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˚Science and After Life

by Safiya Teja 
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Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
Published on 17th January, 2003

Science and After Life- Part Two

Science and After Life- Part One

By Safiya A Teja

This lecture was given by Mr Mohsin Ali  

And Allah (swt) Says in the Holy Quraan

"To God belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth whether you bring out what is in your own selves or conceal it, 
God calls you to account for it, 
 He [through his full justice and knowledge of each individual] will forgive whom He wills, and will punish whom He wills, And God has the power over all things"  

(Surat ul Baqarah -2;284)

After Life


Aristotle, known as the father of logic, viewed the universe as a very noble animal, while Kant, the mathematician and physicist, viewed it as a highly complicated and admirable machine. According to Shelley, the poet and mystic, 'life like a dome of many coloured glass, stains the white radiance of eternity', to Hegel, the atheist and materialist, the universe seems to follow no law and its part seems to be 'shot out of pistol' at us, each asserting itself as a 'simple brute fact; uncalled for by the rest arbitrary, foreign, jolting discounting'. And yet from out the bosom of it, according to William James, physiologist and psychologist 'a partial ideality constantly arises, which keep alive aspirations that the whole may some day be constructed in ideal form.' According to him, the mainspring of philosophical activity is to show that the real is identical with the ideal prophetic revelation, however, asserts this in no unmistakable terms provided life is treated as one continuous inclusive whole i.e; inclusive of life on both sides of the grave a pre-requisite of which is a belief in the After-Life or in popular parlance, in human immortality.

Function of the Brain


The BrainImmortality sciences one of the great spiritual needs of man. The subject of life after death has its prime roots in personal feelings, on which cold sciences frowns in her superior way, confronting us with certain difficulties, which bar the way to the old faith. The first of these difficulties is relative to the absolute dependence of our spiritual life as we know it here, upon the brain. One hears not only scientists, but even laymen who are slightly conversant with so called popular science, saying: how can we believe in life hereafter when science with a capital 'S' has proved beyond possibility if escape, that our inner life is a function of that famous material, the grey matter of the brain? How can the function possibly persist after its organ has undergone decay? Further, the latest advances in medical science have shown not only that though in general is one of the brain's functions, but that the various special forms of thinking are functions of special portions of the brain.

Let us then, for the sake of argument, adopt the general doctrine that 'thought' is a function of the brain, as it had been established absolutely, with no possibility of restriction. The question then arises: Does this doctrine logically compel us to disbelieve in immortality? Ought it to force the scientist, or the scientifically minded laymen, to sacrifice his hopes of an hereafter to his self-imposed duty of accepting all the consequences of a scientific truth? I think not. It is not at all impossible but on the contrary quite possible, that our present life may still continue when the brain itself is dead.
Function Productive or Transmissive?


The supposed impossibility arises from too superficial a look at the admitted fact of functional dependence. You are thinking of the matter just as you think when you say that steam is a function of the tea kettle, or that is a function of the electric circuit, or again that, power is a function of the waterfall. But a little reflection will show that these functions in the nature of a "productive function" and you illogically assume that the function of the brain is of a similar kind but in the world of physical nature, this function' with which we are familiar. We have also "releasing" or "permissive" functions and we have "transmissive" functions. The trigger of the gun, when released, permits the explosion in the cartridge to take place. The electric switch similarly has a releasing function. When closed, it constitutes an obstacle to the flow of the electric current or energy, which is already there. When the switch is on, it merely permits the current to flow for writing the lamp or running the motor. It does not generate the current but only acts as a doorway for its passage.

In the case of a coloured glass, a prism, or a refracting lens, we have the transmissive function. The energy of light, no matter how produced, is by the glass sifted and limited in colour, and by the lens or prism determined to a certain path and shape. Similarly, the keys of an organ or harmonium have only a transmissive function. They open successively the various pipes and let the wind is the air-chest escape in various ways, but the air is not generated in the organ, which is only an apparatus for letting portions of its loose upon the world in peculiarly limited in shape. Therefore, when we think of the law that thought is a function and we certainly are entitled also to consider permissive or transmissive functions.
Dome of Many Coloured Glass


Now let us for a moment suppose the whole universe of material things to be a mere surface veil of phenomena, hiding and keeping back the world of genuine realities. Such a supposition is foreign neither to commonsense nor to philosophy. Indeed all religions are unanimous in teaching us to believe in realities behind the veil even too superstitiously, and idealistic philosophy declares the whole world of natural experience to be but a time mask, shattering or refracting the one infinite thought, which is the sole reality, into those millions of finite streams of consciousness known to us as our private selves. This is what the poet Shelley meant when he spoke of the dome of many coloured glass, staining the white radiance of eternity. 

Pursuing Shelley's idea to its logical conclusion, let is imagine that the dome is opaque enough, most of the time, to the super-solar blaze, but could, at certain times and places, grow less so. For whatever reason and let certain beams pierce through these would vary in quality and quantity as the opacity varied in degree. Only at particular times and places would it seem that, as a matter of fact, the veil of nature can grow thin and rupturable enough to enable such things as glows of feelings, glimpses of insight, intuitions, streams of knowledge and perception, even prophetic revelation, to float into our finite world. Admit now, that our brains are such thin and half transparent places in the veil. What will happen? As the white radiance comes through the dome, with all sorts of staining distortion imprinted on it by the glass, even so the genuine matter of reality the life of souls as it is in its fullness will break through our several brains into this world in all sorts of restricted forms, and with all the imperfections and queernesses that characterise our finite individualities here below.
Streams of Consciousness Continuous Both Sides


According to the state in which the brain finds itself, the barrier of its obstructiveness may also be supposed to rise or fall, like a gate in a hydraulic dam. When the brain is full activity, the barrier or the threshold, as it is technically called, sink so low, that a comparative flood of spiritual energy pours over but at other times, only such occasional waves of thought as heavy sleep permits get by. And when finally a brain stops acting altogether, as in death, that particular stream of consciousness will vanish entirely from this natural world. But the spheres of being that supplied the consciousness might, in ways unknown to us, continue still. Death would thus be tantamount to shutting of the gate to the flow of water, or to switching off the electric current.

Our Spiritual Life


You see, on all these suppositions, our soul's life, as we here know it, would none the less, in literal strictness, be the function of the brain. The brain would be the independent variable, the mind would  vary dependently on it. But such dependence on the brain for this natural life would, in no wise, make immortal life impossible it might be quite compatible with the super nature veil  hereafter. The conclusion which materialism draws is due solely to its one-sided way of talking.

The word 'function' to be 'productive' and not 'transmissive'. Ask for any indication of the exact process either of 'production' or of 'transmission', and sciences confesses her imagination to be bankrupt. Physiologists admits that a production of a such a thing as a consciousness in the brain is the absolute world enigma. 
Idealistic Philosophy


The theory of 'production' is therefore not a jot more simple or credible in itself than any other conceivable theory, but if we consider the theory of transmission in a wider way, we shall see that it has certain positive superiorities. Consciousness in this process does not have to be generated in a vast number of places. It exists already behind the scenes coeval with the world. The transmission theory not only avoids in this way multiplying miracles, but it puts itself it touch in general idealistic philosophy better then the production theory does. It should always be reckoned a good thing when science and philosophy thus meet.

Kant, the strict mathematician, expresses this idea in terms that come singularly close to those of the transmission theory. The death of the body, he says, may indeed be the end of the cessational use of our mind, but only the beginning of the intellectual use. "The body", he continues, "would thus be, not the cause of our thinking, but merely a condition restructive thereof and although essential to our sensuous and animal consciousness, it may be regarded as an impeder of our pure spiritual life".
Reality of Spiritual Phenomena


The transmission theory also puts itself in touch with a whole class of experience, that are with difficulty explained by the production theory viz. These and exceptional phenomena, such as a religious conversations, providential leadings in answer to prayers, instantaneous healings, premonitions, apparitions at the time of death, clairvoyant visions or impressions, the whole range of mediumistic capacities, to say nothing of prophetic revelation. On the productions theory, one does not see from what sensations such phenomena are produced. On the transmission theory, they do not have to be 'produced' , the exist ready made in the transcendental world, and all that is needed is an abnormal lowering of the psychophysical threshold may be likened to that of the renal threshold  which allows the inflow of mere sugar into the urine in diabetic patients.
Unmistakeable Indications Power of a Higher Consciousness


In the cases of conservations, providential leadings, sudden mental healings, it seems to the subjects themselves of our experiences as is power from without, quite different from the ordinary actions of the senses, or the sense led mind, came into their life, as if the later suddenly opened into the greater life in which it had its sources. All such experiences, quite paradoxical and meaningless on the production theory, fall very naturally into place on the other theory. We need only to suppose the continuity of our consciousness with a Mother see, to allow for exceptional waves occasionally pouring over the dam. Of course, the causes of these odd lowering of the brain's threshold still remain a mystery, like all the other mysteries which science has so far failed to solve, and which, in their very nature, will ever remain insoluble.

However insoluble to the cold reasoning of the scientist, who is naturally bound by an orthodox methodology, evolved during the centuries of scientific progress, the vision of the poet, who is under inspiration which different way of saying that he is in contact with the life beyond his physical Kant, sees the reality in a flash, like Wordsworth, from two of whose immortal poems viz., 'Tintern Abbey' and 'Intimations of Immortality', I would like to quote to you:

But oft, in the lonely rooms, and mid the din

Of towns and cities, I had owed to them,

In hours of weariness, sensation sweet

Fold in the blood and felt along the heart;

And passing even into my purer mind

With tranquil restoration; feelings, too,

Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,

As have no sight or trivial influence

On that best portion of a good man's life,

His little nameless unremembered acts

of kindness and love.

 [Tintern Abbey]


Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;

The soul that rises with us, or life's star,

Hath had else were his setting

And cometh from afar;

Not in entire forgetfulness

And not in utter nakedness

But trailing clouds of glory do we come:

From God who is our home:

heavens lies about us in our infancy!

 [Intimations of Immortality]
The Quraan


I am sure you could match any passages from many other poets, both in English and in Persian languages, not to speak of Urdu. But while the poet's vision is vouchsafed to him only in occasional flashes, and the ordinary man sees reality, now and again, through a many coloured dome of glass, the prophet receive his messages resplendent white light direct by revelation from its very source.

The only book of revelation of undoubted authenticity which is existent today is Quraan. I keep reading it over and over again, as no doubt you all do, and every time I read it, I have a better understanding of it in the light of my own expanding knowledge of the latest advances made in the field of science. On the other hand my constant perusal of the Quraan gives me a true appreciation of every new discovery made by scientists everyday in multifarious fields of activity and I hope I have succeeded in whatever little I have in communicating my sense of wonder and understanding to you. If I have, I feel amply rewarded. 

If you would count God's bounties, you cannot compute them, 
Verily Allah is oft-forgiving, the most merciful. 

All praise is for Allah (swt) only.


The author is a student from Tanzania, East Africa and is supported by her Mother and her family Doctor, Dr Nazima


Light, Knowledge, Truth

Pooya Ahmed Ali Translation of the Holy Qur'an

Web Elements


Author: Safiya A.Teja: Consultant : Mohsin Ali
Photographer: Unknown.
Illustrator: Web Elements
Poetry: Tintern Abbey and Intimations of Immortality provided by Safiya A.Teja
Chief Editor: Hj Nurzaynab El-Fatah
Production: Hj S. Abidin
Published Date:
17th January, 2003
Modification Date: 25th January, 2009/28th Muharram, 1430
Publication ID: 03scienceAfter. Science and After Life- Part Two
Copyright: Victory News Magazine, 2009


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