PEOPLE ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

All of the events related so far begin with hearing a previously unrecognized sound at an unexpected time. All people who had thought until that moment that everything would remain unchanged and undamaged will be proven wrong.

Everything that takes place just before the trumpet sounds is no different from the day before. Earth is revolving at the same pace, the Sun is illuminating our planet, life goes on, and many people continue to live according to their habitual routines without wondering why and by whom they were created and what end they will meet. People will be thinking about the meal to be served that night, focusing on an upcoming business meeting, shopping, or sleeping, and many will be denying Allah's existence when they hear this sound. Everything will begin and end in one instant.

Their bodies, which people think of as strong and brag about, will be unexpectedly gripped by death from all sides. Their only concern will be for survival. Out of sheer terror, people will cease to care about the things that they so valued, craved, and took risks for while alive.

All of this fear, terror, and shock results from their living in ignorance. The Day's unbearable hardship will never cease to pursue the unbelievers. Each unfolding event will increase their panic and terror, and each passing moment will bring fresh suffering and peril. The awesome events they encounter will demonstrate Allah's majesty, Whom they had denied until then. Humanity, who will be utterly weak and helpless in the face of this power, will be able to do nothing but feel remorse, helplessness, and fear. As the seconds pass, their realization of the frightening punishment that Allah has prepared for them in the Hereafter will only increase. During these frightening minutes, they will encounter only a fraction of the suffering awaiting them. The Qur'an recounts this fear in some detail.

 

People's Fear

Allah tells people that although they passionately cling to the worldly life, their passion will not benefit them in the Hereafter. All of the things that they value, hold dear, and take risks for will bring nothing but loss if they were not done to win Allah's good pleasure. Every worldly attraction has been created as a test for humanity. The true life is in the Hereafter as the Qur'an reveals:

To mankind the love of worldly appetites is painted in glowing colors: women and children, heaped-up mounds of gold and silver, horses with fine markings, and livestock and fertile farmland. All of that is merely the enjoyment of the life of this world. The best homecoming is in the presence of Allah. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 14)

People desperately desire the worldly attractions mentioned in the verses, and can spend their entire lives pursuing them. The Qur'an says the following about the worldly life:

Know that the life of this world is merely a game and a diversion, and ostentation and a cause of boasting among yourselves, and trying to outdo one another in wealth and children: like the plant-growth after rain, which delights the cultivators, but then it withers and you see it turning yellow, and then it becomes broken stubble. In the Hereafter, there is terrible punishment but also forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but the enjoyment of delusion. (Surat al-Hadid, 20)

For some, one of life's biggest ambitions is to show off one's wealth, sons and daughters, and other valuables. One of the most highly prized possessions is children. This is true for all societies and is pointed out specifically in the Qur'an. The desire to have children is learned at a young age. Children are simultaneously a cause for unnecessary competition between people as well as a source of reassurance for their future.

Another ambition is the craving for property and wealth. As we know, people's aims, plans and efforts center around these ambitions. The craving for money and wealth clouds people's vision, moral values lose their importance, and materialism becomes the defining factor for their character. The Qur'an's morality, together with its commands and prohibitions, lose their precedence; amassing wealth becomes a goal itself, and personal gain becomes preeminent in relationships.

On the Day of Judgment, however, everything will be reversed. People will forget all about what they used to value, for now they will realize that the objects of their desires have no more meaning. Their values will alter in moments, for wealth and children will have no value and parental emotions will lose their meaning. In the face of this Day's terror, they will forget their most loved people: their children. No one will remember his or her children, much less inquiring about their well-being. In every way, this will be a very hard Day for the unbelievers.

On the Day, the sky is like molten brass and the mountains like tufts of colored wool. No good friend will ask about his friend, even though they can see each other. An evildoer will wish that he could ransom himself from the punishment of that Day by means of his sons, his wife, his brother, or his family who sheltered him or everyone else on Earth, if that only meant that he could save himself. (Surat al-Ma‘arij, 8-14)

The Day when Heaven is split apart in clouds, and the angels are sent down rank upon rank. The Kingdom that Day will belong in truth to the All-Merciful. It will be a hard Day for the unbelievers. (Surat al-Furqan, 25-26)

Families will desert infants, and people will be confused as to what to do. The fear will strike so suddenly and forcefully that pregnant women will miscarry and mothers will forget about their breast-feeding children:

On the day they see it, every nursing woman will be oblivious of the baby at her breast, and every pregnant woman will abort the contents of her womb... (Surat al-Hajj, 2)

All people who rejected the appeals to believe and so became oblivious to their only true friend and creator, Allah, will want to avoid one another. They will be so preoccupied with themselves, that friendship, lineage, and family bonds will cease to exist:

The Day a man will flee from his brother and his mother and his father, and his wife and his children. On that Day every man among them will have concerns enough of his own. (Surah ‘Abasa, 34-37)

 

People Will Act as if Drunk

People will lose all their calmness, self-control, and, self-confidence. When death is met, everything loses its value, and facial expressions, behavior, and speech all change.

We witness people's fear and terror in the face of death in films. Their responses are enough to explain their state of mind. In most scenarios, people have a hope, no matter how slim, of escaping. Even those who realize that death has come do not know what is awaiting them, or they simply believe that they will become nothingness. However, this Day's events will leave no doubt in people's mind that escape is impossible, even before death comes to them. The unbelievers will find themselves confronted with a Day that they did not expect to meet, despite being warned of it, a Day on which the existence of a Creator and a Sustainer of the universe will become clear for everyone to see, but also on which everything will be destroyed in submission to His will.

They never reflected on what comes after death, because they did not believe in Allah's or the Hereafter's existence, but they will come to realize clearly Allah's existence and power. They also will realize that there is no hope for salvation and that their new life is eternal. Their eternal suffering and sorrow will be incomparably worse than that Day's events, and the Qur'an says that the unbelievers will prefer death over such a life:

We have warned you of an imminent punishment on the Day when a man will see what he has done, and the unbeliever will say: "Oh, if only I were dust!" (Surat an-Naba', 40)

People's panic, terror and astonishment will make them appear drunk, for:

. . . And you will think people drunk when they are not drunk; it is just that the punishment of Allah is so severe. (Surat al-Hajj, 2)

The physical and behavioral changes in people experiencing extreme fear are very similar to those of drunken people. In such instances, dizziness, hysteria, and impeded sight are common.

As we see from what has been revealed so far, people will experience great panic on that hard day. Allah compares this chilling fear and the resulting behavior to drunkenness, for people will display uncontrolled behavior and run from place to place as if drunk. Allah makes a comparison in the Qur'an:

It is the Day when mankind will be like scattered moths. (Surat al-Qari‘a, 4)

 

The Terror in Their Eyes

And [when] the True Promise is very close, the eyes of those who did not believe will be transfixed: "Alas for us! We were unmindful of this! No, rather we were definitely wrongdoers." (Surat al-Anbiya', 97)

The eyes are the first organs to reveal people's fear. The eyes of people who witness the fearful events of that Day will spring from their sockets in terror. The phrase "the eyes of those who did not believe will be transfixed" describes the scale of their fear. Instantly, the pupils widen, the whites of the eyes are exposed, and they freeze. All people will taste this fear, and nothing can prevent what is coming in the face of hair-raising events. The only thing they feel will be terror.

Children

How will you safeguard yourselves, if you disbelieve, against a Day that will turn children gray. (Surat al-Muzzammil, 17)

This fear will even grip small children. Children who do not understand this Day's true nature and that this is the first day of eternal damnation for unbelievers will have a different kind of fear. People will be full of remorse for their wrongdoings during their temporary worldly lives; but children, who lack the capacity to comprehend what is happening, will have their hair turned gray. Such a physical change is an important illustration of that Day's severity. People have seen many calamities, and they have instilled a deep fear into their hearts and affected them severely. But none of these, when compared to this Day's events, will be shocking enough to turn the children's hair gray.

 

Animals

Try to imagine wild animals, leopards, lions, wolves, jackals, bears… These animals will cease to fight with one another and come together due to these events. It is clearly an awe-inspiring sight to see thousands of wild animals like this. Allah reveals in many verses that major changes will affect Earth and humanity on the Day of Judgment. Likewise, wild animals will be completely affected, as the Qur'an relates:

When the camels in foal are neglected, when the wild beasts are all herded together. (Surat at-Takwir, 4-5)