Qiyama (Arabic: القيامة) or Judgement Day, according to Islamic teachings, is a day when, by the will of God, all humans gather in the presence of God for the reckoning of their deeds in this world. In the Qur'an, 70 names and attributes are mentioned for it. Before that day, shocking happenings will take place on the earth and in the sky, which are known as the indications of the Hour. The Qur'an and hadiths emphasize that the time of the Judgement Day is not known to anyone but God.
On that day, people's deeds are measured in accordance to religious leaders (the noble Prophet (s), Imams (a) and the righteous) and anyone whose deeds and beliefs have better similarity with their deeds and beliefs will be happier.
In the Qur'an, about 70 names and attributes about Qiyama are mentioned, the most famous of which are, "al-Sa'a" [the Hour], "Yawm al-Qiyama" [Day of Resurrection], al-Yawm al-Akhir [the Last Day], "Yawm al-Hisab" [Day of Reckoning], "Yawm al-Din" [Day of Retribution], "Yawm al-Jam'" [Day of Gathering], "Yawm al-Fasl" [Day of Judgement], "Yawm al-Khuruj" [Day of Rising (from the dead)], "Yawm al-Maw'ud" [the Promised Day], "Yawm al-Khulud" [Day of Immortality], "Yawm al-Hasra" [Day of Regret], "Yawm al-Taghabun" [Day of Dispossession] and "Yawm al-Ba'th" [Day of Resurrection]. Qiyama is also called Qiyamat al-Kubra in opposite to Qiyamat al-Sughra or barzakh which begins just after human's death and continues until Qiyamat al-Kubra.
Precursors and Signs
- Main article: indications of the Hour
Some happenings take place before Qiyama, which are called Ashrat al-Sa'a. The glorious Qur'an mentioned some of those signs:
Only God knows about the time of Qiyama; so, it would be sudden for all, so that many will be unaware of it.
|“||They question you concerning the Hour, when will it set in? Say, ‘Its knowledge is only with my Lord: none except Him shall manifest it at its time. It will weigh heavy on the heavens and the earth. It will not overtake you but suddenly.’ They ask you as if you were in the know of it. Say, ‘Its knowledge is only with Allah, but most people do not know.’||”|
|— Quran 7:187|
Not having knowledge about its time as well as its sudden happening and its tremendousness makes it never considered far by people and they always await it and thus prepare themselves to be rescued then. This unawareness has a positive and constructive effect on the education of people's souls, their attention to their responsibilities and avoiding sins.
According to verses of the Qur'an, on the Day of Judgement, all the dead suddenly and at once will be resurrected by the power of God. They exit the graves and gather and their deeds will be reckoned. The place of their attendance and reckoning is in an environment, the reality of which is not clear to us. However, based on the glorious Qur'an, it is known that the sky and the earth change at that time. An environment (which is immaterial according to some views) is created in which Qiyama takes place and creatures gather in the presence of God. The glorious Qur'an points to this change of the earth and the sky as,
|“||The day the earth is transformed into another earth and the heavens [as well], and they are presented before Allah, the One, the All-paramount.||”|
|— Quran 14:48|
About the duration of Qiyama, there are two verses in the Qur'an: a thousand years and fifty thousand years, and according to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), Qiyama has fifty stations, passing each takes a thousand years.
Resurrection of Humans
In many verses, the noble Qur'an has mentioned the way humans will be resurrected in Qiyama. Verse 68 of Qur'an 39 says that with one blow in the Israfil's horn, all people will die except those God wishes who do not. Then, another time, there will be a blow in horn and everyone is resurrected at once and awaits reckoning.[Note 1]
The most important event in Qiyama is reckoning people's deeds. It is based on the rules delivered to people by the prophets (a) in the forms of ideological teachings and practical rulings. Everyone is responsible for his own practices, no one can bear the burden of another person's sins and no one will be treated unjustly. Some issues are important in the reckoning of the deeds, which are:
Questions in Qiyama: Some issues will be questioned about in Qiyama, the Qur'an has mentioned some of them:
- Material and spiritual blessings of God;
- Sinners will be asked about their ideological, practical and moral sins
- Polytheists will be asked about their treatment of the prophets (a)
- About the live-buried girls
- About life
- About properties
- About deeds and manners
- About the love of the Ahl al-Bayt (a)
In this regard, the noble Prophet (s) said: "In Qiyama, no servant would take any step, but he would be asked about four things: how he spent his life, from where he gained his properties and in what way he spent it, about the actions he performed, and about the love for us the Ahl al-Bayt (a)."
Good deeds of Non-Muslims: the actions of those who believe in God and the hereafter and performed them with the intention of closeness to God, will be accepted. If they do not have any fault for not having faith, they will benefit the fruits of those of their actions which are not related to faith. However, if they are to blame about not having faith, meaning that they knew about Islam and its teachings, but they refused to accept them without a reason and only due to their prejudice and obstinacy, all their good deeds will be lost.
Status of the deprived: the deprived ones are those who are so weak intellectually, physically, or financially that they cannot distinguish the truth from the falsehood, or that although they recognize the true belief, they cannot completely fulfill their duties or immigrate, due to their physical disability, financial weakness, or restrictions the environment imposes on them. For example, a person who is in a region, most of the residents of which are disbelievers, the power is in their hand and there is no religious scholar there to deliver religious teachings to them, or the environment of disbelief and fear does not let that happen and the person cannot exit there and go to Islamic environment or that they never thought that there might be a religion of the truth out there. Such people will be included in the forgiveness of God and would not go to the hell.
Status of the insane: insane ones have no responsibility as long as they have no sanity in this world and the power to recognize the truth and would not be questioned in the hereafter, because one of the requirements of performing the obligation is sanity. In a hadith, Imam al-Sadiq (a) said, "In Qiyama, God will be harsh in the reckoning of the servants' deeds relative to the level of intellect He bestowed upon them."
Status of children and babies: those who die in childhood before they have the power to distinguish the truth from the falsehood and their parents were Muslim, will join their parents and go to the paradise.
The way the children whose parents are disbeliever will be treated it is not known to us; however, based on Shi'a beliefs and the verses of the glorious Qur'an, they would not receive punishments; because, there would be any punishments if a person has received the message of God, while he has reached an age of responsibility and is sane and voluntarily opposes the order of God. Therefore, a person who dies in childhood has no obligation in the first place, so he would go to hell for not observing them.
Resurrection of Animals
It can be understood from some verses and hadiths that like humans, animals too will be resurrected in Qiyama and will be reckoned according to their awareness and responsibilities. However, unlike humans who go either to the hell or to the paradise, animals will die and turn to earth after reckoning and receiving justice about their deeds; i.e. if they have done any injustice, they will receive the retribution for it in Qiyama.
It is transmitted from Abu Dhar that one day they were in the presence of the Prophet (s) and in front of them, two goats hit each other with their horns. The Prophet (s) asked his Companions, "do you know why they hit each other?" His companions answered, "No." The Prophet (s) said, "but, God knows why and soon will judge between them."
Record of Actions
- Main article: record of actions
All the actions a person does in his life are recorded somewhere, known as the record of actions. It is so accurate and clear that no one can deny it.
|“||The Book will be set up. Then you will see the guilty apprehensive of what is in it. They will say, 'Woe to us! What a book is this! It omits nothing, big or small, without enumerating it.' They will find present whatever they had done, and your Lord does not wrong anyone.||”|
|— Quran 18:49|
Embodiment of Actions
- Main article: Embodiment of Actions
The embodiment of actions means that whatever a person does in this world, will be represented in the next world in a form appropriate to that world. In other words, rewards and punishments, blessings, and hardships are the reality of deeds people have done in this world and realized in the next world. Thus, an action a person does in this world has two forms; one worldly form which we see now and a hereafter from which we cannot see now. On the Day of Resurrection, after some events, the hereafter truth of an action will be revealed and their worldly forms go away and bring about happiness or sadness to its doer. Thus, based on this opinion, the rewards for everyone's deeds will be the truth of his deeds.
|“||The day when every soul will find present whatever good it has done; and as to whatever evil it has done it will wish there were a far distance between it and itself. Allah warns you to beware of [disobeying] Him, and Allah is most kind to [His] servants.||”|
|— Quran 3:30|
On the Day of Judgement, when humans gather for the reckoning of deeds and receiving rewards for them, beside the record of actions, there are certain witnesses which witness our deeds and give testimony to them in the gathering. According to religious texts, there are some witnesses for our deeds including:
|“||And say, 'Go on working', Allah will see your conduct, and His Apostle and the faithful [as well], and you will be returned to the Knower of the sensible and the Unseen, and He will inform you concerning what you used to do.||”|
|— Quran 9:105|
Scale of Deeds
On the Day of Judgement, humans' actions will be measured by a certain means, not like the scales in this world. This measure refers to measuring and comparison of everyone's deeds using one model. Based on hadiths, scale in the hereafter refers to the deeds of the prophets (a), Imams (a), and righteous ones and on the Judgement Day, peoples' deeds will be compared and measured with the deeds of these great personalities and will be considered as worthy as they are similar to their beliefs, attributes, and deeds. Imam al-Sadiq (a) explained the scales in Qiyama saying, "The scale for measuring on that day is the Prophets (s) and their vicegerents." In another hadith, the scale in Qiyama is considered Imam 'Ali (a) and Imams (a) after him.
- Main article: Al-Sirat
According to Islamic sources and texts, Sirat is the name of a bridge over the hell across from the paradise, on which all the people pass. Righteous ones pass it swiftly and evildoers fall from it into the hell. In some hadiths, the speed of people in crossing the bridge depends on their faith, sincerity, and righteous deeds. The noble Prophet (s) described this bridge saying that "over the hell, there is a bridge, thinner than a hair and sharper than a sword." In another hadith, the Prophet (s) said, "in Qiyama, when Sirat is put up over the hell, only those can cross it who have permission and the permission is the wilaya of 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a)."
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- And the Trumpet will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens will swoon and whoever is on the earth, except whomever Allah wishes. Then it will be blown a second time, behold, they will rise up, looking on!(Quran 39:68)
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