Six Pillars: 5

There is One Creator. Everything else is His creation. He is God, One in His Lordship and One in His Right to be Worshiped. He sent us prophets, to teach us about Him and how to worship Him, and He sent down His books, to help us stay reminded. He sends angels to protect us and to make sure the physical operations He put in place continue to run as designed. One of these angels is waiting, right now, standing at attention, all ready and set to blow the trumpet that will start the 5th pillar of Iman, the Day of Judgement.

Right now, at this very moment—the moment I’m writing this sentence, the moment this post goes live to this blog, the moment you read this—Israfil (aka Raphael… you might have heard of him), peace be upon him, is standing at attention, patiently waiting to blow his trumpet… twice.

وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَصَعِقَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا مَن شَاءَ اللَّهُ ۖ ثُمَّ نُفِخَ فِيهِ أُخْرَىٰ فَإِذَا هُمْ قِيَامٌ يَنظُرُونَ

And the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will fall dead except whom Allah wills. Then it will be blown again, and at once they will be standing, looking on.

Az Zumar, 68 (and in context)

The Day of Judgement… God is the Most Just. He is Perfect in His Judgment. He doesn’t make mistakes. He is All Seeing, All Knowing. Trust me:

He Knows.

Worry, but don’t worry too much: He, God, is also The Most Merciful, The Entirely Merciful. The only unforgivable sin is worshiping something other than God, or worshiping something alongside of God, and dying upon whatever misguided belief drives that worship. For anything less than that—and everything is less than that—seeking forgiveness and making contrition and turning back to God can be enough, if He so wills.

There is still time.

In Islam, the believer is like a bird: one wing is hope, and the other is fear. If you clip one wing of a bird, it just flies around in circles. Likewise, as believers, if we only hope for forgiveness, we’re likely to eventually get very far away from God and find it very hard to get back; and if we fear too much, we’re likely to give up worship entirely. So try to balance your hope for His Mercy with your fear of His Wrath, and God willing, you’ll make it.

So this Day of Judgement. It’s something to be hopeful for and something to fear. We will all be called, and we’ll come, whether we like it or not. We’ll stand for millennia, on a plain, crowded together, waiting for His Judgement to begin. According to our tradition and the statements of the Prophet, peace be upon him, through our belief and action in this life, seven types of us will earn the right to stand in the shade of God’s throne:

A just ruler; a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah; a person whose heart is attached to the mosque; two persons who love and meet each other and depart from each other for the sake of Allah; a man whom a beautiful and high ranking woman seduces (for illicit relation), but he (rejects this offer by saying): ‘I fear Allah’; a person who gives a charity and conceals it (to such an extent) that the left hand might not know what the right has given; and a person who remembers Allah in solitude and his eyes well up.

Bukhari and Muslim (in Riyad as Saliheen)

The rest of us will stand and sweat… some of us will be up to our necks in sweat.

It’s going to be nerve wracking.

But rest assured, God is The Most Merciful, The Entirely Merciful, and He is also The Most Just. Plus, He Knows all: He created all, He set up the laws that govern physical and biological processes. He made us, and He knows what we’re going to do and how He’s going to rule on the Day of Judgement… He knows where we’re going to end up and why we’re going to deserve that judgement.

If you had trouble comprehending any of the other beliefs, I expect this last pillar will be the one that gives you the most trouble: the sixth pillar of Iman is the belief in God’s Decree, the good and the bad of it.

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