THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
The Day of Judgment (qiyAmat), the Last Day (yaumu�l-Akhir), is an indispensable prop of Muslim theology. In the QurAn, the word qiyAmat appears seventy times and in addition has seventy-five synonyms, as shown by Mirza Hairat in his Mukaddma TafsIru�l Furqan. Along with its attendant concepts, Paradise and Hell, it pops up from practically every page of the HadIs too. The dreaded day (yaum), colorfully described as the day of �reckoning� (hisAb), or of �separation� (fasl), or of �standing up� (qiyAmah), is mentioned over three hundred times in the QurAn.
The arrival of the Last Day will be announced by many signs. �When you see a slave woman giving birth to her master-that is one sign; when you see barefooted, naked, deaf and dumb as the rulers of the earth-that is one of the signs of Doom. And when you see the shepherds of the black camels exult in buildings-that is one of the signs of Doom� (6). In short, when the poor and the deprived inherit the earth, that is the end of it according to Muhammad.
There is a vivid account of the Day of Resurrection in eighty-two ahAdIs at the end of the �Book of Faith.� Muhammad tells us that on this day, Allah �will gather people,� a �bridge would be set over the hell,� and �I [Muhammad] and my Ummah would be the first to pass over it� (349).
Unbelievers, of course, will be thoroughly miserable on this day but even the Jews and the Christians-the Peoples of the Book-will fare no better. For example, Christians will be summoned and asked, �What did you worship?� When they reply, �Jesus, the son of Allah,� Allah will tell them, �You tell a lie; Allah did not take for Himself either a spouse or a son.� Then they will be asked what they want. They will say: �Thirsty we are, O our Lord! Quench our thirst.� They will be given a certain direction, and Allah will ask: �Why don�t you go there to drink water?� When they go there, they will find that they have been misguided; the water is no more than a mirage, and it is really hell. Then they will �fall into the Fire� and perish (352).
On this day, no other prophet or savior will avail except Muhammad. People will come to Adam and say: �Intercede for your progeny.� He will reply: �I am not fit to do this, but go to IbrAhIm, for he is the friend of Allah.� They will go to IbrAhIm, but he will reply: �I am not fit to do this, but go to Moses, for he is Allah�s Interlocutor.� They will go to Moses, but he will reply: �I am not fit to do this, but you go to Jesus, for he is the Spirit of Allah and His Word.� They will go to Jesus, and he will reply: �I am not fit to do this; you better go to Muhammad.� Then they will come to Muhammad, and he will say: �I am in a position to do that.� He will appeal to Allah, and his intercession will be granted (377).
In many ahAdIs (381-396), Muhammad tells us that among the apostles he has a special intercessory power, for �no Apostle amongst the Apostles has been testified as I have been testified� (383). If this is true, it gives substance to his claim that among the apostles he �would have the largest following on the Day of Resurrection� (382). Thanks to his special role, �seventy thousand persons of [my] Ummah would enter Paradise without rendering an account� (418), and Muslims �would constitute half the inhabitants of Paradise� (427). Considering that unbelievers, infidels, and polytheists are strictly kept out, and that the entry of Jews and Christians also is prohibited, one wonders who will be the other half of the population of Paradise.
How did Muhammad acquire this special intercessory power? Muhammad himself answers this question: �There is for every Apostle a prayer which is granted, but every prophet showed haste in his prayer. I have, however, reserved my prayer for the intercession of my Ummah on the Day of Resurrection� (389). The translator makes this statement clearer for us. He says: �The Apostles are dear to Allah and their prayers are often granted. But with every Apostle there is one request which may be called decisive with regard to his Ummah, and with it is decided their fate; for example, Noah in a state of distress uttered: �My Lord! leave not any one of the disbelievers in the land� (al-QurAn 71.26). Muhammad reserved his prayer for the Day of Resurrection and he would use it for the salvation of the believers� (note 412).
We have no means of knowing about the curse of Noah, but this kind of cursing is quite in Muhammad�s line. For example, look at his curse against several tribes: �O Allah! trample severely Muzar and cause them a famine . . . O Allah! curse LihyAn, Ri�l ZakwAn, Usayya, for they disobeyed Allah and His Messenger� (1428).
In any case, when the disbelievers are being hurled into the Fire, Muhammad will not intercede even when he knows that no other intercession would avail: �Thou shalt not damn thy enemies, but needst not go out of your way to save them.�
author: ram sawrup