'Qiyamah' is coming
Islam teaches us that every soul shall taste death. After a person’s death, his soul will reside in a world different from ours, called “Barzakh” until the Day of Judgement (Qiyamah). On that day, everyone will be gathered by Allah for the final account. The good believer will go to heaven while the bad servant will go to hell. To believe in this is a pillar of our faith (Iman). Therefore, a believer must learn about this subject and have conviction in it.
But to be precise, you must understand that each person shall witness his own Day of Judgement, and he will be among the group of his time, at the moment of his death. For example, in everyday life, we often learn of a calamity or other that has arisen and has made hundreds or millions of deaths. So, for these people, it’s their last hour on earth and they will face their Last Judgement after going through the “Barzakh” and from there on they will know their final destination.
“But those who disbelieve say, ‘The Hour will not come to us.’ Say, ‘Yes, by my Lord, it will surely come to you’.” (Saba, 34 : 4).
Non-believers in general, apart from religions which were originally monotheistic, such as Judaism and Christianity, do not believe in life after death, in the Last Judgement because most of them believe that their life on earth is their only life and death will mean a definite end to their life, while others believe in reincarnation, i.e., they will be resurrected in different bodies, be it in human or animal form, and that they will return to earth again and again, instantly, or centuries after their present death. These conceptions about life and death that they hold are really wrong.
The Six Pillars of Islam
As Muslims we need to know and understand that our faith (Iman) rests on six pillars; Our faith in: Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers / Prophets, the Last Day of Judgement and Fate/ Predestination/ Destiny – and the fact that good and evil come through the knowledge, law and the creation of Allah, and the firm belief in life after death (the Resurrection) which are each an indisputable truth.
“Amantu billahi wa malaikatihi wa kutubihi wa rusulihi wal-yawmil-akhiri wa bil-qadari khayrihi wa sharrihi minallahi taala wal-ba’thu ba’dal-mawti haqqun.”
However, in the Qur’an, only two pillars of our faith are most often mentioned, especially our faith in Allah and our faith in the Day of Judgement. The same is mentioned in the Hadiths where our beloved prophet Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) most often mentions these two pillars. Allah says in the Holy Quran: “This instruction is for all amongst you, who believe in Allah and the Last Day.” (Al-Baqara 2 : 233).
As for the Holy Prophet (pbuh), he said: “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should either utter good words or better keep silence.” (Bukhari).
According to this Hadith, a believer who has faith in Allah and the Last Day must stand out (i.e. shine), in his behaviour, against a non-believer. For whoever has faith - knowing full well that one day he will die and that he will have to appear before the Court of Allah and go either to heaven or hell – will thus never lead a life that is forbidden to him. He will live his life in fear of Allah (Taqwa) and will not behave like a non-believer. For the unbeliever, it is quite normal for him to lead his life as he sees fit, even if it goes against the teachings of Islam. Then, the Muslim must behave like a good believer, a true believer who acts according to the divine directives. He must in no way be a Muslim by name, because at that moment there will be no difference between him and the unbeliever. Then, the believer must imperatively abandon all that can incur the wrath of Allah and stay within the framework of Islam in order to attract the pleasure of Allah. The good believer knows that one day or another, he will have to return to his Creator to account for his deeds, and his fear of God gives him the strength to stay away from the forbidden.
In truth, life on earth is a test for the believer. He (as well as all of us) will be judged before Allah for each of his acts with the ultimate destination paradise or hell. The Last Day, the Qiyamah is that day when Allah will decide on his final fate. The Day of Judgement is the day when the judged soul will receive its reward in full. If he were good and had acted according to God’s commandments, he would receive his good reward, the pleasure of Allah and a place in His paradise, but if he was bad and disobedient to his Creator, he would receive the worst of rewards, a limited or eternal stay in hell, depending on his intentions and actions.
The Last Day also refers to the day when Allah will annihilate all creatures on earth - the Final Hour for the earth and all its inhabitants - and then resurrect them so that they may testify to the justice of Allah.
Allah says: “Indeed, the Hour is coming - no doubt about it - but most of the people do not believe.” (Al-Momin, 40 : 60).
“And they ask you to inform them (saying): ‘Is it true (i.e. the torment and the establishment of the Hour; - the Day of Resurrection)?’ Say: "Yes! By my Lord! It is the very truth! and you cannot escape from it!” (Yunus 10 : 54).
Ibn Umar (ra) said: I have heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say: “On the Day of Rising, the believer will be brought closer to his Lord until He is under His protection, and He will make him confess his sins by saying to him, ‘Do you acknowledge such and such a sin?’ He will answer, ‘Yes Lord, I confess.’ Allah will then say to him, ‘I have hid them from you in the world, and I forgive them for you today.’ He will then be given his register of good deeds. On the other hand, the disbelievers and the hypocrites will be called before the whole of humanity and it will be said to them: ‘Here are those who lied about their Lord. May the curse of Allah be upon the oppressors!’” (Bukhari and Muslim).
Belief in the Day of Judgement, life and death and the final abode, Paradise and Hell are linked, because after our demise we have to go through the Final Judgement of Allah before experiencing either the eternal enjoyment or the eternal punishment, depending on the degree of our good and bad deeds.
Allah says: “Indeed, they who have believed and done righteous deeds - those are the best of creatures. Their reward with Allah will be gardens of perpetual residence beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, Allah being pleased with them and they with Him. That is for whoever has feared his Lord.” (Al-Bayyina, 98 : 8-9).
“Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds (their) faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.” (Al-Kahf 18 : 30).
May Allah have mercy on us, forgive us our weaknesses and sins, and may He open wide for us the door of His pleasure and satisfaction in this world and in the future life, a future sprinkled with good deeds and of God’s eternal bliss towards us. Insha-Allah, Ameen.
----Friday Sermon of 26 October 2018 (---16 Safar 1440 AH) delivered by Hadhrat Muhyi-ud-Din Al Khalifatullah Munir Ahmad Azim Saheb (atba) of Mauritius.