The Last Day, the Last Judgment

The story of the Last Day can be found in both the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament. It reaches its climax in the expressive language of Revelation, the final of the Bible. In Isaiah and Daniel, the prophets receive a revelation during an ecstatic rapture. Likewise, the book Revelation is also the result of the visionary experience of someone named John. The relevant passages in the gospels are prophetic words ascribed to Jesus. The Last Day is mentioned many times in the Qur’an, with certain surahs describing various aspects, such as The Day of Noise, and Clamor, The Convulsion, and The Folding Up (of the heavens).

In this way, the faithful are reminded over and over again that they will be judged individually by what they have done and failed to do. As elsewhere in the Qur’an, these stories about the Last Day are messages from God given to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel.
Similar images used in the Qur’an and the Bible are both expressive and detailed. Both books speak of trumpets and descending angels heralding catastrophes: earthquakes, falling stars and a darkened sun. In both books, the sky is rolled up like a scroll. Conflict and war play key roles on the Last Day; enmity abounds.  

In the Bible, the Last Day is also characterized by natural disasters, such as the contamination of the seas, sicknesses and plagues. The Qur’an hardly mentions disease or plague, except in more general terms, referring to people who cause their own moral disease. Both books warn those who meddle with the Holy Books of terrible punishment: a warning the authors of this anthology take to heart!

Both books describe people awakened from death to be judged and sentenced. For the Qur’an, the resurrection is a natural progression from the creation of Adam and that of all children in the womb. It is the third creation.
After the Last Day, the end of (earthly) times, the Last Judgment will take place on the basis of evidence found in books. People are separated like sheep and goats: those on the right deserve heavenly bliss; those on the left deserve the fire of hell.

In the Bible, the function of judge devolves upon Jesus; in the Qur’an, Jesus is the witness, with God as Judge. Deciding whether this story, with its violent images, is to be taken literally, or in an allegorical mode, is left to the reader.


The Angel blew his trumpet
And I (John ed.) saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!” Revelation 8:2,7,13


Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will be limp, Every man’s heart will melt, And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; Behold, the day of the Lord comes, Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; Isaiah 13: 6-9
But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. Luke 21: 23

Plagues and sores

So the first (angel ed.)…poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men…Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. Revelation 16: 2, 8
Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. They were commanded…to harm only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. Revelation 9:3-6

If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. Revelation 22:18

Sun and moon darkened
Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up…Revelation 6:14

Therefore I will shake the heavens…the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine. Isaiah 13:13,10

…the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven…Matthew 24: 29

…and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.Revelation 6:12-13

Earthquakes and famines
And the earth will move out of her place…in the wrath of the Lord…Isaiah 13:13
And Jesus…began to say: “And there will be earthquakes in various places… These are the beginnings of sorrows. For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation… Mark13:5, 8, 19
…and behold there was a great earthquake; …and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. Revelation 6:12,14

Warriors of the Lord
Do you suppose that I (Jesus ed.) came to give peace on earth?… not at all, but rather division…from now on five in one house will be divided: Father will be divided against son and son against father…”

“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.”

Luke 12: 51-53; 21:10

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail… Revelation 12:7-8

Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. Revelation 6: 4

The graves open

Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves…Ezekiel 37: 12

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Daniel 12: 2

The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them.

And they were judged, each one according to his works. Revelation 20: 13

The return of Jesus as judge
…for He (the Lord ed.) is coming to judge the earth. 1 Chronicles 16: 33

Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. Mark 13: 26
For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Matthew 24: 27

…the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:2 Timothy 4:1

The dead judged
…He (The Lord ed.) is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity. Psalms 98:9

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it…I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God…. And the dead were judged according to their works… Revelation 20: 11-12

The Book of life
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His name. Malachi 3:16

And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1-2

And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

Revelation 20:12
And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15

Sheep and goats
Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked…Malachi 3:18

All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Matthew 25: 32-33

Reward or punishment
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 13: 49-50
And that You should reward Your servants small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelation11:18

Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:2-3


The day the trumpet is blown
And the Trumpet shall be blown; that will be the Day whereof Warning (had been given). 50 Qaf, 20
Then, when one blast is sounded on the Trumpet,– On that Day shall the (Great) Event come to pass. 69 The Sure Reality, 13,15

What is the (Day) of Noise and Clamor? (It is) a Day whereon men will be like moths scattered about, and the mountains will be like carded wool. 101 The Day of Noise and Clamor, 2, 4-5
The Day the heaven shall be rent asunder with clouds, and angels shall be sent down, descending (in ranks). 25 The Criterion, 25


When the sky is rent asunder, and hearkens to (the Command of) its Lord…And when the Earth is flattened out…84 The Rending Asunder:1-3
O Mankind! Fear your Lord! for the convulsion of the Hour (of Judgment) will be a thing terrible! The Day you shall see it, every mother giving suck shall forget her suckling- babe, and every pregnant female shall drop her load (unformed): you shall see mankind as in a drunken riot…

22 The Pilgrimage, 1-2

A grievous penalty

But those who strive against Our Signs, to frustrate them – for such will be a penalty – a punishment most humiliating. 34 The City of Saba, 5
Is it that there is a disease in their hearts? Or do they doubt, or are they in fear, that Allah and His Messenger will deal unjustly with them? Nay, it is they themselves who do wrong. 24 The Light, 50
In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: and grievous is the penalty they (incur), because they are false (to themselves). 2 The Heifer,10

But the transgressors changed the word from that which had been given them; so We sent on the transgressors a plague from heaven, for that they infringed (Our command) repeatedly. 2 The Heifer, 5

Heavens rolled up
The Day that We roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books…

21 The Prophets, 104

On the Day when the firmament will be in dreadful commotion. 52 The Mount, 9

The Day that the sky will be like molten brass… 70 The Ways of Ascent, 8

At length, when the sight is dazed, and the moon is buried in darkness. And the sun and moon are joined together…75 The Resurrection, 7-9

When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up; When the stars fall, losing their lustre; 81 The Folding Up, 1-2
When the Sky is cleft asunder; When the Stars are scattered.82 The Cleaving Asunder. 1-2

The Earth pulverized
When the earth is shaken to her (utmost) convulsion, and the earth throws up her burdens (from within), and man cries (distressed): ‘What is the matter with her?’ – On that Day will she declare her tidings: For that your Lord will have given her inspiration. 99 The Convulsion, 1-5
Nay! When the earth is pounded to powder… 89 The Break of Day, 21
When the mountains vanish (like a mirage). 81 The Folding Up, 3

Division and enmity
That Day shall a man flee from his own brother, and from his mother and his father, and from his wife and his children. 80 He Frowned, 34-36
Friends on that Day will be foes, one to another – except the Righteous.

43 The Gold Adornments, 67

By the (Steeds) that run, with panting (breath), and strike sparks of fire, and push home the charge in the morning, and raise the dust in clouds the while, and penetrate forthwith into the midst (of the foe) en masse; Truly man is to his Lord ungrateful; 100 Those that Run,1-6

The dead are raised

When we are (actually) dust, shall we indeed then be in a renewed creation?” 13 The Thunder, 5

Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones? Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers.

75 The Resurrection, 3-4

From the (earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again. 20 Ta-Ha 55
And when the graves are turned upside down; (Then) shall each soul know what it has sent forward and (what it has) kept back.

82 The Cleaving Asunder,4-5

God is Judge, Jesus witness
Will they wait until Allah comes to them in canopies of clouds, with angels (in His train)… 2 The Heifer, 210

…on the Day of Judgment He (Jesus ed.) will be a witness against them.

4 The Women, 141, 159

…Allah will judge. Betwixt you on the Day of Judgment.

Praise be to Allah… Master of the Day of Judgment. 1 The Opening, 2, 4

The Day of Judgment
That will be a Day of Sorting out! We shall gather you together and those before (you)! 77 Those Sent Forth 38
Then, he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) heavy, will be in a Life of good pleasure and satisfaction. But he whose balance (of good deeds) will be (found) light– will have his home in a (bottomless) Pit. 101The Day of Noise and Clamor, 6-9
Then anyone who has done an atom’s weight of good, shall see it! And anyone who has done an atom’s weight of evil, shall see it.

99 The Convulsion, 7-8

For us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds…42 Consultation,15

The record of deeds
And all things have We preserved on record. 78 The Great News, 29
Every man’s fate We have fastened on his own neck: On the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open. (It will be said to him:) “Read your (own) record: sufficient is your soul this day to make out an account against you.” 17 The Israelites, 13-14
And the Book (of Deeds) will be placed (before you); and you will see the sinful in great terror because of what is (recorded) therein; they will say: “Ah! woe to us! What a book is this! It leaves out nothing small or great, but takes account thereof!” They will find all that they did, placed before them: and not one will your Lord treat with injustice. 18 The Cave, 49

The Right and the left
When the Inevitable Event comes to pass… you shall be sorted out into three classes. Then (there will be) the Companions of the Right Hand… 56 The Inevitable Event, 1, 7-8
But those who reject Our Signs, they are the (unhappy) Companions of the Left Hand. On them will be Fire vaulted over (all round). 90 The City, 19-20

Hell or Paradise
When the Blazing Fire is kindled to fierce heat; And when the Garden is brought near; (Then) shall each soul know what it has put forward.

81 The Folding Up, 12-14
The Day when Man shall remember (all) that he strove for, and Hell-Fire shall be placed in full view for (all) to see-

Then, for such as had transgressed all bounds, and had preferred the life of this world, their Abode will be Hell-Fire; 79 Those Who Tear Out 35-39

Some faces that Day will be beaming, laughing, rejoicing. And other faces that Day will be dust-stained; Blackness will cover them.

80 He Frowned, 38-41

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