The Day of Resurrection


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  • The Day of Resurrection


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    Chapter Three

    Before Judgment

    Allah, all praise
    and glory is to Him, informs us in the Noble Qur’an that man departs from
    worldly life in one of two ways: either surrounded by the angels of mercy
    giving him the glad tidings of entering Paradise and the happiness awaiting
    him. Or surrounded by the angels of torture – we seek refuge with Allah from
    that – hitting him on his face and his back and warning him of the punishment
    of the burning Fire. At that moment he would only wish that he was never born
    and he would feel the enormity of the crime he has committed against himself.

    But some people

    say that Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, has specified the way of
    departing from worldly life to the life of Barzakh within the grave as
    one of three states.

    In Surah
    Al-Wâqi‘ah Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, says what means:

    [And if the deceased was of those brought
    near to Allah, then [for him is] rest and bounty and a garden of pleasure. And
    if he was of the companions of the right, then [the angels will say],
    "Peace for you; [you are] from the companions of the right." But if
    he was of the deniers [who were] astray, then [for him is] accommodation of
    scalding water and burning in Hellfire.
    ] [Al-Wâqi‘ah, 56: 88-94]

    The answer is that
    these glorious Ayat do not reveal the state in which man shall depart from
    worldly life, because both the ones brought near [to Allah] and the
    companions of the right
    will be received by the angels of mercy and be
    given the glad tidings of entering Paradise, but each has a different degree
    from the other in Paradise. 

      

    The
    forerunners
    1 or the ones brought near shall
    enjoy high degrees and high stations that Allah confers upon them. Also, the
    companions of the right
    shall
    have high degrees but less than them. However, none
    should think that the forerunners or
    the ones brought near are only those who lived during the lifetime of the
    Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace); who strove and
    fought with him and that those who will come after them will never reach their
    degree no matter what they do.

    For the
    Justice of Allah, all praise and glory is to him, never allows to deprive a
    person who loves Him and sincerely worships Him from the highest degrees.

    Therefore,
    we find the Noble Qur’an telling us that the forerunners or
    the ones brought near, who are the nearest servants to Allah will be from the first and later time generations (who embraced Islam)
    but the majority will be from the former generations. And read the Saying of
    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, which means:

     

    [A [large] company of the former peoples
    and a few of the later peoples
    ] [Al-Wâqi‘ah, 56: 13-14]

    The Justice
    of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, only accepts that the door should be
    left wide open before any sincere worshipper of Him; eager to draw near to Him,
    to reward his servant with the highest degrees in the Hereafter as long as he
    showed sincerity and feared Him in all his life affairs.

    Stating
    that the majority shall be from the first generations and only a few from the
    later generations draws the attention to the infinite absolute Knowledge Allah
    possesses of the state of His creatures. How worldly life with its gloss shall
    attract people more and more as time moves forward, thus the number of sincere
    worshippers of Allah, who are eager to please Him, and who strive in His Cause,
    shall dwindle.

    The
    Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has foretold us
    many signs that are realized the more Resurrection draws near. All the realized
    signs show us that turning away from the Law of Allah will aggravate, sin will
    increase and sincerity within hearts will decrease. People will try to
    interpret religion in a way that satisfies their desires and their worldly
    interests. Masjids will be decorated whereas hearts filled with hypocrisy and
    dissimulation will be ruins…and we shall discuss this in detail.

    We now
    return to the hour of dying, this hour in which man is between life and death.
    When this hour approaches man knows for certain that he is dying. There is no
    lying at this hour nor a sense of any possibility of escape.

    From what
    man sees and from what is disclosed to him from the unseen matters at that hour
    he will know for certain that his end has approached. Seeing the angels around
    him, whether of mercy or torture, and hearing them.

    In this

    state his humanity ends, for he no longer has a will power to do any worldly
    deed.

    At this
    moment also repentance is no longer accepted, because as long as man sees the
    angels of death and knows for sure that he will die then there is no longer
    belief in the Unseen but there is a visible certainty of truth. There is no
    longer belief since the eye now sees. For belief is in what is unseen to us but
    what the eye sees and witnesses is not belief.

    You cannot
    say to a person sitting with you: “I believe that you are sitting with me?”
    Because you see him sitting in front of you, this is not considered belief but
    a witnessed reality.

    The faith of
    Pharaoh and the torment awaiting him on the Day of Resurrection

     

    Pharaoh,
    for example, only believed when he saw death, as relates the Noble Qur’an
    through the Ayah saying what means:

    [Until, when drowning
    overtook him, he said, "I believe that there is no deity except that in
    whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am of the Muslims."
    ] [Yunus,
    10: 90]

    Was Pharaoh’s faith and his testimony that Almighty Allah is the Only One God,
    alone a repentance that Allah accepted? Which wiped all
    Pharaoh’s sins and made him one of the inhabitants of Paradise? Especially,
    that directly after this repentance he drowned, which means that he did not
    live to commit any more sins. The answer is that the Noble Qur’an informed us
    of what shall happen to
    Pharaoh
    through the Saying of Allah, The Most Exalted, which means:

    [He will precede his people
    on the Day of Resurrection and lead them into the Fire; and wretched is the
    place to which they are led
    ] [Hûd, 11: 98]

    Which means
    that on the Day of Resurrection Pharaoh will be the leader of his people who
    worshipped him and took him as a god to lead
    them into the Fire. Thus, when
    the hour of death approaches repentance neither benefits nor is accepted
    because man is transferred from the stage of faith in the Unseen to that of
    certain vision. He now sees for certain the things that Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, has informed him about as things pertaining to the Unseen, but
    he did not believe in Him.

    At the hour of death man’s whole life is displayed
    before him and he knows his fate. Therefore, you see faces shining and others
    frowning and agitated.

    Those who are given the glad tidings of entering
    Paradise their faces will shine and be happy because they know that they are
    going to delights far better than what they have lived in. They look forward to
    what is to come with tranquility, joy and relief.

    As to those who see before them torment and Hellfire and
    know that they are going to mighty evil, their faces darken and are agitated.
    They search for a way out but they find none. Their souls are seized while in
    such a state. Convulsion, nervousness and terror clearly appear on their faces.

    Nevertheless, we must understand that if there is one of
    two ways of leaving worldly life: either surrounded by the angels of mercy or
    torment, this does not mean that there is one degree of taking the souls of all
    the believers, and one degree of seizing the souls of all disbelievers and
    hypocrites. For there is varying degrees of delight and varying degrees of
    torment even at the hour of dying.

    Some people wonder whether the dying person is sensible
    of what is around him? The answer is: “Yes, he is. ” Because there is a
    difference between the conscious self and bodily sensation, each is a thing
    completely different from the other.

    The body died yet psychic consciousness never dies         

     

    The death of the body and the end of bodily sensation
    does not mean that the psychic consciousness ended. Man will lose at that time
    the means of choice that he once had and will no longer be free to choose and
    consequently whatever happens to him will be compulsory. He neither can avoid
    it, repel it or escape from it.

    But at the same time the conscious self is present. It
    sees but it can do nothing. It watches the tape of its life rolling before it
    but it cannot speak.

    Science has approximated this picture to our minds, for
    neither the image nor the sound vanishes. Man with his limited knowledge
    succeeded in recording the sound and image on a tape which he can keep as he
    likes, displays it before him and recalls what is in it whenever he wishes.
    Thus, we can watch people moving in front of us though they died a long time
    ago.

    We can watch movies, audibly and visually recording
    events, which passed many years ago, but still we can see and hear them as if
    happening now.

    We can hear, for example, the Azan2 or the Noble Qur’an recited by the late Sheikh
    Muhammad Rifa‘t
    or other famous reciters. All this was made possible by
    human power, so do we consider it beyond the Power of Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, that each one of us has a recorded tape of his worldly life
    that will be displayed before him in the Hereafter? If we, humans, can now
    record sound and picture, and hear the speech of the dead recorded to them
    during their life!

    After proving that sound does not vanish, scientists are
    now trying to bring the sounds of those who lived centuries ago before us. The
    obstacle that stands in their way is that these sounds are mixed in the air in
    a way that renders separating them from one another impossible.

    If science has succeeded in obtaining a type of films
    that can produce the picture of the people who were sitting at some place after
    leaving it by hours…if this is the power of humans how about the Power of
    Allah, The Almighty?

    When human free will ends

          

    That man sees a tape of his life history while dying is
    not something hard to believe after the scientific revolution that approximated
    the picture. At the start of death man’s free will ends. He no longer has power
    of choice. If he wants to move his leg, it will not obey him. If he wants to
    speak, the tongue will not comply to his wish. If he wants to open his eyes,
    they will not respond to him. This is because all these things – all the organs
    of the body – submit to man in worldly life only by the Will of Allah.

    The hand is capable to obey its master if he wants to
    help someone cross the road and is also capable to hit a person, or harm him or
    kill him.    

    The tongue is capable to utter the word of belief and is
    also capable, Allah forbid, to utter the word of disbelief. This is because it
    is subjected to man’s will in worldly life, during the trial period that Allah,
    all praise and glory is to Him, has set to His servants to recompense them
    after it either with Paradise or with torment in Hellfire.

    Worldly life with whatsoever in it is no more than a
    period that ends with you coming out of it either bearing your good deeds or
    your evil deeds, nothing more.

    Thus, those who were given from the riches of this world
    and those who did not have money to buy food become equal; both of them take
    with them nothing from worldly life except good deeds. At the hour of dying
    both are equal, both have neither might nor power. Both are at the mercy of
    their own deeds. Even the strongest and richest people on the earth depart from
    it taking nothing with them except their deeds.

    At that moment Allah and His angels are closer to the
    dying person than all those surrounding him from sons and relatives. Concerning
    this, Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, says what means:

    [Then
    why, when the soul at death reaches the throat. And you are at that time looking
    on – And Our angels are nearer to him than you, but you do not see –
    ] [Al-Wâqi‘ah, 56: 83-85]

    We notice in these glorious Ayat the Saying of Allah,
    The Most Exalted:
    [When
    the soul at death reaches the throat
    ] [56: 83] which means
    that the soul has not yet left the body completely but it has reached the
    throat, and this is the last stage in its departure from the body at the hour
    of dying.

    Hence, the account in the aforementioned Ayah is not
    after taking the soul but during the time of taking it at the hour of dying. At
    that time, Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, and His angels are closer to
    the dying servant than all the people surrounding him. Closeness and remoteness
    here is not judged based on distance but based on consciousness.

    The dying person feels and hears

    The dying person perceives and sees from the Kingdom of
    Allah what the people surrounding him do not. As if he is now living in that
    realm and no longer lives with them. As if everything that was hidden from him
    has become an actual reality. And since it has become an actual, visible
    reality the time of faith ends.

    Concerning this, Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
    says what means:

    [The Day that some of the Signs of your Lord do come, no
    good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor
    earned good through his Faith
    ] [Al-An‘âm, 6: 158]

    Man moves from worldly life to the life of Barzakh where
    he stays until the Day of Resurrection.

    As we have already
    clarified the life of Barzakh has its own laws and the first of these
    laws is that it timeless. Man has no sense of time in it and he is not
    subjected to its laws. If those who died since the time of the Prophet Adam
    (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) were resurrected, they would think
    that they have spent a day or part of a day.

    Concerning this, Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
    says what means:

    [And on the Day that the Hour will be
    established, the Mujrimûn3 will
    swear that they stayed not but an hour, thus were they ever deluded4. And those who have been bestowed with
    knowledge and faith will say: "Indeed you have stayed according to the
    Decree of Allah, until the Day of Resurrection, so this is the Day of
    Resurrection, but you knew not."
    ] [Ar-Rûm, 30: 55-56]

    Thus, we learn that when man is transferred from life to
    death he becomes insensible of the time he has spent within the grave. At the
    time of resurrection he thinks that he only has spent an hour or a few hours.
    When the dead person descends to the grave he definitely knows his fate. He is
    shown his place in Paradise and his place in Hellfire. The inhabitants of
    Paradise are shown their places both in Paradise and in Hellfire.
    Similarly, the inhabitants of Hell are
    shown
    their places both in Hellfire and in Paradise.

    Some people may consider such a statement strange, but
    there is a great wisdom behind it for Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
    has created for all His creatures places in Paradise and places in Hellfire.
    So, if all creatures disobey from the time of the Prophet Adam
    (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) till the Day
    of Resurrection they will all enter Hellfire and find their places in it.

    And if all the
    creatures believe and fear Allah
    from the time of the Prophet
    Adam
    (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) till the Day of Resurrection, they will all enter Paradise and find
    their places in it. For Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, has prepared for
    each of His servants a place in Paradise and another in Hellfire.

    Great delights and supreme success

    But why does Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, show
    the inhabitants of Paradise their places in Hellfire, though they are the
    people of bliss? The answer is that it is an increase in blessing. Because when
    the people of Paradise only see their places in Paradise they will know the
    great delights awaiting them, but still they will not know the torment they are
    saved from. Therefore, seeing their places in Hell shows them the great horror
    and everlasting torment they are saved from. They feel the great blessing of
    being rescued from the Fire. Their happiness increases and their gratitude for
    blessings is doubled while seeing what could have befallen them and Allah, by
    His Mercy, has saved them from. Thus, they realize the supreme success they
    have attained.

    This is concerning the people of Paradise, but as for
    the people of Hellfire, the sight of the Fire make them feel the mighty torment
    awaiting them. But this is not enough. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
    wants to increase their sense of torment and fill their hearts with sorrows
    over the sorrows that already have filled their hearts when they saw Hellfire.

    Therefore, Allah shows them their places in Paradise to
    make them know the greatness of the delights they are deprived from. Thus,
    regret within hearts intensifies while seeing the torment awaiting them and the
    delights they are deprived from.

    But what will happen on the Day of Resurrection to the
    places of the people of Hellfire which they will not dwell in? Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him, will make the people of Paradise inherit them. He
    shall give them their own places and over them the places of those whose
    destination is Hell, Allah forbid.                   

    This way the people of Paradise not only receive their
    share but also inherit other shares which have been allotted to the servants of
    Allah who disbelieved, disobeyed, and thus have become from the people of the
    Fire.

    Concerning this, Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
    says what means:

    [And they will be
    called, "This is Paradise, which you have been made to inherit for what
    you used to do."
    ] [Al-A‘râf, 7: 43]

     

    And He says:

    [And they will say,
    "Praise to Allah, who has fulfilled for us His promise and made us inherit
    the earth [so] we may settle in Paradise wherever we will. And excellent is the
    reward of [righteous] workers."
    ]
    [Az-Zumar, 39: 74]

    We should notice the use of the word “inherit,” for man
    only inherits what has been once allotted to another person. If the people of
    Paradise receive their places then inherit what have been allotted to those who
    disobeyed and their destination is Hellfire, this is certainly an increase in
    given delights and blessings.

    While in their graves, Allah, all praise and glory is to
    Him, shows the believers their places in Paradise and on the Day of
    Resurrection He gives them more and make them inherit the whole Paradise.

    Insurmountable Torment

    People frequently ask us about the torment of the grave:
    “Is man tortured twice? First in his grave and the other after Judgment? Or
    does torment only follows Judgment?”      

    Before answering this question I must say that just to
    see one’s place in Hellfire and be certain that this is one’s destination is
    the worst torment, because expecting a calamity and awaiting it is more
    tormenting that its fulfillment.

    For example, if you learned that your son would die in a
    car accident after a year or two, how would you feel? You would certainly live
    in hell while awaiting day after another the falling of the accident.
    Therefore, from the Mercy of Allah towards us is that He hid the future events,
    so that our lives would not turn into continuous torment while expecting and
    awaiting the evil that would befall us.

    Hiding the future certainly gives us the chance to enjoy
    life, which could not have been possible if we learned the future and all the
    events that would take place in it.

    Enough of torment for the people of the Fire to see –
    while in their graves – the Hell they will remain in forever. Whenever they
    turn to the right or to the left they see the Fire they will be tortured in,
    and they definitely know that the Decree of Allah, all praise and glory is to
    Him, will surely be executed.

    As for direct torture in the grave, torture will come
    after Judgment. That is after calling people to account on the Day of
    Resurrection.

    When the Noble Qur’an presents the story of Pharaoh and
    his entrance into the Fire along with those who followed him, Allah, all praise
    and glory is to Him, says what means:

    [The Fire; they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon, and
    on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels):
    "Make Fir'aun's (Pharaoh) people enter the severest torment!"
    ]
    [Ghâfir, 40: 46]

    If there was an actual torment in the grave, the people
    of Pharaoh would have been the first to be tortured and burned in their graves.
    But exposure to the Fire, morning and evening, would certainly be a torment to
    them even if they were not yet cast into it. The mere sight of the Fire would
    make them scream and seek refuge from the horror to come.

    To sum up, we have discussed how the humanity of man
    terminates at the time of his death. End of humanity means that he is moved out
    of choice to compulsion. He becomes compelled in everything after being free to
    choose in the life of this world. Man while dying sees his place either in
    Paradise or Hellfire. Such a sight is either glad tidings that relieves the
    soul and makes it happy or a warning that disturbs the face and the signs of
    fear and terror appears on it. In the life of
    Barzakh there is no time. And
    people in the graves shall see their places either in Paradise or Hellfire,
    Allah forbid. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant
    him peace) said: “The grave is either a garden from
    the gardens of Paradise, or a pit from the pits of Hellfire.”


    1 The forerunners in Islamic
    Faith of Monotheism and in performing righteous deeds.

    2 The Muslim summons to
    prayer, called by the muezzin from a minaret of a Masjid five times a day.

    3 Criminals, disbelievers,
    polytheists, sinners, etc
    .

    4 Away from the truth (i.e.
    they used to tell lies and take false oaths, and turn away from the truth) in
    the life of this world).

     

     

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