Harun Yahya

2. Resurrection - The Death of The Universe

In the Qur'an, it is stated that apart from all the created beings, the universe will also confront death. It is not only man who is mortal. All animals and plants die. Even the planets and stars die. Death is the destiny common to all that has been created. In Allah's Presence, on a predestined day, all people, all living beings, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the stars, in brief, all the material world will disappear. In the Qur'an, this day is called the "Day of Resurrection". This is "...the Day mankind will stand before the Lord of all the worlds" (Surat al-Mutaffifin: 6)

Just as the death of man is terrifying, so is the death of the universe. On the Day of Resurrection, those who did not have faith previously, will, for the first time, have an intense feeling of Allah's greatness and might. That is why the Day of Resurrection is a day of grief, torment, regret, pain and great confusion for unbelievers. A person witnessing the Day of Resurrection will be seized by some grave fear. This indefinable fear is hundreds of times more intense than all the fears one is likely to experience in this world. In the Qur'an Allah provides account of each phase of the Day of Resurrection. How this great event will happen and what will happen to people on that day are all described.

The First Blast of the Trumpet

The Day of Resurrection begins when the Trumpet is blown. This is the sign of the total destruction of the world and of all the universe and the beginning of the end. This is the point of no return. This is the sound declaring that the life of the world has come to an end for all and that the real life has begun. This is the initial sound arousing an uninterrupted fear, terror and confusion in the hearts of unbelievers. This sound heralds the beginning of the difficult days for unbelievers which will extend to eternity. In Surat al-Muddaththir, the Day of Resurrection is thus referred to from the point of view of unbelievers:

For when the Trumpet is blown, that Day will be a difficult day, not easy for the unbelievers. (Surat al-Muddaththir: 8-10)

The sound of the Trumpet will surely create a great dread and unrest among unbelievers. An imperceptible, non-definable vibration with no apparent source will permeate the entire world and hence all people will acknowledge that great events are about to happen. The unrest felt by unbelievers soon turn into panic and horror. The consecutive events following the sound of the Trumpet will raise this horror to an unimaginable level.

The Destruction of the Universe

As revealed in the Qur'an a great tremor and a "deafening blast" follows the sound of the Trumpet. At this moment, people recognize that they are face to face with a horrible disaster. It is obvious that the world and life is about to cease to exist. That is why, everything on earth loses its value in just a few moments. Even the sound of the Day of Resurrection will suffice to break all worldly relations among people. No thoughts can occupy the minds of people other than escaping and rescuing themselves. Fear is rife and, on that day, everyone is concerned only about himself:

When the Deafening Blast comes, 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: 33-37)

After an intense shake, it is revealed in the Qur'an that the earth throws up all its treasures and discloses all its secrets, none of which will have any value at all from then on:

When the earth is convulsed with its quaking and the earth then shakes off its burdens and man asks, 'What does this mean?'—on that Day it will impart all its tidings because your Lord will have inspired it. (Surat az-Zalzalah: 1-5)

A terrifying noise followed by an intense tremor and sudden underground explosions ravage everything to which people formerly attached a great deal of importance. For instance, people treasured their houses, offices, cars and fields. Some people held a house to be the main target of their lives. Yet, the vanity of such goals surfaces at the very moment of the Day of Resurrection. The wealth, to which people devoted all their lives, will disappear in a second. The goals of one who makes getting promoted in the company his main ambition become worthless. Another who devoted his life to seizing power in his country experiences the same terrifying situation. He bitterly witnesses the disappearance of that country... Everything loses its significance, except everything done to earn Allah's approval. As Allah states in the Qur'an: "When the Great Calamity comes: that Day man will remember what he has striven for and the Blazing Fire will be displayed for all who can see." (Surat an-Nazi'at: 34-36)

The Crushing of Mountains

The calamities which will occur on the Doomsday are beyond one's imagination. Mountains, the most awe-inspiring, unshakeable structures of the earth, are set in motion; they are lifted from their roots and crushed. Even a minor earthquake spreads terror into the hearts of people and inspires in them feelings of insecurity. It makes them leave their homes and spend the whole night out on the streets. This being so, the type of disaster so dreadful as to cause the mountains to shift proves to be unbearable. In the Qur'an, the mountains on that day are depicted as follows:

So when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast, and the earth and the mountains are lifted and crushed with a single blow,—on that Day, the Dread Event will come to pass. (Surat al-Haqqa: 13-15)

The Day of Decision is a fixed appointment: the Day the Trumpet is blown and you come in droves. The gates of heaven shall swing open and the mountains shall be shifted and become a mirage. (Surat an-Naba': 17-20)

(Each soul shall know what it has done) 'when the mountains are set in motion, when the camels in foal are neglected, when the wild beasts are all herded together.' (Surat at-Takwir: 3-5)

'On that day men shall become like scattered moths and the mountains like tufts of carded wool... (Surat al -Qari'ah: 4-5)

That day, there is an awesome and unbounded might, so powerful as to throw black mountains of stone, earth and rocks into the air like "tufts of carded wool". Now, people are well aware of the fact that this is not something which is within the "power of nature" to accomplish. They witness that "mother nature", which they once upon a time worshipped as an idol and to which they attributed their existence, cannot prevent its own destruction. Now is the time for the unbelievers, who did not measure Allah with His true measures, to become acquainted with the real owner of this power. Yet, this acquaintance is no longer of any benefit to them. They will apprehensively understand facts, which they have failed all their lives to grasp as a matter of wisdom and conscience.

This terror encloses all beings, living and non-living. This horror keeps everything under its control. Human beings, animals and nature alike are all crushed under this common fear. Mountains are no longer majestic, oceans are not boundless and heaven is not as unattainable as in the past. The Sun, stars and all the universe are surrounded by the quaking of the Day of Resurrection. They all submit to their Creator. As mountains crumble like sand castles, man, inexpressibly feeble next to the mountains, stars and oceans, goes through a phase of great destruction. Only the ones who had fear of Allah and lived their lives by the Qur'an will be saved  from the horror of that day. This is Allah's promise:

On the Day the Trumpet is blown and everyone in the heavens and everyone on the earth is terrified – except those Allah wills, everyone will come to Him abject. (Surat An-Naml: 87)

The Surge of Oceans

With its present faculties, it is unlikely that the human mind can conceive of the horror of the Day of Resurrection. The events that will take place on that day will be the manifestation of Allah's infinite power. One of these manifestations of Allah's infinite might will be seen in the oceans:

When the oceans surge into each other, when the souls are divided into classes. (Surat at-Takwir: 6-7)

When the seas flood and overflow." (Surat al-Infitar: 3)

The Destruction of the Heavens

On the Day of Resurrection, not only the earth but also the entire universe will be destroyed. The predetermined time of extinction will also come for the sky, the Moon, the Sun and the planets as well as the earth, whatever lies underground, the mountains and oceans. Allah states that on that day,

"what you are promised will certainly happen. When the stars are extinguished, when heaven is split open, when the mountains are pulverized..." (Surat al- Mursalat: 7-10)

On the Day of Resurrection, all beings to whom, and established orders to which people attribute eternity will collapse and will ultimately be reduced to nothing. This also holds true for the sky. From the moment one comes into existence, the atmosphere proves to be a protective roof. Yet, on the Day of Resurrection, the air and atmosphere, which surround man all through his life will become "like molten brass." (Surat al-Ma'arij: 8) and will burn with great intensity.

A comparison drawn between the fear created by disasters in this world and the horror of the events of the Day of Resurrection may provide some understanding about that day. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions frighten most of the people. The earth crust cracked by an earthquake or a volcanic eruption dispels the tediousness of everyday life in a moment. This makes man appreciate the solid ground he steps on with confidence.

Nevertheless, despite all the pain they give, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are lived through only once. An earthquake or an eruption lasts for a certain period of time. Pains are forgotten and in time they become memories. But the Day of Resurrection is neither like an earthquake nor any other disaster. Incredible acts of destruction occurring one after another signify that everything has come to a point of no return. For instance, an event beyond one's imagination will happen: heaven will crack and split apart. This is the collapse of all the known "laws of physics" and the concepts one has trusted so far. The heaven and the earth which have remained in existence for thousands of years are crushed by Allah, Who constructed them. The Day of Resurrection, as is explained in the Qur'an (Surat al-Infitar: 1-3), will be marked by the sky splitting apart, the stars being strewn about, and the seas flooding and overflowing. When the sky bursts open, it will be "hearkening to its Lord as it is bound to do!" (Surat al-Inshiqaq: 1-2)

Everything people attach importance to in this world will cease to exist. The heavenly bodies will die one after another as revealed in the Qur'an:

When the sun is compacted in blackness, when the stars fall in rapid succession. (Surat at-Takwir: 1-2)

When the Sun, the source of light for the earth for millions of years, is folded up, people will come to realize that it has a real owner and that it has moved until then under His control. Up till that point, people will have gone on thinking of stars as unattainable, glorious and mysterious entities. However, on that day, they will be extinguished. Unshakeable mountains will be moved, boundless oceans will begin to boil. With such scenes, who the real Owner is of all beings, the one and only Possessor of might Who is above and over everything, will become most apparent. The predestined time will be over and thus unbelievers will be bitterly awoken from the heedlessness they have indulged in. The reason for this heedlessness is unbelievers' failure to appreciate the might of their Creator while they were still in the world. On that day, however, they will understand who the real owner of the universe and life is:

They do not measure Allah with His true measure. The whole earth will be a mere handful for Him on the Day of Resurrection, the heavens folded up in His right hand. Glory be to Him! He is exalted above the partners they ascribe! (Surat az-Zumar: 67)

The Situation of the People

All this fear, dread and confusion of the Day of Resurrection will be caused by the unbeliever's heedlessness. The more heedless a person is, the more his dread will be on that day. The feeling of fear and horror which begins with death never ends for all eternity. Each event becomes a source of fear for him. Every hideous event he confronts will also nurture his future fears. This fear will be so intense that it will even turn children's hair grey. Allah reveals in the Qur'an thus:

How will you safeguard yourselves, if you are unbeliever, against a Day which will turn children grey, by which heaven will be split apart? His promise will be fulfilled. (Surat al-Muzzammil: 17-18)

Those who assumed Allah to be unaware of their deeds realize at that moment that Allah postponed their judgment until the Day of Resurrection. This is explained in the Qur'an as follows:

Do not consider Allah to be unaware of what the wrongdoers perpetrate. He is merely giving them respite till a Day on which their gaze will be transfixed. (Surah Ibrahim: 42)

In another verse, the fear felt by unbelievers is described as follows:

The Crashing Blow! What is the Crashing Blow? What will convey to you what the Crashing Blow is? It is the Day when mankind will be like scattered moths and the mountains like tufts of carded wool. (Surat al-Qari'a: 1-5)

One of the strongest bonds in this world is the love and feeling of protection a mother feels for her child. The intensity of the Day of Resurrection will break even this strong bond, however. That great shock will make people lose their consciousness. Confused and panicked, they will run about like drunks. The situation of the unbelievers in the face of Allah's wrath is revealed in the Qur'an thus:

Mankind, have fear of your Lord! The quaking of the Hour is a terrible thing. 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, 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: 1-2)

Apart from fear and dread, another grievous feeling people will experience on that day is desperateness. Mankind takes necessary precautions against all possible disasters; against the most lethal calamity, the most powerful earthquakes, floods, hurricanes or the most horrible nuclear war. Man finds ways to protect himself and builds shelters. However, on that day, there will not remain a single secure place where one can take refuge. The unbelievers will receive no help from Allah. There will also be no other person or authority who could provide help. In the past, man sought assistance and guidance from science and technology. But now, all the laws of science will have collapsed. Even if advanced technology could enable one to flee to the remotest point of space, Allah's wrath would find him there. That is because the Day of Resurrection pervades the entire universe. Not only the earth he lived on securely but also the remote stars will submit to the will of Allah, with the Sun, "compacted in blackness," and the stars "falling in rapid succession." (Surat at-Takwir: 1-2)

The despair into which human beings will fall on that day is described as follows:

...and the Moon is eclipsed, and the sun and moon are fused together. On that Day man will say, 'Where can I run?' No indeed! There will be no safe place. That Day the only resting place will be your Lord. (Surat al-Qiyama: 8-12)


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