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Belief in the Last Day is one of the six articles of faith in Islam that Muslims must believe in. All Muslims must have total faith in the eventuality of the Day of Resurrection. Many Hadith outline the necessity of belief in the Day of Judgment (Qiyamah). Various Quranic verses also describe what will happen on the Day of Judgment, showing Muslims how important it is for us to understand this aspect.
Allah says in Surah al-Baqarah that righteousness doesn’t mean to turn our faces to either side. Instead, the truly righteous person is the one who believes in Allah, the Last Days, His angels, the books He revealed, and His prophets.
In a well-known Hadith (Bukhari), the Prophet (PBUH) was sitting with a group of people. An angel arrived in their midst, and it was Jibreel. He asked them about faith. The Prophet (PBUH) said that faith was to believe in Allah, His angels, the meeting with Allah, the messengers, and the Resurrection.
Belief in the Last Day is an integral part of a Muslim believer’s faith in Allah. We can further divide this belief into three parts.
Belief in the Resurrection on the Last Day
After the angel Israfeel blows the horn for the first time, the world and everything in it will come to an end. Then, he will blow the horn once again, and humans will resurrect from their graves. By the will and power of Allah, He will bring everyone back to life once again. The Master of the Day of Judgment will then assemble all the humans as they await His judgment.
The Prophet (PBUH) described the scene that will unfold on that day. The people will assemble without any belongings. They will have no clothes, shoes, etc., and they will be uncircumcised and naked. The circumstances of the Last Day will be such that no one will even notice what is happening around him or her. Everyone will focus on themselves because of the test in front of them. There is no doubt about the reality of the Resurrection, and we must affirm it.
Allah narrates in Surah al-Anbiya that He will repeat creation, as He began it, meaning He will bring everyone to life once again. He says that this is a promise, which is binding upon him.
In another verse in Surah al-Muminun, Allah says that humans will face death. Then, He will resurrect them on the Last Day.
Belief in the Reckoning on the Day of Judgment (Qiyamah)
Allah will only hold people responsible for their actions. He will reward and punish humans as needed, based on their actions. We must know this as it can have a significant impact on the way we live our lives. People must be aware that they will eventually be answerable in front of Allah. Belief in the reckoning on the Last Day helps Muslims fear Allah and always seek whatever pleases Him alone.
Allah says in Surah al-Ghashiyah that our return is to Him alone. Our account is also wholly in His hands.
Belief in the reckoning is a core fundamental belief in Islam that we must be aware of. If we deny this, we negate the purpose of life itself. Allah created humans to worship Him and to obey His laws, so that he may pass judgment on the Day of Judgment. If there is no reckoning, all our acts are of no consequence, and that does not fit in with Allah’s perfect wisdom.
Belief in Paradise and Hell
Closely connected to reckoning is the belief in Paradise and Hell, all critical components of the Last Day. After Allah passes judgment on humans, He decides who is worthy of Heaven or Paradise and who deserves to go to Hell. Allah’s Justice is the most perfect of all, and He cannot be unjust. Hence, whatever He decides for each person is what that person deserves.
Allah says in Surah az-Zalzalah that anyone who does an atom’s weight of good will see that, and anyone who does an atom’s weight of evil will also see it.
He also says in Surah al-Bayyinah that those who believe in Him and do good deeds are the best of creation. Allah says that their rewards will be gardens under which rivers flow where they will reside for an infinite period. Allah is pleased with such people.
In Surah al-Jinn, Allah says that whoever disobeyed Him or His messengers will be headed to the Hellfire, where they will remain forever.
Events that will take place on the Day of Judgment (Qiyamat)
Many things will happen on the Last Day, also known as the Day of Recompense.
The Last Day will last for 50,000 years
After Allah resurrects humans on the Day of Judgment, they will await Allah’s decision. Everyone will be standing close to the sun, hot, and the day will be as long as 50,000 years (Abu Dawud). Humans will be in a state of worry and dread about what is to follow, hoping that Allah spares them for their misdeeds and has mercy upon them.
The Prophet (PBUH) said (Muslim) that the sun would be a short distance away from people on the Last Day. He said that people would be sinking in perspiration in accordance with their deeds. Some would be in ankle-deep, while the sweat may rise to others’ thighs, or indeed as high as their mouths.
Allah will grant Muhammad (S) intercession
The Prophet (PBUH) narrated (Bukhari) that he will fall down in prostration in front of Allah on the Day of Judgment (Qiyamat). He said that Allah would let him do that as long as He wished, then He would tell the Prophet (S) to ask for what he wanted. Allah would answer his prayers and accept his intercessions.
Allah will then reveal people’s fate
At this point, Allah will tell people where they are headed. Those who receive the record in their rights hands are those whom Allah blesses with Jannah, i.e., Paradise. The ones who receive it in their left hands are those Allah deems fit for Jahannum, i.e., Hellfire.
Allah documents this incident of the Last Day in Surah al-Haqqah. He says that the one who gets the record in his right hand will be pleased, and would say that he knew that his deeds would be accounted for. Allah describes how this person will be able to then enjoy life in a garden with fruits hanging nearby. He says that He will tell those people to eat and drink and satisfy themselves.
Allah then narrates the wretched fate of the people who get the record in their left hands. The person will wish that he wasn’t given his record or told what it contained. The person will lament and wish that his death has been final. He will wail that his wealth did him no good, and he has no authority. Allah will then tell (the angels) to seize the person, shackle them, and put them into Hell’s roaring fire.
The scales of justice
The deeds that people did will then be weighed on a scale on the Last Day. For the people who have good deeds outweighing their evil deeds, there will be prosperity and success. Some people will have their bad deeds outweighing the good, and they will be among the losers. Allah says in Surah al-Anbiya that he will place the scales of justice on the Day of Judgment so that no soul will face any injustice. Allah says that He will bring forth any and every deed, even if it’s only equivalent to a mustard seed in weight.
Crossing over the Siraat Bridge
The final stage contains a bridge that Allah positioned above Hell. This bridge leads to Paradise. The believers who lived life as Allah asked them to will be the one who will cross it successfully and without difficulty. Some will face trouble while they pass it, while others will falter and fall to their abode. The pious believers will reside in Paradise. Meanwhile, disbelievers will be consigned to the horrors of Hell. Allah may also send some people to Hell for a limited period.
Allah describes the reward for the pious in Surah al-Kahf. He says that the believers will reside in gardens beneath which rivers flow. They will also be able to adorn themselves with luxurious things such as gold bracelets, silk garments, etc., and they will recline on comfortable couches. Allah says that this is an excellent reward.
Believers will be able to see Allah
Allah does not allow humans to see him in this life. He reserved this honor for the Day of Judgment. It is also not an honor that Allah will grant to everyone. Allah will only allow those who are among the pious believers to see him. This will be the most significant thing that Muslims will experience in the afterlife. Allah says in Surah al-Qiyamah that these fortunate people will have radiant faces on the Last Day as they gaze at their Lord.