In The Name of Allah,
Allah, all praise
and glory is to Him, created this universe and appointed for everything a birth
and an end. The earth has a birth and an end; the sun has a birth and an end
and similarly everything in the universe has a birth and an end. Allah
possesses an ultimate infinite power in His universe; nothing is above or
beyond His Will. This universe we live in is created by means. That is to say that Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, has ordained that everything
in this world must be attained through means
The universe is built of two elements: an element
that reacts and gives you without means: as the sun, the air, the rain and
other things. And another that reacts through you ...if you adopts the
necessary means created by Allah in the land it will give you, and if you do
not it will not give.
If you cultivate the land, water it, sow the seeds
therein, it will give you abundant fruits. But if you do not adopt the means,
the land will give you nothing. Also, the riches found within the mountains and
inside the earth, if you do not dig them out you will not have them.
This world of having through means is
what we call “worldly life”, which is the life created by Allah, be ever
gloried His Majesty and Might, through means. When worldly life terminates and
the Day of Resurrection comes, the time appointed to this world ends and a new
creation of Allah starts in which everything is directly from Allah, The Exalted
and Ever-Majestic. In Paradise once anything crosses your mind you shall find
it before you; by the Power of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, the means
end and the bestowal is directly from The Originator.
Moving from the
world of having through means to that of having everything directly from Allah
is preceded by what Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, calls “The Day of
Resurrection”. On that Day the world of means ends after it has accomplished
its mission and a new life, different from the one we live on the earth,
begins. In it there is either everlasting pleasure or everlasting torment. A
life without death but eternity. A life without choices but recompense. A life
without deeds but the matter there belongs completely to Allah.
Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, has informed
us in His Law that worldly life encloses a trial, an affliction and a test: a
trial of faith in Allah, a test of love for Allah within hearts and an
affliction that tries the obedience and disobedience of the servant. We all
pass through this trial, whoever succeeds Allah will make him rejoice in
Paradise and whoever disbeliefs, disobeys and acts arrogantly the torment of Hellfire awaits him.
The Day of Resurrection is the appointed time for
us all. We shall come out of the graves to stand before Allah. Surely, a Day
whereon mankind will be gathered together, and a Day which will be witnessed by
Blessed and Exalted is He, called resurrection “a day”. To some people the day
is the time from sunrise to sunset. And to others it is from sunrise to
However, it is a definition insignificant to
discuss, because it is rather relative. It is an adverb of time as they say;
something that helps us measure time in worldly life. But why is it mentioned
The Truth, all praise and glory is to Him, with
Whom there is no time, qualified resurrection as a day. But how many are the
hours of that day? How long is it? Does it end by sunset or what?
]To understand the meaning of that day, we have to
discuss the concept of time. Time is a creation of Allah. A creation that we
got used to live by in this world. Everything in the life of this world is
measured by time.
We have a birth day on which we are born, a death
day on which we shall die, and days we live in worldly life. Everything in our
life has an appointed time. Today we will do certain tasks, tomorrow others,
and next year others. We will construct this building within three years, for
example, and we will travel to Europe or America next year.
Time is the measure of our life; the
measure of the events we pass through. Time is among the veils of the Unseen.
It veils before us the past, knowing not what has happened in it except by
reading history books or narrators relate it to us.
Time also veils the future. We do not
know what will happen tomorrow, or next year. All we know is the present we
live, the past we have already lived and the future which we do not know what
will Allah judge in it.
Time owns us but we do not. None of us
can live outside time; none can remain a child or a youth and never grows old.
And no human can bring back time to correct his mistakes. If he committed a
murder or an accident happened to him he could not bring back the past to avoid
As we have already said time owns man
but he does not. That is the value of time in our life. But Allah, all praise
and glory is to Him, is the Creator of time – to Him there is no time. There is
no past beyond His Knowledge or a future outside His Decree or new arising
All the universe and whatever is in it
until the Day of Resurrection and after it is encompassed within the Knowledge
of Allah. Things He only reveals and does not initiate because He already
possess knowledge of it.
When you read the Ayah saying what
command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.] [Yâ Sîn, 82: 36]
You must pay attention to His Saying
‘it’, which means that this thing already exists within the Knowledge of
Allah. He, all praise and glory is to Him, only reveals it to us by the Command
‘Be’ and the thing becomes apparent and known to us.
all praise and glory is to Him, wants us to realize that time is relative.
Allah subjects whom He wills to it and does not subject whom He wills. There
are certain stages where man is ruled out of time. This in order for us to
grasp the true meaning of time and how it acts as a measure of events. When
these events stop, our sense of time also stop and it loses its meaning.
When man sleeps and temporarily
becomes still, the meaning of time for him stops. On awakening he does not know
how many hours he has slept unless he slept and the sun was shining and he
awoke to find it dark, or slept while it was dark and awoke to find the light
of the sun everywhere. We all experience this: losing the sense of time during
But Allah, all praise and glory is to
Him, out of mercifulness towards His servants, clarified to us that He can
remove man out of time completely. That is to say, time no longer has control
over man or acts as the measure of his life.
When you read the story of the People
of the Cave you understand this sign. The People of the Cave were youths who
believed in their Lord and sought refuge in the cave from the tyranny of the
disbelievers, so what happened to them?
Allah, all praise and glory is to
Him, says what means: [And
they remained in their cave for three hundred years and exceeded by nine.] [Al-Kahf, 18: 25]
Which means that they remained
sleeping within the cave for three hundred and nine years. Allah, all praise
and glory is to Him, covered up their sense of hearing (causing them, to go in
deep sleep), thus no noise could affect them or the voice of a wild animal
beside the cave might awake them, because the ear is the summoning tool. If you
wish to awaken a sleeping person you call him loudly and he awakes. Also, if a
person is sleeping and a loud voice is produced near him he will wake up
Those youths slept for more than
three hundred years then they awoke, the question is: how should they look like
if time had affected them?
Let us suppose that before sleeping
they were at least black-haired, when they awoke their hair should have turned
white or their beard grew long or their youth withered away.
But Allah, all praise and glory is to
Him, made them no longer governed by time. Therefore, their first question upon
awakening was as the Noble Qur’an tells us:
similarly, We awakened them that they might question one another. Said a
speaker from among them, ‘How long have you remained [here]?’ They said, ‘We
have remained a day or part of a day.’]
[Al-Kahf, 18: 19]
The mere question “How long have
you remained?” indicates that these youths were out of the ruling of time,
why? Because on awakening and looking at one another they did not notice any
change in their appearance since the hour they slept. They rather found
themselves looking the same as when they went to sleep. Therefore, their answer
was: [We have remained a day or part of a day] [Al-Kahf, 18: 19]
If they awoke and found that their
hair had turned white or their youth had faded away or their nails and beards
had extraordinarily grown long, they would have never said: [We have remained a day or part of a day] [Al-Kahf, 18: 19] and
would have realized that they slept for long years.
But they did not notice a change in
their appearance because they measured the time they slept with the time that
man usually sleeps, that is few hours, or a whole day when extremely exhausted.
Therefore, measuring the time they
slept according to the normal time man usually sleeps is a proof that all
during their sleep they were no more governed by time. Having no instrument
that might indicate the time they spent sleeping, they measured it based on
normal human habit.
The Truth, all praise and glory is to
Him, sets to us another example in the Noble Qur’an about the relativity of
time, and how it acts as a measure that Allah subjects whomever He wills to it
and stop it from influencing whomever He wills.
It is the story of the righteous man
from the Children of Israel, who was passing by a village visited with
punishment. Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic, says what means:
[consider such an example] as the one who passed by a township which had fallen
into ruin. He said, "How will Allah bring this to life after its
death?" ] [Al-Baqarah, 2: 259]
This righteous man wondered about the
Power of Almighty Allah in reviving a village completely ruined. So, what did
Almighty Allah do?
The glorious Ayah says what means:
Allah caused him to die for a hundred years; then He revived him] [Al-Baqarah, 2: 259]
Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty
and Might, wanted to show one of the signs of absolute Power, thus He caused
him to die for a hundred years then He brought him to life.
And here we must again contemplate
the story of the People of the Cave, whom Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic,
had ruled out of time while still alive and they remained sleeping for more
than three hundred years. Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, did not cause them
to die, therefore Allah, all glory is to Him, says what means:
you would think them awake, while they were asleep. And We turned them to the
right and to the left]
[Al-Kahf, 18: 18]
His Saying [while they were asleep] [18:
18] signifies that they were alive but
asleep for He did not say “Dead.” And his Saying [And We turned them to the right and to the left] [18: 18] indicates
to us that Almighty Allah wanted to keep their bodies safe and healthy during
the long time they slept, for when any person suffers from an illness that
confines him to bed for a long time we have to turn his body to protect him
from ulcers and infection.
And that is the wisdom behind turning
the patient, which we did not realize except after the progress of science. We
also learnt the bad effect of long periods of bed confinement without turning
Allah, all praise and glory is to
Him, gave us in Surah Al-Kahf an example of how He rules the living out of time
whenever He wills. He also gave us another example in Surah Al-Baqarah
concerning the dead and how time no longer has dominion over them, for the life
of Barzakh2 from the time of
death till the hour of resurrection is timeless.
Therefore, we read the Saying of
Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, which means:
Allah caused him to die for a hundred years; then He revived him. He said,
"How long have you remained?" The man said, "I have remained a
day or part of a day."]
[Al-Baqarah, 2: 259]
When Allah caused that righteous man
to die for a hundred years then He resurrected him, the man was not sensible of
the time that elapsed from death to resurrection. Therefore, when Allah, all
praise and glory is to Him, asked him: ["How
long have you remained?" The man said, "I have remained a day or part
of a day."] [Al-Baqarah, 2: 259] by
analogy to the time that man usually sleeps. Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He,
then told him what means: ["Rather,
you have remained one hundred years.]
[Al-Baqarah, 2: 259]
Afterwards, Allah, be ever gloried
His Majesty and Might, wanted to manifest to him His absolute Power in two of
His creations. He showed him the food that did not change though a hundred
years passed away, still it remained as it was, neither spoiled nor did time
has any effect on it. Then, He showed him the donkey that he used to ride,
which was subjected to the law of time and it became decayed bones.
Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He,
says what means: [Look at your food and your drink; it has not changed with time.
And look at your donkey; and We will make you a sign for the people. And look
at the bones [of this donkey] – how We raise them and then We cover them with
flesh."] [Al-Baqarah, 2: 259]
The man looked at his food and found
it fresh, then he looked at his donkey and found that it died, rotted and
turned into decayed bones. In this way he saw the effect of time on his donkey,
because this could not have happened on a single day but it had to consume a
Then, Allah, all praise and glory is
to Him, showed him a sign by making him witness the return of decayed bones to
life in the resurrection of the dead donkey. On seeing this the righteous man
said (what means): ["I know that Allah is Able to do all things "] [Al-Baqarah, 2: 259]
The righteous man testified to the
Power of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, after wondering and asking
himself: how would Allah revive a village after being destroyed and all those
in it dead?
Absolute Power is manifested here in
many signs. The first among them is the death of the man for a hundred years
and resurrecting him just as he was. The second is the food that neither rotted
nor changed with the elapse of a hundred years. The third is the donkey that
became decayed bones then returned to life; a bringing of back of creation
witnessed and not unseen.
This way we become certain that time,
which is one of the creations of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, is
governed by the Will of Allah. If He wills He subjects His creatures to it in
worldly life. And if He wills He can remove His creatures out of the ruling of
time though still alive, as it happened to the People of the Cave. And if He
wills He can rule them out of time when they die, as it happened to the
righteous man. As for the dead people in the life of Barzakh there is no
time for them as substantiated by the Saying of Allah, all praise and glory is
to Him, (which means):
the Day the Hour appears the criminals will swear they had remained but an hour] [Ar-Rūm, 30: 55]
Perhaps the wrongdoers from the
beginning of creation till the Day of Resurrection stayed within their graves
for hundreds of thousands of years, and perhaps even more. In the life of Barzakh
there is not time for them. Therefore, they do not know the number of years
they have spent in their graves waiting for the Day of Resurrection.
After this we come to the meaning of
the word “day”. Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, wants to draw our
attention that He, The Most Exalted, creates whatever He wants without
restrictions. He wants us to know that time is governed by His Will. The day to
Almighty Allah differs depending on the task that will be accomplished in it or
the events that will occur on that day.
Therefore, we find in the Noble
Qur’an the Saying of Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, which means:
indeed, a day with your Lord is like a thousand years of those which you count] [Al-Hajj, 22: 47]
And His Saying:
angels and the Spirit will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of which is
fifty thousand years] [Al-Ma’ârij: 70: 4]
These two glorious Ayat which some
Orientalists used in their claim that there is contradiction in the Noble
Qur’an, wondering how a day can be a thousand years and at the same time fifty
We answer back by saying that they
simply did not understand the great faithful sign in these two Ayat. Allah, all
praise and glory is to Him, wants us to realize that He is The Creator of time,
for every event He creates for it its time.
If He wants a day a thousand years
long, He creates it. And if He wants a day fifty thousand years long,
He creates it. And if He wants a day one million years long, He
creates it. For the Power of Allah, be ever gloried His Majesty and Might, is
Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
willed that the day in worldly life should be twenty-four hours to suit
people’s life and their capacities. Human body gets tired after hours. Man
usually cannot work more than eight or ten hours, after that he needs rest to
renew his energy and work again.
Even those who work twenty-four hours
continuously they cannot challenge the nature of their creation. We find that
they need to sleep twenty-four hours continuously.
Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
is The Creator and Maker of man. He made for him daytime that equals the hours
of his working capacity and a little longer. And made for him nighttime for his
rest hours and a little longer.
This way we perceive that Allah has
created night and day to suit man’s capacitates for work and his need for rest.
Thus, from the perfection of creation is determining the hours of the day and
night as twenty-four hours.
Certainly, a sign of the perfection of
creation is that Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, creates a day the
extent of which is a thousand years. Thus Allah, The Most Exalted, creates it
and brings it into existence with the word “Be,” so that this day suits the
missions it is created for and the events that will happen on it.
If there is need for an interval of
events demanding a day fifty thousand years long to happen, Allah, Blessed and
Exalted is He, creates for them a day fifty thousand years long. And if there
need for a million years of events, Almighty Allah creates the day which is
long enough for them, so that the day lasts a million years.
But how long is the Day of
It is something unknown to us which we
cannot specify its time. But from what Allah has taught us in the Noble Qur’an
we know that the time of the Day of Resurrection will take all the events of
that Day, so that no event is postponed to another day and no event is hastened
because time has ended.
Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
created that Day long enough for the events that will take place in it, where
all people shall be gathered, each in his specified place and each will be
questioned. And the speech that Allah has disclosed to us some of its events in
the Noble Qur’an will pass. Allah has also hidden some of its events and none
but Him knows them.
Thus, we learn that the Day of
Resurrection could be hours, years, a thousand years, or a million years
depending on the events which Allah has decreed to happen in it.
But why did Allah call it a day?
For us to know that it has no tomorrow,
and that Judgment will not be carried a part of it today and the rest postponed
until tomorrow. But Judgment will continue and the scenes of the Day of Resurrection
will be exposed without pause or delay until Allah judges between people – all
people – from the time of the Prophet Adam (may Allah bless him and grant him
peace) until the people who will witness the Last Hour. All these people shall
stand before Allah and none shall escape Judgment.
Someone may ask: considering all these
billions of people since the time of the Prophet Adam (may Allah bless him and
grant him peace), how long shall it take to call them to account?
Some people think that they need
millions of years to be called to account and each read his book of deeds.
But such a question only reveals the
questioner’s limited understanding of Allah’s Power. The questioner here views
Judgment based on limited human power but the Power of Allah is infinite, is
‘Ali bin Abu Tâlib (may Allah be
pleased with him) was once asked: “How would Allah call to account all people
at the same time?” ‘Ali replied: “Just as He provides them with sustenance at
the same time?”
People also ask: “How would Allah, all
praise and glory is to Him, bring each one of us on the Day of Resurrection in
his very same worldly form and body ?” The answer is that Allah, all praise and
glory is to Him, has approximated the picture of what shall happen to our minds:
for every human has a unique fingerprint. A fact that we all surely know. Also,
every body has a unique smell.
The proof is that if we bring a
handkerchief containing the sweat of some person and we made a police dog sniff
it, it will identifies the owner of the handkerchief from among hundreds of
people present and that is because of his unique sweat smell.
Every body has its own code unrepeated
in any other person. If we transfer a member from one human body to another,
the body to which the member is transferred will reject it. The body knows
through its own unique code that such a member is foreign to it. On the other
hand, when man is injured the body starts weaving the cells that heal up the
wound. The body knows from its own body code that this member belongs to it
thus it helps it. There are other members like the liver, if a part of it is
cut off it grows again, also the hair and the nails, when cut they grow again.
Who told this human body that this
member belongs to it, consequently it worked with it just as wounds heal up
after surgeries, through a self-reactive response from the body? And who told
it that this transplanted organ is from another body so it rejected it?
Every body must have a special code in
its formation that differs from other human bodies. This code is the one
responsible for agreement or rejection. Moreover, sometimes a kidney is
transplanted from a mother to her son or daughter or vice versa, but still the
son’s body refuses the mother’s kidney and the mother’s body refuses the son’s
kidney. Does not that prove that every body has its own code unmatched in any
Does not every voice and body has its
own print, and the more science progresses the more Allah, all praise and glory
is to Him, unveils to us from the secrets of the human body. It only serves to
make us all realize that every human is distinguished from the other. In spite
of the unity of form in all humans, there is certainly no human identical to
another in the details of his creation.
Does not that alone constitute a
sufficient proof that the Power of Almighty Allah has differentiated our
construction from one another for the purpose of resurrecting each one just the
same self that existed in worldly life, to be called to account for the deeds
his hands have put forth.
Why do not we then contemplate the
Saying of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, which means: [“And on the earth are signs for the certain [in faith]. And in
yourselves. Then will you not see?”]
[Az-Zâriyât, 51: 21-22]
Thus, we have reached the conclusion
that time is but a creation of Allah, all praise and glory is to Him, Who can
remove us from the laws of time while we are still alive as happened to the
People of the Cave. Or while dead, as happened to the righteous man whom Allah
caused to die for a hundred years then He resurrected him. And that the day
with Allah has no specific time.
Allah, The Exalted and Ever-Majestic,
creates whatever He wills. He is able to create a day that lasts twenty-four
hours, or to create a day that lasts a year, or to create a day that lasts a
thousand years, or to create a day that lasts fifty thousand years or a day
that lasts a million years.
Allah, all praise and glory is to Him,
created the Day of Resurrection to comprehend all the events that shall take
place on that Day: gathering, questioning and judgment. All the events that
Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, decreed to happen shall happen on it.
Every human is distinct from the rest
of mankind in a way that resurrects him the selfsame person, with the same self
that passed the journey of worldly life.
Now it remains to examine some of what
came in the Noble Qur’an about that Day.
1 Al-Haqq: one of
the Beautiful Names of Allah.
2 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.