A Time for Judgment
When all forms of life are brought back to life, judgment will commence. Every creature that walked the earth, including animals, demons, and jinn, will be judged. All creatures will rise from the dead with a drooping head and a downcast gaze in fear and obedience of the Lord, each one marching toward his doom or bliss. The Koran highlights the different treatment the righteous and the guilty will receive, which will begin from the moment of the Resurrection: “On the Day when We shall gather the righteous unto the Beneficent, a goodly company. And drive the guilty unto Hell, a weary herd” (19:85–86).
According to Prophet Muhammad, the Last Day will occur on a Friday. He said that Friday was the day that Adam was created, the day he entered Heaven, and the day he was cast out and sent to Earth. For these and other reasons, Friday is the sacred day of the week in Islam.
Distribution of the Books
Every person has a book in which all his or her deeds, good and bad, are recorded. On Judgment Day, these books will be distributed among the people like grade reports are distributed among school kids. According to the Koran some people will take their books by the right hand, and some will take them by the left hand. People will have no choice but to take hold of their books with the designated hand.
Those who take their books by the right hand will know they have been forgiven and will be admitted to Heaven. Proud of the good job they did in their lives, they will invite others to read their books: “Then as for him who is given his record in his right hand, he will say: Take, read my book! Surely I knew I should have to meet my reckoning. Then he will be in blissful state, in a high Garden” (69:19–22).
The opposite is true for those who take their books by the left hand. They will realize their bad deeds have earned them a place in Hell, and will shamefully hide their books from others. The Koran comments: “But as for him who is given his record in his left hand, he will say: Oh, wish that I had not been given my book, and knew not my reckoning!” (69:25–26). In this situation, neither earthly wealth nor power will save this group from Hell. Allah says in the Koran that they will wish they would turn to dust.
Allah says in the Koran that on Judgment Day, there will be people whose faces are radiant with joy, and others whose faces are darkened with grief. In Surah 56, the Koran describes three distinct groups deserving three different destinies: “(First) those on the right hand; what of those on the right hand? And (then) those on the left hand; what of those on the left hand? And the foremost in the race; the foremost in the race” (56:8–10).
The Koran promises “the foremost in the race” the best and highest Heaven, and says that they will be closest to Allah. The Koran says this elite group is “[a] multitude of those of old, and a few of those of later time” (56:13–14). They are the purest and dearest people to Allah.
The second group is that on the right hand. They, too, will be admitted to Heaven, although their bliss is supposedly of a lower level than the foremost in the race. The Koran describes them as “[a] multitude of those old, and a multitude of those of later time” (56:39–40). They are generally the rest of the righteous people. Last, the group on the left hand is the remainder of humankind, who will be sent to Hell.