The Islamic Hereafter
Judgement Day - Part III/V
Answering Your Questions about the Judgement Day
The Trick Question
Will I be allowed to carry anything?
You can't take it with you, and you would be well advised to use it before you lose it, as Allah recommends.
2:254 O believers, spend of what We have provided for you before a Day comes (Judgement day) in which there is neither trading, nor friendship, nor intercession. The unbelievers are the wrongdoers.
Having said that, you will be allowed to carry your book of good and bad deeds which will be given to you by an angel. If the angel gives it to you in your left hand or behind your back your goose is literally and figuratively cooked. You are going straight to hell and you won’t even get an audience with the Compassionate One.
17:71 The Day [will come] when We will call every people with their leader. Then they who are given their book in their right hand – those will read their book and will not be wronged a whit.
17:72 And he who is blind in this world will be blind in the Hereafter and will stray even more from the right Way.
84:7 As for him who will be given his book in his right hand;
84:8 He shall be called to an easy reckoning,
84:9 And shall go back to his people well pleased.
The logical and audacious teenaged Aisha, was one of the few members of the Prophet's entourage who dared point out inconsistencies, as she does here, in her husband's interpretation of revelations:
Allah's Apostle said," (On the Day of Resurrection) any one whose account will be taken will be ruined (i.e. go to Hell)."
I said, "O Allah's Apostle! May Allah make me be sacrificed for you. Doesn't Allah say: "Then as for him who will be given his record in his right hand, he surely will receive an easy reckoning." (84.7-8)
He replied, "That is only the presentation of the accounts; but he whose record is questioned, will be ruined."
That sounds efficient but it hardly seems fair?
Fairness was never Allah’s strong suit. And it won’t be that efficient. Everyone who was given the book of his good and bad deeds in his right hand will be clamoring for Allah’s attention, wanting Him to read it in front of everybody, knowing they’re going to heaven.
69:19 As for him who has been given his book in his right hand, he shall say: “Come along, read my book.
69:20 “I knew I was going to meet my reckoning.”
69:21 Therefore, he is in a well-pleasing condition;
69:22 Living in a lofty garden;
69:23 Whose clusters are close at hand.
69:24 “Eat and drink merrily for what you did in the days gone by.”
And He will do that, read their book while billions, if not trillions of people, angels and jinn stand around doing nothing?
Allah has all the time in the world, and as long as all those billions or trillions are praising Him or trembling in terror of Him, He’s happy. I don’t know what the jinn will be doing on Judgement Day, but the angels will be part of a massive procession. Eight of them, as you know, will be parading Allah sitting on His Throne, while the other angels will mill around praising Him and asking him to forgive the believers for any sins they may have committed.
40:7 Those who carry the Throne and those around it proclaim the praise of their Lord, believe in Him and ask forgiveness for the believers: “Lord, You have encompassed everything in mercy and knowledge; so forgive those who have repented and followed your Path, and guard them against the punishment of Hell.
40:8 “Lord, and admit them into the Gardens of Eden which You have promised them and those who have been righteous, of their fathers, their spouses and their progeny. You are indeed the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
40:9 “And guard them against the evil deeds. He whom You guard against evil deeds on that Day, You have surely been merciful to; and that is the great triumph.”
Once everyone has settle down, there will be an official announcement for the unbelievers, who will be allowed to say a few words on their behalf.
40:10 To the unbelievers it shall be announced: “Allah’s contempt is greater than your self-contempt, when you were summoned to believe, but you disbelieved.”
40:11 They will say: “Our Lord, You have caused us to be dead twice and brought us to life twice, and so we have confessed our sins. Is there now a way out?”
So is there a way out?
I don’t think so. Not based on what we have talked about so far; and Allah is non-committal in His answer which has to do with worshipping other gods.
40:12 That is because if Allah is called upon alone, you disbelieve; but if others are associated with Him, you believe. Judgement is Allah’s the All-High, the All-Great.
In verse 42:46, one of Allah's many revelations about those He has led astray, and that is in essence all unbelievers, He makes it clear that, indeed, there is no way out!
42:44 Whoever Allah leads astray will have no protector apart from Him; and you will see the wrongdoers when they see the punishment saying: “Is there a way of going back?”
42:45 You will see them being exposed to it (the Fire), abject in their humiliation, looking askew. The believers will say: “The losers are truly those who have lost themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Surely, the wrongdoers will suffer lasting punishment.”
42:46 They have no protectors to support them, apart from Allah. Whoever Allah leads astray has no way out.
As to Allah reading some of the believer’s book? I don’t think so, but He may let some of those who are given their book in their right hand read it out loud to the assembled masses.
78:38 The Day when the Spirit (the angel Gabriel) and the angels shall stand in line; none shall speak except him whom the Compassionate has allowed and has spoken the truth.
78:39 That will be the True Day; he who wishes will return unto his Lord penitently.
78:40 Indeed, We have warmed you of an imminent punishment, on the day when man will see what his hands have done, and the unbelievers will say: “O, would that I have been mere dust.”
What about the people who are not given their book in their right hand?
Do you really want to know? Can’t you guess?
Yes and yes.
69:25 But as for him who is given his book in his left hand, he shall say: “Would that I had never been given my book,
69:26 “And that I did not know what my account is;
69:27 “Would that it had been the final death blow.
69:28 “My wealth has not availed me;
69:29 “And my authority has vanished from me.”
69:30 [It will be said:] “Take him and shackle him;
69:31 “Then let him roast in Hell.
69:32 “Then, in a chain whose length is seventy cubits, tie him up."
84:10 But as for him who is given his book behind his back;
84:11 He shall call out: “Perdition!”
84:12 And burn in Hell-fire.
84:13 He was, indeed, in the midst of his people, living happily.
84:14 He supposed that he will never go back.
84:15 No, indeed, his Lord was observing him.
At least that part won’t last long.
Not necessarily, for Allah will want those He often refers to as Companions of the Left to know exactly why they are going to Hell and to marvel at how an accurate and meticulous a record keeper He is.
18:49 And the book will be set down, and you will see the wicked apprehensive at what is in it, and they will say: “Woe betide us. What book is this? It does not leave out anything, small or big, but enumerates it.” And they will find what they did in front of them; and your Lord will not wrong any one.
Does Allah have something against left-handed people?
No, I don't think so, even though His equating right with good and left with bad is curious.
The book will be set down! What book? I don’t get it.
Allah may be referring to a master copy of all the good and bad deeds of all the people who ever lived, or maybe not.
17:13 And every man’s omen We have fasten to his neck; and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him a book which he will find spread wide open, [saying to him]:
17:14 “Read your book; your own soul shall suffice today as reckoner against you.”
So the actual judgement begins with a reading before Allah of my book of good and bad deeds?
Not quite. First you will have to answer at least one question, a trick question and then, for the unbelievers only, an additional straightforward one whose answer may surprise you.
A trick question!!! You have to be kidding.
I am not kidding; this is serious stuff. Allah will ask everyone who comes before Him to be judged how many days he or she has lingered.
Lingered on earth?
That’s easy enough.
Not really. As I said before, it’s a trick question for which Allah may not even have the answer.
23:112 He (Allah) will say: “How long did you linger on earth, in terms of years?”
23:113 They will say: “We lingered a day or a part of a day; so ask those who count?”
Why would they say a day or less?
According to some scholars this is Allah’s way of making a statement about life being short. He will actually agree, more or less, with the estimate given by the soul appearing before Him.
23:114 He (Allah) will say: “You only lingered for a little while, if only you knew.
And that other question?
Allah will ask the unbelievers if they agree that the punishment is just.
And they will say no, of course? Who in his or her right mind would say yes?
Considering all the revelation about how the unbelievers will try to avoid the Fire, you would think so; but no.
46:34 And on the Day that the unbelievers shall be exposed to the Fire [they will be asked]: “Is this not just?” They will say: “Yes, indeed, by our Lord.” He will then say: “Taste now the punishment for your disbelief.”
Blue-Eyed With Terror
Will I be allowed a lawyer to plead my case, and advise me on what to say, like No when asked if I am happy to burn in Hell for an eternity.
You have to be kidding. Allah is judge, jury and executioner; not even your most intimate friends, your son, your brother or your spouse will be allowed to speak on your behalf; and even if they did, it would not make a difference.
74:48 But the intercession of the intercessors will avail them nothing.
70:10 And no friend shall ask an intimate friend.
70:11 They shall be made to see each other. The criminal wishes that he would be redeemed from the punishment of that day by his sons;
70:12 His spouse and his brother;
70:13 And his clan, who gives him refuge;
70:14 And everyone on earth; then that he might save him.
What about my sister or my daughter?
What about them?
Will they be allowed to speak on my behalf?
They are not mentioned, and I would leave it at that, if you know what I mean.
Will we be allowed to talk?
Yes. The believers and unbelievers will be able to discuss their relative situations but not too loudly if they are close to Allah, except in one specific instance.
20:108 On that Day, they will have to follow the caller who is not crooked, and the voices shall be hushed unto the Compassionate, so that you will hear nothing but whispering.
20:102 On the Day when the trumpet shall be blown and We will gather the wicked sinners blue-eyed [with terror];
20:103 Whispering to each other: “You have only lingered for ten [days].”
20:104 We know better what they say; for the straightness of them in direction will say: “You have only lingered a single day.”
Blue-eyed with terror. I did not know terror did that. Getting back to the trick question, I thought the answer was less than a day?
My guess would be that wrongdoers revised their estimate after hearing the answer of a do-gooder and Allah’s response. But Allah has another trick up his sleeve, the answer for the wrongdoers is different from those who believe, who have been given faith and knowledge.
The wrongdoers will swear that they did not linger more than an hour since being resurrected, according to some scholars, and this is where it gets really tricky, for the question is not about their time on earth or the time since returning from the dead, but how long Allah has been keeping track of their bad deeds which the do-gooder, or a group of believers closest to the wrongdoer being questioned, one must assume, will point out his or her mistake.
30:55 And the day the Hour comes, the criminals shall swear that they did not linger more than an hour. Thus they had been perverted.
30:56 But those who have been given knowledge and faith will say: “You have lingered in Allah’s Book till the Day of Resurrection. This is the Day of Resurrection, but you did not know.”
30:57 On that Day, the excuses of the wrongdoers will not avail them and they will not be allowed to plead for pardon.
What is that specific instance you mentioned earlier where I will not be able to talk to my previously dead companions?
You will be ask what you said to the Messenger that was sent to your nation – every nation gets one, or should I say got one – but you will not be able to consult doomsday companions before you answer; the meaning of “the tidings will be obscured” in revelation 28:66 according to this Moududi fellow.
28:65 On the Day He will call them, saying: “What did you answer the Messengers?”
28:66 On that day, the tidings will be obscured for them, and so they will not question each other.”
How will I know who is the Messenger I should listen to and keep my mouth shut except to say I submit?
That will be difficult. It was not that easy in the era of the city-state. With national population exceeding a billion people it may be next to impossible. Better do the good deeds and hope for the best, and never but never, Allah warns you often enough, associate another god with Him or place one on a higher pedestal – and don’t think that you can lie your way into Paradise.
28:67 But he who repents, believes and does the righteous deed, perchance he will be among the prosperous.
28:68 Your Lord creates and chooses whatever He wills; they have no choice. Glory be to Allah and may He be exalted above what they associate!
28:69 And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they reveal.
28:70 He is Allah; there is no god but he. His is the praise in the herebelow and the Hereafter and His is the judgement, and unto Him you will be returned.
I get the picture and I am getting hungry and thirsty. Will I be given anything to eat or drink while I am waiting to be judged?
If you are a sinner, I think so, but you may want to pass on it.
56:51 “Then you, erring ones and denouncers,
56:52 “Shall eat from the Tree of Bitterness,
56:53 “Filling your bellies therefrom,
56:54 “And drinking on top of it boiling water,
56:55 “Lapping it like thirsty camels.”
56:56 That shall be their meal on the Day of Judgement.
10:4 Unto him you shall all return; it is Allah’s Promise in truth. He originates the creation, then He brings it back to reward equitably those who believe and do the good deeds. But those who disbelieve shall drink boiling water and shall be severely punished on account of their disbelief.
Can I plead my case?
What case? If you were an unbeliever you have no case! And Allah will let you know it in no uncertain terms.
50:28 He (Allah) will say: “Do not dispute before Me; for I warned you in advance.
50:29 “No word can be changed before Me, and I am no oppressor of servants.”
The only people He will listen to are those who may have done evil deeds but are believers as a reminder of what will happen to those who disbelieved. And, in any event, even if evildoing believers are granted an audience, Allah will not be in a receptive mood seeing all those unbelievers after He warned them about what would happen. They better be simultaneously flattering and penitent and not carry a “burden of wrongdoing” as opposed to evildoing I assume, if they hope to get out of Hell or move up a few levels. And they better tell the truth, for Allah knows!
20:109 On that Day, intercession will not avail, except him to whom the Compassionate gives leave and He is pleased with his words.
20:110 He (Allah) knows what is before them and what is behind them; but they have no knowledge of that.
20:111 And they shall submit to the Living and Self-Subsisting One, and he who carries [a burden of] wrongdoing shall lose hope.
Move up a few levels?
Yes, Hell, like heaven is seven levels. Each level, depending which way you’re heading, is either more painful or less painful.