There is a life after death. We will all die and we will all be raised again after death on the Day of Judgement and will be judged according to our beliefs and deeds so that a pious person will be rewarded and a sinful person will be punished.
If a person had a true faith and did good deeds, Prayed, Fasted during Ramadhan, paid Zakat and Khums, gave to charity, looked after orphans, fed the poor and other such things, he would receive the grace of Allah and will be sent to Paradise. There will be many signs before the Day of Judgement. One of these signs is the re-appearance of the 12th Imam (A). He will re-appear when the world will become full of injustice. Hazrat Isa (A) will come down to help him n spreading the true faith and Imam Mahdi (A) will rule the whole world. The other signs are rising of the sun from the west and the Holy Qur'an being taken up.
The Day of Judgement will be of 50,000 years long and the sun will be very low and the earth will be red hot like heated copper.
What Will Happen On The Day Of Judgement:
On the day of Judgement everyone's bad and good deeds will be accounted (Hisab) for, and accordingly they will be punished. Hisab can be taken by many methods but two common ones are mentioned below and they are Mizan and Books of Deeds
This word actually means the weighing scale. On the Day of Judgement, there will be a weighing scale to weigh the good and evil deeds of men and women. Those whose scale of good deeds will be heavy, they will be rewarded and those whose scales will be light they will be punished.
It is important to note that if human beings have invented various types of scales, devices and equipment to measure things like the weather, blood pressure, etc., there is nothing imaginary in believing that Almighty Allah will weigh our deeds by the weighing scales. However, some learned people have interpreted Mizan as meaning the Justice of Allah, while others say Mizan means the Prophets (A) and Imams (A) who will judge the people.
All these interpretations may be correct; what's more, all of them may exist together. The following Ayats prove the existence of the weighing scales. "And the "balance" that day is true. So he whose scales of good deeds will be heavy, will prosper; and that whose scales will be light will find themselves in loss, because they mistreated Our signs." (al A'raaf, 7:8-9)
"We shall set up "scales of justice" for the day of Judgement, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least; and if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it to account; and enough are We to take account."
(al Anbiya 21: 47)
b. Books of Deeds
On the Day of Judgement, the written record of our whole life will be given to us. This record is written by the two angels, Raqeeb and Ateed, who are deputed on every person. These angels write down our each and every action. The place of the two angels is the collar-bone; the one on the right side (Raqeeb) writes the good deeds, and the one on the left side (Ateed) writes the evil deeds.
On the Day of Judgement, people whose good deeds will exceed the bad, will receive the Book of Deeds in the right hand, while those whose bad deeds are more than good, will receive the Book of Deeds in the left hand.
Siraat means Path. The Holy Qur'an has used the word 'As Siratal Mustaqim' (Straight Path) for the Divine religion. In the context of Qiyamah, Siraat means a bridge upon Hell over which all mankind will have to pass. It is our belief about Siraat that it is the bridge of Hell; and upon it is the path of all the creatures, as Allah says:
"Not one of you but all of you will pass over it; this is a firm decree of your Lord. Then We shall save those who guarded themselves against evil, and We shall leave the wrong doers therein (humbled) to their knees. (Maryam, 19 :71-72)
And Siraat, on the other hand, is the name of the Proofs of Allah (i.e. The Prophets (A) and the Imams (A)); thus; he who believed them in this world and obeyed them, Allah will give him permission to pass from Siraat. The Holy Prophet (S) said to Imam Ali (A):
"O Ali! On the day of Qiyamah, I, you and Jibra'il shall sit on the Siraat , and none shall pass over the Siraat except he who would have a release from Jahannam based on your Wilayat (love and obedience)."
The Prophets (A) and Imams (A) are called Siraat in this world because they provide a bridge, connecting us with Allah. It is perfectly right to call them Path of Allah. At the same time, they brought the Divine religion to help the people reach nearer to Allah, thus they are the Paths, and they are the Guides.
It is believed that this Path is divided into stations or stops, each of them having a separate name. When a man will reach a stop named after a Wajib thing, if he had neglected that thing (in the world), he will be detained there and will asked to pay the dues to Allah; then if any other good deed came to his rescue or the Mercy of Allah saved him, he will be allowed to pass safely from there to the next stop.
In this way he will be sent from pass to another and will be detained at every pass, and asked about his short-comings in that particular order of Allah. Then if he came out safely from all passes or stops, he will reach The House of Eternity, i.e. Paradise.
But if he was detained at a pass and was not saved by any good deed or the Mercy of Allah did not come to his rescue, his foot would slip from that pass, and he will fall into the fire of Jahannam. We seek protection of Allah against it.
The name of one of these stops is Wilayat. Everyone will be stopped therein, and asked about the love and obedience of Imam Ali bin Abu Talib (A) and the Imams (A) after him.
Likewise, one stop is named Sile-e-Raham (good behaviour towards relatives), and another is named Trust, another (prayer). Likewise, there will be passes named after every Wajib or Haraam deed. The Holy Qur'an repeats the command that will be given to the angels: "And stop them, for they must be asked." (as Saffaat, 37:24)
It is also said that this bridge is thinner then the thinnest hair, sharper than the sharpest sword and hotter then fire.
Allah, in His Mercy, has opened many doors for his sinner servants to seek his pleasure and forgiveness. Two very important doors are Tawbah (Repentance) and Shafa'at (Intercession).
It is accepted by all Muslims that the Holy Prophet (S) will intercede (intervene to reconcile) on behalf of the sinners of his Ummat. An Ayat on this subject : "Who is there that can intercede in his presence except by His permission?" (al Baqarah, 2:255)
For unbelievers there will NOT be any intercessor.
Shafa'at is meant for the benefit for those whose faith was accepted by Allah (i.e. true believers) who might have committed sins - major or minor. And those who had repented from their sins will not need any Intercession. The Holy Prophet (S) has said:
"He who did not believe in my intercession, Allah will not permit him to get my shafa'at."
The benefit for Shafa'at is not for those who had doubts about religion, nor for those who ascribe a partner to Allah, nor is it for unbelievers and those who had rejected the truth; but it is for the benefit of the sinners among those who believed in Allah (together with his true representatives).
The following Ayat is about the right of Shafa'at given to our Holy Prophet (S):
"Soon will your Lord raise you to a "station of praise and glory."
It will be the "station where the Holy Prophet (S) will intercede on behalf of the sinners. Allah will go on granting the intercession of the Holy Prophet (S) till he says:
"O my lord! Now i am well pleased and fully satisfied."
It is the place where all sort of joy, happiness and Grace of Allah is found. It is a Garden of ever-lasting Bliss. All believers will be taken to Paradise, where they will stay forever. Sinful believers will first be punished, before they are sent to Paradise. Depending on the degree and the magnitude of sins, some sinful believers will first be sent to Hell, and then they will be brought to Paradise.
Some of the important facts about Paradise are as follows:
The Paradise is already created. It is "NOT that it will be created at some time in the future.
Believers' body and soul together will be brought to Paradise, and they would enjoy the reward physically.
Various names are used for Paradise in the Holy Qur'an, some of them are:
JANNATUL MAWA(Garden of Abode) JANNATUL NAEEM(Garden of Bliss) JANNATUL FIRDAUS(Garden of Paradise) DARUS SALAAM(Abode of Peace)
Some streams of Paradise mentioned in the Holy Quran are: KAWTHER, SALSABEEL and TASNEEM.
Paradise has eight gates. Some of them are: Gate of Mercy, Gate of Patience, The Great Gate, etc.
TUBA is an important tree of Paradise. It is planted in the House of Prophet Muhammad (S) and Imam Ali (A). TUBA has a branch in every palace mansion. Whenever the believer would desire anything, that branch would provide it for him at once.
No Prophet (A) would enter Paradise until the Holy Prophet (S) enters it. Shias of Ahlul Bayt (A) would enter first amongst the various Ummats (followers of a Prophet).
In Paradise there is neither death nor old age, neither illness nor disease, neither sorrow nor worry, neither poverty nor handicap. The believers will get what the souls desire and eyes appreciate, and they will abide there forever.
The greatest Bliss (happiness) in Paradise will be the pleasure of Allah. That Allah is satisfied with you and given you what he had promised. You believed in Paradise without seeing it and now you will be in it.
The fire is the abode of disgrace and place of punishment for the unbelievers and sinners. The people of fire are poor in reality; they will not be allowed to die nor will their punishment be reduced; they will not taste in it any cold (water) or drink, except a boiling, dark, murky fluid. And if they want food, they would be fed with Zaqqum (a cursed tree); and if they seek relief they will be granted water like molten brass that will scald there faces.
It is also present in the traditions that Allah shall order some people to be led to the fire with an order :
"Fire! do not burn there feet, because they used to go to the mosques; and not to burn there hands, as they used to raise them for Dua's; and not to burn there tongues, because they used to recite the Qur'an; and not to burn there faces, because they used to perform Wudhu perfectly."
The fire (Hell) is home of all who did not know Allah. And even some of those who knew Allah will be sent therein because of there sins and wrong-doings; but it is believed that such a man will not live there forever, he will be taken out of it and sent to the ever lasting bliss. Nobody will remain forever in the fire except the unbelievers. Every Ayat which mentions ever-lasting punishment of Fire, is about the unbelievers.
Hell has Seven gates, as Allah says:
"To it are seven gates; for each of these gates is a special class of sinners assigned." (al Hijr,15:44)
According to the traditions, those gates are as follows:
Jaheem: Its people will be made to stand on burning stone which will make their brains boil, as cooking-pot boils its content. "Then, for such as had transgressed the bounds, and had preferred the life of this world, the abode will be Jaheem." (an Naziaat, 79:37-39)
Ladha: It will be the place of those who turned away from Allah, and were busy in gathering wealth without taking out the dues of Allah and His creatures. The fire will catch them by their hands, feet and forehead and suck them inside.
"By no means! For it would be the "Ladha" (fire), plucking out the sinner right to the skull inviting all such as turn their backs and turn away their faces, and collect wealth and hide it." (al Ma-aarij, 70:15-18)
"Soon will I cast him in Saqar. And what will explain to you what Saqar is? It allows nothing to endure, nor does it leave anything alone; darkening and changing the colouring of man." (al Muddathir, 74:26-30)
Hutamah: Literal meaning : "That which crushes to pieces. It will break everyone who is sent inside and grind him to powder, and then they will be made whole again and again. "Woe to every scandalmonger and backbiter, who piles up the wealth and lays it by; he thinks that his wealth would make him last forever. By no means! He will be sure to be thrown into Hutamah." (al Humazah,104:1-5)
Hawiyah: Literal meaning, a Pit.
"But he, whose balance of goods will be light, will have his home in a bottomless pit (Hawiyah)."(al Qari-ah, 101:8,9)
Sa'eer: It mean Blazing Fire. There are in it three hundred curtains of Fire, in every curtain are three hundred forts of Fire, in every fort are three hundred abodes of Fire; and in every abode are three hundred types of punishments of Fire; and scorpions of Fire, and yokes of Fire.
"Verily, we have prepared for the unbelievers chains, and yokes and blazing fire." (ad Dahr, 76:4)
Jahannam: Well known and the most feared. In it are the Falaq, Sa'ud and Atham.
Falaq is well inside Jahannam, when it is opened it makes the Fire blaze even more fiercely. And it is far greater punishment (compared to the previous six stages).
Sa'ud is a brass mountain of fire in the centre of Jahannam.
"Soon will I take him to Sa'ud (the mountain of punishment) (al Muddathir, 74:17)
Atham is a valley of melted brass around the above mentioned mountain. And it is the place of the fiercest punishment.
"As often as there skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins; so that they may taste the punishment; for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise." (an Nisa, 4:56)
An atheist once asked Imam Jafar as Sadiq (A) about the above Ayat:
"Let us suppose that the present skins has participated in the sins. But what about the new skins? Surely, they would be innocent."
Imam (A) replied :
"It would be the same skin and yet it would be new one. Let us say that a man took a brick and crushed it to small particles, then pouring some water on it and putting it into a brick making frame, made another brick out of it. Now, is it not the same brick ?"
The atheist replied : "Certainly!"
Imam (A) has also said the following:
"Verily, there is a fire inside the Fire from which even the people of Fire would seek protection. It was created only for every proud, powerful obstinate transgressor, and for every rebellious Satan, and for every person who does not believe in the day of reckoning, and for every enemy of the Progeny of Muhammed (S)."
"The man with the lightest punishment on the day of judgement will be the one standing upto his ankles in the fire, wearing two sandals of fire with two straps of fire; his brain will be boiling by its heat like a cooking pot. He would be thinking that nobody would be suffering greater punishment, while in fact his would be the lightest calamity."
A'raaf means the Heights. It the place between the Gardens and the Fire. It has been mentioned in the 7th Sura of the Quran, which is called Al-A'raaf because of it. Some Ayats:
"And between them shall be veil or partition, and on the heights will be men who would know everyone by his marks; they will call out to the companions of the garden : peace on you'. They will not have entered but they will have assurance thereof."
"And the men on the heights will call to certain men whom they will know from there marks, saying : of what profit to you were your hoards and your arrogant ways? Behold! Are these not the men whom you swore that allah would never bless them with his mercy ?' then turning to the other group, they will say : enter you the garden; no fear shall be on you nor shall you grieve."
The groups that the above Ayats mention are:
Those people who will identify everyone by his marks, and who will rebuke the people of the Fire and will tell the people of the Garden to enter the Paradise.
And, there will be those who would be waiting for the decision of Allah concerning themselves For example: those believers whose good and bad deeds would be of equal weight; those non-Shia Muslims who just followed a faith in which they were born, without knowing or understanding any thing and who had no enmity towards the progeny of Muhammad (S).
A'raaf is the boundary between the Garden and the Fire. It has also been said that it is a mountain between Paradise and Hell; so it is the boundary wall between the two places. What is certain is that it is a place neither of the Paradise not of the Fire. On the Day of Resurrection the Messenger of Allah (S) and Imams (A) will be upon it, and it is they that are meant in the words of Allah. And on the Heights will be men who will know everyone by his marks.'
It is so because Allah will inform them about the people of Garden and the people of the Fire by some marks which he will put on them, and these will be the signs' mentioned in the following ayats.
"They will know every one by his marks."
(al A'raaf, 7:46)
"The sinners will be known by there marks."
(ar Rahman, 55:41)
It has been mentioned in the traditions that Allah will keep upon the A'raaf some groups which would not deserve a reward without punishment but would not deserve ever lasting abode in the Hell. These are the people who will be waiting for the order of Allah; for such people there is intercession; and they will have to remain on the A'raaf till they are allowed to enter the Garden by the intercession of the Holy Prophet (S), Ali (A) and the Imams after him.
Also, it is said that A'raaf will be the abode of such people who were not sane in this life i.e. they were insane, or died before attaining adulthood.
Therefore, they did not do any good or bad deed to deserve the Garden or Fire. So, Allah will make them live in A'raaf; they will be saved from punishment but will not be given such blessings which other people will be given after doing good deeds (they will not be placed equal to those who reached there after a life spent in good deeds).
Adapted from the book: "Fiqh"
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