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Islamic eschatology is concerned with the al-Qiyāmah "Last Judgement". Eschatology relates to one of the six (five according to Shī‘a traditions) articles of faith (aqīdah) of Islam according to the Sunni traditions. Like the other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches the bodily resurrection of the dead, the fulfillment of a divine plan for creation, and the immortality of the human soul; the righteous are rewarded with the pleasures of Jannah "Heaven" while the unrighteous are punished in Jahannam "Hell"). A significant portion (about one third) of the Qur'an deals with these beliefs, with many hadith elaborating on the themes and details. It also emphasizes the inevitability of resurrection, judgment, and the eternal division of the righteous and the wicked.[1] Islamic apocalyptic literature describing the Armageddon is often known as fitna "a test" or malahim (or ghayba to the Shī‘a).


Signs of the Judgement day

Among many hadith related to signs of day of judgement, one of the most famous hadith is Hadith of Gabriel.

Jesus and the Dajjal

According to Islamic view, Isa (Jesus) is not the "Son of God", but was a prophet. It is believed that Jesus was not crucified; instead he was raised bodily. According to many hadith and believed by most Muslims, He will return to Earth. At the time appointed by Allah, Jesus will physically return to this world with the Mehdi (according to some sects of Shia Islam). He will break the cross, kill the swine, slaughter the Dajjal and end all wars, ushering in an era of peace. The messianic era comes after Jesus kills ad-Dajjal, the antichrist figure in Islam, and defeats his followers. The Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj

During the reign of Hadhrat Isa people will live an extremely peaceful life filled with prosperity and abundance. Then the wall which imprisons Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj will break and they will surge forth in large numbers.

But when Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj are let loose and they rush headlong down every hill" (Quran 21:97)

Who are the Ya'jooj and Majooj?

Zul Qarnain who was a pious and just Ruler travelled to many lands and conquered them, establishing justice and the Law of Allah therein. Allah Ta'ala provided him with all forms and material strength through which he was able to carry out his conquests and missions.

He once carried out a mission in three directions, the far west, the far east, and then in a northerly direction. It was here that he came across a tribe of people who complained to him about the tribes of Ya'jooj and Majooj which inhabited the land behind two huge mountains and often emerged from behind these mountains to perpetrate acts of anarchy and plunder among them. They requested Zul Qarnain to erect a barrier between themselves and the tribes of Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj so that they could be saved from their atrocities. With the material strength at his disposal, Zul Qarnain enlisted their physical labor and set about erecting a high wall between the two mountains. The height of the wall or its exact length is unknown. What is known is that the height of this wall reaches that of the summit of both mountains. It is made with blocks or sheets of iron, which is further strengthened by molten lead. In this manner Ya'jooj and Majooj are unable to scale the wall, or cross it, except when it is the will of Allah.

And when the promise of my Rabb approaces, He will level it to dust" (Quran 18:98)

They are situated in a land of ice which is hidden from our gazes and the exact location of which is unknown. Though many interpretations do exist in this respect, none of these can be said to absolute.

Ya'jooj and Majooj are human beings and according to a narration they are from the progeny of Yafith ibn Nooh.

Some Ahadith...

In a lengthy hadith by Hadhrat Nawwas ibn Sam'aan Rasulullah is reported to have said:

...Allah will send revelation upon Eesa that 'Such a creation of mine is now going to emerge that no power will be able to stop them. Therefore take my servants and ascend the Mount of Toor.' Then Ya'jooj and Majooj will emerge and surge forth in all their fury. When those from among them who constitute the former part of their army pass the lake of Tiberias (which is in northern Palestine), they will drink up all the water of that lake and by the time those that constitute the latter part of that same army pass the lake, they will say, "There used to be water here (long ago). When they reach the Mount of Khamr in Jerusalem, they will arrogantly proclaim: 'We have conquered the people of the earth, now we will annihilate those in the sky.' So saying they will fire their arrows towards the sky. When the arrows return to the ground they will be blood stained.

In the meantime, Eesa will be on the Mount of Toor with his followers. At that time the head of and ox will be as valuable as is a hundred dinars to you in this day. [This indicates the scarcity of provisions]. Faced with these hardships, Eesa and his followers will make dua unto Allah (to remove this calamity). As a result, Allah will cause sores to appear on the necks of each and every individual of these people which will cause their death suddenly. When Eesa and his followers descend from the Mount of Toor there will not be a single space on the land where the dead rotting bodies of these people is not littered, giving off a horrendous odour. Eesa and his followers will once more supplicate unto Allah as a result of which Allah will send down huge birds whose necks will be as thick as that of the necks of camels, and they will dump these bodies in a place where Allah wills. (According to a narration by Tirmidhi, they will be dumped at a place called Nahbal). Allah Ta'ala will then send down a heavy rain, the waters of which will flow in every part of the earth cleansing it thoroughly. It will rain for a period of forty days.

The Muslims will then burn the bows and arrows of the Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj for a period of seven years.

Allah will order the earth to yield forth its crops in abundance and there will be such blessing and prosperity that one pomegranate will be sufficient for a whole group while the peel thereof will suffice to cast a shadow over them. The milk of one camel will be sufficient for many groups while one milk giving cow will be sufficient for a whole tribe. One milk giving goat will be sufficent for a whole family...


Hadhrat Abu Saeed Khudri narrates that Rasulullah said:

On the day of Qiyamah Allah will say to Adam to pick out the Jahannamis from his entire progeny. Adam will ask: 'O Rabb, who are they?'

Allah will say: 'Nine hundred and ninety nine of a thousand are Jahannami while the one is a Jannati.' On hearing this the Sahaba were overtaken by fear and they asked "O Rasulullah who will that one Janniti be?'

Rasulullah said: 'Do not grieve, the nine hundred and ninety nine will be Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj while you will be the Jannati."' (i.e. your numbers in relation to them will be one in a thousand).

Bukhari and Muslim

Hadhrat Abdullah ibn Umar says that Rasulullah said:

Allah Ta'ala divided mankind into ten parts. Nine tenths constitute Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj while the remaining tenths constitutues the rest of mankind.

Hadhrat Zainab bint Jahsh says:

...once Rasulullah awoke from such a sleep that his face was red and these words were on his tongue: 'There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Destruction is upon the Arabs on account of the evil which has come close to them. Today a hole as big as this has opened up in the wall of Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj.' ..and Rasulullah indicated the size of the hole forming a ring with his index finger and thumb.

Bukhari and Muslim

Hadhrat Abu Hurairah narrates that every day Ya'jooj and Ma'jooj break (dig) through the wall erected by Zul Qarnain until they reach the end of it to that extent that they can actually see the light on the other side. They then return (home) saying that 'We will break through tomorrow.' But Allah Ta'ala causes the wall to revert to its original thickness and the next day they start digging through the wall all over again, and this process continues each day until as long as Allah wills them to remain imprisoned. When Allah wishes them to be released, then at the end of the day they will say, "If Allah wills, tomorrow we will break through." The following day they will find the wall as they had left it the previous day (i.e. it will not have returned to its original state) and after breaking the remaining part of it they will emerge."

Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)

Commenting on the above hadith, Allamah Ibn Arabi says, Three miracles are evident in this Hadith:

  1. It never occurs to these tribes that they must continue work during the night. After all, they are in such large numbers that they can easily delegate the work among themselves and work in shifts. But Allah does not allow this thought to occur to them.
  2. It never occurs to them that they can merely cross the mountains or scale the wall, which they can do through the aid of equipment and implements wich they possess in large numbers. According to a narration by Wahab ibn Munabbah it is known that these tribes are agriculturists and artisians possessing various types of equipment.
  3. The thought of saying "If Allah wills" never enters their minds and it will only occur to them to say it when Allah wills that they be released.

from: "Signs of Qiyamah" by Mohammed Ali Ibn Zubair Ali


A fundamental tenet of Islam is belief in the day of resurrection, Qiyamah. The trials and tribulations of Qiyamah are explained in both the Qur'an and the Hadith, as well as in the commentaries of Islamic scholars such as al-Ghazali, Ibn Kathir, and Muhammad al-Bukhari.

Muslims believe that God will hold every human, Muslim and non-Muslim, accountable for his or her deeds at a preordained time unknown to man.[2] The archangel Israfil, will sound a horn sending out a "blast of truth". Traditions say Muhammad will be the first to be brought back to life.[3]

Bodily resurrection is much insisted upon in the Qur'an, which challenges the Pre-Islamic Arabian concept of death.[4] Resurrection is followed by judgement of all souls. According to the Qur'an, sins that can consign someone to hell include lying, dishonesty, corruption, ignoring God or God's revelations, denying the resurrection, refusing to feed the poor, indulgence in opulence and ostentation, the economic exploitation of others, and social oppression.[5]

The punishments in hell includes adhab, "pain or torment inflicted by way of chastiment; punishment", a very painful punishment (see [Qur'an 29:55], [Qur'an 43:48]); khizy, "shame, disgrace, ignominy" ([Qur'an 16:27], [Qur'an 11:39]).[6] The descriptions in the Qur'an of hell are very descriptive (see [Qur'an 4:56], [Qur'an 47:15] etc).

The punishments in the Qur'an are contrasted not with release but with mercy ([Qur'an 29:21], [Qur'an 2:284], [Qur'an 3:129], etc).[6] Islam views paradise as a place of joy and bliss.[7] Islamic descriptions of heaven are described as physical pleasures, sometimes interpreted literally, sometimes allegorically. Heaven is most often described as a cool garden with running streams of unlimited food and drink. Some interpretations also promise enormous palaces staffed with multitudes of servants, and perfect, perpetually-virginal spouses. Despite the graphical descriptions of the physical pleasures, there are clear references to a greater joy that exceeds the pleasures of flesh: The acceptance from God, or good pleasure of God (ridwan) (see [Qur'an 9:72]).[8]


According to all the traditional schools of jurisprudence, faith (Iman) ensures salvation. There are however differing views concerning the formal constituents of the act of faith. "For the Asharis it is centred on internal taṣdīḳ[internal judgment of veracity], for the Māturīdī-Ḥanafīs on the expressed profession of faith and the adherence of the heart, for the Muʿtazilīs on the performance of the 'prescribed duties', for the Ḥanbalīs and the Wahhābīs on the profession of faith and the performance of the basic duties."[9] The common denominator of these various opinions is summed up in bearing witness that God is the Lord, L. Gardet states.[9]

There are traditions in which Muhammad stated that "No one shall enter hell who has an atom of faith in his heart" or that "Hell will not welcome anyone who has in his heart an atom of faith" however these passages are interpreted in different ways. Those who consider performance as an integral part of faith such as Ḵh̲ārid̲j̲īs, consider anyone who does a grave sin to be out of faith, while the majority of Sunnis who view works as merely the perfecting the faith, hold that a believing sinner will be punished with a temporary stay in hell. Still there is disagreement over the possibility of a believing sinner being forgiven immediately (e.g. As̲h̲ʿarīs) and in full rather than undergoing temporary punishment. (e.g. Māturīdīs)[9]


Ibn al-Nafis dealt with Islamic eschatology in some depth in his Theologus Autodidactus, where he rationalized the Islamic view of eschatology using reason, science, and philosophy to explain the events that would occur according to Islamic eschatology. He presented his rational and scientific arguments in the form of Arabic fiction, hence his Theologus Autodidactus may be considered the earliest science fiction work.[10]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ [Qur'an 74:38]
  3. ^ Esposito, John (2003). The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512558-4, p.264
  4. ^ "Resurrection", The New Encyclopedia of Islam (2003), p.383
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of Islam and Muslim World (2004), p.565
  6. ^ a b "Reward and Punishment", Encyclopedia of the Qur'an (2005)
  7. ^ "Paradise", "Heaven", The New Encyclopedia Britannica (2005)
  8. ^ Smith, Jane I. (2006). The Islamic Understanding of Death and Resurrection. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195156492, p.89
  9. ^ a b c "Imam", Encyclopaedia of Islam Online
  10. ^ Dr. Abu Shadi Al-Roubi (1982), "Ibn Al-Nafis as a philosopher", Symposium on Ibn al-Nafis, Second International Conference on Islamic Medicine: Islamic Medical Organization, Kuwait (cf. Ibn al-Nafis As a Philosopher, Encyclopedia of Islamic World [1])

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