The Day of Resurrection


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  • The Day of Resurrection


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    Chapter Two

    Life And Death

    Before discussing the Day of Resurrection and the events
    that shall take place on it, we have to discuss life in the grave or life of Barzakh1.

    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, has specified the
    stages of life in certain glorious Ayat. Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, says
    about people when they shall be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection what
    means:

    [They
    will say: "Our Lord! You have made us to die twice2,
    and You have given us life twice3! Now we
    confess our sins, then is there any way to get out (of the Fire)?"
    ] [Ghâfir, 40: 11]

    But this Ayah does not clarify to us how this happens or
    the order of its realization, thus another Ayah comes in which Allah says what
    means:

    [How
    can you disbelieve in Allah? Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life.
    Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of
    Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return.
    ] [Al-Baqarah, 2:
    28]

    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, has given us in
    this glorious Ayah an ordered specification of all the stages of life till the
    Day of Resurrection. First we were dead, then Allah, all praise and glory is to
    Him, gave us life. Then He shall make us die then He shall resurrect us, alive,
    on the Day of Resurrection to face Judgment.  

    We notice here that life in this world started with death
    and not with life. According to our logic it should have started with life. The
    beginning of creation – as we understand it – is life. By relying on this
    conception we do not then understand the meaning of life.

    People understand the meaning of life as the time during
    which man exists, and death as nonexistence or nothingness, whereas the truth
    is totally different.

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

    [[He]
    who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed –
    and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving
    ] [Al-Mulk , 67:
    2]   

    Thus, death is not nonexistence, but one of the creations
    of Allah just as life. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, created death
    just as He created life. Both are the creations of Allah. Each is governed by
    its own rules, its time of occurrence and its events. Only Allah, all praise
    and glory is to Him, is The One Able to transfer His creatures from the world
    of death to that of life, or from the world of life to that of death.  

    The
    meaning of life….and the meaning of death

    What is the meaning of life? And what is the meaning of
    death?

    Some people say that life is sense and motion and that
    everything that appears senseless and motionless is lifeless, such as inanimate
    objects. We say that this is untrue. Everything in this world has a life but a
    life that fits its duty.

    Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, says what means:

    [The
    seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not
    a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand
    their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving.
    ] [Al-Isrâ’, 17:
    44]

    Hence, whosoever is called “A thing” glorifies the praises
    of Allah. The land glorifies Him and the mountains glorify Him. Almighty Allah
    says what means:

    [And
    We subjected the mountains to exalt [Us], along with David and [also] the
    birds.
    ]
    [Al-Anbiyâ’, 21: 79]

    And His Saying:

    [Whatsoever
    is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth glorifies Allah, the King (of
    everything), the Holy, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
    ] [Al-Jumu'ah, 62:
    1]

    The matter even surpasses this, for the things which we

    see in front of us solid, lacking sense and motion, have emotions which they
    express through crying and the like. Did not the palm trunk which the Messenger
    of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to lean on while
    delivering sermons in the Masjid utter a moan when the Messenger of Allah (may
    Allah bless him and grant him peace) left it to deliver sermons from the pulpit
    the believers had built for him? 

    Did not Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, say in His
    Noble Book what means:

    [And
    the heaven and earth wept not for them, nor were they reprieved.
    ] [Ad-Dukhân, 44:
    29]

    The earth and the heaven cry, the mountains and the
    pebbles glorify Allah. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant
    him peace) heard the glorification of the pebbles in his noble hands.
    Everything in this universe has a life that fits its mission. Everything has
    sense and motion we are unaware of, but they do exist.

    We learned in school when we studied magnetism that the
    iron particles assume a certain form when a magnet is passed over them. They
    brought a tube containing iron particles and in front of us they passed over it
    a magnet. So, the particles took a particular form and order, as well as
    acquiring special characteristics under the effect of magnetism. 

    What happened before us in the iron particles also happens
    in the iron bar which is not broken into particles, but we cannot see it. When
    we pass a magnet over the iron bar it become magnetized, but can we see the
    reordering that happen to its particles? Of course not, but the conducted
    experiment has proved that this do happen although we cannot see it. 

    Moreover, when we read the glorious Ayah saying what
    means:

    [Then
    He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the
    earth, "Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion." They said,
    "We have come willingly."
    ] [As-Sâffât, 37:
    11]

     

    We have to pay attention to His Saying (in the
    above-mentioned Ayah)
    [They
    said
    ]
    to
    learn that the heaven and earth have a language with which they speak. They
    also hear on the strength of the Saying of Allah, The Most Exalted, which
    means:

    [When
    the heaven is split asunder, and listens and obeys its Lord, and it must do so
    ] [Al-Inshiqâq, 84:
    1-2]

    Thus, the heavens will listen to and at once obey Allah’s
    Command of splitting asunder on the Day of Resurrection.

    This way we see that everything in this universe has a
    life that fits its mission. The belief that inanimate objects are dead and
    lifeless is wrong.

    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, has created two
    lives: the first is worldly life, which is temporal. In it everything has an
    end. The share of each one of us in it is different. Some people live for
    hours, some for a day, some for months, some for years and some live till they
    reach the most decrepit [old] age.

    Allah made the end of worldly life the transmission to the
    world of death. The life of the Hereafter is eternal; there is no death in it.
    The period of the existence of death ends by the beginning of the life of the
    Hereafter, where there shall be no more death.

    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, has pointed to us
    that true life for mankind is not in this world but in the Hereafter. Because
    life in the Hereafter is eternal, where the bestowed blessings
    are
    by the immediate Power of Almighty Allah. You will neither leave the blessings
    nor will they forsake you.

    Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, created a death world
    that precedes birth in worldly life, and another death world at departure from
    worldly life and before the beginning of the Hereafter.

    Therefore, Almighty Allah says what means:

    [And
    indeed, the home of the Hereafter – that is the [eternal] life, if only they
    knew.
    ]
    [29. Al-‘Ankabût, 29: 64]

    Transmission from death to life, and from life to death,
    and from death back to life in the Hereafter happens by the Will of Allah, all
    praise and glory is to Him.

    Now we come to the glorious Ayah saying what means:

    [How
    can you disbelieve in Allah? Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life.
    Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of
    Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return.
    ] [Al-Baqarah, 2:
    28]

    When Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, created the
    Prophet Adam (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) He created in him all
    his offspring from the first till the last ones upon whom the Hour (of
    Resurrection) will come, based on His Saying, Blessed and Exalted is He, what
    means:

    [And
    [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins –
    their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them],
    "Am I not your Lord?" They said, "Yes, we have testified."
    [This] – lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection, "Indeed, we were
    of this unaware."
    ]
    [Al-A‘râf, 7: 172]

    To understand this Saying we must state that life cannot
    continue if its rings are not linked together. My life is from an alive
    spermatozoon from my father. And my father’s life is from an alive spermatozoon
    from my grandfather. And my grandfather’s life is from his father…and so forth
    until we reach Adam (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). If the life
    chain was cut at any of its rings it would not have continued. If my father
    died before life was transmitted from him to me, I would not have existed and I
    would not have come to life.

    Since
    the creation of Adam
      

    So, we exist since the creation of Adam (may Allah bless
    him and grant him peace). But we existed in Dhar world4,
    a world to which applies the laws of death. When comes the Command of Allah we
    are transferred from Dhar world to the world of worldly life; a world
    where life is through means. We spend in the world of worldly life as much as
    Allah wills for us to spend then comes the time of death and we move to the
    death world, then we move after that to the world of the life of the Hereafter.

    This is the meaning of the glorious Ayah:

    [Seeing
    that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then
    again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you
    will return.
    ]
    [Al-Baqarah, 2: 28]

    Out of His Mercifulness towards us Allah, all praise and
    glory is to Him, has revealed to us how man moves from worldly life to death;
    through one of two ways. When man is dying he sees what he could not see
    before. He knows his destination, either to Paradise or to Hell, Allah forbid.

    The two images that Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He,
    gives us in the Noble Qur’an are of the believer and the disbeliever, while
    departing the life of this world to the life of Barzakh.

     

    Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, says what means:

    [The
    ones whom the angels take in death, [being] good and pure; [the angels] will
    say, "Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise for what you used to do."
    ] [An-Nahl, 16: 32]

    This is the picture of the believer while dying; he is
    surrounded by the angels of mercy and they greet him with peace and give him
    the glad tidings of entering Paradise. Therefore, the believer is happy and
    relieved. He is going to a far better place. It is an hour of bright prospect,
    of comfort and happiness hoped by every believer: to see the angels of mercy
    and be given the glad tidings of entering Paradise.

    Death
    to the disbeliever

    We come after that to the next image which Allah, all praise
    and glory is to Him, gives to us in the Noble Qur’an for the disbelievers and
    sinners.

    Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, says what means:

    [And
    if you could but see when the angels take the souls of those who disbelieved…
    They are striking their faces and their backs and [saying], "Taste the
    punishment of the Burning Fire.
    ]
    [Al-Anfâl, 8: 50]

        

    From this glorious Ayah we know the state of dying in case
    of the disbeliever. He sees the angels of torment, who instead of greeting him
    with peace, meet him with strikes on his face and back. They warn him of Hell
    and the punishment of the Burning Fire. At such a moment he wishes that he was
    never born.

    At these moments he feels the atrocious crime he committed
    in his life. All the pleasures he obtained by forbidden means do not parallel a
    moment of torture. So, his face convulses and is filled with gloom and distress
    never to leave it. He sees his place in Hell. A bleak fate which he wishes he
    can escape from, but he cannot. Humanity has ended and the time of choice for
    him has ended. He holds not for himself any power. Human free will is over and
    he becomes totally subjugated to Allah’s Command. 

    There is other Ayat in the Noble Qur’an that relate to us
    how will the wrongdoers face the moments of death, as His Saying:

    [And
    if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death
    while the angels extend their hands, [saying], "Discharge your souls!
    Today you will be awarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation for what you
    used to say against Allah other than the truth
    and
    [that] you were, toward His verses, being arrogant."
    ] [Al-An‘âm , 6:
    93]

    This portrays another image of death moments for the
    oppressive tyrants on the earth, while the angels are challenging them to
    release themselves from torment by the power they once exercised on the earth.
    Of course, they are powerless because their humanity and might have ended.
    Everything in them is subjugated to Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
    without any choice of them.

    Thus, we know how the good and righteous are sent from
    life to death. And how the unjust tyrants are sent from life to death.

    The righteous are surrounded by the angels of mercy, and
    the wrongdoers are stricken by the angels of torment. Then the hour of death
    ends and the soul departs from the body and man dies.

    But, is death a nonexistence? No, it is departure from the
    world of living, whereas life is departure from the world of death. Both are
    departure from a creation of Allah to another world of His creation. It has its
    own laws and a different way of living. In it man submits to laws completely
    different from those of life.

    There are many evidence that there is a life in the Barzakh
    which differs from worldly life in its laws, what surrounds it and what man sees
    and witnesses in it.

    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, has hidden these
    laws from us, but He sets forth for us in the Noble Qur’an examples that
    clarify certain aspects in life after death and what shall happen in it.

    The first thing in it is that through the laws of life in
    the Barzakh we shall see what we have not seen in this world. In this
    world our vision is limited. But after death the blinders are lifted off our
    eyes to see many things, on the strength of the Saying of Allah, The Most Exalted,
    (which means):

    [[It
    will be said], “You were certainly in unmindfulness of this, and We have
    removed from you your cover, so your sight, this Day, is sharp.”
    ] [Qâf, 50: 22]

    Thus, from the hour of dying man starts to see what he has
    not seen in worldly life because Allah lifts the veil of this world off him and
    he sees a new world. This world exists but he cannot see it in his journey of
    worldly life.

    The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him
    peace) said: “People are asleep and when they die,
    they wake up.” 

    How is man in the life of this world asleep and becomes
    alert only at death? Though we see him (i.e. the dead person) still before us?!

    Alertness here arises from seeing what he could not see
    before. He now knows that all the unseen matters that Allah has informed him
    about are an actual existing reality but he was screened from them.

    The
    dead people hear

    When man dies he hears what is said around him but he
    cannot answer.

    In the Battle of Badr, after it ended the Messenger of
    Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) stood near the killed from
    amongst the disbelievers and said: “O ‘Utbah bin
    Rabi‘ah, O Shaibah bin Rabi‘ah, O so and so….have you found what Allah has
    promised you true, for I have found what Allah has promised me true.”

    Whereupon ‘Umar bin Al-Khattâb (may Allah be pleased with
    him) said: “O Messenger of Allah! Do you talk to
    people who have rotted?”
    He answered, “You do
    not hear better what I say than they, but they cannot reply.”

    So, we understand that the dead people hear what is said
    around them but cannot reply, which constitutes another evidence that death is
    not nonexistence but transmission to another life that has its own laws.

    When you read the Noble Qur’an, we reach the Saying of Allah, The Most Exalted, (which means):

    [O
    you who have believed, do not make allies of a people with whom Allah has
    become angry. They have despaired of [reward in] the Hereafter just as the
    disbelievers (buried) in graves have been in despair.
    ] (Al-Mumtahinah,
    60: 13)

    Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, warns the believers
    from taking the disbelievers as allies because the disbelievers have despaired
    to receive any goodness in the Hereafter. They either deny the Hereafter, or do
    not hope to receive any good from it; had they hoped for goodness they would
    have worked for it.

     

    We must stop at the Saying of Allah, all praise and glory
    is to Him, (which means):

    [They
    have despaired of [reward in] the Hereafter just as the disbelievers (buried)
    in graves have been in despair.
    ] (Al-Mumtahinah, 60: 13)

    We here ask: why have the disbelievers despaired?

    The answer is that the disbelievers despaired because they
    have surely known their destiny and have surely known that Allah will not
    embrace them within His Mercy. Knowing this fact requires conception. Man can
    only experience despair when he knows that what he is hoping for is impossible.
    If death was nonexistence the disbelievers would not have despaired and would
    have sensed nothing. For nonexistence does not involve any kind of
    understanding, perception, vision or sense.

    The
    disbelievers buried in graves

    But the disbelievers buried in the graves are desperate of
    receiving any mercy in the Hereafter. And this can never be except if there is
    comprehension and awareness. Thus, death is not nonexistence but a world having
    its own laws where man understands and perceives.

    There are many things that the dead experience and feel
    while between this world and the Hereafter. Since death is a creation and life
    is another one, both include a kind of sensibility different from the other.
    Both have their own laws and both are far removed from nonexistence.

    We have to notice that Allah, all praise and glory is to
    Him, mention death before life in many Ayat in the Noble Qur’an. This is
    because death precedes life. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, wants to
    always attract our attention to death, so that on remembering it we hurry to
    righteousness, faith and good deeds. It is needless to draw our attention to
    life for the motive power for life masters the human soul.

    Who among us, when the first of the month comes, forgets
    to receive his salary? Or who among us does not try to get the biggest share
    from this world?

    Thus, the motives for living in the human soul are many in
    order for man to be able to fulfill his mission in this world, making land a
    prosperous place, and building civilizations. But by remembering life every
    second we forget death. And if someone reminds us of it we seek refuge with
    Allah from it.

    We need to always think of death as an inescapable
    reality. Therefore,  Allah, The
    Exalted and Ever-Majestic, states death first in His Saying:

    [[He] who created
    death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed – and He is the
    Exalted in Might, the Forgiving
    ]
    [Al-Mulk, 67: 2]

    Death is the end of the human power of free choice. In the
    life of this world you have a will and a freedom of choice. But at the moment
    of death the mission of human will ends, it no longer has a role to
    perform.     

    So, we have clarified the meaning of life and death. Both
    of them are creations of Allah. But the life that shall continue is the eternal
    life in the Hereafter. As for death, it shall end at resurrection. After
    resurrection there shall be no more death, but immortality in the life of the
    Hereafter.

    Life is not – as we understand – sense and motion but
    everything in the universe has a life that suits it. The heavens, the earth,
    the inanimate objects…everything we think it to be lifeless has a life that
    suits its mission in the universe.

    Death is not nonexistence, but a kind of life that has its
    own laws. It comprises many matters that Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
    has kept hidden from us.


    1 The grave as the
    barrier or the intermediate realm that separates between this world and the
    other world, from the time of death till the time of Resurrection.

    2 i.e. we were dead in
    the loins of our fathers and dead after our deaths in this world.

    3 i.e. life when we were
    born and life when we are Resurrected.

    4 World of
    particles.

     

     

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