The Hereafter

Among the six major elements of faith in orthodox Islam is the belief in the Hereafter. The following discussion is based upon information derived from the Qur’an - the Last of Divine Revelation and the Tradition of the Prophet Muhammad to whom the Qur’an was revealed, explaining and elaborating upon the Qur’an. 

The Last Hour and its Signs: There are many future events for the earth, foretold in the Qur’an and Traditions of Muhammad. Among the major events is the arrival of the Dajjal, or the Great Liar, who will perform miracles so tremendous that most people will believe that he is God. A great righteous leader known as the Mahdi, who will be a descendent of Muhammad, will wage war against the armies s of the Great Liar. However,the Great Liar will not be defeated until Jesus, son of Mary , return to the earth to slay him. Some of the other signs of the Last Hour are; the Beast of the Earth, the reappearance of Gog and Magog, and finally the sunrise from the west, after which faith will not longer be accepted from those who did not believe before these signs.

Life in the Grave: After death, each person will endure a real trial in his grave. About some who have passed away, the Almighty One says: {The Fire: they are exposed to it morning and afternoon...} [40:46]. Allah’s Messenger Muhammad said, "The grave is either a garden from the gardens of Paradise, or it is a pit from the pits of Hell."

The First Blowing of the Trumpet: After the duration of the earth’s existence has ended, Allah will command the angel Israfeel to blow the Trumpet. Upon the first blowing, all of the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth will fall unconscious, except for those whom Allah wills otherwise. Then the earth will be flattened and the mountain ranges will be turned into floating sand dunes. Then, Allah will command the skies to pour rain for a period of forty days. This rain will resemble the sperm of men. Then all people who ever lived will be resurrected from their graves. The process of resurrection begins with the reformation of each person’s vertebral column base. Reformation continues until each person is complete in his original earthly form. 

The Second Blowing of the Trumpet: Allah will command Israfeel to blow the Trumpet for a second time, upon which all people who ever lived will rise from their graves. Those who had true faith in the Almighty One will say, {This is what the Most Merciful has promised , and the messengers spoke the truth!} [36:52]. 

The Gathering: The angels will herd everyone, bare-foot, naked, and uncircumcised, to the place of Gathering. The first person t be clothed on that Day will be the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him). At the place of Gathering, the sun will be drawn near to the heads of the people and their sweat will engulf them. Some will be standing in sweat up to their ankles, some up to their knees or their chests, and still others will be submerged up to their necks in sweat. The depth of the sweat will be a result of the deeds which they performed during their earthly life. 

The Shade of the Throne: Some people will be spared many f the sufferings on the Day of Resurrection under the shade of Allah’s Throne.

The Beginning of Judgment: When the conditions become unbearable for people, and their fear increases, they will ask Allah to allow the Messengers and the Prophet to intercede on their behalf and to save them from their distress. Each of the Prophets or Messenger will direct the people to the Prophet who came after them, until they come to Muhammad. He will be granted the intercession, after which Allah will begin the Judgment.

The Scales upon which the deeds are weighed: The Scales will be erected, and everyone's deeds will be weighed. These Scales will be real with real pans. Allah, the Exalted and Glorified, will give the deeds of each creature a material existence. Good deeds will be placed in one an of the Scale, and evil deeds in another, as Allah has informed, {And We shall set up the Scales of Justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none shall be wronged in any matter. If the weight of a mustard seed exists, We shall manifest it...} [21:47]. 

The Records of each person’s deeds: The weighing of deeds will be followed by a disclosure of each person ‘s record. The one who receives his record in his right hand will have an easy reckoning. He will return to his family gleaming with leisure. However, he who receives his record offered to him from behind his back, in his left hand, will wish only for death on that Day. He will be thrust into the Fire of Hell. 

Judgment: Then Allah will Judge His creation. He will remind them of their good and evil deeds. All of what they did will be recorded, though they may have forgotten it, {Then to their Lord is their return, and He shall inform them of all that they used to do!} [6:108]. Allah’s Messenger Muhammad said, "Allah will bring His believing servant close to Him; put a veil over him; and present his deeds to him privately - making him acknowledge his sins. Allah will say to him, ‘Haven’t you done this on this particular day?’ The servant will acknowledge his sin and feel certain of destruction. The Allah will say, ‘I have covered your sins during your life, and today I forgive you.’{ As for those who disbelieve in Allah, their deeds will be of no avail: "And We shall turn to whatever deeds they have done, and We shall render them scattered, floating dust particles." (The Qur’an 25:23). "The parable of those who disbelieve in their Lord is that their deeds are like ashes upon which the wind blows furiously on a stormy day; they will not benefit or all from what they have done.} [14:18]. A disbeliever will receive the benefits from his good deeds in this life, so when he is resurrected on the Day of Judgment, he will find his book of good deeds to be blank. 

The Pond of Allah’s Messenger: The Pond of Allah’s Messenger will be the largest body of water; its water will be sweeter than honey and whiter than milk; it will be equipped with drinking utensils as numerous as the stars, to accommodate its large number of visitors. The length and width of this Pond will be the distance of a month’s journey each way, and anyone who drinks once from this Pond shall never thirst again. 

The Bridge that extends over Hell: The Bridge will be extended over the length of the Fire of Hell, reaching Paradise. Allah’s Messenger Muhammad has described it as thinner than a hair and sharper than a sword. People will pass over the Bridge at different speeds according to their deeds; some at the blinking of an eye, some at the speed of quick running horses, others as running camels, while others will cross at a normal walking pace. There will also be some who can barely crawl over it. They will be grabbed by iron hooks and thrust into the Fire of Hell. He who crosses the Bridge shall be at the threshold of Paradise. 

The Plateau between Paradise and Hell: Those who cross the Bridge will be assembled at a place between Paradise and Hell. Here their mutual debts will be settled until they are all accounted for. Then, they will be permitted to enter the Garden of Paradise. 

The Intercession granted to the Prophets and the Righteous: The Door of Paradise will first be opened for the Prophet Muhammad: "I will be the leader of the children of Adam on the Day of Judgment, though I do not boast of it. I will be the first to be resurrected from the grave, though I do not boast of it. I will be the first to turn the handle of the Door to Paradise, entering it along with the poor of my nation." Allah will only allow intercession form those to whom He grants it. The first to intercede is Allah’s Final Messenger Muhammad. His first intercession shall take place at the place of the Gathering, where he intercedes for the Judgment to begin. This is the Great Intercession that Allah has saved for him. The second form of intercession granted to Allah’s Messenger Muhammad will be to gain permission from Allah for the people of Paradise to enter it. They will not enter Paradise until he has interceded for that. Among the forms of intercession that other Prophets share with the Last Messenger Muhammad is to save some people from Hell who are about to enter it, and to take out of it some people who have already entered it. Finally, Allah the All-Merciful dispenser of grace, will take some people out of Hell by virtue of His infinite Mercy and Bounty upon His creatures. After all who shall enter Paradise have entered it, there will still be some room left in it. Allah will then create a special group of inhabitants to dwell in Paradise. 

The Eternal Hell Fire: Hell is a pale of unending torture, existing now, prepared for the arrogant who reject faith in the Almighty, as well as those sinners who do not repent. If one were to love in the Fire of Hell for only an instant, he would experience in that instant, more pain, suffering and torture than he could ever imagine. Allah warns His creatures, {Therefore I have warned you of the Flaming Fire.} [92:14]. It is a fire that is incomparable to the fire of this life. Hell is referred to by Allah as: The Hell-fire, the unfathomably deep Pit, the fierce blazing Abyss, a place where the bodies and souls are melted, unceasingly burning, and the consuming Pit.{...Scorching wind and scalding water and a shadow of black smoke, neither cool nor refreshing...} [56:42-45] and: { Indeed it throws up sparks (as huge) as castles.} (The Qur’an 77:32) The people of Hell are given: {...Boiling water to drink, which lacerates their bowels.} [47:15] {And if they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like molten lead which burns their faces...} [18:29].

The Eternal Paradise: Now existing, Paradise is prepared for those who serve Allah alone, and who are repentant. It is, what no eye has seen and no ear has heard and that which has never occurred in a human heart. In it are,

{Gardens of perpetual bliss - they shall enter them, as well as the righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their offspring. And angels shall enter upon them from every gate.} [13:23] {...For the righteous is a beautiful place of final return - gardens of eternity, whose doors will always be open.} [38:49-50] {In it are rivers of water, incorruptible; rivers of wine, delicious to those who drink; and rivers of honey, pure and clear, In it, there are for them all kinds of fruits, and forgiveness from their Lord.} [47:15] Allah has mentioned many other things about Paradise, but most importantly, it is never ending; and it will be for those whom Allah addresses saying, "I shall cause my favor to descend upon you, after which I shall never be displeased with you." [Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi] And that is the greatest achievement. 

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