Peace be upon you. Before I start this article, I must admit that I’m not a religious expert, but merely someone who wishes to share as much as he knows about the matter, seeing that there is a lack of such articles that deal with how Muslims view the Day of Judgment. Please forgive any inaccuracies, the Good is from God and any mistakes are due to my own human failings. With that, let us get into the article proper.
The Day of Judgment is also known by many other names in Islam, for example, the Day of Standing. As in many other belief systems, Islam believes that on this Day, everyone will be accountable for all their past deeds. The Day of Judgment is understood to be a Day which is not like the normal terrestrial 24 hours day that we have in our daily lives, but a day that is much much longer than that, enough at least to weigh the deeds and misdeeds of one person.
Of course, God already knows beforehand that which shall happen and who are most deserving of entering Heaven or Hell. The massive standing assembly of all the humans who have ever lived will be waiting in a barren landscape of intense heat on the Day of Judgment. However, God will make those who are virtuous not feel this heat and people will be in various states of discomfort and pain depending on their relative levels of wickedness and virtue.
Each individual on this day will be so concerned about his or her own fate that there is little time to ponder on the fates of others that they were close to in their mortal lives. Everyone will be wondering about his or her own ultimate destination. Everyone will also receive a book that details every act, virtuous and otherwise that they have engaged in, in their mortal lives.
This massive mass of humanity is not randomly arranged. A person will see those he is in close contact with in his mortal life. Also, the Prophets and Messengers will be standing in front of his respective people. In a way, these noble men are the leaders of their respective peoples and if a person who lived in the time of Muhammad tries his level best to live according to what Muhammad has brought from God, he will be considered a follower of Muhammad (pbuh).
However, we must not confuse this with the Prophets and Messengers having any power to intercede on behalf of a person except by God’s will. These men have no powers of their own and this is a key concept in Islam. God knows everything and that every little act that a person does is well-known to God and nothing escapes him. In the end, no matter what anyone or anything says or wishes, the final Judgment is God’s alone. On that Day, He will be revealed in all his Power and also Wrath and no one will dare to question his Authority on that Day.
That is not to say that Judgment Day in Islam is a time where God is merciless. Quite the contrary. Though God is Just and punishes people due to their sins, one of his characteristics is also Mercy. Some narrations state that God distributed one part of a hundred of his Mercy for all creation and withheld the rest so that it can be used on Judgment Day. It is not for us to speculate overmuch how exactly this can be done, but we can all relate to people who have acted with both justice and compassion and that’s only human wisdom. God with his incomprehensibly vast Wisdom surely knows better.
I hope that this short article has shed some light on the topic and provided insight on some Islamic concepts in general.