THE ISLAMIC HEREAFTER
Revelations 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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. I side with Virgil Gheorghiu, the author of the definitive non-Arab biography of Muhammad, La Vie de Mahomet, who writes that it was the unheralded fourteen-year-old Rukaya, not her six-year-old sister Fatima, who saved her father's life
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.
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 (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);
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.
Answering Your Questions about Judgement Day
The Koran reveals details about Hell, Paradise and Judgement Day across various surahs, which 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, the reader is “[i]n a lofty garden,” i.e., Paradise, as if Judgement Day had come and gone. No matter!
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.
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. The only way I felt I could portray this insanity and the organizational nightmare that will be Judgement Day is via the following question-and-answer format where I try to anticipate questions a layperson might have about this most ominous of days, letting God answer, where possible, through His Revelations.
The writing style is not meant to be flippant or make light of a profoundly serious matter. Quite the opposite! It is intended to show Allah’s attention to detail, which the believers claim is proof of His existence as well as the existence of Heaven, Hell, and the coming of Judgement Day.
1. What is Judgement Day?
Judgement Day is the day when the living, the undead and everyone in heaven will be killed outright by the blast of a trumpet, then brought back to life to be judged and admitted into Paradise or cast into Hell.
39:68 And the Trumpet shall be blown, so that whoever is in the heavens and on earth shall be made to expire, save him whom Allah wishes. Then it shall be blown another time, and behold, they shall arise, looking out.
39:69 And the earth shall shine with the light of its Lord and the Book shall be laid down. Then the Prophets and the witnesses shall be brought forward and judgement shall be passed justly between them, and they shall not be wronged.
39:70 Every soul shall be paid in full for what it has done, and He knows best what they do.
2. That has to be an impossible number of people and whatnot?
If you believe that Adam and Eve were the first humans, there will be an estimated 106 billion people to be judged. If you believe the human race began with the first modern homo sapiens about 200 thousand years ago, add another 80 billion or so.
3. Why a Judgement Day?
Judgement Day is strictly for show.
4. What do you mean, Judgement Day is only for show?
Judgement Day is the second judgement, the first being the one discussed in Life in the Grave where the quality of lodgings is dependent on whether the final destination is Heaven or Hell.
5. I get the picture. So if Judgement Day is only for show, who is the show for?
Judgement Day will provide Allah with one last opportunity to humiliate the unbelievers: to gloat and sneer at them for not believing; to publicly enjoy their terror when they realise the situation is hopeless and they will be spending an eternity in agony. Judgement Day also gives the believers their own opportunity to laugh at the unbelievers, to mock them as the Compassionate’s angels drag them kicking and screaming into His Fire.
6. Doesn’t Allah claim to be a compassionate god?
For Allah, compassion means allowing you to believe in Him, to worship Him and only Him. If you do not do that in the here-and-now, you will have no redeeming value in His eyes and He will exact a terrible vengeance as only the “the All-Forgiving… Doer of what He wills” can deliver.
85:10 Surely, those who have tempted the believers, men and women, then did not repent, will suffer the punishment of Hell; and theirs is the punishment of burning.
85:11 Surely, those who have believed and done the righteous deeds shall have Gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the great triumph.
85:12 The vengeance of your Lord is surely terrible.
85:13 It is He Who originates and brings back;
85:14 And He is the All-Forgiving, the All-Friendly;
85:15 Lord of the glorious Throne;
85:16 Doer of what He wills.
7. When will it start?
No one knows. Allah did not even confide the date to His most trusted and greatest spokesperson, of which Muhammad reminds his audience on numerous occasions.
7:187 They ask you about the Hour, when it will strike. Say: “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord; none but He will disclose it at the right time. It will be fateful in the heavens and on earth, and will not come upon you except suddenly.” They ask you, as though you know about it. Say: “The knowledge thereof is with Allah, but most people do not know.”
33:63 People will ask you about the Hour. Say: “The knowledge thereof is with Allah.” And what do you know? The hour may be close at hand.
47:18 Do they, then, only expect that the Hour should come upon them suddenly? In fact, its signs have already come. How then, when it comes, will they regain their recollection? 47:19 So, know that there is no god but Allah, and ask forgiveness for your sins and for the believers, men and women. Allah knows your goings and comings, and your settling down.
79:42 They ask you about the Hour: “When shall it come?”
79:43 How far are you from remembering it?
79:44 Unto your Lord it will come to rest.
79:45 You are only a warner unto him who fears it.
79:46 They are, on the Day that they will see it, as though they only tarried an evening or a forenoon.
It all has to do with Allah keeping the unseen to Himself.
16:77 To Allah belongs the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. The coming of the Hour is only like the twinkling of an eye, or even nearer, Surely, Allah has power over everything.
72:25 Say: “I do not know whether what you are promised is near, or whether my Lord shall extend it for a period.
72:26 “Knower of the Unseen, He does not disclose His Unseen to anyone.”
8. So, there will be no warning before the Day?
Not necessarily. Muhammad said that when women outnumber men, the end will be near.
Narrated Abu Musa:
The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, "A time will come upon the people when a person will wander about with gold as Zakat and will not find anybody to accept it, and one man will be seen followed by forty women to be their guardian because of scarcity of men and great number of women."
In another hadith, the ominous ratio will be fifty women for every man.
I will narrate to you a Hadith and none other than I will tell you about after it.
I heard Allah's Apostle saying: From among the portents of the Hour are (the following):
1. Religious knowledge will decrease (by the death of religious learned men).
2. Religious ignorance will prevail.
3. There will be prevalence of open illegal sexual intercourse. 4. Women will increase in number and men will decrease in number so much so that fifty women will be looked after by one man.
9. Women will be responsible for bringing on the end of the world?
Women figure prominently as a doomsday omen, and to a lesser extent, young people in general.
I heard the Prophet saying, "In the last days (of the world) there will appear young people with foolish thoughts and ideas. They will give good talks, but they will go out of Islam as an arrow goes out of its game, their faith will not exceed their throats. So, wherever you find them, kill them, for there will be a reward for their killers on the Day of Resurrection."
The most bizarre spectacle involving women that will signal the Hour is imminent is the jiggling of some women's buttocks.
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "The Hour will not be established till the buttocks of the women of the tribe of Daus move while going round Dhi-al-Khalasa." (Dhi-al-Khalasa was the idol of the Daus tribe which they used to worship in the pre Islamic Period of Ignorance)
10. Is the Koran more specific about the end of the world?
If you look up and the sky looks like Hell, with mountains bounding around like tumbleweeds in the wind—if they have not been transformed into heaps of sand—then chances are, big horrible things are about to happen.
70:8 On the Day when heaven will be like molten brass;
70:9 And the mountains like tufted wool.
73:14 On the Day when the earth and the mountains shall tremble, and the mountains shall turn into heaps of sand.
11. Is that it?
There’s more, lots more. In response to a question about the Day of Resurrection, here is what Allah had to say:
75:6 He asks: “When is the Day of Resurrection coming?”
75:7 Then, when the sight is dazzled;
75:8 And the moon is eclipsed;
75:9 And the sun and the moon are joined together;
75:10 Man will say on that Day; “Where is the escape?”
75:11 No, there shall be no escape.
12. The moon is around 92 million miles from the sun. In any event, wouldn’t the moon be burnt to a cinder before any merging could take place?
The leader of a well-known terrorist group Boko Haram, which literally means “non-Islamic education is a sin,” would argue that you have been brainwashed. In an interview on the BBC, he actually said that the Earth is flat because the Koran says so. In the Koran, the moon and the sun are about the same size and occupy the same orbit, and their race across the sky is what causes night and day. On Judgement Day, one will catch up with the other and merge, causing the grey gloominess of the Day—neither night nor day.
13. Okay, but why did you answer yes and no regarding the Koran being more specific about the signs that will indicate Judgement Day is imminent?
Because the scenario is not always the same across verses. For example, in the following revelations, the sun does not merge with the moon but is ‘coiled up’.
81:1 When the sun shall be coiled up;
81:2 And when the stars shall be scattered about (fall);
81:3 And when the mountains shall be set in motion;
81:4 And when the pregnant camels shall be discarded;
81:5 And when the beasts shall be corralled;
81:6 And when the seas shall rise mightily;
81:7 And when souls shall be paired off;
81:8 And when the buried infant shall be asked:
81:9 “For what sins was she killed?”
81:10 And when the scrolls shall be unrolled;
81:11 And when heaven shall be scraped off;
81:12 And when Hell shall be stoked;
81:13 And when Paradise shall be brought near;
81:14 Then each soul shall know what it had brought forth.
14. You're making that up.
Would God lie to you?
81:15 No I swear by the alternating stars;
81:16 Which circle then hide;
81:17 And the night when it recedes;
81:18 And the morning when it breaks,
81:19 It is truly the discourse of a noble Messenger (the Angel Gabriel who brought Allah’s revelations to the Prophet);
81:20 Who has power, with the Lord of the Throne, and is highly placed;
81:21 Obeyed, then trustworthy.
15. You have to be mad!
It's the truth, and if you can't trust the angel Gabriel, the one who told Muhammad what Allah had passed along, then who can you trust?
81:22 Your Companion (the Prophet Muhammad) is not mad;
81:23 He saw him (Gabriel) upon the luminous horizon.
16. I think I need a drink.
You won’t need a drink to get drunk on Judgement Day.
22:1 O people, fear your Lord. Surely the clamour of the Hour is a terrible thing.
22:2 The Day you will witness it, every suckling mother will be distracted from the child she is suckling, and every pregnant woman will deliver her burden, and you will see people drunk, whereas they are not drunk; but the punishment of Allah is terrible.
17. A lot of full-term and premature babies will be born on that day. What will happen to them?
They will be taken care of, of that I am sure; nothing is impossible for Allah.
18. What do you mean?
All babies may be born full-grown when Allah relieves camels and pregnant human females of their burdens.
19. THAT IS EVEN WORSE! How big do men think the birth canal can stretch?
Sorry, they will appear full-grown after birth. In two sayings of the Prophet, recorded by a scholar by the name of Tirmidhi, Muhammad said: “When a believer hopes for a child in Paradise, his gestation and his birth and his growth will be in one hour as he will wish” and that “in Paradise everyone will be 30 or 33 years old.”
It was narrated from Mu’aadh ibn Jabal that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The people of Paradise will enter Paradise hairless, beardless with their eyes anointed with kohl, aged thirty or thirty-three years.”
I am sure that for every believing mother whom Allah causes to abort, the father will wish—if the fetus is viable—that it become fully grown immediately, and Allah will be more than happy to oblige.
20. What will happen to the fetuses of unbelieving mothers when Allah causes them to lose their ‘burden’?
There is no mention of children burning in Hell, therefore I think it is safe to assume that the Great Miscarriage Inducer will allow the viable fetuses of unbelievers to become full-grown adults so that they may join their mothers in Hell.
21. How nice. How will the judging start?
It may begin with a beast coming out of the ground. This beast may or may not be God in disguise. On the cusp of Judgement Day, knowing full well the answer, the beast will ask a “throng” from each nation why they denied its Signs.
27:82 And when the Word (the Devine Decree) is fulfilled against them, We shall bring out of the earth for them a beast which shall address them thus: “Mankind has not believed with certainty in Our Signs.”
27:83 On the Day when we shall muster from each nation a throng of those who denied Our Signs; then they will be held in check.
27:84 Until they come forward and He says: “Have you denied My Signs, and did not comprehend them? Otherwise, what were you doing?”
22. How will they answer?
Knowing the answer, there was no point in giving “the throngs” the opportunity to respond.
27:85 And the Word shall come down upon them for their wrongdoing and so they will not speak.
The “beast” will then remind “the throngs” why He created the night and the day, when it will no longer be possible to distinguish the two.
27:86 Do they not see that We made the night, so that they might rest in it, and the day so that they might see? Surely in that are signs for a believing people.
23. Will the beast have a number like in The Book of Revelation?
Probably not. I don’t think it’s that type of beast.
24. What happens next?
A trumpet is blown. It must be noted that scholars disagree on the sequence that follows, as to whether the beast comes before or after the first blast of the trumpet.
25. Fair enough! Who will be in charge of blowing what has to be one humongous trumpet if everyone on Earth is expected to hear?
The angel Israfil, who has been waiting all his life for this one big occasion, will have the honours of blowing his massive horn not once, but twice. The first blow will kill the undead and anyone still walking on Earth and in heaven. After everyone becomes a corpse in the real sense of the word, Israfil will blow his horn a second time. This second blast will raise the dead undead who will begin marching out of their graves like zombies (or maybe locusts), accompanied by the recently [forcibly] departed and quickly resurrected, in the direction of the angel blowing the trumpet.
26. So where on Earth will this reveille trumpeting angel be?
Dabiq. Islamic tradition maintains that the gathering place on Judgement Day is in present-day Syria near a town called Dabiq.
36:51 And the Trumpet is blown, then behold how from their graves, unto their Lord, they slink away.
36:52 They will say: “Woe betide us; whoever has roused us from our sleep? This is what the All-Compassionate has promised, and the Messengers have spoken the truth.”
36:53 It was only a single cry, and behold they were all brought before Us.
36:54 So, today no soul shall be wronged a whit, and you will only be rewarded for what you used to do.
54:6 Turn away from them. On the Day the caller shall call out an abominable thing;
54:7 They will come out of their graves, with their eyes downcast, as if they were swarming locusts,
54:8 Scrambling towards the caller. The unbelievers will say: “This is a very hard day.”
27. That will be quite the scramble.
Not likely, like His perfectionist Messenger, God will expect an orderly procession and assembly., God will expect an orderly procession and assembly.
Narrated An-Nu'man bin 'Bashir:
The Prophet said, "Straighten your rows or Allah will alter your faces."
18:47 And on the Day We shall cause the mountains to move and you see the earth uncovered, and We gather them all, having left no one behind.
18:48 And they will be brought before your Lord in rows: “Now you come to Us as We created you for the first time. Nay, you claimed that We would not fix for you an appointed time.”
28. Will it be a long walk?
Not for the God-fearing.
50:31 Paradise will be brought closer to the God-fearing, not a far distance.
50:32 “This is what you were promised; to every penitent keeper (of Allah’s ordinances),
50:33 “He who fears the Compassionate in the Unseen and comes forward with a penitent heart.
50:34 “Enter it in peace; that is the Day of Immortality.”
50:35 They will have whatever they desire therein, and We have yet much more.
For some, in a variation of The Rapture, this will be a short flight directly to Paradise.
16:30 And, it is said to those who fear God: “What has your Lord revealed?” They say: “Something good.” To those who do good in this world is the good reward; and the Hereafter is surely much better. Blessed indeed is the abode of the God-fearing!
16:31 Gardens of Eden they shall enter, beneath which rivers flow. They will have therein whatever they desire. Thus Allah rewards the God-fearing.
16:32 Those whom the angels will carry off while in a state-of-grace, saying: “Peace upon you; enter Paradise for what you did.”
16:33 Do they only expect that the angels should come to them, or that your Lord’s Command should come? This is what those who came before them did. Allah did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves.
16:34 They were afflicted by the evil consequences of their actions, and were overtaken by what they mocked (the punishment).
29. What about those upon whom Allah will inflict evil for their supposed sins?
An interesting concept, doing evil to those who have done evil—but that was not your question. Some sinners will be carried off by angels, definitely those with legs intertwined, though the flight will not be pleasant and the destination leaves a lot to be desired.
47:27 How, then, will it be when the angels shall carry them off, beating their faces and their buttocks?
47:28 That is because they have followed what has angered Allah and were averse to His good pleasure. So He has foiled their works.
30. Why would peoples’ legs be intertwined?
This may be specific to people like Abu Jahl—a prominent figure in Mecca with soldiers at his disposal, which will be of no avail against “the guards of Hell”—who denied Allah’s Revelations, for which God will drag him by the forelock on Judgement Day.
96:9 Have you considered him (Abu Jahl) who forbids,
96:10 A servant when he prays?
96:11 Have you considered whether he was well-guided?
96:12 Or commanded piety?
96:13 Have you considered whether he was lying and backtracking?
96:14 Does he not know that Allah perceives?
96:15 No; if he will not desist, We shall take him by the forelock,
96:16 A lying, erring forelock.
96:17 Let him then call his company.
96:18 We shall call the guards of Hell.
96:19 No; do not obey him. Prostrate yourself and come closer.
75:28 And he (Abu Jahl) thinks that was the parting;
75:29 And leg is intertwined with leg;
75:30 Unto your Lord shall be the resort.
75:31 For he (Abu Jahl) did not believe nor pray;
75:32 But rather denied and turned away.
75:33 Then, he went to his own folk in a swagger.
75:34 Woe be to you and woe;
75:35 Then, woe be to you and woe!
31. Did Allah actually double “woe”—or was it quadruple “woe”—this Jahl fellow?
Yes, God is one to repeat himself. Get used to it!
32. How will the angels be able to beat Abu Jahl’s buttocks while carrying him to wherever? Do angels have claws for feet like hawks?
I doubt it. Maybe one angel will do the lifting and another, the beating. After all, there will be two of them, each considering who will take on the role of the charmer.
33. Who will be the what?!
75:20 No, indeed, you loved the present life;
75:21 And forsake the Hereafter.
75:22 On that Day, faces shall be radiant,
75:23 Looking upon their Lord.
75:24 And faces, on that Day, shall be scowling;
75:25 Thinking that a disaster shall be wrecked upon them.
75:26 No indeed, when (the soul) reaches the breast-bones,
75:27 And it is said: “Who shall be the charmer?”
According to Moududi, “charmer” refers to the angel who will take the soul of the reborn deceased, when it reaches, in this instance ‘the breast-bone’. If you loved your life among the living, it will be an angel from the Punishment contingent who will do this; if you yearned for the Hereafter, and did all the right things, it will be an angel from the Mercy contingent. Again, this is all according to our foremost authority on Allah's Book, the first recipient of the King Faisal International Award for his contribution to Islamic studies and our understanding of the Koran.
34. How charming—but wait! One minute I am walking, and the next I am flying. Which is it?
I don’t know! Maybe only those from the far corners of the Earth will be brought to Dabiq by air. Perhaps you will be walking part of the way and flying another distance. Don’t make things complicated. Just believe, as Allah says, “with certainty,” and everything will make sense; even the stuff that doesn’t.
35. How long will the trip to Hell take?
Not long. Shorty after Allah appears surrounded by His angels, Hell will be brought closer. Unlike Paradise, it will have to be dragged to its station.
The Prophet said: “Hell will be brought forth that Day by means of seventy thousand ropes, each of which will be held by seventy thousand angels.”
Angels come in a variety of configurations, which will make the spectacle even more impressive.
35:1 Praise be to Allah, Originator of the heavens and the earth, Who appointed the angels as messengers, having wings twofold, threefold and fourfold. He increases the creation as He wills. Allah, indeed, has power over everything.
89:21 No; when the earth is demolished completely.
89:22 And your Lord comes, together with the angels, in rows upon rows;
89:23 And Hell is brought forth on that Day. Then man will remember on that Day; but wherefrom will remembrance come to him?
89:24 He will say: “Would that I had advanced something for (this) my life!”
89:25 On that Day, none shall punish like His (Hell’s) punishment.
89:26 And none shall bind with fetters like His.
36. Here’s an easy question; how should I dress for the occasion?
If you are an unbeliever, fireproof clothing would be a good idea; otherwise, if you have the time, put on the best finery that Allah has provided for you.
7:32 Say: “Who has forbidden Allah’s finery which He fashioned for His servants, or the good things He provided?” Say: “These are meant, in the present world, for those who believe, and exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection.” Thus We make clear Our Revelations for a people who know.
37. How will I know where to go? What to do?
You will be accompanied by two angels known as the Kiraman Katibeen, i.e., the Noble Writers, who have been perched on your shoulders since you were born; the one on the right records your good deeds and the one on your left records your bad ones, all in a book that they will share when the time comes.
50:16 We have indeed created man, and We know what his soul insinuates to him. We are to him closer than the jugular vein.
50:17 When the two angels receive, one sitting on the right, the other on the left;
50:18 He does not utter a word but is observed by a vigilant observer by his side.
According to www.islamicstudies.info, a trusted website in these matters, one of these angels, the "driver" in Revelation 50:21, will take you where you have to go: “On the Day of Resurrection, when every man will rise from his grave on the sounding of the Trumpet, the two angels will come forth immediately and take him into their custody. One of them will drive him to the divine court and the other will be carrying his record.” .
50:19 The death pang has come in truth. “That is what you were turning away from.”
50:20 The Trumpet will be blown; “That is the Day of Warning.”
50:21 Every soul will come forward with (an angel) driver and a (an angel) witness.
50:22 “You were oblivious of this; so We lifted your cover from you and your vision today is keen.”
38. So Allah will listen to the testimony of someone who should know?
Not always. If you were part of an entire nation, like that of Pharaoh, which did not believe in Allah, you will probably be judged without any preliminaries, along with other nations whose citizens and jinns couldn’t have cared less about His Revelations. The driver angels, like in a massive cattle drive, will immediately herd you all into Hell, one after the other.
7:38 Allah will say: “Enter together with nations who have gone before you, jinn and men, into the Fire. Every time a nation enters it, it curses its sister-nation; so that when they shall have followed each other into it, the last of them will say of the first: “Our Lord, these led us astray; inflict on them a double punishment in the Fire.” He will say: “A double [punishment] to each, but you do not know.”
7:39 And the first of them will say to the last: “In no way are you better than us; so taste the punishment for what you did.”
39. Which Pharaoh is this?
The Pharaoh of Moses and Pharaoh; he is the only historical real-world leader in all of history mentioned by name, i.e., his title, as making an appearance on Judgement Day when he will lead his people into Hell. It will be magnificent!
11:96 And we have indeed sent Moses with Our Signs and a manifest authority,
11:97 To Pharaoh and his dignitaries; but they followed Pharaoh’s command, and Pharaoh’s command was not sound.
11:98 He shall be at the head of his people on the Day of Resurrection; thus he shall lead them into the Fire. How wretched is the place to which they will be led!
40. Note to self: Don’t follow the pharaoh on Judgement Day; he’s going where you don’t want to go. Won’t the believers also be fumbling in the semi-darkness towards the judgement place?
Not really; Allah will provide them with a light.
57:12 On the Day that you will see the believers, men and women, with their light beaming in front of them and in their right hands [the sign]: “Your good news today is Gardens beneath which rivers flow; dwelling therein forever. That indeed is the great triumph.”
57:19 And those who believe in Allah and His Messenger are truly the pious and the martyrs in their Lord’s Sight. They shall have their wage and their light; but those who disbelieve and deny Our Signs, are truly the companions of Hell.
41. If I don’t have a light of my own, can I follow those who do?
Think again. Allah thinks of everything.
57:13 On the Day the hypocrites, men and women, will say to the believers: “Wait for us, so that we may borrow from your light.” It will be said: “Go back and seek for yourselves a light.” Then a wall will be raised between them both, which has a door. On the inner part thereof is Mercy, and on the opposite side the outer part thereof is punishment.
57:14 They will call out to them: “Were we not with you?” They will say: “Yes indeed; but you deluded yourselves, you waited long, doubted and were deceived by false hopes, until Allah’s Decree came and the deceiver (Satan) deceived you regarding Allah.”
42. I thought the hypocrites were those who couldn’t make up their minds about accepting Islam? Those on-again, off-again apostates!
You may be right. All that is known for certain is that only the believers will possess this light, whatever it is.
43. At least I have a driver; that is very considerate of Allah.
Again, not really—not if you believed in other gods, or worshipped the son He never had. If you did, that driver angel and his friend spell trouble, big trouble.
50:23 His companion (angel) will say: “This is what I have; it is ready.”
50:24 (Allah will say): “Cast into Hell every obdurate unbeliever; 50:25 “Hinderer of the good, transgressor and doubter;
50:26 “Who has set up another god beside Allah. Cast him, then, into the terrible punishment.”
44. What is this inner door called Mercy?
I am not sure. What I am sure of, however, is that if you are a hypocrite or an unbeliever you will not be allowed through it.
57:15 Therefore, today no ransom will be taken from you (the hypocrites), nor from the unbelievers. The Fire will be your refuge; it will be your master; and what an evil fate!”
45. So the believers will go through the door of Mercy to enter Paradise?
Believers who have committed no sin don’t require mercy to enter Paradise; perhaps that is why Allah will gather the believers in one group and lead them to the gates. Maybe that is where the driver angel comes in again?
13:20 Those who fulfil their pledge to Allah and do not violate the Covenant;
13:21 And those who join together what Allah has commanded to be joined, fear their Lord and dread the terror of reckoning;
13:22 And those who forbear, seeking the face of their Lord, perform the prayer, spend freely of what We have provided them with, secretly and in public, and counter evil with good – to those belong the blissful end of the Hereafter.
13:23 They shall enter the Gardens of Eden, together with the righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their posterity; and the angels shall enter upon them from every gate [saying]:
13:24 “Peace be upon you for your forbearance and blessed is the final Abode!”
19:85 The Day we shall gather the God-fearing before the Compassionate as one party.
46. What about the other kind, the unbelievers?
You mean those who “spread corruption in the land.”
13:25 As to those who break Allah’s Covenant once it is contracted, sever what Allah commanded to be joined and spread corruption in the land, upon them shall be the curse and theirs is the evil abode (Hell).
47. So the unbelievers—those who spread corruption in land, who were not herded into the Fire with their leaders leading the way—will now be gathered by Allah and led into Hell by His Almightiness?
Not before parading the most culpable around its perimeter on their knees, after which there will be a selection of the most guilty.
19:66 Man says: “If I die, shall I be raised from the dead?”
19:67 Does not man remember that We created him before, when he was nothing?
19:68 By your Lord then, We shall certainly gather them together with the devils, then we will lead them around Hell on their knees.
19:69 Then We shall seize from each group the most rebellious against the Compassionate.
Then, it’s into the boiling water before being herded into Hell! (Though there may be exceptions.)
19:86 And drive the wicked into Hell as one thirsty herd.
19:87 They have no power of intercession, except for him who has taken a pledge from the Compassionate.
40:70 Those who disbelieved in this Book and what We sent Our Messengers with; they shall surely know.
40:71 When the fetters and chains shall be upon their necks and they shall be dragged along.
40:72 In the boiling water; then, in the Fire they will be consumed.
48. How will He know who is most guilty and why single them out?
He is Allah, what can I say? As for why: to make an example of the “special treatment” they will receive, perhaps a double burning-to-a-crisp, although I don’t know how you would do that.
16:88 [As for] those who disbelieve and debar people from the Path of Allah, We will add punishment to their punishment on account of the mischief they used to make.
19:70 And We certainly know best who among them deserves most to be burned therein.
19:71 There is not one of you but will go down to it (Hell). That is for your Lord a Decree which must be accomplished.
He blinded them to what should have been obvious, but it won’t matter.
20:124 “But he who shuns My Reminder will have a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up a blind man, on the Day of Resurrection.”
20:125 He will say: “Lord, why did your raise me up a blind man, while I was originally capable of seeing?”
20:126 He (Allah) will say: “That is how our Revelations came to you, but you forgot them; and that is how, today, you shall be forgotten.”
20:127 And that is how We reward the extravagant who would not believe in the Revelations of His Lord. The punishment of the Hereafter is surely more terrible and more lasting.
In the Koran, bad people usually have it good in this life, which may explain www.islamicstudies.info giving a new definition to ‘hardship’ in Revelation 20:124: in this instance, it means “suffering from pangs of a guilty conscience and deprived of the peace of mind and real happiness” that comes from having ignored the ‘Reminder’.
49. So the unbelievers will not literally be blinded? That would be terrible!
Allah’s Hell isn’t just about pain and terror on a cosmic scale; it’s also about gloating. Remember, Hell can be seen from Paradise, and vice versa. In fact, Hell will be a large part of the entertainment for the inhabitants of Paradise who, along with God, will laugh at and mock the tormented unbelievers from the comforts of Paradise. Throughout the Koran, Allah revels in what He will do to unbelievers when they inevitably cross into His Dominion. Blind unbelievers roasting in Hell, not being able to see the enjoyment of believers and His Messenger, would seriously reduce the gloating factor. In fact, God admits in one revelation that He will not literally blind them, so that they can “see the path they should have taken” (Moududi).
36:66 And had We wished, We would have blotted out their eyes. Then they would race upon the pathway but how will they see.
36:67 And had We wished, We would have deformed them upon their own seats, so that they could not take off or turn back.
50. Gloating?! If it wasn't for the out-of-this-word sadism, that would be so childish!
Children can be cruel—though perhaps not that cruel—and by the way, children will not be spared the terror of Judgement Day either.
73:15 We have sent unto you a Messenger (the Prophet Muhammad), bearing witness against you, just as We had sent unto Pharaoh a Messenger.
73:16 Then Pharaoh disobeyed the Messenger; so we seized him with terrible force.
73:17 So, how will you guard, if you disbelieve, against a Day which will make children white with fear?
73:18 The heavens shall be rent asunder thereby. His Promise is a thing accomplished.
73:19 This is truly a reminder; so that he who wishes may follow unto his Lord a path.
51. What kind of god takes pleasure in scaring children? I thought Jesus was one of Allah’s messengers; didn’t he say something about the Kingdom of Heaven belonging to children?
Muhammad was chosen to correct lesser messengers such as Jesus, who obviously got it wrong.
52. Children being scared white; how awful!
If you think that’s bad, those terrified children will then have to appear alone before Allah to be judged.
31:33 O people fear your Lord and beware of the Day when no father shall stand for his child and no infant shall stand for his father in the least. Allah’s promise is true, so let not the present life delude you or let any deceiver delude you regarding Allah.
53. Did Allah actually single out infants?
In my translation, yes.
54. I think I am going to be sick. What next?
Then it is time to separate those deemed good from the bad.
19:72 Then, we shall deliver the righteous and leave the wrongdoers therein on their knees.
55. Haven’t we already done that?
This time around, the selection will be made based on facial appearance.
10:25 And Allah summons to the Abode of Peace and leads whomever He pleases to a straight path.
10:26 To those who do the good is the best reward (Paradise) and more (they will be able to look at Allah); and their faces shall not be covered with blackness or misery. Those are the people of Paradise, wherein they will abide forever.
3:106 On the Day when some faces will turn white and others will turn black. As to those whose faces turn black [it will be said]: “Did you disbelieve after you had believed? Then taste the punishment because you have disbelieved.”
3:107 But as for those whose faces turned white, they will dwell in Allah’s Mercy (Paradise) forever.
3:108 These are the Revelations of Allah. We recite them to you in truth, and Allah does not desire any injustice for mankind.
3:109 And to Allah belongs what is in the heavens and on earth, and unto Him all matters shall be referred.
56. Does that mean only white people will enter Paradise, and black people sent to Hell?
There is a difference between skin complexion that is a result of your race and skin colour that is a result of God applying His own brand of makeup to the people He will welcome into His home.
57. Why would Allah perpetuate a stereotype that white is better than black, and by that I mean people.
It has nothing to do with people I am sure. Don’t you a have a favourite colour?
58. That’s beside the point. If I was a black person and to enter Paradise I would have to let God make me into a white-face (sic), I would be insulted.
People who are unhappy with whatever Allah does don’t get an invite, so I wouldn’t worry about it.
59. How will I know my friends if Allah has not guided me down a straight path?
You will have no friends, and God told Muhammad to make that crystal clear, but not before repeating what should be obvious by now.
40:15 Exalted in rank, Owner of the Throne, He cast the spirit by His command upon whomever of His servants He wishes, to warn of the Day of the Encounter.
40:16 The Day on which they will emerge, nothing of theirs being concealed from Allah. “Whose is the sovereignty today?” “It is Allah’s, the One, the Conqueror.”
40:17 Today, every soul will be rewarded for what is has earned. There is no injustice today. Allah is surely Quick in reckoning. 40:18 Warn them of the Day of Imminence, when the hearts shall come up to the throats. The wrongdoers will have then no intimate friend and no intercessor will be heeded.
40:19 He knows what the eyes betray and what the breasts conceal.
43:67 Friends on that Day shall be enemies of one another; except for the God-fearing.
The only people you will be remotely intimate with will be the unbelievers in chains next to you, and all of your faces will be on fire or charred beyond recognition.
14:48 On the Day the earth shall change into another earth, and the heavens too; and they shall appear before Allah, the One, the Conqueror.
14:49 And you will see the wicked sinners on that Day bound together in chains.
14:50 Their garments made of pitch and their faces on fire.
14:51 That Allah may reward every soul according to what it has earned. Surely Allah is Quick at reckoning.
14:52 This is a proclamation to mankind that they be warned thereby, and know that He is One God, and that men of understanding may remember well.
39:60 On the Day of Resurrection, you will see those who told lies against Allah with their faces blackened. Is not there in Hell a resting-place for the arrogant?
39:61 And Allah will save the God-fearing on account of their felicitous deeds. No evil will touch them and they will not grieve.
60. The Compassionate is One Vengeful God, indeed. What is meant by “the earth shall change into another earth”?
Based on what you heard so far, the Earth as we know it will take quite a beating on Judgement Day. In fact, according to one revelation Allah will smash it to bits.
69:13 Then when the Trumpet shall be blown a single time;
69:14 And the earth and the mountains shall be lifted and then crushed with a single blow.
61. If Judgment Day is to take place on Earth, won’t God need a usable planet?
I will let Moududi explain how He will go about recreating one:
It is obvious from this verse (14:48) and some hints in the Qur'an that on the occasion of Resurrection, the Earth and the Heavens will not be totally destroyed but at the blowing of the "First Trumpet", the existing physical system shall be disarranged. After this, between the blowing of the "First" and the "Last Trumpet" the present form and aspect of the earth and the heavens shall be transformed and a new physical system with new physical laws will come into existence. That will be the world of the Hereafter. When the "Last Trumpet" will be blown, all human beings from Adam to those born before the "First Trumpet", shall be brought to life and appear before Allah. The Qur'an calls this (Hashr) which literally means "to muster and gather together". It appears from the wording of the Qur'an and some clear statements in the Traditions that this will take place on this Earth. The "Seat of Judgment" and the "Scales" will be established on the Earth and the decisions will be passed here.
A clear revelation to that effect is Verse 79:14 from Surah 79, The Snatchers.
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
79:1 By those who snatch violently (angels who tear out the souls of the wicked with violence, Yusuf Ali),
79:2 And those who draw out lightly (angels who gently draw out the souls of the blessed, Yusuf Ali),
79:3 And those who glide smoothly (angels who glide along on errands of mercy, Yusuf Ali),
79:4 And those who outstrip suddenly (press forward as in a race, Yusuf Ali),
79:5 And those who conduct an affair (the Commands of their Lord, Yusuf Ali).
79:6 On the day that the first blast shall reverberate.
79:7 Followed by the succeeding blast.
79:8 Hearts on that Day shall be throbbing;
79:9 Their sights downcast.
79:10 They will say: “Shall we then be restored to the original condition.
79:11 “Shall we, after we were shrivelled bones?”
79:12 They will say: “That indeed was a losing turn.”
79:13 Then, it will be only a single blast;
79:14 And they will be back on the surface of the earth.
62. Still, it will be a tight squeeze. Imagine Earth with perhaps 200 billion or more people!
Not to mention billions of jinns and angels. Maybe that is why Allah flattens the mountains or sends them careening across the sky—to make more room.
20:105 And they will ask about the mountains, say: “My Lord will reduce them to dust,
20:106 “And leave them as bare flatland,
20:107 “In which you see no ups and downs.”
27:87 And on the Day the Trumpet is blown, those in the heavens and on earth are terrified, except for whomever Allah wills; and everyone will come to Him humbly.
27:88 And you will see the mountains and suppose them immobile, whereas they are passing quickly like clouds – the Handiwork of Allah Who perfected everything. He is truly conversant with what you do.
If you can still manage, while being pressed on all sides, to do a good deed on Judgement Day, you won’t be terrified by Allah’s end-of-days spectacle. Then again, Revelation 27:89 may refer to doing a good deed before all the mayhem.
27:89 Whoever performs a good deed will receive a reward better than it, and they are secure on that day against the terror.
Of course, if you commit an evil deed on that Day, or have done evil before the big squeeze, you will be cast face-first into the fire.
27:90 And those who perpetrate an evil deed, their faces will be cast into the Fire. Will you be rewarded except for what you used to do?
39:24 Is he who wards off with his face the evil punishment on the Day of Resurrection? And it is said then to the wrongdoers: “Taste what you used to earn.”
63. Will I be allowed to carry anything?
You will probably be allowed to carry your book of good and bad deeds, which will be given to you by an angel before you appear before the Judge. If the angel gives it to you in your left hand or passes it behind your back, your goose is literally and figuratively cooked.
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.
64. 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 their book of good and bad deeds in their right hand will be clamouring for God’s attention, wanting Him to read it in front of everybody, knowing they’re going to Paradise.
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.”
65. And He will do that—read each one’s book—while billions upon billions of people, jinns and angels stand around doing nothing?
Allah has all the time in the world, and as long as all those billions, if not a trillion or more, are praising Him or trembling in terror before Him, He’s happy. As to the angels, they 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 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.”
As to God reading some of the believers’ books? I don’t think so, but He may allow some of those handed their book in their right hand to read it aloud 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.”
66. What happens after everyone has been given their books?
Once everyone has settled down, there will be an official announcement for the unbelievers, who will be allowed to say a few words on their own 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?”
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.
67. So, is there a way out?
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.
68. Not even if I confess my sins and ask for forgiveness?
Do that and you will only be incriminating yourself. Confessing your sins and asking forgiveness will only make it more likely that the Compassionate will confine and torment you in His Hell for an eternity.
67:9 They will say: “Yes indeed; a warner came to us but we disbelieved and said: ‘Allah did not send down anything; you are simply in grave error.’”
67:10 And they will also say: “Had we listened or reasoned, we would not be among the companions of the Fire.”
67:11 So, they will confess their sin. Away then, with the Companions of the Fire.”
69. What about the people who are not given their book in their right hand?
Do you really want to know? Can’t you guess?
70. 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."
69:33 “He certainly did not believe in Allah, the Sublime.
69:34 “And did not urge feeding the destitute;
69:35 “Therefore, today he shall have no intimate friend, here;
69:36 “And no food except foul pus;
69:37 “Which only the sinners will eat.”
71. At least that part won’t last long; who is going to linger to eat pus?!
Wrong again. God will want those He often refers to as “Companions of the Left” to know why they are going to Hell and to marvel at how 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.
72. 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.
73. The book will be set down! What book? I don’t get it.
Your book of good and bad deeds will be set down for you to read.
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.”
74. So the actual judgement begins with a reading, before Allah, of my book of good and bad deeds?
Not quite. First you must answer at least one question, a trick question, and then, for unbelievers only, there will be an additional but more straightforward question with an answer that may surprise you.
75. A trick question?! You have got to be kidding.
I am not kidding; this is serious stuff. God will ask everyone who comes before Him to judge how many days he or she has lingered.
76. Lingered where?
Lingered on earth?
77. That’s easy enough.
Not really. As I said before, it’s a trick question for which God 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?”
78. Why would they say a day or less?
According to some scholars, this is God’s way of making the statement that life is short. He will actually agree, more or less, with the estimate provided.
23:114 He (Allah) will say: “You only lingered for a little while, if only you knew.
23:115 “Did you, then, think that We created you in vain and that unto Us you will not be returned?”
79. What about that other question?
God will ask the unbelievers if they agree that the punishment is just.
80. 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.”
81. That is nuts! 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.
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; even if they did, it would not make any 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.
82. What about my sister or my daughter?
What about them?
83. Will they be allowed to speak on my behalf?
I wouldn’t be surprised if Allah does not mention them at all; as revealed in His Koran, women make bad witnesses and would only complicate the whole judging process.
2:282 And call to witness two witnesses of your men; if not two men, then one man and two women from such witnesses you approve of, so that if one of them (the two women) fails to remember, the other will remind her.
You will find the complete verse in Women and the Koran: A Divine Bias, Boreal Books.
84. As if Allah hasn’t already done that all by Himself. Will we be allowed to speak with one other?
Yes. Believers and unbelievers will be able to discuss their relative situations, but not too loudly if they are near the Almighty Judge, 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.”
85. Blue-eyed with terror? I did not know terror could do that!
According to some scholars, this means that the blood has drained from your head out of fear—as good an explanation as any.
86. Getting back to the trick question, I thought the appropriate answer was less than a day?
My guess would be that the wrongdoers revise their estimates after being told what the question is all about. It is not referring to their time on Earth or since returning from the dead, but how long God has been keeping track of their bad deeds, which those who were “given knowledge and faith” will point out.
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.
87. What is that specific instance you mentioned earlier where I will not be able to talk to my previously dead companions?
You will be asked what you said to the messenger sent to your nation—every nation gets one, or should I say got one—but you will not be able to consult your companions before you answer; this is the meaning of “the tidings will be obscured” in Revelation 28:66, according to Moududi.
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.”
88. How will I know which messenger to listen to and when to keep my mouth shut except to say that 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 even 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 His Eminence, 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.
89. I get the picture and I am getting hungry. Will I be given anything to eat 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.
90. Can I have a smoke while waiting for Allah to pass His Judgement?
There will be a lot of smoke on Judgement Day; just take a deep breath, if you dare, along with all those who will be pleading not to be sent to Hell claiming they were true believers. When Muhammad communicated what would happen on this Day, they said he was mad. God swore He would have his revenge. Nobody, but nobody calls His Messengers ‘madmen’, and certainly not His favourite Messenger, and gets away with it.
44:8 There is no god but He. He gives life and causes to die; your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.
44:9 Yet, in doubt, they frolic.
44:10 Await, then, the Day when heaven shall bring forth visible smoke;
44:11 Enveloping the people. This is a painful punishment,
44:12 “Our Lord, lift the punishment from us, for we are true believers.”
44:13 How can there be for them an admonition, when a manifest Messenger has already come to them?
44:14 But they turned away from him saying: “He is a tutored madman.”
44:15 We will lift the punishment a little. Surely, you are reverting.
44:16 On the Day when We shall strike the mightiest blow, then We shall take our revenge.
91. Can I plead my case?
What case? If you were an unbeliever, you have no case! Of that, God will let you know 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.”
92. Can I have someone else intercede on my behalf?
Yes, if God is in a good mood, which is highly unlikely considering the circumstances. If you do find someone to put in a good word, make sure he is male and skilled in the art of praise.
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.
93. What if the devil made me do it? For example, he lured me to worship another god instead of Allah?
The devil will dispute that claim, even if God readily admits that He sent devils to incite the unbelievers to sin further.
50:27 His companion (his demon) will say: “Our Lord, I did not mislead him; but he was already in profound error.”
19:83 Have you not seen how We sent the devils against the unbelievers to keep inciting them to [sin].
19:84 So do not hasten (O Muhammad) [their punishment] We are indeed counting for them the days.
43:36 And he who is blind to the remembrance of the All-Compassionate, We shall assign to him a demon, who will be his constant companion.
43:37 They (the demons) will certainly bar them from the Path, while they think they are well-guided.
43:38 But when he comes to Us, he will say: “Would that between me and you is the distance between East and West.” What a wretched companion!
43:39 Today, it will not avail you, being wrongdoers, that you are partners in punishment.
94. That is wicked!
95. What if I believed in those other gods and now repudiate them?
If you did not repudiate them when you were alive (the first time), you are a criminal, so repudiating them in the Hereafter would be pointless.
30:11 Allah originates creation and then brings it back into being. Then unto Him you shall be returned.
30:12 And on the Day that the Hour comes, the criminals will be confounded.
30:13 And they will have no intercessors among their associates and they will repudiate their associates.
30:14 And on the Day that the Hour comes, they shall be divided.
30:15 As for those who have believed and done the righteous deeds, they will be in a garden, fully joyful.
30:16 But as for those who have disbelieved and denounced Our Signs and the Encounter of the Hereafter as lies, those shall be summoned to suffer the punishment.
96. What if I am a weak person who can’t help but submit to the domineering, the bad boys?
Being mentally or emotionally handicapped, as your compulsive behavior would indicate, is not an excuse that the Compassionate will accept. If you had believed in His Revelations, they would have given you the strength to resist whom Allah calls the overbearing.
14:21 And when they all appear before Allah, the weak will say to the overbearing : “We were indeed your followers; can you, then, do anything to save us from Allah’s Punishment?” They will say: “Had Allah guided us, we would have guided you. Whether we fear or forbear, we have no escape.”
You may want to join the mob who will ask Allah to be allowed to trampled the men and jinn who led them astray, if that will make you feel better.
41:29 The unbelievers shall say: “Lord, show us both those who led us astray of jinn and men, that we might trampled them under our feet and that they may be reckoned among the lowliest of creatures.”
97. I have never met a jinn. Have you ever met a jinn?
No, I have not. They are spirits that inhabit another dimension. There are good and evil jinns. The caricature of the genie is probably based on this creature of the Koran.
98. No three wishes and you’re out of Hell, then?
No; they can’t even help themselves.
46:18 Those against whom the Decree (the punishment, Moududi) was pronounced, from among nations which passed away before them, both of jinn and mankind, were truly the losers.
46:19 To each will be allotted ranks according to what they did, and He will certainly pay them in full for their works, and they shall not be wronged.
46:20 On the day that the unbelievers shall be exposed to the Fire: “You have squandered your goods in your worldly life and enjoyed them. Today, then, you will be rewarded with the punishment of humiliation, because you used to wax proud on earth, without any right, and because you used to sin.”
99. What if I was oppressed or treated badly by people or jinn in power?
If you mean downtrodden, you’re also out of luck.
34:31 The unbelievers say: “We will never believe in this Qur’an, nor in what came before it.” If you could only see when the wrongdoers are arrayed before their Lord, each one reproaching the other, the downtrodden saying to the arrogant: “But for you, we would have been believers.”
34:32 The arrogant will say to the downtrodden: “Did we really bar you from the guidance after it came to you? No, you were rather ungodly.”
34:33 Then the downtrodden will say to the arrogant: “It was rather your cunning night and day, when you commanded us to disbelieve in Allah and assign equals to Him.” They will be secretly remorseful, when they see the punishment. We will put shackles around the necks of the unbelievers; will they be rewarded but for what they used to do?
100. What if I believed those who said that Muhammad was simply repeating “Fables of the ancients”; that I was an ignorant?
Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. You should know that by now. Chances are that you will be joining those who accused Muhammad of telling tales and of scheming in Hell. God has dealt with their types before.
16:24 And if it is said to them: “What has your Lord revealed?” they say: “Fables of the ancients.”
16:25 So let them on the Day of Resurrection bear in full their burdens and some of the burdens of the ignorant whom they lead astray. How evil is that which they shall bear!
16:26 Those who came before them schemed and Allah razed their building from the foundation and the roof fell upon them from above them, and punishment came upon them from whence they did not know.
16:27 Then, on the Day of Resurrection, He will disgrace them and will say: “Where are my associates about whom you used to argue?” Those who are given knowledge will say: “Disgrace and evil will this day be upon the unbelievers;
16:28 “Who are carried off by the angels while still wrongdoing themselves.” Then, they will offer submission saying: “We did not do any evil.” Surely, Allah knows well what you were doing.
16:29 Enter, then, the gates of Hell, abiding therein forever. Wretched indeed is the abode of the arrogant!
101. I thought we were talking about those who accused Muhammad of telling tales, and the ignorant, not the arrogant.
What can I say? For Allah, they’re all the same. To Hell with them!
102. What if I was an unbeliever and now I believe? Can I expect any mercy from Allah?
Haven’t you been listening?
6:27 And if only you could see when they are stationed before the Fire and thus they say: “Would that we could be brought back so that we would not denounce the Revelations of our Lord, but would be part of the believers.”
6:28 Indeed, what they used to conceal before will become clear to them; and were they returned [to life], they would surely go back to that which they were forbidden from. They are indeed liars.
6:29 And they say: “There is only this life and we shall not be resurrected.”
6:30 And if only you could see when they are made to stand before their Lord. He will say: “Is not this the truth?” They will say: “Yes, by our Lord.” He will say: “Taste then the punishment, on account of your disbelief.”
6:31 Those who deny the Encounter with Allah are losers. And when the Hour overtakes them suddenly, they will say: “Alas, we neglected much in it.” For they carry their burdens on their backs. And evil is what they carry!
14:42 And do not think that Allah is unaware of what the wrongdoers do. He only gives them respite until the Day in which eyes shall stare blankly;
14:43 Hastening forward, their heads upraised, their gaze not returning to them, and their hearts vacant.
14:44 And warn mankind (Muhammad) of the Day when the punishment shall overtake them. Whereupon the wrongdoers will say: “Our Lord, give us respite for a near period and we will answer Your Call and follow the Messengers.” [It will be said to them]: “Did you not swear before, that you will never cease to exist?”
14:45 You lived in the dwellings of the those who wronged themselves, and thus you saw clearly how We dealt with them, and We made [them] examples to you.
14:46 And they hatched their plots, and Allah knew their plotting although their plotting was such as to move the mountains.
14:47 Do not think, then, that Allah will break His Promise to His messengers. Allah is truly Mighty and Capable of Retribution.
16:84 And on the Day when We raise from every nation a witness, the unbelievers shall not be given leave or allowed to repent.
16:85 And when the wrongdoers behold the punishment, it shall not be lightened for them and they shall not be reprieved.
103. Having cruelly despatched the people who did not care for His Messengers or their message into the next world, you would think that was punishment enough?
No, that was just the beginning of an eternity of pain. You just don’t mess with His Messengers, if you know what’s good for you.
104. Why do I get the impression that only sycophants will be allowed into Paradise?
It may not only be an impression. Even, it would seem, sinless infants—too young to know the difference between good and evil, but born to unbelieving parents—are going to roast in Hell for eternity, while believing adults who have done evil while believing in Allah will be admitted into Paradise.
64:9 On the Day when He shall gather you for the Day of Forgathering. That is the Day of Mutual Exchange. He who believes in Allah and acts righteously, He will acquit him of his evil actions and admit him into Gardens beneath which rivers flow, dwelling therein forever. That is the great triumph.
64:10 And those who disbelieved and denounced Our Signs, those are the Companions of the Fire, dwelling therein forever; and what a miserable fate!
As to the extravagant, the less said the better.
34:34 We never sent forth a warner to a city but the extravagant in it said: “We disbelieve in the message you have been sent with.”
34:35 They say: “We have more abundant wealth and children and we will not be punished.”
34:36 Say: “Indeed, my Lord expands the provision to whomever He wishes and restricts it; but most people do not know.”
34:37 It is not your wealth or your children that bring you closer to Us, but it is he who believes and does the righteous deed. To those will be meted out the double reward and in the lofty chambers they shall be secure.
8:28 And know that your wealth and your children are a temptation, and with Allah is a great reward.
105. I don’t think it is extravagant to care more about your children and having the means to look after them, which I consider ‘righteous’ deeds, than about pleasing a self-absorbed deity who demands that I care more about Him than my children if I am to be allowed into Paradise – not even for triple the reward!
And that is why I will probably see you in Hell.
106. That Day of Mutual Exchange you mentioned earlier: are we going to be exchanging gifts? Should I bring a present, and for whom?
According to al-Tabari, another respected Islamic scholar, it is the day the inhabitants of Paradise defrauded the inhabitants of Hell.
107. Say what?!
He’s been dead for more than a thousand years. What you need to remember is that the believers who stole from those burning in Hell will be forgiven by Allah.
108. What else is new? Is it true that the Devil will also be sitting in judgement with God on Judgement Day?
That is correct. On Judgement Day, the Devil will be with Allah and the prophets mocking the poor souls who followed his advice instead of that of God’s Messengers, and he will agree with God that they should all suffer a painful punishment.
14:22 And the Devil said when the issue was settled: “Allah has surely given you a true promise; and I made you a promise but did not keep it. I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you answered me. Do not blame me then, but blame yourselves; I cannot help you and you cannot help me. I deny your associating me [with Allah] before. The wrongdoers will have a very painful punishment.”
109. Anybody else?
Yes. For the big Day, Allah will have invited all the other gods that unbelievers believed in.
110. So these others gods, which Allah goes on and on about in the Koran, are real—they actually do exist?
I guess so, but then again, in one revelation, God tells Muhammad to remind those who think they have gods interceding on their behalf that they are badly mistaken, for He is not aware of their existence, and Allah, of course, always tells the truth.
10:17 For, who is more wicked than one who forges lies about Allah and denies His Revelations? Indeed, the wicked sinners shall never prosper.
10:18 They worship, apart from Allah, what neither harms nor benefits them, and (the unbelievers) say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say (Muhammad): “Do you inform Allah about what He does not know in the heavens or on earth?” Glory be to Him, and may He be exalted above what they associate [with Him]!
To quote Moududi: “To say that something is not known to God amounts to saying that it does not exist. For, quite obviously, all that exists is known to God.”
111. That is logical if you believe in an All-Knowing, Omnipresent God; but still, it’s weird that Allah would tell the unbelievers that these lesser gods are a figment of their imagination, and then give these non-existent competing deities center stage on Judgement Day.
Weird is not the word!
112. Are these lesser gods there to help persuade Allah not to send me to Hell?
Yeah, right! They are there to disown those who believed in them. They will call them liars to their faces, as the one-and-only god always knew they would, and will deny those who used to worship them.
16:86 And when those who associated other gods with Allah see their associates they shall say: “Our Lord, these are our associates whom we used to call upon besides you.” But their associates will retort: “Surely you are liars.”
16:87 And they shall offer Allah submission on that day; and what they used to fabricate shall stray away from them.
19:81 And they took, besides Allah, other gods, to be for them a source of strength.
19:82 No, they shall repudiate their worship and turn against them.
25:17 And the Day He shall muster them and what they worship, apart from Allah, then He says: “Was it you, then, who misled these My servants, or did they stray from the Path themselves?”
25:18 They will say: “Glory be to You; we should never have taken, apart from You, any protectors; but You accorded them and their fathers momentary enjoyment, until they forgot the Reminder and became a lost people.”
113. Why would they do this?
By agreeing with Allah that you should spend an eternity in Hell, these lesser gods hope to avoid your fate.
10:28 On the Day We will muster them all together; then We will say to those who set up associates with Allah: “Stay in your places, you and your associates.“ Then We shall separate them, and their associates will say: “You were not worshipping us.
10:29 “Allah is a sufficient witness between us and you; for we were unaware of your worshipping us.”
10:30 There, each soul shall know what it had done in advance; and they will be turned over to Allah, their true Master; and what [falsehood] they invented will stray away from them.
18:51 I (Allah) did not call them to witness the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor their own creation; and I did not take those who lead astray as supporters.
18:52 And on the day He will say: “Call on whom you claimed to be My Associates.” They will call on them, but they will not answer them, and We will set a valley of destruction between them.
18:53 The wicked will see the Fire and will think they will fall in it, and will find no escape from it.
28:61 Is he, then, to whom We have promised a fair promise then bestowed it, like one to whom We granted enjoyment in the present life and shall summon on the Day of Resurrection?
28:62 On the Day He shall call them saying: “Where are my associates that you used to allege?”
28:63 Those upon whom the sentence will be passed shall say: “Lord, those whom we induced into error, we induced into error just as we were induced. We proclaim our innocence to You. It was not us they were worshipping.”
28:64 And it will be said to them: “Call your associates”; and so they call them, but the associates will not answer. They saw the punishment and they wished they had been well guided.
35:14 If you call upon them, they do not hear your call; and were they to hear they will not answer you. On the Day of Resurrection they will repudiate your idolatry. None will inform you like the Well-Informed One.
41:47 Upon Him devolves the knowledge of the Hour. No fruit comes out of its bud and no female bears or delivers but with His Knowledge. And on the Day He shall call out to them: “Where are my associates?”, they will say: “We proclaim unto you: ‘None of us is a witness.’ ”
41:48 And what they use to allege formerly will stray away from them and they will realize that they have no escape.
114. And do these real and imaginary gods avoid the fate of those they mislead?
Not on your life. They are your partners in crime whom Allah deceived (Revelation 37:32), and who in turn deceived the unbelievers they will join in Hell (Revelation 37:22).
37:19 It is only one shout, and behold, they are watching.
37:20 And they say: “Woe betide us, this is the Day of Judgement.
37:21 “This is the Day of Decision which we used to question.”
37:22 Gather together those who were wrongdoers, their spouses and what they used to worship;
37:23 Apart from Allah, and lead them to the path of Hell.
37:24 And arrest them for they are accountable.
37:25 Why is it you do not support each other?
37:26 Instead, today they have surrendered.
37:27 And some of them turned to one another asking.
37:28 They said: “You used to come to us from the right.”
37:29 They said: “No, you were no believers.
37:30 “And we had no authority over you; for you were an aggressive people.
37:31 “And thus the punishment of our Lord was meted out to us; therefore we are surely tasting it.
37:32 “So, we misled you, being misled ourselves.”
37:33 Therefore, they are on that Day partners in punishment.
37:34 This is how We treat the criminals.
115. Hold on a minute! In Verse 16:86 and 10:28, the other gods, the associates, call the unbelievers liars. Now they accuse them of being aggressive, but in Revelations 18:52 and 28:64 they remain silent. Which is it?
These other gods really drive Allah around the bend (see Getting to Know Allah: Allah vs. Alleged Associates) which may explain His sometimes confusing rants about their behaviour on Judgement Day.
116. This Allah needs some serious time on the couch.
Yes, Freud would have had a field day getting to the root of Allah’s obsession with these all-consuming inner demons.
117. Will He be satisfied with the testimony of these “demons” and get on with the judging and sentencing already? Is that it? Any more snitches?
This one you won’t believe! At this point, I am ready to believe anything!
118. At this point I am ready to believe anything!
Your own body will accuse you of having sinned. Your various appendages and organs will call you a liar.
36:65 Today, We set a seal upon their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us and their feet will bear witness, regarding what they used to earn.
41:19 And when the enemies of Allah are mustered unto the Fire, they shall be held in check.
41:20 When they reach it, their hearing, sights and skins shall bear witness against them regarding what they used to do.
41:21 And they will say to their skins: “Why did you bear witness against us?” They will say: “Allah Who gave everything speech gave us speech, and He is the One Who created you the first time and unto Him you shall be returned.”
41:22 You did not try to hide from the witness that your hearing, sights and skins would bear against you; but you thought that Allah does not know much of what you do.
41:23 And that thought you entertained regarding your Lord led to your destruction, and so you were numbered among the losers.
41:24 Now if they bear up, then the Fire is their dwelling; and if they seek restoration to favour they will not be among those restored.
41:25 And We have ordained for them companions, who embellished what is in front of them and is behind them. The sentence then was pronounced against them, along with nations which had gone before them, of jinn and men. Truly, they were the losers.
119. I take it that Allah is only a fan of conventional sex?
120. That means billions of backsides will be given a voice on Judgement Day and called upon to testify. That has to be the creepiest, freakiest thing yet.
Talking backsides aside, I find the idea of genitalia of those who have committed adultery or had even conventional sex outside the sanctity of marriage vocalizing its experience and describing the perpetrator (or instigator, if it belongs to a female) in front of an audience of billions somewhat amusing. Allah may inadvertently provide some comic relief for the wretched He has assembled to be judged.
121. That has to be it; no more snitches?
No, it isn’t! It is not only the snitches you have to worry about. There will be no solidarity between those whom Allah has condemned to burn for an eternity. If you were a leader of some type, your followers will plead with God to double your punishment and increase His curse upon you for having led them astray.
33:64 Allah has cursed the unbelievers and prepared for them a blazing fire;
33:65 Dwelling therein forever, not finding a protector or supporter.
33:66 The day their faces are turned around in the Fire, they will say: “If only we had obeyed Allah and the Messenger.”
33:67 They will say: “Lord, we have obeyed our masters and our chiefs and so they had led us astray.
33:68 “Lord, give them the punishment twofold and curse them mightily.”
122. If I am a believer, and for some reason I fear ending up in Hell, is there a way to improve my chances of getting Allah to hear me out?
Actually, there is. Whenever a believer utters the phrase, “the peace and blessings of God be upon him” when Muhammad’s name is mentioned, an angel goes to his grave and brings him the good news. On Judgement Day, the Compassionate will grant a limited number of pleas for clemency from His favourite messenger—some say up to 70,000 passes—for believers who, for some reason or other Allah wants to burn, but who pleased Muhammad with the greatest number of blessings.
123. Does that means that Muhammad will be next to God on Judgement Day?
124. Apart from interceding for the believers hoarse from sending their blessings, will he take up any other role, or will he just stand there with a smug “I told you so!” look on his face?
Early in his mission, when Muhammad was trying to win converts by being nice and conciliatory, God instructed him to tell Meccan unbelievers that their kin would not be questioned about their actions.
34:25 Say: “You will not be questioned about our misdeeds and we will not be questioned about what you do.”
34:26 Say: “Our Lord shall bring us together and judge between us rightly. He is the All-Knowing Judge.”
125. So he will just stand there looking smug most of the time?
That is not what I said. Muhammad will be there next to God on Judgement Day. All the prophets from the Bible and the Koran will be given the opportunity to get back at those who did not believe they were sent by Allah.
4:41 How then will it be, when We bring forward from each nation a witness (its Prophet) and We bring you (Muhammad) forth as a witness against them?
4:42 On that Day, those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that the earth were level upon them, and they will conceal nothing from Allah.
7:6 So, We shall question those to whom Messengers were sent, and We shall question the Messengers.
7:7 Then, We shall recount to them in full knowledge; for We are never absent.
7:8 On that Day the weighing of deeds will be just; those whose scales are heavy will prosper;
7:9 But those whose scales are light, are those who lost their souls on account of denying Our Revelations.
16:89 On the Day when We shall raise up in each nation a witness against them from among themselves, We will bring you (Muhammad) as a witness against them. We have revealed to you the Book (the Koran) which explains everything, as a guide, a mercy and good news to those who submit.
28:74 On the Day He will call them saying: “Where are My associates which you use to allege?”
28:75 And We picked from every nation a witness and said: “Produce your proof.” Then they knew that the truth is Allah’s and those they used to invent (their idols) strayed away from them.
126. This is incredible. Now we have a scale to decide who goes to Hell. First we were told that guilt was decided way back in the grave; then it was when given your book of good and bad deeds behind your back before anyone appears before the Judge (Revelation 84:100). Then, for some reason, it was revealed that Allah would call the Devil as a witness for the Prosecution (Revelation 50:27) to deny that he had led the accused astray; then there were all those revelations about the supposedly non-existent other gods, whom Allah admits to creating (Revelation 18:51), appearing on behalf of the One All-Seeing, All-Hearing, All-Knowing God to bolster His case against the accused. To cap it all off, the accused’s body parts will be testifying against their owner in a grotesque imitation of someone with Lou Gehrig’s Disease!
Now, you are telling me, after this mountain of surreal evidence against the accused, that Allah will call all His messengers—which one Islamic scholar estimated at more than 250 thousand—to testify against those who thought they were nuts. This is ridiculous. Don’t even get me started on those confounding revelations about resurrection and being led straight into Hell, like Pharaoh’s people, as if those unfortunate souls had anything to do with the decisions of this pretender to another god’s favours.
Relax before you give yourself a heart attack! Remember what I told you at the very beginning about Judgement Day being strictly for show. It would have been inconsiderate of God not to give His messengers, especially His favourite and ultimate spokesman to whom He revealed most of what we know about Judgement Day, some speaking roles. As to the lesser messengers, they may not have much to say except perhaps those who wrote things down.
5:109 The Day when Allah shall assemble the Messengers, then say: “What response were you given?” They shall say: “We have no knowledge; You are indeed the Knower of the Unseen.”
10:21 And If We let people taste a mercy after an affliction touches them, they begin to scheme against Our Revelations. Say: “Allah is Quicker at scheming.” Surely our Messengers write down what you scheme.
As to those souls who will be marched straight into Hell? What can I say; Allah loves a parade, especially of those He wishes to humiliate.
127. Allah sent Messengers when writing only existed as chiselled hieroglyphics on stone tablets, if not earlier. Some of those messengers will be dragging heavy loads of evidence against those who thought they were looney toons. Don’t you find it ironic that Allah’s lesser messengers could write but not His greatest who, I am told, was an illiterate?
Gods—or rather, the One God—works in mysterious ways.
128. You’re telling me! With all the people Allah will send to Hell, how will He know when it is full?
He will ask it.
50:30 “On the Day We shall say to Hell: ‘Are you full?', and it shall respond: 'Is there more to come?'”
The Prophet said, "The people will be thrown into the (Hell) Fire and it will say: "Are there any more (to come)?' (50.30) till Allah puts His Foot over it and it will say, 'Qati! Qati! (Enough Enough!)'"
129. Is there any way to sneak into Paradise?
That would be difficult. Its borders will be well guarded.
69:17 And the angels shall be ranged around its borders, eight of whom will be carrying above them, on that Day, the Throne of your Lord.
130. How will Allah be able to judge more than 100 billion people, not counting the jinn, in just one day?
Allah said that one Earth day for Him is a thousand years.
22:47 They ask you to hasten the punishment. Allah will never break His Promise; but a day for your Lord is like a thousand years of what you reckon.
131. A thousand-year day, based on the estimated 106 billion people (Population Reference Bureau) living and dead since Adam and Eve, and a Lunar year of 360 days… This means God will be judging approximately 12 thousand people per Earth hour if Judgement Day had occurred in 2012 (106,000,000,000 people/(1000 years x 360 days x 24 hours)). This is assuming twenty-four hours of non-stop judging and does not include an undetermined number of jinns, whose lifespan and reproduction or death rates Allah has not provided, on top of God's alleged associates.
Judging 12 thousand people every Earth hour with no break may have been unrealistic, especially for a judge who is into pageantry and showing off like Allah, which may explain why He extended Judgement Day to last 50,000 years.
70:4 Unto Him the angels and the spirit (Gabriel) ascend on a Day the duration thereof is fifty thousand years.
132. The longer Allah waits to bring about Judgement Day, the more onerous the task of deciding who will enjoy the hedonistic pleasures of Paradise and who will burn in Hell for eternity becomes.
133. Anything else I should know about Judgement Day?
Yes; until judgement is rendered, all beings will be naked.
134. Didn’t you say Allah instructed the believers to wear their finery for the occasion?
Yes, in Revelation 7:32.
135. If we’re all naked, won’t everybody stare at each other?
Funny, that is what Muhammad’s child bride, Aisha, asked when her husband said, “Everybody will be assembled unclothed, naked, and uncircumcised.”
Allah's Apostle said, "The people will be gathered barefooted, naked, and uncircumcised."
I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Will the men and the women look at each other?"
He said, "The situation will be too hard for them to pay attention to that."
In another hadith, only the unbelievers remain naked with Allah clothing the believers, starting with Abraham.
Narrated Ibn Abbas:
Allah's Apostle said, "You will be resurrected (and assembled) bare-footed, naked and uncircumcised."
The Prophet then recited the Divine Verse:-- "As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it: A promise We have undertaken. Truly we shall do it." (21.104)
He added, "The first to be dressed will be Abraham. Then some of my companions will take to the right and to the left. I will say: 'My companions! 'It will be said, 'They had been renegades since you left them.' I will then say what the Pious Slave Jesus, the son of Mary said: 'And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them; when You did take me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. If You punish them, they are Your slaves, and if you forgive them, You, only You are the All-Mighty the All-Wise.'"
136. So it is Muhammad who said we would all be naked, not Allah—so they are not one and the same?
Was there ever any doubt?
Now that you know how Allah will judge you on the big Day, don’t you agree that He is the “best of judges”?
138. Who said that?
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
95:1 By the fig and the olive,
95:2 And by Mount Sinai,
95:3 And by this secure city (Mecca);
95:4 We have created man in the best of shapes;
95:5 Then brought him to the lowest ebb;
95:6 Except for those who have believed and done the righteous deeds; they shall have an unstinted wage.
95:7 What then causes you to deny the Judgement?
95:8 Is not Allah the Best of Judges?
139. Again, why am not surprised?
One last thing: on Judgement Day, the unbelievers will not be able prostrate themselves before His Eminence, thereby revealing that they are truly unbelievers.
68:39 Or do you (Meccan unbelievers) have solemn oaths binding Us till the Day of Resurrection? You shall have in fact whatever you judge.
68:40 Ask them: “Who among them is a guarantor of that?”
68:41 Or do they have associates? Let them, then, produce their associates, if they are truthful.
68:42 On the Day when nothing shall be concealed and they shall be called upon to prostrate themselves, but will not be able to.
68:43 Their eyes shall be cast down, disgrace overwhelming them, although they were called to prostrate themselves while they were in sound condition.
68:44 So, leave Me alone with those who disbelieve this discourse. We shall draw them out whence they do not know.
68:45 And I will give them respite; My Cunning is certain.
140. GIVE ME A BREAK!
Questions About Bones
Most people were obviously sceptical of God’s ability to recreate them from bone fragments. Allah, on many occasions, tells Muhammad to remind these cynics that these are not insurmountable problems for God, insisting that He could bring them back to life even if they were made of iron or stone.
17:49 And they say: “What, when we have become bones and mortal remains, shall we really be raised up as a new creation?”
17:50 Say: “[Even if you] be stones or iron;
17:51 “Or some creation magnified in your minds.” They will say: “Who will bring us back?” Say: “He who created you the first time.” Then they will shake their heads at you and say: ”When will that be?” Say: “Perhaps, it will be soon.
17:52 “The Day He will summon you and you will respond with His Praise, and you will imagine that you have tarried but for a short while.”
17:53 And tell My servants to say that which is best. Surely the Devil sows dissention among them; the Devil is surely a sworn enemy of man.
The creator of heaven and Earth surely will have no difficulty recreating the human form from bones, if not dust.
17:98 That is their punishment because they disbelieve in Our Signs and say: “Shall we, after we have become bones and dust, be raised up as a new creation?”
17:99 Have they not considered that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, is able to create the like of them? He has appointed for them a term which is undoubted; yet the wrongdoers insist on being ungrateful.
Bones, any bones, no big deal. I swear.
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
75:1 No! I swear by the Day of Resurrection;
75:2 No! I swear by the reproachful soul.
75:3 Does man think that We will not put his bones back together?
75:4 Yes indeed; We are Able to straighten his fingertip.
75:5 Rather, man wishes to continue his profligacy in front of him.
The “equal” in Revelation 36:78 is not, as you might expect, a female, God forbid. According to Moududi, this is a reference to dead matter: "Forgets that We created the basic germ of life from dead matter, which became the means of his creation."
36:78 And He produced an equal for Us, forgetting Our Creating him. He said: “Who brings the bones back to life, once they are withered?”
36:79 Say: “He Who originated them the first time will bring them back to life and He has knowledge of every creation.”
36:80 It is He Who produces fire from green trees for you; and behold you are kindling flames from it.
36:81 Is not He who created the heavens and the earth able, then, to create the like of them? Yes, indeed, and He is the All-Knowing Creator.
36:82 His Command is indeed such that if He wills a thing, He says to it: “Be”, and it comes to be.
36:83 Glory, then, to Him in Whose Hands is the dominion of everything and unto Whom you will be returned.
Gog and Magog On the Last Day
The story of Gog and Magog in the Koran bears a striking similarity to the tale told in the Alexander Romance, a collection of legends about the life of Alexander the Great. The chief source of all Alexander Romance, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, is “a folk epic written by a Hellenized Egyptian in Alexandria during the 2nd century A.D.” Wikipedia:
According to the Romance, Alexander came to a northern land devastated by incursions from barbarian peoples, including Gog and Magog. Alexander defends the land by constructing the Gates of Alexander, an immense wall between two mountains that will stop the invaders until the end times. In the Romance, these gates are built between two mountains in the Caucasus called the ‘Breasts of the World’; this has been taken as a reference to the historical ‘Caspian Gates’ in Derbent, Russia. Another suggested candidate is the wall at the Darial Gorge in Georgia, also in the Caucasus.
Alexander, according to Allah, built the wall between Gog and Magog and the rest of the world out of iron and brass.
18:92 Then he followed another course.
18:93 But when he reached the point separating the two barriers, he found beside them a people who could barely understand what is said.
18:94 They said: “O Dhul-Qarnayn (Alexander the Great), surely Gog and Magog are making mischief in the land. Shall we pay you a tribute so that you may build a barrier between us and them?”
18:95 He said: “What my Lord has empowered me to do is better. So help me forcefully and I will build a barrier between you and them.
18:96 “Bring me large pieces of iron.” So that when he had levelled up [the gap] between the two sides, he said: “Blow.” And having turned it (the iron) into fire, he said: “Bring me molten brass to poor on it.”
18:97 Then, they (Gog and Magog) could neither scale it or make a hole through it.
Like in the Alexander Romance, God expects His wall to last until the end times when He will destroy it, thereby allowing the warring factions to fight one another until the trumpet is blown signalling the coming of Judgement Day.
18:98 He said: “This is a mercy from my Lord; but when my Lord’s Promise comes to pass, He will turn it into rubble, and the Promise of my Lord is ever true.”
18:99 And on that day we shall make them surge upon one another, and the trumpet shall be blown, and we shall gather them together.
18:100 On that Day We shall boldly set Hell before the unbelievers.
18:101 Those whose eyes were closed to My Reminder (the Qur’an) and they could not hear [it].
Allah is your only protector.
18:102 Have the unbelievers, then, supposed that they can take My servants besides Me, as protectors? We have indeed prepared Hell for the unbelievers as an abode.
The True Promise
21:95 And it is forbidden that any city We have destroyed should come back.
21:96 Until Gog and Magog are let loose, and they slink away from every quarter.
21:97 Then the true promise will draw near; and, behold, the eyes of the unbelievers are staring [and they will say]: “Woe to us! We were heedless of this; no, we were wrongdoers.”
21:98 You and what you worship, besides Allah, are the fuel of Hell, and into it you shall all descend.
Allah’s Gog and Magog are not a people, as in the Alexander Romance, but false gods who will join their followers in Hell, if the phrase “Had those been real gods” (Verse 21:99) is a reference to the infamous twosome as deities and not tribes.
21:99 Had those been real gods, they would not have gone into it; yet they will all dwell in it forever.
Judgement Day Uninterrupted
Allah is obviously looking forward to Judgement Day. That He is taking forever to bring it on—one thousand, four hundred years and counting—after warning it was imminent, as billions upon billions are added to the roster, is a mystery. No, we are still not done with revelations about that most ominous of days. Seven surahs in which Judgement Day figures prominently are presented without comments, except for the odd footnote and then we’re done with the Day!
THE DISPATCHED ONES
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
77:1 By those dispatched (the angels) in succession;
77:2 And by the tempestuous winds;
77:3 And by those (the clouds, Moududi) who spread out;
77:4 And the dividing distinguishers;
77:5 And by those who deliver a reminder;
77:6 As an excuse or a warning.
77:7 Indeed, what you are promise shall come to pass.
77:8 When the stars have been extinguished;
77:9 And the heavens have been rent asunder;
77:10 And when the mountains are blown to pieces;
77:11 And when the Messengers have been assigned a term;
77:12 To what day have they been deferred?
77:13 Unto the Day of Decision,
77:14 If only you knew what is the Day of Decision.
77:15 Woe betide, on that Day, those who denounce (those who denied the idea of Judgement Day, Moududi).
77:16 Have We not destroyed the ancients?
77:17 Then, We shall send after them the latter folk.
77:18 Thus We deal with the criminals.
77:19 Woe betide, on that Day, those who denounce.
77:20 Have we not created them from base water?
77:21 That We laid in a secure place;
77:22 Until an appointed term.
77:23 We determined, and what excellent determiners were We!
77:24 Woe on that Day (Judgement Day), betide those who denounce.
77:25 Have We not made the earth a receptacle,
77:26 Containing the living and the dead;
77:27 And created in it towering mountains and given you pure water to drink.
77:28 Woe betide, on that Day, those who denounce!
77:29 Go fourth to what you used to denounce as lies.
77:30 Go forth to a three-pronged shade;
77:31 Which neither shades nor avail against the flames
77:32 It (Hell) shoots forth sparks as huge as a castle;
77:33 Which look like golden, camel-herds.
77:34 Woe betide on that Day those who denounce.
77:35 This is a Day on which they shall not speak;
77:36 And they will not be permitted to make excuses.
77:37 Woe betide, on that Day, those who denounce.
77:38 This is the Day of Decision; We have gathered you together with the ancients.
77:39 So, if you have any schemes, then scheme against Me.
77:40 Woe betide, on that Day, those who denounce.
77:41 The God-fearing shall dwell amid shades and springs,
77:42 And fruits of the kind they desire.
77:43 Eat and drink merely, for what you used to do.
77:44 That is how We reward the beneficent.
77:45 Woe betide, on that Day those who denounce:
77:46 “Eat and enjoy yourselves a little; you are indeed criminals.”
77:47 Woe betide, on that Day, those who denounce.
77:48 If they are told to bow down, they will not bow down.
77:49 Woe betide, on that Day, those who denounce.
77:50 What discourse will they believe in after this?
THE CLEAVING ASUNDER
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
82:1 When the heavens are cleft asunder,
82:2 And when the stars are scattered [about].
82:3 And when the seas are blown open;
82:4 And when the tombs are strewn around;
82:5 Then each soul shall know what it advanced and what it differed.
82:6 O man, what deluded you concerning your Munificent Lord,
82:7 Who created you, fashioned you and made you well-wrought.
82:8 In whichever form He wished, He put you together.
82:9 No, but you deny the Judgement;
82:10 Yet over you stand watchers,
82:11 Noble recorders,
82:12 Who know what you do.
82:13 The pious shall, indeed, be in Bliss.
82:14 And the profligate shall be in Hell;
82:15 Burning therein on the Day of Judgement.
82:16 And they shall never be far away from it.
82:17 If only you knew what is the Day of Judgement?
82:18 Again, if only you knew what is the Day of Judgement?
82:19 A Day when no soul shall avail another soul anything, and the Command on that Day shall be Allah’s.
THE RENDING ASUNDER
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
84:1 When the heaven is rent asunder;
84:2 And hearkens to its Lord and is judged.
84:3 And when the earth is spread out;
84:4 And casts out what is within it and is voided;
84:5 And hearkens to its Lord and is judged.
84:6 O man, you strive unto your Lord and you shall meet him.
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.
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.
84:16 No, I swear by the twilight,
84:17 And by the night and what it brings forth,
84:18 And by the moon when it is full,
84:19 That you will mount stage by stage.
84:20 What is the matter with them that they will not believe?
84:21 And if the Qur’an is recited to them, they will not prostrate themselves?
84:22 Yet, the unbelievers are denouncing;
84:23 And Allah knows better what they are thinking in secret.
84:24 So announce to them the good news of a very painful punishment;
84:25 Except for those who believe and do the righteous deeds. They will have an unstinted wage.
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
99:1 When the earth shall quake violently.
99:2 And the earth shall bring forth its burdens;
99:3 And man shall say: “What is happening to it?"
99:4 On that Day, it shall relate its tales;
99:5 That its Lord has inspired it.
99:6 On that Day, men shall emerge in clusters to see their works.
99:7 Then whoever has done an atom’s weight of good shall find it;
99:8 And whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil shall find it.
Atom comes from the Greek átomos and was used by the ancient Greeks to describe something infinitely small, so the use of the word by the translator’s may not imply that Allah was familiar with the atomic structure of matter.
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
100:1 By the snorting chargers;
100:2 And the strikers of fire as they run;
100:3 And the raiders at dawn;
100:4 Raising thereon clouds of dust;
100:5 Plunging therein through a throng.
100:6 Man is truly thankless unto his Lord;
100:7 And he is a witness thereof.
100:8 He is indeed a passionate lover of earthly goods.
100:9 Does he not know that when what is in the grave is scattered around?
100:10 And what is within the breasts is brought out?
100:11 Their Lord is, surely, Well-Informed about them on that Day.
In the Name of Allah,
the Compassionate, the Merciful
101:1 The Clatterer!
101:2 What is the Clatterer (the Day of Judgement when the clatter of milling crowds fills the air, Fakhry)?
101:3 If only you knew what is the Clatterer.
101:4 The Day that men shall be like scattered butterflies;
101:5 And the mountains like tufted wool.
101:6 As for him whose scales shall be weighty,
101:7 He shall enjoy a well-pleasing life.
101:8 But as for him whose scales are light,
101:9 His mother shall be the Pit.
101:10 And if only you knew what it is.
101:11 A blazing Fire.