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Saturday, May 29, 2010

The story of Judgment Day

My first 'encounter' with the stories about the Day of Judgment came from my mother (May Allah forgive her) when I was 5 or 6 years old. The impact of the story indeed had left me (at that time) shaken and really afraid. Over the years, I have been learning about the Day of Judgment. However, the extent of the destruction and the sequence of events were really hard to remember and even harder to appreciate. Until I read this book about the Judgment Day by Muhammad Al-Jibaly. Allow me to summarise the events for my easy reference in the future. He is really into sahih and hassan hadith, so I won't quote the whole hadith to make the article short.

1. The Last Hour (Al-Saa'ah) - part 1
2. Resurrection (Al-Ba'th) - part 1
3. Assembly (Al-Hashr) - part 1
4. Judgment (Al-Hisaab) - part 2
5. Scales (Al-Mizaan) - part 3
5. Bridge Over Hell (Al-Siraat) - part 3
6. Paradise/Hell (Jannah/Jahannam) - part 4

1. The Last Hour

The last day begins with total destruction of the world. The Horn will be blown for the first time. Surah Taaha (105-107): They ask you about the mountains. Say: My Lord will blow them away with a blast, leaving it a flat plane, so that you will see in it no dents or rises. 

After the universe has been destroyed, Allah replace it with a new plain, where there is no landmark on it. Surah Ibrahim (48): (Judgment will be) on the Day when the earth will be replaced by a different earth, and the heavens as well, and they will come out before Allah, the One, the Prevailing.

2. Resurrection

The second horn will be blown after 40 long periods (Bukhari). Then Allah will send down rain causing people's body to grow (Muslim).The people's re-creation will start from their tail-bone. 

The soil eats away all parts of a human being - except for the tail bone. From this bone he was first created and from it he will be refashioned. (Bukhari) 

Allah said in the that it is easy for him to resurrect the creations again, as he created them from nothing before, and this is surely easier or him. 

3. Assembly

After the resurrection, everybody will be assembled in preparation for the Final Judgment. None will be exempted from the Judgment. Surah Al-Kahf, ayat 47: And the Day when We will cause the mountain to disappear, and you will see the earth void and bare, and We will assemble them, leaving out none of them.

At first, the dead will be resurrected in the clothes that they died in (Ibn Hibban-sahih), but will later be removed so that everybody during the assembly will be naked, uncircumcised and barefoot. Aishah r.a was wondering how is it that men and women will not be ashamed of seeing each other being naked? Prophet replied that the they are too afraid of what is coming that they don't even bother to look at each other (Bukhari). The first to be clothed on that day will Ibrahim a.s (Bukhari)

The sun will be brought very close to people that they will be soaked in their sweat according to their deed. Some will have the sweat up to their heels and for others up to their mouth (Muslim). As to why the sun is still standing after the destruction of the universe, then it is within Allah's power to do whatever He likes. He can easily create another sun to be nearer. Wallahu a'lam.

The Assembly will be extremely long by world's standard. It will be as long as 50 thousand years (Ibn Abbas commentary on Surah al-Ma'arij, ayat 4). However, for the believers, Prophet explained that it will be seeming like the duration from when the sun declines for setting until t finally sets (Ibn Hibaan-sahih).

a) Believer during Assembly

The Day of Resurrection brings great terror to the hearts of most courageous. However, Allah promises that the believers will be secure from this great terror (Surah Al-Anbiyaa', ayat 101-103). There are some believers who will be under the shade of Allah's throne, covered from the heat of the sun. These include (Bukhari):

A just leader, 
A young man who grew up worshiping Allah, 
A man whose heart is attached to the places of sujud, 
2 men who love each other for Allah's sake - they meet and separate upon this love, 
A man who is invited to sin by a woman of influence and beauty but he responds that he fears Allah
A man who gives charity so secretly that his left hand would not know what his right hand spends,
A man who mentions Allah in private and his eyes overflow with tears.

In addition, whoever defers a financially-burdened person (in settling a debt) or absolves him, Allah will also shelter him under is (Throne's) shade (Muslim).

Believers who fight for Allah and died, his wound will be seeping with fluid that looks like blood but with a smell of musk (Bukhari).

b) Sinful during Assembly

The arrogant particularly will be assembled in the size of ants, but in human form. They will be overwhelmed by the Fire of fires, and will be made to drink from the filthy fluids of people of Hell (Ahmad -authentic). Oppressors will be engulfed in darkness (Muslim). 

Those who did not pay zakah, they will be fashioned on Resurrection day as plates of fire, which will be heated in the Hellfire and then used to burn his side, forehead and back. This will continue for 50 thousand years until Judgment is concluded among the people and he is shown whether his destination is Jannah or Hellfire (Muslim).

Those who betray other people, on Resurrection day, there will be a banner for each one of them saying: This is the betrayal of so-and-so, son of so-and-so (Muslim).Those who take bribe will come on Resurrection day with the bribes upon his neck, whether it was camel, cow or bleating goat (Bukhari).

c) Non-believer during Assembly

While the believers enjoy their glad tidings, the non-believers will lose all hope. Surah Ar-Rum, ayat 12: On the Day when the Last Hour arrives, the criminals will lose all hope. Some of the non-believers will be raised blind as if to mock them of their blindness to Allah;s message in this world (Surah Taahaa, ayat 124-126). Some others will be dumb and deaf (Surah Al-Israa', ayat 97).

They will be assembled upon and walk on their face (Surah al-Furqan, ayat 34). Their faces will be darkened (Surah Az-Zumar, ayat 60) and they are bound in shackles, clothed in garment of black pitch and fire veiling their faces (Surah Ibrahim, ayat 49-50).

They know what will be their final abode hence they wish to return to their first life in order to re-live it correctly. Allah says that even if they were brought back, they would return to the very thing that was forbidden to them ((Surah al-An'am, ayat 27-28).

When they know that there is no return, they will try to put the blame on their friends and leaders who lead them astray, but none can offer them their help (Surah al-Baqarah, ayat 166-167).

4. The Judgment

Allah did not created us pointlessly. Have we ever wonder, why there are people who kill, rape, destroy other people's life, but many of them go unpunished in this world? Allah will surely punish them, if not in this world, it will be in the hereafter.

Every human being will surely taste death; but only on Resurrection Day will you be given your (full) compensation. (Surah Ali Imran, ayat 185)
Major Intercession

After the people are gathered, the judgment will not start until Prophet Muhammad strongly pleads Allah to do so. This is called the Major Intercession. The people first will go to Adam, then Nuh, then Ibrahim, Musa and Isa a.s to intercede for them, but to no avail. Until they finally ask Muhammad saw.

Prophet Muhammad will make sujud underneath Allah's throne and praise Allah with magnificent praises that nobody was inspired with the glorification before him (the prophet). Then the Judgment will begin.
Allah's coming

The judgment will start in the most awe-inspiring manner. The angels will advance lined up in numbers and they will surround the creation and fill the heaven and the earth. Eight enormous angels will be bearing Allah's throne (Surah Al-Haaqah, ayat 13-18). Allah will come forward, separated from the creation by layers of cloud (Surah al-Baqarah, ayat 210).
Bringing Hell to view

The day will be even more terrifying when hell is brought to view. It will be pulled with 70 thousand ropes and each rope held by 70 thousand angels (Muslim). It is like a wild beast which requires a great number of strong angels to keep it under control.
Presenting the creation before The Lord

We will be presented to Him lined in rows, while at the same time, each person will stand as a lonely individual. Nobody can slip away from judgment. Each person will be accompanied by 2 guards from the angels: a driver who will lead him to the plane of Judgment, and a witness who recorded his deeds (Surah Qaaf, ayat 20-21).

The evil deeds will materialize into actual burden that people carry on their backs (Surah al-An'am, ayat 31). Nobody wants to bear another's burden, even a close relative (Surah Faatir, ayat 18).

This is the day when no parent will be of any help to his child, nor will a child be any help to his parents (Surah Luqman, ayat 33). No will be no ties of kinship exist among them that day, and some will even flee from his parents and wife and children, as they have their own affairs be of sufficient concern to them (Surah 'Abasa, ayat 33-42).
Allah will speak to all

Allah will speak to all of us without a translator (Surah Al-Ma'aarij, ayat 10-14). There are people of wrongdoings that Allah will not speak kindly to them, nor will He look upon them with mercy. These include:

Those who trade their covenant to Allah and their pledges for a worthless gain (Surah Ali Imran, ayat 77)

A man who drags his garments,
A person who markets his merchandise with untruthful oaths,
A person who boasts about his favours toward others (Muslim).

An adulterous old man,
A lying king,
An arrogant, though poor, head of family (Muslim).
First Matter of Judgment

The first thing that will be settled among the people during Resurrection Day is blood. (Bukhari)

The first thing for which a person will account during Resurrection Day is his prayer. If it was good, he will be successful; and if it was bad, he will be a loser. (Tirmizi - authentic)

We will also be asked about (the famous) 5 things:
- How he consumed his lifetime
- How he wore out his body
- How he earned his wealth
- How he spent his wealth
- What he did in implementing what he knew
(Tirmizi - authentic)

There will be people who will come to Judgment day with loads of good deeds. However, because of the harm that they inflicted to others, Allah will give from their good deeds to those that they hurt, and will then give them from the sins of the others (Bukhari). This is what prophet called a truly bankrupt person!

There will also be some believers who come with some sins. However Allah will forgive their sins and completely remove them from record. He will do this privately so that no other people will know about them. (Bukhari)
The first to be indicted

In a long hadith, prophet described the first people who will be found guilty on Resurrection day. These are:
- A man who was martyred
- A man who learned the Knowledge and recited the Quran
- A man whom Allah gave an easy life and granted all sorts of riches.
These 3 people actually did good in what was given to them. However, they did it so that people wouldl say that they were brave, or that they were reciters or that they were generous - because of the wrong intenion, they will be dragged over their faces until they are thrown into the Fire.
Satan's Conclusive Speech

Surah Ibrahim, ayat 22:
And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, "Indeed, Allah had promised you with the promise of truth, whereas I promised you but betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. I cannot be called to your aid. Indeed, I deny that you previously joined me." Indeed for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.
People Without Messenger

There is an authentic hadith describing 4 types of individuals brought forward before Allah - a child (who died before puberty), a mad man, a person that no messenger came in his time and a very old man (who became senile). They were ordered by Allah to enter the hellfire. Some of them will go forth and rush to enter the fire (because of obedience to Allah). Thus they will enter jannah, (Aboo Ya'laa - authentic)

This hadith should teach us not to quickly pinpoint any disbelievers in this life and say that he definitely will end up in Hell. First, we do not know what would be their faith at the time of death, and secondly we usually cannot be suure that they have received the message of Islam in its true form. Only to Allah to determine these things with his ultimate knowledge.
The Witnesses

Allah and the angels will become the witness of what we have done in this world. Surah al Infitaar, ayat 10-12: Surely, there are (angels) appointed over you to watch you. They are honorable recorders. They know all that you do.

Our limbs will testify against us as well. A servant will argue with his Lord that he wants to see no injustice and refuse to accept any other witness apart from his own. Allah agrees and the servant's mouth will be sealed, and his limbs will be commanded to speak. (Muslim)

In another ayat, Allah says that the servant's own tongue, hands and feet will bear witness against them (Surah An-Nur, ayat 24-25). Their hearing and their sights and their skins will also testify against them (Surah Fussilat, ayat 19-21).

The earth also will be a witness to what happened on it (Surah al-Zalzalah, ayat 1-8). There is no escape, and Allah belongs the best judgment.

5. The Scales

It is the most accurate scale for weighing people's deed, even the smallest good deeds (Surah al-anbiyaa', ayat 47). The scales are so huge that that they can even accommodate the heavens and the earth if they were to be weighed in them (al-Haakim, authentic).

Allah says that as for him whose scales are heavy (with good deeds), he will be in a pleasant life; and vice versa (Surah al-Qari'ah, ayat 4-11).

The heaviest thing in the scales is the true and pure belief in Allah and His Messenger. The prophet related in a hadith that there will be a man on Resurrection day and Allah will unfold for him 99 records of bad deeds that each record is so huge that it extends to the limits of eyesight. He has only one good deed recorded, and that will be his testimony of 'Laa Ilaha Illallah'. This testimony will be weighed against the bad deeds and will overweigh them all. (al-Tirmizi - authentic)

The heaviest things in servant's scale as well are good manners (Abu Dawud - authentic).

There are 2 statements that are light on the tongue, heavy on the Scales, and beloved by the Most Merciful: Subhaan Allahi wa-bihamdih, Subaan Allah il-'Azeem (Exalted is Allah, and praise be to him; Exalted is Allah the Great). (Bukhari)

There are also people who do many (good) deeds but weight nothing on the Scales. These are the people who disbelieved in Allah. They are the greatest losers. (Surah al-Kahf, ayat 103-106)
The Records

Each person will receive his book of records in his hands. For the righteous, they will receive their book in their right hand, and as for the wrongdoers, they will receive their book in their left hands and from behind their back. (Surah al-Haqqah, ayat 19-37)
The Prophet's Pond

During the 50 thousand years of Assembly and Judgment, with the sun shining on us, the people will be hot and thirsty. A cool and sweet drink will be most welcome. Sure enough, such a drink will be offered - only to true believers. There will be a pond that the Prophet Muhammad will be in-charge. Scholars said that this pond draw its water from river Al-Kawthar in Jannah. Its water is whiter than milk, sweeter than musk and whoever drinks from it will never be thirsty thereafter (Bukhari).
6. The Bridge over Hell

Nearing the end of Judgment, there will people who already has been to Hell after their judgment. This will be for the followers of false gods and religions (Bukhari).

Then the siraat (bridge) will be extended over the two ends of Hell. Prophet Muhammad will be the first messenger to cross it. In Hell, there will be hooks that snatch people according to their deeds. Some will travel like a blink of an eye, others like birds and so on (including crawling). Some will pass secure and unharmed, others will be scratched and others will be rounded up in Hellfire. (Muslim)

Hypocrites will try to cross the Bridge as well but the hooks will snatch them to the Hellfire (Muslim). The last among those on siraat will only pass it by being dragged along (Bukhari).
Various Intercessions

We have seen the Prophet's Major Intercession in starting the Judgment Day. The Prophets also will be given ability to intercede with Allah on behalf of their followers (Bukhari). Prophet Muhammad particularly has spared a du'a for his followers in order to intercede for them on Judgment Day (Bukhari).

The believers also will be given opportunity to intercede on behalf of other believers who will have entered Hell for their sins. The believers say: Our Lord, they used to fast with us, pray with us, and go to hajj will us. So they will be told: Take whomever you could recognize of them. Thus they will take out a large number of people. (Bukhari)

Quranic reciters will have the Quran intercede on their behalf. The 2 surahs, Al-Baqarah and Ali Imran will come on the Day of Resurrection like two cloud or two flock of birds, arguing on behalf of their reciters. (Muslim)

Finally, Allah will then say: The angels have interceded, the prophets have interceded and the believers have interceded. Only the Most Merciful of the merciful is left. So He will take a handful of people from the Fire, thus removing from it people who never did any good. The people of Jannah will later call them 'The Ones Freed by the Most Merciful'. (Bukhari)
Final bridge

After crossing the siraat, the believers will be very close to the gates of Jannah. However, they will not be able to enter it as yet. First, they will have to settle any small resentment or dislike that they may have toward other believers. Only then (once purified and rectified) they will be permitted to enter Jannah. (Bukhari)

Wallahu a'lam

I have done to the best of my ability to summarize what i have read. For the time being, I will not yet continue on writing about paradise and hell. I have benefited a lot by reading this book and I sincerely hope that this article can add up to the heaviness of my good deeds. Do not praise the created things, praise the Creator, Lord of this world and the Hereafter.

Alhamdulillahi rabb il-'aalameen.


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