[THROUGH THEIR EYES] Ep. 4: Do you believe in life after death?

Mann: Hi, I’m Eliana Mann and you’re listening to Through Their Eyes, a podcast sharing the stories that shape perspective. Today I will be interviewing two students to unpack whether or not they believe in life after death, and what that looks like for them.

Mann: First, can you share your name, grade, and pronouns, please?

Malloy: My name is Lily Malloy, I’m a senior, and I use she/her pronouns.

Naqvi: I’m Wafa Naqvi, I’m a junior, and my pronouns are she/her.

Mann: Do you believe in life after death? If so, why, and if not, why not?

Malloy: Um, okay, so I grew up Christian, so like right now I’m thinking that, like, there’s heaven or hell I guess. So I do believe in life after death. Um, why? I think I believe in it because there’s like a greater power I guess, and it’s kind of nice knowing that I’m not just gonna die and like that’s my life, because that’s kind of sad. But I believe that, like, most people go to heaven, so that’s good.

Naqvi: I do. I was actually raised as a Muslim, um, and I’m a practicing Shia Muslim, and in the beliefs of Islam, we believe in, um, a day of judgment, and, um, heaven and hell kind of, in our own way a little bit. So I’ve kind of grown up hearing about that and I still believe in that.

Mann: What do you think life after death looks like?

Malloy: To me, it looks like whatever, like, whatever for you personally is like your happy place I guess. I feel like everyone just goes to, like, wherever they feel is like their home.

Naqvi: Um, well, what I’ve always grown up and been raised learning is that when you die, I guess, um, the first thing that we’ve always learned is that there are two angels, kind of, that will come, and like, bring you, I suppose, to where Allah or god is going to listen. And it’s not even you talking, it’s kind of your body talking for you, like talking about your actions and your life and everything. And there’s a day of judgment and for us, we believe we’re gonna talk to the prophet, and we’re gonna talk about that, and we have a book. There’s an angel that lives on one of our shoulders who writes our good deeds and one who writes our bad deeds on our left shoulder…this is a lot of technicalities, um, but like um, that book is kind of read, um, and if you’re put in hell, I guess, there’s different levels of that and those are decided, and the other option is that you’re sent to heaven, which is whatever you want it to be. Um, but the thing with our concept of hell is that you’re there until you’ve made up for all of your bad deeds, kind of. So you’re gonna get out. No matter how long you’re there, you’re gonna get out. Um, you could be there for a really long time, but um, there is that guarantee that we’ve been raised to know… raised to know I guess, and I don’t know the specifics or the details about that but, yeah. And we do believe in heaven and that being there, and that’s where you wanna go obviously, um, yeah.

Mann: Why do you think that so many people believe in life after death?

Malloy: Um, I think it’s because, like what I was talking about, even if people aren’t religious, it helps to like, know that this isn’t just it, I guess, because that’s kind of sad and, like, morbid. Um, but, I think I mostly believe in it because I grew up with it, but I think I’m gonna, like, stick to believing it because it’s nice to think about, I guess.

Naqvi: I think a lot of it is, like, religious beliefs rooted in a lot of our society. Um, whether or not, um, you are a religious person, I think a lot of people do believe in some higher being, um, and I feel like that kind of comes along with it because personally, the thought of dying and not going anywhere is kind of scary, um, and that fear I think is in a lot of people. And, it definitely looks different for a lot of people, but I think there’s some comfort in it. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but, um, I just feel like it’s kind of rooted in what a lot of people are raised to think about in this society, even as a non-religious society.

Mann: Once again, this is Eliana Mann, and that was episode four of Through Their Eyes.