Osherow says: "Ultimately, Jim Jones and the Cause would require the members to give their lives."
The cult leader becomes so obsessed with obedience that he demands his followers prove their loyalty and love for him by sacrificing everything, including their lives. The cause is a pretext. The Qur'an offers great rewards for martyrs and encourages Muslims to sacrifice their lives for Muhammad's cause
Think not of those who are slain in Allâh's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance from their Lord. They rejoice an the Bounty provided by Allâh ... the (Martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve.
They rejoice in the Grace and the Bounty from Allâh, and in the fact that Allâh suffers not the reward of the Faithful to be lost (in the least).
There are also ahadith that talk about rewards that a martyr would receive.
The Prophet said, "Paradise has one hundred grades which Allâh has reserved for the Mujahidin (Muslim fighters) who fight in His Cause."
The Prophet said, "Nobody whe enters Paradise likes to go back to world even if he got everything on the earth, except a Mujahid who wishes to return to the world so that he may be martyred ten times because of the dignity he receives (from Allâh)"
Our Prophet told us about the message of our Lord that 'Whoever amongst us is killed as a martyr will go to Paradise'
Omar asked the Prophet, 'Is it not true that our men who are killed will go to Paradise and theirs (i.e. those of the Pagan's) will go to the (Hell) fire?' The Prophet said, 'Yes.'
Osherow wonders: "What clould cause people to kill their children and themselves? From a detached perspective, the image seems unbelievable. In fact, at first glance, so does the idea of so many individuals committing so much ...