This is the first stage of the hereafter: A pit of fire for the hypocrite and disbeliever and a garden for the believer. We come to know through various narrations that there are certain punishments in the grave for various acts of disobedience. From them are not cleansing oneself properly from urine, tale bearing in order to spread strife amongst people, intentionally sleeping through the obligatory Prayers, abandoning the Quran, fornication and adultery, homosexuality, interest and usury, withholding payment of debts and other sins. Salvation from this punishment can be achieved by performing good deeds done sincerely for Allah, by seeking refuge in Allah from this punishment, by reciting Surat Al-Mulk, and by other deeds. Those who are protected from this punishment and will not face it include the martyrs, those who died in guard duty, those who died on the day of Friday (Al-Jumuah) those who died in childbirth, and others.
Blowing of the Horn for Resurrection
This is an immense horn that will be blown by the angle Israfeel who awaits the command. The first is called the blowing of shock:
Allah the All-High said: “The Day trumpet will be blown and everything in the heavens and on the earth will be swoon as shocked except for those whom Allah wills to exempt.” [27:28], and everything will be destroyed. Then after forty years, it will be blown again, the blowing of the resurrection, as Allah the All-High said: “And then it will be blown again, and they will be standing, looking.” [39:68]
Allah will send a downpour of rain and the bodies will sprout (from the tailbone), and they will be a new creation, one wish will never die. They will be resurrected uncircumcised and naked and they will be able to see the angles and the jinn, and they will be resurrected according to their deeds.
The Great Gathering
Allah will gather all creatures for their account. They will be in shock, in stupor like people intoxicated, for a colossal day, the length of which will be fifty thousand years. Their time on earth will seem to them as if it were no longer then a mere hour. The sun will draw near a mile away, and each will perspire according to their deeds. The tyrants as well as the weak who followed them will fall into dispute. Each disbeliever will argue with his patron devil, Satan, and even his own limbs, and each will curse the other. The unjust wrongdoers will bite their hands (in remorse). The hellfire will be dragged before them by 70 thousand latches, each latch held by 70 thousand angels. When the disbelievers see the hellfire, they will wish that they could ransom themselves from the punishment, or that they could be turned to dust (to escape the coming torture.) The disobedient (of the believers) will be punished. For instance, the one that refused to pay obligatory charity (Zakah) will have the money he refused to spend brand him like iron rods. The arrogant will be resurrected like ants (to be trod upon). The treacherous traitor, the embezzler and the robber will be exposed. The thief will come with what he stole [for all to see]. In short, all things hidden will be brought out clearly into the open. As for the righteous, this day will not frighten them, and it will pass like their performance of the Dhuhr Prayer.
There is a special intercession besought b Prophet Muhammad for all creatures, wherein he will intercede for the removing of this great tribulation from all people and to let the accountability begin. There will be other forms of intercession be sought by others of creation, such as the prophet, for removing disbelievers from hellfire and to raise their levels in Paradise.
The people will be presented before their Lord in groups for their deeds to be seen by all and to be questioned. They will also be questioned about their lives, their youth, their wealth, their knowledge and their responsibilities, the blessings they received, their faculties of seeing, hearing and intelligence ( how each was utilized and expended ). The disbelievers and hypocrites will be taken to account in the view of all creation to reprimand them, to prove their guilt, and for people, the earth, the days, the nights, wealth, the angels and their own limbs stand witness against them. They will admit their sins and acknowledge them. As for the believer, each will be given a private session wherein they will admit their sins to Allah, until, when they think that they will be destroyed, it will be said to them, ‘I hid them for you in the world and I will forgive them for you today.’ The first people to be taken to account will be the followers of Muhammad. The first deeds of worship taken into account are the obligatory prayers. The first disputes to be settled will be those which involve the spillage of blood.
The Spreading of the Scrolls of Deeds
The scrolls which recorded each person’s deeds will then are spread. These will be records “wherein no great or small deed will be left unaccounted’. The believer will be given the record in his right hand, whereas the disbeliever and hypocrites will be given theirs in their left hands and behind their backs.
The Weighing Scale (Meezan)
The deeds will be weighed on a scaled in order for each to be rewarded accordingly. This scale is a real instrument of measuring with two hands, wherein the deeds that were sincerely done for Allah and according to the legislations of Islam will be made heavy. Some of the deeds that will be given greater weight are saying laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is nothing rightfully worshipped except Allah), good character, remembrance of Allah, like the saying Alhamdulillah, SubhaanAllahi wa bihamdih and the saying of SubaanAllahil adheem. Allah will give and take some people’s good and evil deeds for others for the evil they did in their lives.
The Reservoir (Haud)
The believers will then come upon a reservoir of liquid. Whoever drinks of it will never suffer thirst thereafter. For every prophet there is a special reservoir, and the greatest is for the Prophet Muhammad. Its water is whiter than milk, sweeter than honey, and more aromatic than musk. Its vessels are of gold and silver, the number of which is like the number of the stars; its length is the distance of Jerusalem in Palestine to Aden to Yemen. The water of this reservoir springs from the river of Paradise called “Al-kauthar”.
Test of the Believers
At the end of the day of gathering, the disbelievers will follow behind the gods and idols which they used to worship. They will take their followers to the hellfire in groups like flocks of sheep, either on their feet or being dragged on their faces. Then only the believers and the hypocrites (pretending to be one of them) will be left waiting, and Allah will come to them and ask: “What are you waiting for?” They will reply: “We are waiting for our Lord” He will reveal Himself to them by exposing to them His shin (Al saaq the promised sign) whereupon they will all fall down in prostration except for the hypocrites, as Allah said of them: “The day that he reveals the Shin, and they are called to prostrate but they will not be able…” Then they will follow Him, and the Bridge (Siraat) will be established (over the hellfire), and Allah will give the believers their lights and darken the lights of the hypocrites.
The Bridge (Siraat)
It is a bridge extending over hellfire which the believers must pass over to reach Paradise. The prophet has described it as “that which confounds and makes one lose his step and trip. On it there are clamps and hooks like thorns of a Sa’daan tree… It is narrower than a hair, and sharper than the edge of a sword,,,” [Muslim] The believers will be given their light according to their deeds, the largest being as great as a mountain and the least being as small as the tip of the finger. This will light their way, and they will then pass over the way in accordance to their deeds, the believer passing like the blink of an eye, flash of lighting, a wind, a bird, fast horse, or a rider (or walking or crawling). Some will reach safely while others are scratched by the hooks, and others will be pulled into hellfire (Al Bukhari and Muslim) The Hypocrites will not have any light, they will turn back, but a wall will be erected between them and the believers. Even though they will desire to cross over the bridge to safety, they will fall into hellfire.
The disbelievers, the hypocrites and some of the disobedient believers will enter the hellfire. Out of every thousand, 999 will enter the hellfire. It has seven gates. The heat of the hellfire is seventy times more severe than the hottest fire of this world. The body of the disbeliever will be made to grow so that he will taste the torture more: the space between his shoulders will be like three days’ journey, and the size of his molar tooth will be like the mountain of Uhud. His skin will be made thick and it will be repeatedly exchanged after being thoroughly burnt with a new skin in order to increase the pain of the scorching punishment. Their drink will be boiling water that will scald their stomachs. Their food will be Zaqqum, excessively bitter, in addition to the flushing wounds and the pus of the inhabitants of hellfire. The least punished among them will have two burning coals places on the soles of his feet, and by this his brain will boil. IN hellfire, their skins will burn and there will be melting, ripping, pulling and usage of chains and locks. The lowest dreg of its depth takes seventy years of the falling of a body to reach. The fuel of the hellfire is disbelievers and stones (of idols), its wind is poison, its shade is fierce heat, and its clothes are the fire. It will devour everything and leave nothing. It will growl and moan grotesquely burning the outer skin and reaching own to the bones and depths of the mind.
The prophet said: “The believers will eventually be saved from the hellfire and come to a boundary (Qantarah) between paradise and hellfire. Here they will recompense one another for the injustices and crimes with which they transgressed each other in this world. Then when they are refined and cleansed, they will be admitted into paradise. By Him in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, one of you will know his place of residence in Paradise better than his place of residence in this world.” [Al Bukhari]
Paradise is the final abode of the believers. Its bricks are of gold and silver and its mortar of musk. Its pebbles are pearls and the dust in saffron. It has eight gates, and each opens to the size of a three-day journey, even then it will be thronging with those entering it. It has one hundred degrees, between each degree and the next like what is between the heaven and the earth. The ‘firdous’ is the highest part, and from it the rivers of paradise gush. The roof of paradise is the throne of Allah, the most merciful in benevolence. Its rivers are of honey, milk, wine, and water, gushing without channels and the believer will be able to make them flow as he wishes. The fruits of paradise are permanent, close by and easy to reach. In it there are tents of carved pearls the width of each is sixty miles, and the believer will have a wife in each corner. Men will be fully grown but youthful without beards. Their youth will never disappear and their clothes will never become threadbare. They will not urinate, defecate or have any impurity emitting from them. Their combs will be of gold and their perspiration like musk. The women of paradise are all beautiful virgins of similar ages of their companions. The first to enter paradise will be Muhammad and then the other prophets. The lowest of the inhabitants of paradise will wish and be given what they desire tenfold. Their servants are eternal youths like treasured pearls. Indeed among the greatest bliss of paradise will be the seeing of their Lord Allah, and Allah’s pleasure upon them, and their abode of eternity in Paradise.
** An excerpt from the book An Explanation of the Last Tenth of the Noble Qur’an ( Also with Crucial Matters in the Life of a Muslim ). Printed on the expense of Mohammad A. Al-Odah, hoping for a sincere Du’a for him, his parents and his family. The book has been a great source of guidance for me as a young student of Islam, as its contents are all base from the Quran and the Sunnah. It contains important guidelines we must apply in our lives, as a Muslim, in order to achieve an internal peace. It has taught me a lot of teachings that helped me become a better Muslim, that is why I also want to share the contents through my blog as I can not see any e-book version of the entire book. Inshaa Allah, I will share more of its contents.