5c – Resurrection

After the intermediate realm of forty years, Allah will again command the angel Israfil to blow the Horn.

” . . . then [the Horn] will be blown another time, and behold! they shall be standing, looking.” [Qur;an, 39:68]

Allah will cause a special rain, called “The Water of Life”, to fall, and will thereby cause the bodies to grow from `ajb al-dhanab (a small bone at the end of the spine), in the same way as plants grow.

It is essential to believe in the bodily resurrection.  Just as both the body and soul participated in either obeying or disobeying Allah in this world, so it is only fitting that they should both receive the appropriate recompense of punishment and/or reward. A bodily resurrection is not rationally inconceivable, and furthermore, the texts of the Qur’an and authentic ahadith are quite explicit in their mention of physical pleasures and punishments in the Hereafter, such that there is no room left for doubt.  It was only some deviant individuals and groups, who, under the influence of the corrupt ideas of people of other religions and of the pagan philosophers, started to deny this fact, claiming that the Hereafter is purely spiritual, or that Heaven and Hell are mere states of mind which are consequential upon a person’s worldly conduct.  To persist upon such beliefs after receiving the message of the Qur’an is unacceptable, for it displays an obstinacy in accepting that which Allah has conveyed to us. Such beliefs might then be the fruits of baseless imaginings and Satanic whisperings that afflict those who are not content with clearly-stated, obvious truths.  Imam Ghazzali pronounced a verdict of disbelief on the philosphers on three counts : their claim that the universe is eternal, their denial of the bodily resurrection, and their denial that Allah knows the minute details of things.

The Qur’an advances logical arguments to convince those who may be skeptical about the bodily resurrection.  “[Allah] it is Who begins the creation, and then repeats it, and it is easier for Him.  And His is the highest description in the heavens and the earth, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.” [Qur’an, 30:27]  So, Who created and then destroyed is certainly able to return that creation to existence.  Ibn `Abbas said, “All is easy for Him.”  In another verse, we are reminded of our lowly beginnings, and that in fact that there was a time when we did not even exist.  “Has man not seen that We created him from a [mere] drop, and yet, behold! he is an open adversary!  He coins a similitude for Us, and forgets his creation; he says, ‘Who will give life to bones when they are decomposed?’  Say : He will give life to them Who initially brought them into existence, and He is knowledgeable of all kinds of creation.  He Who has made for you fire from the green tree, so that you obtain kindling therefrom.  Is He Who created the heavens and the earth not capable of creating their like?  Indeed, and He is the Supreme Creator, the Knowing.”  [Qur’an, 36:78-81; See also: 19:66-67, 30:27, 75:3-4, 7:29]

And, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be well pleased with him) : the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said : Allah, the Exalted, says, “The Son of Adam has given lie to Me, although he may not do so, and he has vilified Me, although he may not do that.  As for his giving lie to me, it is his saying, ‘He will not bring me back [to life] in the manner in which He began me.’  Yet, the first creation is not any easier for Me than its repeat.  And, as for his vilifying Me, it is his saying, ‘Allah has taken a son,’ although I am the One, the Eternally-Besought, Who neither begets nor was begotten, nor is there any like unto Him.” [Narrated by Bukhari, Ahmad]

“And you see the earth lifeless, and when We send down upon it [rain-]water it is put into motion, and swells, and puts forth every kind of pair of resplendent growth.” [Qur’an, 22:5. See also: 50:5-11]

“Look, then, at the traces of Allah’s mercy; how He revives the earth after its death. Verily, the Same will give life to the [human] dead, and He has power over all things. ” [Qur’an, 30:50]

Besides these powerful and compelling reasons, Allah provided, in some rare cases in the past, direct demonstration of His power to resurrect the dead. For example, one of the miracles shown by the Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) was that he brought the dead to life by Allah’s permission (See: [Qur’an, 3:49]). The Sleepers of the Cave were a group of believing youths (after Jesus and before Muhammad – peace be upon them both) who fled religious persecution and took refuge in a cave, where they miraculously slept for over three hundred years. (See: [Qur’an, 18:21])  Another dramatic, if more indirect sign, lies in the annihilation of past nations that rejected their Messengers. (See, for example, [Qur’an, 50:12-14]) Some of the ruins of these sites of divine chastisement, such as that of Lot’s people near the Dead Sea, have remained well-known over history.

The Gathering

The resurrected will be faced with an unfamiliar and terrifying scenario.  “And, on the day when We shall cause the mountains to move [away], and you shall see the earth exposed, and We shall gather them, not missing any one of them.” [Qur’an, 18:47]  Fakhr al-Din al-Razi said in his exegesis, putting together this and other related information from the Qur’an : “The mountains shall go through five stages on the Day of Resurrection : [first] shattering, then [they will be] like carded wool, then like scattered dust, then they will be blasted and dispersed, then they will disappear.”

Israfil will summon the dead to their gathering, and the earth will split to let them out.

“Listen, the day when the Summoner shall summon from a nearby place.  The day they shall hear the Shout (i.e. the Blast on the Horn) in truth; that will be the Day of Emergence.  The day when the earth shall split [to allow them] to hurry out; that is a gathering which is easy for Us.” [Qur’an, 50:41-44]

The first over whom the earth shall split is the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), as is narrated by Muslim.  The Land of the Resurrection is called al-Sahirah [See Qur’an, 79:4], and in the following hadith, we find it described.

“Mankind shall be gathered on a reddish-white land, like a clean, round, flat loaf of bread, not bearing the imprint of anyone.” [Narrated by Bukhari, Muslim]

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