After resurrecting humankind and bringing them out of the earth, Allah will gather them for accounting, leaving out none of them. That day is called the Day of Gathering, because Allah will bring together early and late nations. Allah says,
Say, ‘[O Muhammad],‘Indeed, the former and the later peoples, are to be gathered together for the appointment of a known Day.’ [Surat Al-Waqi’ah, 56:49-50]
This shows the power and knowledge of Allah, the Most Glorious and Sublime, and proves that nothing is too much for Him, neither on earth nor in heaven. He says,
Wherever you may be, Allah will bring you forth [for judgment] all together. [Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:148]
even if a person dies and no trace of him remains—being devoured by ferocious animals or fish, run over by tanks, burnt up in fire, or any such thing—for Allah has counted human beings and he will most certainly gather them all, leaving nobody out.
There is no one in the heavens and earth but that he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant. He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting and each of them is coming to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone. [Surat Maryam, 19:93-95]
He also says,
We will gather them and not leave behind from them anyone. [Surat Al-Kahf, 18:47]
Verses of the Qur’an indicate that all creatures will certainly be gathered, including human beings, jinn, angels, and even beasts. Allah says,
And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you are. We have not neglected in the Register a thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered. [Surat al-An’am, 6:38]
Abu Hurairah quotes the Prophet as saying,
All creatures will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection—beasts, birds, pack animals, and everything else. Allah’s justice is so thorough that He will take for a hornless beast from a horned one. Then He will say, ‘Be dust!’ which explains the words of the most Sublime, …and the disbeliever will say, ‘Oh, I wish that I were dust!’ [Surat Al-Kahf, 18:40]
When they are gathered, all people will be barefoot, nude, and uncircumcised, as in a tradition quoted by Ibn ‘Abbas, in which the Prophet recites Allah’s words, As We began the first creation, so We will repeat it. [Surat Al-Anbiya’, 21:104] And when ‘Aishah heard him recite the said ayah, she asked, “Allah’s Messenger, will all men and women be looking at each other?” He said, “’Aishah, the situation is too serious for them to look at each other.”
How terrible that day will be, I pray to Allah to save us, keep us sheltered, and spare us some of the regret of that day!
Once people are gathered in that condition, they will be covered with clothes. Upright people will get decent clothes on, and wicked ones will get on gowns made of tar and war shields. The first person to get covered with clothes will be Allah’s intimate friend Abraham, and next will be Muhammad.
The earth on which people will be gathered is different from the one on which we live. Allah says,
[It will be] on the Day when the earth will be replaced by another earth, and the heavens [as well], and they [i.e., all creatures] will come out before Allah the One, the Prevailing. [Surat Ibrahim, 14:48]
Sahl ibn Sa’d quotes the Prophet as saying,
People will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection on a purely white earth, like a loaf of pure wheat.
Ibn Mas’ud commented on Allah’s words: On the Day the earth will be replaced by another earth, saying, “The earth will be replaced by an earth like silver, no forbidden blood having been shed on it and no sin having been committed.”
The time when the earth will be replaced is when people will be on the straight path. ‘Aishah said,
I asked Allah’s Messenger about the words of Allah, the Most Glorious and Sublime, On the Day when the earth will be replaced by another earth, and the heavens, and said, ‘Where will people be, Allah’s Messenger?’ He said, ‘On the Path.’”
At the end of that day, people will be flocking either towards Paradise or Hellfire. In a verified tradition, the Prophet says that each nation is asked to follow the deity they used to worship. Sun worshippers will follow it, and idol worshippers will follow their idols, and so on.
Then these deities will fall into fire and their worshippers will fall after them, as Allah says about Pharaoh,
He will precede his people on the Day of Resurrection and lead them into the Fire; and wretched is the place to which they are led. [Surat Hud, 11:98]
Thus, the unbelievers will be flocked, group after group, into the Fire:
And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups. [Surat Al-‘Ankabut, 29:71]
They will be driven on their faces, rather than their feet, into Hell. Allah says,
The ones who are gathered on their faces to Hell—those are the worst in position and farthest astray in [their] way. [Surat Al-Furqan, 25:34]
Anas ibn Malik says that a man asked,
Allah’s Messenger, how will an unbeliever be gathered on his face on the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet said, “Is not the One Who enables him to walk on his feet on earth capable of making him walk on his face on the Day of Resurrection?”
They will even be blind, unable to see; mute, unable to talk; and deaf, unable to hear. Allah says,
We will gather them on the Day of Resurrection [fallen] on their faces—blind, dumb and deaf. Their refuge is Hell; every time it subsides We increase them in blazing fire. [Surat Al-Isra’, 17:97]
When they arrive at their abode and realize its terrors, they will feel regret and wish to go back to life on earth in order to believe, but they shall find no escape from Hellfire. Allah says,
If you could but see when they are made to stand before the Fire and will say, ‘Oh, would that we could be returned [to life on earth] and not deny the signs of our Lord and be among the believers’ [Surat Al-An’am, 6:27]
He also says,
And the criminals will see the Fire and will be certain that they are to fall therein. And they will not find from it a way elsewhere. [Surat Al-Kahf, 18:53]
No one will be spared Hellfire other than pious human beings and jinn, who have believed in Allah and His messengers, and followed what has been revealed to them. Allah says,
And there is none of you except he will come to it. This is with your Lord inevitability decreed. Then We will save those who feared Allah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees. [Surat Maryam, 19:71]
Therefore, O devotees of Allah! Fear Allah and work for life after death, for the scene and events on the Day of Resurrection will be unbearable. Let us, then, get ready for it the same way the first Muslim generation did.
…To be continued in Part 4, Insha’Allah.