Events of the Day of Judgment in the Quran

Events of the Qiyamah in the Quran

Table of Contents

There are many events that will take place on the Qiyamah according to the Quran and narrations. The events of the Qiyamah in the Quran will be discussed in this article.

The article covers the following topics:

What are the Events of the Qiyamah in the Quran?

The events of the Qiyamah in the Quran are as follows:

  • Resurrection
  • The gathering
  • Record of deeds
  • Scale of deeds
  • The accounting
  • Intercession
  • Siraat
  • Entering Heaven or Hell

Resurrection as one of the Events of the Qiyamah in the Quran

أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِي الْقُبُورِ ﴿9﴾

وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِي الصُّدُورِ ﴿10﴾

Does he not then know when what is in the graves is raised, And what is in the breasts is made apparent? 1

The word ‘bu‘thira’ in the verse refers to resurrection.

The verse is referring to the Qiyamah when the dead will be raised from their graves and revived to gather on that day so that what is hidden in them of good and evil comes out. 2

The Gathering on the Qiyamah

يَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْوَاجًا ﴿18﴾

The day the Trumpet will be blown, and you will come in groups… 3

After all people are resurrected, we will all be gathered to face the consequences of our deeds and to answer and account for them.

The Record of Deeds as part of Events of the Qiyamah in the Quran

وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ۖ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورًا ﴿13﴾

اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَىٰ بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا ﴿14﴾

Every man’s fate We have fastened on his own 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 thine (own) record: Sufficient is thy soul this day to make out an account against thee.” 4

As the verse indicates, the record of deeds of all people will be attached to their necks. According to commentators, this is because it is the only limb of the body that cannot be separated from a person; whereas it is possible to live without hands or feet.

This record of deeds is inseparable from man on the Qiyamah. It is God’s decree that every action belong to its owner and its good and evil comes back to him and not anyone else. This decree indicates that there are witnesses in man’s records of deeds which decide his fate certainly and without any mistakes or errors.

Therefore, man has decided his own wretchedness or happiness though his own actions. The contents and proofs of the book are so definite that no one can doubt them, even though the reader may be a sinner. 5

The Scale of Deeds – Mizan (میزان)

وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا ۖ وَإِن كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِنَا حَاسِبِينَ ﴿47﴾

We shall set up just scales on the Day of Resurrection, and no soul will be wronged in the least. Even if it be the weight of a mustard seed We shall produce it and We suffice as reckoners. 6

This verse brings glad tidings for the doers of good and is a warning for the transgressors. The news it relays is that our actions will be rewarded or punished without any defects or reductions.

Mizan refers to an instrument of measure and has been mentioned in various verses in the Quran. The measure of all things is through a means that is suitable with that which is being weighed.

Obviously, man and his actions will also be measured by a means which is appropriate and relevant to it.

A question might come to mind here. If God’s accounting is so precise, what place is there for Divine forgiveness and beneficence? The answer is that accounting is one principle and forgiveness and grace is another. Both have their own place and are not in conflict with one another. 7

What is the Mizan which is part of the Events of the Qiyamah in the Quran?

In narration from Ja‘far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq (peace be on him), under the interpretation of the abovementioned verse, We shall set up just scales on the Day of Resurrection, he said:

They are the prophets and their successors.

In another narration from Ali bin Hussain al-Sajjad (peace be on him) it has been reported:

Ali (peace be on him) is the chief of faith and the balance of deeds. 8

The Heaviness and Lightness of Deeds

Some of the other verses of the Quran which talks of the mizan are the following:

وَالْوَزْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ ۚ فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴿8﴾

The weighing [of deeds] on that Day is a truth. As for those whose deeds weigh heavy in the scales—it is they who are the felicitous

وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُم بِمَا كَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يَظْلِمُونَ ﴿9﴾

As for those whose deeds weigh light in the scales—it is they who have ruined their souls, because they used to wrong Our signs 9

In this verse, both good and bad deeds have been described as having weight. However, according to other verses there is no weight for actions that have been aborted. Moreover, even though this verse assigns a weight for both types of actions, it is good deeds that result in the heaviness of the scales and bad deeds that result in its lightness.

It does not mean to say that both have heaviness and they are weighed against each other so that judgment is made according to whichever has greater weight.

Also, from the apparent meaning of the verse, we understand that the mizan is not a weighing scale in which it is possible to imagine the equality of the two pans. Rather, it means the consequence of good actions is heaviness of the mizan and the consequence of bad actions is its lightness. 10

Measuring against the Truth

According to the verse, the measure against which actions will be weighed is ‘haqq’ (حق) or truth. The extent to which an action includes truth is the extent of its value and validity. Since good actions encompass truth, they have heaviness. In contrast, since bad actions do not encompass truth and are pure falsehood, therefore, they have no weight.

In short, God will measure actions against truth in the Qiyamah. And the weight of actions will be in proportion to the extent of truth it encompasses. 11

  The Accounting of Deeds on the Qiyamah

فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ ﴿7﴾

Then, as for him who is given his record [of deeds] in his right hand,

فَسَوْفَ يُحَاسَبُ حِسَابًا يَسِيرًا ﴿8﴾

he will receive an easy reckoning,

وَيَنقَلِبُ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِ مَسْرُورًا ﴿9﴾

and he will return to his folks joyfully.

وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ وَرَاءَ ظَهْرِهِ ﴿10﴾

But as for him who is given his record from behind his back,

فَسَوْفَ يَدْعُو ثُبُورًا ﴿11﴾

And the Trumpet will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens will swoon and whoever is on the earth, except whomever Allah wishes. Then it will be blown a second time, behold, they will rise up, looking on! 1

وَيَصْلَىٰ سَعِيرًا ﴿12﴾

he will pray for annihilation (11) and enter the Blaze. 12

Man’s actions in the world have been recorded and will be presented to him documented and written on the Qiyamah.

The accounting of people is different on that day. The doers of god will have an easy accounting; while the doers of evil will have a difficult one. 13

In this verse, it has been stated that the evil doers will be given their book of deeds from behind his back; while other verses have stated that it will be given in their left hand. This is not a contradiction in verses; rather, it is because on the Qiyamah there are many stations and they would be given it in one or other state in different stations. 14

Three Groups of People on that day

On the Qiyamah, there will be three types of people whose deeds will be accounted for: the righteous, the polytheists, disbelievers and infidels and the third group are of the people in between these two. This is indicated in the following verses:

كُنتُمْ أَزْوَاجًا ثَلَاثَةً ﴿7﴾

You will be three groups:

فَأَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ ﴿8﴾

The People of the Right Hand—and what are the People of the Right Hand?!

وَأَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ ﴿9﴾

And the People of the Left Hand—and what are the People of the Left Hand?!

وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ ﴿10﴾

And the Foremost Ones are the foremost ones:

أُولَـٰئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ﴿11﴾

they are the ones brought near [to Allah]. 15

The Righteous

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَهُمْ فِي رَوْضَةٍ يُحْبَرُونَ ﴿15﴾

As for those who have faith and do righteous deeds, they shall be in a garden, rejoicing. 16

Good deeds will only take one to Heaven if they accompanied by faith are performed with the correct intention and according to God’s commands. 17

In describing the three groups on the Qiyamah, another one of the verses describes one of the groups as:

وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ ﴿10﴾

أُولَـٰئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ﴿11﴾

And the Foremost Ones are the foremost ones: they are the ones brought near [to Allah]. 18

According to this verse and other verses that speak of them, this group is one that is foremost and take precedence over others in performing good deeds. And this group will also be foremost in receiving the consequences of good deeds, i.e. forgiveness and mercy. 19

The Polytheists, Infidels and Disbelievers

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَاءً حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءَهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئًا وَوَجَدَ اللَّـهَ عِندَهُ فَوَفَّاهُ حِسَابَهُ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ ﴿ ﴿39﴾

As for the faithless, their works are like a mirage in a plain, which the thirsty man supposes to be water. When he comes to it, he finds it to be nothing; but there he finds Allah, who will pay him his full account, and Allah is swift at reckoning.

The verse likens the actions of the disbelievers to a mirage which has no reality and does not have the effects of water.

In the same way, the acts of worship that they perform for the idols have no reality and the effects of worship do not apply to them.

The purpose of the disbelievers in performing these actions is to achieve the goal that their fitrah (فطرة), i.e. their innate, God-given nature, guides them to. This goal is happiness but their actions will not take them to this goal. And the gods that they worship in order to attain a good reward are not real.

Rather, the one to whom their actions will end and who has knowledge over their actions and will reward or punish them is God and none else. And He will take account of their actions and reward or punish in accordance with them.

On the Qiyamah they will see that there are no signs or effects of the actions they performed for the idols in hopes of gaining closeness to them and happiness. 20

The Middle Group

وَآخَرُونَ اعْتَرَفُوا بِذُنُوبِهِمْ خَلَطُوا عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَآخَرَ سَيِّئًا عَسَى اللَّـهُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿102﴾

[There are] others who have confessed to their sins, having mixed up righteous conduct with other that was evil. Maybe Allah will accept their repentance. Indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful. 21

There are some believers who confess to committing sins and their actions are a mix of good and bad deeds. God puts hope into their hearts of these people so that do not lose hope in God’s mercy altogether but rather are in a state between hope and fear; and perhaps their hope becomes greater. As the statement, Indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful, makes the side of hope greater. 22

Intercession as part of the Events of the Qiyamah in the Quran

Intercession or Shafa‘ah (شفاعة) is an important Islamic principle.

Lexically, it is derived from the word ‘shaf‘’ (شفع). Shafa‘ah is the attachment of a person to another from whom one seeks help and who helps him/her. Most of its use is in the attachment of one who is of a higher status and respect to one who is lower in these regards. 23

In the Islamic context and as one of the very important events of the Qiyamah in the Quran, this refers to a principle where a person has the capital of faith, virtue and good actions but still has deficiencies in this regard on the Qiyamah. As a result, and subject to conditions, a kindness is bestowed upon this capital by God’s special servants. As a result of this, the person who has the deficiency will be saved from God’s punishment.

Therefore, this intercession will only apply to those people who have strived in the world but have not reached where they needed to and need a power beside them. 24

Verses Regarding Intercession as one of the Events on the Qiyamah in the Quran

There are about thirty verses of the Quran that refer to the matter of intercession and are divided into the following four categories:

  1. Verses that refute intercession. For example: A day on which there will be no bargaining, neither friendship, nor intercession. 25
  2. Verses that consider intercession to be particular to God alone. For example: You do not have besides Him any guardian or intercessor. 26
  3. Verses that refer to intercession by others with the permission of God. For example: Who is it that may intercede with Him except with His permission? 27
  4. Verses that explain the conditions of those who will receive intercession. Some of the conditions mentioned in the verses are:
  • Intercession is for those with whom God is pleased 28
  • There is no friend or intercessor for the oppressors 29
  • Angels pray and seek forgiveness for the believers 30

From the abovementioned verses, it is clear that intercession is not absolute and without conditions and is only possible with God’s permission. The one receiving it must also have certain conditions for it to apply to him. 31

Who are the Intercessors?

In a hadith, Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him and his household) narrates:

“The Almighty Allah has left a matter at my discretion, and I delayed it till Judgment Day so that I may intercede for the believers.”

He has also stated:

“When I assume the seat at the Praised Station (Maqaam Mahmood), I would intercede for those sinners of my nation who have committed greater sins and it would be accepted by the Almighty Allah. But by Allah, I would not intercede for anyone who had harassed my descendants.” 32

In another narration, Ali bin Abi Taleb (peace be on him) narrates:

Intercession is our (the Ahlulbait’s) right and our friends will also intercede. Therefore, compete with each other to meet us beside the fountain of Kawthar because we will drive our enemies away from ourselves and quench our friends and followers from it. And whoever drinks from it will never be thirsty again… 33

Siraat (bridge or path) on the Qiyamah

وَإِن مِّنكُمْ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَا ۚ كَانَ عَلَىٰ رَبِّكَ حَتْمًا مَّقْضِيًّا ﴿71﴾

ثُمَّ نُنَجِّي الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا وَّنَذَرُ الظَّالِمِينَ فِيهَا جِثِيًّا ﴿72﴾

There is none of you but will come to it: a [matter that is a] decided certainty with your Lord. Then We will deliver those who are Godwary, and leave the wrongdoers in it, fallen on their knees. 34

This verse is referring to Hell and it says there is none but that will come to it. However, the oppressors will fall into it while the virtuous will be delivered. This indicates that both groups will come to the brink of Hell but one will be delivered. 35

According to the apparent wording of some narrations this means that all will pass over Hell and this is in accordance with other narrations that speak of the bridge or siraat (صراط).

In narrations, siraat is referred to as a bridge that passes over Hell and everyone will have to pass over it, whether they are the pious or the transgressors. However, the pious and good will pass over it and go to Heaven while the transgressors will fall into Hell. 36

Seeing Heaven and Hell is one of the Events of the Qiyamah

Other narrations also report that God will not make anyone enter Heaven unless they have been shown Hell so that he can see its punishments. And as a result, he would value God’s grace and blessings of Heaven and become happier.

Similarly, He will make no one enter Hell unless he has been shown Heaven so that he can see its blessings. As a result, their punishment in hell would be harder and their regret over losing Heaven and its blessings would be greater. 37

The Different Groups of People on the Qiyamah

Ma‘ad bin Jabal asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him and his household) about the interpretation of the verse: The day the Trumpet will be blown, and you will come in groups… 38

The Prophet replied:

“You have asked about an extremely great matter!” 39

10 Groups of People in the Events of the Qiyamah in the Quran

Then, with tearful eyes, he said:

“Ten groups from my Ummah would be distinguished from others and they would be gathered in different forms: some would come in form of monkeys and pigs in Qiyamat. Some would be brought upside down; they would be dragging their shoulders. Some would be presented blind and they would also walk in the same way.

Some would be brought deaf and dumb and they would not understand anything. Some would come chewing their tongues while it would be hanging on their chests and blood and puss would be flowing from their mouths and the folks of the gathering would be disgusted with them.

Some would have their limbs cut off. Some would be crucified on branches of fire. Some would stink more than carrion. Some would be dressed in clothes that would be dyed in tar and it would be sticking to their bodies. 40

Who are these 10 Groups?

Those who would be brought in the form of monkeys are actually those who spread mischief through lies and rumors. Those who would be brought in the form of pigs would be those who made money through unlawful means. Those who move on their faces would be those took usury. Those who would be brought deaf and dumb would be those who were conceited.

Those chewing their tongues would in fact be religious scholars and judges, whose actions were opposed to their words. Those who would have their limbs cut off would be those who had harassed their neighbors. Those who hung from branches of fire would be those who spy on others.

Those stinking more than carrion would be those who followed the unlawful carnal desires and who did not pay the share of Allah and the poor from their wealth. Those who would come with their clothes smeared in tar would be the conceited and arrogant ones.” 41

Summary of the Events of the Qiyamah in the Quran

Many events will take place on the Qiyamah. These events are describes both in the Quran and narrations. Some of the major events which will take place on this according to the Quran are: resurrection, when all people will be brought to life; gathering of the all people on the Qiyamah to be accounted for their deeds; the record of deeds will be handed to each person.

Some people will be given their record in their right hand; these are those whose weight of good deeds is heavy, while others will be given it in their left hands or from behind their backs; these are the evil doers.

Other events of this day include: the weighing of the deeds through the Mizan, which is appropriate for the measuring of deeds; the accounting of the deeds; intercession, when a person like the Prophets of their successors, for example the Imams will intercede for a person who has the right conditions.

Before the person can enter Heaven or Hell, all people must cross the Sirat which is a bridge or path that crosses over Hell. The inhabitants of Heaven will cross over it while the inhabitants of Hell will fall in.


References

  1. [100: 9]. Shakir translation
  2. Tabarsi, F. Ibid. Vol. 27, p. 240 & 241
  3. [78: 18]. Qarai translation
  4. [17: 13-14]. Yusufali translation
  5. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. Vol. 13, pp. 74 & 76
  6. [21: 47]. Qarai translation
  7. Tafsir Nur. Commentary of Surah al-Anbiya. Verse 47
  8. Resurrection in the Quran. Ibid. Chapter: Scale of Deeds
  9. [7: 8-9]. Qarai translation
  10. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. Vol. 8, p. 10
  11. Ibid. p. 11
  12. [3: 30]. Qarai translation
  13. Tafsir Nur. Commentary of Surah Inshiqaq. Verses 6-15
  14. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. Vol. 20, p. 403
  15. [56: 7-11]. Qarai translation
  16. [30: 15]. Qarai translation
  17. Qarashi, A. A. Ibid. Vol. 8, p. 182
  18. [56: 10-11]. Qarai translation
  19. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. Vol. 19, p. 199
  20. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. Vol. 15, pp. 181 & 182
  21. [9: 102]. Qarai translation
  22. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. Vol. 9, pp. 511-512
  23. Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran. (1412 AH). (Research by Safwan Adnan Dawudi). Beirut, Damascus: Dal al-Ilm, Dar al-Shamiyyah. Pp. 457-458
  24. Tafsir Nur. Commentary of Surah al-Baqarah. Verse 48
  25. [2: 254]. Qarai translation
    …يَوْمٌ لَّا بَيْعٌ فِيهِ وَلَا خُلَّةٌ وَلَا شَفَاعَةٌ…
  26. [32: 4]. Qarai translation
    … مَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا شَفِيعٍ…
  27. [2: 255]. Qarai translation
    … مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ..
  28. [21: 28]
  29. [40: 18]
  30. [40: 7]
  31. Tafsir Nur. Commentary of Surah al-Baqarah. Verse 48
  32. Resurrection in the Quran. Ibid. Chapter: Intercession (Shafa‘ah)
  33. Ibn Babwayh, Muhammad bin Ali. (1382). Al-Khisal. (Yaqub Jafari, Trans.). Nasim Kawthar Publications. Vol. 2, p. 465
  34. [19: 71-72]. Qarai translation
  35. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. Vol. 14, pp. 124 & 125
  36. Ibid. Vol. 14, p. 127
  37. Ibid.
  38. [78: 18]. Qarai translation
  39. Resurrection in the Quran, 1st ed. (2011). (Sayyid Atthar S. H. Rizvi, Transl.). Ansariyan Publications. Chapter: Gathering of Humans (Hashr).
  40. Ibid.
  41. Ibid.

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