The Day of Judgment

(Keywords: Accounting for deeds, Yome Al-Qiyamah, Day of Resurrection, Last Day, the Day of Recompense)

 

In Islam, the Day of Judgment is considered the Greatest and Most Eventful Day the son of Adam would ever experience.  The Day of Judgment is described as a very long day during which all creatures would be assembled for the accounting of deeds before God, the Creator and Lord of the Universe.  On the Day of Judgment, every person would be asked about his/her deeds and actions in the world.

God has described the Day of Judgment as the Day of Recompense (Yome Ad-Deen); the day when every soul shall be either rewarded for its goods deeds or punished for its misdeeds and sins.  In Qur’an, the Day of Judgment has been described with different names to demonstrate its different conditions and horrific events.  The Almighty God has descried the Day of Judgment as:

– The Last Day (Al-Yome Al-‘Akhir): The Day of Judgment constitutes the boundary between this life and the Hereafter.

– The Day of Resurrection (Yome Al-Ba’th): On the Day of Judgment, God would resurrect all people and make them come alive again.  God mentioned in Qur’an that as He created all creatures, and He is capable of restoring all of them on the Day of Judgment.

– The Promised Day (Al-Yome Al-Mo’wood), the Undoubtful Day (La Reiba feeh), and the Approaching Day (‘Azifah): The Day of Judgment is inevitable and has been promised by all prophets and messengers of God.

– The Day of Distress, the Distressful Day (Aseeb), the Hard Day (Aseer), and the Barren Day (Aqeem): People would feel a lot of distress on that day because of the long wait, its many fretful events, and because people wouldn’t know their final end either in Paradise or Hell.

– The Day of Striking Calamity (Waqi’ah), the Day of Great Catastrophe (Tammah Kubra), the Day of the Blast (Sakhah), and the Overwhelming Day (Ghashiyah): On that day, the disbelievers and sinners would suffer great distress and torment.

– The Day of Regret (Yome Al-Hasrah): On that day, everyone would feel great remorse and regret for any disobedience of the Lord of the Universe.

– The Day of Inevitable Reality (Haqqah), and the Day of Truth (Haqq): On that day, people would see the truth as never before as they would be able to see the angels, Paradise and Hellfire.

– The Day of Gathering (Yome Al-Jam’), the Day Coming out (Khurooj), the Day of Meeting (Talaq), and the Day of Calling Out (Tanad): All creatures would be resurrected, would be gathered and then called out for individual accounting on that day.

– The Day of Reckoning (Hisab) and the Day of Sorting out (Fasl): On that day, every person shall account for his good and bad deeds, and people would be divided in groups (the righteous together, the sinners together, and the disbelievers together). And,

– The Day of Eternity (Khulood), and the Day of Eternal Abode (Qarar): On that day, the son of Adam will find his/her final destination and eternal abode or home.

 

          Just by looking at the different names of the Day of Judgment, we can appreciate the sense of horror and dread one may feel that day.  But the Almighty God has promised relief and ease for the believers, the pious and the righteous; those who worship Him alone and obey His commands.  But for those who disobeyed God, then the Day of Judgment is a day of regret and loss.

          The Almighty God gives us a live representation of the Day of Judgment in Qur’an.  In this live depiction of the end of the Day of Judgment, we can see the condition of two groups: the people of Paradise and the people of Hell-Fire.  The live image also describes their state, their statements and their final thoughts before they are led away to their final abode and destination.

          قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: { وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَصَعِقَ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا مَنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ ثُمَّ نُفِخَ فِيهِ أُخْرَى فَإِذَا هُمْ قِيَامٌ يَنْظُرُونَ (68) وَأَشْرَقَتِ الْأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ وَجِيءَ بِالنَّبِيِّينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ (69) وَوُفِّيَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَا عَمِلَتْ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَفْعَلُونَ (70) وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ زُمَرًا حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءُوهَا فُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِنْكُمْ يَتْلُونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آَيَاتِ رَبِّكُمْ وَيُنْذِرُونَكُمْ لِقَاءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا قَالُوا بَلَى وَلَكِنْ حَقَّتْ كَلِمَةُ الْعَذَابِ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ (71) قِيلَ ادْخُلُوا أَبْوَابَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا فَبِئْسَ مَثْوَى الْمُتَكَبِّرِينَ (72) وَسِيقَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا رَبَّهُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ زُمَرًا حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ (73) وَقَالُوا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي صَدَقَنَا وَعْدَهُ وَأَوْرَثَنَا الْأَرْضَ نَتَبَوَّأُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ حَيْثُ نَشَاءُ فَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ (74) وَتَرَى الْمَلَائِكَةَ حَافِّينَ مِنْ حَوْلِ الْعَرْشِ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ وَقِيلَ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ } سورة الزمر 68-75.

English Translation:

God the Almighty says in Qur’an: { And the Trumpet (horn) will be blown, and all in the heavens and earth will fall dead except whom God wills. Then it will be blown a second time and behold, they will be standing, looking on.

69. And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord (when He will come to judge among them), the Record (of deeds) will be placed (open) and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward, and it will be judged between them with truth, and they will not be wronged.

  1. And every soul will be fully compensated for what it did; and God is most knowing of what they do.

  1. Then those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened and its keepers will say, “Did not the Messengers come to you from amongst yourselves, reciting to you the Verses of your Lord and warning you of the Meeting of this Day of yours?” They will say: “Yes, but the Word [i.e., decree] of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!”

  2. It will be said (to them): “Enter you the gates of Hell, to abide eternally therein. And (indeed) what an evil abode for the arrogant!”

  1. But those who feared their Lord will be led to Paradise in groups, till, when they reach it, its gates will be opened and its keepers will say: “Peace be upon you; you have done well; so enter you Paradise to abide eternally therein.”

  2. And they (people of Paradise) will say: “All praises and thanks be to God Who has fulfilled His Promise to us and has made us inherit (this) land so we can dwell in Paradise where we will. And what an excellent reward for the (pious) workers!”

  1. And you will see the angels surrounding the Throne (of God) from all round, glorifying the praises of their Lord. And it will be judged between all the creatures with truth, and it will be said: All praises and thanks be to God, the Lord of the Universe} (Surah 39, verses 68-75).

 

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A Man from Paradise

(Keywords: Purifying Inner Self, Getting rid of Vices, Mending the Self, Islah Al-Batin)

    عن أنس بن مالك رضي الله عنه قال: ( كنا جلوسا مع رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم فقال: « يَطلُعُ الآن عليكم رجلٌ من أهل الجنة»، فطلع رجل من الأنصار تنظُفُ لحيتُه من وضوئه، قد علق نعليه بيده الشمال،  فلما كان الغد قال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم مثل ذلك، فطلع ذلك الرجل مثل المرة الأولى، فلما كان اليوم الثالث قال النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم مثل مقالته أيضا، فطلع ذلك الرجل على مثل حاله الأول،  فلما قام النبي صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم تبعه عبد الله بن عمرو فقال: إني لاحيتُ (أي خاصمت) أبي، فأقسمت أني لا أدخل عليه ثلاثا، فإن رأيت أن تؤويني إليك حتى تمضي فعلت، قال: نعم، قال أنس: فكان عبد الله يحدث أنه بات معه تلك الثلاث الليالي فلم يره يقوم من الليل شيئا، غير أنه إذا تعارَّ (أي استيقظ) تقلَّب على فراشه ذكر الله عز وجل، وكبر حتى صلاة الفجر. ـ

قال عبد الله : غير أني لم أسمعه يقول إلا خيرا، فلما مضت الثلاث الليالي وكدت أن أحتقر عمله، قلت: يا عبد الله لم يكن بيني وبين أبي غضب ولا هجرة، ولكن سمعت رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقول لك ثلاث مرات: « يَطلُعُ عليكم الآن رجلٌ من أهل الجنة»، فطلعت أنت الثلاث المرات فأردت أن آوي إليك فأنظر ما عملك فأقتدي بك، فلم أرك عملتَ كبيرَ عملٍ، فما الذي بلغ بك ما قال رسول الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم؟  قال: ما هو إلا ما رأيت. فلما وليت دعاني، فقال: ما هو إلا ما رأيت غير أني لا أجد في نفسي لأحد من المسلمين غِشا، ولا أحسُد أحدا على خير أعطاه الله إياه، فقال عبد الله : هذه التي بلغت بك) .  رواه أحمد بإسناد على شرط البخاري ومسلم والنسائي وأبو يعلى والبزار وسمى الرجل المبهم سعدا. ـ

زاد النسائي في رواية له والبيهقي والأصبهاني فقال عبد الله : (هذه التي بلغت بك، وهي التي لا نُطِيق ) . ـ

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Narrated Anas Ibn Malik -may God be pleased with him- said: “While we were sitting with the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him, he said: ‘A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now.’  So a man from the tribe of Al-Ansaar came out, whose beard was dripping from his ablution, and he had hung his shoes in his left hand.

When the following morning came, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing, so the same man came out like the first time.

On the third day, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- said the same thing again, and the same man came out in the same condition.

When the Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- left, Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr followed the Ansaari man and said to him: ‘I have quarreled with my father and I have sworn to avoid him for three days, so if you could let me stay with you until they pass.’  He replied: ‘Yes.’

Anas said: Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr related that he slept those three nights in the Ansaari man’s house, and he did not see him praying any voluntary prayers at night.  However, whenever he woke up, he would roll over on his bed and mention God -the Almighty- and say Allahu akbar (God is the Greatest) until the dawn prayer.

Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr said: ‘But I only heard him speaking good.  And when the three nights had passed and I almost scorned his deed, I said to him: O Abdul-Allah, there was not any quarrel or abandonment between my father and me, but I heard the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- saying three times about you: `A man from the people of Paradise will come out to you now,`  and you came out on the three times.  So I wanted to stay with you to find about your deed, and do likewise.  But I haven’t seen you doing any great deed, so what made you reach what the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him- had mentioned.’  He replied: ‘I have nothing except what you saw.’  As I was leaving, he called me back and said: ‘I have nothing except what you saw, but I do not find within myself any deceitfulness for any of the Muslims, and I do not feel jealous toward anyone for any good that God has granted him.’

So Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr said: ‘This is what made you reach that degree.’ ”  And in another narration: “Abdul-Allah said: ‘This is what made you reach that degree, and it is what we cannot bear doing.’ ”   Related by Imam Ahmad with a narration based on Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim, and Al-Nasa’ee, Al-Beihaqi, Abu Ya’la, Al-Asbahani, and Al-Bazzar (Who named the obscure man: Sa’ad).

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          Islam places great emphasis on righteousness and piety.  The Muslim is commanded to obey God, by doing what God has obligated and staying away from what God has forbidden.  Thus, the Muslim is instructed to do all obligatory deeds (wajibat) and refrain from sins and misdeeds.

But beside paying attention to outer deeds and action, Islam has placed great emphasis on purifying the inner self as well.  So while it is important to engage in worship and avoid all sins with the limbs, it is equally important to work on the inner heart and try to adorn the self with good traits like modesty, generosity, forgiveness and the like, and to rid the inner self of vices like pride, jealousy, cheating, etc.

The Muslim does not attain full Faith (Iman) until he mends both his outer and inner self.  The Muslim should be concerned with his outer action by trying to obey God in all of his action, but the Muslim should also be concerned with his inner self and try to adorn it with good traits and try to rid the inner self of vices.

Once the Muslim mends his inner and outer self, then he would attain full Faith (Iman) and will get higher grades in Paradise.  Therefore, Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- pointed to the same man as being ‘a man from Paradise’ for three consecutive days. 

And when Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr stayed with the same man for three days, he couldn’t detect any extra worship or many good voluntary deeds.  But when Abdul-Allah asked him directly, the man denied anything at first, but as Abdul-Allah was leaving, he casually enlightened about the real reason. 

The man said that he doesn’t find in himself any ill-feelings for others.  In other words, he had purified his inner self.  So not only did he obey God outwardly, but he also mended his inner self, so it was adorned with modesty (as seen from his denial of being good), generosity (as seen from his welcoming Abdul-Allah as a guest for three days), and piety (as seen from his avoidance of sins). 

Furthermore, the man had purified his inner self of vices so he stated that he didn’t have any ill-feelings for others.  Abdul-Allah Ibn Amr got the message and exclaimed: Then that was why the Messenger of Allah declared you to be a man from Paradise for three consecutive days.

Then, the Muslim is advised to try to obey God by doing good deeds and avoid sins, but also by trying to mend his inner self by adorning it with good traits and ridding it of vices.  And God and His Messenger know best.

 

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The Best Nation

 (Keywords: Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil, Approving and Supporting Public Good, Disapproving and Discouraging Public Evil, Spread of Evil, Widespread Sins)

قال الله سبحانه وتعالى: {كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ} سورة آل عمران 110. ـ

  قال ابن كثير في تفسيره: ( {كنتم خير أمة أخرجت للناس تأمرون بالمعروف وتنهون عن المنكر وتؤمنون بالله} فمن اتصف من هذه الأمة بهذه الصفات دخل معهم في هذا الثناء عليهم والمدح لهم ، كما قال قتادة: بلغنا أن عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه في حجَّة حجَّها رأى من الناس سرعة، فقرأ هذه الآية: {كنتم خير أمة أخرجت للناس} ثم قال: من سره أن يكون من تلك الأمة فليؤد شرط الله فيها. رواه ابن جرير . ـ
ومن لم يتصف بذلك أشبه أهل الكتاب الذين ذمهم الله بقوله: {كانوا لا يتناهون عن منكر فعلوه لبئس ما كانوا يفعلون} [المائدة، 79]). انتهى. ـ

English Translation:

God the Almighty says in Qur’an: {You are the best nation ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Good and forbid Evil, and you believe in God} (Surah 3, verse 110).

Ibn Katheer said in his Exegesis: “{You are the best nation ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Good and forbid Evil, and you believe in God}. Therefore, whoever among this nation acquires these qualities, will be included in this praise.

The scholar Qatadah said: ‘We were told that Omar Ibn Al-Khattab while performing Hajj once, saw some people rushing, so he recited this verse and then said: `Whoever likes to be among the mentioned nation, then let him fulfill the condition that God has set in it.`’  Related by Ibn Jarir.

But those from this nation who do not acquire these qualities will be just like the People of the Scriptures whom God criticized in His verse: {They used not to forbid one another from the evil which they committed} (Surah 5, verse 79).”

 

The Almighty God has described this nation as the best nation among all nations, and then stated three reasons for that favor.  The nation of Prophet Muhammad is the last nation, but most favored one.  The three reasons for that favor mentioned in the verse are: First, they are firm believers in God as One and the Only God worthy of worship alone with no partners or equal, and they are firm believers in His Divine Message which He sent to His messengers and Prophets, including the last Prophet, Muhammad.  Second, they do righteous and enjoin good.  And third, they refrain from evil and sins and prohibit them.

It was God’s great mercy upon this nation that He made it the last but the greatest in reward.  Not only that, but this nation has been favored with many attributes that previous nations haven’t been favored with.  The message of Prophet Muhammad is general to all mankind, while other prophets were sent to specific people; the reward of a good deed is multiplied ten times while the sin is considered one misdeed for this nation; the knowledge granted to this nation encompasses all previous Scriptures, such that Islam explains everything so clearly and logically that no confusion or doubt remain; the gate of Repentance has been left open for this nation till the soul reaches the throat; this nation constitutes two thirds of the people of Paradise; and last but not least Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- would intercede for this great nation on the Day of Judgment.  Prophet Muhammad alluded to this favor in the following hadith:

 

       عن ‏حَكِيمِ بْنِ مُعَاوِيَةَ عن ‏أَبِيهِ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم قَالَ: « أَنْتُمْ تُوَفُّون سَبْعِينَ أُمَّةً، أَنْتُمْ خَيْرُهَا، وَأَنْتُمْ أَكْرَمُ عَلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَل».  رواه الترمذي وابن ماجه والحاكم وأحمد وإسناده حسن. ـ

Narrated Hakeem Ibn Mu’awiyah, narrated his father that the Messenger of God (Muhammad) -prayer and peace be upon him- said: “You are the final of seventy nations, you are the best and most honored among them to God.”  Related by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim, and Ahmad.  (Hasan).

           However, the distinction of being the best nation comes with certain conditions and terms, chief among them are the three conditions mentioned in the verse.  Muslims would be favored if: 1) they truly believe in God and His Messengers, and act righteous by 2) enjoining good and doing it and 3) forbidding evil and sins and staying away from them.  Only if they fulfill these conditions, would they be considered the best nation.  But if they do not, then they are just like other creatures of God.  God -the Exalted- said in another verse:

قال الله عز وجل: وَقَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ نَحْنُ أَبْنَاءُ اللَّهِ وَأَحِبَّاؤُهُ قُلْ فَلِمَ يُعَذِّبُكُم بِذُنُوبِكُم بَلْ أَنتُم بَشَرٌ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ يَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَإِلَيْهِ الْمَصِيرُ} سورة المائدة، 18. ـ

   God the Almighty says in Qur’an: { The Jews and the Christians say: ‘We are the children of God and His loved ones.’ Say: ‘Why then does He punish you for your sins then! Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created; He forgives whom He wills and He punishes whom He wills. And to God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them; and to Him is the final return (of all)} (Surah 5, verse 18).

   Ibn Katheer said: “Meaning, if you were truly God’s children and loved ones as you claim, then why did He prepare the Fire because of your disbelief, lies and false claims.

{Nay, you are but human beings, of those He has created}, God states: You are just like the rest of the children of Adam, and God is the Lord of all His creation.

{He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills}:  God does what He wills, there is none who can escape His judgment, and He is swift in reckoning.

{And to God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them}: Therefore, everything is God’s property and under His power and control.

{And to Him is the return}: In the end, the return will be to God and He will judge between His servants as He will, and He is the Most Just Who is never wrong in His judgment). End Quote.

The same rule applies to this nation, if they believe in God and act righteous then they are favored and would be considered the best nation; but if they stray away from religion, stop acting righteous by accepting public sins then that favor is no longer in place, and they may be punished.

          Islam emphasizes enjoining good and forbidding evil as an important check and curb for the practice of sins individually and the spread of evil and sins in society.  The concept of Public Shame is an important concept that helps keep society in check and saves it from straying from morality.  Furthermore, the concept of Public Shame saves society from accepting degradation and loss of principles and ideals that continually erode with time.  As every generation passes on, some of its principles and ideals are lost as the new generation adopts new and oftentimes more bold and immoral practices and traditions.

          Therefore, Islam has prescribed the concept of enjoining good and forbidding evil in order to develop a sense of self-righteousness in the individual himself, and develop abhorrence and intolerance of public evil.  This in turn would create a society of moral and righteous people who not only care about their own family’s well-being, but also about the well-being of their neighbors and the whole society.  The end result is a peaceful and loving society that adheres to religious values and is characterized by morality and a high code of ethics.

           On the other hand, when people see evil and think nothing of it; when evil spreads among a community and people say nothing about it; and when most people get engaged in that evil with no objection or censure, then that community is at risk of some of punishment in one form or another.

Indeed, God the Almighty gives us many examples of some past communities that engaged in public sins and were therefore destroyed.  God the Almighty says in Qur’an:

  قال الله عز وجل: { الْحَاقَّةُ (1) مَا الْحَاقَّةُ (2) وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحَاقَّةُ (3) كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ وَعَادٌ بِالْقَارِعَةِ (4) فَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِالطَّاغِيَةِ (5) وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ (6) سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومًا فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ (7) فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُمْ مِنْ بَاقِيَةٍ (8) وَجَاءَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَنْ قَبْلَهُ وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَاتُ بِالْخَاطِئَةِ (9) فَعَصَوْا رَسُولَ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَهُمْ أَخْذَةً رَابِيَةً (10) إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَى الْمَاءُ حَمَلْنَاكُمْ فِي الْجَارِيَةِ (11) لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً وَتَعِيَهَا أُذُنٌ وَاعِيَةٌ } سورة الحاقة 1-12. ـ

 God the Almighty says in Qur’an: { 1. The Inevitable Reality (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)!  2. What is the Inevitable Reality? 3. And what will make you know what the Inevitable Reality is?

  1. The People of Thamood and Aad denied the striking Hour (i.e., Resurrection).
  2. As for Thamood, they were destroyed by the awful blast!
  3. And as for Aad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind;
  4. Which God imposed on them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date-palms.
  5. Do you see any remnants of them?
  6. And there came Pharaoh, those before him, and the overturned Cities (i.e., the towns of the people of Lout (Lot), all committed sin.
  1. They disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He punished them with a strong punishment.
  2. Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits (Noah Flood), We carried you (mankind) in the floating (ship that was constructed by Noah).
  3. That We might make it for you a reminder and [that] a heedful ear would take heed} (Surah 69, verses 1-12).

    Then, Muslims are commanded to enjoin good and act upon it; and forbid evil and sins and refrain from it to avoid a similar fate like of those before us.  Not only that, but we have been warned time and again that when sins become widespread and Public Shame is lost, then punishment descends in one form or another.  Prophet Muhammad warned us of the consequences of five sins if they become widespread:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ، قَالَ: أَقْبَلَ عَلَيْنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ: «‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ خَمْسٌ إِذَا ابْتُلِيتُمْ بِهِنَّ وَأَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ أَنْ تُدْرِكُوهُنَّ: لَمْ تَظْهَرِ الْفَاحِشَةُ فِي قَوْمٍ قَطُّ حَتَّى يُعْلِنُوا بِهَا إِلاَّ فَشَا فِيهِمُ الطَّاعُونُ وَالأَوْجَاعُ الَّتِي لَمْ تَكُنْ مَضَتْ فِي أَسْلاَفِهِمُ الَّذِينَ مَضَوْا،‏ وَلَمْ يَنْقُصُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ إِلاَّ أُخِذُوا بِالسِّنِينَ وَشِدَّةِ الْمَؤُنَةِ وَجَوْرِ السُّلْطَانِ عَلَيْهِمْ،‏ وَلَمْ يَمْنَعُوا زَكَاةَ أَمْوَالِهِمْ إِلاَّ مُنِعُوا الْقَطْرَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَلَوْلاَ الْبَهَائِمُ لَمْ يُمْطَرُوا، وَلَمْ يَنْقُضُوا عَهْدَ اللَّهِ وَعَهْدَ رَسُولِهِ إِلاَّ سَلَّطَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ عَدُوًّا مِنْ غَيْرِهِمْ فَأَخَذُوا بَعْضَ مَا فِي أَيْدِيهِمْ،‏ وَمَا لَمْ تَحْكُمْ أَئِمَّتُهُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَيَتَخَيَّرُوا مِمَّا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ بَأْسَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ».  رواه ابن ماجه. ـ

     Narrated Abdul-Allah Ibn Omar said: “Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- once turned to us and said: ‘O Group of the Migrants (Muhajireen), there are five things with which you will be tested, and I seek refuge with God lest you live to see them:

Immorality never appears among a people to such an extent that they commit it openly, but plagues and diseases that were never known among their predecessors will spread among them.

They do not cheat in weights and measures but they will be stricken with famine, severe calamity and the oppression of their rulers.

They do not withhold the obligatory charity (Zakah) of their wealth, but rain will be withheld from the sky, and were it not for the animals, no rain would fall on them.

They do not break their covenant with God and His Messenger, but God will enable their enemies to overpower them and take some of what is in their hands. 

And unless their leaders rule according to the Book of God and seek all good from that which God has revealed, God will cause them to fight one another.’ ”  Related by Ibn Majah.

Finally, Prophet Muhammad taught us to enjoin good and forbid evil, he taught us to encourage good and support it, and he taught us to abhor evil and try to prevent it.  He described enjoining good and liking it in public, and forbidding evil and disliking it in public as a sign of inner faith:

    عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه قال: سمعتُ رسولَ الله صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم يقول: « مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُم مُنْكراً فَلْيغيِّرْهُ بِيَدهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبقَلبهِ وَذَلَكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ» .  رواه مسلم والترمذي وابن ماجه والنسائي. ـ

        Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri -may God be pleased with him- said: “I heard Prophet Muhammad -prayer and peace be upon him- say: ‘Whoever amongst you witnesses an evil, then let him change it with his hand. If he is unable, then let him change it with his tongue. And if he is unable then let him change it with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.’”

And in another narration: “There is no faith beyond that, not even the weight of a mustard seed.”  Related by Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and An-Nasa’i.

Furthermore, we have been warned of the severe consequences of accepting sins and thinking nothing of it, or seeing sins and doing nothing about it:

        وعن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت: ( دخلَ عَلَيَّ النَّبِيُّ صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم، فعرفتُ في وجهه أن قد حضره شيءٌ، فتوضأ وما كلم أحداً، فلصقتُ بالحجرة أستمعُ ما يقول، فقعدَ على المنبرِ فحَمِدَ اللهَ وأَثْنَى عليهِ، وقال: « يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَقُولُ لكم: مُرُوا بِالمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَوْا عَنِ المُنْكَرِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَدْعُوا فَلَا أُجِيبُ لَكُمْ، وَتَسْأَلُونِي فَلَا أُعْطِيكُم،ْ وَتَسْتَنْصِرُونِي فَلَا أَنْصُرُكُمْ» ، فما زاد عليهن حتى نزل) .  رواه ابن ماجه وابن حبان. ـ

   Narrated Aishah -may God be pleased with her- said: “The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- once came inside the house, and it was evident from his face that he was concerned about something.  He performed ablution (wudu’) without talking to anybody and then went to the mosque. I stood close to the wall to carefully listen to what he was going to say.  The Prophet -prayer and peace be upon him- sat at the pulpit, praised and extolled God, and then said:

‘O People, God says to you: Enjoin others to do good and forbid others from evil; otherwise a time will come when you pray but I will not answer you, ask Me for your needs but I will not grant them to you; and seek My assistance against your enemies, but I will not assist you.’   The Prophet prayer and peace be upon him- did not add anything further but came down from the pulpit.’ ”  Related by Ibn Majah and Ibn Hibban.

 

   Once the Muslim adheres to these three conditions; namely the firm belief in God and His Messengers, enjoining good and acting on it, and forbidding evil and staying away from it, then s/he would be included in the highly praised, favored last nation, and his reward would be multiplied many-folds.  Furthermore, he would be among the first to enter Paradise as Prophet Muhammad mentioned:

‏   وعن ‏أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رضي الله عنه‏ ‏قال: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏صَلّى اللهُ عليهِ وسلَّم: « نَحْنُ الْآخِرُونَ الأَوَّلُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَنَحْنُ أَوَّلُ مَنْ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ».  متفق عليه. ـ

    Narrated Abu Hurairah -may God be pleased with him- that the Messenger of God -prayer and peace be upon him-said: “We (Muslims) are the last (to come), but (will be) the foremost on the Day of Judgment, and will be the first people to enter Paradise.”  Related by Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim.

 

Then, the sensible should know that this nation is the best nation and most favored one among all nations, but there are certain conditions that must be met.  Chief among these conditions are: 1) the firm belief in God as the Only God worthy of worship and the firm belief in his prophets and messengers, and acting righteous by 2) enjoining good and doing it and 3) forbidding evil and sins and refraining from them.  Only if the Muslim fulfills these conditions, he would be considered among the best nation.  But if the Muslim community does not adhere to these conditions, then it is just like other creatures of God, whom He either punishes or forgives.  We ask God for His Guidance, Forgiveness and Mercy.

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