How will living beings be questioned when Doomsday strikes?

The Details of the Question

- According to Islam, every living being will be questioned. So, how will sea creatures be questioned when they are in the sea, even when the seas boil?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

There will be no reckoning at the moment when Doomsday strikes.

The gathering of living beings on the Day of Judgment will take place after the Doomsday strikes and resurrection takes place. Reckoning will take place after this resurrection and coming together in the Gathering Place.

The word “Qiyamah” means both the Apocalypse (Doomsday) and the resurrection after the Apocalypse and what will happen after this resurrection.

From this point of view, the reckoning that will occur in the resurrection after the Apocalypse and the horrible things that will occur when Doomsday strikes will occur at different times and in different places.

It is possible to examine what will happen on the Day of Judgment in five stages:
- Blowing of the Trumpet (Sur),
- Ba’th (Resurrection),

- Hashr (Gathering in the Gathering Place),
- Hisab (Reckoning),
- Paradise and Hell.

1. Blowing of the Trumpet (Sur)

In the Quran, the actual break of the Apocalypse is expressed with the deed of “blowing of the trumpet (sur)”. There is no sound information about the real nature of “sur”, which is generally interpreted as a “horn-like pipe for blowing”. (See Raghib al-Isfahani, al-Mufradat, “swr” item)

When the word “sur”, which is mentioned in ten verses, and the word “naqur”, which is used in the same sense as sur, are considered within the context of the verses in which they are included, it is understood that the blowing will occur twice.

The first of them will occur to change the cosmic system to which the earth is connected, and the second will occur to ensure that all the dead are resurrected and taken from their graves to the reckoning place. (For the view that blowing of the trumpet will occur three times, arguing the opposite, see Qurtubi, Tafsir, 1/302-303; Ibn Kathir, Tafsir, 1/224-227)

There are many verses describing the horror of the first blowing of the Trumpet and hence of the changes that will occur in the cosmic order. According to the declaration of such verses, when the trumpet is blown first:

- The earth will be taken out of its orbit and crushed to powder together with its mountains, what must happen will surely occur, and the sky will split into an irregular shape. (see al-Haaqqa 69/13-16),

- On that day, the sun will be folded and become dark, the stars will darken and scatter, the mountains will be broken into pieces, the wild beasts will be gathered together, the seas will boil. (see at-Takwir 81/1-6),
- People will look like moths flying bewilderedly, and mountains will be like carded colored wool (see al-Qaria 101/4-5).

2. Resurrection (Ba’th)

It is understood that ba’th, which means “to awaken from sleep, to resurrect”, will begin with the second blowing. It is stated in the verse in the chapter of az-Zumar, which mentions the blowing of the Trumpet twice that “…Then will a second one be sounded, when, behold, they (people) will be standing and looking on” (39/68); the expression in the chapter of Yasin supports it (36/51).

The verses dealing with ba’th refer to the grave but do not give information about the real nature of the new resurrection. The verses that criticize the denier who cannot conceive of the rotten bones being given life again prove that it is possible by reminding the first example of creation (see Yasin 36/77-79), and state that the creation of the heavens and the earth is actually something more magnificent than the creation of humans (see al-Mumin 40/57; an-Naziat 79/27) and that Allah, who is not incapable of realizing it, is certainly capable of realizing the second creation (see ar-Rum 30/27; Qaf 50/15)

Besides, according to a hadith reported from the Prophet (pbuh), a period of forty years will pass between the two blowings of the Trumpet and ba’th will be started from the substance (ajb adh-dhanab) which is located in the coccyx and which is the only element in the body that does not decay. (see Musnad, 2/322; Bukhari, Tafsir, 39/4, 78/1; Muslim, Fitan, 141-143)

In addition, it is stated that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) will rise for the first time from the grave. (see Bukhari, Tafsir, 39/4; Muslim, Fadail, 3)

3. Hashr (Assembly at the Gathering Place)

Hashr, which means “to gather, to bring together”, refers to the people who have been resurrected being sent to the reckoning place. The gathering place is called “makhshar, mawqif” (place to stand and wait) or “arasat” (joined empty plots of land).

The concept hashr, which is included in more than forty verses of the Quran, is generally related to the description of Doomsday. (M. F. Abdulbaqi, al-Mujam, “hashr” item)

According to the declaration of those verses, first responsible humans and jinn, as well as animals, devils, angels and worshipped idols will be resurrected. (see Aal-i Imran 3/158; al-Anam 6/51, 72, 128; Saba’ 34/40-41; al-Ahqaf 46/6; at-Takwir 81/1-6)

Although it seems impossible for the human mind to imagine the dispatch of so many people to the gathering place, the creation of the large square that will contain them, and the reckoning of their rights and responsibilities related to both Allah and one another, it is stated that it is a simple task for the supreme creator, who has all the armies of the heavens and the earth (see al-Fath 48/4, 7)

“Verily it is We Who give Life and Death; and to Us is the Final Goal - The Day when the Earth will be rent asunder, from (men) hurrying out: that will be a gathering together,- quite easy for Us.” (Qaf, 50/43-44)

There are some explanations generally in the hadith narrations about the form of the occurrence of hashr. It is understood that the terrifying descriptions in such texts target the oppressors who deny spiritual realities and do not allow freedom of religion to others by misdirecting the creatures with good nature. It is stated in the chapter of al-Maarij, whose main topic consists of describing Doomsday, that people who are not interested in religious and spiritual issues in the world and spend their lives in games and entertainment will act as if they are running toward a goal by hastily jumping out of their graves, and that they will be in a state of humiliation. (see al-Maarij, 70/43-44)

Another description in the Quran is as follows:

“Think not that Allah doth not heed the deeds of those who do wrong. He but giveth them respite against a Day when the eyes will fixedly stare in horror, - They running forward with necks outstretched, their heads uplifted, their gaze returning not towards them, and their hearts a (gaping) void.” (Ibrahim 14/42-43)

4. Reckoning (Hisab)

Hisab, which means “to count, to calculate, to call to account” covers the afterlife states such as questioning, books, scales, and calculation of good deeds and bad deeds after gathering in the Arasat square.

When the pitiful state of those who cheat in measuring and weighing are mentioned in the Quran in the hereafter, the Day of Judgment is described as “a great day when all people will stand before the Lord the Worlds”. (see al-Mutaffifin 83/1-6)

Reminding the verses mentioned above, the Prophet (pbuh) states that the Sun will come very close to people on the Day of Judgment and that people will be in sweat that rises from their heels to their throats according to their deeds. (see Bukhari, Riqaq, 47; Muslim, Jannah, 60-62)

As it is mentioned in reliable hadith sources, it will take a long time to gather in the reckoning place and to wait before reckoning on the Day of Judgment. People will apply to prophets starting from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus and ask them to pray to Allah for the reckoning to begin, but when each of them will say that they will not dare to do so, they will apply to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). (see Bukhari, Tafsir, 17/4; Muslim, Iman, 322-328)

It is understood from the texts regarding the issue that being called to account will begin with questioning and that the responsibility will be individual in principle.

“Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another's burdens if one heavily laden should call another to (bear) his load. Not the least portion of it can be carried (by the other). Even though he be nearly related.” (Fatir 35/18)

However, those who cause others to deviate from the true path will be responsible for the sins of those they have led astray along with their own sins. (see an-Nahl 16/24-25; al-Ankabut 29/12-13)

“’Bring ye up’, it shall be said, ‘The wrong-doers and their wives, and the things they worshipped- Besides Allah, and lead them to the Way to the (Fierce) Fire! But stop them, for they must be asked.’” (as-Saaffat 37/22-24)

The divine declaration, which states that it will be easy for those whose books will be given from the right (see al-Inshiqaq 84/7-9), indicate with the verses above, that the questioning and reckoning on the Day of Judgment will be difficult for deniers and wrong-doers, and that there will be no painful situation for sincere believers.

When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said that those who would be taken to account meticulously would be disappointed, Aisha (ra) reminded him the verse in the chapter of al-Inshiqaq that the reckoning should be easy; thereupon, the Messenger of Allah said, “What that verse mentions is presentation not reckoning.” (see Bukhari, Riqaq, 49; Muslim, Jannah, 79-80)

Based on such verses and hadiths, it is possible to say that the reckoning to which people with belief and good deeds will be subjected will be like a general control. Hadith scholars, primarily Bukhari and Muslim, narrated hadiths stating that many people would enter Paradise without being called to account. (Miftahu Kunuzis-Sunnah, pp. 126-127; for various narrations, see Ibn Kathir, II, 147-160)

It is possible to understand such hadiths as an easy reckoning control in the form of presentation.

5. Paradise and Hell

The last places of the Day of Judgment are Paradise and Hell, which are described as places of eternal happiness and eternal disappointment.

Although those two concepts are mentioned together in many verses of the Quran, another place called araf (purgatory) is mentioned in the chapter of al-Araf. (see al-Araf, 7/46-49)

Different opinions have been put forward as to who will be the people who will stay in araf, which is defined as “the high part of the wall separating Paradise and Hell”. (see Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Qurtubi, II, 24-28; DİA, III, 259)

Although the people of araf are not distinguished people such as angels, prophets and martyrs, but children of the polytheists, people of interregnum or those whose good and bad deeds are equal, they will eventually enter Paradise according to the preferred view.

Thus, it is understood that there is no final destination other than Paradise and Hell in the hereafter.

For more information, please click on the link given below;

- How will the accounting of animals take place in the Hereafter?

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