What is meant by the Reckoning and requital is that Allah will make His slaves stand before Him, and He will remind them of the deeds that they did, the words that they said, the faith or kufr that they followed in this world, whether they followed the Straight Path or deviated from it, whether they were obedient or disobedient. He will tell them what rewards or punishments they deserve, and the slaves will be given their books (records of their deeds) in their right hands if they were righteous and in their left hands if they were evil.
The Reckoning includes what Allah will say to His slaves, what they will say to Him, the proof and evidence that will be established against them, the testimony of the witnesses and the weighing of their deeds.
Some of the Reckoning will be difficult, and some will be easy; some of it will involve honouring and some will involve rebuking; some will involve generosity and forgiveness, and the One Who is in charge of that is the Most Generous.
Our Lord has described for us the scene of the Reckoning and requital on the Day of Reckoning. Allah (SWT) says: “And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord [Allah, when He will come to judge among men], and the Book will be placed [open], and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward, and it will be judged between them with truth, and they will not be wronged” (Qur ‘an 39: 69)
The Messengers will be brought forth in the arena of judgement and reckoning, and will be asked about the matter with which Allah entrusted them, namely the conveying of the Revelation of Allah to those to whom they were sent. And they will testify against their people concerning what they know about them.
On that great Day the witnesses will stand up and testify against the people, speaking of what they did. These witnesses are the angels who used to record everything that a person did. The Prophets and scholars will also testify against people, as will the earth, the sky, nights and days.
The sinners among them will be brought forth; these are the ones who rejected the Messengers and rebelled against their Lord, and were arrogant in the earth. They will be bound in fetters, wearing garments of pitch.
Because of the intensity of the horrors, the nations will be brought to their knees when the people are called for the reckoning, because of the enormity of what they are witnessing and the state they are in.
This is a great and majestic scene indeed. We ask Allah to save us by His grace, bounty and generosity.
The Principles according to which the People will be brought to Account
1) Perfect justice which is not contaminated by any element of injustice. “Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of an atom [or a small ant]” (Qur ‘an 4 : 40)
2) No one will be responsible for the sin of another. Except those whom he Misguides by his words and deeds, just as those who call people to true guidance will receive the reward for what they do as well as the like of the reward of those who follow their guidance and benefit from their knowledge. So the fact that those misguided people misguide others is an action on their part for which they will have to face the consequences.
3) Showing the people the deeds that they had sent forth; (The Book).
The way in which the people will be shown what they sent forth of deeds will be by means of their being given the books of their deeds, which they will read. Our Lord has told us that He has appointed two angels to each one of us, to record our righteous and evil deeds. When a person dies, a seal is placed on his book, and when the Day of Resurrection comes, each person will be given his book and will be told, ‘Read your book; you are sufficient as a reckoner against yourself this Day.‘ This is a book which includes all of a person’s deeds, great and small alike.
4) Multiplication of Hasanaat (good deeds) but not of sayi’aat (bad deeds) Abu Dharr R.A. said: “The trusted truthful [i.e., the last Prophet ﷺ] told us that his Lord told him: ‘The Hasanah is for ten like it or more, and the sayi’ah is one, or I will forgive it. And if you meet Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, so long as you did not associate anything in worship with Me, I will meet you with forgiveness nearly as great as the earth. “‘ (Ahmed & Haakim, Authenticated by Sheikh Albani)
What people will be Questioned about
1) Kufr and shirk. The most serious matter about which people will be questioned is their kufr and shirk. Allah will question them about the partners and rivals which they used to worship instead of Allah. “And it will be said to them: ‘Where are those [the false gods whom you used to set up as rivals with Allah] that you used to worship. Instead of Allah? Can they help you or [even] help themselves?‘” (Qur ‘an 26: 92-93)
They will be questioned about their worship of [false gods] other than Allah, when they offered sacrifices to the gods whom they used to worship. And they will be questioned about their rejection of the Messengers.
2) What they did in this world. On the Day of Resurrection, a man will be asked about all the deeds which he did in this world, as Allah says: “So, by your Lord, [O’ Muhammad], We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do” (Qur’an 15: 92-93)
The Prophet ﷺ said: “The son of Adam will not be released from his Lord’s presence on the Day of Resurrection until he has been questioned about five things: his life and how he spent it, his youth and how he used it, his wealth and how he earned it and spent it, and what he did with the knowledge he gained.” (Tirmidhi)
3) The luxuries that they enjoyed. “Then, on that Day, you shall be asked about the delight [you indulged in, in this world” (Qur’an 102:8) That is, the delights of a full stomach, cool water, the shade of dwellings, an even-tempered nature and the joy of sleep. The delights referred to in the aayah are not limited to those mentioned in these interpretations, because the kinds of joy and delight are innumerable, food, health, sight, ability to heat, talk, family etc.
Some people do not realize the great blessings that Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon them. They do not appreciate the blessing of having, water to drink and food to eat, or the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon them in their homes, spouses and children. They think that luxury means having palaces, gardens and fancy means of transportation.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “There are two blessings which many people do not appreciate: good health and free time.” (Bukhari)
What this means is that they fail to appreciate these two blessings fully, and they do not fulfil the duties associated with them, and whoever does not fulfil the duties associated with a thing does not appreciate it fully.
The questioning about blessings and luxuries will be to question whether a person was grateful for the blessings that Allah bestowed upon him. And that these were used in the right way.
4) Promises and covenants, Every covenant among people that does not involve anything that is Haraam, Allah will ask them whether they fulfilled it: “… And fulfil [every] covenant. Verily, the covenant will be questioned about” (Qur’an 17: 34)
5) Hearing, sight and hearts, “And follow not [O’ man, i.e., say not, or do not, or witness not] that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned [by Allah].” (Qur’an 17: 36)
Qataadah said: “Do not say, ‘ I saw’ when you did not see, or ‘I heard’ when you did not hear, or ‘I know’ when you do not know, for Allah will ask you about all of that. “
Ibn Katheer said: “The implication of what is mentioned in the aayah is that Allah forbids us to speak without knowledge, i.e., conjecture or suspicion which is based on imagination.
The First of his Deeds for which a Person will be brought to Account
The first of his duties towards Allah for which a person will be brought to account will be his Salaah (prayer). If his prayer is good he will succeed and prosper, otherwise he will be a loser and doomed.
How the people will be given their Books (Book of Deeds)
At the end of the Reckoning, each person will be given his book containing a complete record of the deeds which he did in this life. The ways in which the people will be given their books will vary. The believer will be given his book in his right hand, from the front, and his reckoning will be easy, then he will return to his family in Paradise in joy.
When the believer will look at what his record contains, of Tawheed and righteous deeds, he will be happy and will rejoice, and he will raise his voice to announce this joy. “Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand will say: ‘Here! Read my Record! Surely, I did believe that I shall meet my Account! ‘So he shall be in a life, well-pleasing. In a lofty Paradise, the fruits in bunches whereof will be low and near at hand. Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!” (Qur’an 69: 19-24)
As for the disbeliever, munaafiq (hypocrite) and people of misguidance, they will be given their books in their left hands from behind their backs. At that point the kaafir will raise his voice with cries of woe, praying against himself. “But whosoever is given his Record behind his back, He will invoke [for his] destruction, And he shall enter a blazing Fire, and made to taste its burning.” (Qur’an 84:10-12)
SUMMARY DESCRIBING THE SCENE OF THE RECKONING:
“When the people are resurrected from their graves to the place (of Judgement), they will stand therein for as long as Allah (SWT) wills, barefoot and naked. Then the time of reckoning will come when Allah wills to bring them to account. He will command that the books in which the honourable scribes (angels) recorded the deeds of mankind be brought forth. Among them will be some who will be given their books in their right hands. These are the blessed (those who are to enter Paradise). Others will be given their books in their left hands or from behind their backs. They are the doomed (those who are to enter Hell). At that point each person will read his book.
Imagine yourself when the books fly forth and the Balance is set up, and you are called by name before all of creation: where is So and so the son of So and so? Come to have your record examined before Allah. Angels will be dispatched to fetch you, and they will bring you closer to Allah. There will be no problem posed by the similarity of names to your name and your father’s name. You will know that you are the one who is being called. Your heart will be filled with fear and your limbs will start to tremble. You will start to panic, your colour will change and your heart will sink. You will be taken through the ranks to your Lord, to be examined by Him and to stand before Him. The eyes of all creatures will be upon you, and you will be standing, before them all. Your heart will sink and you will be filled with intense terror, because you will know what is going to happen.
Imagine yourself, standing before your Lord, holding in your hands the book that speaks of your deeds. It will not overlook any terrible deed that you did and concealed, or any secret that you kept. You will read the book’s contents nervously, with a broken heart, faced with terrors from in front and behind. How many forgotten terrible actions will you remember now! How many bad deeds which you had concealed will be made known now! How many deeds which you took for granted were sincere and acceptable will now be thrown back at you in that place and cancelled out, after you had pinned such great hopes on them! How much regret will fill your heart and how sorry you will feel for your negligence in obeying your Lord!
The one who is given his book in his right hand will know that he is one of the people of Paradise, and will say, “Here, read my Record!” He will come forth and a white book will be brought out for him, in the middle of which are his sayi ‘aat and on the outside of which are his Hasanaat. He will start by reading the record of his sayi ‘aat and he will be scared; his face will turn yellow and his colour will change. When he reaches the end of his book, it will say, ‘These are your sayi’aat, and you are forgiven for them.’ He will be filled with great joy, then he will tum the book over and will read his Hasanaat, and his joy will only increase further. At the end of the book, he will find the words, these are your Hasanaat, which are multiplied for you. Then his face will turn white, and a crown will be brought and placed on his head. He will be dressed in two garments and every joint of his body will be adorned. He will grow to a height of sixty cubits, which was the height of Adam, and it will be said to him, ‘Go to your companions and tell them the glad tidings, tell them that each one among them will have the same.’
If a man was a leader of evil, who called others to evil and enjoined it upon them, and persisted in doing it regularly, he will be called by his name and the name of his father. He will come forth and a black book will be brought out for him, in the middle of which will be his Hasanaat and on the outside of which are his sayi’aat. The reckoning will start with his Hasanaat, which he will read and will think that he will be saved. When he reaches the end of his book, it will say, these are your Hasanaat, and they are rejected. Then his face will turn black, and he will be overwhelmed with grief and despair. Then he will tum the book over and read his sayi ‘aat. His grief will only increase further, and his face will turn even blacker. When he reaches the end of the book, he will find the words, these are your sayi’aat, which are multiplied for you – i.e., the punishment will be multiplied for him, it does not mean that things that he did not do will be added to his record. Then he will be taken to the Fire; his eyes will tum blue and his face will tum black, and he will be clothed in garments of pitch. ‘Then fasten him’ it is said, (this means) his neck will be fastened in it, then he will be dragged by it. If one link of this chain were to be placed on a mountain, it would melt.
He will call out to his companions, ‘Do you recognize me?’ They will say, ‘No, but we see the grief on your face. Who are you?’ He will say, ‘I am So and so the son of So and so, and each of you will have the same as I have.’
Imagine yourself, if you are one of the blessed, going out before all of creation with a joyful face, having attained perfection and beauty, with your book in your right hand, seized under the arms by an angel who will call out before the people, ‘This is So and so the son of So and so, he has attained happiness and will never feel sorrow again.’ But if you are one of the doomed, your face will turn black and you will pass the people with your book in your left hand, or behind your back. You will utter cries of woe and an angel will seize you under the arms and call out before all the people: ‘So and so is doomed to a state of misery and will never feel happy again! “‘
May Allah give us the Hidaayah to work to be amongst the blessed ones, who get their books in their right hands by His Mercy!
When the Day of Resurrection comes, a man’s wealth and capital will be his hasanaat (good deeds). If he had done wrong to any people, they will take from his hasanaat to the extent that he mistreated them. If he does not have any hasanaat, or if his hasanaat run out, then some of their sayi ‘aat (bad deeds) will be taken and added to his burden.
The weighing of deeds takes place after the reckoning is over. Reckoning is meant to decide the deeds carried out by the servant in this life, and weighing shows their value and decides the commensurate recompense”.
The first to drink from it will be the Prophet ﷺ, followed by his Ummah, while the disbelievers and a group of disobedient people and those who commit of major sins and the people who innovate in the Religion will be barred from it.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “I will be the first one among you to reach the cistern, and some men among you will come to me, but when I offer them something to drink, it will be snatched away from them in front of me. I will say, ‘O’ Lord, my companions!’ He will say, ‘You do not know what they did after you were gone.“‘ (Bukhari & Muslim)
Some may be kept away for a while, then brought close after being forgiven, if their changes were in the matter of deeds and not in the matter of beliefs (‘aqeedah).
People will vary in the ways in which they pass over the siraat. Some will pass in the blink of an eye, some will pass like lightning, some will pass like the wind, some will pass like swift horses, some will pass like fast camels, some will walk, some will crawl, and some will be thrown into Hell. No one will pass over this siraat except the believers only.
Ququbi said: “Think now of how your heart will be filled with terror when you see the Siraaf and how narrow it is, then your gaze falls upon the blackness of Hell beneath it. Then your ears are filled with the angry roaring of Hell, and you are commanded to walk on the Siraat, even though you are so weak, your heart is pounding, your feet are trembling and your back is so weighed down with the burden of your sins that you can hardly walk on the land, let alone the narrow edge of the Siraat. How will it be when you put one of your feet upon it, and you feel how sharp it is, and you are forced to lift your other foot, and other people are ahead of you, slipping and stumbling, and the keepers of Hell are grabbing them with hooks and spikes, and you can see them tilting their heads down towards Hell and lifting their feet. What a terrifying scene it will be. How difficult it will be to cross this narrow space! “
“Imagine yourself, when you are on the Siraat, and you look at Hell beneath you, black and filled with darkness, with its intense heat and leaping flames, and you are alternately walking and crawling across it. ” End Quote
So REPENT NOW, and ask forgiveness to Allah, He is the Oft Forgiving, the Most Merciful, work to gather good deeds that will help you in this very difficult situation this is how a believer prepares for the future not to have bank balance and think that is your security!
This is a summary of what has been narrated concerning the passing of the people over the siraat, which will vary according to their deeds.
Whoever used to hasten in this world to obey and worship Allah will be quickest in passing over the siraat.
May Allah make us all amongst the blessed ones, who hasten to do good, who get their book of deeds in their right hands and pass by the Siraat without falling into the Hell fire.