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Just The Basics
Islam: A peaceful religion of worship and submission to God.
Muslim: A person who believes in and practices Islam. There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today from all races and backgrounds.
Allah: Arabic word for God. Allah is the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. He is the Creator of all human beings.
Prophet Muhammad : The Last Prophet sent by God to deliver His message to all of humanity. He was born over 1400 years ago in the city of Mecca.
Quran (or Koran): The sacred book of Islam. The Quran is the Speech of God that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and written down during his life.
Not only does Islam explain the purpose of life, but it also speaks clearly about life after death and how this life and the next one are related. According to Islam, our duration on this earth is short and temporary. The end of this life is the beginning of another one that will last forever. On ‘The Last Day’, the universe will come to an end, everything will be annihilated, and people from all times will be judged for their beliefs, intentions, and actions in this world. The Last Day is also known as the Day of Resurrection and the Day of Judgment.
Description of the Last Day in the Quran
When the sky bursts open,When planets are dispersed,When the seas spill forth,When graves are turned over,Then each soul will know what it sent forward and what it left behind.
On that Day will men proceed in groups sorted out,To be shown the deeds that they had done.Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it!And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it
Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned,And they will not be treated unjustly.
And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.Then to your Lord is your return,And He will inform you concerning that over which you used to differ
And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open],And you will see the criminals fearful of that within it,And they will say,"Oh, woe to us! What is this book that leaves nothing small or great except that it has enumerated it?"And they will find what they did present [before them]. And your Lord does injustice to no one
No person knows what delights of the eyeAre kept hidden in reserve for them,As a reward for their good deeds
God has promised to believers, men and women,Gardens underneath which rivers flow,To dwell therein,And beautiful mansions in Gardens everlasting.But the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of God;That is the supreme felicity
But those who reject God, for them will be the Fire of Hell.No term shall be appointed for them,So they should die,Nor shall its punishment be lightened for them.Thus do We reward every ungrateful one!
Why is there a Judgment Day?
Over one quarter of the Quran deals with the next life. That is understandable because for the Muslim, the real life is yet to come. Islam’s emphasis on the next life does not dismiss participation in affairs of this life, neither does it encourage a life of self-denial. Islam is against today’s materialism that chokes the spirit, but it is also against extended withdrawal from society.
Judgment is necessary. The idea that truly evil people in this world can escape punishment simply by dying is unfair and unimaginable. Can Adolph Hitler escape retribution? Think of all the abused children, war-crimes, mistreated animals, thefts, and rapes. The view that holds that humans are just intelligent animals who live only once is an open license for irresponsible behavior. It opens the door to the belief that if you can get away with your crime, so be it. Islam contends that such an attitude is inconsistent with God's perfect Justice that demands that people are held accountable for what they did.
Rules of Engagement on Judgment Day
The rules of engagement have been clearly laid down in the Quran and by the Prophet of Islam :
1- Perfect Justice
God will judge between people with perfect justice. God’s court will not discriminate based on race, color, sex, or mere verbal affiliation to a religion. No person will be treated unjustly in the least.
2- Each on His Own
God’s justice will judge everyone individually; no one will bear the sins of the other.
3- Written Records
People will be handed their personal “diary” containing all their deeds, the good and the bad.
4- Divine Grace
The Prophet of Islam informed us
God Almighty has divided mercy into one hundred parts. He kept ninety-nine parts and sent down one part to earth. Because of that one single part, creatures are merciful to one another so that even the mare will lift its hooves away from its foal so that it does not trample on it
Our Choices in This World Matters
Everyone will stand to be judged by a Fair, Just, and Merciful God about the choices they made in this life. Those who possessed faith and did more good will be admitted into Paradise. Those who rejected faith and did more evil will be punished in Hell.
- Paradise is not God’s residence or a spiritual state of everlasting communion with God as some think.
- The Quran describes it as a beautiful and wonderful place that awaits those who believe in God, His prophets, and do righteous good deeds.
- Paradise is a spiritual and sensual residence of pleasure in which all of one’s senses will be gratified to the fullest.
- It is an abode of manifold enjoyments for the faithful; its dwellers will not feel the least pain or sadness, a place where every aspiration will be finally realized.
- It is a place of peace, with rivers and fruits, sweet smells, goblets of gold, and the shade of God Himself.
- The Quran tells us that the joys of Paradise are beyond our comprehension.
- Both men and women will live in Paradise.
- The people of Paradise will be happy and experience true inner peace.
- Just as the good will be rewarded for their efforts, those who rejected God and rebelled against His laws will face punishment.
- The Fire of Hell is described to serve as a warning about the consequences of the choices people make in this life.
- In Islam, Hell is depicted as a fierce fire that will burn and punish those who are caged in it.
- Hell is a place of intense heat and suffering, with boiling water, hot wind, and black smoke.
- In Hell, people are burned and dragged in chains.
- They are given boiling water to drink and thorny plants to eat.
- There is no relief for the punished.
- The only people who will be eternally punished in Hell without escape are those who disbelieve in God and associate others with Him in their worship.
- Those who believe in God may spend some time in Hell for sins that they committed during their lives. Sins such as arrogance, pride, murder, oppression, immorality, slander, and miserliness may be punished if they are not repented for before death. Similarly, one may be punished for being neglectful of duties owed to God.