What follows are the beliefs and creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah concerning the fifth pillar of Imaan – Belief in the Last Day, taken from The Tenets of Faith by Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaimeen (d. 1421H, rahimahullah).
- We believe in the Last Day (al-yawmul-aakhir) – which is the Day of Judgement – after which there is no other day. For it is the day when mankind will be resurrected and brought back to life, to perpetually dwell in either the abode of bliss or the abode of great torment.
- We believe in the Resurrection, which is Allaah the Exalted’s raising alive the dead when Israafeel blows the Horn for the second time:“And the Horn shall be blown, and all who are in the heavens and the earth shall fall down dead, except those whom Allaah wills. Then it will be blown again and they shall arise, gazing about them.” [Soorah az-Zumar 39:68]People will arise from their graves, to the Lord of the worlds. They will be bare-footed, naked and uncircumcised:1
“As We began the first creation, We shall bring it back again. A promise from Us which We shall surely fulfil.” [al-Anbiyaa 21:104]
- We believe in the records of [people’s] deeds that will be presented [to them] in their right hand or from behind their backs, in their left hand:“Then as for him who is given his record in his right hand, he shall surely receive an easy reckoning and return to his family in happiness. But as for he who is given his record behind his back, he will cry out for destruction and will enter into the blazing Fire.” [Soorah al-Inshiqaaq 84:7-12]“And for every person We have fastened his deeds around his neck, and on the Day of Judgement We shall bring out for him a book which he will see spread open, saying: Read your own book! Sufficient for you this day that your own soul should call you to account.” [Soorah al-Israa 17:13-14]
- We believe in the Scales which will be set-up on the Day of Judgement, and no soul will be wronged in the least:“So whoever has does an atom’s weight of good shall see it. And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil shall see it.” [Soorah al-Zalzalah 99:7-8]“Those whose scales are heavy, it is they who are successful; but those whose scales are light, those are the ones who have lost their own souls, abiding in Hellfire for eternity. The Fire will scorch their faces and there they will be frowning.” [Soorah al-Mu’minoon 23:102-104]
“And whoever does a good deed, will be rewarded ten times its like; but whoever does an evil deed, will be recompensed the like of it, and they shall not be wronged.” [al-Anaam 6:160]
- We believe in the Major Intercession (shafaa’ah) which is particular to Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He will intercede with Allaah – by Allaah’s permission – for the Judgement to commence amongst His servants. So when their worries and anxieties become unbearable, they will go to Noah, then to Abraham, then Moses, then Jesus, then finally to Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.2
- We believe in the intercession for those of the believers who have entered the Fire, to be taken out of it. This [intercession] is for the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi a sallam, and for other Prophets, believers and angels.
- That Allaah will remove some of the believers from the Fire, without any intercession [being sought from Him], out of His grace and mercy.3
- We believe in the Pool (hawd) of Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the water of which is whiter than milk, sweeter than honey and [smells] better than the fragrance of musk. Its length and breadth is longer than a distance of a month’s travel and its cups are just like the celestial stars, in both beauty and number. Those of the believers from this ummah who drink from it will never feel thirsty.4
- We believe in the Bridge (siraat) over the Hellfire which people will traverse according to their actions. The first of them will traverse it as quick as lightening, then [the next] as fast as the wind, then as quick as a bird and then as a man running. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will be standing on the Bridge saying: O Lord! Save them, save them. But because some people’s actions will fall short, they will cross it crawling. On either side of the Bridge there will be thorny-hooks that will seize all those whom Allaah commands; some will be saved but lacerated, whilst others will plunge down into the Hellfire.5
- We believe in all that occurs in the Book and the Sunnah with regards to the reports about the trials of the Last Day; may Allaah save us from them.
- We believe in the intercession of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for the people of Paradise to enter into it. This is particular to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
- We believe in Paradise and Hellfire. Paradise is the abode of bliss, which Allaah has prepared for the righteous believers. In it are delights which:“No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and no human heart has ever imagined”6“No soul knows what comforts are kept hidden for them; a reward for the actions they used to do.” [Soorah as-Sajdah 32:17]
- The Hellfire is the abode of torment, which Allaah the Exalted has prepared for the unbelievers and the wrong-doers. In it there are unimaginable torments and punishments:“Indeed Allaah has prepared for the wrong-doers the Fire whose pavilion encompasses them. If they call out for help, they will be helped with water, like molten copper which shall burn and scald their faces; how dreadful a drink and how evil a resting-place.” [Soorah al-Kahf 18:29]
- We believe that Paradise and Hellfire are both in existence now and that they shall never perish:“And whoever believes in Allaah and does righteous actions, will be admitted by Him into Paradise, beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. Allaah has indeed made for him an excellent provision.” [Soorah at-Talaaq 65:11]“Indeed Allaah has cursed the unbelievers and has prepared for them a blazing Fire to dwell therein forever (ar. khaalideena feehaa abada). They shall find neither protector nor helper. The day when their faces are turned about in the Fire, they shall say: How we wish we had obeyed Allaah and His Messenger!” [Soorah al-Ahzaab 33:64-66]?7
- We bear witness that Paradise is for all those whom the Book or the Sunnah bear witness for; either specifically by name, or by description. Those who have been specified by name include Aboo Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan, ‘Alee and anyone else whom the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam specified.8 Those who have been specified by description include every believer (mu’min) and righteous person (taqee).
- We bear witness that Hell is for all those whom the Book or the Sunnah bear witness for; either specifically or by description. Those who have been specified by name include Aboo Lahab, ‘Amr ibn Luhayy al-Khuzaa’ee9 and others. Those who have been specified by description include every unbeliever (Kaafir), polytheist (mushrik) and hypocrite (munaafiq).
[THE GRAVE;ITS TRIALS, DELIGHTS AND PUNISHMENTS]
- We believe in the trials of the grave, which is the dead person being questioned in his grave about his Lord, Religion and Prophet. There:“Allaah will keep firm those who believe, with a firm statement [of laailaaha illallaah], both in this world and in the Hereafter.” [Soorah Ibraaheem 14:27]The believer will reply: My Lord is Allaah, my Religion is Islaam and my Prophet is Muhammad.10 But as for the unbeliever and the hypocrite, then they will say: I do not know, I heard the people saying something, so I said the same too.11
- We believe in the delights of the grave for the believers:“Those whose lives the angels take in a state of purity, saying: Peace be upon you; enter Paradise for what you used to do.” [Soorah an-Nahl 16:32]
- We believe in the torment in the grave for the disobedient ones and for the unbelievers:“And if you could but see when the wrong doers are in the throes of death, and the angels stretch out their hands [smiting them and] saying: Give up your souls! Today you shall be recompensed with the punishment of humiliation for the falsehood that you use to utter against Allaah and for scornfully rejecting His signs.” [Soorah al-An’aam 6:93]
- The ahaadeeth concerning this are numerous and well-known. So it is upon the Muslim to believe in all that occurs in the Book and the Sunnah with regards to the matters of the unseen and not to contradict them with what is experienced in this world. For indeed, the affairs of the Hereafter cannot be analogised with the affairs of the world, since there is a clear and tremendous difference between them both. And it is Allaah’s aid that is sought.
1. As is reported by al-Bukhaaree (no.3349) and Muslim (no.2860).
2. Reported by al-Bukhaaree (no.4712) and Muslim (no.194).
3. Shaykh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz, rahimahullaah, said in his annotations to Tanbeehaatul-Lateefah (p.73):
“The various intercessions that will take place on the Day of Resurrection are six and are well known from the proofs of the Sacred Law. From them, three are particular to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The six types are:-
[i] The Major Intercession, which is for the Judgement to commence for those waiting for it.
[ii] Intercession for the people of Paradise to enter into it.
[iii] His sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam’s intercession for the punishment to be lightened for his uncle, Aboo Taalib, so that he is placed in the shallowest part of the Hellfire. This form of intercession is particular to only the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and for only his uncle Aboo Taalib. As for the rest of the unbelievers, then there is no intercession for them; as Allaah the Exalted states:
“So no intercession of any intercessor will benefit them.” [Soorah al-Muddaththir 74:48]
[iv] Intercession for some of those who deserved the Fire not to enter into it.
[v] Intercession for those who enter into the Fire to be taken out of it.
[vi] Intercession for the raising of the ranks of the people of Paradise. This last intercession is general for the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the righteous, the angels and the Muslim children who died whilst they were still infants.
All these [types of intercessions] are only for the people who were upon tawheed. As regards the sinful from the people of tawheed who enter the Fire, they will not remain in it permenantly, but will eventually be taken out after being purified.”
4. These descriptions of the Pool – which is called al-kawthar – are reported by al-Bukhaaree (nos. 6579-6580) and Muslim (nos. 2292,2303).
5. Part of a lengthy hadeeth reported by al-Bukhaaree (no. 7439) and Muslim (no. 182).
6. Reported by al-Bukhaaree (no. 3244) and Muslim (no.2824).
Point of Benefit: Imaam at-Tabaree relates in his Tafseer (1/123), which a saheeh chain, that Ibn ‘Abbaas radiallaahu ‘anhu said: “There is nothing in Paradise that is also in this world, except by name only.”
After quoting this narration, the Shaykh stated in Fath Rabbul-Bariyyah (p.108):
“This highlights that in the Qur’aan there is that about which no one knows the true explanation of, except Allaah; such as the reality of His Names and Attributes, and of what Allaah has related about the Last Day. As for the meaning of these things, then they are known to us, otherwise what is the benefit in addressing us with them. And Allaah knows best.”
7. The Shaykh, hafidhahullaah, said about the above-mentioned verse in Sharhul-‘Aqeedatil-Waasitiyyah (2/182):
“Allaah has mentioned them abiding in the Fire forever in three different Qur’aanic verses. This one being the first of them; the second is at the end of Soorah an-Nisaa [verse no. 169]; and the third is in Soorah al-Jinn [verse no. 23]. What is evident from them is that the Hellfire will continue to remain for all eternity.”
8. Reported by Aboo Daawood (no. 4649), at-Tirmidhee (no.3748) and others. It was declared to be saheeh by al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami (no. 4010).
9. As reported by al-Bukhaaree (no. 4624).
10. As reported by al-Bukhaaree (nos. 1338,1369) and Muslim (nos. 2870-2871).
11. Reported by at-Tirmidhee (no. 737). It is hasan, as explained by Shaykh al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 1391).