We will never be capable of imaging the great terror of the Last Day, the day that each of us will be held accountable for every word we have uttered and every deed we have acted upon. No other day on earth will compare to this day. Allah has granted us two lives, one on earth and the other in the Hereafter.
Life on earth is a life of exposure to suffering, of trial, and of work. Man’s mission, the purpose for which he is created, is to worship Allah, the Most Glorious and Sublime. Allah says,
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me. [Surat Al- Dhariyat, 51:56].
The worship of Allah must be founded on awareness, knowledge, and certitude. That is why Allah, the Most Powerful and Sublime, has revealed Books, sent messengers, ordered people to obey Him, and warned them against disobedience. A person who complies with Allah’s command will be a winner, and a person who opposes it is a loser. Since the world is a place of obligations, prohibitions and work, there has to be some reckoning of accounts. Furthermore, since Allah has ordained death and resurrection for human beings, He postpones—to the Hereafter—His bringing them to account and recompensing them. Thus, today we work and give no account, and later we give our accounts and do no work.
The Hereafter is a consequence of worldly life. An obedient, pious person will be a winner in that life, and a stray denier will be a loser. The outcome is eternal life either in Heaven or in Hell.
Our faith in Islam is not complete without belief in the Hereafter. That is why I want to talk, in broad outline, about that life, so that a Muslim may be aware and certain of some of its aspects and horrors, and of the grave events which take place in it. Perhaps we will then learn the lesson to stay on our guard. Thus, we will prepare ourselves for that
…day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children, but only one who comes to Allah with a sound heart. [Surat Al-Shu’ara’, 26:88-89]
…the day a man will flee from his brother, and his mother and his father, and his wife and his children. [Surah ‘Abasa, 80:34-36]
the day when
every nursing mother will be distracted from that [child] she was nursing, and every pregnant woman will abort her pregnancy, and you will see the people [appearing] intoxicated while they are not intoxicated; but rather the punishment of Allah is severe. [Surat Al-Hajj, 22:1-2]
Names of the Day of Resurrection
Dear believers, this life must one day come to an end, and Allah, the Most Glorious, has ordained an end for this world, when He alone will survive,
Everyone upon it [i.e., the earth] will perish, and there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor. [Surat Al-Rahman, 55:26-27]
Allah, the Most Glorious, has warned us; sent His messengers to us; revealed His Books; ordered us to worship Him alone, with no partner; and warned us against His punishment if we persist in our oppression, vanity, and obstinacy. He allocates for the obedient who follow His way the most generous reward, which is Paradise. Although Allah, the Most Sublime, has ordained utter destruction for this universe and death for Man, there must come a day when Allah will restore His creatures to life after death, to recompense them for their deeds, favorably if they are good deeds and unfavorably if they are wicked. Because that day will be crucial, due to the great terrors it has in store, Allah gives it several names, the most famous of which are:
- The Day of Resurrection (Yawm Al-Qiyamah), because people rise on it to face the Lord of Creation. Allah says,
Indeed, the [true] losers are the ones who lost themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. [Surat Al-Zumar, 39:15]
- The Last Day (Al-Yawm Al-Akhir), because there is no day to follow it. Allah says,
That is instructed to whoever of you believes in Allah and the Last Day. [Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:232]
- The Day of Rebirth (Yawm Al-ba’th), which is the bringing of the dead back to life by Allah, the Most Sublime. Allah says,
O People, if you should be in doubt about the Day of Rebirth . . . [Surat Al-Hajj, 22:5]
- The Striking Calamity (Al-Qari’ah), because it strikes hearts with its terrors. Allah says,
The Striking Calamity—What is the Striking Calamity? [Surat Al-Qari’ah, 101:1-2]
- The Day of Recompense (Yawm Al-Din), because Allah calls creatures to account and pays them back. Allah says,
And indeed, the wicked will be in Hellfire. They will [enter to] burn therein on the Day of Recompense, and what can make you know what is the Day of Recompense? [Surat Al-Infitar, 82:14-16]
- The Deafening Blast (Al-Sakhkhah) and the Overwhelming Calamity (Al-Tammat Al-Kubra).The Deafening Blast is the first blow, and the Overwhelming Calamity is the second. Allah says,
But when there comes the greatest Overwhelming Calamity – The Day when man will remember that for which he strove. [Surat Al-Nazi’at, 79:34-35]
- The Day of Regret (Yawm Al-Hasrah), called so because of the great regret and remorse felt by people: unbelievers regret their unbelief and believers regret their failure to do more good deeds. Allah says,
Until when the Hour [of resurrection] comes upon them unexpectedly, when they will say, ‘Oh, [how great is] our regret over what we neglected concerning it [i.e., the Hour].’ [Surat Al-An’am, 6:31]
- The Day of Eternity (Yawm Al-Khulud), because people are moved to their eternal residence. Unbelievers live eternally in Hell and believers, in Paradise. Allah says,
Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity. [Surat Qaf, 50:34]
- The Day of Collecting together (Yawm Al-Jam’), because Allah will gather all people together. Allah says,
That is the Day to which the people will be collected. [Surat Hud, 11:103]
- The Day of Meeting (Yawm Al–Talaqi), for Adam and the last of his descendants will meet on that day. Earth people will meet with the people of heaven, the oppressor with the oppressed, and the Creator with creatures. Every worker will meet what he has done, whether good or evil. Allah says,
[He is] the Exalted above [all] degrees, Owner of the Throne; He places the inspiration of His command [i.e., revelation] upon whom He wills of His servants to warn of the Day of Meeting. [Surat Ghafir, 40:15]
These are only some of the names of that great day. Allah gives Resurrection many names, because of its serious nature and the terrors and frights it has within it.
The Blowing of the Horn
When the time comes—the time which Allah has appointed for the destruction and end of the world, He gives His order to a certain angel. This angel is entrusted with the task of blowing the Horn, and the latter blows, striking those on earth and those in Heaven, except the ones Allah has exempted.
The angel who is given the task is named Israfil, and he is assigned a Horn to blow. A verified tradition of the Prophet says,
How can I enjoy myself when the angel in charge of the Horn has put the Horn to his mouth, bowed his forehead, and listened attentively, waiting to be commanded to blow, so he may blow.
The blowing will take place on a Friday and it will end life on earth and in Heaven.
And [mention] the Day the horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will be terrified except whom Allah wills. [Surat Al-Naml, 27:87]
Abu Hurairah quotes the Prophet as saying,
The best day on which the sun rises is Friday. On Friday Adam was created, on it he was admitted into Paradise, on it he was cast out of it, and the Hour will arrive only on a Friday.
Another hadith says,
The best of your days is Friday. On it Adam was created, and on it he passed away. On it the blowing will take place and on it the striking. So perform plenty of prayers on it, for your prayers will be referred to me for review. (Muslim and others)
There will be two blowings, the first causing the striking and the second heralding the resurrection. Allah says,
And the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will fall dead except whom Allah wills. Then it will be blown again, and at once they will be standing, looking on. [Surat Al-Zumar, 39:68]
Allah names the first blow the ‘blast’ and the second the ‘subsequent’ one. He says,
On the Day the blast [of the Horn] will convulse [creation].There will follow it the subsequent [one]. [Surat Al-Nazi’at, 79:6-7]
…To be continued in Part 2, insha’Allah.