Hisaab: Reckoning on the Day of Judgement
A Muslim also believes that on the Day of Judgment God the Almighty will take the account of all good and bad deeds of his slaves. Thus Allah has proclaimed:
مَنْ جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ خَيْرٌ مِنْهَا ۖ وَمَنْ جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَى الَّذِينَ عَمِلُوا السَّيِّئَاتِ إِلَّا مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ (القصص : 84)
(Translation of meaning) [“Whoso bringeth a good deed, he will have better than the same; while as for him who bringeth an ill deed, those who do ill deeds will be requited only what they did” (Al-Qasas; 84)].
Allah has appointed angels to record all deeds of men. According to a tradition, the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
«يَا عِبَادِي إِنَّمَا هِيَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ أُحْصِيهَا لَكُمْ، ثُمَّ أُوَفِّيكُمْ إِيَّاهَا، فَمَنْ وَجَدَ خَيْرًا، فَلْيَحْمَدِ اللهَ وَمَنْ وَجَدَ غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ، فَلَا يَلُومَنَّ إِلَّا نَفْسَهُ» )مسلم(
(Translation of meaning) On the Day of Judgment Allah will declare: O my slaves! This is the record of all your deeds. I will compensate you for all this. Those who get better rewards should praise their Creator and those who got otherwise should only blame themselves (Muslim).
On that day the rewards of Garden or Hell will be made on the basis of justice. Everybody will be handed over the book of his deeds. In the holy Quran Allah declares:
وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَائِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَاباً يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُوراً (13) اقْرَأْ كِتَابَكَ كَفَى بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيباً (14) (الإسراء 13 – 14)
(Translation of meaning) [“And every man’s augury have We fastened to his own neck, and We shall bring forth for him on the Day of Resurrection a book which he will find wide open. [And it will be said unto him]: Read thy book. Thy soul sufficeth as reckoner against thee this day” (Al-Isra: 13-14).
According to another Quranic dictum:
لَقَدْ أَحْصَاهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدّاً (94) وَكُلُّهُمْ آتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَرْداً (95) (مريم: 94 ، 95)
(Translation of meaning) [“Certainly He has enclosed them all and counted them all and all of them will present themselves on the Day of Resurrection one by one” (Maryam: 94-95)
The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)said:
«مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا وَسَيُكَلِّمُهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ، لَيْسَ بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَبَيْنَهُ تُرْجُمَانٌ، ثُمَّ يَنْظُرُ فَلاَ يَرَى شَيْئًا قُدَّامَهُ، ثُمَّ يَنْظُرُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ فَتَسْتَقْبِلُهُ النَّارُ، فَمَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يَتَّقِيَ النَّارَ وَلَوْ بِشِقِّ تَمْرَةٍ» (البخاري)
(Translation of meaning) “There will be none of you who Allah does not speak to directly on the Day of Judgment. [On that day] There will be no mediator between Allah and him” (Al-Bukhari).
On the Day of Judgment only those will be subjected to interrogation whose sins are enormous. As narrated by Hadrat Ayesha (RadhiAllahu Anha) the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: One who is subjected to give an account of his deed on the Day of Judgment shall perish. Hadrat Ayesha (RadhiAllahu Anha) asked him; O Messenger of Allah, it is said in the Quran that those who get their accounts in their right hands shall be reckoned lightly:
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ (7) فَسَوْفَ يُحَاسَبُ حِسَاباً يَسِيراً (8) (الإنشقاق: 7 ، 8)
(Translation of meaning) [“However, those whose accounts are given in their right hands shall be accounted lightly” (Al-Inshiqaq: 7-8)]. The Messenger of Allah said here accountability means merely their presence before God. But those are made to give their accounts are bound to receive their punishment.
On the day of resurrection, everybody will be given his record of deeds in his hand. This record will contain all the deeds whether good or evil. A believer will be given his record of deeds in his right hand, upon which, he will rejoice, while the disbelievers will be given their record of deeds in their left hands upon which, they will know that the hell will be their abode.
This procedure of reckoning has been vividly described in the holy Quran in these words:
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَيَقُولُ هَاؤُمْ اقْرَءُوا كِتَابِيَهْ (19) إِنِّي ظَنَنتُ أَنِّي مُلاقٍ حِسَابِيَهْ (20) فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَاضِيَةٍ (21) فِي جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ (22) قُطُوفُهَا دَانِيَةٌ (23) كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئاً بِمَا أَسْلَفْتُمْ فِي الأَيَّامِ الْخَالِيَةِ (24) وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِشِمَالِهِ فَيَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَابِيَهْ (25) وَلَمْ أَدْرِ مَا حِسَابِيَهْ (26) يَا لَيْتَهَا كَانَتْ الْقَاضِيَةَ (27) مَا أَغْنَى عَنِّي مَالِيَهْ (28) هَلَكَ عَنِّي سُلْطَانِيَهْ (29) خُذُوهُ فَغُلُّوهُ (30) ثُمَّ الْجَحِيمَ صَلُّوهُ (31) (الحاقة: 19-31(
(Translation of meaning) [“Then, as for him who is given his record in his right hand, he will say: Take, read my book! Surely I knew that I should have to meet my reckoning. Then he will be in a blissful state. In a high Garden. Whereof the clusters are of easy reach. [And it will be said unto those therein]: Eat and drink at ease for that which ye sent on before you in past days. But for which is given his record in his left hand, he will say: Oh, would that I had not been given my book. And knew not my reckoning! Oh, would that it had been death! My wealth hath not availed me; My power hath gone from me. [It will be said]: Take him and fetter him. And then expose him to hell-fire” (Al-Haqqah: 19-31)].
On the day of reckoning, some persons’ account will be light and they will be reckoned lightly. Only they will receive a record of their deeds, their sins forgiven and Paradise made their reward. Contrarily, the accounts of some people will be heavy and they will be subjected to strict reckoning, made to answer to all questions about their deeds, and will face ignominy before those assembled.
The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
«لَا تَزُولُ قَدَمَا عَبْدٍ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ حَتَّى يُسْأَلَ عَنْ عُمُرِهِ فِيمَا أَفْنَاهُ، وَعَنْ عِلْمِهِ فِيمَ فَعَلَ، وَعَنْ مَالِهِ مِنْ أَيْنَ اكْتَسَبَهُ وَفِيمَ أَنْفَقَهُ، وَعَنْ جِسْمِهِ فِيمَ أَبْلَاهُ» (الترمذي)
(Translation of meaning) No man could move away from the presence of Allah unless he has been questioned about the purposes for which he spent the life-span given to him; about how far did he practice the knowledge given to him; about wherefrom did he earn his money and where did he spend it; and about how did he use the body which was given to him, (Tirmidhi).
One manifestation of the Day of Judgment will be that some people shall be admitted to the Garden without being subjected to reckoning. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that
«يَدْخُلُ مِنْ أُمَّتِي الْجَنَّةَ سَبْعُونَ أَلْفًا بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ» (مسلم).
(Translation of meaning) Almost seventy thousands of my community shall enter the Garden without any reckoning (Muslim).
The Day of Judgment will be a peculiar day: At the time of reckoning a number of witnesses shall be produced who will give their testimony. Allah has pronounced:
حَتَّى إِذَا مَا جَاءُوهَا شَهِدَ عَلَيْهِمْ سَمْعُهُمْ وَأَبْصَارُهُمْ وَجُلُودُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ (20) (فصلت: 20)
(Translation of meaning) [“Till, when they reach it, their ears and their eyes and their skins testify against them as to what they used to do” (Fussilat: 20)].
In another place it is said:
يَوْمَ تَشْهَدُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَلْسِنَتُهُمْ وَأَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ (النور: 24)
(Translation of meaning) [“That day their tongues and hands and feet will testify against them regarding what they used to do” (An-Nur: 24)].
Even the earth will testify about what was committed on its surface. Thus Allah says:
إِذَا زُلْزِلَتْ الأَرْضُ زِلْزَالَهَا (1) وَأَخْرَجَتْ الأَرْضُ أَثْقَالَهَا (2) وَقَالَ الإِنسَانُ مَا لَهَا (3) يَوْمَئِذٍ تُحَدِّثُ أَخْبَارَهَا (4) بِأَنَّ رَبَّكَ أَوْحَى لَهَا (5) يَوْمَئِذٍ يَصْدُرُ النَّاسُ أَشْتَاتاً لِيُرَوْا أَعْمَالَهُمْ (6) فَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْراً يَرَه (7) وَمَنْ يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرّاً يَرَه (8) (الزلزال: 1 – 8)
(Translation of meaning) [“When the earth is shaken with its [final] earthquake. And the earth yields up her burdens. And man saith: What aileth it? That day it will relate her chronicles. Because thy Lord inspireth it. That day mankind will issue forth in scattered groups to be shown their deeds. And whoso doeth good an atom’s weight will see it then. And whoso doeth ill an atom’s weight will see it then” (Az-Zilzal: 1-8)].
Hadrat Abu Hurairah (RadhiAllahu Anhu) has narrated that: When the Prophet sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam recited this Ayat that يَوْمَئِذٍ تُحَدِّثُ أَخْبَارَهَا “On that day the earth will tell its chronicles” he asked his Companions do you know what is meant by the chronicles of the earth. The companions replied “Allah and His messenger know better ” Then Allah’s messenger (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that chronicles mean that the earth will report against every nation and individual about what acts were committed by them and on what times. These are the chronicles of the earth (Tirmizi and Nasai).
On the Day of Judgment one’s money will also testify in one’s favour or against him. If he spent his money to help the poor, the destitute, the orphans and the needy journeymen then his money will testify in his favour. But if the money was obtained illegitimately then it will be like food consumed but which does not satisfy hunger. On the Last Day this money will testify against him.
Every Muslim also knows that on the Day of Resurrection the first thing which shall be the subject of questioning will be one’s salat. If it is held to be performed properly then his all other deeds will be held as good. But if it is held to be performed defectively then his all other deeds will be judged as defective and rejected. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
« أَوَّلَ مَا يُنْظَرُ فِيهِ مِنْ عَمَلِ الْعَبْدِ الصَّلاَةُ. فَإِنْ قُبِلَتْ، نُظِرَ فِيمَا بَقِي مِنْ عَمَلِهِ. وَإِنْ لَمْ تُقْبَلْ مِنْهُ، لَمْ يُنْظَرْ فِي عَمَلِهِ. » (مؤطا أمام مالك)
(Translation of meaning) The first proceeding of the Day of Judgment shall be the scrutiny of one’s salat. If it is found perfect it will be accepted from the performer along with all the rest of his deeds; but if found defective it will be returned to him along with the rest of his deeds (Malik). So far as the rights of the slaves of God are concerned, the first thing that will have to be reckoned with will be the blood [murder]. In inter-personal matters, the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: The first object of questioning shall be the blood (Al-Bukhari & Muslim). Thereafter, it will be followed by questioning about one’s life-span and how was it utilized.