Chapter 7: Belief In the Last Day

The Last Day is the Day when mankind will be resurrected to be asked about their deeds and receive reward or punishment for them. It is called “the Last Day,” because it is the last day, no day after that. Afterwards, people of Paradise will permanently reside and take their places in it, and people of Hell will permanently reside and take their places in it.

Belief In The Last Day Has Three Parts

1. To believe in the Resurrection. – The Resurrection happens when the Horn will be blown for the second time. Afterwards, mankind will be resurrected to face the questioning by the Lord of the worlds. They will neither be wearing shoes nor circumcised, and they will be naked and visible to others on this state, (however, everyone will be absolutely preoccupied with what they are going to face and the hardship of the Day of Resurrection). Allah said, what translated means, “As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it, (it is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it.” [21:104].

The Resurrection is a true event that the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the consensus of Muslims have confirmed. Allah said, what translated means, “After that, surely you will die. Then (again), surely, you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection.” [23:15-16]. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, what translated means, “On the Day of Resurrection, Mankind wilt be resurrected while they are bear-footed and naked.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

The Muslims are unanimous on confirming the Day of Resurrection. This is the wisdom of Allah, for He decreed that creation will have a day of reckoning for their deeds after He sent them Messengers to inform them of His Commandments. He said, what translated means, “Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” [23:115] and, “Verily, He Who has given you (O Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam)) the Qur’aan will surely bring you back to the Ma’ad (place of return).” [28:85].

2. To believe in the Reckoning – In the Last Day, the slave will be rewarded or punished for his deeds. This fact was also confirmed by the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the consensus of Muslims. Allah said, what translated means, “Verily, to Us will be their return. Then verily, for Us will be their Reckoning.” [88:25-26], “Whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit, and whoever brings an evil deed shall have only the recompense of the like thereof and they will not be wronged.” [6:160] and, “And We shall set up balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it And Sufficient are We as Reckoners.” [21:47].

The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, what translated means, “Allah will bring the believer closer to Him, and will shield him form being exposed (for his evil deeds in front of everyone). He will say: ‘Do you remember such and such (evil) deed? Do you remember such and such (evil) deed?’ He will say: ‘Yes, O my Lord!’ When He gets his confessions for his evil deeds, and he (the salve) thinks that he is close to destruction, he will say: ‘I have preserved you (from being exposed in front of others for these evil deeds) during your lifetime. Today, I forgive them for you.’ Then, he will be given his record of deeds. As for the disbelievers and the hypocrites, they will be called in public: ‘These are the ones who lied on their Lord (did not follow His Guidance sent down with their Prophets). Therefore, Allah’s curse will befall the unjust ones.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

And,“Whoever intends to perform a good deed, and performs it, Allah will record it for him as ten deeds, to seven hundredfold, to many more folds. Whoever intends to commit and evil deed, and commits it, Allah will record it as one evil deed.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

Muslims are unanimous that the Day of Reckoning will come. This is the Wisdom of Allah. He revealed the Books, sent down the Messengers and commanded that they be accepted, followed and obeyed. He commanded that whoever oppose them (the Books and the Messengers) are to be fought. He permitted shedding their blood, and the seizure of their children, women and possessions. If there will not be a Day of Reckoning, then this Commandment will be time wasted. Allah is immune form such joyful play. “Then surely, We shall question those (people) to who it (the Book) was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers. Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We were not absent.’ [7:6.7].

3. To believe in Paradise and Hell. They are the final destination for whoever deserves either one of them, and for eternity. Paradise is the destination of the ultimate happiness and joy that Allah prepared for the believers who feared Him, believed in what He required from them to believe and obeyed Him and His Messenger. They are the ones who were sincere to Allah and followers of His Messenger. Paradise contains, of Allah’s bounties, “What no eye has ever violated, what no ear has ever heard of and what no mind has ever imagined (of joys that Allah hid for the believers).” [4] Allah said, what translated means, “Verily, those who believe (in Allah) and do righteous, good deeds, they are the best of creatures. Their reward with their Lord is Gardens of Eternity, underneath which rivers flow, they will abide therein forever, Allah Well-Pleased with them, and they with Him. That is for him who fears his Lord.” [98:7-8] and, “No person knows what is kept hidden for them of joy as a reward for what they used to do.)’ [32:17].

As for Hell, it is the destination of torment and punishment that Allah prepared for the unjust disbelievers. They are the ones who disbelieved in Him and disobeyed His Messengers. Hell contains kinds of punishment and torment that no one could ever imagine. Allah said, what translated means, “And fear the Fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers.” [3: 131] “We have prepared for the wrongdoers, a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them. And if they ask for help (relief, water etc.) they will be granted water like boiling oil that will scald their faces. Terrible the drink, and an evil dwelling.” [18: 29] and, “Verily, Allah has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming Fire (Hell). Wherein, they will abide forever, and they will find neither a protector nor a helper. On the Day when their faces will be turned and rolled form all sides in the Fire, they will say: “Oh, would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger (Muhammad).” [33:64-66]

Belief in Life After Death: Believing in the Last Day requires Muslims to also believe in life after death and in the following:

1. The questioning in the grave. The dead will be asked, in their graves, about the lord, the religion and the Prophet they followed during their lifetime. Allah will lead the believer to say what is necessary, saying, “Allah is my Lord. My religion is Islam. My Prophet is Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam).” As for the unjust, Allah will lead him to misguidance saying, in answer to the above questions “What! What! I do not know.” Also! the hypocrites and the ones who always had doubts about Allah, the religion and the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam), will say, “I do not know. I heard people say something and I followed them.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim]

2. The torment or joy in the grave. The unjust, the disbelievers and the hypocrites will be tormented in their graves. Allah said, what translated means, “And if you but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands (saying): “Deliver your souls; this day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject his Ayat (proofs, signs, evidences, etc.) with disrespect” [6: 93] and about Pharaoh’s people, “The Fire; they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon, and on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): “Cause Pharaoh ‘s people to enter the severest Torment” [40:46].

Zaid ibn Thabit (radiyallaahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) said to his companions what translated means, “I would have asked Allah to let you hear what I am hearing from the punishment in the grave, but for the fear that you would not bury each other after that” Then the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) turned his face towards them, saying, “Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the Fire.” They said, “We seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the Fire.” He said, “Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave.” They said, “We seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave.” He said, “Seek refuge in Allah from all calamities, apparent or hidden.” They said, “We seek refuge in Allah from all calamities, apparent or hidden.” He said, “Seek refuge in Allah from the calamity of Al-A‘war Ad-Dajjal (the False Messiah).” They said, “We seek refuge lit Allah from the calamity of Al-A‘war Ad-Da.jjal.” [Saheeh Muslim]

As for joys of the grave, they are given to the believers. Allah said, what translated means, “Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah (alone),” and then they stood fast on them (these words that they say), on them the angels will descend (at the time of their death) (saying): “Fear you not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised?” [41:30] and, “Then why do you not (intervene) when (the soul of a dying person) reaches the throat? And you at the moment are looking on? But We (our angels who take the soul) are nearer to him than you, but you see not. Then why do you not, if you are exempt from the reckoning and recompense (punishment). Bring back the soul (to its body), if you are truthful? Then if he (the dying person) be of those near ones (close to Allah), (there is for him) rest and provisions, and a Garden of Delights (Paradise).” [56: 83-89].

Al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Azib narrated that the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) said about the believer, that after he is asked by the angels (about the lord, the religion and the Messenger he followed) and after he replies (saying that his Lord is Allah, his religion is Islam and his Messenger is Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam), “A caller from heaven will say: ‘My slave has said the truth. Therefore, furnish him (his grave) from Paradise, dress him from Paradise and open a door for him to Paradise.” Then he said, “He will receive from its tranquility and perfume. His grave will be enlarged for him the distance that his sight reaches.” [Musnad Ahmad & Aboo Dawood]

Benefits of Believing in the Last Day
The desire to do righteous, good deeds, seeking the good results in the Last Day.
2. The fear from committing and approving of evil deeds, fearing the torment of the Day of Reckoning.
3. The believer feels that this belief makes him forget the hardships he faces in this life. He is preoccupied with working righteousness trying to reach the joys and good rewards of the Last Day.

Some disbelievers reject the idea of life after death saying that this is not possible. This claim is false. Religion, the senses and the mind are used to refute this claim.

As for Religion, Allah said, what translated means: “The disbelievers pretend that they will never be resurrected (for the account). Say (O Muhammad): “Yes! By my Lord, you will certainly be resurrected, then you will be informed (and recompensed for) what you did, and that is easy for Allah.” [64:7] All Scriptures are unanimous on this matter.

As for the Senses, Allah demonstrated to his slaves how He raised the dead in this life. In Surat Al-Baqarah. Allah mentioned five examples:

1. The People of Moses said to him, “We will no believe in you unless we see Allah without a barrier.” They were seized by death and then Allah resurrected them. To remind the Children of Israel with this story, Allah said, what translated means, “And (remember) when you said: “O Moses: We shall never believe in you till we see Allah Plainly.” But you were seized with a thunder-bolt (lightening) while you were looking. Then We raised you up after your death, so that you might be grateful.” [2:55-56].

2. The story of the murdered man whom the Children of Israel differed as to who killed him. Allah ordered them to sacrifice a cow and strike him with some of its parts. so he can tell them who killed him, “And (remember) when you killed a man and fell into dispute among yourselves as to the crime. But Allah brought forth that which you were hiding. So We said: “Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow).” Thus Allah brings the dead to life and shows you His signs so that you may understand.” [2:72-73].

3. The story of the nation that escaped from its land for fear of death by the hands of their enemies, although their number was in the thousands. Allah made death seize them and then raised them back to life, “Did you (O Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam)) not think of those who went forth from their homes in thousands, fearing death? Allah said to them: “Die.” And then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of Bounty to mankind, but most men thank not.” [2:243].

4. The story of the person who passed by a village that all its inhabitants had died. He could not imagine that Allah can resurrect them. Allah made death seize him for a hundred years and then raised him from the dead, Or (think you of) such as he who passed by a town all in utter ruins. He said: “Oh! How will Allah ever bring it to life after it’s death?” So Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: “How long did you remain (dead)?” He (the man) said: “(Perhaps) I remained (dead) a day or a part of a day.” He said: “Nay, you have remained (dead) for a hundred years, look at your food and at your drink, they show no change; and look at your donkey! And thus We have made of you a Sign for the people. Look at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh.” When this was clearly shown to him, he said: “I Know (now) that Allah is Able to do all things.” [2:259].

5. The story of Abraham who asked Allah to show him how He raises the dead. Allah ordered him to kill four birds, cut them in parts and spread the parts over the surrounding mountains. He told him to call the dead birds, and that he did. These parts were collected (by Allah’s Power) and the birds came back to life and they came to Abraham. Allah said, what translated means, “And (remember) when Abraham said: “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead. “ He (Allah) said: “Do you not believe?” He (Abraham) said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in faith.” He said: “Take four bird, then cause them to incline towards you (slaughter them, Cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” [2:260].

These are five examples of incidents that happened. They prove that raising the dead can happen by the will of Allah. We mentioned before that Jesus raised the dead from their graves, by the will of Allah.

As for the Mind, there are two ways to correctly use it to confirm raising the dead:

1. Allah is the One who started the creation of heavens and earth. The One who is Capable of starting the creation is also Capable of restarting it. Allah said, what translated means, “And He is Who originates the creation, then will repeat it (after it has been perished), and this is easier for Him.” [30:27] and, “As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it, (it is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it.” [21:104] and to the one who denied that Allah will give life to the bones when they have rotted away, “Say (O Muhammad (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam)): “‘He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation.” [36:79].

2. It is noticed that the soil can become dry and that trees and plants die. When Allah sends the rain, the soil comes back to life and plants of all kinds grow and become green. The One who brings life back to the dead soil is Capable of raising the dead. Allah said, what translated means, “And among His Signs (in this), that you see the earth barren, but when We send down water (rain) to it, it is stirred to life and growth (of vegetation). Verily, He Who gives it life, surely. (He) is Able to give life to the dead (on the Day of Resurrection). Indeed! He is Able to do all things.” [41: 39] “And We send down blessed water (rain) from the sky then We produce therewith gardens and grain (all harvests that are reaped). And tall date-palms, with ranged clusters; A provisions for (Allah’s) slaves. And We give life therewith to dead land. Thus will be the Resurrection (of the dead).” (50:9-11].

Some misguided people reject punishment or joy in the grave claiming that this cannot happen. They claim that if one exhumes the dead, he will find the grave as it was left and that it did not change in size. This claim is rejected by the Shari’ah, the senses and the mind:

As for the Shari’ah, we mentioned some texts before. These texts confirm the punishment or joy in the grave. Ibn Abbas (radiyallaahu anhuma) said, “The Prophet passed by some walls in Madinah. He heard the screams of two persons who were being punished in their graves.” The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) mentioned the reasons behind this punishment, “One of them did not protect himself (his clothes) form urine. The other one was spreading (sawing) differences (between people).” [Saheeh ab-Bukharee]

As for the Senses, we know that, while dreaming, the one who is asleep sees that he is enjoying a huge space or that he is feeling pain because he is squeezed in a small area. Sometimes, one’s sleep is interrupted because of such nightmares, although he is still in his bed. Sleeping is similar to dying. Allah said, what translated means, “It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keep those (souls) for which He had ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.” [39:42]

As for the Mind, sometimes one sees dreams that may later happen in real life. Some Muslims may see the Prophet in their dreams. Whoever sees the Prophet, on the shape that he was described in books of Hadith, is saying the truth in that he saw him. This happens while one is still in his bed. If this is the case in this material life, what about matters of the other life?

As for their claim that when one exhumes a dead body, that no signs of abnormal change, either in the body or the grave itself, are detected, we say the following:

1. The Shari’ah cannot be rejected by depending on these doubts. These doubts can easily be refuted, providing one uses his mind. There is a popular saying: “There are many who refute a truth, while the problem lies with their limited comprehension.”

2. Life in the grave is a matter of the unseen. The senses cannot unveil the unseen. If matters of the unseen are unveiled by the senses, then belief in the unseen will not have any useful meaning, in which case believing or disbelieving is irrelevant, since there would be no matters of the unseen to believe in.

3. Only the dead feel the punishment or joy in the grave. Also, the one who is dreaming is the only one who is experiencing the pain of being squeezed in a small space or the joy of being in an open area. Others do not feel the same as the one who is experiencing these dreams, although he is still in his bed. The Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wa-sallam) used to receive revelation while he was among his companions and the companions did not hear the revelation. Sometimes, the angel came in the shape of an invisible man. The companions did not see the angel while he was delivering revelation to the Messenger.

4. Humans have limited comprehension and understanding of the universe. They only understand what Allah gave them the capability to understand. They do not understand all of the existence. The seven heavens, the earth and all that which is therein praise Allah. Allah, sometimes, gives the power to some of His creation to hear such praise. Humans cannot hear such praise. Allah said, what translated means, “The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.” [17:44]. Also, devils and the Jinn go about in the earth. The Jinn came to the Messenger and listened to his recitation of the Qur’aan. When he finished, they went back to their nation to convey the Message to them. However, this creation is out of the reach of human’s Comprehension, “O Children of Adam! Let not Satan deceive you, as he got your parents (Adam and Eve) out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiment, to show them their private parts. Verily, he and his soldiers see you from where you will not see them. Verily, We made the devils protectors (and helpers) for those who believe not.” [7:27]. Creation can neither reach what is beyond their comprehension nor understand all the existence. Therefore, one cannot dispute ‘flatters of the unseen that he cannot comprehend.

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