At a time unknown to man, but preordained, when people least expect it, Allah will give permission for the Qiyâmah to begin. The archangel Israfil, referred to as the Caller, will sound a horn sending out a Blast of Truth (Qur’an 50.37-42, 69.13-18, 74.8, 78.18). This event is also found in Jewish eschatology, in the Jewish belief of “The Day of the Blowing of the Shofar”, Yom Terua and in Ezekiel 33:6.
It is also believed that the sun and will rise from the west, and the sun and moon will be in darkness, perhaps through an eclipse, as interpreted from this quote in the Quran:
“He questions: “When is the Day of Resurrection?”. At length, when the sight is dazed, And the moon is buried in darkness. And the sun and moon are joined together.”
After the blowing of the Horn, all men and women fall dead, and people that are already dead rise from their graves and everyone gathers, waiting to be judged for their actions.
‘Alameen (humankind, the Jinn, and all other living beings) are gathered upon a vast, white, featureless ground, under intense heat of the Sun overhead.
Appearance of people on the Day
They are naked, uncircumcised and crowded together to the point where some are submerged in their own sweat, as in the beginning of creation. The degree to which one is submerged in sweat depends on the extent of one’s piety and goodness. The faces of those who practiced good adab by following the Five Pillars of Islam in their daily lives are nadirah (shining and radiant). On the other hand, the faces of disbelievers are basirah (dark, sad and frowning). Everyone waits to be brought before God for their Judgement.
Duration of the Day
The Qur’an mentions the duration of the Qiyamah as 50,000 years. Maulana Muhammad ﷺ Ali interprets this ayat as, “…A day of the spiritual advancement of man is spoken of as being equal to fifty thousand years to show immense vastness of that advancement. Or, the day of fifty thousand years may be the day of final triumph of Truth in the world, from the time when revelation was first granted to man.”
Asking Prophets to intercede
People will beseech their Prophets to intercede on their behalf. Prophet Ibraham, Musa, Adham, and Nuh, will all decline to do so and instead point to Prophey Muhammad ﷺ, who intercedes on behalf of the world. Prophet Ibrahim meets his father Azar whose face is dark and covered with dust. When Abraham demands that his father not be disgraced he is informed that on this day no one is above reproach. Abraham finds a blood-stained Dhabh beneath his feet which will be caught and thrown into Hell.
The number of people going to Hell
Prophet Adham is ordered by Allah to bring all of those who rejected Islam to Jahannam. He asks how many he should bring and Allah answers, “From every one thousand, take out nine-hundred-and ninety-nine.” At that time children will become hoary headed, previously healed wounds will reappear (Sahih Bukhari, book 4 “Ablution”, number 238), every pregnant female will have a miscarriage. One sees mankind as drunken, yet the people are sober, but dreadful is the Wrath of God (Qur’an 69.47, Sahih Bukhari, book 55 “accounts of Prophet Muhammad ﷺs”, number 567.)
Rejection Of False Gods
Idols will assert that only Allah is Lord, and that they were wrongfully worshipped. The Qur’an and Hadith state that Prophet Isa (Jesus) returns and denies he claimed he is God (Qur’an 43.61). In regard to idolatry, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “If any religious man dies amongst those people they would build a place of worship at his grave and make these pictures in it. They will be the worst creature in the sight of Allah on Qiyama (the Day of Resurrection),” (Sahih Bukhari, book 8 “Prayers”, number 409 [419 in the USC MSA database.])
Personification In Qiyâmah
The personification of objects that are not normally considered anthropomorphic is a recurrent motif in Kalam (Islamic theology) regarding the wa’dul akhirati (promise of afterlife). For instance, artists who depict living creatures are tormented by their creations. Allah infuses each with a soul due to the Islamic prohibition against artists depicting beings that have “souls”, interpreted as meaning all animals including humans.
In the grave one faces either a reassuring man (his or her good deeds), or a foul-looking creature (his or her sins). Again, this recurs in the subject of the Qiyâmah.
For instance, the Qu’ran appears as an anthropomorphic being that greets those who loved it in their lives and offers them some solace. In the same vein, accounts in primary Islamic literature mention that at some point, perhaps after creatures are confined to either jannah (paradise) or jahannam (hell), Death will be brought forth in the form of a black or white ram. It will be slaughtered in front of everyone and a caller will explain, “O people of Paradise! Eternity for you and no death. O people of Hell! Eternity for you and no death,” hence the slaying of the ram symbolises the ‘Death of Death’.
Barzakh is a sequence that happens after death, in which the archangel Azrael with the help of other less significant angels will separate the soul from the body, either harshly or painlessly depending on how righteous the person was during their lifetime (Qur’an 79.1-2). Three main events take place chronologically which constitute the Barzakh sequence:
* The separation of the soul and the body.
* Nakir and Munkar’s (two Islamic Angels) interrogation of the soul in its grave.
“Who is your (lord)?”
“What is your way of life?”
“Who is your leader?” Sura 17.71
* The “Waahsh” or the horror of the grave, the pressure of the grave depending on whether the person was righteous or not.
Reaf the full article on What happens in the Grave here
Muhammad ﷺ(PBUH) referred to the interrogation as, “…the worst hours of a man’s life”.
According to Imam Muslim and al-Bukhari, believers will not see Allah until they have died. Again, classical commentators, with the notable exception of Ibn Taymiya, prefer the safe route of interpreting that Hadith as neither literal (haqiqi) nor figurative, but most if not all agree that it answers the question in the affirmative; believers will see God. Another Hadith states that believers will be able to see their Lord, just as we are able to see the sun or the moon in the sky. When God reveals Himself to the faithful, a Hadith states that those who during their life would not pray of their own free will will be made to fall on their backs.
Most of these hadith are reported on the authority of Abu Huraira. Most Shi’a dismiss them, because they distrust certain sahaba, including Abu Huraira and also from a philosophical point of view.
The Book of Deeds
During Judgement, a man’s or a woman’s own book of deeds will be opened, and they will be apprised of every action they did and every word they spoke (Qur’an 54.52-53). Actions taken during childhood are not judged. The account of deeds is so detailed that the man or woman will wonder at how comprehensive the account is, that even minor and trivial deeds are included. When the Hour is at hand, some will deny that al-Qiyâmah is taking place and will be warned that al-Qiyâmah precedes the Day of Pining (distress) (Qur’an 30.55-57, 19.39). If one denies a deed he or she committed, or refuses to acknowledge it, his or her body parts will testify against him or her.
Sins that condemn one to Hell
The Qur’an states that some sins can condemn someone to hell. These include lying, dishonesty, corruption, ignoring God or God’s revelations, denying the resurrection, refusing to feed the poor, indulging in opulence and ostentation, and oppressing or economically exploiting others.
Throughout Judgement, however, the underlying principle is that of a complete and perfect justice administered by Allah. The accounts of Judgement are also replete with the emphasis that Allah is merciful and forgiving, and that mercy and forgiveness will be granted on that day insofar as it is merited.
This is similar to some Protestant theologies that state that salvation is by the grace of God, and not by deeds. Islam, however, emphasizes that grace does not conflict with perfect justice.
Good Deeds Vs. Bad Deeds
The Qur’an also states that even the smallest acts of the believers will not be wasted.
“Anyone who has an atom’s worth of goodness will see it and anyone who has done an atom’s worth of evil will also see it” (Qur’an 99:7-8). Those who do good if they are Muslims, will be rewarded not only in this world but also in the world hereafter. However, the final Judgement is up to God himself
Jahannam (Hell) And Jannah (Paradise)
Crossing the Bridge
After Judgement,all men and women are made to cross over a deep abyss, whence the flames of Jahannam (Hell) leap up, on as-Sirāt (الصراط), a thorny bridge so thin that it cannot be seen. It is said in Hadith that crossing the bridge is such a difficult task, because the bridge is as thick as one seventh strand of hair, and as sharp as the edge of a sword. The believers and those destined for Jannah are able to cross quickly and safely, seeing it as a thick stone bridge, whereas others fall off this hair-thin bridge into Jahannam.
Concerning the matter of reward or Jannah (Heaven) (paradise) and Jahannam (punishment), there is the subject of the Intercession (الشفاعة). Hadiths classified as sahih state that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ will be allowed to intercede on behalf of all of mankind, as opposed to prophets who preceded him who were only able to appeal to nations (Sahîh al-bukhari, book 7 “Tayammum (rubbing hands and feet with dust)”, number 331.) Furthermore, a believer will be allowed to plead for members of his family and for his loved ones. Throughout the discourse regarding the ultimate destiny, the consistent tenet is that being sent to Jannah (paradise) or to Jahannam(hell) is a matter in Allah’s hands alone (or, in Christian parlance, a matter determined by grace). God is thus the ultimate arbiter and qadi (judge) as to who remains in Jahannam(hell) and who is rescued.
Believers will be led by Muhammad ﷺ to a vast basin or lake-fount called al-kawthar الكوثر, where their thirst will be sated with a white-colored drink that tastes like sweetened milk. Whosoever drinks it, never thirsts thereafter. In one hadith al-kawthar is said to be a river of paradise (al-Bukhari, book 76, hadith 583.) Sahih Bukhari, in book 76 (the book of tenderness), the chapter on the basin contains at least 14 hadiths regarding it.
In one Hadith, it is related that after the Intercession of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, Allah Himself intercedes, repeatedly ordering His angels to fetch out of Jahannam (hell) any who sincerely professed the Shahada (Sahih Bukhari, book 3 “book of learning or knowledge”, number 97 (98 in another edition)) until the angels are ordered to return and find anyone with even an atom’s measure of goodness in his or her heart. Those who have worshipped false gods, or have participated in shirk (idol worship) are not rescued from Jahannam (hell) and instead remain there forever. After the Intercession, life resumes, either in Jannah (paradise) or in Jahannam (hell).