The Polythiests Shall Be Questioned About the Shirk That They Committed
In Ayah 21, we studied that the wrongdoers and deniers of truth will not receive salvation. Here in Ayah 22, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala talks about the great trial to be held on the Day of Resurrection.
وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعاً ثُمَّ نَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ أَيْنَ شُرَكَآؤُكُمُ الَّذِينَ كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ
And on the Day when We shall gather them all together, We shall say to those who joined partners in worship (with Us): “Where are your partners (false deities) whom you used to assert (as partners in worship with Allah)?”
The phrase “gather them all together” [جَمِيعاً] means that both the believers and the disbelievers will be gathered before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
The word thumma [ثُمَّ] used in the ayah denotes “delay”. This means that the trial of answering fateful questions will not begin as soon as people come out of their graves. Instead, they shall keep standing in that state of wonder and perplexity for a long period of time. It will be a passage of time in between when the reckoning will commence.
In a hadeeth, the Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam has been reported to have said: What would happen to you when Allah ta’ala will gather you on the plains of Resurrection as arrows are gathered in the quiver – and you shall be in that state for 50,000 years.
The length of this Day to be of 50,000 years has also appeared in Ayah 4 of Surah al-Ma`arij
فِى يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ
“…in a Day the measure whereof is 50,000 years.” Similarly, in Surah Hajj Ayah 47 it was said,
وَإِنَّ يَوْماً عِندَ رَبِّكَ كَأَلْفِ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ
“And verily a day with your Lord is as a 1000 years of what you reckon.”
The reason for this difference is that this day will be long in terms of the severity and different levels of pain. Therefore, this day will seem to be that of 50,000 years for some and that of 1000 years for others.
In short, a long period of time will pass for the trial to begin, so much so, that these people will wish that reckoning comes so that they can be relieved from their state of uncertainty, no matter what happens in the end. It is to indicate this length of stay that the word thumma was prefixed to naqulu [نَقُولُ] which means “We will say”.
After people have been gathered for the reckoning those who associated partners with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will be asked some questions.
The word ashraku [أَشْرَكُواْ] is from the root letters sheen-ra-kaf i.e. shirk. They will be questioned about the objects of worship that they had taken to as partners of Allah, and depended upon to resolve their sorrows and associated all blessings from them. If these people took these idols to be their deities in this world then why would these deities not help them in the Hereafter, in their hour of trial and distress?
As it was said in Surah al-Qasas Ayah 62,
وَيَوْمَ يُنَـدِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ أَيْنَ شُرَكَآئِىَ الَّذِينَ كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ
And (remember) the Day when He will call to them, and say, “Where are My (so-called) partners whom you used to assert?”
– Severe warning against shirk. There will be utter humiliation and loss for those who associate partners with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala; who depend on others as they should rely on Allah.
– In the dunya, we can skip important meetings or gatherings such as attending a Qur’an class or offering prayers on time, but in the Hereafter no one can miss the gathering before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Everyone will be there, standing before their Lord for accountability. In the dunya, we can leave early or miss the event but the same won’t be possible in the Hereafter. Therefore, we should train our bodies and nafs to stand before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, and avoid that which can result in humiliation on that Day.
– All the connections that a person relies upon dunya besides Allah are unreliable. People leave and die while material objects are lost or broken. Therefore, a person should rely upon Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala that only a bond with Him is the Strongest and Most Reliable.
Our Lord upon You we have relied, and to You we have returned, and to You is the destination. Protect us from the incitements of the devils, aameen.
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