What does the judgment day look like? We see perhaps a glimpse of it in Sura Ya Sin when Allah (swt) talks about those people who have doubted the messengers. They asked for proof of this last day and asked when will it come. The section (36:49-54) begins –
(36:49) مَا يَنْظُرُونَ إِلا صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً تَأْخُذُهُمْ وَهُمْ يَخِصِّمُون
Ma yanthuroona illa sayhatan wahidatan ta/khuthuhum wahum yakhissimoona
In fact what they are waiting for is a single blast, which will seize them while they are yet disputing among themselves in their worldly affairs.
It is only a moment, only a split second of time, but in that split second that single blast, all things come to a stop. Time exists no more and what can we do about it?
(36:50) فَلا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ تَوْصِيَةً وَلا إِلَى أَهْلِهِمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
Fala yastatee’aoona tawsiyatan wala ila ahlihim yarji’aoona
Then neither they will be able to make a will, nor be able to return to their families.
There is no going back, we have no chance at that time to return for any reason. Our balance sheets are closed and our debts are due to Allah (swt) no returning for any reason.
(36:51) وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَإِذَا هُمْ مِنَ الأجْدَاثِ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَنْسِلُونَ
Wanufikha fee assoori fa-itha hum mina al-ajdathi ila rabbihim yansiloona
The trumpet shall be sounded, when behold! from the graves (people) will rush forth to their Lord!
This is as it is described by Allah (swt)
(36:52) قَالُوا يَا وَيْلَنَا مَنْ بَعَثَنَا مِنْ مَرْقَدِنَا هَذَا مَا وَعَدَ الرَّحْمَنُ وَصَدَقَ الْمُرْسَلُونَ
Qaloo ya waylana man ba’aathana min marqadina hatha ma wa’aada alrrahmanu wasadaqa almursaloona
They will say: “Ah! Woe unto us! Who hath raised us up from our beds of repose?”… (A voice will say:) “This is what (Allah) Most Gracious had promised. And true was the word of the messengers!”
So while they were arguing about what was true and what wasn’t, the day came and then they are surprised!? And they wonder, confusedly, what is going on – then they are told and how can they not believe it now, but it is too late for them.
(36:53) إِنْ كَانَتْ إِلا صَيْحَةً وَاحِدَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ جَمِيعٌ لَدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ
In kanat illa sayhatan wahidatan fa-itha hum jamee’aun ladayna muhdaroona
It will be no more than a single blast, and then they will all be gathered before Us.
(36:54) فَالْيَوْمَ لا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا وَلا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلا مَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
Faalyawma la tuthlamu nafsun shay-an wala tujzawna illa ma kuntum ta’amaloona
On that Day no soul will suffer the least injustice and you shall be rewarded according to your deeds.
But remember that Allah’s mercy outweighs his anger and his judgment is not like that of men. He knows every thing about our lives The judgment will be on the highest standard of justice and grace. Not the least merit will go unrewarded. No penalty will be exacted but that which the doer himself by his past deeds brought on him or herself.
So what is the inner meaning of this? It is just that the deeds you do today, both good and bad, both in obedience and disobedience, in belief and in disbelief are the ones that Allah (swt) is talking about in these ayah! Do we give in to our lusts and complacency or are we rising above the worldly desires and practicing that which brings us closer to our spiritual self? Are we building up the merits that will reward us? Or are we bringing the cares and woes of the world upon us? Are we surrendering our life to our creator, or are we fulfilling the desires of our ego?
We are given some choices in how we live our life here on earth. Some call it a probationary life. If we use it for good and for the worship of Allah (swt) then not only are we guaranteed eternal life in the most pleasant of surroundings. But our life here becomes a pleasure to us and a beacon to those around us. It becomes more fulfilling for us when we complete our worship, prayers, helping the needy, and most of all, remembering our creator with all our hearts and souls and with all our might. But if we do not then we are given the punishment that we deserve in this life and the next. Our lives become sterile, lonely, meaningless. How many times have we heard about people who, although it looks like they are happy, have inner turmoil, inner sadness and anger. Look at what they have made important in their lives and you will see the root cause.
But friends – the good news is that we have some control over this! Do we want to be rewarded in this life and in the next? Or do we opt for a life of inner torment and the eventual punishment in the hereafter?
We must think about our lives even now in this period of probation. Do we feel better when we do good or when we do evil? If we view our lives with the eye of our heart what does it tell us? Are we happy with the way we behave? Are we happy with our commitment to our deen? Do we practice every day to increase our knowledge and our worship? Or are we wasting this time? The choice is ours in this case. We cannot control when that blast will come, when that split second arrives and the books of our lives are closed. And rest assured that it will come. But we can control in what condition we greet that time. This is jihad al akbar – the greatest struggle, which is with our own self to put away worldly desires, disobedience and disbelief and attain the highest knowledge. To put away the false ego, the nafs which is subject to the influence of shaitan and to return, turning towards the light of guidance, the source of all. Today’s readings from Sura Ya Sin may be a hard message to hear, no one wants to think about them, but we, as belivers must think on this and ponder the meanings and take it personally!
Let us go from here pledging ourselves to that cause in our lives.
Wa allahu alim.