A Shi’a Theological View of Judgement Day

Judgement Day- Ma’ād[1]


This paper is a summary of what the Imamiya school of thought or in other words the Shi’a Muslim theologians, mutakallimīn, say and believe about the Judgement Day. The topic of Judgment Day and the Resurrection, and what really happens to the world and human beings as we know it, and what their last abode and dwelling place will be are questions which are addressed by the aādīth. Something that we should bear in mind is that this summary was not addressed from the shi’a philosophical and mystical approach.

This paper is in no way comprehensive and is not intended to be so either. The goal here is to give the English reader a good glance of the view of Islam on this topic in a summary way. Hopefully this paper will be useful for non-Muslims as well as Muslims. Islam teaches that there is life after death, and this is known as Ākhira, the Hereafter. In Islam, it is Allah who decides when a person dies and according to Islamic teachings the spirit of the dead will not stay in their graves until Yawm ad-Din, the Day of Judgement, but they will be in an intermediate state or realm called the Barzakh- the Imaginable Realm.

Judgement Day and Its Significance:

  1. Ma’ād means “goal, aim, a place to Return too” and “the Hereafter”.
  2. Death is a reality. And all humans wonder what will happen after death.
  3. Throughout history human beings have believed in it.
  4. The Hereafter is one of the roots of the Abrahamic religions.
  5. If a Muslim doesn’t believe in one of the roots of Islam, which one of them is the Resurrection, he will be considered as outside the realm of Islam.
  6. 1400 verses have to do with the Hereafter. That’s ¼, and 25% of the Qur’ān.
  7. The Qur’ān mentions those in Paradise and those in Hell.
  8. If you believe in the Judgement Day you will think twice before you do your intention, act or say anything.
  9. Belief in the Judgement Day will put fear or happiness in you (the whip and the carrot tactic), and that will lead you to act piously.

Its Necessity:

1. The wisdom behind it:

Allah is the Wise and has created everything with wisdom and with a purpose. Therefore if the bad and good actions of a human being wouldn’t be judged, and rewards and punishments wouldn’t be given, and no Hereafter would exist after death, there wouldn’t be any purpose with the creation. But a Hereafter where the actions and intentions of human beings would be considered and just rewards would be given makes sense with a wise creator.

2. The justice behind it:

2.1 Someone who oppresses may have four reasons: 1, ignorance, 2, dependency, 3, fear, 4, forced. Allah is the Just, Wise and Almighty and has none of those four attributes, and therefore does not need to do injustice.

2.2 According to Shi’as, humans can understand with their reason, what a bad/ugly deed is and what a good deed is.

2.3 In this world we won’t get complete justice, so the hereafter which is perfect will give us that. Al Qalam 35-36, Ṣād 28, al Jāthiya 22, az Zalzāl 7-8.

From a historical point of view:

  1. Resurrection is part of human beings fitra– natural disposition.
  2. All human beings and all civilizations from the past until now believed in a Hereafter.

The influence and impact of believing in the Judgement Day:

It has a huge impact on human’s actions:

  1. He knows that all his actions will be forwarded to the divine court of Allah.
  2. Everything is recorded.
  3. The court is uncorrupted, the judgement is correct and just, no second trial will be summoned.
  4. Hell or Paradise will await you.
  5. A “behave today as you would die tomorrow” mentality will come into existence.

Its different dimensions:

  1. How will the Judgement Day occur?
  2. How is it possible with a next life?
  3. Its necessity?
  4. The different levels of the Hereafter?

What does Judgement Day/ Ma’ād mean?

Literal translation:

  1. Goal, aim and,
  2. a place to return too, and the
  3. Hereafter

The best synonym for Judgement Day:

Judgement Day is not the Resurrection, because that’s one of the levels after death, but the word Hereafter, is the best synonym for Judgement Day. The different levels of the Hereafter (after your death) include:

  1. The Intermediate world.
  2. Resurrection
  3. The Reckoning
  4. The Book of Deeds
  5. The Balance
  6. The Heights – A’rāf
  7. Intercession
  8. Reward
  9. Repentance
  10. Hell or Paradise

The reasons for Judgement Day

  1. Allah’s infinite knowledge and power: Refer to verses from the Qur’ān, Yāsịn 78, 79, 81, al Aḥqāf 33, al Ḥajj 6.
  2. The first creation; the one who created us in the first place, can create us easier the second time.
  3. How something which has died can get life again- examples from the nature; the different seasons.
  4. The different stages of human beings development: According to al Ḥajj verse 5.
  5. Sand or mud,
  6. nuṭfa or drop,
  7. a clot of blood,
  8. flesh,
  9. infant in the womb,
  10. new born baby,
  11. grown up

Examples from the Qur’ān

  1. The story of Prophet Ibrahim (‘a) and the birds. The Cow 26
  2. Prophet ‘Uzayr (‘a) became alive after 100 years. The Cow 259
  3. The story of the dead isrā’ili and the cow, at the time of Mūsā (‘a). The Cow 27- 73
  4. The story of the companions of the Cave who became alive after 309 years. The Cave 9- 26
  5. The 70 persons from Bani Isrā’il who became alive again. The Cow 55, 56
  6. The persons who became alive at the hands of Prophet ‘Isā (’a). Āli ’Imrān 49, al Mā’ida 110.

 Will Judgement Day be physical or spiritual or both?

1. A spiritual Judgement Day:

The truth and the quiddity (the what-ness) of the human beings is the spirit. So it is the spirit which will rise on Judgement Day and not the decayed body. The view ibn Sina.

2. A Mithāli– imaginable Judgement Day:

The spirit will have a body but it will not be material/physical. It will be an imaginable body (like your body in your dream, you know and acknowledge yourself in your dream but at the same time you’re not physical). The view of Mullā Ṣadrā[2] and of Shaykh al Ishrāq.[3]

3. A Physical and spiritual Judgement Day:

Human beings will be resurrected with the physical body and spirit on judgement day. Shahid Awwal,[4] Abū Ali Sịnā[5], Shahid Thāni,[6] Khu’i.[7]

The questions forwarded by those who deny the Judgement Day:

  1. Those who deny the Judgement Day usually belong to those who want to follow their own lust and be “free” to do whatever they want.
  2. Those who believe in incarnation, tanāsukh, of the spirit divide the people into four groups, depending on your bad or good deeds:[8]
    1. Naskh – After you die your spirit goes into another human being’s body.
    2. Maskh- an animal’s body.
    3. Faskh- an insects body.
    4. Raskh- a body of a tree or plant.


  1. On Judgement Day your spirit will go back to your own body, from the Intermediate world.
  2. In this world everyone has his own spirit and in the “Realm of Spirits”, there are an exact amount of spirits created by Allah.
  3. The imams fought against this belief.

The “eater” and the “eaten”:

The bodies of people will decay after death and be transformed to dust and plants, which other animals and human beings will consume. The questions is: Which of these bodies will the spirit turn back to when the original body has been mixed among different animals and human beings on Judgement Day?

– Answer of those who believe in a physical resurrection:

Allah’s unlimited knowledge and power can create this human body once again, as He did in the first place.

– Answer of those who believe in a spiritual or in an imaginable body resurrection:

It’s not important to what happens with the body after your death. The spirit which is your truth will be resurrected with an imaginable body after your death.

Life in this world

1. The cursed world: It’s the world were those who do not look towards God have indulged themselves into, and are busy with their lusts and ego, nafs. This world is the same world that those who live in forgetfulness and pleasure, far away of having God in sight and mind, have. Living like machines, everyday doing the same thing without a higher purpose.

2. The world of bilāgh: this world is the opposite of the cursed world. These people have God in mind, in every deed of theirs, and are looking forward for the hereafter. They try to purify themselves and live a pious life.

3. The world of endeavour and provision: this world or stage is for those whom are trying to endeavour difficulties and “pass” the great test, by collecting their provision in this world, as much as they can.

Iḥtiḍār – the state between life and death

The word Iḥtiḍār comes from the root word of ḥaḍara which means “presence” or to be “present”. The question is: in whose presence? The answers are different, it could be the angels or the dead friends of the one who’s losing his life or the Prophet and Imam Ali.

The different levels of Iḥtiḍār and its explanation:

  • Naz’the state were your spirit is becoming free from the body.
  • Sawqthe state were your spirit has become free from the body.
  • Ma’āyanathe state were all the “veils” have been wiped out, and you can see the true reality.
  • Iḥtiḍār is also the “connection”, talfif, or the “link” between this world and the next.
  • Iḥtiḍār is also the state were you will see your position and status in the Hereafter.
  • Sakarātul Mawtmeans the fear and difficulties of death.

The state of the believer in Iḥtiḍār: His spirit leaves his body in ease and comfort, without pain. A good smelling fragrance will reach him and he will feel sleepy, and all his pain will disappear. But some may go through pain and difficulties so to be in a “pure state” when they meet their lord.

The state of the disbelievers in Iḥtiḍār: They will have pain and difficulties at the time of death, but some will not, some will die at ease. The reason behind this is, because Allah wants to reward them of the good deeds they made in this world, and afterwards punish them.

The vision of the Prophet, Imam Ali (S) and the angel of death: The believers and the hypocrites will see them at the state of Iḥtiḍār and for the believer it will be joyful and for the disbeliever and hypocrite it will be painful. 

Life in the Hereafter/ Judgement Day

  1. The vastness of the next world: It includes, the grave which is meant the Intermediate world/ the Imaginable Realm, the Noetic Realm, the Resurrection, Hell and Paradise.
  2. Evaluation of this world and the Hereafter: Both worlds are material. The difference is that the next world is more “powerful” and “purer” in its form. The Muslim philosophers and mystics may object here and say that the realms after this material realm which is our universe, are all non- material.
  3. The perfect appearance of divine ownership in the Hereafter.

The Intermediate world – Barzakh

Barzakh or the Imaginable Realm is the world between this world and Paradise/ Hell. It starts from death and ends at the Day of Resurrection. This world is limited and everyone enters it when they die. It includes four levels:

The Questions of the Grave:

  1. The angels will descend upon you and question you. The questions will be about, Tawḥịd, Nubuwwa, Ma’ād, Imama. Some even consider the ten branches to be part of the questions. Depending on your answers[9] you will face reward or punishment.
  2. Two angels will descend upon the disbelievers by the name of Nakῑr and Munkar, and two angels will descend upon the believers by the name of Mubashshir and Bashῑr.
  3. Not all will be questioned; only those who were purely hypocrites or disbelievers and those who were purely believers will be questioned.

The weight (punishment or torture) of the grave: The reasons behind it:

  1. Not caring about urination on clothe,
  2. Behaving badly towards your family,
  3. The husband not having intercourse with his wife.

The things you can do to limit the weight of the grave (except fixing the three things mentioned earlier) are:

  1. Wuḍū,
  2. Reading the Chair verse,
  3. Reading the Nisā chapter,
  4. Reading the Mulk chapter,
  5. Ḥajj
  6. Complete Rukū’
  7. Three kinds of women will limit the weight of their grave if they, 1. Endured their husband’s ghῑra/envy, 2. Endured their bad morals, 3. Forgave their Mahr.
  8. Pouring water on the grave,
  9. Putting two wet sticks in the grave of the dead or upon it,
  10. Fasting 4 days of the month of Rajab.
  11. Children who do good deeds: Their parents will get a reward of their good deeds and their punishment will be softened.

The Intermediate paradise and hell: The believers will enter the Intermediate paradise and disbelievers will enter the Intermediate hell.

The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon. And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): Cause Fir’awns people to enter the severest torment.[10]

Here we see that Allah talks about a punishment in the Hereafter (Barzakh) prior to the torment of Judgement Day.

The signs of Judgement Day – Asharāṭus Sā’a

According to Qur’ānic verses some signs will appear gradually and some suddenly. Astronomical changes will appear:

  1. The splitting of the skies or heaven,[11]
  2. The death of the sun, the moon and the stars,[12]
  3. The destruction of the mountains[13] and earthquakes,[14]
  4. The oceans will be on fire.[15]

The annihilation of the world

  • This will occur between the two Nafkh’s, the Nafkh uṣ Ṣūr al Awwal[16]and Nafkh uṣ Ṣūr ath Thāni.[17]
  • At the First Blow of the trumpet, everyone will perish except The greatest angels will be the last ones who will die, Mikā’ịl, Jibrā’ịl, Isrāfịl[18] and lastly Izrā’ịl. Iblịs will also die. The spirits will also perish and all the unseen worlds.
  • Total darkness will occur.
  • Allah will ask: “To Whom belongs the Kingdom today?” or “Whose is the kingdom this Day?” Allah Himself will respond: “It belongs to Allah, the One, the Irresistible (Overpowering or Overwhelming).”[19]


  • The single most important event in the history of the earth.
  • At the Second Blow of the trumpet, Allah will resurrect the dead human beings, the angels and the jinn and Resurrection will begin.

The different names of it:

  1. Yawmul Ḥisāb, the Day of Reckoning
  2. Yawmul ‘Aẓm, the Great Day
  3. Yawmul Akbar, the Greatest Day
  4. Yawmul Ḥasra, the Day of Woe or Misery or Affliction.
  5. Yawmut Taghābun,
  6. Yawmul ‘Asr,
  7. Yawmus Sa’b, the Difficult Day
  8. Yawmul Ma’lūm, The Certain Day
  9. Yawmul Ba’th, the Day of giving life to the dead.
  10. Yawmul Qiyāma, the Day of Resurrection.
  11. Yawmul Ḥashr,[20] the Day of Gathering.
  12. Yawmus Sā’a, the Day of the Hour.
  13. Yawmul Ḥaqq, the Day of Truth.

Only Allah knows when this Day will occur.[21]

The different stops of the Resurrection: According to Imam Ja’far (‘a) there will be 50 stations or stops before you reach Paradise or Hell as the last destination. And each station will take 1000 earthly years.[22] The interpretation of “stations” may be the “questions” about your deeds, good or bad.[23]

The different sufferings of those who have done some bad deeds:

  1. The scholar and judge who had knowledge but did not practice it. They will chew their tongues and body parts, blood will come out from their mouth and the smell of their breath will bother the others on the Day of Gathering.
  2. The one who looked towards women with lust. They will have two nails of fire poked in their eyes.
  3. The one who committed fornication or illegal sexual intercourse. They will have such a terrible smell and odour that the people on the Day of Gathering will have difficulties breathing. And all people will send the curse of Allah upon them.
  4. The one who committed pedophilia. They will be resurrected in a state of junūb (ritual impurity) and no water can cleanse them.
  5. The one who committed homosexual intercourse. They will be cast into the different levels of hellfire till they reach the bottom of it, and there they will stay forever.
  6. The one who drinks wine and alcohol,
  7. The one who says a sexual insult to a chaste and pious man or women.

The pleasures of those who did good:

  1. Those who befriend each other for Allah. They will be on a lofty place made of light, and their light will illuminate everywhere.
  2. Those who help their believing brothers in need. Allah will remove 73 difficulties from them, one in this world and 72 others at the time of great difficulty in the Hereafter.

The Reckoning (Ḥisāb)

  • One of the stages of Judgement Day.
  • All your good and bad deeds will be reckoned.
  • All human beings from the first to the last will be judged, justly.

The different dimensions which will be considered here are:

  1. Good and bad thoughts,
  2. Good and bad actions, may they be external (physical) or internal (qalbi), big or small, important or not important, in secret or apparent.[24]
  • The speed that Allah has when judging all human kind, is remarkable,[25] according to some aādīth, it has been compared to one blink of an eye.[26]

The different stages of Reckoning:

  1. Some will enter Paradise without any reckoning.
  2. Some will enter Paradise after an “easy, yasīr” reckoning. Those are called Aṣ ḥābil Yamn.[27]
  3. Some will have a “bad/ ” reckoning, because of the bad deeds they have done.
  4. Some will enter Hellfire without any reckoning because of their evil acts throughout their lives.
  • The questions that will be asked have to do with sins.
  • Even the Prophets and the imams will be asked about their deeds.

 The Book of Deeds- al Kitāb al A’māl

  • All your deeds are recorded in detail.[28]
  • You will get to know the things you did, good or bad.
  • All human beings have two angels watching them and recording everything.[29] Those angels are called “the Noble Writers”.[30] According to Imam Ja’far (‘a), the one on the right writes down your good deeds, and the one on the left writes down your bad deeds.[31]
  • Bad or good intentions are not recorded until you have actually made the action.

The different groups of people:

  1. Some will get their books in their “left hand”, and they will be sorrowful,[32]aṣ ḥābish Shimāl”.
  2. Some will get their books from” behind their heads”, and they will go straight to Hell.[33]
  3. Some will get their books in their “right hand” and they will be joyful, “aṣ ḥābil yamīn”.[34]
  4. Some will go straight to Paradise, and they are called “abrār”, “muqarrabịn and ābiqūn”.[35] The two last mentioned are greater in status then abrār. These will be the Prophets, the Imams and their closest companions and some of the ‘urafā,
  5. Some people will belong to the group called aṣ ḥābul A’rāf, whom their faith and destiny haven’t been decided yet.

The Witnessing

The Witnessing of the people will be from:

  1. Allah[36]
  2. The angels[37]
  3. The Prophets[38]
  4. The Imams[39]
  5. Places and spots on the earth were the deeds took place,[40]
  6. Time, day, night, week, month, and year were the deeds took place,[41]
  7. Body parts[42]

The Balance- al Mịzān

  • What is the “true reality” of al Mịzān? It is “Justice”.
  • What good acts or things can you do to make your balance heavier?
  1. Good akhlāq
  2. Ṣalawāt on the Prophet and his family
  3. Recite the shahādatayn
  4. The dhikr of Faṭima tuz Zahrā

The best or heaviest of these deeds is to have a good akhlaq.

The status of the Prophet and Ahlul Bayt in the Hereafter

  • The Prophet will be the first person to be questioned about his deeds.
  • He will be the owner of kawthar (excessive good or blessings).
  • He will have the status of intercession.
  • He will be the closes to the Throne of Allah.

The status of Imam Ali:

  • He will be the cupbearer of kawthar.
  • He will have the status of intercession
  • The flag bearer of the Prophet on Judgement Day.
  • The Imam will divide the people of Paradise and the people of Hell.
  • He will be the first person entering Paradise (after the Prophet).

Intercession – Shafā’a

What does it mean?

  1. To supplicate for forgiveness of one’s sins and faults.
  2. To request from someone on a higher spiritual level to supplicate for you so to be able to practice good deeds.

The reality of Intercession:

All intercession happens with the permission of Allah.[43]

Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission?

  • Part of being a Shi’a, is the belief in Mi’rāj, the questions of the grave and intercession.[44]
  • Intercession will be applied in all the stages of the human beings life, in this world and the different stages of the Hereafter.

The intercessors, who are they?

  1. Reason
  2. Qur’ān
  3. The Prophets
  4. Fāṭima tuz Zahrā, the Master of all Women of Both Worlds.
  5. The Imams
  6. The angels
  7. True believers
  8. The scholars
  9. The martyrs

Repentence- Tawba

  1. It means “To Return”,
  2. The Return of Allah:
  • Allah Returns to his pious servants with divine mercy and compassion.[45]
  • Allah Returns to the unthankful and fasiqῑn (bad muslims) after they have taken distance from their un- thankfulness and Fisq.[46]
  1. The Return of the servants:
  • The Return of the pious servants towards Allah is not because of sins, but because of “paying allegiance to Islam and Allah once again”, with other words to “revive their faith” once again.
  • But the Return of the unthankful servants and fasiqῑn is because of sins.
  1. Different kinds of Repentance or Returns:
  • The one who returns from Kufr (heresy or unbelief) towards Islam (converts or reverts).
  • The one who returns from sins committed because of ignorance (among the Muslims).
  • The non-Muslims who hesitated to return to Allah, till before their death. Their repentance will be accepted.
  • The Muslims who hesitated to return to Allah, till before their death. Their Repentance will not be accepted because they belonged to the Muslims, and as such there will be some higher expectations.
  • The Repentance of the one, who commits polytheism or will continue to commit it, will not be accepted.[47]

Allah will judge according to His Justice and Mercy, a combination of both, but His Mercy will prevail over His justice.

Reward – Jazā

Allah will judge according to his Justice and Mercy.

  1. Jazā can both be a positive or a negative (punishment) reward.
  2. According to your bad or good deeds, the place of the reward can be:
  • In this world, and
  • In the Hereafter.
  1. Some believe in a Resurrection solely and exclusively by the spirit, and that the reward will be upon the spirit, and that Paradise and Hell will not be material but spiritual.
  2. As we discussed above, some believe in the Resurrection of both the spirit and body.
  3. Your deeds will be realised in front of you. Whatever you have done in this world will be embodied in the next realm.

Invalid/Void – Ḥabṭ of deeds, and Cover – Takfῑr of Deeds

  1. What is meant with Ḥabṭ is that good deeds or actions becomes invalid and void when you perform a bad deed and erase the good effects of it.
  2. And what is meant with Takfῑr is that good deeds or actions cover up or envelope your bad deeds when you perform them and erase the bad effects of it.
  3. The Mu’tazila school started and came forth with this thought, but the ash’ariya and imamiya schools had some reservations about it.
  4. The Imamiya school did not believe in the invalidation, Ḥabṭ, of good deeds because of bad deeds nor in the elimination or eradication of the good effects of it.
  5. The Imamiya school believed in Takfῑr, the cover-up of bad deeds, by good deeds.
  • Tawba, repentance eradicates the sins and Allah will also give you reward for it.[48]
  • To become a Muslim eradicates your sins also. All the Muslims have the same opinion in this regard.

A’rāf- the Heights

  1. It’s one of the stops in the Hereafter, were the good and bad, which also are called aṣ ḥāb al A’rāf, will be divided. Two groups exist on the Heights:
  • The Prophets and the friends of Allah. Their duty is to give intercession to others.
  • And those whose destiny has not yet been decided. Those are:
  1. Bad Shi’a.
  2. Sunnis and Kuffar, non-Muslims who had a justifiable reason to be in their kufr, unbelief.
  3. The children of the non-Muslims who past away, before they got mukallaf, “obliged to do the obligatory activities”.

Three things can happen to those people:

  • They will enter paradise because of the shafā’a, intercession, of the prophets and the Imams;
  • They will for always be on A’rāf or enter paradise; the children of the non- Muslims who haven’t reached puberty, and the sunni’s who had justifiable reasons not to become Shi’a, if they be destined to be on A‘rāf, they will get bounties from Allah but those bounties will be less in grade then the people of paradise and they will not go through pain.
  • The third group is only within the knowledge of Allah. But some narrations mention that they will also for always be on A’rāf or enter Paradise. 

The destiny of children and those whom the Truth did not reach or became clear for

  1. The children of the believers will enter Paradise,
  2. The children of non- Muslims who haven’t reached taklῑf will enter Paradise or for always be on A’rāf. If they enter Paradise, some believe, that they will become and transform to the beautiful boys who will serve the believers, mentioned in the Noble Qur’ān.
  3. The Shi’a, mu’tazila and māturidiya are against the ash’ariya view that the children of non- Muslims will be in Hellfire.
  4. Those who had a mental disease and were not mentally healthy and those non-Muslims whom the Truth did not reach will be in paradise or on A’rāf.
  5. Some believe that the children of zinā (children of illegal sexual intercourse) will not enter Paradise or Hell, they will also be on A’rāf.

Paradise – Janna

  1. It means Garden,
  2. It has a pleasant weather, not too hot and not to cold,
  3. It has lots of fruit trees and rivers and springs with enjoyable water.
  4. No bounty is greater than the one in Paradise. The bounties within it are unimaginable. No one has heard and no one has seen something even the slightest similar to it.
  5. No one will enter paradise except the “pure”. That means that you have to be “purified from sins” before you can enter.

The attributes of paradise are:

  1. The one who enters will never exit.
  2. You’re sinless.
  3. You will for always live in it and never die.
  4. There is no sickness or handicap in it.
  5. There is no poverty and weakness in it.
  6. There is no pain and psychological disorders in it.
  7. There are no feces and urine and other dirty/filthy/unclean things in it.
  8. There is no envy, jealousy, anger, fights or fear in it.
  9. There are no lies, worthless and sinful talk and speech in it.
  10. Everyone are brothers, and all are happy and satisfied.
  11. Peace, love and tranquility among everyone.
  12. There is no menses or other unclean blood from women.
  13. Everyone is young, between 20- 25 years.
  14. For every day the beauty and the good things will increase and no boredom will exist nor will the good things decrease.
  15. The pleasures of paradise are both physical and spiritual.
  16. Whatever the believer wishes for will come true at an instant (on the spot) or on a moment.[49]
  17. You will have meetings, depending on your deeds, with the great personalities of history, like the Prophets and the Imams and their companions.
  18. The lowest person in paradise will have a realm, 10 times our worlds, and

80 000 servants at his disposal. Another narration says, 700 times our worlds, and he will have 140 000 servants.[50]

  • There are different levels of paradises and people will enter those according to their deeds.
  • There are four levels of paradise (Garden).

But for him who fears the standing before his Lord, there will be two Gardens (Paradises).”

And besides these two, there are two other Gardens (Paradises).”[51]

  • The doors of Paradise are 8.[52]
  • “The Opener of the Gates of Paradise” will be an angel by the name of Riḍwān. Imam Sajjād (‘a) mentions him in his du’ā.[53]

The fruits, meat and drinks of Paradise:

  1. Pomegranate,
  2. Banana
  3. Olives
  4. Fig
  5. Grape
  6. Dates
  7. And many other fruits.
  8. Meat from pigeons and other birds and animals.
  9. Drinks- four rivers; pure water, honey, wine and one from milk.

The Clothes and other beauties of the believers:

  1. Made from silk with gold.
  2. People wearing silver, gold, pearls, emerald, rubies and diamonds and other stones.
  3. People wearing perfume.

The ladies of Paradise:

  1. The ladies will be divided into two groups, the believing women and those created in paradise (Ḥūr al ‘Īn)
  2. Khayrātul Ḥisān[54] will be the believing women and they will be more beautiful than the Ḥuri’s according to Imam Ja’far (‘a).[55]
  3. The Ḥūri’s will be of tremendous, unimaginable beauty, at the service of their husbands.
  4. Their men will get more than one wife if they so wish.
  5. The wives will also be satisfied by the beauty and the service of their husbands. But the ladies will only have one husband, and some say that there will not be any restrictions for the ladies either.

The greatest bounty will be the satisfaction and pleasure of Allah upon the believers.[56]

Hellfire – Jahannam

  • Jahannam means “somewhere very deep with fire”.
  • The word has been mentioned 77 times in the Qur’ān.
  • The pain will be both physical and spiritual.

The different names of Jahannam:

  1. Jaḥῑm– it has been mentioned 24 times in the Qur’ān and it is the name of a Fire.
  2. Ḥuṭama– it means “to Break/ Crush” and is the name of a Fire. It has been mentioned twice.
  3. Sijjῑn– it means “Prison”, and is the name of a valley.
  4. Sa’ῑr– it means “the upper part of the Fire”. It has been mentioned 16 times.
  5. Saqar– it means “the burning of the Fire”, it has been mentioned 4 times. It has 19 angels as guards.[57]
  6. Nār– “Fire”, it has been mentioned 145 times.
  7. Hāwiya– it means “the ultimate heated Fire possible”, mentioned once.
  8. Laẓῑ– it means the “tongue of the Fire on the upper part”. It has been mentioned once.
  • Hell has different levels which you will enter depending on your deeds and evilness.

The attributes of Hell are:

  1. The deepest place or lowest grade in Hellfire is called Darkil Asfal.[58] And that’s for the hypocrites.
  2. Hell has 7 doors or gates.[59] One less than Paradise which refers to the Mercy of Allah.
  3. The disbelievers will be as wood for the Fire.
  4. They will be in intense dark smoke.
  5. They will have unimaginable pain and torture.
  6. The intense pain they have to endure is the toil of their own hands and deeds, which they chose with free will. Allah just gives them their due.

Hell will have 4 groups of angels, who work as its guards:

  • The angels of Zabānῑya.[60]
  • The angels of Ghilāẓ and Shidād.[61]
  • The angels of Saqar, which are 19 in number.[62]
  • Mālik will be “the Opener of the Gates of Hellfire”.[63]
  • The disbelievers will have a tiny, squeezing spot in Hell.

The food and drinks of Hell:

1. Zaqqūm– a tree in Hell, with fruits which have a very bad smell and taste, which will give the disbelievers pain and torture.

Verily, the tree of Zaqqūm will be the food of the sinners. Like the boiling oil, it will boil in the bellies, like the boiling of scalding water.[64]

Is that (Paradise) a better entertainment or the tree of Zaqqūm? Truly, We made it as a trial for the Ẓālimūn (the oppressors). Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hellfire. The shoots of its fruit stalks are like the heads of devils. Truly, they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith.[65]

The word Zaqqūm is mentioned three times in the Qur’ān.

2. Ḥamῑm– Very hot boiling water.

You verily will eat of the trees of Zaqqūm. Then you will fill your bellies therewith, and drink boiling water (Ḥamīm) on top of it. And you will drink it like thirsty camels.[66]

3. Ghislῑn- It’s the secretion or filth of wounds which the disbelievers will be forced to eat.

Nor any food except the secretion from the washing of the wounds. None will eat it except the disbelievers.[67]

4. Ḍarῑ’- A green, bad smelling plant from the bottom of the sea, which the disbelievers will be forced to eat.

No food will there be for them but a poisonous thorny plant, which will neither nourish no avail them from hunger.[68]

5. Ghassāq- it’s a liquid form of secretion or filth from the wounds, whom the disbelievers will be forced to drink.

Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink, except boiling water, and dirty wound discharges/ secretion.[69]

6. Ṣadῑd- It’s the blood and secretion of the disbelievers in Hell, which they will be forced to drink.

In front of him (every arrogant person) is Hell, and he will be made to drink boiling, filthy water (with secretion). He will sip it unwillingly, and he will find a great difficulty to swallow it down his throat.[70]

7. Muhl- It’s boiling oil which the disbelievers will be forced to drink as a relief from the heat of Hellfire.

Verily, We have prepared for the Ẓālimūn (the oppressors) a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them. And if they ask for help, they will be granted water like boiling oil that will scald their faces. Terrible is the drink, and an evil dwelling place![71]

The torture of the disbelievers:

  1. The clothes of the dwellers of Hell will be a tool for torture. It will be of fire.[72]
  2. They will be in heavy chains.
  3. They will burn in boiling water.
  4. Their faces will be terrifying.
  5. There will be shouts of cry because of the pain they receive.
  6. They will be dwelling with those whom they liked in this world and eventually made them go to Hell (shayāṭῑn).
  7. They will be humiliated.
  8. The Mercy of Allah will not be upon them.

Two kinds of Hell:

  1. The everlasting, permanent one, and
  2. The limited one. This Hell has to do with those sinners whom the punishment of this world, the Intermediate world and the difficulties of Resurrection, wasn’t enough to “purify” them. That’s why they had to go through Hell to finally be purified and be allowed to enter Paradise.

Why everlasting torture in Hellfire?

The reason is that:

  1. Allah has given the human being two “proofs”, the reason/ intellect and sharῑ’a too follow. And that person destined to go to Hell, preferred not to follow any of them.
  2. If they would get another chance to go back to the world, they would have done the same actions again.
  3. Whatever they get in Hell is their own due. It is the result of their own actions.
  4. Why should you get an everlasting punishment in Hell? Why should someone be condemned to Hell, for an action which would have taken a couple of seconds? The answer is that the action may be so grave and harmful that the person will suffer from it for his whole life. For example, a person who in one second puts a knife in his eye will for always be blind and suffer for his action. Another example is that Kufr, disbelief, from a spiritual perspective, is not confined to a specific time, it will continue, endure and last with that person until his or her death.
  5. Some of the ‘Urafā[73], mystics, deny the everlasting imprisonment of the disbelievers in Hell, the physical bodily Resurrection on Judgement Day and the torture in it. Ibn’Arabi says that the disbelievers will eventually feel “pleasure”[74] by the torture of Allah, because of their burning love towards Allah, and they would not like to leave the place. Hellfire will one day extinguish and trees and plants will grow there (it will be transformed to a Garden) and the disbelievers will be forgiven.[75] There are tenth of verses who goes against the statement of Ibn ‘Arabi about the so called “pleasure in Hell”, like:

Surely! Those who disbelieved in Our signs, We shall burn them in Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for other skins, so that they may taste the Punishment. Truly, Allah is Ever Most Powerful, All Wise.[76]

As you can see here, Allah refers to the material skin of a human beings body.[77] According to the Muslim philosophers and mystics, this skin and flesh is comparable to the skin and flesh in your dreams. You feel pain when your skin burns in your dream also, thus the verse does not go against an imaginable body in hellfire or paradise.

The “death” of Death

According to both Sunni and Shi’a narrations Allah will “kill” Death, so that there will be no more death, so that those who became the people of Paradise and those whom became the people of Hell will for always dwell in that place.

What will happen after Judgement Day?

  1. Allah will create another world with other beings in it.
  2. These beings will not have any sex.
  3. They will worship Him only.[78]

The biggest muaddithīn consider these narrations as weak.

Theologians have not denied the possibility of it, but they haven’t reached certainty either. It is not against reason according to them.

‘Allāma Majlisi says that we cannot just brush it aside, we have to consider it as a possibility.


This was a short summary of what the Shi’a theologians, mutakallimīn, believe in, about the topic of Judgment Day and the Resurrection, and what really happens to the world and human beings as we know it, and what their last abode and dwelling place will be. This summary was not addressed from the Shi’a philosophical and mystical approach. We tried to answer all questions which may be asked and may not be asked here. And the answers were provided thanks to our Prophet and our Imams who through the different narrations have answered their companions, and through them have these narrations reached us.

All good in this paper is due to Allah the Most High, and all faults were solely mine.

[1] Aim, Goal, a place to return too and the Hereafter.

[2] Asfār vol. 9, p. 275-282.

[3] Ḥikmatul Ishrāq p. 353 and 359-362.

[4] The whole Islamic umma have one view on this topic that it is a physical and spiritual judgement day. Rasāil ash Shahid al Awwal, Risālatul arba’iniya, p. 137 and 151.

[5] I can’t prove it, but I believe in it because of the message of the Qur’ān and the ahadith and the sharῑ’a. Ash Shifā, chapter al Ḥayyāt, p. 423.

[6] Rasāil Shahiduth Thāni, al Istanbūliya fil Wājibatul ‘ayniya, p. 732.

[7] Miṣbāḥ al Fuqahā, vol. 1, p. 246. Khu’i says that one who denies the physical Judgement Day is a Kāfir, non-Muslim.

[8] The religions of Jainism, budda and Hindusim have this belief.

[9] Which you will be able to answer correctly depending on your good or bad deeds in this world.

[10] Al Ghāfir 46.

[11] Al Ma’ārij 8, al Inshiqāq 1, al Infiṭār 1, al Mursalāt 9, al Ambiya 104, aṭ Ṭūr 9.

[12] At Takwịr 1-2, al Infiṭār 2, al Mursalāt 8, al Qiyāma 7-9.

[13] Al Muzzammil 14, al Wāqi’a 5-6, al Qāri’a 5, an Naba 20.

[14] Ṭāhā 105-107, al Wāqi’a 4, al Ḥajj 1-2.

[15] Al Infiṭār 3, at Takwịr 6.

[16] The First Blow on the trumpet, the death and destruction of everything and anyone within the universe and the unseen worlds.

[17] The Second Blow on the trumpet; human beings and the jinn will rise from death to be judged. The angels will also get their lives back, but will not be judged.

[18] This angel is the one who will Blow the trumpet.

[19] Al Ghāfir 16. Li manil mulkul Yawm lillāhil Wāḥidil Qahhār.

[20] Or Yawmul Ma’ḥshar.

[21] Al A’rāf 187, Ṭāhā 15, al Mulk 26, an Nāzi’āt 44.

[22] Biḥārul Anwār, vol. 7, p. 39.

[23] Shaykh Mufịd, Taṣ ḥīḥul I’tiqād, p. 112.

[24] Al Mujādala verse 6. Al Qiyama, 13. Al Baqara 235.

[25] Ᾱli ’Imrān 19, al An’ām 62.

[26] Majma’ul Bayān, vol. 2, p. 531.

[27] Al Inshiqāq 7-9.

[28] Al Kahf, 49. Al Isrā, 13-14. Al Qamar 52-53.

[29] Al Infiṭār, 10-12. aṭ Ṭāriq 4. Qāf 17-18.

[30] Al Infiṭār, 10-12.

[31] ’Ilalush Sharāyi’, vol. 2 p. 359.

[32] Al Ḥāqqa, 25-26.

[33] Al Inshiqāq 10-12.

[34] Al Ḥāqqa 19 and al Inshiqāq 7-9.

[35] Al Wāqi’a 10-12.

[36] Ᾱli ’Imrān 98, 180. al Baqara 284. An Nisā 1.

[37] Al Burūj 3.

[38] At Tawba 105. ”Allah will see your deeds, and so will His messenger and the believers.”

[39] ibid

[40] Az Zalzala 4.

[41] Ḥaqqul Yaqīn p. 444

[42] Yasīn 65, an Nūr 24, Fuṣṣilat 20-22.

[43] Al Baqara 255, az Zumur 44.

[44] Al Ᾱmāli, Ṣadūq, p. 294.

[45] At Tawba 117

[46] Al Baqara 160.

[47] An Nisā 48 and 116.

[48] Al Furqān, 70, at Taḥrῑm 8, Ᾱli ’Imrān, 195.

[49] Az Zukhruf 71, Qāf 35.

[50] Jāmi’ul Akhbār, 126.

[51] Ar Raḥmān 46 and 62.

[52] According to Imam Ali in Biḥār al Anwār, vol. 8, p. 122.

[53] Saḥῑfa tus Sajjādῑya, the third du’ā.

[54] Ar Raḥmān 70.

[55] Mal lā Yaḥ ḍuru hul Faqῑh, vol 3, p. 469.

[56] At Tawba 72.

[57] Al Mud- dath- thir 30.

[58] An Nisā 145.

[59] Al Ḥijr/ the Rocky Trackt 44.

[60] Al ’Alaq 18.

[61] At Taḥrῑm 6.

[62] Al Mud- dath- thir 30.

[63] Az Zukhruf 77.

[64] Chapter 44, ad Dukhān 43-46.

[65] Chapter 37, aṣ Ṣaffāt, 62- 66. The word is also mentioned in chapter 56 al Wāqi’a 52.

[66] Chapter 56 al Wāqi’a, 52- 55.

[67] Chapter 69, al Ḥaqqa, 36- 37.

[68] Chapter 88, al Ghāshiya- the Overwhelming, 6-7.

[69] Chapter 78, an Naba, 24- 25.

[70] Chapter 14, Ibrāhῑm (’a), 16-17.

[71] Chapter 18, al Kahf, 29.

[72] Al Ḥajj 19. Ibrāhῑm (’a), 50.

[73] Ibn ’Arabi and Mullā Ṣadrā according to the scholar Ali Mīyānji.

[74] Instead of reading ‘Adhāb, Ibn ‘Arabi red ‘adhb, which means pleasure.

[75] Asfār from Mullā Ṣadrā vol. 9, p. 346-362.

[76] Chapter 4, an Nisā, 56.

[77] According to Ali Mīyānjī’s interpretation.

[78] Biḥār al Anwār, vol. 8, p. 375.

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