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We all know Judgement day is coming. No one knows when except Allah SWT. Allah knows things of which we do not know.

The thoughts and worries I have in my mind is about when a Muslim passes away and is laid to rest: the waiting time. Imagine one day that you do not wake up. You as a human just don't know. This is playing a big psychological game in my mind.

It could be 10, 100, or 1000 years before judgement day when we will be resurrected.

1) What happens to a Muslim until then?
2) Will the Muslim who is laid to rest know when judgement day will be or is that still kept hidden from them?

I guess recently this is a big worry as a human who cares for other humans/Muslims where we just don't know what will happen or when it will happen. What will a Muslim do until that day?

It seems for some Muslims who repent sincerely to Allah and make Taubah for their sins that they still feel that their slate or sins is not wiped and causes even bigger anguish on their mind and who keep consistently thinking about their death and judgement day, worrying that Allah may not forgive them for their sins even if they repented and that they would be punished severely.

  • The punishment of the grave is the relevant term in islamic doctrine. – G. Bach Sep 9 '16 at 8:41
  • Thank you but that wasn't quite what I was asking :) – Ahmed ilyas Sep 9 '16 at 18:04
  • I am voting to close this as "unclear what you are asking for", due to the reason that the relevant term G.Bach added seems not to be what you are asking about. – Kilise May 14 '17 at 23:45
  • @Kilise It appears he is asking about the life in Barzakh. – Ahmed Apr 29 '18 at 6:17
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The sequence of events that take place from the moment of death until resurrection is mentioned in multiple verses in the Qur'an and in multiple hadiths, some of which are mentioned below for your reference. There is no evidence that during any of these stages that a person (Muslim or otherwise) becomes aware of when the Judgement Day is; rather, the general rule applies that no one other than Allah ﷻ knows its time.

The overall sequence of events is:

  1. Death
  2. Ascension of the soul to the heavens
  3. Burial and questioning in the grave
  4. Life in Barzakh (the period in the grave in between this life and the Hereafter)
  5. Blowing of the horn
  6. Resurrection
  7. Intercession
  8. Al-hisāb (reckoning)
  9. Flying of the scrolls of deeds
  10. Al-Mīzān (the scale)
  11. Al-Hawd (the cistern)
  12. The test of prostration
  13. The test of as-Sirāt (the bridge over Hellfire)
  14. Hellfire for the disbelievers
  15. The bridge between Hellfire and Paradise (where retaliation for injustices takes place)
  16. Heaven.

The journey to the Judgement Day starts with one's death. Allah ﷻ informs us that believers will be greeted by angels of death, giving them tidings of an eternal life in Paradise:

الَّذِينَ تَتَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ طَيِّبِينَ ۙ يَقُولُونَ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمُ ادْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

The ones whom the angels take in death, [being] good and pure; [the angels] will say, "Peace be upon you. Enter Paradise for what you used to do."

Surat An-Nahl 16:32

Qur'an 16:28 gives an account of what will happen to disbelievers at the time of their death. The hadith narrated on the authority of Abi Hurairah in Sunan Ibn Majah elaborated on the details of the first milestone, then it described the second milestone ascension of the soul to the heavens until its return to the grave:

عن أبي هريرة عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: الْمَيِّتُ تَحْضُرُهُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ فَإِذَا كَانَ الرَّجُلُ صَالِحًا قَالُوا:‏ اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الطَّيِّبَةُ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ اخْرُجِي حَمِيدَةً وَأَبْشِرِي بِرَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبٍّ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ فَلاَ يَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ ثُمَّ يُعْرَجُ بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَيُفْتَحُ لَهَا فَيُقَالُ:‏ مَنْ هَذَا فَيَقُولُونَ:‏ فُلاَنٌ.‏ فَيُقَالُ:‏ مَرْحَبًا بِالنَّفْسِ الطَّيِّبَةِ، كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ ادْخُلِي حَمِيدَةً، وَأَبْشِرِي بِرَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبٍّ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ فَلاَ يَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى يُنْتَهَى بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الَّتِي فِيهَا اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Angels come to the dying person, and if the man was righteous, they say: 'Come out, O good soul that was in a good body, come out praiseworthy and receive glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.' And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven, and it is opened for it, and it is asked: 'Who is this?' They say: 'So-and-so.' It is said: 'Welcome to the good soul that was in a good body. Enter praiseworthily and receive the glad tidings of mercy and fragrance and a Lord Who is not angry.' And this is repeated until it is brought to the heaven above which is Allah.

وَإِذَا كَانَ الرَّجُلُ السُّوءُ قَالَ اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْخَبِيثَةُ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الْخَبِيثِ اخْرُجِي ذَمِيمَةً وَأَبْشِرِي بِحَمِيمٍ وَغَسَّاقٍ.‏ وَآخَرَ مِنْ شَكْلِهِ أَزْوَاجٌ.‏ فَلاَ يَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ ثُمَّ يُعْرَجُ بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَلاَ يُفْتَحُ لَهَا فَيُقَالُ:‏ مَنْ هَذَا فَيُقَالُ:‏ فُلاَنٌ.‏ فَيُقَالُ:‏ لاَ مَرْحَبًا بِالنَّفْسِ الْخَبِيثَةِ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الْخَبِيثِ ارْجِعِي ذَمِيمَةً فَإِنَّهَا لاَ تُفْتَحُ لَكِ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ فَيُرْسَلُ بِهَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ تَصِيرُ إِلَى الْقَبْرِ

He said: "But if the man was evil, they say: 'Come out O evil soul that was in an evil body. Come out blameworthy, and receive the tidings of boiling water and the discharge of dirty wounds,' and other torments of a similar kind, all together. And this is repeated until it comes out, then it is taken up to heaven and it is not opened for it. And it is asked: 'Who is this?' It is said: 'So-and-so.' And it is said: 'No welcome to the evil soul that was in an evil body. Go back blameworthy, for the gates of heaven will not be opened to you.' So it is sent back down from heaven, then it goes to the grave."

Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4262

Once in the grave, the long hadith narrated on the authority of Al-Barā' ibn 'Āzib (and others) in Sunan Abi Dawud explains all the steps starting from the point the soul returns to the grave, the interrogation by Munkar and Nakīr, and the start of the life in Barzakh:

عن البراء بن عازب، قال: خرجنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في جنازة رجل من الأنصار، فانتهينا إلى القبر ولما يلحد، فجلس رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وجلسنا حوله كأنما على رءوسنا الطير، وفي يده عود ينكت به في الأرض، فرفع رأسه فقال: سْتَعِيذُوا بِاللَّهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ مرتين أو ثلاثا

Narrated Al-Bara' ibn Azib: We went out with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) accompanying the bier of a man of the Ansar. When we reached his grave, it was not yet dug. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) sat down and we also sat down around him as if birds were over our heads. He had in his hand a stick with which he was scratching the ground. He then raised his head and said: "Seek refuge with Allah from the punishment in the grave." He said it twice or thrice.

وقال: وَإِنَّهُ لَيَسْمَعُ خَفْقَ نِعَالِهِمْ إِذَا وَلَّوْا مُدْبِرِينَ حِينَ يُقَالُ لَهُ:‏ يَا هَذَا مَنْ رَبُّكَ وَمَا دِينُكَ وَمَنْ نَبِيُّكَ ‏

He added: "He hears the beat of their sandals when they go back, and at that moment he is asked: 'O so and so! Who is your Lord, what is your religion, and who is your Prophet?'"

قال: وَيَأْتِيهِ مَلَكَانِ فَيُجْلِسَانِهِ فَيَقُولاَنِ لَهُ:‏ مَنْ رَبُّكَ فَيَقُولُ:‏ رَبِّيَ اللَّهُ. فَيَقُولاَنِ لَهُ:‏ مَا دِينُكَ فَيَقُولُ:‏ دِينِي الإِسْلاَمُ. فَيَقُولاَنِ لَهُ:‏ مَا هَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي بُعِثَ فِيكُمْ قَالَ فَيَقُولُ:‏ هُوَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم. فَيَقُولاَنِ:‏ وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ فَيَقُولُ:‏ قَرَأْتُ كِتَابَ اللَّهِ فَآمَنْتُ بِهِ وَصَدَّقْتُ فَذَلِكَ قَوْلُ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُثَبِّتُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ الظَّالِمِينَ ۚ وَيَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ

He said: "Two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him: 'Who is your Lord?' He will reply: 'My Lord is Allah.' They will ask him: 'What is your religion?' He will reply: 'My religion is Islam.' They will ask him: 'What is your opinion about the man who was sent on a mission among you?' He will reply: 'He is the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).' They will ask: 'Who made you aware of this?' He will reply: 'I read Allah's Book, believed in it, and considered it true', which is verified by Allah's words (14:27): «Allah keeps firm those who believe, with the firm word, in worldly life, and in the Hereafter. And Allah sends astray the wrongdoers. And Allah does what He wills.»

قال: فَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ:‏ أَنْ قَدْ صَدَقَ عَبْدِي فَأَفْرِشُوهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ، وَافْتَحُوا لَهُ بَابًا إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَأَلْبِسُوهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَأْتِيهِ مِنْ رَوْحِهَا وَطِيبِهَا وَيُفْتَحُ لَهُ فِيهَا مَدَّ بَصَرِهِ

He said: "Then a crier will call from Heaven: 'My servant has spoken the truth, so spread a bed for him from Paradise, clothe him from Paradise, and open a door for him into Paradise.' So some of its air and perfume will come to him, and a space will be made for him as far as the eye can see."

وإن الكافر فذكر موته قال: وَتُعَادُ رُوحُهُ فِي جَسَدِهِ وَيَأْتِيهِ مَلَكَانِ فَيُجْلِسَانِهِ فَيَقُولاَنِ:‏ مَنْ رَبُّكَ فَيَقُولُ:‏ هَاهْ هَاهْ هَاهْ لاَ أَدْرِي. فَيَقُولاَنِ لَهُ:‏ مَا دِينُكَ فَيَقُولُ:‏ هَاهْ هَاهْ لاَ أَدْرِي. فَيَقُولاَنِ:‏ مَا هَذَا الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي بُعِثَ فِيكُمْ فَيَقُولُ:‏ هَاهْ هَاهْ لاَ أَدْرِي

He also mentioned the death of the infidel, saying: "His spirit will be restored to his body, then two angels will come to him, make him sit up and ask him: 'Who is your Lord?' He will reply: 'Alas, alas! I do not know.' They will ask him: 'What is your religion?' He will reply: 'Alas, alas! I do not know.' They will ask: 'Who was the man who was sent on a mission among you?' He will reply: 'Alas, alas! I do not know.'"

قال: فَيُنَادِي مُنَادٍ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ:‏ أَنْ كَذَبَ فَأَفْرِشُوهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَأَلْبِسُوهُ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَافْتَحُوا لَهُ بَابًا إِلَى النَّارِ‏. فَيَأْتِيهِ مِنْ حَرِّهَا وَسَمُومِهَا وَيُضَيَّقُ عَلَيْهِ قَبْرُهُ حَتَّى تَخْتَلِفَ فِيهِ أَضْلاَعُهُ ثُمَّ يُقَيَّضُ لَهُ أَعْمَى أَبْكَمُ مَعَهُ مِرْزَبَّةٌ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ، لَوْ ضُرِبَ بِهَا جَبَلٌ لَصَارَ تُرَابًا فَيَضْرِبُهُ بِهَا ضَرْبَةً يَسْمَعُهَا مَا بَيْنَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ إِلاَّ الثَّقَلَيْنِ فَيَصِيرُ تُرَابًا ثُمَّ تُعَادُ فِيهِ الرُّوحُ

He said: "Then a crier will call from Heaven: 'He has lied, so spread a bed for him from Hell, clothe him from Hell, and open for him a door into Hell.' Then some of its heat and pestilential wind will come to him, and his grave will be compressed, so that his ribs will be crushed together. One who is blind and dumb will then be placed in charge of him, having a sledge-hammer such that if a mountain were struck with it, it would become dust. He will give him a blow with it which will be heard by everything between the east and the west except by men and jinn, and he will become dust. Then his spirit will be restored to him."

Sunan Abi Dawud, Book 42, Hadith 158

We stay in our graves for as long as Allah ﷻ wills. The period is unknown to us then as it is unknown to us now. When the Messenger ﷺ was asked about the Hour, he responded: "The one who is asked about it does not know more than the questioner does" (see Sahih al-Bukhari 6/60/300), which Allah ﷻ has informed us time and again in the Qur'an that only He has in His Providence the knowledge of the Hour (see Qur'an 31:34). Furthermore, in another version of the hadith of the one above by Al-Barā' ibn 'Āzib, Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his book Jāmi' al-'Ulūm documents that believers will rush the Hour in their graves to enter Paradise:

قال: وَيَأْتِيهِ رَجُلٌ حَسَنُ الْوَجْهِ، حَسَنُ الثِّيَابِ، طَيِّبُ الرِّيحِ، فَيَقُولُ: أَبْشِرْ بِالَّذِي يَسُرُّكَ، هَذَا يَوْمُكَ الَّذِي كُنْتَ تُوعَدُ. فَيَقُولُ لَهُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ؟ فَوَجْهُكَ الْوَجْهُ يَجِيءُ بِالْخَيْرِ. فَيَقُولُ: أَنَا عَمَلُكَ الصَّالِحُ. فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ أَقِمِ السَّاعَةَ حَتَّى أَرْجِعَ إِلَى أَهْلِي وَمَالِي

NOTE. My own translation, so treat with care.

He Said: "Then a handsome man dressed nicely and having a sweet fragrance will come and say: 'Rejoice with what will please you. This is your day that you were promised.' He [the believer] will say to him: 'Who are you? Your face is that of one who brings good fortune.' He will answer: 'I am your good deeds.' He [the believer] will then say: 'O Allah, bring forth the Hour so that I reunite with my family and my fortune.'"

Jāmi' al-'Ulūm, Vol. 4, pp. 253

When the end of the world comes, the horn will be blown and all of Allah's creatures (with a few exceptions by Allah's will) will die, then there will be an interim period that we do not know how long it is before the horn is blown for the second time. This is when we all rise from our graves:

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.

Surat Az-Zumar 39:68

From this long hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari narrated on the authority of Abi Hurairah, the Prophet ﷺ recounts what takes place at the time of resurrection:

عن أبي هريرة، قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: يَصْعَقُ النَّاسُ حِينَ يَصْعَقُونَ، فَأَكُونُ أَوَّلَ مَنْ قَامَ، فَإِذَا مُوسَى آخِذٌ بِالْعَرْشِ، فَمَا أَدْرِي أَكَانَ فِيمَنْ صَعِقَ

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "The people will fall down unconscious at the time when they should fall down (i.e., on the Day of Resurrection), and then I will be the first man to get up and behold, Moses will be there holding (Allah's) Throne. I will not know whether he has been amongst those who have fallen unconscious."

Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 81, Hadith 107

Each one of us will be resurrected in the same form and state in which we died:

عن جابر قال سمعت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: يُبْعَثُ كُلُّ عَبْدٍ عَلَى مَا مَاتَ عَلَيْهِ

Jabir reported: "I heard Allah's Apostle (ﷺ) as saying: 'Every servant would be raised (in the same very state) in which he dies.'"

Sahih Muslim, Book 53, Hadith 101

Following our resurrection, there will be another waiting period until the Prophet ﷺ intercedes so that Allah ﷻ starts al-hisāb.

  • Thank you for the answer. What is difference b/w #13 & #15 in your sequence list? – Ahmed Apr 29 '18 at 16:03
  • @Ahmed, there is one bridge that disbelievers try to cross and two bridges that believers have to cross. This is too long to answer in a comment, though. Please post a new question. – III-AK-III Apr 29 '18 at 18:42
  • Sure... will do that. – Ahmed Apr 30 '18 at 6:41
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No one will know when judgement day will be not even the dead. Because prophet muhammed peace be upon him said only Allah knows when. Even muhammed peace be upon him doesn't know. And also we can never guess when, and allah knows best.

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