Michael Trapido
Michael Trapido

Is there life after death?

Inayat Bungawala, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, wrote a column asking Guardian readers the following question: Is death the end?

Unsurprisingly, he was flooded with responses from many communities and any number of schools of thought. So I figured that, seeing as your bosses are paying for your time anyway, let’s have a South African’s view on this.

Like Islam, many Jews and Christians believe in an afterlife, although who qualifies for this will vary from group to group. Agnostics, atheists, sceptics and humanists, generally, believe that this is all there is and that suggestions of life after death are delusional.

The continuity of life in African religion may be followed through a reading of a fascinating, 112-page article that looks at it in relation to marriage and death among Zulu people. The juxtaposition of marriage and death is down to the author, before anyone asks. I’m still feeling the heat from using designer vaginas to illustrate a point.

I’d be very interested in hearing the views of the individual tribes, particularly where religion does not play a part. This is not confined to South Africa.

Buddhists believe in reincarnation and karma, and that the ultimate religious goal is to escape the life-death-life cycle by freeing yourself of desire.

Hindus, on the other hand, see death as a resting period before the Jiva (being) returns to Earth to continue its journey.

Walking back with my rabbi through the pouring rain at West Park cemetery on Sunday, I couldn’t help going on about the man we had just buried and what a lovely fellow he really was. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was life after death, which I do believe, and that everyone would be part of that, as I also believe?

Let’s hear your views. Please be warned that if you insult the beliefs of others, be they members of a faith or non-believers, I will remove your comments even if they make it past the editors.

Over to you lot.