you die and then give you life again,
then you will be returned to Him? (Surat al-Baqara: 28)
Every human being will inevitably die. Yet
that death will only happen once, and nobody will return to Earth
after death. This is a certain truth revealed by Allah in the Qur'an.
Another important truth is this; Death is not the end. Death is
rather the end of people's short and transitory lives in this world
and the beginning of their infinite lives in the hereafter. Every
individual will spend his eternal life in the hereafter in either
Heaven or Hell depending on his behaviour in the life of this world.
As we see from this verse, at the very beginning we are
dead: we have no existence whatsoever. Then Allah gives us life and human
form from this state. Some time after this when our lives are over, our
bodies decay and disintegrate into earth once again. This is our second
transition to the state of being dead. All that remains is for us to rise
again. This happens in the next world. We will all rise again in the afterlife;
then we will understand that we can never return again to the world, and
we will account for everything we did in this world.
In other verses, it is explained to us that after we have come into this
world, we will only face one single death:
They will not taste any death there-except for the first
one. He will safeguard them from the punishment of the Blazing Fire. A
favour from your Lord. That is the Great Victory. (Surat ad-Dukhan: 56-57)
The above verses state clearly and unequivocally that we only die once.
However much one may wish to adopt superstitious beliefs such as a belief
in reincarnation in order to overcome the fear of death and the afterlife
and so console himself, the reality is that we will never come back to
this world again after our death. Everyone will die just once, and after
death, in accordance with Allah's will, we will begin our everlasting
life in the next world. Allah will reward a person in the Garden or punish
him in the Fire for his living a life in harmony with His unity or his
covering over that truth in this world. Allah is the source of eternal
justice. He is infinitely Merciful and Kind, and gives humans the true
and just reward for their belief or disbelief and actions.
Seeking consolation in superstitious beliefs because of the fear of death
and the fear of going to the Fire will undoubtedly bring disaster. Any
intelligent and conscientious person, if they are afraid of these things,
will turn to Allah with a sincere heart in the hope of going to the Garden
and escaping the torments of the Fire, and they will obey the Qur'an,
our sole guide to salvation, and live by the Sunnah of the Messenger of
Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.
Then when death comes to one of you, Our messengers take him, and
they do not fail in their task. Then they are returned to Allah,
their Master, the Real. Jurisdiction belongs to Him alone and He
is the Swiftest of Reckoners.
(Surat al_ An'am: 61-62)