A Basic Aspect of Faith
The Day of Judgement is a difficult, frightening and terrifying event. On this day, Allah ﷻ the All-Just will judge human beings. Each person will stand before his Creator and be questioned about his good and bad deeds, which will be shown in vivid detail regardless of their size. On this day, all will be judged fairly, all matters will be settled, all rights will be returned and no person will be wronged. People will surely either be rewarded with paradise or be punished with hellfire.
Do they not think that they will be resurrected, For a tremendous Day – The Day when mankind will stand before the Lord of the worlds? [Surah Al-Mutafiffeen 83: 4-6]
This is the basic crux of what will happen during the day of judgement. And Muslims are required to believe in this day as it is one of the basic tenets of faith and lead their life accordingly.
The Three Stations- Death, Grave and Resurrection
Death is the first station of the hereafter where a person’s deeds come to an end. Hence, it is highly important for people to prepare for the hereafter during the time allocated for them.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him; and whoever hates to meet Allah, Allah hates to meet him.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 6508]
When death approaches a person and if he is given glad tidings that he will have the privilege and honor of meeting Allah ﷻ, he will love to meet Allah ﷻ and Allah ﷻ loves to meet him. There is nothing dear to him than what lies in front of him. Whereas, when death comes to a disbeliever, he is given tidings of wrath and punishment and hence he would hate to meet Allah ﷻ and Allah ﷻ hates to meet him.
The second station is the Grave.
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, When the funeral is ready and the men carry it on their shoulders, if the deceased was righteous it will say, ‘Present me (hurriedly),’ and if he was not righteous, it will say, ‘Woe to it (me)! Where are they taking it (me)?’ Its voice is heard by everything except man and if he heard it he would fall unconscious.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari 1314]
It is in the grave a person is tested with questions by the angels. If the deceased is a righteous believer, his righteous deeds will come and console him, his grave is made wide and expanded, some of the breeze of paradise enters and makes the grave fragrant. While it is opposite in the case of disbelievers and sinners. They experience punishments and torment in the grave before they are resurrected.
A person will get an idea about his judgement based on the events occurring during his death and in his grave. But, Allah ﷻ is the most merciful and best of all judges.
The third station is the resurrection that begins with the blow of the trumpet. It is the time when people in their graves are brought back to life and are gathered together for judgement by Allah ﷻ. All people will be in a state of panic.
That Day, the people will depart separated [into categories] to be shown [the result of] their deeds. [Surah Az-Zalzalah 99:6]
During the resurrection people will find themselves surrounded by light depending on the amount of good deeds. Also, the sun is a mile away from the human beings providing unbearable heat and people get covered in their own sweat depending on the amount of their bad deeds. Righteous people are given shade under the throne of Allah ﷻ. After intercession by our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ Allah begins the day of reckoning. People who are righteous will be reckoned accordingly and proceed to paradise easily.
They will not be grieved by the greatest terror, and the angels will meet them, [saying], “This is your Day which you have been promised” – [Surah Al-Anbiya 21:103]
There is a lot of evidence that mentions the events of the day, but it is only Allah ﷻ who holds supreme knowledge about what exactly happens that day.
Preparing For Goodness in The Hereafter
What can a person do to make his death, resurrection and the day of judgement filled with good and happy events? The best deed that can be done is belief in Allah ﷻ and performing righteous deeds.
Indeed, the believers, Jews, Sabians and Christians—whoever truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good, there will be no fear for them, nor will they grieve. [Surah Al-Maa’ida 5:69]
A Muslim’s heart that is believed in Allah ﷻ and his physical faculties did righteous deeds, he will attain safety, happiness and joy in the hereafter.
Trying to practice everything that is mentioned in the Qur’an and the sunnah, hastening to do good deeds, helping others, competing with others in doing good and righteous deeds, are included in that which brings us closer to Allah ﷻ and will bring one joy and happiness in this world and in the hereafter.
Why Believe in The Day of Judgement?
According to Islam, one of the greatest injustices humans can commit is denying the existence of Allah ﷻ, denying to worship Him, associating partners with Him or worshipping something other than Him. Islam teaches us that Allah ﷻ is our Creator, Sustainer and Nourisher and in order to show our gratitude and obedience and to attain His love and mercy we need to believe in Him and worship Him sincerely. While our man-made judicial systems punish people for injustice, it is understandable that Allah ﷻ our creator punishes those who deny Him and deny worshipping Him.
Belief in the soul and afterlife gives context to our current existence. Those who miss out this context, become heedless about the purpose of life. Allah ﷻ reminds us in the Qur’an,
This worldly life is no more than play and amusement. But the Hereafter is indeed the real life, if only they knew. [Surah Al-Ankabut 29:64]
Only people who believe in the afterlife, are guided with certainty that they will be returned to Allah ﷻ and will live a life preparing to stand before their creator, held accountable for their deeds.