The Islamic Hereafter
Judgement Day - Part I/V
The Great Blasphemy
37:15 And they say: “This is only manifest sorcery.
37:16 “What! Once we are dead and turned into dust and bones, shall we be raised from the dead?
37:17 “Or our forefathers?”
37:18 Say: “Yes, and you will be totally subdued.”
56:46 And they use to insist upon the Great Blasphemy.
56:47 They used to say: “What? When we are dead and turned into dust and bones, shall we be raised from the dead?
56:48 “And our forefathers, too?”
56:49 Say (O Muhammad): “The first and the last,
56:50 “Shall be gathered upon an appointed, pre-assigned Day.
The Great Blasphemy is not believing in the Last Day i.e. Judgement Day.
The Last Day is mostly about vengeance; a sadistic pitiless vengeance, with revelations and surahs about Hell being a continuation of the ruthless retribution which unbelievers will be subjected to on Judgement Day.
Whatever positive message you think the Koran has to offer is often obscured by Allah's unrelenting focus on merciless, graphic revenge on just about every page of His Koran. Whatever positive message you think the Koran has to offer is often obscured by Allah's unrelenting focus on merciless, graphic revenge on just about every page of His Koran. So many unholy sentiments in a purported holy book is disconcerting, to say the least.
Who, or what could possibly give rise to such a pathological loathing for unbelievers that to see them being roasted alive for an eternity is a sight to be savored and enjoyed?
No human, understandably, ever physically or emotionally harmed the most powerful god ever to lay claim to the title. Not so for Allah's last, greatest and overwhelming favourite Messenger.
During the first few years of his Call, the Prophet Muhammad was mocked and derided. There was even a disgusting attempt to suffocate him using the stomach of a dead camel. Islam would have been stillborn if his daughter Rukaya had not freed him from the animal’s stomach which was sealed with the camel’s intestines.
After such treatment, you might forgive the Prophet for developing the visceral hatred for unbelievers for which Allah is famous.
Allah, in His Koran, consistently encourages His beloved greatest and last Messenger to persist in the face of what seems to be insurmountable opposition with the promise of a painful punishment for all his detractors.
Judgement Day may simply be the fulfillment of that promise.
In the Gospels, one man’s pain, it is written, will save countless generations from an eternity in agony; in the Koran – which is, in so many ways, the antithesis of the Gospels – one man’s discomfort may bring about the exact opposite.
The Punishment is Coming, the Punishment is Coming!
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
52:1 By the Mount (Tur, the mountain on which Allah blessed the Prophet Moses with the Prophethood, Moududi),
52:2 And a Book inscribed,
52:3 In a rolled-out parchment.
52:4 And by the inhabited House (the Ka’ba, which is never without its visitors and pilgrims at any time of the day and night, Moududi).
52:5 And the upraised roof (the earth's canopy, the lowest of the seven levels of Paradise),
52:6 And the roaring sea,
52:7 The punishment of your Lord is surely coming.
52:8 No one will be able to avert it.
52:9 On the Day when heaven shall turn around and around;
52:10 And the mountains shall be set in motion.
52:11 Woe, on that Day, unto those who denounce;
52:12 Those who are stumbling about in confusion.
A Descent Into Madness
THE OVERWHELMING DAY
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
88:1 Have you heard the story of the Overwhelming Day?
88:2 Faces on that Day shall be downcast,
88:3 Labouring and toiling;
88:4 Roasting in a scorching fire;
88:5 Given to drink from a boiling spring.
88:6 They will have no nourishment except from poisonous cactus,
88:7 Which neither fattens nor appeases hunger.
88:8 Faces on that Day shall be blissful,
88:9 Well-pleased with their endeavour;
88:10 In a lofty Garden;
88:11 Wherein no idle talk is heard;
88:12 Wherein is a flowing spring;
88:13 Wherein are upraised couches;
88:14 And cups ranged around,
88:15 And cushion in rows;
88:16 And carpets spread out.
The Koran mixing of revealed truths about Hell, Heaven or Judgement Day within surahs makes writing about the Day a less than straightforward exercise. In The Overwhelming Day, for example, the first revelations should be a dead give-away, but they are not. By the 10th revelation we are “In a lofty garden” i.e. Paradise.
Judgement Day is supposed to occur on earth, not in Hell or Paradise, but the revelations appear to be about the suffering of unbelievers in Hell and the good life of believers in Paradise; as if Judgement Day had come and gone. No matter!
Judgement Day, for those who are still not comfortable with the language and violent imagery of the Koran, will appear like a descent into madness. Nonetheless, I am convinced that for Allah, His Messenger and the believers there is method in the madness.
The only way I felt I could portray the insanity, the organizational nightmare that will be Judgement Day is via a question and answer format where I try to anticipate questions a typical layperson might have about this most ominous of days and let Allah answer most of our inquisitive layperson’s inquiries.