10 Nov Belief in The Hereafter: Part 3
Stages of Life in the Hereafter
5. Gathering after Resurrection and Gathering Place
Gathering is Allah’s sending men to the gathering place after the resurrection for reckoning and bringing them together. The place where men gather is called the Gathering Place. There are a lot of verses in the Quran about gathering. We can give the following verse as an example.
“One Day He will gather them all together, and say to the angels “Was it you that these men used to worship?” (Saba, 40).
Verses: “They will come forth― their eyes humbled― from (their) graves, (torpid) like locusts scattered abroad, Hastening, with eyes transfixed, towards the Caller!― “Hard is this Day!” the Unbelievers will say. ” (al-Qamar, 7-8).
It is stated in a hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) that the gathering place will be a smooth flat place, men will be sent to the gathering place as naked, barefoot, uncircumcised and faultless; while men wait in the gathering place, the sun will approach and they will sweat, that day men will be sent to the gathering place in three groups; on foot, riding and crawling face downwards.
6. Receiving Book of Deeds
The Books of Deeds, in which the good and bad deeds men did in the world were recorded, will be given to men in the gathering place for reckoning. We do not know the true nature of these books.
Without doubt, they do not resemble the books we have in the world. If we use the jargon of today’s technology, we can liken them to candid cameras that record the vision and sound and then show these recordings to viewers.
Verses: “Every man’s fate We have fastened on his own neck: on the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open. (It will be said to him:) “Read thine (own) record: sufficient is thy soul this day to make out an account against thee.” (al-Isra, 13-14)
An owner of knowledge and power, who can save plants in tiny seeds, big trees in small pips, men and animals in a drop of water and maintain their species, can record the deeds of men in a book; just as we save hundreds of pages of information and documents in a small CD.
This issue is stated in the Quran as follows:
“And the Book (of Deeds) will be placed (before you); and thou wilt see the sinful in great terror because of what is (recorded) therein; they will say “Ah! woe to us! what a book is this! It leaves out nothing small or great, but takes account thereof!” They will find all that they did, placed before them: and not one will thy Lord treat with injustice” (Al-Kahf, 49).
The Books of Deeds will be given to the people of Paradise from the right side and the people of hell from the left side or from the back. Receiving the Book from the right side indicates good news that reckoning will be easy and receiving it from the left side indicates a hard reckoning.
After men receive their books in the hereafter Allah will start reckoning in accordance with the records in those books, nobody will be treated with injustice.
Verse: “O our Lord! cover (us) with Thy Forgiveness― me, my parents, and (all) Believers, on the Day that the Reckoning will be established!” (Ibrahim, 41).
There are a lot of verses in the Quran related to this issue. Some of them are as follows:
“That Day will every soul be requited for what it earned; no injustice will there be that Day, for Allah is Swift in taking account” (al-Mumin, 17).
“(It will be said to him:) “Read thine (own) record: sufficient is thy soul this day to make out an account against thee.” (al-Isra, 14).
The Prophet (PBUH) informed us that men will definitely be questioned of the following five things on the Day of Judgment:
- Where they spent their life,
- Where they spent their youth,
- Where they earned their property,
- Where they spent their property,
- Whether they applied what they knew or not. (Tirmidhi, Kıyame, 1.)
8. Mizan (Scale)
Mizan, which means scale and balance, is the measurement of the divine justice that weighs the deeds of everybody in the hereafter following the reckoning. However, its true nature and the inside cannot be known by men. It does not resemble the scales or any other measuring or weighing devices in the world. After the weighing of the deeds, those whose good deeds are heavier than their bad deeds will reach salvation and those whose good deeds are lighter will go to Hell and suffer punishment there. The believers who go to Hell will be taken out of Hell and sent to Paradise after they suffer the punishment accounting for their faults. It is stated in the Quran that those whose good deeds are heavy will be in a pleasant life as follows:
A verse: “We shall set up scales of justice for the day of Judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account): and enough are We to take account” (al-Anbiya, 47).
“Then, he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) heavy Will be in a life of good pleasure and satisfaction. But he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) light― Will have his home in a (bottomless) pit.”(al-Qaria, 6-9.)
“Then those whose balance (of good deeds) is heavy – they will attain salvation: But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in Hell will they abide.” (Mumenoon, 102-103).
9. River and Pool of Kawthar
A verse: “(O Muhammad!) To thee have We granted the Fount (Of Abundance).” (al-Kawthar, 1)
Kawthar is one of the rivers of Paradise and it is also the name of the pool into which the waters of this river flow. The waters flowing from the river Kawthar gather in this pool in the Day of Judgment. When men are resurrected and gathered in the gathering place, our Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) will be given the Kawthar pool. The first person to reach this pool will be our Prophet. Those who reach it and drink from it will never get thirsty again.
As it is stated in hadiths, one side of this pool is so long that it takes a month to walk it; its water is whiter than milk, its scent is sharper than musk, its glasses are more than the stars in the sky (Bukhari, Riqaq, 53).