Islamic Wisdom

Resurrection and Probability

One of the many approaches to establish the proof of Resurrection is to apply the law of probability that we unconsciously use many times in our daily life in various matters. This approach had been used by our infallible Imams in an interesting way to put their views before their opponents. We mention here how they handled the unbelievers.

In our day-to-day life, we receive important messages or news and thereupon we are influenced and reacting differently depending upon the greater possibility of gain or loss involved. For example if there is a hope of 90% gain but the profit is only of 5% in a certain transaction, still the people will come forward. Similarly, if the possibility of the gain is 70% and the profit is 30%, still the people will come forward because the profit ratio is increased.


If the possibility of gain is reduced to 10% only but the profit ratio is 90% still people will come forward. Again if the gain is 1% only but the profit is doubled that is 100%, still people will come forward. If the possibility of gain is one out of 10,000 and the profit is high still the people will come forward as it happens in case of lottery or lucky draws of prize bonds where the winners are only a few out of the thousands and the chance of profit is only 1/10,000, still people will participate in it because the prize money offered is many times greater than investment. From this we understand that,  howsoever small the possibility of gain may be, it is balanced by the possibility of winning a high money value or profit, which means taking risk for obtaining gain.


Assume now that we have a faint belief in the life after death, and in the minutest scrutiny by Allah and in the messages of the Prophets, the Imams and the pious and the devout about the wrath of Allah in the shape of the Hell and Grace and Blessings of Allah in the shape of Paradise (We on our part have firm belief and conviction in it, but we say it for those who are ignorant and unbelievers). At this stage we can say that if we have the slightest belief in these things, or that it has a remote possibility, then according the above mentioned practice of our daily life, we should come forward because Hell is eternal and Allah's wrath is very severe and Paradise is everlasting and the proximity of Allah is very important.


Hence we should not mind the weak or strong possibility but since the loss or profit is also very important, we should mind it. As another example, suppose a child informs us of a snake, or narrates somebody's falling down from the staircase, or someone's drowning in the river or his finding a $100 bill or a bag of gold on the way. In such circumstances, we do not mind whether the source of these news is a mere child or an adult but what is of important is the gain or loss involved, which you believe could to be true. The news about the snake, drowning in the river, bag of gold etc. moves us into action irrespective of the fact whether the source of information is reliable or unreliable.


Thus the important question is when we hear some apparently very useful or harmful news from even a child, then why do we tend to react without much wait? Why should then we not listen to the pious and the dedicated leaders who have been acclaimed as the best people in history? Why do the people not listen to the true Prophets of Allah who never showed any weakness or slackness in conveying their message to the people and remained steadfast in their mission? The God’s prophets were the true voice of the Creator of this universe and they provided the mankind the news of the next world. They performed many miracles and showed Allah’s signs, and hundreds and thousands of people followed them and sincerely accepted their invitation.


Further, why a doubt does not arise in our heart about the child's narration? Naturally, when we out of concern of the gain or loss, which is just temporary, can react to the statement received from a child, should we not the react also to the call of the Prophets? Specially, when there is no loss in following the Path of the Prophets but there is a big loss in not following their path. It becomes more important when we note that aftermaths of not believing on Resurrection are irreversible and which cannot be averted by supplication, wealth or implorations.


This is an eternal loss which is due to the Wrath of Allah. Thus every wise person must realize the call of the Prophets in his heart and should at least be aware of the possible danger, because gain or loss is very important and high.


To summarize this discussion we cite another example.


On the roadside, we come across bakers, drapers, carpet dealers, and an estate agency who have their different objectives. A baker is sure that hundred percent of the people would come to his shop and buy bread though each bread carries a very little profit. The draper is not as sure as the baker but he has 80% hope that customers would come and buy cloth from him and the margin of profit on cloth is bigger than it is on bread. That is why he opens his shop every day. The carpet dealer is not so sure of getting customers and has fifty per cent hope only, but from the point of view that a carpet carries a bigger margin of profit, he too opens his shop daily and waits for his customers. Thus it is not the number of customers only which is the cause of opening the shop but it is the consideration of profit that counts so much. A broker has only 5% hope of his success, but since the profit in the land transactions is very great he opens his office and awaits his client.


The profit of a believer lies in the Pleasure and Grace of Allah and the eternal Paradise is going to be his permanent abode. A sinner's loss lies in the Wrath of Allah and his permanent abode is in the Hell. The gain and loss are so great at their own place that we cannot realize them. As the risk factor gets diminishing, the amount of the deal covers it. We should, therefore, get up and try to reduce all those risks (which we believe to be almost certain) or to achieve those profitable results which are also coming to happen. To act upon this is to follow the path shown by the Prophets and thus we can get out of the clutches of the Satan and the allurement of our internal inordinate desires.




  1. Muhsin Qara'ati , Lessons From Qur'an , Publisher: Islamic Seminary Publications, ISBN 0-941724-51-4