As we discussed in the last installment, our faces are the most honorable parts of our bodies. With our faces, we are able to express our emotions and feelings. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) describes the faces of humankind in the hereafter to make their emotions more real so that we, in this lifetime, are able to imagine their expressions.
After Allah (swt) mentions the Day when family members will run away from their loved ones, He (swt) tells us:
“[Some] faces, that Day, will be bright – Laughing, rejoicing at good news.” (Qur’an 80:38-39)
For the Believers, that Day will be one of celebration. They made it into Paradise, by God’s Mercy:
“And as for those who were made to be happy, they will be in Paradise, abiding therein as long as the heavens and the earth endure, except what your Lord should will – a bestowal uninterrupted.” (Qur’an 11:108)
When I think of celebrations, I immediately remember the crowds at Tahrir Square when Mubarak stepped down. I remember the happiness and joy on the faces of Egyptians. They were hugging each other, jumping up and down, waving their flags and chanting in celebration of their success.
Take that image and multiply it by a million. That will be the celebration of the Believers in the hereafter. Their joy will not come from winning a game, winning the lottery, or winning freedom for their country. Their joy will come from being among the special ones who receive the Mercy of Allah (swt) in its greatest manifestation. Their joy will come from being in Paradise with their beloved Messenger ﷺ (peace be upon him). Their joy will come from being saved from the Fire. Their joy will come from finally being with their Lord.
Their faces will beam with light and radiating expressions of happiness:
“[Other] faces, that Day, will show pleasure. With their effort [they are] satisfied in an elevated garden.” (Qur’an 88:8-10)
Allah (swt) describes in another verse:
“[Some] faces, that Day, will be radiant.” (Qur’an 75:22)
Radiance implies beauty, so their faces will not only be joyous and smiling, but beautiful and glowing. Some Believers will be blessed with having the brightest of faces. The Prophet ﷺ said, “A group of my Ummah (community) consisting of seventy thousand persons would enter Paradise; their faces would be as bright as the brightness of the full moon.” [Muslim]
If you have ever been outside during a full moon, then you know how bright it can be. The full moon gives off a serene light. Unlike the sun, it is not a light with intense heat. Looking directly at the sun can hurt your eyes, but looking directly at a full moon is enjoyable. The Prophet ﷺ used the example of the full moon to imply that their faces will be beautiful, radiant, and easy to look at.
Once, the Companions asked the Prophet ﷺ how he will recognize his followers that he has not met yet. He ﷺ told them: “My people would come with bright faces and bright hands and feet on account of the marks of ablution.” [Muslim]
While we may not see the physical remnants of our wudu’ (ablution) now, the parts of our body we wash in the course of our wudu’ will be illuminated on the Day of Judgment. And what is even more amazing is that these marks of wudu’ will be how our Prophet ﷺ will recognize us!
How did these bright and radiant faces look in the worldly life (dunya)?
They were humble and submissive:
“And they fall upon their faces weeping, and the Qur’an increases them in humble submission.” (Qur’an 17:109)
Recognizable through their worship:
“[…] Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. […]” (Qur’an 48:29)
Kind and forgiving:
“[…] [those] who restrain anger and who pardon the people – and Allah loves the doers of good.” (Qur’an 3:134)
These faces were humble, obedient and kind during the worldly life, and Allah (swt) will bless them with glowing faces in the hereafter.