Boreal

THE ISLAMIC HEREAFTER

Judgement Day

Introduction

6:95 Allah is truly the Cleaver of the grain and the date-stone; He brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living. That is Allah; how then were you perverted?

The Islamic HereafterRevelations about Judgement Day (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Paradise and Hell), for the uninitiated, more than live up to British historian Thomas Carlyle’s characterisation of the Koran as “a confused, jumble, crude, incondite, endless iteration.” Don’t worry, though; by the end of this chapter you should have a sort of gestalt understanding of it all.

We start off with a rambling, disconnected sample of verses about the Day.

2:208 O believers, enter into complete peace (submission) and do not follow in the footsteps of Satan; for he is truly your manifest enemy.

 2:209 If however you slip after the clear proofs have come to you, know that Allah is Mighty, Wise.

2:210 Do they wait until Allah comes to them in canopies of clouds with the angels, and thus the matter is settled? Unto Allah all matters shall be referred.

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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.

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3:185 Every soul shall taste death; and you shall receive your rewards in full on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is removed from Hell and is admitted into Paradise wins. Life in this world is nothing but an illusory pleasure.

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4:87 Allah, there is no God but He. He will gather you all on the Day of Resurrection; there is no doubt about it. And who is more truthful than Allah?

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24:64 Surely, to Allah belongs what is in the heavens and on earth. He knows what you are about and the day they will be returned to Him. Then He will tell them about what they did. Allah knows everything.

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25:25 The Day heaven shall be parted by clouds and the angels are sent down in throngs.

25:26 The true Dominion on that Day shall be the Compassionate’s and it shall be a strenuous day for the unbelievers.

25:27 The Day the wrongdoer shall bite his hands and say: “Would I had taken with the Messenger (the Prophet Muhammad) a common path.

25:28 “Woe betide me, would that I had not taken so-and-so as a friend.

25:29 “He led me away from the Reminder (the Qur’an) after it had reached me. Satan has always been a betrayer of man.”

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66:7 O believers, do not give excuses today; for you are only rewarded for what you used to do.

66:8 O believers, turn to Allah in sincere repentance, that your Lord might perchance acquit you of your evil deeds and admit you into Gardens, beneath which rivers flow, on a Day when Allah will not disgraced the Prophet and those who have believed with him. Their light flickering before them and in their right hands, they will say: “Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us; You have indeed power over everything.”

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75:12 Unto your Lord is the ultimate resort.

75:13 Man shall be informed on that Day about what he has advanced or deferred.

75:14 Rather, man against himself shall be a witness;

75:15 Even if he makes excuses.

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78:17 The Day of Decision is a term appointed.

78:18 The Day the Trumpet is sounded and you will come in throngs.

 78:19 And the heavens are opened up and turned into wide portals.

 78:20 And the mountains are set in motion and turn into a mirage.

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80:33 Then, when the Deafening Blast shall sound;

80:34 On the Day when man shall run away from his brother,

80:35 His mother and his father,

80:36 His consort and his sons.

80:37 To every one of them on that Day is a business sufficing him.

 80:38 Some faces on that Day, will be bright,

80:39 Laughing and joyful;

80:40 And other faces, on that Day, will be covered with dust,

80:41 Enveloped in smoke.

80:42 Those are the unbelievers, the profligate.

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.”

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56:45 They lived before that in luxury;

56:46 And they used 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 that Allah can raise the dead as He will do on Judgement Day, a day mostly about vengeance. This sadistic and pitiless vengeance begins with that ghastly, nightmarish life in the grave and is followed by more appalling revelations about the terrors that await on Judgement Day.

Who or what could possibly give rise to such a pathological loathing for unbelievers that to see them terrified and in abject discomfort, waiting to be sentenced to being roasted alive for an eternity, is a sight to be savoured?

No human, understandably, ever physically harmed the most powerful god ever to lay claim to the title. Not so for God's favourite and ultimate spokesperson. During the first few years of his Call, Muhammad was mocked and derided. There was even an attempt to suffocate him using the stomach of a dead camel. His Call would have ended then and there if his daughter Rukaya had not freed him from the animal’s stomach, which was sealed with its intestines.[5]

After such treatment, you might forgive Muhammad for developing the visceral hatred for unbelievers that animates Allah in the Koran. In the Gospels, one man’s agonizing death on humanity’s behalf saves countless generations from an eternity in pain in Hell; in the Koran—which is, in so many ways, the antithesis of the Gospels—one man’s passing discomforting near-death experience may bring about the exact opposite.

The Punishment Is Coming, the Punishment Is Coming!

22:55 The unbelievers will continue to be in doubt concerning it, until the Hour comes upon them suddenly, or the punishment of a disastrous day seizes them.

22:56 Dominion on that Day shall be Allah’s and He will judge between them. Then, those who believe and do the righteous deeds shall be in the Gardens of Bliss.

22:57 But those who disbelieve and deny Our Revelations, to those a demeaning punishment is in store.

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52:1 By the Mount,[6]

52:2 And a Book inscribed,

52:3 In a rolled-out parchment.

52:4 And by the inhabited House.[7]

52:5 And the upraised roof,[8]

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;[9]

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.

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[5] I side with the author of the definitive non-Arab biography of Muhammad, La Vie de Mahomet by Virgil Gheorghiu, who writes that it was the unheralded fourteen-year-old Rukaya, not her six-year-old sister Fatima, who saved her father's life.

[6] ”Tur, the mountain on which Allah blessed the Prophet Moses with the Prophethood.” Moududi

[7] “The Ka’ba, which is never without its visitors and pilgrims at any time of the day and night.” Moududi

[8] The earth’s canopy, the lowest of the seven levels of Paradise

[9] “The system of the heavens on that Day will be wholly upset, and when an observer will look up to the sky, he will feel that the constant pattern and order that it always used to present, has been broken and there is disorder, confusion and chaos on every side.” Moududi