Fifth Article Of Faith – Belief in the Day of Judgment (Qiyamah)

Yawm al-Qayamah or the Day of the Resurrection means the Day of Judgement in Islam. Belief in Qiyamah is a fundamental tenet of faith in Islam. It is also referred in the Quran as, "the Hour" (Qur'an 31.34, 74.47), "Day of the Account" (Qur'an 72.130), "Day of the Gathering", "Day of the Reckoning", "Day of Distress" (Qur'an 74.9) and the "Great Announcement".

According to Islam the end of the world will come on Doomsday. On that day, this world will come to an end. On Doomsday God will unravel all veils. Then all things that were hidden and unseen from view will appear as clear as daylight. This will be the Day of Judgement when no action done in the world will remain hidden. Even a tiny good deed or bad deed done in the world will appear as plain as daylight. On this day, and all moral and virtuous men will be rewarded for their good deeds, whatsoever they may have been; and all immoral men will be doomed for their bad deeds, whatsoever they may have been.

Referring to Doomsday or the Last Day, The Quran says:

When the earth is rocked in her convulsion; when the earth shakes off its burdens and man asks, ‘What may this mean?’ – on that day it will proclaim its tidings, for your Lord will have inspired it.

On that day mankind will come in scattered groups to be shown their labours. Whoever does an atom’s weight of good shall see it, and whoever does an atom’s weight of evil shall see it also. (99:1-8)

When the earthquake of Doomsday comes, it will be a proclamation of the termination of the period of trial. This will mean that the freedom which people had been allotted for the purpose of their, being tested has been taken away from them. Then the time will have come for people to receive their just deserts.

People eat, drink and make merry in this world. They establish themselves in comfortable homes. They seek to win promotion in life. They believe or reject matters at will. They are free to do and say what they like. They strive to excel in whatever department of life they choose.

Man has been deluded by his worldly position. He thinks that what he owns in this world will always be his. He forgets that he is being put to the test by means of all the power which he wields in this ephemeral world. Nothing that he has will last. Everything will be taken away from him. He will be stripped of even the most basic of the worldly amenities he used to enjoy. He will be brought before the Lord of the Universe to be judged.

All disparity between men will disappear on the Day of Judgement. Fear of God will seal everybody’s tongue. Injustice will benefit no one; truth will be inescapable. Man will stand alone, answerable for his actions.

Referring to the concept of accountability, the Quran says:

When the sky is cleft asunder; when the stars scatter and the oceans burst beyond their bounds; when the graves are overturned; each soul will know what it has sent ahead and it has left behind. O man! What evil has enticed you away from your gracious Lord who created you, gave you an upright form, and well-proportioned you? In whatever shape He willed, He moulded you. Yet, you deny the Last Judgement. Surely there are guardians watching over you, noble recorders who know of all your actions. The righteous shall surely dwell in Bliss. But the wicked shall burn in a blazing fire on the Judgement Day; which they shall not be able to evade. Would that you knew what the Day of Judgement is! Oh, would that you knew what the Day of Judgement is! A Day when no soul shall be of the least avail to another soul; for on that Day all sovereignty is God’s alone (82:1-19).

People fail to realize that their own inadequacies should be their prime concern — not those of others. The only time they feel concerned with themselves is of their comforts, convenience, safety, etc, are threatened. Then they make strenuous efforts to see that these aspects of their lives should never be prejudiced in any way. But just as a hungry man thinks first and foremost of his own hunger, so should a moral, social being think first and foremost of his own conduct, and not of his own convenience, or of the faults of others. It will only be when the Day of Judgement is upon us and the Truth made plain, that this realization will come to man. On that day will every man be held accountable for their deeds.

Therefore, linked to the belief in the Day of Judgement is the belief that man is accountable to God. He is being watched by God and his actions are being recorded by God’s angels. Though he is free in this world, in the next, he will be held accountable for every thought, speech and action that he made in this world.

The Relevance of the Day of Judgement

The present world is full of strange paradoxes. Here, birds chant hymns of divine praise, while man recites eulogies to himself. Stars and planets continue their voyages without clashing with one another, while man willfully sets himself on a collision course with others. In this world there is no tree which undermines another, but men spend their lives plotting one another’s destruction. Lofty, upright trees show their meekness by casting their shadows on the ground, but if man ascends to any heights he immediately becomes arrogant. This attitude of man’s is totally contrary to God’s Will for His entire creation. Doomsday shall erase these paradoxes, the might of all save God shall be eradicated, and every will save His shall be negated.

When this period of trial has run its course, God will destroy the present world and create another one. There, the righteous and wicked will be separated from one another. The former will reside in paradise and the latter in hell-fire.

Today the world of God appears to be silent. But on the Day of Judgement, everything will be given the power of speech. Present day inventions and discoveries have proved that even lifeless objects have the power of "speech." Studio performances can be fully replayed by recording sets. Similarly, the present world is as if a huge divine studio. Whatever man does or says is being preserved at every moment. And when the time comes, the story of everyone will be repeated by this world in such a way that neither great nor small sayings and doing will escape God’s attention.

We must foresee the coming of that day before its arrival. Those who fail to see it coming before it is upon them will have to pay dearly for their shortsightedness. They will have to endure the punishment of hell-fire.

The present world may seem to lack nothing; but the order of this world has been established with the trial of man in mind. According to God’s scheme, only a world which leads up to reward and punishment can be considered ideal and permanent. This is not the case in the present world. So, when the period of trial is over, God will destroy this world and create another more complete one. There the evil will be separated from the righteous, and all will be confronted with the just consequences of their deeds.

For the observance of proper behaviour in this world, man requires only one thing. It should be firmly embedded in his mind that he is under divine surveillance at every moment. The deeds of his entire life will be presented in the court of God. Be these great or small, done secretly or publicly, everything will be there on record.

If man is fully convinced of this reality, he will be shaken completely even before the shaking of the world. Before the all-encompassing earthquake of Doomsday he will experience an earthquake in his own soul which will change him completely. As a result, he will become his own keeper. He will adopt a disciplined life instead of a life of license. He will use his powers as guided by the command of God instead of acting independently.