10 Nov Belief in The Hereafter: Part 6
Phrases Related to the Doomsday, Resurrection and the Hereafter:
Many phrases are used related to the doomsday, resurrection, hereafter and life in the hereafter in the Quran. We can divide these phrases into three:
a. Phrases related to the strike of the Doomsday and the destruction of the universe:
The phrase, the strike of the Doomsday, which is used to express the destruction of the system of the universe and the end of this worldly life, is expressed in several ways in the Quran. The most common one among them is the word as-saah (hour). This word lexically means a short while. To use the word hour for the astounding and horrifying things that happen on the Doomsday is a nice expression peculiar to the conciseness of the Quran. The reason why the Doomsday is expressed by the word as-saah is due to the fact that it runs toward us by covering times and breaths not distances. Thus, when a person dies, his hour reaches him and Doomsday strikes for him before the big hour. The big hour (the big Doomsday) is like days compared to the life of man”.
The word al-Haaqqa, which is used to express the strike of Doomsday, means something that will definitely and doubtlessly happen.
The word al-Qaria is used for the Doomsday because it terrifies and horrifies man, the sky is cleft asunder, the earth and mountains are dispersed and the stars are scattered as their light go out.
The words al-Azifa, as-Sahha, al-Ghashiya and at-Taamma are also used for the Doomsday. Azifa means close or near. There are various explanations why this word is used but the most famous one is that the Doomsday is close compared to the age of the world. Sahha means something that is listened because it terrifies people.The word ghashiya is used because the fear of the Day of Judgment fills people or hellfire suffuses unbelievers. Taamma means covering.
As it is seen, all of these definitions have a sound that jars ears, throbs and makes a loud noise. This state originates from meaning-sound harmony, which is one of the miraculous features of the Quran. These words are so suitably chosen in terms of letters and meter that they virtually transfer the terror and fear of the Day of Judgment to ears.
b. Phrases related to the dead being taken out of their graves and being sent to the Gathering Place:
In the Quran, the resurrection of the people are expressed through various terms like ba’th (resurrection), ihya (revival), iada (returning), taba’thur (turning upside down), hashr (gathering), nashr (resurrection) and nashatul-ukhra (second creation).
Ba’th lexically means to move and remove something from its place. The reason why the Day of Judgment is called the day of ba’th is the fact that people are removed from their graves and are taken to the place of reckoning on that day. It is stated that the main meaning of ba’th is irsal (sending), that ba’th and irsal are synonymous and that both ba’athtu rasulan and arsaltu rasulan (I sent a messenger) were used. In the Quran, this word is mainly used in the sense of reviving the dead and sending a prophet but it is also used in the sense of inspiration, awakening, giving power and appointing.
The verb ba’thara mentioned in the verse “wa idhal quburu bu’thirat” (and when the graves are turned upside down) is used in the sense of dispersing, turning and turning upside down. It is stated that this word is the combination of ba’th and isara. Raghib does not find this view inappropriate and says that it contains these meanings.
The difference between ba’th and nushur is as follows: ba’thu’l-khalq means to remove people from their graves to the place of gathering as it is mentioned in the chapter of Yasin: “Who hath raised us up from our beds of repose?” (Ya seen, 52) Nushur means the appearance of those who are resurrected and their deeds and showing them. This meaning is seen in phrases like nashartu ismak (I showed / spread your name) and nashartu fadilata fulan ( I showed / narrated the virtue of a person).
Iada means to turn / return. Maad means the place to return, the hereafter.
Nashatul-ukhra (second creation) is used acting upon the term nashatul-ula (first creation) in the Quran. Thus, it is presented as an evidence for the possibility of the resurrection. For, the one who creates something out of nothing can create it again.
Ihya (reviving after death) is a term that is often used in the Quran. It is used in the sense of both giving spirit to living beings during first creation and reviving after death. The term ihya in the following verse is in the sense of giving spirit to living beings during first creation: “Ye were without life, and He gave you life.” (al-Baqara, 28) The term ihya in the following verse is in the sense of reviving after death: “…Has not He, (the same) the power to give life to the dead?“ (al-Qiyama, 40). Apart from these two senses, the term ihya is also used in the sense of guidance, letting living beings live and animating the earth with plants.
The term nashr, which is used in the sense of taking those who are resurrected to the Gathering Place, lexically means to expand and spread something. It is the opposite of rolling up. In the Quran, it is used in the sense of both ba’th and ihya, also in the sense of dispersing and spreading.
Hashr means to gather. It lexically means to remove a group of people from somewhere due to war or some other reasons. It is used only for groups.
As for the difference between jam’ and hashr, hashr means to gather by dispatching. The phrase yawm al-hashr (day of gathering) is used in this sense. For, the creatures are gathered on that day and are sent to the Gathering Place. It is not true to say that the word hashr is used for disliked things. For, Allah states the following in a verse: “The day We shall gather the righteous to (Allah) Most Gracious, like a band presented before a king for honors.” (Maryam, 85) As it is seen, gathering for something nice is mentioned in this verse.
c. The phrases used in the sense of the Day of Judgment:
In the Quran, the terms al-yawm (today) al-akhira (the hereafter), al-yawm al-akhir (the last day) are usually used to express the Day of Judgment.
Akhira, which is derived from taakkhur (lagging behind, staying behind), indicates that there is something before it, which is the world. Worldly life comes before it; therefore, it is named the hereafter compared to the world. That is, the world and the hereafter are named liked that compared to each other. It is like the concepts husband-wife, father-son and right-left. Therefore, when the word “the world” is uttered, the hereafter comes to the mind. This association is always taken into consideration when the Quran uses these terms.
It is stated that the reason why the hereafter is called al-akhira is because it was created after the other creatures; this explanation is similar to the ones above.
That the term al-akhira is used instead of al-yawm al-akhir (the last day) or ad-dar al-akhira (the last land) is regarded as the overwhelming attribute.
The term al-yawm al-akhir is a general name and various otherworldly states are meant by it. The strike of the Doomsday, the end of this world, the resurrection of the dead, hashr, nashr, reckoning, distribution of the books of deeds, mizan (scales), Sirat, hawd, shafa’ah (intercession), Paradise and Hell are covered by this term.
That the term al-hayawan (life) is used for the hereafter in the following verse is due to the fact that the realm of the hereafter is endless, uninterrupted, immortal and eternal: “But verily the Home in the Hereafter that is life indeed” (al-Ankabut, 64). According to this expression, the realm of the hereafter is virtually the very life itself. This meaning originates from the fact that the word hayawan, which indicates more than one meaning and multitude, is used instead of the word hayy. With this expression, Allah Almighty attracts attention to the fact that the valid life is life in the hereafter. We can also say that this verse indicates that life in the hereafter is a full, active life to live both spiritually and bodily.
Razi states the following while explaining this term: When it is stated through the following verse that there is increase and development in the hereafter: “to those who do right is a goodly (reward)― yea, more (than in measure) ” (Yunus, 26) and through the following verse that the hereafter is a full and real place of understanding: “the Day that (all) things secret will be tested”, the hereafter is given the name al-hayawan, the name of growing and understanding beings. Therefore, it is said that the stones and soil in the hereafter understand and listen to people.
Apart from the ones above, some nouns, verbs and phrases are used together with the name al-yawm to form many compounds and phrases to express the Day of Judgment. We can list the compounds including the word al-yawm and why they are used so as follows:
Al-yawm al-ba’th (the day of resurrection) because humans are resurrected with new bodies on that day;
Al-yawm al-khuruj (the day of exiting) because humans exit from their graves and go to the other realm;
Al-yawm al-qiyama (the day of standing) because people stand to be reckoned in the presence of Allah;
Al-yawm ad-din (the day of the religion) because humans are rewarded or punished based on their deeds;
Al-yawm al-fasl wal-yawm al-fath (the day of separation and conquest) because humans will be judged by justice and separated into groups;
Al-yawm at-taghabun (the day of mutual disillusion) because the oppressed becomes superior to the oppressor and the people of Paradise to the people of Hell or because that day is unknown by people;
Al-yawm al-hashr wal-yawm al-jam’ (the day of gathering and coming together) because all living beings will gather in the gathering place;
Al-yawm al-hisab (the day of the reckoning) because people will be called to account based on their deeds;
Al-yawm al-waid (the day of the threat / warning) because unbelievers will suffer from what Allah threatened them;
Al-yawm al-hashr (the day of sorrow) because unbelievers and rebels repent for what they did;
Al-yawm al-khulud (the day of eternality) because life is eternal there;
Al-yawm al-azifa (the day of approaching) because we are approaching that day gradually;
Al-yawm at-talaq (the day of meeting) because it is the day of meeting and encountering;
Al-yawm al-waqt al-ma’lum (the day whose time is known) because Allah definitely knows when it is.
Besides, there are adjectival phrases formed by the word yawm and an adjective. We can list them as follows: Yawmun asir (hard day), yawmun alim (sorrowful day), yawmun azim, yawmun kabir (great day), yawmun ma’lum (known day), yawmun majmuun lahu’n-nas (day when humans gather), yawmun mashhud ( observed / witnessed day), yawmun muhit (surrounding day), yawmun thaqil (heavy day).
There are also phrases with the word dar (land, place) indicating the material aspects of the life in the hereafter: for instance, dar al-akhira (land of the hereafter), dar al-qarar (place to stay permanently), dar al-khuld (land of eternity).