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What Will Happen on the Day Of Resurrection?

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Publication : 08-02-2023

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Question

Is it possible to put the horrors of the Day of Resurrection in order, so that what will happen is: the resurrection, then the wait of fifty thousand years, the coming to the cistern, the gathering, the examination, the reckoning, the admittance of the disbelievers to Hell, the passing of the Muslims and the hypocrites over the Sirat, the settling of scores among people, and Paradise. And the one who falls into Hell when passing over the Sirat may be a hypocrite who will abide in Hell forever, or he may be a disobedient Muslim who is punished commensurate with his sins. Is this sequence of events correct?

I heard from a shaykh that when a person is dying, two devils appear in the form of his father and mother and tell him to follow Judaism or Christianity. Is this Hadith sound?

Summary of answer

Sequence of events on the Day of Resurrection: 1- When the people are resurrected and rise from their graves, they will go to the land of gathering. 2- When they have stood for a long time, Allah will first bring forth for His Prophet his cistern to which people will come. 3- Then the people will stand for a long time, then will come the great intercession – the intercession of the Prophet who will ask Allah to hasten the reckoning for all people. 4- After that will come the examination of deeds. 5- Then after the examination will come the reckoning. 6- After the first reckoning, the records of deeds will fly [to the people]. 7- Then after the reading of the records, there will be a further reckoning to leave no room for excuses and establish proof by reading what is in the records. 8- Then after that the balance will be set up, and the things that we have mentioned will be weighed. 9- Then after the balance, people may be divided into groups and categories, with people of similar calibre being grouped together. 10- Then after that, Allah will cause darkness to prevail just before people reach Hell – we seek refuge with Allah. 11- Then the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) will come first, and will be standing on the Sirat. 12- The first to enter Paradise, after the Prophet will be the poor among the Muhajirun and the poor among the Ansar, then the poor among the Ummah.

Praise be to Allah.

Sequence of events on the Day of Resurrection

What the well-versed scholars have determined is that the sequence of the events that will occur on the Day of Resurrection is as follows:

  1. When the people are resurrected and rise from their graves, they will go to the land of gathering , then they will stand in the land of gathering for a long time, during which they will suffer intense hardship and thirst, and experience extreme fear, because they will stand for such a long time and will be certain that they will be brought to account, and they will wonder with what Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, will requite them.
  2. When they have stood for a long time, Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, will first bring forth for His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) his cistern to which people will come. The cistern of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) will be in the plain of standing, when their standing before the Lord of the Worlds has become arduous, on a day the length of which will be fifty thousand years.

The one who died adhering to his Sunnah, without changing or introducing any innovation or altering it will come to the cistern and be given to drink from it. So the first sign that he will be safe is that he will be given to drink from the cistern of our Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). Then after that, a cistern will be brought forth for every Prophet, and the righteous among his followers will be given to drink from it.

  1. Then the people will stand for a long time, then will come the great intercession – the intercession of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), who will ask Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, to hasten the reckoning for all people. This is mentioned in the well-known, lengthy Hadith: they will ask Adam, then Nuh, then Ibrahim, and so on. Then they will come to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and say, O Muhammad! And they will describe the situation to him, pleading with him to ask Allah, may He be Exalted, to relieve the people of hardship by giving them a swift reckoning. After they ask him, Intercede for us with your Lord, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) will say: “I am able for it, I am able for it.” Then he will come before the Throne, and will fall down in prostration and praise Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, with words of praise with which Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, will inspire him. Then it will be said: “O Muhammad, raise your head; ask, you will be given, and intercede, your intercession will be accepted.” That will be his great intercession asking for the reckoning to be hastened.
  2. After that will come the examination – meaning the examination of deeds.
  3. Then after the examination will come the reckoning .
  4. After the first reckoning , the records of deeds will fly [to the people]. The first reckoning is part of the examination, because it will involve argument and excuses. Then after that the records of deeds will fly [to the people]. The people of the right will receive their records in their right hands, and the people of the left will receive their records in their left hands. Then will come the reading of the records.
  5. Then after the reading of the records, there will be a further reckoning to leave no room for excuses and establish proof by reading what is in the records.
  6. Then after that the balance will be set up, and the things that we have mentioned will be weighed.
  7. Then after the balance, people may be divided into groups and categories, with people of similar calibre being grouped together. Then the banners – the banners of the Prophets – will be set up: the banner of Muhammad, the banner of Ibrahim, the banner of Musa, and so on, and there will be various types of people under each banner, according to their categories, with people of similar calibre being grouped together.

The wrongdoers and disbelievers will also be gathered in different groups, meaning that those who were similar will be grouped together, as Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):

{[The angels will be ordered], Gather those who committed wrong, their kinds, and what they used to worship other than Allah.} [As-Saffat 37:22-23]

What is meant by “their kinds” is those who were like them. So the scholars of the polytheists will be gathered with the scholars of the polytheists, the wrongdoers will be gathered with the wrongdoers, those who denied the resurrection will be gathered with those who denied the resurrection, and so on.

  1. Then after that, Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, will cause darkness to prevail just before people reach Hell – we seek refuge with Allah. The people will proceed with what they will be given of lights, and this Ummah, including the hypocrites, will proceed, then when they have proceeded with their lights, the well-known wall will be set up between them: 

{ On the [same] Day the hypocrite men and hypocrite women will say to those who believed, “Wait for us that we may acquire some of your light.” It will be said, “Go back behind you and seek light.” And a wall will be placed between them with a door, its interior containing mercy, but on the outside of it is torment

The hypocrites will call to the believers, “Were we not with you?” They will say, “Yes, but you afflicted yourselves and awaited [misfortune for us] and doubted, and wishful thinking deluded you until there came the command of Allah. And the Deceiver deceived you concerning Allah

So today no ransom will be taken from you or from those who disbelieved. Your refuge is the Fire. It is most worthy of you, and wretched is the destination”.} [Al-Hadid 57:13-14 - interpretation of the meaning]

Then Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, will give the believers light, and they will see their way across the Sirat. As for the hypocrites, they will not be given light; rather they will be with the disbelievers, heading towards the Fire, falling into Hell– we seek refuge with Allah.

  1. Then the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) will come first, and will be standing on the Sirat , asking Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, for him and his Ummah, saying, “O Allah, grant safety; O Allah, grant safety.” Then he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Ummah will cross over the Sirat, each one passing in accordance with his deeds, and each will have light in accordance with his deeds. Those whom Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, has forgiven, will keep going until they cross the Sirat, and some will fall into the Fire and will be among those monotheists whom it is Allah’s will to punish. Then when the believers have crossed the Fire, they will be gathered in the plain before Paradise – meaning in the areas that Allah, may He be Glorified and Exalted, has prepared, so that the believers may settle the scores with one another and all rancour may be dispelled, and they may enter Paradise with no rancour in their hearts.
  2. The first to enter Paradise , after the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) will be the poor among the Muhajirun and the poor among the Ansar, then the poor among the Ummah. The rich will be delayed, because of the reckoning between them and other people, and because of the settling of scores. (Sharh At-Tahawiyyah, p. 542 by Shaykh Salih Al ash-Shaykh)

When a man is dying, will two devils who resemble his parents sit with him and tell him to follow Judaism or Christianity? 

We do not know of any authentic Hadith which suggests that when a man is dying, two devils who resemble his parents sit with him and tell him to follow Judaism or Christianity. 

As for what Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in At-Tadhkirah (p. 185): 

“It was narrated from the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that when a person is dying, two devils sit with him, one on his right and the other on his left. The one on his right resembles his father and says to him: O my son, I was compassionate towards you and I loved you, but you should die following the religion of the Christians, for it is the best of religions. And the one on his left resembles his mother and says to him: O my son, my womb was a vessel for you, my breasts gave you to drink and you stood on my thigh, but you should die following the religion of the Jews, for it is the best of religions” – this was mentioned by Abu Al-Hasan Al-Qabisi in Sharh Risalat Ibn Abu Zayd, and something similar was mentioned by Abu Hamid in Kashf ‘Ulum Al-Akhirah.”

We do not know of any basis for this, so it cannot be quoted as evidence.

But the devil may come to the son of Adam when he is dying, and he may appear in this form or otherwise, in order to mislead him. Abu Dawud (1552) and An-Nasa’i (5531) narrated from Abu Al-Yasar (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) used to say in his supplication: “Allahumma inni a`udhu bika min al-hadmi, wa a`udhu bika min at-taraddi, wa a`udhu bika min al-gharaqi wa’l-hariqi wa’l-haram, wa a`udhu bika an yatakhabbatani ash-shaytanu `inda al-mawti, wa a`udhu bika an amuta fi sabilika mudbiran, wa a`udhu bika an amuta ladigha (O Allah, I seek refuge with You from being crushed beneath a collapsing structure, I seek refuge with You from being thrown from a high place, I seek refuge with You from drowning or being burned and from old age, and I seek refuge with You from being confused by the Shaytan at the time of death, and I seek refuge with You from dying in Your cause while fleeing from the battlefield, and I seek refuge with You from dying of a scorpion sting [or snake bite]).” (Classed as authentic by Al-Albani in Sahih Abu Dawud)

Al-Khattabi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“Seeking refuge with Allah from the impact of the devil at the time of death means [seeking protection from] the devil gaining control over him and confusing him at the time of his departure from this world, preventing him from repenting and hindering him from mending his ways and giving up the wrongdoing that he was committing against others, or making him despair of the mercy of Allah, or making him hate death and feel sad for leaving the life of this world, so that he will not be content with what Allah has decreed for him of death and moving on to the hereafter, thus causing him to have a bad end and meet Allah when He is angry with him.

It was narrated that the devil never has a greater impact on the son of Adam than at the time of death, and he says to his helpers: There you are; if he escapes you today, you will never catch him." (Ma‘alim As-Sunan,  1/296). See also: (At-Tadhkirah, p. 185)

Salih ibn Aal-Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) said: 

“When my father was dying, I sat with him, with a piece of cloth in my hand, with which to tie his mouth closed [after he died]. He began to sweat, then he found it difficult to breathe, but he opened his eyes and gestured with his hand like that, to say: Not yet, not yet – three times.

I said: O my father, what is this that you said just now?

He said: O my son, do you not know?

I said: No.

He said: The devil – may Allah curse him – is standing beside me, biting his nails and saying: O Ahmad, you have escaped me! And I said: No, not until I die!." (Tabaqat Al-Hanabilah,  1/175)

Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“I heard our shaykh, Imam Abu Al-`Abbas Ahmad ibn `Umar Al-Qurtubi saying, at the border post of Alexandria: I was with the brother of our shaykh, Abu Ja`far Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad Al-Qurtubi in Cordoba, when he was dying. It was said to him: Say La ilaha illa Allah, and he said: No, no.

When he came to, we told him about that, and he said: Two devils came to me, one on my right and one on my left. One of them said: Die as a Jew, for it is the best of religions. And the other said: Die as a Christian, for it is the best of religions. And I was saying to both of them: No, no. I was answering them, not you.

I say: Such things often happen to the righteous, and their answer is to the devil, not to those who are prompting him to recite the Shahadah." (At-Tadhkirah, p. 187)

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A