- Need for Divine Guidance
- Revealed Scriptures
- Belief in Prophets
- Belief in Qiyama
- A need is a requirement, demand or a necessity.
- It is something that is important or essential.
- Human being will always have needs that range from basic to tertiary.
- Such needs would include; food, shelter, clothing, education and health care.
- Among all these needs, there is one that Allah (SWT) himself provides to His people.
- This is the divine guidance.
- The term divine refers to sacred, holy or that which comes from Allah (SWT).
- Guidance is the information, instruction, rules and regulations or laws meant to give direction to a particular group of people.
- Therefore divine guidance refers to sacred or rather commandments, laws, injunctions, rules and regulation given by Allah (SWT) to humanity.
- Allah (SWT) created the universe and all that exists and then designed a set of guidance for man to adhere.
- That is why Allah (SWT) sent the guidance to the prophets who further directed their fellow mankind.
- We may have different types of guidance in life but the guidance of Allah (SWT) is unique.
- Allah (SWT) says, “ Mankind were one community and Allah (SWT) send Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them he send down the scripture in
truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. Only those to whom (the scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come to them through hatred, one to another. Then Allah (SWT) by His leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allah (SWT) guides whom He wills to a straight path.” [Q 2:213]
- From the above verse of the Qur’an, we learn that there are reasons that necessitated for divine guidance.
- Let us now highlight some of the reasons as follows:
- To be a source of reference that guides mankind to a complete way of life (.i.e. moral, social political and economically)
- To serve as a warning to humanity against evil and enhance the performance of good deeds.
- To gradually implement Allah (SWT)’s commandments in order to enable man worship Him alone and avoid shirk.
- To be a clear proof on the Day of Judgment that Allah (SWT) indeed sent down his guidance as part of justice to those who have faith.
- To make the teachings of Allah (SWT) easy for man to follow.
- To strengthen the hearts of the believers and give hope for the reward in the hereafter by giving knowledge of the unseen in the divine scriptures.
- The term scripture is derived from a Latin word “Scriptura” which means writing.
- Technically this word refers to Holy books of a particular religion.
- We may have many scriptures used by various religions but not all of these scriptures were revealed.
- Those that were revealed from Allah (SWT) have their characteristics which distinguish them from other books.
- The following verse from the Quran identifies the scriptures that were revealed by Allah (SWT).
- Allah (SWT) says:
“Say (O Muslims), ‘ We believe in Allah (SWT) and that which has been send down to us and that which has been send to Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail (Ishamail), Ishaq (issac), Yaqub (Jacob) and to al Asbat-the offspring’s of the twelve sons of Yaqub, and that which has been given to Musa (Moses), and Issa (Jesus), and that which has been given to prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted in Islam.” [Q 2:136]
|Ibrahim (AS)||Sahuf (scrolls)|
- In form one, we introduced the pillars of Iman and mentioned that they are six in number.
- We learnt in Chapter one of this book that it is not fitting that Allah (SWT) speaks to human being directly but he sends a messenger.
- In order for Allah (SWT) to communicate his divine guidance, he sent prophets and messengers.
- Allah (SWT) sent prophets and messengers to specific generations except Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) who was sent to all humankind.
- Allah gave him this rank since he is the last prophet and was given the last book (The Holy Qur’an).
- In this chapter, we shall look at the Prophets of Allah (SWT).
- A Prophet is a human being who was assigned a special divine mission by Allah in order to guide other humans.
- They either receive His guidance through Angel Jibril (AS) or directly from Him.
- Their main function is to bridge the gap between Allah (SWT) and His creatures hence Allah (SWT) has favored them to communicate His laws to mankind.
- All the prophets came from among the human beings.
- Despite the fact that they were human born they possessed some super human characteristics and qualities that other human beings did not have.
- The following are some of these characteristics:
- They were all loyal and truthful to Allah (SWT).
- All prophets always told the truth about the revelations they receive from Allah (SWT).
- The prophets were Maasumin [.i.e. free from all kinds of sins]
- All Prophets never went against the orders of Allah (SWT).
- Prophets were reliable, trustworthy and dedicated in fulfilling Allah (SWT)’s commands and duties that assigned to them.
- Prophets possessed high intelligence, strong memory, and clear and superior minds.
- All prophets were human in nature and were sent from among their people.
- They were supported with miracles by the will of Allah (SWT) in order to show proof of their prophet hood and to cope with the challenges and evil plots of their disbelievers.
- Allah (SWT) sent several prophets and messengers on earth but chose to teach the Prophet only a few as revealed in the following verse.
- Allah (SWT) says, “And indeed We have sent messengers before you (O Muhammad) of some of them We have related to you their story and some We have not related to you their story…” [Q 40:78]
- Let us look at the following table showing the chronological order of the prophets mentioned in the Qur’an.
NAME OF PROPHET NATIONS TO WHICH THEY WERE SENT NUMBER OF TIMES
MENTIONED IN THE QUR’AN
Adam (AS) Banu Adam (The children of Adam) 25 Idris (AS)[Enock] Egypt 2 Nuh (AS)[Noah] Banu Nuhu 43 Hud (AS) Banu ‘Ad near yemen 7 Swaleh (AS)[Methusela] Banu Thamud-Bedouin Arab tribe 9 Ibrahim (AS)[Abraham] People of Ibrahim 69 Lut (AS)[Lot] The people of Sodom and Gomorrah 27 Ismail (AS)[Ishmael] The Arab tribe of Yemen and Amalikites 12 Ishaaq (AS)[Issack] Cananites living in Syria and Palestine 17 Yaqub (AS) [Jacob] ASSIGNMENT 16 Yussuf (AS)[Joseph] Egyptians (Copts) 27 Shuab (AS)[Jethro] Madian people of Hijaz 11 Ayub (AS)[Job] People of Ayub 4 Dhulkifl (AS)[Ezekiel] Sham and Damascus 2 Musa (AS)[Moses] Banu Israil and the Egyptians 136 Harun (AS)[Aron] The generations of Firaun, Karun in Egypt 20 Dawud (AS)[David] Banu Israil 16 Suleiman (AS) [Solomon] Banu Israil Iliyas (AS)[Elias] People of Ilyas 2 Alyasa’ (AS)[Elisha] Banu Israil 2 Yunus (AS)[Jonah] People of Nineveh 4 Zakariya (AS)[zacharia] Banu Israil 7 Yahyah (AS)[John the Baptist] Banu Israil 5 Issah (AS)[Jesus] Banu Israil 29 Muhammad (AS)[PBUH] All mankind 4
- It is understood that some prophets chosen among the messengers are called Ulu’l- Azm due to their different qualities from the others.
- They are Ulul Azm because of their determination, patience and steadfastness in their work despite facing many challenges.
- All prophets mentioned in the Qur’an strove greatly to fulfill the holy duty assigned to them by Allah (SWT).
- From this perspective, no prophet should be discriminated because they were all sent as leaders to guide humankind.
- Prophet Muhammad emphasized this in the following hadith: “I am the closest to Isa (Jesus), the son of Mary, among all humans. Indeed prophets are half-brothers. Their religions are the same.”
- This should be taken into consideration when assessing prophecy and divine religions.
The Prophets termed as Ulul Azm:
- Allah (SWT) mentions these prophets in the following verse “Therefore be patient (O Muhammad) as did the messengers of strong will and be in haste about them
(disbeleivers)…” [Q 46:35]
- According to this verse we shall look at the five Ulul ‘Azm prophets.
- Nuh (AS) was the first prophet among the Ulul ‘Azm appointed by Allah (SWT) and sent to mankind with divine religious laws and a divine book.
- He invited his people to monotheism (belief in the Oneness of Allah (SWT)).
- Prophet Nuh struggled to end all kinds of segregations and eradicate injustice and cruelty among his people.
- He preached to his people and guided them to the path of Allah (SWT).
- This prophet of Allah (SWT) strived day and night to bring people to the straight path but his teachings were met with resistance by the ignorant, stubborn and unruly people.
- He ended up with a small group of followers after a very long period of preaching.
- Seeing these results, he asked Allah (SWT)’s intervention through a prayer.
- The following is the prayer, He said: “O My Lord! Verily I have called to my people night and day (/i.e. secretly and openly to accept the doctrine of Islamic Monotheism), but all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight (from the truth). And verily, every time I called to them that you might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their eyes, covered themselves up with their garments and persisted in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride. Them verily I called to them openly (aloud). Then verily I proclaimed to them in public and I have appealed to them in private. I said to them: ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily He is oft Forgiving; he will send rain to you in abundance and give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on your garden and bestow on you rivers.” [Q 71:5-12]
- It is after Nuh’s prayer the almighty Allah (SWT) destroyed the unbelievers by means of floods and cleansed the earth of their evil deeds.
- Since Allah (SWT) does not disappoint the prophets and those who believe and embrace the laws of monotheism, he saved Nuh (AS) and a small group of his followers.
- This Holy Prophet (AS) is the founder of the religious laws of monotheism. Owing to his invaluable services rendered to the divine religion, he is allotted praise and greeting by Allah (SWT), thus."Peace and salutation be to Nuh among the nations.” [Q 37:79]
- Nabi Ibrahim (AS) was the son of Azar who was a prominent idol sculpture.
- He was raised in an idolatrous society but Allah (SWT) guided him at a young age to shun idol worship.
- By His sublime wisdom, the Almighty Allah (SWT) appointed Ibrahim (AS) as a prophet and a Messenger.
- Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was given a divine book (Suhuf) and became steadfast in fulfilling Allah (SWT) s commandments despite undergoing several trials.
- He advocated for monotheism and was the first person to call the divine religion as "Islam", meaning ‘total submission to the will of Allah (SWT).’
- The followers of this decree thus referred to as "Muslims".
- Prophet Musa (AS), Issa (AS) and Muhammad (PBUH) were all descendants of Ibrahim, preached monotheism and followed the straight path of Islam.
- The Quran repeatedly describes Prophet Ibrahim as a man who believed in Monotheism and was a model for mankind.
- Allah (SWT) says,
"Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to Allah (which is Islam), and he joined not gods with Allah" [Q 3:67].
- Prophet Ibrahim (AS) s piety and struggle against polytheism and idolatry earned him praise and reward from Allah (SWT).
Allah (SWT) praised him as seen in the Quran... We bestowed on him the praise of later generations. Peace be upon Ibrahim. That is how We recompense the righteous. He truly was one of Our believing servants. [Q 37:108-111]
- He was made a leader of all nations in the world. And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim (Abraham) (i.e. Allah) tried him with (certain) commands, which he fulfilled. He (Allah) said (to him), ‘Verily I am going to make you and Imam (a leader) for mankind (to follow you).’……”[Q 2:124]
- Musa (AS) is the third of the Ulul 'Azm prophets' and had a divine book and divine religious laws.
- He was a descendant of prophet Y'aqub (AS).
- Prophet Musa (AS) was born at a time when the Israelites were living in Egypt and led by Fir'awn.
- Fir'awn was the King who was a polytheist and cruel to his people.
- He subjected them to abject poverty, slavery and hopelessness.
- Musa (AS) could not tolerate the suffering of his people in the hand of the Fir'awn.
- Allah (SWT) commanded Musa to go to Fir'awn and preach to him ‘Tawheed’ the oneness of Allah.
- Allah (SWT) says, “Go you and your brother with My Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs) and do not, you both, slacken and become weak in my remembrance. Go both of you to Fir'awn verily he has transgressed (all bounds in disbelief and behaved as an arrogant and as a tyrant). And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allah).” [Q 20:42-44]
- Although for many years Musa (AS) invited people to Tawheed, Fir'awn and his people showed no reaction other than toughness and disinterest.
- Allah then bestowed on prophet Musa miracles:
- A stick that would turn into a living serpent when throw down.
- The ability to make his hand shine when he removes it from his armpit.
- These miracles were meant to challenge Fir'awn and his followers and show them Allah’s signs, existence and power in order for them to follow Islamic monotheism.
- However, Fir'awn did not believe and thus Allah (SWT) commanded Musa (AS) to leave Egypt together with his followers.
- By the order of Allah (SWT), Musa (AS) migrated together with the Banu Israil and went from Egypt to Sinai desert at night.
- Through a miracle, Musa (AS) split the water of the Red sea and crossed it along with his people, but Fir'awn and his army were drowned.
- After this event, Allah (SWT) revealed the Tawrat to Musa (AS) and established the Shariah among the Banu Israil.
- Prophet 'Isa (AS) is the fourth of the Ulul 'azm bestowed with a book and Shariah.
- Almighty Allah (SWT), in the Holy Qur’an, confirms a divine book called the "Injil" for 'Isa (AS), which was revealed to him.
- It is important to note that this divine Book from Allah is different from the Gospels written after the ascension of Isa bin Maryam on his life and mission.
- Allah (SWT) says, “I am a servant of Allah. He gave me the kitab (Injil) and made me a Prophet.” [Q 19:30]
- The circumstances of his birth were miraculous.
- His mother, Maryam, was pious virgin, who conceived through a miracle as mentioned in the Qur’an [Q 19:16-32].
- Ruhul Qudus (Jibril (AS)) descended from heavens, gave her the good tidings of 'Isa's (AS) birth.
- Just like the other Ulul ‘Azm, his mission was to preach Tawheed and establish monotheism.
- Prophet Issa prayed to Allah (SWT) to grant him miraculous powers in order to proof to the Banu Israil that he was a prophet sent down by Allah ((SWT).
- He was bestowed with several miracles which led to many people to trust him and follow the commandments of Allah (SWT).
- Despite the performance of these miracles, the disbelievers rejected him.
- He was met with resistance from his followers who wanted to kill him but Allah (SWT) saved him from the hands of the tyrants.
- The Glorious Quran is absolutely clear that Prophet Isa (a.s.) did not die at the hands of the Romans and the Jews, but Allah (SWT) raised him to Himself.
Allah (SWT) says, “That they (the Jews) said (in boast) "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary the Messenger of Allah"; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them; and those who differ therein are full of doubts with no (certain) knowledge but only conjecture to follow. For, of a surety they killed him not. Nay Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power Wise. And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his (Jesus’) death; and on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness against them.” [Q 4:157-159]
- In Book One, we learnt about the life history of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
- Even before his Baath (prophethood), Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) refrained from idol worship and was not interested in the worldly gains but would seek spiritual guidance in the cave of Hira.
- When Allah (SWT) gave him prophet hood, he preached monotheism and Tawheed just like the previous Ulul ‘Azm.
- Muhammad is the messenger of Allah (SWT) and is regarded as the last and final Prophet send by Allah (SWT) to guide humankind.
- Allah (SWT) sealed the prophet hood with him and completed the divine revelation meaning that there shall be no other Prophet after him.
- Allah (SWT) says, “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the messenger of Allah (SWT) and the last (end) of the Prophets.
- And Allah (SWT) is ever all Knower of everything.” [Q 33:40]
- This can be proved from the various names he was referred to: for example, he was called Al-Aqib meaning the one after whom there is no Prophet, Al-Hashir, and the one at whose feet the people will be resurrected.
- Allah (SWT) sent the Injil (Gospel) and Tawrat (Tora) as glad tidings for his coming.
- We get the Prophesy of Mohammad from Nabi Issa (Jesus) thus:
“And when Issah son of Mariam said: O children of Israil! Lo! I am the Messenger of Allah (SWT) unto you, confirming that which was revealed (before) me in the Torah, and bringing good tidings of a messenger who comes after me, whose name is Ahmad.” [Q 61:6]
- “Those who follow the messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they will find described in the Torah and the Gospel (which are) with them.” [Q 7:157]
- The term Khatam an-nabuwwah is derived from the Qur’anic phrase Khatamun
Nabiyyīn “Seal of the prophets”.
- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is referred to as the seal of the prophets because of the following reasons:
- He was given the last book i.e. The Qur’an
- His Ummah is the last and there shall be no other after his.
- In the ladder of the prophets, he is the last one.
- The message he was sent with is universal.
Read Qur’an [Q 3:181]
- The Qur’an reminds us time and again that this universe has been created temporarily and at an appointed time it will surely be annihilated.
- This time is only know to Allah (SWT) as He says in the Quran, “Verily Allah (SWT) Alone has the knowledge of the Hour.” [Q 22:7].
- Allah (SWT) has created and given life to all the creatures.
- It is with no doubt that a day shall come when Allah (SWT) shall take this life through death.
- That exact day and time is only known to Him.
- Allah (SWT) who is the controller of the universe shall bring every living creature to account.
- This is the day referred to as Qiyama.
- Belief in Qiyama is the fifth pillar of Iman and it involves the recognition of the day set aside by Allah (SWT) for his creatures to give account of their deeds.
- This day has also been given other names.
- Apart from the names you have given Qiyama is also known by the following names:
Name Meaning Qur’anic reference Yaumul Ba’ath The Day of Resurrection Q 58:6 Yaumul deen The Day of Judgment Q 26:82 Yaumul Hasrat The Day of distress Q 19:39 Yaumul Jam-i The Day of Assembly Q 42:7 Yaumul Taghabun The Day of mutual loss and gain Q 64:9 Yaumul Akheer The last day Q 5:69 Yaumul Qiyama The Day of Resurrection Q 75:6 Yaumul Fasl The Day of sorting out Q 78:17 Yaumaul Sa’at The hour Q 22:7 Yawmul-Maw'ood Promised Day Q 85:2 Yawmul-Fath Day of Decision Q 32:29 Yawmul-Wa'eed Day of Warning Q 50:20
- As earlier learnt at the beginning of this chapter, belief in Qiyama is one of the fundamentals and pillars of faith in Islam.
- No one is certain about this day except Allah (SWT); however, there are certain events that are going to take place in this world prior to the judgment.
- These events are referred to as signs of Qiyama.
- We learn from the Qur’an and Hadith that each prophet used to inform his people of this signs.
- Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) explained clearly and in considerable detail the signs of the final hour.
- These signs are classified into minor and major.
- Let us begin by looking at the minor signs:
- The minor signs are events of normal nature and concern the daily life prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to take place before Qiyama.
- Most of these signs have already appeared while some are still occurring.
- Others will appear together with the major signs.
- Some of the minor signs include the following:
- The rich will be helping each other while the poor will be suffering.
- Trusts will be for profit making.
- Oppression, jealousy, greed will be openly practiced.
- It will be burdensome for Muslims to pay Zakat.
- Men will obey their wives more than they will obey their mothers.
- Violence will be perpetrated all over the world.
- Friends will be treated, kindly while people will run away from their fathers.
- Rising of voices in mosques
- The worst people will be appointed as leaders.
- Drinking wine will be common.
- Men will be wearing silk.
- Female singers and musical instruments will be popular.
- The last people of the Ummah will be cursing the first people of the ummah.
- Believing in stars and rejecting Qadar (power) of Allah (SWT).
- These are events of extra ordinary nature which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prophesized in his Hadith.
- Some of the signs include the following:
- Appearing of the Mahdi (the Promised).
- Appearing of Masih Dajjal (the Antichrist).
- Appearing of Issa bin Mariam who will bring justice and kill Masih Dajjal.
- Appearing of Yajuj and Majuj (Gog and Magog).
- Destroying of the Al kaaba.
- Rising of the sun from West to East.
- Emergence of the beast from the earth.
- Appearing of Smoke.
- Wind will take souls of the believers.
- Qur’an will be taken up to heaven.
- Fire that will drive people to their last gathering.
- Three sounds of the trumpet:
- The first one will terrify everyone.
- The second will strike everyone dead.
- The third will resurrect everyone.
- Definitely, each one of us would wish to enter the Paradise of Allah (SWT).
- We need to realize that no soul shall enter paradise until it tastes death.
- Allah (SWT) says, “Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgment shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved far from the fire and admitted to the garden will have attained the object (of light): For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception.” [Q 3:185]
- Upon death, we shall go through certain stages until the final judgment.
- Let us look at these stages:
- At present, we are all living, carrying out our normal day-to-day activities with ease oblivious of any calamity befalling us.
- One such calamity, which is inevitable, is death.
- Everyone is scared of death.
- This is due to the uncertainty of what lies beyond death.
- Allah says, “How can you disbelieve in Allah (SWT)? Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you life (on the day of resurrection) and then unto him you will return.” [Q 2:28]
- According to Islam, death is the return of the souls to Allah (SWT) since He is the one who gives life and therefore He is the one with the right of taking it away.
- Allah (SWT) created death [Q 67:2], which gives us a key to the next stage of life.
- It is important for every Muslim to know that life continues in a spiritual form even after the soul is separated from the body.
- We believe in the direct relation between ones deeds on earth and the life hereafter.
- This means that one will be rewarded for their righteousness or punished for their transgression during the Day of Judgment.
2. Life after death
- After death, one goes through different stages from the time a person is lowered into the grave to the time of the blowing of the trumpet to denote resurrection.
- Let us briefly look at each of the stages in brief:
- This is an Arabic term, which literally means a barrier, partition, veil or a curtain which stands between two things to prevent them from meeting.
- For example, that part or region of the ocean in which waves of both the sweet and the salty waters bounce and yet Allah (SWT) has provided between them an invisible barrier preventing the two from mixing.
- Allah (SWT) says: “ It is He Has who has let free the two bodies of flowing water: one palpable and sweet and the other the other salt and bitter; yet has He made a barrier between them, a partition (Barzak) that is forbidden to be passed.”[Q 25:53]
- Technically, it refers to the period between death and resurrection.
- The matter of Barzakh is Ghaib (unseen and known to Allah alone).
- This is a stage kept by Allah (SWT) between our world and the other world from the time of one’s death until the day of resurrection.
- Each and every individual shall enter the state of Barzakh.
- People who are alive cannot enter into this state until they pass through death.
- Allah (SWT) says, “Until, when death comes to one of you (those who join partners with Allah (SWT)) He says My Lord send me back, so that I may do good in that which I have left behind!’ No! It is but a word that He speaks; And behind them is Barzakh, a barrier until the day when they will be resurrected.” [Q 23:99-100]
Read Qur’an [Q 17:19-52]; [Q 99]; [Q 75]; [Q 79]
- The dead will not have an everlasting life in the grave.
- After the stage of Barzakh, they will be resurrected for preparation for the Day of Judgment.
- This will be followed by the end of the universe where Allah (SWT) will command Angel Israfil to blow the trumpet three times.
- The first trumpet will cause all the living creatures of the heavens and the earth to fall unconscious except those spared by Allah (SWT).
- This day will see so many physical changes such us;
- The flattening of the earth
- mountains turning to dust
- cracking of the sky and setting it asunder,
- dispersion of all planets among others.
- All these events shall happen to the universe.
- Can you imagine this shocking state to the souls of those who transgress?
- This will be a pitiful situation, which we must all strive to evade from by doing of good deeds.
- The trumpet blown by Angel Israfil will put human kind under the following conditions:
- Graves shall be turned upside down and the people shall be thrust out of the graves in their original physical bodies.
- Everyone shall be given back his or her life and the souls shall be joined together with the bodies.
- Humanity will be scattered like the moth.
- Everyone will be running away from the people they loved, like friends running away from the best friend, a mother fleeing from the child.
- Expectant mothers shall relieve off their burdens.
- The nursing mothers will leave their suckling infants unattended (without breastfeeding them).
- All human beings, believers and non believers, jinns, demons and even the animals will be gathered, nude, bear feet before Allah (SWT)
- Human kind will stand awaiting the judgment and sweating in agony since the sun will be lowered to be above the head.
- The pious or believers will be sheltered under the shed of Allah (SWT)
When these conditions become intolerable, people will appeal to the Prophets and the messengers of Allah (SWT) to intercede with Allah (SWT) on their behalf so they can be relieve from the pain and suffering.
c) Judgment [Q 3:185]
- The next stage that people will pass through after resurrection is Judgment.
- We should understand that on the Day of Judgment Allah (SWT) will resurrect all human beings who have ever lived on the earth so that they can account for their deeds and assign them a reward of paradise or the punishment of hell fire.
- In Form one, we learnt about the Angels and their duties.
- Allah (SWT) will gather before Him all of humankind on a flat expanse of ground waiting to receive their books showing how good or evil they were during their physical life on earth.
- Judgment shall depend on the content unscripted in each individual’s book.
- The books are referred to us Iliyun where the record of the righteous is inscribed [Q 83:18-20] and Sijin shall hold a record of the evil doers. [Q 83:7-9]
- This is the time when Allah (SWT) will set up scales and weights to weigh the deeds of human beings on earth.
- Allah (SWT) says: “We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (No more than) the weight of a mustard seed, we will bring it (to account): And enough we are to take account.” [Q 21:47]
- These scales shall indicate the good and the evils committed by everyone.
- Allah (SWT) says: “Then shall anyone who has an atom’s weight of good, see it. And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it.”[Q 99:7-8]
- Some people shall receive their books of account in their right hands, while others will receive them from the back and in their left hands.
- Find out the verses of the Qur’an from surah al Inshiqaaq [Q 81:6-10]
- Everyone will have the work of their lives fastened on their necks then Allah (SWT) will ask them to read from their books.
- Allah (SWT): “Every man’s fate we have fastened on his neck: On the Day of Judgment we shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see, spread open. (It will be said to him) ‘Read your own record; sufficient is your soul this day to make out an account against you.” [Q 17:13-14]
1. Prophet’s intercession
Read Qur’an [Q 20:109] [Q 19:87]
- In these verses, you will notice the mention of the word shufa’, (intersession).
- Why do you think people will start going to the prophets and messengers for intercession?
- It is because of distress and suffering in agony in a day where Allah (SWT) shall not accept the intercession of any person except the one whom He will have chosen.
- Can you guess who this noble person will be?
- One who shall get the noble honour to intercede for the entire humankind?
- That person is none other than the beloved Prophet of Allah (SWT) Muhammad (PBUH).
- Allah (SWT)’s servants who will be suffering from worries and troubles will not bear the consequences of that day and will turn to Adam, then to Nuh, then to Ibrahim, then to Moses, then to Issah and finally to the Khalilullah(the friend of Allah); the holy prophet Muhammad.
- The noble Prophet will go down to his knees and prostrate, pleading with Allah (SWT) on behalf of humankind to declare judgment to his servants.
- We Muslims believe in the special great intercession of the Prophet (SWT), the most noble of all the Prophets.
- During that day of distress, people will suffer from the pangs of hunger and thirst.
- There will be only one pool of water under the control of the prophet (PBUH).
- Its water will be whiter than milk, sweeter than honey and better in fragrance.
- Only believers among the prophet’s followers will drink from it and after which will never be thirsty.
2. The Siraat (The straight path)
- This is straight path which Allah (SWT) (SWT) has set up above the hell fire for every person to pass over it according to their deeds.
- The first of them will pass over it as fast as lightening, then as fast wind, then as fast as birds and then as fast as a running man.
- During all this time, the Prophet will be standing on the path praying, “Allah (SWT) Save! Save!” as other people’s deeds will fall short.
- Other people will cross crawling.
- At both sides of the Siraat, are hooks designed to take whom Allah (SWT) pleases: Some are going to be saved, while others will be thrown into hell.
- As Muslims, we believe in all that Allah (SWT) and the Prophet said concerning the Day of Judgment and may Allah (SWT) save us from this tremendous horror.
d) Paradise and hell [Q 98:6-8]; [Q 78]
- We have learnt in this chapter that intercession is exclusively limited to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
- We have also learnt that the believers will pass over the Siraat without any difficulty while the disbelievers will fall into hell.
- We Muslims believe in paradise and hell.
- The pious and righteous will remain in paradise forever enjoying its bliss, while the disbelievers and evil doers will forever be in hell.
- Let us now look at the characteristics of both the paradise and hell:
Description of Paradise
- Read the following verses from the Qur’an describing paradise: [Q 17:11. Q 16:11-21: Q 56:22-26]
- The following are some of the characteristics of paradise from Quran and Hadith:
- Paradise exists now and will never perish.
- Nobody has ever seen the paradise.
- Its ground and its soil are composed of musk and saffron.
- Its roof is the throne of Allah (SWT) the Most Merciful
- The rocks are pearls and Jewells.
- There are gardens for entertainment
- The dweller of the paradise will enjoy in joy.
- It will be amidst gardens and water springs.
- The buildings are made of gold and silver.
- The dwellers of paradise will have everything that they may have ever desired on earth.
- There will be chaste women with beautiful eyes.
- There are immaterial male servants serving its dwellers with whatever they will like.
- Everlasting gardens with trees made of gold and silver and the fruits of trees are softer than butter and sweeter than honey.
- The utensils like trays and cups are crystal clear and made of gold and silver.
- Green garments of fine and thick silk.
- All grief shall be removed with nonsense of fatigue, toil, hatred, weakness vain speaking or death.
- Beautiful mansions and lofty rooms with rich carpets spread out.
- Fruits of all kind as deserved and in plenty and they will be at the reach of our hands.
- Beneath the mansions are running springs with wine, which is pure, and sealed, fresh water, milk and clarified honey delicious to those who drink. i.e. Salsabila, Kaafoor,Tasnim
Description of Hell
- Read this verse concerning hell. [Q 18:29]
- The following are some of the features of hell:
- Hell exists now and will never perish.
- It has gates that have been assigned specific class of sinners.
- It has various levels for various sinful acts. [Q 6:132]
- There shall be vaults over them[Q 90:19-20]
- The fathomless pits will not be filled up and shall keep on asking for more.
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- It is guarded by Angels who are stern and do go against that which Allah (SWT) commands them to do.
- Its fuel is human beings [Q 3:10], jinns [Q 72:14-15], false gods [Q21:98-99] and stones [Q 2:24]; [Q66:6].
- The intensity of the fire has sixty nine more portions than the ordinary fire.[Narrated by Abu Huraira-Sahih Bukhari]
- The companions of hell fire shall be drinking boiling water[Q 56:41-44]
- Its fire throws sparks to the size of a palace.[Q 77:32]
- Adl is an Arabic term which means Justice.
- Justice refers to the ability to exercise rightful, fair treatment in ones dealings and be neutral in action.
- Just as Allah (SWT) encourages human beings to emulate some of His attributes, such as being patient and forgiving, He also requires mankind to follow the ways of justice.
- Technically, the term Adl refers to Allah (SWT)’s divine Justice.
- It elaborates the way in which Allah (SWT) exercises his profound judgment to his creatures.
- Justice is a concept that is usually related to equality in the eyes of the law; it means that the law should treat equally people who adhere to its rules and norms, regardless of their social, political or economic status.
- When those people who are led are sure of receiving justice from their leader, they always guard against breaking the law.
- At the same time, knowing that there will be recognition and reward for loyalty, they are encouraged to be obedient.
- Justice attracts honour, and loyalty, while injustice is corrupt and evil.
- Let us now look at divine Justice.
Divine justice Read [Q 36:51-54]
- From these verses, you will realize that Allah (SWT)’s justice is definite, none discriminative and does not fold any bias because his teachings are very clear and straight forward.
- He does not have a cause for injustice towards His creatures and therefore expects the human beings to reciprocate the same to self, Allah (SWT) and other creatures.
- We have looked at how Allah (SWT) has enjoined on man to deal justly in all dealings.
- The absolute justice of Allah (SWT) has been repeatedly declared in the Holy Qur’an.
- Let us consider the following example:
“Verily, Allah (SWT) commands ‘Adl (fairness, equity, justice) Ihsaan (excellence in servitude to Allah (SWT), benevolence towards people, graciousness in dealings) and giving to those close to you, while He forbids Fahshaa (lewdness, indecency, licentiousness, immorality), Munkar (bad actions, undesirable activities, generally unaccepted behaviour, not fulfilling one’s obligations), and Baghy (rebellion, transgressing limits, exploiting or violating others’ rights, abuse of authority or freedom). He admonishes you so that you heed the advice.” [Q 16:90]
- The prophet (PBUH) also emphasized on the importance of justice in the following Hadith:
‘Abdullah Ibn Umar (RA) narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “The fair and just people who are equitable: in passing judgments, in dealing with their family members and in using the authority delegated to them, will be on the pulpits of Noor in the audience of Allah (SWT).” (Muslim)
- As you have earlier learnt that justice is a main concern in Islam, it is important that humankind get justice in this world and the hereafter.
- For example, in the school situation, a student will receive good results after he or she has worked hard.
- One who is lazy will definitely perform poorly because that is what is expected out of him.
- In other words, there is accountability.
- The account of the deeds of everyone in this world is being maintained by the two Angels mentioned earlier, Atid and Raqib.
- It is therefore very important for Muslims to maintain this belief in order to moderate their character for none of his creatures shall escape the judgment. Allah (SWT) says in Surah al Jumua;
قُلْ إِنَّ الْمَوْتَ الَّذِي تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ مُلَاقِيكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
Say: "Verily, the death from which you flee, will surely meet you,
Then you will be sent back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will inform you about what you used to do.''[Q 62:8]
- Allah (SWT) says, “Know well that the life of this world is merely sport and diversion and adornment and an object of your boasting with one another, and a rivalry in the multiplication of riches and children. Its likeness is that of rain: when it produces vegetation it delights the tillers. But then it withers and you see it turn yellow, and then it crumbles away. In the Hereafter there is (either) grievous chastisement (or) forgiveness from Allah (SWT) and (His) good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but delusion.” [Q 57:20]
- Allah (SWT) is telling us in this verses that this life is just but a play.
- Why is it so important for the Muslims to believe in this day?
- Let us consider the following reasons:
- It is the fifth pillar of Iman.
- It clearly spells out man’s relation with his creator and reminds him that one day he will return to Allah (SWT).
- It awakens man’s spirit of preparing for the grand day by doing acts of worship.
- It promotes equality of mankind before Allah (SWT). This is a day set aside with fair judgment for all his creatures regardless of colour, race or tribe.
- The knowledge of paradise and hell motivates man to do good deeds and avoid evil.
- It gives man the courage to fight evil in order to avoid Allah (SWT)’s punishment in the fire.
- Allah (SWT) has commanded man to believe in this day thus it shows obedience of humankind to the commandments of Allah (SWT).
- It regulates the relationship between man and his fellow man because it enhances peace and harmony.
- It develops ones taqwa .i.e. fear of Allah (SWT).
- It instills mental peace in man as he is able to be patient when waiting for the grand assembly knowing exactly what to expect on this great day.
- It awakens consciousness in one to be aware of the consequences of his action on the day assembly.
- It strengthens the belief in the prophets among the Muslims since they taught on the belief in the day of recompense.
- Man is able to develop confidence and recognize the special powers of Allah (SWT).
- It fosters in humankind the spirit of asking for tawba from Allah (SWT).