Islamic view of the Last Judgment

Islamic view of the Last Judgment

In Islam, Yawm al-Qiyāmah (Arabic: يوم القيامة‎ "the Day of Resurrection") or Yawm ad-Din (Arabic: يوم الدين‎ "the Day of Judgment") is believed to be God's final assessment of humanity as it exists. The sequence of events (according to the most commonly held belief) is the annihilation of all creatures allowable, resurrection of the body, and the judgment of all sentient creatures.

The exact time when these events are to occur is not specified, however there are said to be major[1] and minor signs[2] which are to occur near the time of Qiyamah (End time). Many Qur'anic verses, especially the earlier ones, are dominated by the idea of the nearing of the day of resurrection.[3][4]

"al-Qiyama" is the name of the 75th Sura of the Qur'an, whose subject is the resurrection.


Importance and terminology

Belief in al-Qiyāmah is considered a fundamental tenet of faith by all Muslims.[4]. Belief in the day of Judgement is one of the six articles of faith. The trials and tribulations associated with it are detailed in both the Qur'an and the hadith, as well as in the commentaries of the Islamic expositors and scholarly authorities such as Ghazali, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Majah, Muhammad al-Bukhari, and Ibn Khuzaymah who explain them in detail. Every human, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, is believed to be held accountable for their deeds and are believed to be judged by God accordingly.[5]

The importance of the 'last judgment' in the Islamic belief system is underlined by the many references to it in the Qur'an and its many names. For example, it is also called "the Day of Reckoning",[6] "the Hour",[7][8] "the Last Day",[9] "Day of Judgment", "Day of the Reckoning".


Muslims believe that the Qur'an provides the framework for understanding the Day of Judgment. Ideas such as the return of Jesus to Earth and the second kingdom before the occurrence are believed to be indirectly mentioned in the Qur'an.

There are a wide variety of views and interpretations of the verses in the Qur'an referring to the Day of Judgment.

  • The timing of the day of judgment is not known to people - only God knows when it will occur.[10]
  • Muhammad, as the messenger of Islam, does not know when the day will be.[11][12]
  • Muhammad cannot bring it forward.[13]
  • The people will believe that a short time has passed between their deaths and resurrection.[14]
  • Nothing will remain except God.[15]
  • God will resurrect people even if they turn to stone or iron.[16]
  • The Trumpet will be blown twice: the first time all creatures will swoon and the second time the resurrection will come to pass. This is based on the verse of Qur'an in which God says (interpretation of the meaning):
The Trumpet will (just) be sounded, when all that are in the heavens and on earth will swoon, except such as it will please Allah (to exempt). Then will a second one be sounded, when, behold, they will be standing and looking on!
—Sura 39 (Az-Zumar), ayah 68[17]
  • The Qur'an declares that the belief in God and the belief in the last prophet Muhammad (including the belief in all the prophets of Islam) and the last Day of Judgment and the doing of good works on earth is the requirement for salvation, provided that Shirk is not committed. Believing in and observing in the five pillars of Islam: tawheed, salat, fasting, Zakat and Hajj are necessary to secure heaven. [18]
  • No injustice shall be done
Surely God does not do injustice to the weight of an atom, and if it is a good deed He multiplies it and gives from Himself a great reward.
—Qur'an, sura 4 An-Nisa, ayah 40[19]
  • Non-Believers will go to hell[20]

Events described as taking place on the day of judgment

Many chapters/surah of the Qur'an describe proposed events to occur on the day of judgement:

  • Destruction/flattening of the earth
  • Creation of a new earth
  • Resurrection of people
  • Gathering of the people
  • Books of records of the deed accounts of the people shall be given to them in their right hands if they are judged to be good on earth and in their left hands if they are judged to be evil on earth
  • Separation of the people who are hellbound and heaven bound


The hadith give the view that the day of the judgment will be foreshadowed by events classified as the minor and major signs of the day. Nonetheless, Muslims debate over signs from Hadith as none of them are considered authoritative in the manner that the Qur'an is and thus various interpretations applied to some signs, with some scholars interpreting them allegorically and others literally. The signs mentioned above, as described in the Qur'an, are those believed by all Muslims as they are considered authoritative.

Supposed major signs

The major signs are the seven which are thought to occur closer to the supposed day of judgment.

  1. The appearance of Masih ad-Dajjal (Antichrist)
  2. The appearance of Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj (Gog and Magog)[21]
  3. The appearance of the Dabbat al-ard (the strange beast)[22]
  4. Three huge earthquakes
  5. The smoke[23]
  6. The rise (Sunni view) or the return from occlusion (Shia view) of the Mahdi to restore Islam
  7. The return of Isa from heaven to assist the Mahdi in restoring Islam
  8. The sun appears to be rising from the west. The final sign after which repentance is not accepted.

Other supposed signs

  1. Fire from the west of what is now Yemen
  2. People fighting over gold revealed by the river Euphrates
  3. Inanimate objects speaking
  4. When the slave girl will give birth to her master


In Islamic eschatology, barzakh (Arabic: برزخ‎) is the intermediate state in which the soul (Nafs) of the deceased is believed to be transferred across the boundaries of the mortal realm into a kind of "sleep" in which the soul would supposedly rest until the Qiyamah.[citation needed]

From the Qur'an itself, barzakh is described as the intermediate state; interface or barrier between two states.[24][25][25][26][27]

Classical views



Modern views




During Divine judgment, it is believed that each person's Book of Deeds, in which "every small and great thing is recorded",[28] will be opened. (Actions taken before puberty are not judged.) Throughout the judgment, the underlying principle is complete and perfect justice administered by God. Accounts of the judgment are also replete with the emphasis that God is merciful and forgiving, and that mercy and forgiveness will be granted on that day.

The Qur'an states that even the smallest acts of the believers will not be wasted.

Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it!
And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.
—Qur'an, sura 99 Az-Zalzala, ayat 7-8[29]
Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabians - whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
—Qur'an, sura 2 Al-Baqara, ayah 62[30]

The supposed age of the hereafter or rest of eternity is the final stage believed to commence after the Day of Judgment, when all of humanity is believed to have received their judgment from God, if one were righteous and did good deeds based on their own circumstances, one would go to Jannah (Paradise), and if one had attained little in life and were unrighteous in their actions, or were, despite all evidence shown to one, bent on denying the truth of life once it was presented to one, one would go to Jahannam (Hell).

Comparison with Christianity

While appearing similar to certain parts of the Bible (Ezekiel,[31] James,[32] 1 Peter,[33] Revelation[34]) this is dissimilar to some Protestant branches of Christianity, where salvation comes by faith in Jesus alone. Catholics, however cite James 2:24[35] as evidence that judgment is not based on faith alone. Islam emphasizes that grace does not conflict with perfect justice.

See also



External links

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