The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The one who wants to see the Resurrection Day as one would see it with one’s eyes, should
read Surah atTakweer, Surah al-Infitar and Surah al-Inshiqaq.” [Musnad Ahma, at-Tirmidhi, ibn alMundhir, Tabarani, Hakim
In Surah Infitar and Abasa 2 words to describe the events of the last day were used; At-Taama and As-Saakhkhah.
At-Taama was the overwhelming, engulfing, surrounding calamity.
As-Saakhkhah was a word used for the second blowing of the trumpet that initiates the resurrection.
Here are some of my favorite Ayahs that depict the horrors of the day of judgement:
1. (Wa izal wuhooshu hushirat): Surah 81:5
When the wild beasts are gathered together
The word wahsh is a wild animal or beast that does not have affection for other creatures and cannot be domesticated. It is the opposite of the word ins which is a human being which can show affection to others.
Allah (swt) says that these wild animals will be gathered together.
Hashara means to herd animals specifically and when you gather animals you do not do so on their own accord, you force them. This is also one of the names of the Day of Resurrection – the day of herding as humans against their will, will be herded towards that one field to be questioned.
Allah (swt) does not mention domesticated animals being herded but specifically wild animals, animals that would never be next to each other. The closest thing to this in this dunya is for example a flood where two animals that would otherwise be at each others throats are together on a little patch of land with no regard to the fact that the animals killer or food is standing next to him as there is a greater fear. So when all these calamities occur on that day these animals will lose their natural instinct of attack or fear of each other and instead will have a greater thing to worry about and so stand next to each other, herded together.
Contrast this with the previous surah where Allah (swt) describes human beings running away from one another when normally they would go towards one another and in this surah animals are running towards one another whereas normally they would not. By nature these animals would not be herded together and humans would be together. Everything we have been use to is reversed.
2. Wa izal qubooru bu’sirat (82:4)
And when the graves are turned upside down (to bring out their contents)
The qabr is again something that we expect to remain in its place. There are a number of words used in the Quran for the grave. One such word is marqad which comes from ruqood and means an uncomfortable type of sleep, when you’re not in deep sleep and you’re annoyed.
The ulema comment that when people are raised on the Day of Judgment, the things that they will see will be so vicious that the punishment of the grave will be compared to uncomfortable sleep. The hadeeths which mention punishment of the grave are very graphic and intense but even so this will be regarded as just an uncomfortable sleep compared to that day. Another word for grave is ajdaath and is a kind of grave where the signs of it are gone, for example, people that are cremated or mass graves that are not known to be graves or places where homes and buildings are built on graves that are not known to be there.
Qabr used here is literally that which is dug with the intent of burying someone and again notice the theme of ripping up the ground. The ulema comment that the word bu’thirat comes from both ba’atha and means to dig into something and turn it upside down to pull out what you want from a collection of other things for example, emptying out a suitcase to look for a key. Allah (swt) gives this image for graves and informs that they will be manipulated to bring out its contents which will be man who is yanked out
3. Faiza jaa-atis saakhah (80:33)
Then when there comes the deafening sound (the second blowing of the trumpet on the Day of Resurrection)
In this surah, Allah (swt) issues a threat and a scolding to man and says how dare man disbelieves but He (swt) also then says that man has not yet fulfilled his responsibility. In other words, we are told there is still hope. Allah (swt) reinforces this positively by encouraging man to think about all the provisions available to him and that man’s gratitude should lead him to Islam. Not just reflection on revelation but just reflection on your food and gratitude alone should lead you to Islam. Allah (swt) now says that if even this is not enough then know that the final warning is coming. This surah began with a discussion of people who are arrogant and take the message casually and listen but do not listen. Then there is the one who really wants to listen. As-Saakhkhah is a loud sound or scream that is so loud that whoever comes into hearing of it turns deaf and so it is a deafening loud scream. So, you can avoid the warnings and message now but As-Saakhkhah is coming and you won’t be able to avoid that.
4. Yauma yafir-rul mar-u min akheeh (80:34)
The day on which a man will run away from his brother
Farra is a word which means running and is used when you run away from something that terrifies you. So, the human will run in terror from his own brother. Normally when in terror a man will run towards his family but here,he will run away from them. This is because your family are who you stay in contact the most and when you deal with someone more you have a greater chance of violating their rights. It is easier for you to be nice to someone you do not know. All relations on that day will be cut off and no one will care about anyone but themselves. Every breastfeeding mother will drop that which she used to feed such is the terror of that day. Thus, when he sees his brother and mother, he is afraid he has violated some of their rights. Also, the family members might ask for some of man’s good deeds.
5. Wa ummihee wa abeeh (80:35)
And from his mother and his father
6. Wa sahi batihee wa baneeh (80:36)
And from his wife and his children
He will run from the wife he shared a bed with and the children that he used to protect. How ironic how Allah (swt) has switched things. When a man’s spouse passes away witness the trauma he goes through, how he misses her and remembers her yet on that day he will run from her. Allah (swt) is reminding us of the beginning of the surah where people were dismissive but he (swt) informs us here that this is not an intellectual exercise or a joking matter. This is serious, so serious you will be running away from the people you love
7. Wa wujoohuy yauma-izin ‘alaiha ghabara (80:40)
Some other faces on that day shall be covered with dust
Ghabara is dust which flies around and lands on things and settles. So some faces will have that dirty look and this is not just physical dust. And the faces of the wicked deniers will be blackened as if with dust, reflecting the evil in their souls and reflecting their shame and humiliation. Those were the arrogant, self-satisfied ones who ignored and rejected the Prophet's invitation to truth and moral principles.
8. Tarhaquha qatarah (80:41)
Darkness will cover them
Rahaq is something which forcefully overshadows or climbs over something else. Qatara is used for smoke which comes out of burning wood and is used for the smoke emitted when you barbecue something. So, this black smoke will force itself on them and they won’t be able to take if off. So, there is dust and on top of that this black smoke on them
Such will be the Kafarah (disbelievers in Allah), the Fajarah (wicked evildoers)
These are the disbelievers that think themselves free of need of anything. Fajara means the ones who disobey Allah (swt) in the worst ways, openly and viciously. In the beginning we saw those who think himself free of need and the one who comes to the prophet (saw) out of fear of Allah (swt). At the end of this surah Allah (swt) turns the tables. The ones who were afraid in dunya will have a bright smile on that day and the one who has a big smile now and does not taking anything serious will be the one with stress and humiliation on his face. The dunya is the prison of the believer and the jannah of the disbeliever.
9. Inna yaumal-fasli kana meeqaata (78:17)
Al Fasl is to take two things and separate them so much that they are clearly apart from one another. Yowm al Fasl is a day of clear separation.
The scholars commented that the Day of Judgment is the day truth will be separated from falsehood. Followers being separated from their leaders. Perhaps the most graphic separation: mother shall be separated from her child.
So he will distinguish and separate between the people of truth and those of falsehood, the people of disbelief and those who believed, the people of injustice and aggression and those of justice and moderation. And he will separate the people of Paradise from the people of the fire – a group will be in Paradise and a group in flames. Al fasl is the Day of Resurrection. It is the time of Allah's judgment when all things will become clearly differentiated and distinct from one another. At the moment we are all mixed up in this dunya; the good and the bad.
10. Yauma yaqoo mur roohu wal malaa-ikatu saf-fal laa yatakallamoona ill-laa man azina lahur rahmaanu wa qaala sawaaba (78:38)
The Day that Ar-Ruh [Jibrael (Gabriel) or another angel] and the angels will stand forth in rows, none shall speak except him whom the Most Beneficent (Allah) allows, and he will speak what is right.
But then Allah says: the day when ar-Ruh will stand and malaa`ika. There is almost ijmaa` [consensus] of the mufassiroon [the scholars of tafseer] that ar-Ruh refers to Jibreel ‘alayhis salaam (Gabriel) almost every time in the Quran.
This is the court of Allah, Even the angels, when they stand in obedience before Allah, will not be able to speak or intercede for anyone unless He gives them permission. Even if onedoes speak, it will be very brief. People will be spoken to rather than them speaking. Permission will be granted by Allah to angels as well as to prophets, martyrs, scholars, and righteous Muslims to intercede on behalf of others. A person’s righteous deeds may also be allowed intercede for him. However, it is the final Prophet (s) who will have the greatest share of intercession.
11. Zalikal yaumul haqqu faman shaa-at ta khaaza ill-laa rabbihi ma-aaba (7:39)
That is without doubt the True Day, so, whosoever wills, let him seek a place with (or a way to) His Lord (by obeying Him in this worldly life)
This verse carries both warning and good tidings, for Allah confirms that the Day of Resurrection will be a day of truth and justice and that it will certainly occur. This information has been given so that anyone who wishes may follow the straight path leading to the approval of Allah or may return to Him in repentance. The literal meaning of ma'āb is a place or thing to which one returns. Here it refers to thefinal return to the Creator. A believer seeks to follow the way of life which leads to a good return – i.e., the final abode of Paradise. The āyah contains an invitation to take a direct route to Allah’s forgiveness and His Paradise through correct beliefs and righteous deeds.
12. Inaa anzar naakum azaaban qareebaiy-yauma yan zurul marr-u maa qaddamat yadaahu wa ya qoolul-kaafiru yaa lai tanee kuntu turaaba (78:40)
Indeed, We have warned you of a near punishment – on the Day when a man will see what his hands have put forth and the disbeliever will say, “Oh how I wish I were dust!”
Allah says, Inna antharnakum. It is indeed we who have warned you. The kaafir thinks that Muhammad (s) is warning him, but Allah is telling them that this is the Lord of the worlds who is warning them. They see it far away, but we see it very close. Allah has warned all obstinate disbelievers about His punishment, which is inevitable.
Allah will leave His creation with no excuse on the Day of Judgment by showing them what they sent forth of deeds. It will be said to him ‘Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.’ [Soorah al-Isra (17): 13-14] meaning, you have not been treated unjustly and nothing has been recorded against you except what you have done, because you remember everything that you have done, and no one will forget anything that he did!
Everyone will be able to read his Book, whether he is literate or illiterate. Ibn Abbas said. It includes both good deeds and bad deeds, he will be forced to acknowledge them and will be rewarded or punished accordingly.
Due to the gravity of what he sees of terror, fright and punishment in store for him, “the disbeliever will say, ‘Woe to me! Wish that I were dust!” meaning, he will wish that he had only been dust in the worldly life. He will wish that he had not been created and that he had never come into existence. This will be when he sees the torment of Allah and he looks at his wicked deeds that will be written down against him by the noble righteous scribes among angels. It has been said that he will only wish for that when Allah passes judgment between all of the animals that were in the worldly life. Allah will rectify matters between them with His Just Wisdom that does not wrong anyone. Even the hornless sheep will be allowed to avenge itself against the sheep with horns. Then, when the judgment between them is finished, He (Allah) will say to them (the animals), “Be dust.” So they will all become dust. Upon witnessing this, the disbeliever will say, “Wish that I were dust!” meaning, “I wish I was an animal so that I would be returned to dust.” [See tafseer Ibn Katheer].