In Chapter 56, Quran says people will be put into three groups in the Day of Judgment: companions of left, companions of right, and people in front (or foremost). From the some verses in this chapter, we see that both companions of right, and foremost will go to heaven while companions of left are destined to go to hell. See the verses below:

Quran 56/10-14 talks about foremost.

And those in front––ahead indeed! For these will be the ones brought nearest to God in Gardens of Bliss: many from the past and a few from later generations.

And Quran 56/27-40 talks of companions of right.

Those on the Right, what people they are! They will dwell amid thornless lote trees and clustered acacia with spreading shade, constantly flowing water, abundant fruits, unfailing, unforbidden, with incomparable companions We have specially created–– virginal, loving, of matching age–– for those on the Right, many from the past and many from later generations.

My question is this: what exactly are the differences between foremost, and companion of right? Is it a matter of firmness in the following Islamic faith, i.e., are foremost the people who are more devout, and practicing than an average Muslim? Or, is it a special status given by the God, such as prophethood, i.e., does foremost refer to the prophets, and those who first accepted, followed, and fought besides the prophets etc.

  • Interesting question.. I'd like to see if there is any daleel of the foremost people being Prophets, Messengers & Mu'mins whereas people of right being the common righteous people (Hanafis before Musa, Jews from the time of Musa, Christians from the time of Jesus and Muslims in the current final chapter of the Ummah)
    – Ahmed
    Dec 1, 2020 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


The Foremost

The foremost are generally considered to be the prophets though there are some other interpretations.

[56:10] And the foremost, in [the race to do] good, namely, the prophets ( al-sabiquna is a subject) the foremost: (this [repetition] is to emphasise their exalted Status; the predicate [is the following, ulaika’l- muqarrabuna ])

Tafisr Al-Jalalayn

(And those foremost will be foremost.) is about the Prophets, peace be upon them, while As-Suddi said that they are the residents of the utmost highs (Ahl Al-`Illiyyin, in Paradise). The meaning of foremost is that they were foremost in performing the acts of righteousness just as Allah commanded them,

Tafisr Ibn Kathir, 56:10

Other interpretations include the spiritual elite of the community, who understand the inner meaning of the religion and walk toward God in this life, the saints, the truthful, and the martyrs. For more interpretations, you can read more here.

The Companions on the Right

The companions on the right are the righteous believers, though they are lesser in rank than those who are classified as the foremost. Quran 56:27-40 is talking about the rewards of these righteous believers in paradise.

Allah mentioned the final destination of those foremost in faith, the nearest to Him, He next mentioned the end of those on the right, the righteous believers. Maymun bin Mihran said that those on the right side are lesser in rank than the foremost in faith. Allah said,

Tafisr Ibn Kathir, 56:27

What is the difference?

The immediate difference is that the foremost are higher in rank in terms of religiosity and righteous character than the one who is only a companion on the right. Many interpretations say the foremost are the Prophets but some other interpretations include religiously high-status individuals such as saints and martyrs.

The foremost are the first to enter paradise and according to some, the foremost will not be subject to the Reckoning before God on the Day of Judgment, going straight to Paradise, while the companions of the left and the companions of the right will stand before God for judgment. [1]

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