وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ يُقْتَلُ فِي سَبيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ بَلْ أَحْيَاء وَلَكِن لاَّ تَشْعُرُونَ
And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead; nay, (they are) alive, but you do not perceive.
M Shakir's Quran Translation
The life of Martyrs
Same thing mentioned in Surah Ale Imran (3:169).
The existence of only one true God is the greatest truth of this world. Sacrificing your life spreading and defending this truth is the greatest sacrifice. Martyrs are promised a great reward in the coming life for their sacrifice. According to this ayat, death of a martyr is not like the death of other people.
Yusuf Ali writes in his commentary:
Striving is the spending of one's self in God's way, either through our property or through our own lives, or the lives of those nearest and dearest to us, or it may be the loss of all the fruits of a lifetime's labour not only in material goods but in some intellectual or moral gain, some position which seemed in our eyes to be eminently desirable in itself, but which we must cheerfully sacrifice if necessary for the Cause. With such sacrifice, our apparent loss may be our real gain: he that loses his life may really gain it; and the rewards or "fruits" that seem lost were mere impediments on our path to real inward progress.
(Yusuf Ali's Commentary )
People belonging to different parts of the world and to different religions define death differently. Scientific definition of death has also been changing over times. Earlier death was thought to occur when vital functions of body cease like breathing and circulation. Stopping of heartbeat was considered as an indication of a death (still widely accepted). Later advancement in medical science made it possible to retain respiration and cardiac functions through mechanical means. Hence, medical view of death was changed. Concept of brain death was introduced. In this view, the irreversible loss of brain activity is the sign that death has occurred. Even the concept of brain death has been challenged in recent years, because a person can lose all capacity for higher mental functioning while lower-brain functions, such as spontaneous respiration, continue. For this reason, some authorities now argue that death should be considered the loss of the capacity for consciousness or social interaction. The sign of death, according to this view, is the absence of activity in the higher centres of the brain, principally the neocortex. Scientists are willing to know more about death and many researches are being carried out. Still death is something unclear to established science. Scientist might know the changes in the body at the time death but there are many things out of the scope of medical science still. It is still not possible to define a particular moment at which death occurs. A bookish definition of death says, "The ending of all vital functions or processes in an organism or cell". Ending of all vital functions definitely takes time. Hence, it is still not clear at exactly which does "death" occurs. Science cannot reach the exact definition of death because is restricted to thing which human senses can perceive. Spirit is something which science can never perceive. Researches were carried out in ICU's in which all kinds of radioactive sensors were placed to see what exactly gets out of the body when 'death' occurs. As expected, no sensor sensed anything.
One more thing should be kept in mind that this life is a test. Life and death on this earth is only temporary. The real life awaits us. What we perceive as real might not be real in 'reality'.
Allah describes the handicapped human mind in Surah Rum
They know (only) the outward of this world's life, but of the hereafter they are absolutely heedless.
(Surah Rum 30:6)
Science is still silence on who programmes our dreams. Who tells the dream when to stop? Science cannot tell you which dream you are going to have today. Scientific researches in biology and psychology do throw some light on dreams. They do give us an impression of what happens in dream but science cannot tell us why it happens. Similarly, there are many 'whys' which all reasons and logics cannot answer. We have to accept that our mind is handicapped. We can never know the reason and logic behind everything. Our creator knows all (see the discussion under Surah Baqarah 2:115). He perceives things in a much different way than we do. He knows what you think. He knows the reason and logic of all things. In the end of this ayat, Allah tells us of our handicapped brain, "but you do not perceive it". Allah knows the reality of this world. This world is nothing in eyes of Allah. It is a mere test. This is not a permanent resident. In fact the time we spend on this world is Zero if we compare it with the immortal life ahead. Real blessing, real life is for those who sacrifice their wills for the will of Allah, those who submit their will to Allah and above all, those who sacrifice their life for Allah.
Life and death is something which our creator perceives much differently than we do and surely his perception is perfect. Many people who are alive are dead in Allah's eyes. Allah tells us of the people whose hearts die because of their bad deeds. In the same manner, many people who are 'away' from our sight. Who have 'sacrificed' their life for Allah, are actually 'alive' in Allah's sight.
See the complete list of Scientific Miracles in Surah Baqarah here
Comments, Queries and Suggestion at