Significance of Belief in Last Day
Belief in the Last Day is one of the six axioms of faith (īmān). The Quran highlights the importance of the belief in that momentous day, linking it with the belief in Allah the almighty, in around twenty different verses. The Quran explains this day with added importance as it is a very crucial day for all human beings and drastically different from our days here in this world.[i]
What does it mean?
The Holy Quran and the Prophet (ﷺ) introduced the Last Day with different terminologies. The belief in the Last Day denotes not only the particular day, but it also denotes the faith in every event happens hereafter which are mentioned in Quran and Sunna[ii]The exact day of this event is unknown even to prophets. Nonetheless, the Quran and Sunnah deliver great details with signs of that day.
When the angel Isrāfīl[iii]The angel blows a peculiar trumpet according to the order of Almighty; then the world will come to an end. The day will be so terrifying and tremendous as the whole universe will be crushed into pieces by which all the inhabitants of heavens and the earth shall fall dead as the Holy Quran says “As for the dooms- day, it shall come, when the Trumpet will be blown with a single blast, and the earth with all its mountains will be lifted up and crushed into pieces with a single stroke, On that day the Great Event will come to pass, heaven shall split asunder, and the day shall seem flimsy” (al-hāqqa: 13-15)[iv].
When the trumpet is blown for the second time, then people will be resurrected to face the trial by Allah the almighty, from their graves naked, barefoot, uncircumcised and looking all around.[v] Afterwards, they will be admitted to eternal bliss or temporary/eternal torment on account of their actions on earth. Allah the Almighty says: “do they not think that they will be resurrected for a tremendous day, the day when mankind will stand before the lord of the worlds?”( al-Muṭaffifīn: 5-6). In this regard, the Last Day is also named the Day of Judgment (yawm al-Dīn).
All the events of the Last Day and thereafter will be so awful, the likes of which mankind will never have seen except for those who are among the blessed people. The holy Quran explains the horror of the day that even a nursing mother, who would sacrifice her own life for the life of her baby, will be careless of the baby, the pregnant woman will deliver prematurely. and People will be seen as if they were drunk, though they will not be drunk (al-Ḥajj: 2). On the other hand, the true believers will be having great blessings such as the shade of ʿArsh and drinking from Ḥawḍ al-Kawthar.
What benefits does it give?
In fact, believing in the last day, in the divine trial for all the actions and deeds performed in the earth, has many fruits, benefits and reflections in the life of a Muslim. Some of them are as follows:
- Belief in the Last Day has a profound effect in a Muslim which encourages him to live a righteous life in accordance with the teachings of Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ) and to avoid all kinds of malpractices. He would be cautious of each and every deed, and gradually the fear of Allah is generated in his heart. The Holy Quran reminds us: “We shall set up scales of justice for the Day of Judgment so that not a soul will be dealt 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-Anbiā’: 47).
It is crystal clear that for this reason, the Holy Quran and Sunnah often merge the belief in the last day with various good deeds. For example, the prophet (ﷺ) prompted his companions for holy war reminding them what they should be rewarded in the last day: “Get up to enter Paradise which is equal in width to the heavens and the earth”.[vi]
- It empowers a Muslim to face various troubles, sufferings and calamities in his worldly life, considering it as short-term. It enables him to recognize that, in due time Allah will relieve him of all worries and he will receive rewards in multitude for bearing it with patience in the Last Day. Anas bin Mālik narrated: I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) saying, "Allah said, 'If I deprive my slave of his two beloved things (i.e., his eyes) and he remains patient, I will let him enter Paradise in compensation for them”[vii]
- It makes a person feel satisfied with his life. He feels no desperation for anything that happens in life nor exalts in fleeting pleasures. On the contrary, he acts knowing with certainty that during that day the actions shall be weighed on the scale of ultimate justice. If anything is taken from him unfairly or deceptively, even if it is less than an atom, he will definitely take it back. Even the animals will not be spared from it. The prophet (ﷺ) says: “On that Day, Allah will let the hornless animal settle its score with the horned until, when there is nothing left to be settled."[viii]
Then how can someone feel sad when he is sure that he will get what he deserves on the Day of Judgment? How can he feel sad or worried when he knows that it is the best of judges who will judge him and his opponent?
[i] Said Ramadan al-Buti, Kubra al-Yaqeeniyyat (Damascus: Dar al-fikr, 1997), 340.
[ii] Ibid., 338.
[iii] According to Islamic teachings, Isrāfīl is an angel who is responsible to blow the trumpet.
[iv] Surah al-hāqqa: 13-15
[v] Yahya ibn Sharaf al-Nawawi, Riyal al-Salihin (Beirut: Mu’ssis al-Risalat, 1998), 411.
[vi] Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, Sahih Muslim (Beirut: Dar al-Ihya' al-Turathil Arabi, n.d), 1901.
[vii] Al- nawawi, Riyal al-Salihin, 34
[viii] ibid, 204
(Qamarul Faris, Lecturer in Darul Huda Islamic University - Barpeta, Assam Centre. He graduated from the Dept. of Aqeeda & Philosophy, Darul Huda Islamic University. He has BA in history from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.)
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily mirror Islamonweb’s editorial stance.