by Raiiq Ridwan
Death is a reality that hits every man and woman, even the animals. The world and all its contents are temporary, and they all have a fixed time. Yet, Allah subhana wa ta`ala (Glorified is He) says in the Qur’an in Surah at-Takathur
”Competition in [worldly] increase diverts you. Until you visit the graves” (Qur’an 102:1-2)
Interestingly, scholars have said that “visit the graves” here means death. However, why does Allah (swt) use the word “visit”, and not “go to the graves”? Allah’s speech is indeed profound, and by saying “visit the graves”, Allah brings out a very scary reality right in front of us, even the grave is temporary!!
A couple of surahs (chapters of Qur’an) before Surat at-Takathur, in Surat al-Zilzal, Allah (swt) mentions the time when even the life of the grave will come to an end, “When the earth is shaken with its (final) earthquake. And when the earth throws out its burdens.” (Qur’an 103:1-2)
The Tsunami in Japan, and various other earthquakes all over the world represent a terrifying example of how horrible earthquakes can be. However, the greatest of the earthquakes is yet to come, the earthquake which shakes the whole of this earth, and everything buried in it will come out, as if the earth is spitting us out of it. Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan mentions in his tafseer (exegesis) of Surah al-Zilzal that the earth is a witness to all that we do, and after all the sin that man has committed on it, finally on the Day of Judgment it throws up, and exposes everything.
Many a times the “intellectuals” of modern society seem to try and deny resurrection. Allah (swt) answers their questions beautifully in Surah Qiyamah, “Does man (a disbeliever) think that We shall not assemble his bones? Yes, We are Able to put together in perfect order the tips of his fingers.” (Qur’an 75: 3-4)
These amazing verses of the Qur’an mention the infinite knowledge of Allah (swt). By mentioning “tips of his fingers,” Allah (swt) explains to us that even the minutest of detail will not be missed, as no two human beings can ever have the same fingertips, subhan’Allah (Glory to Allah)!
The famous angel Israfeel will blow a trumpet three times according to the majority of the scholars.
- Nafhkhat Al-Faza – the Blow of Terror which signals the beginning of great changes in the world. Only the worst of people witness this.
- Nafhkhat Al-Sa’q- the Blow which causes all creation to die.
- Nafhkhat Al-Qiyam- the Blow which resurrects people from their graves.
The blowing of the trumpet is mentioned in a hadith (saying of Prophet ﷺ) narrated by Imam at-Tabari in his famous tafseer.
Following Nafhkhat Al Qiyam will be the Great Gathering. Numerous verses of the Qur’an mention the great gathering of every creature that lived from the first day on earth, till the Last Day will come. Then comes the Standing for Fifty Thousand years, in humility, “And you will see each nation humbled to their knees (kneeling), each nation will be called to its Record (of deeds). This Day you shall be recompensed for what you used to do.” (Qur’an 45:28)
As the nations of the past and future await, as people get frustrated and seek the judgment, the final Judgment begins, as the following happens:
1. Allah (swt) will come
“And your Lord comes with the angels in rows.” (Qur’an 89:22)
2. Paradise and Hell will be brought near
“And Hell will be brought near that Day. On that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance (then) avail him?” (Qur’an 89:23)
“And Paradise will be brought near to the Muttaqoon (pious), not far off” (Qur’an 50:31)
3. Intercession to start judgment
4. Judgment, placing of balances and passing out of books
This is indeed terrifying! Judgment will be made, and the balances will be weighed. Books, which are the records of the people’s deeds will be given out to the people. Those who get the book in their right hand will go into paradise, may Allah (swt) make us of them. Those who will be given the book on their left hand, will despair, as their ultimate abode will be the hellfire, may Allah (swt) save us from that.
Every human being will have to give account for every single second of their lives, and they will be judged for every single error and sin they made. The first of deeds to be held accountable for is the prayer (Salah), as reported in a hadith collected by An-Nasa’ee. This is an important wake-up call to myself and everyone of us to try and perfect our prayers as much as possible, and have an easier accounting insha’Allah (God willingly).
While it was mentioned in the first article, I find it important to mention all the witnesses for or against us on the Day of Judgment.
1. Our Body parts
“This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.” (Qur’an 36:65)
2. Books that recorded our deeds
“And [for] every person We have imposed his fate upon his neck, and We will produce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter spread open. [It will be said], “Read your record. Sufficient is yourself against you this Day as accountant.” (Qur’an 17: 13-14)
”And indeed, [appointed] over you are keepers. Noble and recording. They know whatever you do.” (Qur’an 82:10-12)
4. The people around us
5. The Qur’an and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ (May the peace be upon him) himself
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said “And the Qur’an is a proof for you or against you.” (Muslim)
“So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and we bring you, [O Muhammad] against these [people] as a witness?” (Qur’an 4:41)
6. The Earth
“That Day it (the Earth) will declare its information (about all what happened over it of good or evil)” (Qur’an 99:4)
“and Allah is Sufficient as a Witness.” (Qur’an, 4:166)
Then, the deeds will be weighed, as Allah (swt) says, “And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.” (Qur’an 21:47)
This, brothers and sisters, is the Day of Judgment. While I am not eloquent enough to write an article which can really get your imaginations charged up, I can quote Amr Khaled: “Start thinking about Judgment Day! But I don’t want to be just telling stories, I want you to start imagining, with all your senses that you are there now. I’ll try as hard as I can to draw a picture just as if you were really standing there.”