Book Title: When Life Begins
Book Author: Abu Yahya
Translated By: Bashir Nazir et al.
Publisher: Inzaar Publications
Pages: eBook 129 pages; Paper back: 256
Review by: Samiya Illias
When Life Begins is an astonishing journey into the future,
a time-travel, which transports us into another world. A world where there is
great misery and desolation for many, but also a world where a select few enjoy
extreme bliss and complete peace. Yet, it is nothing like our world: there is no
injustice in this world. Those who are suffering are suffering because of
themselves, and they know that they have brought it on upon themselves. Those in
bliss are continually being amazed by the wonderful life that is unfolding for
them, beyond their deepest desires and wildest imagination.
It is the story of a family. The main character is
Abdullah, the father, and his close companion Saleh, who explains and clarifies
each situation, as the story develops. Abdullah, his wife Naimah, and some
children are in bliss, while a son and a daughter are in a state of misery and
desolation. The novel traces the reasons why which character is in which state.
There are a few other additional characters who lend an explanation to the
story. It also traces the larger story of nations, of humans and humanity, of
trial and suffering in our present world, attempting to answer the bigger
The novel is an incredible, marvelous, harrowing, scary,
romantic, sci-fi fantasy. What is unique about the book is that it is based upon
the description of the Day of Reckoning and Hereafter, as related in the Quran
and Sunnah. It builds upon the information in these two sources and presents a
preview of what might be when we are raised from our graves and the sequel of
events that will unfold. It is a very bold attempt and it can be argued that one
should not take such liberties with religion. Indeed, but if one does not treat
it as a religious text, if one is to read it only as a novel, it is a great
introduction to what might be, and a starting point for the inquisitive mind to
begin their own study of the Quran in search of the greater purpose of life!
The original novel is in Urdu with the title: ‘Jab Zindagi
Shuru Hogi’. Part 2 of the book has also been published, but is currently
available in Urdu only, titled: ‘Qasam Us Waqt Ki’. This sequel is a journey
into the past, taking the main character, Naimah, in her search for truth, back
into the times of the prophets of God, so that she can witness with her own eyes
how God has continually guided humans. This novel also attempts to handle
contemporary questions raised by the curious, educated young minds, questions
which need to be dealt with on an intelligent and objective basis, without
prejudice and without requiring the questioning mind to take things on faith.
This novel is another wonderful attempt to answer many pertinent questions, and
help bring people towards the Quran.