The day of judgement and the life in the hereafter
The Day of
In the Light of the
Submitted to: Dr. Hifz -ur -
The belief in the day of judgement and in an afterlife are a part of the core beliefs of the Islamic
faith. They are a part of what scholars term as the articles of faith along with belief in Allah (the
God), God's Angels, God's Messengers, God's Books and Qadr or predestination.
The word Qiyamah which means Resurrection, occurs 68 times in the Quran and refers to the
Last Day, the Day of Judgement, when every human being will perish and will be raised up or
resurrected to answer for his deeds in this temporary life on earth. The word Hereafter (its
Arabic counterparts such as Aakhira) appears in the Quran 118 times and refers to the rewards
and punishments that each human will receive on the Day of Judgement according to his deeds;
an eternal life in the gardens of Heaven or an everlasting albeit torturous life in the fires of hell.
The fact that the Day of Judgement and the life after death are mentioned several times in the
Quran is an indication of the importance of the belief in them. The Quran serves as a final
warning to the wrongdoers, the disbelievers, that this life on earth is temporary and that they
will dwell in Hell in the hereafter if they do not change their sinful ways.
Death and the Lesser Judgement:
Every living creature is destined to die. That is the natural law. To the Muslims this is the law of
Allah(swt). Hence human beings are no exception. Death is the termination of ordinary human
In Islam, death is the common destiny willed by Allah(swt) for all living things. For Human
Beings, Death is the gate through which they enter Barzakh, a temporary state between the
earthly life and the immortal one of the hereafter. The onset of death is usually conceived in
terms of a personal encounter with the angel of death that is dispatched by the Allah(swt).
Death is the separation of the human soul from its physical shell i.e. the human body. It is on
the Last Day that the soul and the body are merged for the Greater Judgement and subsequent
sorting into Heaven or Hell. But until the Day of Resurrection, the soul remains in Barzakh. In
the grave or in the state of Barzakh, the individuals are subjected to a lesser judgement by the
Angels Munkar and Nakir and are given a preview of the Hereafter.
Death confirms the temporary nature of this world and this life and The Quran says:
“Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day
of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has
attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.”
The signs of Qiyamah or the arrival of the Last Day:
The Quran ,while mentioning the Last Day,does not say when exactly will it occur. The True
Hour of the Day of Judgement is known only to Allah and the Quran reiterates this fact many
“They ask you about the Hour, When will it come to pass?
Wherein art thou (concerned) with the declaration thereof?
With thy Lord is the limit fixed therefore.”
“Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour …….”
“Indeed, the Hour is coming - I almost conceal it - so that every soul may be recompensed
according to that for which it strives.”
The fact that only Allah(swt) knows the when Qiyamah will come to pass is meant to show us
that Allah(swt) is all Knowing and all powerful.
The signs of Qiyamah are broadly divided into two categories:
The disappearance of knowledge and the appearance of ignorance
Books/writing will be widespread and (religious) knowledge will be low
The consumption of intoxicants will be widespread
Women outnumber men
Sudden death becomes a common occurrence
The ignorant and the oppressors become leaders
The above mentioned signs are just a few among many that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon
him) mentioned and explained during his Lifetime. The Quran does not contain information
regarding the minor signs.
The emergence of the Mahdi
The advent of Dajjal – the antichrist/ the false messiah, the greatest fitna to
befall the Muslim Ummah.
The appearance of Gog and Magog
The return of the true messiah – Hazrat Isa
The Quran says:
“And indeed, Jesus will be [a sign for] knowledge of the Hour, so be not in doubt of it, and
follow Me. This is a straight path.”
The rising of the Sun in the West
The Quran says:
“The day when some signs of your Lord will come, no good will it do to a person to believe
then, if he believed not before, nor earned good (by performing deeds of righteousness)
through his faith."
Majority of Islamic scholars and commentators believe that this verse refers to
the rising of the sun from the west which is the point, from where on, the good
deeds committed will account for nothing in the final judgement.
The above mentioned are a few of the major signs of the Qiyamah. The Quran does not address
the majority of the major signs of the Qiyamah and so muslims rely upon the Hadith of the
Prophet (peace be upon him) for guidance in this matter.
The Events of the day of Qiyamah:
When all the signs of Qiyamah have come to pass, the Quran says that we should have no
doubt of the nearness of the Qiyamah. The Quran informs us that the Qiyamah will occur at a
time when it will be least expected while emphasizing that the exact hour is known only to
Allah. The Quran describes the events of the Day of Judgement in stunning detail.
The Last Day will begin with the blowing of the trumpet or horn by the angel Israfil. The Quran
“And the Horn will be blown. That is the Day of [carrying out] the threat.”
“Then when the Horn is blown with one blast.
And the earth and the mountains are lifted and leveled with one blow
Then on that Day, the Resurrection will occur….”
When the Horn is blown, the earth will begin to quiver and shake violently. The mountains will
shatter and turn to dust and become like pieces of ‘wool’ scattered about. The oceans will boil
over. The sky will take on the color of ‘murky oil’ i.e. it will be covered in darkness. The moon
and the sun will be in darkness. The earth as we know it will cease to exist. The people will
begin to run around senselessly , fearing for his or her life and eventually all the living creatures
The Quran describes the scenario:
“On the Day the sky will be like murky oil,
And the mountains will be like wool,….”
“And when the seas are filled with flame.” (At-takwir 81:6)
“O mankind, fear your Lord. Indeed, the convulsion of the [final] Hour is a terrible thing. On
the Day you see it every nursing mother will be distracted from that [child] she was nursing,
and every pregnant woman will abort her pregnancy, and you will see the people [appearing]
intoxicated while they are not intoxicated; but the punishment of Allah is severe.”
The trumpet will then be blown a second time and resurrection will occur. Alameen
(humankind, the Jinn, and all other living beings) will be gathered upon a vast, white,
featureless ground, under intense heat of the Sun overhead. They will be naked, uncircumcised
and crowded together to the point where some are submerged in their own sweat, as in the
beginning of creation. The degree to which one is submerged in sweat depends on the extent of
one's piety and goodness. The faces of those who did good deeds and followed the Five Pillars
of Islam in their daily lives will be nadirah (shining and radiant). On the other hand, the faces of
disbelievers will be basirah (dark, sad and frowning). One by one each being will be brought
before Allah(swt) to be judged. No one will be above reproach. The people will look around to
find someone to intercede on their behalf but they will find no one to do so. Only the Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) will be allowed to intercede on behalf of the world. Evidence
will be presented against or in favor of each being.
The Quran also says that the beings will be given their respective book of deeds. Those given in
the right hands will have their place in heaven and those who will receive theirs’ on the left
hand will be cast into hell:
“So as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will say,
‘Here, read my record!
Indeed, I was certain that I would be meeting my account.’
So he will be in a pleasant life -
In an elevated garden,
Its [fruit] to be picked hanging near.
[They will be told], ‘Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past.’
But as for he who is given his record in his left hand, he will say, ‘Oh, I wish I had not been
given my record
And had not known what is my account.
I wish my death had been the decisive one.
My wealth has not availed me.
Gone from me is my authority.’
[ Allah will say], ‘Seize him and shackle him.
Then into Hellfire drive him.
Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits insert him.’”
After Judgement(also the yum al aakhira) all men and women will be made to cross over a deep
abyss, whence the flames of Jahannam (Hell) leap up, on as-Sirāt, a thorny bridge so thin that it
cannot be seen. It is said in Hadith that crossing the bridge is such a difficult task, because the
bridge is as thick as one seventh strand of hair, and as sharp as the edge of a sword. The
believers and those destined for Jannah are able to cross quickly and safely, seeing it as a thick
stone bridge, whereas others fall off this hair-thin bridge into Jahannam.
Surahs such as those mentioned above provide more detail on the proceedings on the day of
Heaven and Hell:
The Quran describes Heaven in the following words:
“The parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised! Beneath it flow rivers.
Perpetual is the fruits thereof and the shade therein. Such is the End of the Righteous…”
The inhabitants of heaven will lead lives of comfort. They will have full access to the riches of
heavens as described above.
The inhabitants of hell and heaven will both be arranged according to rank. The highest level in
paradise being ‘Firdaus’ and the lowest level in hell being ‘Hawiyah’.
The Quran describes Hell in the following words:
“...Enough is Hell for a burning fire. Those who reject Our Signs, We shall soon cast into the
Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that
they may taste the penalty…..”
(An Nisa’ 4:55-56)
The Quran describes the following punishments for the inhabitants of hell: the burning of skin,
only to be replaced for reburning, garments of fire to be worn, and boiling water will scald the
skin and internal organs, faces on fire, lips burnt off, backs on fire, roasting from side to side,
faces dragged along fire, bound in yokes then dragged through boiling water and fire.