THE EVENTS OF THAT DAY

As the Qur'an reveals, the Day of Judgment is "the Day mankind will stand before the Lord of all the worlds" (Surat al-Mutaffifin, 6). It is a fierce day of events never seen before, a day during which the universe and all of its contents will be destroyed. On that Day, everyone will witness and understand Allah's power. The unbelievers will suffer great fear, terror, and suffering, and all of their hidden remorse, fear, and debasement will be experienced.

The Qur'an presents several allegories of this event. This chapter provides a general description of this Day's events and explores their meanings. Allah knows best, and only His knowledge is infinite. We, on the other hand, can understand and relate only what He has revealed and taught.

Everything related in this chapter comes from the Qur'an, and therefore is beyond doubt. Given that only Allah knows how all of these events will occur, things might happen differently than we expect. We only know the following facts for certain: His promised events will tak
e place, people on the Day of Judgment will come face to face with a spectacular scene unlike anything seen before, and that the universe and all of its contents will be completely destroyed. People will not have the opportunity to learn the reason for this, to escape and save themselves, or to strive for a solution. Everyone will realize that Allah and the Hereafter exist.

 

THE SOUND OF THE TRUMPET

The Day Begins When the Trumpet Is Blown

The Trumpet will be blown. That is the Day of the Threat. (Surah Qaf, 20)

The sounding of the trumpet proclaims that the Day of Judgment, promised by Allah, has finally come, that this world has ended, and that the Hereafter has begun. Everyone has been informed of this great Day and what it holds, and has been warned that they would be brought to account. Now, they are face to face with this promised reality. This unexpected sound, which is unlike anything ever heard before, will cause people to realize that their time is up, for it indicates the beginning of infinite fear, terror, and hopelessness for the unbelievers—a very hard Day for them indeed. Allah says:

For when the Trumpet is blown, that Day will be a difficult day, not easy for the unbelievers. (Surat al-Muddaththir, 8-10)

Those who are fooled by the world order's temporary attractions and attach themselves tightly to such things are blind to the reality of Allah's existence and unity. They are supposedly happy and content with this illusion, and live without any consideration for the Creator of all or for His creation and its progress toward its end. In reality, since Allah created this order, He will cause this spectacular system to cease to be, by giving a single command, in a mind-blowing fashion. Those who do not think that they will meet such a day will awake from their slumber immediately when the trumpet sounds. However, their new state will be of no benefit to them, for by this time it will be far too late to do anything for Allah and the Hereafter.

But why is it too late? Allah informs us that the reason behind this is that such people wasted their lives and ignored the trial and also the reality of the Hereafter. Such an attitude engenders a severe punishment, for its source is the individual's satisfaction with this limited world and ignoring the possibility of a past and future. People holding this attitude crave this life's temporary pleasures and disregard creation's purpose, and so spend their lives without wondering why they live, why they were created, what the Creator expects of them, and why they will die. They know about death, but are also aware that its reality raises questions that beg for answers. Therefore, they turn away and try to distance themselves from these thoughts as much as possible. In reality, however, the sole purpose for each person's creation and short life on Earth is to serve Allah. People who are aware of death's proximity, the shortness of this life, and that whatever happens to them is part of their trial, are also aware that they will meet with what the Qur'an reveals to them. Therefore, they understand that their sole purpose for being alive is to live for Allah. Realizing this while alive is a great benefit, for it causes people to distance themselves from the deceptive world and turn to their real home: the Hereafter.

The greatest desire of those who chase after pleasure and lust is that this order will go on forever. But even that sometimes does not make them content, for life always contains problems and difficulties. Moreover, Satan has countless tactics to keep them from believing in the infinite sufferings of the Hereafter and has them prefer this life of hardship and sadness over faith. But when such people hear the trumpet sound, maybe while driving to work or while getting ready for bed, they will realize that all of their postponed ambitions and expectations are for naught, and thus will fall into a state of utmost despair. The order that they had hoped would go on forever has ended, as have their own lives. Everything that they refused to believe in, despite knowing about them, now has caught up with them. Those people who lived in the shadow of false powers that were "protecting them" now have nowhere to seek refuge, because all people except the believers are in the same hopeless situation. They have surrendered to the inevitable, and all people whoever lived are now assembled together in Allah's presence:

The Trumpet will be blown, and at once they will be sliding from their graves toward their Lord. (Surah Ya Sin, 51)

For the unbelievers, this event means "meeting the very thing from which he or she ran away," as well as "the end of the last opportunity to correct one's errors." The fear of that moment is indescribable, for such panic and terror has never been heard of or seen before. It might have been possible to make good mistakes or they might have been forgotten over time, but the trumpet's sound proclaims that no more time is left. On that Day, this sound will bring great fear to the unbelievers, and everybody will surrender to this reality. Allah reveals that:

On the Day the Trumpet is blown and everyone in the heavens and everyone on Earth is terrified—except those Allah wills, everyone will come to Him abject. (Surat an-Naml, 87)

All people are aware of this Day, for Allah has warned people with His messengers and verses about a "day of no return." In addition, He has reminded them to turn to Him and has told them that those who refuse to do so will not be helped after death. The Qur'an reveals the regret experienced by those who met with punishment at a moment they did not expect, and the reality that they will not be helped, in the following way: Turn to your Lord and submit to Him before punishment comes upon you, for then you cannot be helped. Follow the best that has been sent down to you from your Lord before the punishment comes upon you suddenly, when you are not expecting it, lest anyone should say:

"Woe to me, for neglecting what Allah was due and for being one of the scoffers!" or lest they should say: "If only Allah had guided me, I would have been more heedful," or lest he should say, when he sees the punishment: "If only I could have another chance so that I could be a good-doer!" "No, the fact is that My Signs came to you, but you denied them and were arrogant and were one of the unbelievers." On the Day of Resurrection you will see those who lied about Allah with their faces blackened. Do not the arrogant have a dwelling place in Hell? (Surat az-Zumar, 54-60)

This life of temporary pleasure comes to an end when the trumpet sounds. All people have come face to face with what was promised. The fear and terror that they experience when confronted with such events is beyond words. All people are following the same call and realize that they have met with a reality from which they cannot escape.

 

EARTH

Earth Will Be Shaken by Quakes

When Earth is convulsed with its quaking, and Earth then disgorges its charges, and man asks: "What is wrong with it?" on that Day it will impart all of its news, because your Lord has inspired it. (Surat az-Zilzal, 1-5)

On the Day of Judgment, an ear-shattering sound will follow the sounding of the trumpet, and an unequalled tremor will rock Earth. Massive mountains, trees, skyscrapers, buildings—in fact every place on Earth—will begin to rock at the same time. People will panic and be gripped by great fear. The most fear-inspiring aspect is that no one can escape it or find any sort of refuge, for this tremor is not like the ones with which we are familiar; rather, this tremor will continue until Earth has been flattened. (Allah knows best.) Allah describes these tremors, as follows:

On the Day the first blast shudders, and the second blast follows it, hearts that Day will be pounding and eyes will be cast down. (Surat an-Nazi‘at, 6-9)

Try to imagine how much the tremors known to us affect those who experience them. These tremors lasted only for seconds, but the results were nevertheless devastating. Hundred of thousands died in or under collapsed buildings, and survivors were left destitute. Homes, property, earnings, and savings were destroyed in no time. These calamities were seen by everyone and, in those seconds, no person or force could resist them. The tremors of the Day of Judgment will have no equals in terms of severity, consequence, and the size of area affected. When they are over, there will be no ruins or life left on this planet.

No matter how severe the tremor, people who are prepared for such an event often find a way to survive. However, upon hearing the trumpet sound, even they will realize that this is no ordinary tremor and that there is no possibility of escape.

The Qur'an warns of this event and of the tremors, as follows:

Mankind, heed your Lord! The quaking of the Hour is a terrible thing. (Surat al-Hajj, 1)

At that moment, nothing on Earth will have any meaning. Everything that led people astray (e.g., luxurious houses, gigantic skyscrapers, 5-star hotels, ambitiously accumulated life savings, houses, decorations, palaces, bridges, all of the most famous buildings, the Pyramids that have survived all natural disasters so far, historic castles, and whole cities) all will crumble like sand castles on the beach. Everything that makes people proud to possess it, as well as their fame, honor, prestige, and power, will be destroyed instantly and become meaningless instantaneously, for:

No indeed! When Earth is crushed and ground to dust, and your Lord arrives with the angels rank upon rank, and that Day Hell is produced, that Day man will remember. But how will the remembrance help him? (Surat al-Fajr, 21-23)

When the entire planet gives way, those who found all kinds of excuses to deny Allah and who did not engage in any acts of worship, despite knowing what was required, finally will realize that there is refuge only in Allah. However, it now is too late for them to make amends, and their remorse is of no use either.

After fear, the next most-felt emotion on that Day will be incapacity. Humanity, who took precautions against every possible calamity and deadly disaster (e.g., severe earthquakes, fierce hurricanes, and even nuclear war), will be unable to hide from or survive this event. Nothing and nobody, regardless of how they were perceived while alive, will be able to guide them to safety.

 

Earth Disgorges Its Charges

And Earth then disgorges its charges, and man asks: "What is wrong with it?" on that Day it will impart all of its news, because your Lord has inspired it. (Surat az-Zilzal, 2-5)

Earth's core, beginning at a depth of 5,000-6,000 kms (3,000-3,700 miles) from the surface, consists of highly pressurized magma that has an estimated temperature of 5,000oC (9,000oF).1 The lava flows from volcanic eruptions come from areas close to the core. Throughout history, volcanic eruptions have caused terror, brought death to many people, and, in some cases, buried whole cities. Lava emerges from cracks in Earth's crust and, the higher the pressure, the higher it spurts into the sky. The main factor in this process is the presence of various gases that separate from the liquid substance on the way to the surface, for they form a layer above the magma and increase the pressure. The higher the proportion of gases, the greater the force of the resulting explosions. The boiling lava turns the area's surface into a quasi Hell. Such localized eruptions affect only a limited area. Researchers can anticipate such calamities and ensure that the necessary precautions are taken.

The Qur'an says that "Earth will disgorge its charges," indicating that, in addition to the many other things underground, the magma will spill over. The rocking tremors that are cracking the planet's crust on a global level, will prepare the ground for such a disaster. On the Day of Judgment, devastating earthquakes will turn Earth upside down, and people trying to escape the debris falling on them will get caught in the lava spilling out of Earth's cracked surface. Once again, they will realize that there is no escape from death. Disaster will follow disaster, and people will get caught in one or the other. (Allah knows best.)

Earth bows to Allah's will, for:

When Earth is flattened out and disgorges what is inside it and empties out, hearkening to its Lord, as it is bound to do! (Surat al-Inshiqaq, 3-5)

The Final Day has arrived, humanity's time is up, and everything has ended. No living thing can escape this day, for when it finally ends, there will be nothing left: no seed, plant, microorganism—not even Earth itself.

Magma is not the only load that will be emptied out on that Day. Magma conducts heat and chemical reactions to the outer layer (the mantle) and between the mantle and the crust. Therefore, it probably will carry intense heat and many other subterranean substances to the surface, thereby increasing the surface temperature to previously unknown levels. Such events will cause Earth to spew forth all of its contents: minerals, coal, crude oil, fossils, corpses, ruins, and so on. Earth will be turned upside down, for:

When the graves are emptied out, each self will know what it has sent ahead and left behind. (Surat al-Infitar, 4-5)

Ground water will emerge from the cracks and, due to its highly pressurized nature, will cause damage in the vicinity and flood the entire planet.


Volcanic eruptions will send pollutants into the higher atmosphere. History shows us that following such eruptions, dust and ash rain down on the affected area and sometimes even bury it. Allah says that "the mountains become scattered dust in the air" (Surat al-Waqi‘a, 6). Based on this, it is highly probable that such explosions and eruptions will happen everywhere on Earth on the Day of Judgment.

People will be met by a devastating punishment. The dust and smoke clouds blanketing every place, as well as the gases spreading out all at once, will suffocate people and cause great suffering. All of these events will make the unbelievers realize the scale of the eternal suffering awaiting them in Hell. Allah ends the lives of people with such a shocking spectacle, and for the unbelievers He has prepared an unspeakable spiritual and physical suffering. In the face of such overpowering events, a devastating fear of death will cover the planet, and nothing but fear and remorse will be left.

 

THE MOUNTAINS


Mountains Will Be Uprooted and Scattered as Dust

When the mountains are pulverized. (Surat al-Mursalat, 10)

As we know, mountains act as quasi shock absorbers. The Qur'an says:

He cast firmly embedded mountains on Earth so it would not move under you, and rivers and pathways so that hopefully you would be guided. (Surat an-Nahl, 15)


Have We not made the Earth a resting place and the mountains as stakes? (Surat al-Naba', 6-7)

The most severe earthquake ever recorded measured 9.5 on the Richter Scale.2 Such an earthquake devastates the surrounding area in a matter of seconds. The tremors of the Day of Judgment, unless Allah decrees otherwise, will be of a force never seen before. Even the mountains, which usually reduce the effects, will be unable to withstand it. The most solid buildings and rock-solid mountains will be shaken up and begin to slide, as follows:

And the mountains shift about. (Surat at-Tur, 10)

And the mountains are shifted and become a mirage. (Surat an-Naba', 20)

On the Day We make the mountains move and you see the Earth laid bare, and We gather them together, not leaving out a single one of them. (Surat al-Kahf, 47)

A great part of our planet is covered by mountains. Without a doubt, seeing all of them shaken from their places, pushed across Earth's face, and smashed up against one another, thereby flattening the whole planet, will be one of the most shocking scenes ever seen. We can hardly imagine such a scene.

Imagine that the Himalayas, the Alps, and the Taurus mountains, which people consider unshakable and climbers struggle to ascend, all of a sudden were rocked and began to collapse and flatten themselves, as well as the surrounding towns.

Building roadways through mountainous areas requires great technological means, machines, and tools. But even then, they are often used to no avail. Using dynamite to make a path is of little use, because it has only a local effect, or sometimes no effect at all. For this reason, many mountainous areas cannot be reached. On the Day of Judgment, all mountains will be pulverized. This is a very effective example of the destruction that will be wrought on that Day. Simultaneously, all mountains will be reduced to dust and spectacular buildings will collapse—a truly awe-inspiring situation. These events help us understand Allah's infinite power. The Qur'an says that:

On the Day the Earth and mountains shake and the mountains become like shifting dunes. (Surat al-Muzzammil, 14)

The Qur'an also states that Earth will be devoid of hills and craters, for the destruction of the mountains will cause the planet's surface to become level, as follows:

They will ask you about the mountains. Say: "My Lord will scatter them as dust. He will leave them as a barren, level plain on which you will see no dip or gradient." (Surah Ta Ha, 105-107)

The uneven ground we see today will be flat on that Day, for all people will be assembled on an endless plain:

On the Day We make the mountains move, you see the earth laid bare, and We gather them together, not leaving out a single one of them. (Surat al-Kahf, 47)

 

Mountains Will Be Scattered like Colored Fluffs of Wool

On that Day, the mountains, together with all of the plants, flowers, vegetation, minerals, and differently colored soils will be scattered around together. The mountains, having become dust and smoke, will be dispersed. This color scheme is described in the verses:

[On the Day] the mountains [will be] like tufts of colored wool. (Surat al-Qari‘a, 5; Surat al-Ma‘arij, 9)

On that Day, the Subduer's command will have everything under its control, living or nonliving. A great fear will dominate every scene. People who panic at the slightest tremor, and who, fearing for their lives, cannot return to their homes for hours afterwards, will be in an unbearable situation when they see the mountains shaken from their places, the ground spitting out everything that it had concealed, graves being turned inside out, disaster chasing disaster, and all people being gathered together. There will be no one left to trust, and no safe refuge. The event's terror will pass far beyond their limits of endurance. There will be nothing that they can do, no starting over, and no place left to go. The new beginning is in the Hereafter, which is endless and full of suffering and remorse for those who did not seek Allah's good pleasure while they were alive. All of their worldly pleasures, ambitions, and life are finished. The terror they encounter will reflect Allah's infinite power.

In truth, Allah's Messengers and the believers have informed them of these facts. But this devastating Day seemed far off, and so they relied on temporary possessions and themselves. Allah reveals that the unbelievers have been warned, as follows:

Warn mankind of the Day when the punishment will reach them. Those who did wrong will say: "Our Lord, reprieve us for a short time. We will respond to Your call and follow the Messengers." [But it will be said] "But did you not swear to Me before that you would never meet your downfall, even though you inhabited the houses of those who had wronged themselves, and it was made clear to you how We had dealt with them, and We gave you many examples?" (Surah Ibrahim, 44-45)

Now they are all alone amidst the danger. Everybody fears for their own lives, and no one cares for anyone else. No one can escape, for Allah's promised day has arrived. Fleeing one's house will be of no use, for everything is being destroyed, and the ground and mountains are shifting all at once. There is no refuge, no protector, and no preventive action. The Qur'an describes the mountains' destruction on the Day of Judgment, as follows:

And the Earth and the mountains are lifted and crushed with a single blow, on that Day, the Occurrence will occur. (Surat al-Haqqa, 14-15)

 

THE OCEANS

We should remind ourselves of an important point when describing all of these scenes, which are based upon Qur'anic verses: All of these events will take place according to Allah's will, for He has promised that they will occur. No doubt, Allah can destroy and then level everything in a spectacular manner, for:

That is Allah's promise. Allah does not break His promise. But most people do not know it. (Surat ar-Rum, 6)

People who were proud of themselves will be worth nothing. Humanity, who considered itself great and powerful before Allah, who denied Him out of self-conceit, will be forlorn and weak amid these events. Everything that people considered greater than themselves will surrender on this Day, as decreed by Allah. Mountains, oceans, the whole universe—all will lose their rock-solid appearance and bow to Allah's will. Everything will be finished by Allah's command "Be!," for they have obeyed Allah's order and fulfilled their roles as His submissive servants. When the mountains are destroyed and scattered like colored wool, and when the ground gives up its contents, Allah's infinite greatness will be reflected. The Qur'an reveals that the oceans will be ablaze and boil over on that Day.

 

The Inferno of the Oceans

It is almost impossible to imagine the oceans, which cover three-fourths of Earth's surface, coming to a furious boil all at once. Even when forcing the limits of their minds, people can have only a vague idea of just how terrifying that event will be. So far, our personal experience probably consists of images of erupting volcanoes or burning crude oil tankers seen on television or in photographs. However, the descriptions given in the verses are beyond comparison. Only our knowledge of Allah's infinite greatness, power, and might can give an idea about the scale of these expected calamities, for He can alter or overturn the universe's order as part of the greater scheme of things.

Along with everything else being spewed out of the ground, hot lava, having an estimated temperature of 5,000oC (9,000oF) will spill over wherever it can, including into the oceans. Those who have seen lava emerging from the bottom of the ocean in documentaries have witnessed something really amazing. The scenes on the Day of Judgment, however, will be very different, for they will be all-encompassing and far more terrifying. The oceans will burn, and an inescapable wall of fire will engulf people. On that Day, all oceans will be set alight.

As Allah says in the Qur'an:

When the seas are filled with flame. (Surat at-Takwir, 6)

As a result of this, all aquatic life, as well as all terrestrial life, on Earth will cease. The oceans, usually soothing and cooling, suddenly will spread an incredible heat. Instead of huge waves, there will be waves of fire, and oxygen will be replaced by smoke. The scene of oceans burning ferociously, boiling over and spewing forth their contents, will dominate a great part of the world and bring vast devastation.



The Oceans Will Spill Their Contents

In addition to all of the above, the oceans will also rise, as mentioned in the following verse:

When the oceans flood and overflow. (Surat al-Infitar, 3)

By Allah's will, calamities also will come from the oceans. As Allah is the All-Mighty and the Creator of Earth and all of its contents, all He has to do is utter the command "Be!," and whatever He wills occurs. The probable circumstances (only Allah knows the exact ones) leading up to these events serve to remind us of, and to be awed by, Allah as we draw closer to Him.

Some of the probable events have to do with the rising of the oceans. As we know, earthquakes on the ocean floor cause tidal waves on the surface. The resulting tremors can send waves racing toward the shore at speeds of up to 750 kms (466 miles) per hour. Waves that start out as less than a meter (3 feet) high in the open sea can be 60 meters (200 feet) high by the time they reach the shore. A 25-35 meters (80 to 100 feet) high tidal wave created by a strong earthquake in Japan in 1896 swept over the town of Honshu, killing 25,000 people.

Volcanic eruptions are another cause of tidal waves. The tidal wave created by the eruption of the volcano on Krakatoa in 1883 caused Krakatoa Island, located between Java and Sumatra, to submerge suddenly and unleash a tidal wave that hit one of the most densely populated stretches of Java's coastline. The wave, which destroyed 165 villages and killed 36,000 people, was more than 35 meters (110 feet) high when it reached the shore. Such events demonstrate that underwater earthquakes or volcanic eruptions can have a localized effect and cause flooding and widespread death further afield. On the Day of Judgment, every place on Earth, whether underground or underwater, will be shaken. The violent tremors on the ocean floor will arouse the oceans and cause tidal waves and flooding on a global scale, something that we can hardly imagine.


The oceans will rise for other reasons as well. Their calm nature depends on the laws of nature. On that Day, however, these laws will be overturned, just like all the other laws upon which the delicate balances of the heavens, Earth, and people rest. The pillars of this perfect equilibrium, all of which were created by Allah's will, will be destroyed at once again by His will. Also, it is quite probable that the underground heat will increase the atmospheric temperature, thus melting the ice at both poles and raising the water levels.

We also know that landslides can cause unusually high waves on a lake or bay. On the Day of Judgment, not one mountain will be left standing, and Earth's surface will be leveled. Rocks rolling down the mountains will fill the ocean beds and cause floods.

Once Allah's appointed time has come, such fear-inspiring events will unfold one after another: a deafening blast; the pulverizing of mountains; lava erupting from under people's feet; dust, gas, and smoke clouds suffocating Earth's surface; and scolding hot water overflowing onto people… a sudden remorse befalling those who did not contemplate Allah's existence or His might while alive… an overwhelming torment that subdues everyone indiscriminately, that exposes people's helplessness, the worthlessness of all that they valued while alive… The people's fear and the terror will be indescribable. They will be running from place to place, hunting for cover and salvation, knowing that there is no escape.

 

THE SKIES

The Day of Judgment's terror and destruction is not limited just to the events taking place on Earth. On that Day, all beings as well as all that we consider to be habitual and familiar and take for granted will be destroyed. It is also the universe's final day, the scale of which has defied human comprehension throughout history, along with the incredibly huge stars that we only began to understand in the last century. The sky, the Moon and the Sun, stars and planets, will all be destroyed, in accordance with what Allah has revealed:

What you are promised will certainly happen. When the stars are extinguished, when Heaven is split open. (Surat al-Mursalat, 7-9)

For those who can sense just how extraordinary everything is and wish to perceive the absolute Creator's existence, many signs, in the form of objects and events that He has created since time began, lead them to faith in Him. Allah created the stars, planets, and all other objects in the infinite universe by a single command and sustains all of them in perfect equilibrium. This origination and balance preserves its mystery and continues to occupy people's minds. In reality, people who are looking for answers find only one truth: The existence of Allah. The events of the Final Day will reflect the Creator's greatness, for Allah has prepared a unique and spectacular end for the heavens, just as he has for everything in existence.


The sky has always been like a ceiling to people, certain to exist and persist; a glorious ceiling raised and sustained without pillars by Allah: a fabulous screen between the vast universe and them.

This ceiling has protected our world and its inhabitants from countless dangers (e.g., ultraviolet radiation, meteorites, and the freezing temperatures of space) without fail for ages, and remains an absolute necessity for the continuation of life. The light coming through the darkness of space is distributed on Earth as it is because of the atmosphere's qualities, and warms and lights the planet. And, the delicate balance of the atmosphere's oxygen content enables humanity to breathe and live. However, on that Day the sky will no longer fulfill its functions, for it will have reached its end. The Qur'an reveals these events, as follows:

On the Day when Heaven sways to and fro. (Surat at-Tur, 9)

The Heaven will be split apart therefrom; His promise will be fulfilled. (Surat al- Muzzammil, 18)

And Heaven will be split apart, for that Day it will be very frail. (Surat al-Haqqa, 16)

Air, so essential for life, also will lose its function, for the laws that apply on that Day will be different from the usual laws. The atmosphere, so delicately sustained in a stable equilibrium by the laws of physics, will just melt and flow away. The end of the heavens is described, as follows:

On the Day the sky is like molten brass. (Surat al-Ma‘arij, 8)

The atmosphere will melt and be ignited, and people will see the usual blue sky as flame-red, split apart, molten, and just like oil:

When Heaven is split apart and goes red, like dregs of oil. (Surat ar-Rahman, 37)

The Day of Judgment is a day of great remorse for those who did not acknowledge Allah's greatness and power and turned away from Him knowingly. This regret will be eternal, for there will be no more time for reflection, learning, or redemption. Every person will have to realize that Allah, Who has infinite power and might, is the only friend, helper, and protector. No person will be able to deny or persist in denying Allah and the Day of Judgment at such a time, as the Qur'an reveals:

They do not measure Allah with His true measure. The whole Earth will be a mere handful for Him on the Day of Resurrection, the heavens folded up in His right hand. Glory be to Him! He is exalted above the partners they ascribe! (Surat az-Zumar, 67)

On that Day, all of the familiar rules will disappear. The heavens and Earth, which responded to Allah's command of "come willingly or unwillingly" with "we come willingly" upon their creation, will again submit to their true owner and creator: Allah. The Qur'an reveals Allah's call to the heavens and Earth:

Say: "Do you reject Him Who created Earth in two days, and make others equal to Him? That is the Lord of all the worlds." He placed firmly embedded mountains on it, towering over it, blessed it and measured out its nourishment in it, laid out for those who seek it—all in four days. Then He turned to Heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to Earth: "Come willingly or unwillingly." They both said: "We come willingly." (Surah Fussilat, 9-11)

One of the materialists' most prominent claims is that matter formed by itself. In addition, all of the beauty they behold in their environment is ascribed to nature. The remaining details or how this intelligent design could issue from a lifeless nature, when nature itself did not even exist, are ignored. According this irrational claim, nature created everything. In other words, the awesome wonder of harmony and balance is inherent in the soil, stones, air, and water. But on the Day of Judgment, people will see what happens to the mountains, rocks, and soil, and finally will realize that nature in itself has no power, for although thought to be the source from which everything living or nonliving issued, it will be unable to save itself. Allah will demonstrate that everything exists only by His will and power and depends upon His protection and sustenance. Many will remember at that very moment, and thus feel great regret, the truths that they ignored even though their own consciences acknowledged them. Allah reveals the events of the Day of Judgment, as follows:

When the sky bursts open, hearkening to its Lord as it is bound to do! When Earth is flattened out and disgorges what is inside it and empties out, hearkening to its Lord as it is bound to do! O Man! You are toiling laboriously toward your Lord, but meet Him you will! (Surat al-Inshiqaq, 1-6)

 

THE STARS, THE SUN, AND THE MOON

Contrary to space's cold darkness, Earth has an atmosphere that accommodates the Sun's light and an average temperature that supports life. In other words, the atmosphere, our planet's protective ceiling, has light and heat diffusing properties that allow the rays of sunlight to reach, heat, and light our world. Like everything else that exists, on the Day of Judgment the heavens will split apart and lose their functions, melt, and flow. The phrase "When the Sun is compacted in blackness" (Surat at-Takwir, 1) refers to this Day. From this expression, we understand that the Sun's light will no longer benefit the world.

On the Day of Judgment, the Sun and the Moon, Earth's two sources of light, will be darkened one after the other. The disappearance of the atmosphere is not the only reason why there will be no light on Earth on that Day; rather, the Qur'an reveals that not only will the heavens, Earth and everything in between be destroyed, but that it is the final day for the entire universe. As the first few verses of Surat at-Taghabun say, Allah is the One Who creates everything complete and perfect, and He has the power to bring about anything He wills when He wills. He created the universe, which contains billions of stars in each of the billions of galaxies, and He will destroy it again just by uttering the command "Be!" when He wills.

It is quite impossible for the human mind to truly grasp the vastness of the mysterious universe. However, we can try to estimate its scale. The Sun is one of the predicted 200-250 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Considered one of the smaller stars, even though it is 333,000 times as massive as our own Earth, it is located 28,000 light years away from the center of the Milky Way, which itself is 100,000 light years across (one light year is equal to 9,460,800,000,000 kms or 5,879,000,000,000 miles.) Earth rotates around its axis at a speed of 1,670 kms (1,040 miles) per hour, and weighs 6,000 quintillions of metric tons (6 x 1021). The Sun moves around the center of the galaxy at a speed of 792,000 kms (492,000 miles) per hour, and the Milky Way spins through space at around 2.1 million kms (1.3 million miles) per hour. But on the Day of Judgment, this awesome universe will be destroyed, and stars of indescribable proportions will be extinguished.


Every spot in the universe is another sign of Allah's existence, greatness, and power. They have existed until now only by His will and permission, and for the duration that He wills for them. Certainly Allah, Who creates and sustains this balance, can destroy it whenever He wills. The universe's death will occur only when and where He wills. Everything that awed people with its greatness will be destroyed, for all planets and stars, the Sun and the Moon, will leave their orbits. Stars will fall, and all that exists will die out one by one as in "When the stars are strewn about." (Surat al-Infitar, 2)

The Sun is a star that diffuses energy incessantly. Many other stars are far larger and hold much more energy. But on the Day of Judgment, all of them will lose their power, fade, and fall, as the Qur'an relates:

When the stars fall in rapid succession. (Surat at-Takwir, 2)

When the stars are extinguished. (Surat al-Mursalat, 8)

The Sun, which has been this planet's source of life and energy forever, will darken, as will the stars that have decorated the heavens. And people will once again realize that Allah, their true owner, maintained their orbits and made them shine until that Day, for they existed only by His will.

Moreover, He will not help the unbelievers, and no other power will be able to do so. Even if technological advances enables travel to the far corners of the universe, people will not be able to avoid Allah's punishment, because the Day of Judgment will envelope the whole universe and everything, bowing to His will, will be destroyed. The Qur'an describes humanity's helplessness on that Day, as follows:

And the Moon is eclipsed, and the Sun and the Moon are fused together. On that Day man will say: "To where can I run?" No indeed! There will be no safe place. That Day, the only resting place will be your Lord. That Day man will be told what he did and failed to do. (Surat al-Qiyama, 8-13)

1 D.J. Batzer, "Beneath Our Feet," The Star; http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2003/2/27/features/batzer27.
2 "Deadly History of Earthquakes," May 5, 2003; http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/mpapps/pagetools/print/news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/in_depth/2059330.stm.