Creatures of the Resurrection Plain
Mankind and jinn will be gathered there in their entirety, including even the rebellious devils.
“Then, by your Lord! We shall surely gather them, and the devils, and then We shall bring them around Hell on their knees.” [Qur’an, 19:68. See also 6:128] Also, “the days will be gathered in their forms.” [Tabarani] The earth shall be gathered there. “On that day, [the earth] shall relate its news, because your Lord shall have inspired it.” [Qur’an, 99:4-5] 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) recited these verses, then asked, “Do you know what its news is?” The Companions replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said, “Its news is that it testifies over every male and female concerning that which he/she did on its surface; that it says, ‘He did such-and-such on such-and-such day. That is its news.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i] Animals will also be resurrected. “There is no animal upon the earth, nor any bird which flies with its two wings, except that they are nations like you. We have not neglected anything in the Record. Then, to their Lord shall they be gathered.” [Qur’an, 6:38] `Abdur-Razzaq has reported that Abu Hurayrah said that Allah will judge between the animals, and then after they have been given their justice, they will be turned to dust. At this point, the disbeliever will wish that he, too, would have been turned to dust. [See: Qur’an, 78:40.]
Terrors of the Resurrection Plain
Mankind will be resurrected barefoot, naked and uncircumcized, but the Prophets will have clothes. The first to be clothed will be Abraham (peace be upon him). Scholars have deduced that the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) will be resurrected clothed. There will be other terrifying and humuliating occurrences also. On the authority of Miqdad ibn `Amr : he said : I heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) saying, “The sun will be brought down on the Day of Resurrection until it is the distance of one meel (one mile, or one inch – the narrator is unsure) from the creatures. Then, people will be in perspiration in proportion to their deeds, such that some of them will be [in perspiration] upto their ankles, some of them upto their knees, some of them upto their groins, and some will be bridled by perspiration,” and the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) pointed, with his hand, to his mouth.” [Narrated by Muslim and Tirmidhi]
Heaven and Hell will be brought near. “The day when neither wealth nor sons will avail; only he who brings Allah a heart clean [from disbelief]. And, Heaven shall be brought near for the pious, and Hell shall be exposed for those who strayed.” [Qur’an, 26:88-91] Thus, the pious will rejoice in the knowledge that they shall be taken into Heaven, while the wicked will agonize in the knowledge that they are destined for Hell. “A neck, with two seeing eyes, two hearing ears and a speaking tongue, will emerge from the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, and say, “I have been assigned to three [types of people] : every obstinate tyrant, everyone who called to another god with Allah, and the picture-makers.” [Tirmidhi and Ahmad]
On that day, a man will flee from his relatives and loved ones. “On the day when a man will flee from his brother, his mother, his father, his wife and his children. Every man, on that day, shall have enough to make him heedless of others.” [Qur’an, 80:34-37] Ibn Kathir reports in his exegeis that `Ikrimah said, “A man will meet his wife and ask her, ‘What kind of a husband was I to you?’ She will reply, ‘A good husband you were,’ and she will praise him well, as far as she can. Then, he will ask her, “So, today I seek from you [the reward of] a single good deed, that you give it to me so that perhaps I may be saved from that which you see.’ She will reply, ‘How easy is that which you seek! Yet, I cannot bear to give you anything; I am afraid just as you are.’ Then, a man will meet his son, and stick to him, saying, ‘O son! What kind of father was I to you?’ [His son] will praise him well. He will say, ‘O son! I need an atom’s weight of your good deeds, so that perhaps I might be saved from that which you see.’ His son will reply, ‘O father! How easy is that which you seek! But, I am afraid just as you are.”
Also during this time, certain types of punishment will be inflicted on the guilty. 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, “There is not any possessor of gold or silver who does not pay their due [in zakat] except that on the Day of Resurrection the hoard shall be made into sheets which will be heated in the Fire of Hell. Then, his forehead, sides and back will be branded thereby until Allah judges between His servants, on a day whose measure is fifty thousand years of your reckoning. Then will he see his way, either to Heaven or to Hell.” [Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim]
All of this suffering is exacerbated by the extreme length of that day. ” . . . . a day whose measure is fifty thousand years.” [Qur’an, 70:4]
Relief for the Righteous
Yet, terrifying as these phenomena are, those who feared Allah and were anxious of this day in their worldly lives, will be saved from fear. In the Hadith Qudsi, Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic, says, “By My Might! I shall not combine for My servant two fears, nor two [feelings of] safety.” [Narrated by Ibn Hibban] Seven categories of people will be in the shade of the `Arsh, according to the hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim; they are : a just leader, a youth who grew up in the service of Allah, a man whose heart was attached to the mosques, two men who loved one another for the sake of Allah, a man who was invited by a beautiful and charming woman [to commit adultery] but he refused, saying ‘I fear Allah,’ a man who gave charity with his right hand such that his left hand did not know what he gave, and one who shed tears in seclusion out of fear of Allah. Other ahadith mention some further categories. Also, for the believers, the day will seem shorter, in proportion to their deeds. So, for some, it will seem like the duration of an obligatory prayer. [Ahmad]
People will be gathered with those whom they loved. On the authority of Jabir : “Every soul shall be gathered according to its desires. So, whoever loved disbelief will be with the disbelievers, and his deeds will not benefit him at all.” [Tabarani] And, in the hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim, a man asked the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), “When is the Hour (of Judgement)?” The Prophet asked him, “What have you prepared for it?” He replied, “Nothing, except that I love Allah and His messenger.” The Prophet told him, “You are with those whom you love.” In Bukhari’s narration, the Companions asked, “And is it the same for us?” He replied, “Yes.” Anas, the narrator of the hadith, says, “We were not pleased so much by anything as by his saying. ‘You are with those whom you love.'”
Every prophet has a pool, but that of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) is superior to the others, and is called al-Kawthar. It is filled from Heaven via two channels, and its water is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey. There are as many cups around it as there are stars in the sky. On the authority of Anas ibn Malik : the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) was once with us in the mosque when he took a nap, and then [awoke and] raised his head, smiling. We said, “What makes you laugh, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Indeed, a surah has just been revealed to me.” Then, he recited Surah al-Kawthar (108). The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) will recognize his followers by their bodily parts which will be bright from the effects of wudu’. All of his followers will drink from the pool, except for apostates and innovators, as well tyrants and those who openly committed major sins.
The Great Intercession
In the confusion and terror of the resurrection plain, people will remember the prophets who were sent to them, and will wonder if those men can intercede for them before Allah to relieve them of the horrors which are afflicting them. In the long Hadith of the Intercession, narrated by Bukhari, Muslim and others, we are told that people will go first to Adam (peace be upon him), the father of mankind, and will remind him of his dignified status, and ask him to intercede before Allah. He will reply, “My Lord is angry today such as He has never been before, nor will He ever be [so angry] ever again. Indeed, He fobade me from the tree, but I disobeyed. My self! My self! My self [am I concerned for]! Go to someone else. Go to Noah.” They will then go to Noah, reminding him of his status as the first messenger to mankind, and put the same request before him. He will also decline, mentioning his worry over the fact that he had been given a single supplication which was guaranteed to be answered, but that he had used it against his people. He will send them to Abraham (peace be upon him), who will also decline in the same way, mentioning that he had told three lies. In the same manner, people will go to Moses, who will decline due to his having killed a man in error. Jesus (peace be upon him) will also decline their request, although he will not mention any sin. It should be noted that the ‘sins’ mentioned by the Prophets as the reasons why they are afraid to intercede before Allah are sins only in relative terms; i.e. they were permissible deeds which were merely not the best choices for the circumstances in question, but due to the extreme piety of the prophets, they regard these incidents as severe. [Refer back to the chapter on “The Prophets and Messengers” for further discussion of this issue.]
Finally, they will come to Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace), and will say, “O Muhammad! You are the Messenger of Allah, and the Last of the Prophets; Allah forgave you your former and latter sins, so intercede for us before Allah; do you not see what [situation] we are in? Do you not see what has come to us?” Then, the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) will get up, go and prostrate beneath the `Arsh, and glorify Allah with unique praises. He will be told, “O Muhammad! Ask, that you may be given, and intercede that your intercession may be granted!” The Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) will ask for intercession, and the first intercession he requests will be to relieve all people of the terrors of the Resurrection Plain. This is referred to as the Great Intercession, since it encompasses all of mankind, and as we have seen, it is exclusive to the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).
This dignified position of intercession is the Praiseworthy Station, which the Qur’an mentions will be granted to the Prophet on that day. “Surely, your Lord will raise you up to a praiseworthy station.” [Qur’an, 17:79] Ibn Jareer al-Tabari reports in his exegesis, “That [i.e. the Praiseworthy Station] is the place that Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) will take on the Day of Resurrection, to intercede for people in order for their Lord to relieve them of the severe [suffering] they will be experiencing on that day.”