The Accounting and Payment
When people are gathered, Allah, the Most Blessed and Sublime, will make them stand right in front of him and acquaint them with their deeds and words; with the faith or unbelief, the obedience or disobedience, which characterized their lives; and with the reward or punishment they deserve. A person will be given his book either in his right hand if he is upright or in his left if sinful.
Dear Muslims, on that day Allah will come to be the Judge for people, and the angels to be witnesses testifying on people’s deeds on earth, both good and evil:
Do they await but that Allah should come to them in covers of clouds and the angels [as well] and the matter is [then] decided? And to Allah [all] matters are returned. [Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:210]
Allah also says,
And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and the prophets and the witnesses will be brought, and it will be judged between them all in truth, and they will not be wronged. [Surat Al-Zumar, 39:69]
Criminals will be brought chained and covered with tar. Because of the great terror and awful scene, nations will arrive on their knees when called to give account of themselves,
And you will see every nation kneeling [from fear]. Every nation will be called to its record [and told],‘Today you will be recompensed for what you used to do.’ [Surat Al-Jathiyah, 45:28]
Allah, the Most Glorious and Sublime, will not be unjust with anyone on that day, and will recompense everybody in full, without any deduction. He says,
Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be wronged. [Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:281 and Surat Luqman, 31:161]
Allah’s justice is ultimate, and nobody is able to account for the deeds of somebody else,
And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. [Surat Al-An’am, 6:164]
The exception is a person who sins and invites someone else to sin with him. The former will bear the guilt for what he himself has committed and the guilt of those he has led astray. The same applies for a person who, through Allah’s favor, finds his way to the Truth and invites others to the right course and the light. He will be rewarded for his deeds and for those guided by him, without any deduction from their rewards. Allah says,
But they will surely carry their [own] burdens and [other] burdens along with their burdens. [Surat Al-‘Ankabut, 29:13]
For each of us, Allah assigns two angels to write down his good and sinful deeds. When a person dies, his record book is sealed. On the Day of Resurrection, he will be given that book and told,
Read your record. Sufficient is yourself against you this Day as accountant. [Surat Al-Isra’, 17:14]
In this book, major and minor points, good and wicked deeds, are all recorded. Allah says,
And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open],and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it, and they will say, ‘Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?’And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one. [Surat Al-Kahf, 18:49]
Out of mercy for His servants, Allah will multiply the reward of good deeds, by no less than ten-fold. Allah says,
Whoever comes [on the Day of Judgment] with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [to his credit]. [Surat Al-An’am, 6:160]
On that Day prophets and messengers will testify for or against their people, asserting that they have delivered the message to those people,
So how [will it be] when We bring from every nation a witness and We bring you, [O Muhammad] against these people as a witness? [Surat Al-Nisa’, 4:41]
People, however, will deny their messengers’ statements, and each nation will claim that they have received nobody with any good news or warning, so Muhammad’s nation will come and testify for messengers as having delivered their messages. Allah says,
And thus we have made you a median [i.e., just] community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. [Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:143]
The Greatest Witness on that day will be the Lord of Glory and Sublimity, from Whom nothing escapes, whether on earth or in heaven. Allah says,
…and you [people] do not do any deed except that We are witness over you when you are involved in it. [Surat Yunus, 10:61]
Witnesses on that day will include the earth, days, and nights, which will all testify to what has been done on them. Wealth will testify for or against its owner. Allah says,
That Day, it will report its news. [Surat Al-Zalzalah, 99:4]
Angels will testify for or against people, reporting what the latter have done. Allah says,
… and the witness will say, ‘These are the ones who lied against their Lord. [Surat Hud, 11:18]
And every soul will come, with it a driver and a witness. [Surat Qaf, 50:21]
The most serious thing that people will be asked about is their rejection of faith in Allah and taking partners besides Him. Allah says,
And it will be said to them, “Where are those you used to worship other than Allah? Can they help you or help themselves? [Surat Al-Furqan, 26:92-93]
Every person must be questioned about his deeds on earth, for Allah says,
So by your Lord, We will surely question them all about what they used to do. [Surat Al-Hijr, 15:92-93]
The first thing a person has to account for is the duties owed to Allah, the Most Sublime, first among which is prayer. For if it is good, all of the person’s deeds are good, and if it is bad, all his deeds are bad.
Imam Al-Qurtubi draws a picture of this scene of Accounting; he says,
When people are resurrected from their tombs [and brought] to the site, stand there, barefoot and nude, and the time of accounting arrives, the order will be given for the records made by angels to be brought, and they will be handed out. A person who gets his book in his right hand is a happy one, and a person who gets it with his left is a wretched one.
Imagine, then, when books fly around, scales are set up, and your name is called out for all creation to hear: ‘Where is so and so? Come to be reviewed by Allah, the Most Sublime. ’You realize that you are meant, you tremble, your limbs get jumbled, your color changes, and your heart sinks. Picture yourself in the presence of Allah, with a sheet in your hand that reports your deeds, leaving out no wickedness you have kept secret and no hidden matter you have concealed. Woe to your heart, how sorry you will be for the obedience to your Allah that you have neglected.
…To be continued in Part 5, Insha’Allah.