Yaum Al-Qiyâmah يوم القيامة (literally, "Day of the Resurrection") is the Arabic name for Judgement Day. It is given in the Qur'an and the Hadith, along with several other names for that day, each describing a characteristic of that day. It is also known as "the hour" and "the day of the account," whereupon each person is made to account for his or her deeds and is judged by God. Other names for the Qiyâmah (in translation) include "the day of the gathering," "the day of the Account," and "the Hour."
Belief in carnal material resurrection and in a Judgement Day is a fundamental tenet of faith in Islam, and is required of every Muslim. According to this belief, at an unknown time, when people least expect it, God will give permission for the Qiyâmah to begin. The world will be destroyed, or folded, and the dead will rise from their graves and gather in wait to be judged for their deeds. Accounts of judgement day in the primary texts of Islam are prolific and the summary that follows is necessarily incomplete.
The trials and tribulations of that day are given in both the primary texts of Islam, the Qur'an and the Hadith, as well as in the commentaries of the expositors and scholarly authorities such as al-Ghazali, ibn-Kathir , and many others, who explain them in detail.
According to these accounts, humankind, the Jinn, and other creatures (such as animals), will be gathered upon a vast, white, featureless ground, under the intense heat of a sun just overhead. They will be crowded together, to the point where some are submerged in their own sweat. The degree to which one is submerged in sweat depends on the extent of his or her piety and goodness. Humans will be unclothed, but the anxiety and fear of the situation will be so great that no one would think to look at another's nudity. The creatures thus wait to be brought before God for their judgement. Even the angels are fearful, as some hadiths state that on that day, God will be angrier than on any other day that precedes or follows it.
Either during this wait, or during the judgement itself, people will encounter their deeds or suffer punishments for their deeds in material, personified form. For instance, artists would be made to face their own creations and challenged to infuse each with a soul.
Idols will assert that only God is Lord, and that they were wrongfully worshipped. The Qur'an and Hadith explicitly state that the prophet Jesus will also deny that he claimed he was Lord.
The personified appearance of things that are not normally considered anthropomorphic is a recurrent motif in the reports regarding the hereafter . For instance, in the grave one is said to face either a reassuring man, (his or her good deeds) or a foul-looking creature (his or her bad deeds). Again, this recurs in the subject of the Qiyâmah. For instance, the Qu'ran appears as an anthropomorphic being that greets those who loved it in their lives and offers them some solace. In the same vein, accounts in the primary Islamic literature mention that at some point (perhaps after creatures are confined to either paradise or hell) Death will be brought forth and slain, and a proclamation that there is no more death will be sounded.
The Qu'ran mentions the duration of the day of judgement as 50,000 years. Humans will be so fearful on this "day" that the prophets themselves will repeatedly address God with the phrase sallim, sallim, or spare, spare that is, "spare your followers, O God." People will beseech the prophets to intercede on their behalf, but one by one, the prophets will decline to do so, and will point to the prophet Muhammad, who will intercede on his nation's behalf.
Believers will be led by the prophet Muhammad to a vast basin or lake-fount called al-kawthar الكوثر, where their thirst will be sated with a white-colored drink that tastes like sweetened milk; whosoever drinks it, never thirsts thereafter. In one hadith al-kawthar is said to be a river of paradise (al-bukhari,book 76,hadith 583.) sahih al-bokhari, in book 76 (the book of tenderness), the chapter on the basin contains at least 14 hadiths about it.
Islam also addresses the question of whether believers will be able to see God on that day. According to one or more Hadith classified as sahîh (trustworthy), God will reveal a "leg" or "shin" for the believers. Again, classical commentators prefer the safe route of interpreting that Hadith as neither literal nor figurative, but most if not all agree that it answers the question in the affirmative: believers will see God. Another Hadith states that believers will be able to see their Lord, just as we are able to see the sun or the moon in the sky. When God reveals Himself to the faithful, a Hadith states that those who during their life would not pray of their own free will will be made to fall on their backs.
During judgement, a man's or a woman's own book of deeds will be opened, and they will be apprised of every action they did and every word they spoke. Actions taken during childhood are not judged. The account of deeds is so detailed that the man or woman will wonder at how comprehensive the account is, that even minor and trivial deeds are included. If one denies a deed he or she committed, or refuses to acknowledge it, his or her own body parts will testify against him or her (for example, the hands, feet, legs, eyes, and tongue will testify to the deed being denied).
Throughout judgement, however, the underlying principle is that of a complete and perfect justice administered by God. The accounts of judgement are also replete with the emphasis that God is merciful and forgiving, and that mercy and forgiveness will be granted on that day insofar as it is merited.
This is similar to some Protestant theologies that state that salvation is by the grace of God, and not by deeds. Islam, however, emphasizes that grace does not conflict with perfect justice.
Animals are also judged, but separately, and they are avenged from humans and other animals. They are then made to perish. The animals (or other creatures) in paradise are thus different than the animals of our world.
There is indication also that nations are collectively called to account for their deeds. And there are Hadiths that indicate that on judgement day people are made to join the races or communities with which they associated themselves, which points to a definition of society in ideological not racial terms.
Each man and woman, after judgement, is made to cross over a deep abyss, whence the flames of hell leap up, on a thorny bridge so thin that it cannot be seen. The bridge is called al-Sirât (الصراط).
The believers and those destined for paradise are able to cross quickly and safely, whereas others fall off this hair-thin bridge into hell.
Concerning the matter of reward or Heaven (paradise) and punishment Hell, there is the subject of the Intercession (الشفاعة). Hadiths classified as sahih state that the prophet Muhammad will be allowed to intercede on the behalf of his nation. Furthermore, a believer will be allowed to plead for members of his family and for his loved ones. Throughout the discourse regarding the ultimate destiny, the consistent tenet is that being sent to paradise or to hell is a matter in God's hands alone (or, in Christian parlance, a matter determined by grace). God is thus the ultimate arbiter and judge as to who remains in hell and who is rescued from it. The particulars of this subject are far beyond the scope of this article.
In one Hadith, it is related that after the Intercession of the prophet Muhammad (SAWS,) God himself intercedes, ordering his angels to fetch out of hell any who sincerely professed that "there is no God but Allah" during their lives, who have this shahâda (testament) in their hearts, repeatedly until the angels are ordered to return and find anyone with even an atom's measure of goodness in his or her heart, to rescue him or her from hell. Those who have associated others with God in worship, or have ascribed Godhood to other than God are not rescued from hell but remain in it eternally. After the Intercession, life for humans resumes, either in paradise (al-firdaus) or in hell. There is no specification of how long those who are rescued from hell must first spend there.
Accounts in the hadith
There are nine major collections of hadith in canonical islamic literature, and many more smaller collections that are mostly abridged or excerpted editions deriving from the nine.
Of the nine major collections, only two contain exclusively sahîh (literally true, correct) hadîth - those hadîth which muslim scholarly consensus accepts as having the highest degree of authenticity and are thus trustworthy. One is compiled by imam al-Bokharî, and the other compiled by imam Muslim; they are thus known as Sahîh al-Bokharî and Sahîh Muslim.
al-Bukhâri's collection of hadith sahih al-bokhâri alone contains at least 221 hadiths referring to the day of resurrection. What follows are some of those reports taken only from the two collections of sahih hadith, i.e., these are Sahîh al-bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim.
One day while the Prophet was sitting in the company of some people, (The angel) Gabriel came and asked, "What is faith?" Allah's Apostle replied, 'Faith is to believe in Allah, His angels, (the) meeting with Him, His Apostles, and to believe in Resurrection." Then he further asked, "What is Islam?" Allah's Apostle replied, "To worship Allah Alone and none else, to offer prayers perfectly to pay the compulsory charity (Zakat) and to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan." Then he further asked, "What is Ihsan (perfection; literally, charity or goodness)?" Allah's Apostle replied, "To worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you cannot achieve this state of devotion then you must consider that He is looking at you." Then he further asked, "When will the Hour be established?" Allah's Apostle replied, "The answerer has no better knowledge than the questioner. But I will inform you about its portents; when a slave (lady) gives birth to her master; when the shepherds of black camels start boasting and competing with others in the construction of higher buildings. And the Hour is one of five things which nobody knows except Allah. The Prophet then recited: "Verily, with Allah (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour--." (31. 34) Then that man (Gabriel) left and the Prophet asked his companions to call him back, but they could not see him. Then the Prophet said, "That was Gabriel who came to teach the people their religion." Abu 'Abdullah said: He (the Prophet) considered all that as a part of faith.
- Sahih al-bokhâri, book 2 "book of faith", number 47.
It was asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Who will be the most joyful person to gain your intercession on the Day of Resurrection?" Allah's Apostle said: O Abu Huraira! "I have thought that none will ask me about it before you as I know your concern for the (learning of) Hadiths. The luckiest person who will have my intercession on the Day of Resurrection will be the one who said sincerely from the bottom of his heart "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah." [lâ ilâh illâ Allâh] - Sahih al-bokhâri, book 3 "book of learning or knowledge", number 97 (98 in another edition).
We were in the company of the Prophet at a banquet and a cooked (mutton) forearm was set before him, and he used to like it. He ate a morsel of it and said, "I will be the chief of all the people on the Day of Resurrection. Do you know how Allah will gather all the first and the last (people) in one level place where an observer will be able to see (all) of them and they will be able to hear the announcer, and the sun will come near to them. Some People will say: Don't you see, in what condition you are and the state to which you have reached? Why don't you look for a person who can intercede for you with your Lord? Some people will say: Appeal to your father, Adam.' They will go to him and say: 'O Adam! You are the father of all mankind, and Allah created you with His Own Hands, and ordered the angels to prostrate for you, and made you live in Paradise. Will you not intercede for us with your Lord? Don't you see in what (miserable) state we are, and to what condition we have reached?' On that Adam will reply, 'My Lord is so angry as He has never been before and will never be in the future; (besides), He forbade me (to eat from) the tree, but I disobeyed (Him), (I am worried about) myself! Myself! Go to somebody else; go to Noah.' They will go to Noah and say; 'O Noah! You are the first amongst the messengers of Allah to the people of the earth, and Allah named you a thankful slave. Don't you see in what a (miserable) state we are and to what condition we have reached? Will you not intercede for us with your Lord? Noah will reply: 'Today my Lord has become so angry as he had never been before and will never be in the future Myself! Myself! Go to the Prophet (Muhammad). The people will come to me, and I will prostrate myself underneath Allah's Throne. Then I will be addressed: 'O Muhammad! Raise your head; intercede, for your intercession will be accepted, and ask (for anything). for you will be given. " - Sahih al-bokhâri, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 556.
- Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet said, "You will be gathered (on the Day of Judgment), bare-footed, naked and not circumcised." He then recited:--'As We began the first creation, We, shall repeat it: A Promise We have undertaken: Truly we shall do it.' (21.104) He added, "The first to be dressed on the Day of Resurrection, will be Abraham, and some of my companions will be taken towards the left side (i.e. to the (Hell) Fire), and I will say: 'My companions! My companions!' It will be said: 'They renegade from Islam after you left them.' Then I will say as the Pious slave of Allah (i.e. Jesus) said. 'And I was a witness Over them while I dwelt amongst them. When You took me up You were the Watcher over them, And You are a witness to all things. If You punish them. They are Your slaves And if You forgive them, Verily you, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise." (5.117-118)
- Sahih al-bokhâri, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 568.
in another narration: Narrated Ibn Abbas: Allah's Apostle said, "You will be resurrected (and assembled) bare-footed, naked and uncircumcised." The Prophet then recited the Divine Verse:-- "As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it: A promise We have undertaken. Truly we shall do it." (21.104) He added, "The first to be dressed will be Abraham. Then some of my companions will take to the right and to the left. I will say: 'My companions! 'It will be said, 'They had been renegades since you left them.' I will then say what the Pious Slave Jesus, the son of Mary said: 'And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them; when You did take me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if you forgive them, You, only You are the All-Mighty the All-Wise.' " (5.117-118) Narrated Quaggas, "Those were the apostates who renegade from Islam during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr who fought them". - Sahih al-bokhâri, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 656.
- Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:
The Prophet said, "Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection), 'O Adam.' Adam will reply, 'Labbaik wa Sa'daik', and all the good is in Your Hand.' Allah will say: 'Bring out the people of the fire.' Adam will say: 'O Allah! How many are the people of the Fire?' Allah will reply: 'From every one thousand, take out nine-hundred-and ninety-nine.' At that time children will become hoary headed, every pregnant female will have a miscarriage, and one will see mankind as drunken, yet they will not be drunken, but dreadful will be the Wrath of Allah." The companions of the Prophet asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Who is that (excepted) one?" He said, "Rejoice with glad tidings; one person will be from you and one-thousand will be from Gog and Magog." The Prophet further said, "By Him in Whose Hands my life is, hope that you will be one-fourth of the people of Paradise." We shouted, "Allahu Akbar!" He added, "I hope that you will be one-third of the people of Paradise." We shouted, "Allahu Akbar!" He said, "I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise." We shouted, "Allahu Akbar!" He further said, "You (Muslims) (compared with non Muslims) are like a black hair in the skin of a white ox or like a white hair in the skin of a black ox (i.e. your number is very small as compared with theirs)." - Sahih al-bokhâri, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 567.
- Narrated Abu Huraira: A Muslim and a Jew quarreled. The Muslim taking an oath, said, "By Him Who has preferred Muhammad over all people...!" The Jew said, "By Him Who has preferred Moses, over all people." The Muslim raised his hand and slapped the Jew who came to the Prophet to tell him what had happened between him and the Muslim. The Prophet said, "Don't give me superiority over Moses, for the people will become unconscious (on the Day of Resurrection) and I will be the first to gain consciousness to see Moses standing and holding a side of Allah's Throne. I will not know if he has been among those people who have become unconscious; and that he has gained consciousness before me, or he has been amongst those whom Allah has exempted."
- Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 620.
In another narration of this report: Narrated Abu Huraira: Once while a Jew was selling something, he was offered a price that he was not pleased with. So, he said, "No, by Him Who gave Moses superiority over all human beings!" Hearing him, an Ansari man got up and slapped him on the face and said, "You say: By Him Who Gave Moses superiority over all human beings although the Prophet (Muhammad) is present amongst us!" The Jew went to the Prophet and said, "O Abu-l-Qasim! I am under the assurance and contract of security, so what right does so-and-so have to slap me?" The Prophet asked the other, "Why have you slapped". He told him the whole story. The Prophet became angry, till anger appeared on his face, and said, "Don't give superiority to any prophet amongst Allah's Prophets, for when the trumpet will be blown, everyone on the earth and in the heavens will become unconscious except those whom Allah will exempt. The trumpet will be blown for the second time and I will be the first to be resurrected to see Moses holding Allah's Throne. I will not know whether the unconsciousness which Moses received on the Day of Tur has been sufficient for him, or has he got up before me. And I do not say that there is anybody who is better than Yunus bin Matta." - Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 626.
a third narration: Narrated Abu Said: The Prophet said, 'People will be struck unconscious on the Day of Resurrection and I will be the first to regain consciousness, and behold! There I will see Moses holding one of the pillars of Allah's Throne. I will wonder whether he has become conscious before me of he has been exempted, because of his unconsciousness at the Tur (mountain) which he received (on the earth)." - Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 610.
The Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection Abraham will meet his father Azar whose face will be dark and covered with dust.(The Prophet Abraham will say to him): 'Didn't I tell you not to disobey me?' His father will reply: 'Today I will not disobey you.' 'Abraham will say: 'O Lord! You promised me not to disgrace me on the Day of Resurrection; and what will be more disgraceful to me than cursing and dishonoring my father?' Then Allah will say (to him):' 'I have forbidden Paradise for the disbelievers." Then he will be addressed, 'O Abraham! Look! What is underneath your feet?' He will look and there he will see a Dhabh (an animal,) blood-stained, which will be caught by the legs and thrown in the (Hell) Fire." - Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 581.
One day some meat was given to the Prophet and he said, "On the Day of Resurrection Allah will gather all the first and the last (people) in one plain, and the voice of the announcer will reach all of them, and one will be able to see them all, and the sun will come closer to them." (The narrator then mentioned the narration of intercession): "The people will go to Abraham and say: 'You are Allah's Prophet and His Khalil on the earth. Will you intercede for us with your Lord?' Abraham will then remember his lies and say: 'Myself! Myself! Go to Moses." - Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 569.
Allah's Apostle said, "Noah and his nation will come (on the Day of Resurrection and Allah will ask (Noah), "Did you convey (the Message)?' He will reply, 'Yes, O my Lord!' Then Allah will ask Noah's nation, 'Did Noah convey My Message to you?' They will reply, 'No, no prophet came to us.' Then Allah will ask Noah, 'Who will stand a witness for you?' He will reply, 'Muhammad and his followers (will stand witness for me).' So, I and my followers will stand as witnesses for him (that he conveyed Allah's Message)." That is, (the interpretation) of the Statement of Allah: "Thus we have made you a just and the best nation that you might be witnesses Over mankind .." (2.143) - Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 55 "accounts of the prophets", number 555.
- Narrated Nu`aym Al-Mujmir:
Once I went up the roof of the mosque, along with Abu Huraira. He perform ablution and said, "I heard the Prophet saying, "On the Day of Resurrection, my followers will be called "Al-Ghurr-ul-Muhajjalun" from the trace of ablution and whoever can increase the area of his radiance should do so (i.e. by performing ablution regularly).' " [ghurrah refers to a white patch on a horse's forehead, and tahjîl refers to whiteness on a horse's legs, the term in the hadith refers to the shining whiteness of the believers from the trace of ablutions they performed during their lives - from Sharh albârî.] - Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 4 "Ablution", number 133 (138 in another edition).
The Prophet said, "A wound which a Muslim receives in Allah's cause will appear on the Day of Resurrection as it was at the time of infliction; blood will be flowing from the wound and its color will be that of the blood but will smell like musk."
- Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 4 "Ablution", number 238.
- on the subject of the prophet's Intercession:
Volume 1, Book 7, Number 331: Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "I have been given five things which were not given to any one else before me. 1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey; 2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due; 3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me; 4. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection); 5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind.
- Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 7 "Tayammum (Rubbing hands and feet with dust)", number 331.
Um Habiba and Um Salama mentioned about a church they had seen in Ethiopia in which there were pictures. They told the Prophet about it, on which he said, "If any religious man dies amongst those people they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it. They will be the worst creature in the sight of Allah on the Day of Resurrection."
- Sahîh al-bokhârî, book 8 "Prayers", number 409 (419 in the USC MSA database).
- The Holy Quran
- al-Bokhârî, sahîh al-bokhârî (hadith collection)
- fath al-bârî fî sharh sahîh al-bokhârî (hadith collection)
- Al-Ghazâli, Ihya' `Olôm al-dîn (Revival of religious sciences)
Last updated: 10-08-2005 12:24:47