Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, to Him belong the endowments and proper commendations. May Allah increase the honor of Prophet Muhammad, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, raise his rank, and protect his nation from what he fears for it.
Thereafter, it was said:
The Day of Judgment is 50,000 years long and has 50 stations. Each station lasts 1000 years. The first of the 50 stations is the station of being asked four questions.
All the people will be questioned about their deeds. God will enable every slave to hear God’s speech. They will understand that God is questioning them about what they did with all the endowments that God endowed upon them. The pious believer will feel a great deal of happiness. As for the blasphemer, he will not be happy. The blasphemers will be so devastated about what they hear that if death were to occur in the Hereafter, they would die as a result. Yet they do not die.
In a hadith narrated by Ahmad and At-Tirmidhiyy, the Prophet, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said, “Everyone among you will hear the speech of God on the Day of Judgment without the need for anyone to interpret the meaning of this Speech.” They will know the real meaning.
This event of everyone hearing the Speech of God does not take a long time. God told us that in the Qur’an in verse 62 of Suratul-An^am and verse 202 of Suratul-Baqarah. This is a proof that the Speech of God is not sounds, or made up of letters, because if the Speech of God were like the speech of the creation, it would take a long time for everyone, one by one to be questioned by God. It would have taken longer than the 50,000 years of the Day of Judgment, and this is only one stage of the Day of Judgment. Each one of us does numerous deeds. Some creations live very long as well. The Devil remains alive until the first horn blow. If the Speech of God were like our speech, it would take an extremely long time to question the Devil exclusively about all the evil deeds he did. Yet God said that the Questioning is very quick. This proves that the Speech of God does not resemble the speech of the creation in any way.
When the people are first gathered on the Day of Judgment, in the first stage, no one will move even one step except after being asked about four matters. This is narrated in a hadith narrated by At-Tirmidhiyy. The four questions are:
1. What did you do with the knowledge that you acquired?
2. What did you do with the money you acquired?
3. What did you do with the body that you were given?
4. What did you do with the time you were given? How did you spend it?
Among the matters that occurred among people, the first to be judged and settled will be the matters of bloodshed. On the Day of Judgment, the one who is in the right will be apparent. It will be clear who is right and who is wrong. The Day of Judgment is the Day when all get their rights. The Prophet said that the one who did injustice to his brother or sister, let him clear himself from this injustice before a Day comes on which he cannot use either the dinar or the dirham to clear himself of this injustice.
In a hadith narrated by Muslim in As-Sahih and At-Tirmidhiyy in As-Sunan, the Prophet said everyone would get his right on the Day of Judgment to a point that the sheep that had horns and butted a sheep without horns in this life would, on the Day of Judgment, be butted by the one who did not have horns in this life. God would give that sheep, on the Day of Judgment, horns with which to butt. After the animals get justice on the Day of Judgment, they will all be turned to dust. No animal will be tortured in Hellfire. The blasphemers, when they see that, will say how they wish to be like that: turned to dust. Instead, they will continue to suffer until they meet the ultimate suffering of Hellfire that will last forever.
Complete justice will occur on that Day. God will give all their rights. That is why some pious people, when hit unjustly in this life, do not retaliate. They say, “I leave that for the Day of Judgment”. They have a deep faith in the reality of the coming of the Day of Judgment.
At one station on the Day of Judgment, God will make the blasphemers unable to speak. Then instead of them speaking voluntarily, their skin, hands and legs will testify about what they did during their life. Even the ground will testify on the Day of Judgment about what the people did on it, as we know from the Qur’an in Suratuz-Zalzalah.
Our Prophet, as narrated by At-Tirmidhiyy in As-Sunan, recited verse 4 of Suratuz-Zalzalah. This verse means that on that Day the Earth will tell its news. Then the Prophet asked his Companions, “Do you know its news?” They said, “God and His Messenger know best”. The Prophet said, “On that Day the Earth will testify about what the people did on it. The spot where the person disobeyed God will talk on the Day of Judgment and it will say that so and so did such and such a thing at that time. Also the spot where the person did a good deed will testify on the Day of Judgment. It will say, “So and so did such and such good thing at that time…”. The Prophet said, “This is the news of the Earth.”
On that Day every person is given the book in which the angels recorded his deeds. The believer will receive his book by his right hand. The blasphemer will receive his book with his left hand from behind his back. Some of the people will be happy when they see their books, and others will feel so bad. The people will see all their deeds written it their book.
Receiving the book will be made easy for some. They will receive their book, without being questioned about everything in their book. These people would be safe on that Day, because the one who will be questioned severely that Day about everything will be tortured, as the Prophet told us.
^A’ishah, raDiyy Allahu ^anha, said that she heard from the Prophet that the one who would be questioned severely about everything on the Day of Judgment would be a loser and would be tortured. Then ^A’ishah said to the Prophet, “God said in the Qur’an a verse that means, ‘As to the one who will receive his book by his right hand, he will be questioned lightly’.” The Prophet told her, “That is only the presentation of the deeds. The one whom God did not will to be tortured will not be questioned about every deed he did.” This was narrated by At-Tirmidhiyy.
A narration in As-Sahih of Muslim helps to clarify the last hadith cited. From this hadith, we know that the word “hisab” has more that one meaning. In the verse of the Qur’an that ^A’ishah cited, hisab means, “the presenting of the deeds” and not severe questioning. In other cases, the word hisab means the severe questioning about everything in the book that is only done to those who will be tortured.
When the Prophets are questioned on the Day of Judgment, it is done to show their merit and not as a reprimand. The Prophets have no sins written in their books. The only sin that possibly could have occurred from a Prophet will be a small sin without meanness. If a Prophet did that kind of sin, he would immediately repent of it, even before Prophethood. The angel that writes the sins does not write a sin immediately. The angel waits for a certain period of time for the person to repent. Hence, the Prophets do not even have any sins written in the first place, because if they did a small non-mean sin, they repented immediately.
Even a person who does get a sin written for him will get it erased if he repents. Among the people who die with sins written for them, some will have those sins concealed by God, out of His generosity, on the Day of Judgment, and they will not be exposed.
May Allah grant us ease on the Day of Judgment. Ameen.