Resurrection means bringing back to life. This universal event is the Hour for reunion of the body and soul, thus ending the state of Barzakh. This is the Day of Accountability and Recompense:
Verily, the Hour is coming —and My Will is to keep [its timing] hidden— so that every person may be [duly] rewarded for that for which he strives. [Sûrah Tâ Hâ, 20:15]
The Hour when the Resurrection will take place has already been established, but knowledge of the exact time of the Hour has been kept secret from all of creation, including the MessengerSAW.
Had knowledge of the exact time been revealed, the intensity of the catastrophe would have been unbearable for the heavens and the earth and its inhabitants:
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They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the Hour: when is its arrival? Say, ” Knowledge of it is only with my Lord. None will reveal its time except Him. It weighs heavily upon the heavens and the earth. It will not come upon you except unexpectedly.” They ask you as if you are familiar with it: Say, “Its knowledge is only with Allah, but most of the people do not know [that].” [Sûrah Al-A‘râf, 7:187]
However, AllahSWT, out of His mercy and preference for His slaves, has revealed some knowledge regarding the unseen world to His MessengerSAW for warning mankind. He has informed the MessengerSAW about the Signs of the Hour starting with the miraculous creation of ‘IsaAS and the splitting of the moon. Since then, minor signs are imperceptibly taking place, and these will eventually lead to the major Signs (mentioned above):
And he [Isaas, son of Maryam /Mary] shall be known as a sign for (the coming of) the Hour (the Day of Resurrection). Therefore, have no doubt concerning it. And follow Me (Allahswt). This is the Straight Path (of Islamic Monotheism). [Sûrah Al-Zukhruf, 43:61]
The people of Makkah asked the Prophetsaw to show them a sign (miracle). So, he showed them (the miracle) of cleaving of the moon:
The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder. [Sûrah Al-Qamar, 54:1]
Narrated Anas bin Malik: The people of Mecca asked Allah’s Messenger PBUH to show them a miracle. So he showed them the moon split in two halves between which they saw the Hira’ mountain. (Sahih Al-Bukhari 3868)
The moon was split (into two pieces) while we were with the Prophet PBUH in Mina. He said, “Be witnesses.” Then a piece of the moon went towards the mountain. (Sahih al-Bukhari 3869)
Abdullah said that five signs have [become things] of the past (and have proved the truth of the Holy Prophet): [Enveloping} by smoke, inevitable [punishment to the Meccans at Badr], [the victory of] Rome, [violent] seizing [of the Meccans at Badr] and [the splitting up of] the moon. (Sahih Muslim 2798c)
Narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. Mas‘ud:
We were along with Allah’s Messenger PBUH at Mina, when the moon was split in two. One of its parts was behind the mountain and the other one was on this side of the mountain. Allah’s Messenger PBUH said to us: “Bear witness to this.” (Sahih Muslim 2800c)
Anas reported that the people of Mecca demanded from Allah’s Messenger PBUH that he should show them [some] signs [miracles] and he showed twice the splitting of the moon. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Anas through another chain of transmitters. (Sahih Muslim 2802a, b)
The circumstances surrounding the phenomenon of Resurrection involve all creations, including mankind. It takes place in two phases: each phase being heralded by the blowing of the Trumpet by Angel Isrâfîl. With the first blowing everything on the earth and the heavens will die (except for those whom AllahSWT wills for them not to die along with the rest), and with the second blowing, everything that has died since the beginning of creation will come back to life:
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. [Sûrah Al- Zumar, 39:68]
Only AllahSWT knows the time period between the first and the second blowing of the Trumpet. With the second blowing of the Trumpet, all will come out of their burial places, and rush towards the Caller:
The trumpet shall be sounded, when behold! (men) from the sepulchres will rush forth to their Lord. [Sûrah Yâ Sîn, 36:51]
[That] Day they will emerge from the graves rapidly as if they were hastening toward an erected idol [where they used to worship in life]. [Sûrah Al-Ma‘ârij, 70:43]
When they come back to life, they will find themselves in the ‘new world,’ which will shine with the Light of the glory of its Lord (Sûrah Al-Zumar, 39:69). They will stand and look around, and wait in horrified anticipation.
The earth will be in a state of convulsion. The intellect will be confused, and in the agony of the event, pregnant mothers will drop their pregnancies and the suckling mothers will ignore their infants:
O mankind, fear your Lord. Indeed, the convulsion of the [final] Hour is a terrible thing. On the Day you see it, 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; for the punishment of Allah is severe. [Sûrah Al-Ḥajj, 22:1-2]
The new world will be lighted with the Light of its Lord; everyone will appear bare, no sign of difference, no sign of inequality; the Book of Deeds will be opened; the prophets and the witnesses (angels) will be brought forth and the Order of the Court will be called. The Hour of Justice shall begin and a verdict will be handed down:
And the earth will shine with the glory of its Lord: The Records (of deeds) will be placed (open); the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward; and a just decision pronounced between them; and they will not be wronged (in the least). [Sûrah Al-Zumar, 39: 69]
Based on the verdicts pronounced on individuals, mankind will be separated into Unbelieving and Believing groups and will be handed over to the angels to march them to the gates of Hell and Paradise, respectively, and they will be called by the gatekeepers to enter their designated abode:
The Unbelievers will be led to Jahannam in crowds, until, when they arrive there, its gate will be opened (suddenly), and its keeper will say: “Did not the Messengers come to you from among yourselves…they will say: “Yes, but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!” [Sûrah Al-Zumar, 39:71]
And those who feared their Lord will be led to Jannah in crowds: until behold, when they arrive there, its gate will be opened (before their arrival for their reception) and its keeper will say ‘Peace be upon you! You have done well, so enter here to abide therein.’ ” [Sûrah Al-Zumar, 39:73]
The Holy Qur’an categorizes mankind under specific groups, viz. Companions of the Right, the Companions of the Left, and the Foremost [in faith] (Sûrah Al-Wâqiyah, 56:7-11).
The Companions of the Left-Hand are the sinners, whose good deeds are lighter than their bad deeds; they will be led to the Hell Fire amidst its blasting heat and scalding water, and shades of black smoke [Sûrah Al- Wâqiyah, 56:41-44, 94].
The Companions of the Right-Hand are those whose good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. They will be given their Record in their right hand, and will be led to the Garden of Abode (Sûrah Al-Sajdah, 32:19, Wâqiyah, 56:27).
The Foremost are nearest to AllahSWT; they will be led to the Garden of Delight (Sûrah Al-Wâqiyah, 56:10-12).
Besides the People of the Right and Left, the Holy Qur’an mentions a special intermediate group called the People of the Heights; whose good and evil deeds will be equal in scale, who will recognize all (by their marks on their faces) and will call out to them… [Sûrah Al-A‘râf, 7:46-51]
As for the levels of Paradise, the Holy ProphetSAW has mentioned from his Night Journey experience:
“The ProphetSAW was taken to visit Paradise. He was told, ‘And the first house in which you have gone was the house of the common believers, and the second house was that of the martyrs.’ ” (Those two men hosting the Prophet were actually the angels Jibrîl and Mika’îl.) (Ṣaḥîḥ Al-Bukhari 1386)
To be concluded in Part 9…