When Your Deeds Are Weighed


The Mīzān (The Scale)
After the reckoning, man will move onto a second stage of judging in which his deeds will be weighed. The first stage dealt with establishing all a person has done, the second stage deals with weighing those deeds and the establishing the consequences thereof.[1] This weighing will only be for Muslims according to the stronger view. The deeds of the disbelievers have no worth in the Hereafter, and hold no weight whatsoever;[2] they will have been rewarded for any good they did in this world.[3]

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)

The Scale will be erected, it has two plates and a tongue as stated by Ibn ʿAbbās.[4] It will be large enough to easily accommodate the heavens and the earth in their entirety. When the Angels first saw it, they asked, ‘Who will be weighed in this?’ Allāh replied, “Whoever of My creation that I want.” Then the Angels said, ‘Glory be to You! We have not worshiped You as You truly deserve!’[5]

The belief of Ahlul-Sunnah is that this is a physical Scale and not a metaphor for justice as claimed by some. Allāh mentions the Scales in many places such as,

فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ فِي جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدُونَ

“Those whose scales are heavy, they are the successful. Those whose scales are light, they are the losers of their selves, remaining in Hell timelessly, forever.”[6]

وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا وَإِنْ كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا وَكَفَى بِنَا حَاسِبِينَ

We will set up the Just Scale on the Day of Rising and no self will be wronged in any way. Even if it is no more than the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, We will produce it. We are sufficient as a Reckoner.[7]

These āyāt mention al-mawāzīn which is the plural of the word Scale and has led some scholars to posit that there will be multiple Scales on the Last Day, perhaps even one per person.[8] Others said that there is, in fact, only one Scale, and the plural is used to reflect the different things that will be weighed on them.[9]

What will be weighed?
The texts show that:[10]

1) Man’s deeds will be weighed

For example, Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “There are two statements that are light upon the tongue, heavy in the Scales and are beloved to the Lord of Mercy: SubḥānAllāhi wa biḥamdihī, SubḥānAllāhi’l-ʿAẓīm.”[11]

2) The scrolls on which the deeds are written will be weighed as in the ḥadīth of the man with 99 scrolls.

Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “Allāh will distinguish a man from my Ummah before all of creation on the Day of Judgement. Ninety-nine scrolls will be laid out for him, each scroll is as far as the eye can see, then He will ask, ‘Do you deny any of this? Have those who recorded this wronged you?’ He will reply, ‘My Lord, no!’ Allāh will ask, ‘Do you have any excuse to present?’ He will reply, ‘My Lord, no!’ Allāh will then say, ‘You do have a good deed with Us; you shall not be wronged today.” Then He will bring out a card on which is written, ‘Ash-hadu an lā ilāha illAllāh wa ash-hadu anna Muḥammadan ʿabduhu wa rasūluhu.’ Allāh will say, ‘Bring your Scales.’ The man will ask, ‘My Lord! What good is this card next to these scrolls?’ He will reply, ‘You shall not be wronged.’ The scrolls will be put on one plate of the scale and the card on the other; the scrolls will be light and the card will outweigh them because nothing is heavier than the name of Allāh.”[12]

3) The person himself will be weighed.

Once some people laughed at Ibn Masʿūd for having thin legs. Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) remarked, “Are you laughing at Ibn Masʿūd’s legs? On Allāh’s Scales they are heavier than the mountain of Uḥud.”[13]

Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“A fat man will be brought forward on the Day of Rising, yet with Allāh he will not even weigh as much as a gnat. Recite if you wish

أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَلِقَائِهِ فَحَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَزْنًا

It is those who disbelieve in their Lords signs, and deny that they will meet with Him, their deeds come to nothing: on the Day of Rising We shall give them no weight.[14]”[15]

On this Scale, the good deeds will be multiplied,

مَن جَاء بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا وَمَن جَاء بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلاَ يُجْزَى إِلاَّ مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ

Whoever has done good will have it ten times to his credit, but whoever does a bad deed will be repaid only with its equivalent – they will not be wronged.[16]

مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ كَمَثَلِ حَبَّةٍ أَنبَتَتْ سَبْعَ سَنَابِلَ فِي كُلِّ سُنبُلَةٍ مِّئَةُ حَبَّةٍ وَاللّهُ يُضَاعِفُ لِمَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Those who spend their wealth in Allāh’s path are like grains of corn that produce seven ears, each bearing a hundred grains. Allāh gives multiple increase to whoever He wishes.[17]

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Those who are patient will be given a reward without measure.[18]

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said: “Allāh records good and bad deeds in this way: If anyone intends to do a good deed, but does not do it, Allāh still records it with Him as one full good deed. If he intends a good deed and then carries it out, Allāh records it with Him as ten to seven hundred times in reward or even increases it many times more. If anyone intends to do a bad deed but does not actually do it, Allāh records it with Him as one full good deed. If he intends to do a bad deed and does it, Allāh records it with Him as only one bad deed.”[19]

After the weighing of deeds, Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said, “A neck will stretch forth from Hell; it will have two eyes to see with, two ears to hear, and a tongue to speak. And it will speak, saying, ‘I have been appointed for three types of people: every arrogant tyrant, every person who called on some deity other than Allāh and those who made pictures.’[20]

The non-Muslims will have fallen to ground in terror for when Hell sees them from afar, they will hear it roaring and raging,

إِذَا رَأَتْهُم مِّن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ سَمِعُوا لَهَا تَغَيُّظًا وَزَفِيرًا

When it sees them from a distance, they will hear it raging and roaring.[21]

And they will be driven to Hell on their knees and hurled in,

وَإِنْ مِنْكُمْ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَا كَانَ عَلَى رَبِّكَ حَتْمًا مَقْضِيًّا(71)ثُمَّ نُنَجِّي الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا وَنَذَرُ الظَّالِمِينَ فِيهَا جِثِيًّا

There is not one of you who will not come to it. That is the final decision of your Lord. Then We will rescue those who had taqwa and We will leave the wrongdoers in it on their knees.[22]

وَلِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبِّهِمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ إِذَا أُلْقُوا فِيهَا سَمِعُوا لَهَا شَهِيقًا وَهِيَ تَفُورُ تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ الْغَيْظِ كُلَّمَا أُلْقِيَ فِيهَا فَوْجٌ سَأَلَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَذِيرٌ قَالُوا بَلَى قَدْ جَاءنَا نَذِيرٌ فَكَذَّبْنَا وَقُلْنَا مَا نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ مِن شَيْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا فِي ضَلَالٍ كَبِيرٍ

وَقَالُوا لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِي أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ فَاعْتَرَفُوا بِذَنبِهِمْ فَسُحْقًا لِّأَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ

Those who disbelieve in their Lord We have prepared the torment of the blazing Fire, what an evil destination. When they are thrown into it, they will hear it drawing in its breath, while it is blazing forth. Almost bursting with rage. Each time a group is thrown in, its keepers will ask, ‘Did no one come to warn you?’ They will say, ‘Yes, a warner did come to us but we did not believe him.’ We said, ‘Allāh has revealed nothing; you are greatly misguided.’ They will say, ‘If only we had listened, or reasoned, we not be with the inhabitants of the fire.’ They will confess their sins, so away with the inhabitants of the Blazing Fire![23]

The People of the Aʿrāf
There will be a group of people whose good deeds balance out their bad deeds and they will be the last people to have their cases decided. They will wait at a place between Paradise and Hell, turning one way and seeing Hell, seeking refuge with Allāh against it, and then turning the other way and seeing Paradise, asking Allāh for it.

وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ وَعَلَى الأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ يَعْرِفُونَ كُلاًّ بِسِيمَاهُمْ وَنَادَوْاْ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَن سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ

… On the Heights are people who will recognise each group by their marks: they will call out to the People of the Garden: peace be with you, they will not have entered it, but they will be hoping.[24]

Allāh will finally decide their case and as Hudhayfah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhu) said, ‘Allāh will say to them: go and enter Paradise, I have forgiven them.’[25]

The Ṣirāṭ
The Ṣirāt or the Bridge spans the entire back of Hell. It is the last hurdle the believers will face on the Last Day and at its far end will be Paradise. Every Muslim will cross it save those exempted

﴿وَإِنْ مِنْكُمْ إِلَّا وَارِدُهَا كَانَ عَلَى رَبِّكَ حَتْمًا مَقْضِيًّا(71)ثُمَّ نُنَجِّي الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا وَنَذَرُ الظَّالِمِينَ فِيهَا جِثِيًّا﴾

There is not one of you who will not come to it. That is the final decision of your Lord. Then We will rescue those who had taqwa and We will leave the wrongdoers in it on their knees.[26]

This was an āyah that terrified the Salaf, they would say that ‘we know for certainty that we will cross it because Allāh says so, but what we don’t know is if we will reach the other end.’[27] ʿAbdullāh b. Rawāḥa would cry when he recited this verse.[28]

All of mankind will be in a state of abject terror upon reaching the Bridge,[29] fearing that they will fall into Hell as they cross.

When the Ṣirāṭ is laid across the Fire, the Angels will ask Allāh who is to cross it and He will reply, “For whoever I want of My servants.” Realising what is required to successfully traverse it, they exclaim, “Glory be to You! We have not worshipped You as You truly deserve!”[30]

The Ṣirāṭ is thinner than a hair, sharper than a sword,[31] and extremely slippery.[32] It has hooks and clamps on either side like a thorny seed that is wide at one side and narrow at the other and has thorns with bent ends, resembling the thorns of a bush called Saʿdān in Najd,[33] their true size known only to Allāh.[34] They will be made of fire[35] and will snatch those they are commanded to and sweep them away into the Fire.[36]

It will be pitch black. The Hellfire will be so hot as to be black, the smoke it gives off will be black. People will have light in proportion the strength of their īmān and their deeds, and it is in that light that they will cross.[37] Some people will have light blazing like the sun, and others not so much. The prayer (ṣalāh) is a light and it will provide light for the person who prayed,[38] and those who went to the masjid for jamaʿah in the darkness will have perfect light.[39]

Allāh, Most High, says,

يَوْمَ لَا يُخْزِي اللَّهُ النَّبِيَّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ نُورُهُمْ يَسْعَى بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا إِنَّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

On a Day when Allāh will not degrade the Prophet and those who believe with him. Their light will run before them and on their right hands, and they will say, ‘Our Lord! Complete our light for us and forgive us. Surely, You have power over all things.’[40]

يَوْمَ تَرَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَسْعَىٰ نُورُهُم بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِم بُشْرَاكُمُ الْيَوْمَ جَنَّاتٌ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ

On the Day when you see the believers, both men and women, with their light streaming out ahead of them and to their right, [they will be told], ‘The good news for you today is that there are Gardens graced with flowing streams where you will stay: that is the supreme triumph!’[41]

Up to this point, the Hypocrites (Munāfiqūn) will have been given light by Allāh but now it will be taken away.[42] They will beg the believers for light,

يَوْمَ يَقُولُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتُ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا انظُرُونَا نَقْتَبِسْ مِن نُّورِكُمْ قِيلَ ارْجِعُوا وَرَاءَكُمْ فَالْتَمِسُوا نُورًا فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُم بِسُورٍ لَّهُ بَابٌ بَاطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظَاهِرُهُ مِن قِبَلِهِ الْعَذَابُ

On the Day, the hypocrites, both men and women, will say to the believers, ‘Wait for us! Let us have some of your light!’ They will be told, ‘Go back and look for light.’ A wall with a door will be erected between them: inside it lies mercy, outside lies torment.[43]

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) will be standing here supplicating, “My Lord! Safety, safety!!” as will the other Messengers.[44] On either side will be the Angels supplicating, “Allāh! Safety, safety!”[45] The mark (shiʿār) of the believers at that time will be, “My Lord! Safety, safety!”[46] and “There is none worthy of worship save you!”[47] All of them realising the dire situation ahead of them, all realising that if Allāh did not save them, they would fall into Hell.

However, before they cross it, the ties of kinship (raḥim) and trust (amānah) will take their place on either side on the Bridge demanding justice.[48] Justice will be meted out with the person’s good deeds being the only commodity acceptable on that day to requite any injustice done in this regard.

Before stepping on that Bridge, the oppressor and the tyrant will meet all those he or she oppressed. He will recognise the person and be reminded of his oppression, and they will have mutual recompense again in terms of deeds at a time when the oppressor needs them the most. If all his good deeds are exhausted before justice is met, the bad deeds of the oppressed will be piled onto is, and it could be that they end up being thrown into the lowest depths of the Fire.[49] Refuge is sought with Allāh.

The first to cross it will be the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) and then his ummah.[50] People will cross it (at speeds) proportional to their deeds: some will cross it in the blink of an eye, some will cross it like a flash of lightening, some will cross it like the wind, some will cross it like a race horse, some will cross it like a camel rider, some will cross it running, some walking, and some crawling. Some will get to other side without being harmed, and some will be scratched.[51] The last to cross it will be a man slithering on his stomach, dragging himself across, with his deeds having put him in that state.[52] And some will be seized and swept away into Hell, cut in pieces,[53] piling into the Fire like moths pile into a fire.[54]

The believers who get to the other side successfully will soon realise that some of their brothers and sisters in Islām did not make it and had fallen into the Fire. They will supplicate to Allāh and beg Him to save them,[55] presenting their case as forcefully as possible.[56] They will say, ‘Our Lord! There are some of Your servants )or: our brothers) who fasted with us, prayed with us, performed the Ḥajj with us,[57] and they fought alongside us, but we don’t see them!’[58] They will be told, ‘Take out of the Fire those you recognise,’ for Allāh will have prohibited the Fire from consuming their faces.[59] They will see people who are ankle deep, or knee deep, or half the shin, or waist deep, or chest deep or neck deep[60] in the Fire and take out a large proportion of them.[61] These will be thrown into the Water of Life where they will be washed and grow back like plants grow.[62]

The Prophets, the Angels and the Martyrs will be allowed to intercede as will the believers.[63] Some will intercede for large groups of people in one go, some for whole tribes, some for smaller groups of people and some for just one person.[64] They will then be asked to take out of the Fire a person who has half a dīnār weight of īmān and even an atom’s weight.[65]

The Qanṭara
Whoever crosses the Bridge will enter Paradise. However, after the believers cross the Bridge, they will stop at an arched bridge between Paradise and the Fire; there they will settle any lingering grievances. Then, when they are cleaned and cleansed, they will be permitted to enter Paradise.[66]

Maqātil then recited the verse,

سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ طِبْتُمْ فَادْخُلُوهَا خَالِدِينَ

Peace be with You! You have been good and pure, enter it to live there forever.[67]

This will just be a discussion amongst the believers to remove any lingering feelings, there will not be a judgment or mutual recompense based on deeds.[68]

The Seventy Thousand
Allāh’s Messenger (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) said,

“The nations were presented to me. I saw a Prophet, and with him was a small party of people. (I saw a Prophet), and with him were one or two people. (I saw a Prophet), and there was no one with him at all. Then a great throng of people were raised before me and I thought that they were my nation, but I was told, “This is Mūsā and his people. However, look to the horizon.” I looked and I saw a huge throng of people and I was told, “This is your nation, amongst them are seventy thousand who shall enter Paradise without account or punishment.”’ He then rose and entered his house.” The people began to surmise who they could be: some thought that they were those who accompanied the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam), some thought that they were those who were born in Islām and had never associated partners with Allāh, and they mentioned other possibilities. Then the Messenger of Allāh (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) came out and they informed him (of their discussion). He said, “They are those who do not ask for ruqyā,[69] they do not practice cauterisation, they do not seek omens, and they put their absolute reliance in their Lord.” ʿUkkāshah b. Miḥṣan stood and said, “Messenger of Allāh, invoke Allāh to make me one of them!” He said, “You are one of them.” Then another man stood and said, “Invoke Allāh to make me one of them.” He said, “ʿUkkāshah has preceded you.”’[70]

The Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) asked for increase, and Allāh answered, granting him seventy thousand for every thousand, and then ‘three additional handfuls of your Lord,’ the extent of which none knows save Allāh.[71]

Describing them, the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam) told us that their faces will be bright, shining with light like the moon when it is full.[72] These people will avoid the trials of the Last Day, will not be judged and will not have to cross the Bridge.[73]

Source: www.islam21c.com


[1] Qurṭubī 1:715

[2] Ibn Taymiyyah, al-Majmūʿ 3:146, Saffārīnī 1:716

[3] Muslim #2808

[4] Bayhaqī, Shuʿab 1:263

[5] Ḥākim #8739, cf. Albānī, al-Ṣaḥīḥah #941

[6] al-Muʾminūn 23:102-103

[7] al-Anbiyāʾ 21:47

[8] Such as al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī who said that every person will have his own set of Scales. cf. Saffārīnī 1:717

[9] Qurṭubī 1:734-736

[10] Ibn Abī al-ʿIzz, Sharḥ al-Ṭaḥāwiyyah 2:613, Ibn Kathīr 2:203

[11] Bukhārī, Muslim

[12] Tirmidhī #2639

[13] Ahmad

[14] al-Kahf 18:105

[15] Bukhārī

[16] al-Anʿām 6:160

[17] al-Baqarah 2:261

[18] al-Zumar (39): 10

[19] Bukhārī

[20] Aḥmad #3430, cf. Qurṭubī, al-Tadhkirah 1:675

[21] al-Furqān 25:12

[22] Maryam 19:71-72

[23] al-Mulk 67:6-11

[24] al-Aʿrāf (7): 46


[26] Maryām 19:71-72

[27] Qurṭubī 1:764

[28] Qurṭubī 1:764

[29] Abū Dāwūd #4755

[30] Ḥākim #8739

[31] Ṭabarānī #9763

[32] Bukhārī #7001, Muslim #183

[33] Bukhārī #7439, Muslim #183

[34] Bukhārī #773, Muslim #182

[35] Ṭabarānī #8992

[36] Muslim #195

[37] Ṭabarānī #9763

[38] Muslim

[39] Abū Dāwūd #561

[40] al-Taḥrīm 66:8

[41] al-Ḥadīd 57:12

[42] Ṭabarānī 11:122 #11242

[43] al-Ḥadīd 57:13

[44] Bukhārī #7437, Muslim #195

[45] Muslim #195, Aḥmad #11202-12848

[46] Tirmidhī #2432, cf. Tirmidhī #2557, Muslim #183

The narration of Bukhārī #7437 and Muslim #182 state that none will speak on this occasion except the Messengers and they will make the supplication. The narration of Tirmidhī indicates that others will speak as well; however, ibn Ḥajr argues that the only the Messengers will be making the duʿā and the ḥadīth of Tirmidhī refers to the Messengers as they too are believers. Cf. Ibn Ḥajr, Fatḥ 15:145

[47] Ṭabarānī 13:69 #168

[48] Muslim #195, Ḥākim #7849

[49] Ṭabarānī, Awsaṭ #5967

[50] Bukhārī #773-7437

[51] Bukhari #7439, Muslim #183

[52] Bukhārī #7439, Hannād, al-Zuhd #322, Ibn al-Mubārak, al-Zuhd #406

[53] Bukhari #7439, Muslim #183

[54] Aḥmad #20440-20457

[55] Nasāʾī #5010, Ibn Ḥibbān #7377

[56] Bukhārī #806, Muslim #183, Ibn Mājah #60

[57] Bukhārī #7439, Muslim #183, Aḥmad #11081

[58] Nasāʾī #5010, Ibn Ḥibbān #7377

[59] Ibn Ḥibbān #7377

[60] Aḥmad #11081

[61] Aḥmad #11081

[62] Aḥmad #11081

[63] Aḥmad #20440-20457

[64] Tirmidhī #2440

[65] Nasāʾī #5010

[66] Bukhārī #6535

[67] al-Zumar 39: 73, cf. Baghawī 4:89

[68] Qurṭubī 1:767, Saffārīnī 1:730

[69] ar: lā yastarqūn

[70] Bukhārī #3410-5705-5752-6472-6541 and Muslim #220. The wording quoted above is that of Muslim except that the wording of Muslim has Ḥuṣayn saying, “I asked (someone) to perform ruqyā on me.”

[71] Aḥmad #1702, Tirmidhī #2437

[72] Muslim #216

[73] Qurṭubī 1:767, Saffārīnī 1:730

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)

[adrotate group="2"]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.