Short Answer: Knowing is not like experiencing first hand. Allah informed us that the Day of Judgment is very intense. Experiencing it first hand is not like anything people have imagined. You mentioned that “we will all be fearful”, however, not all people will have the same experience. Some people – may Allah make us among them- will have a joyous pleasant experience.
Salam (Peace) Dear Reader,
Thank you for sending us your question.
In a hadith in Sahih Muslim, Ibn ‘Umar reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:
When anyone of you dies, he is shown his seat (in the Hereafter) morning and evening; if he is amongst the inmates of Paradise (he is shown the seat) from amongst the inmates of Paradise and if he is one from amongst the denizens of Hell (he is shown the seat) from amongst the denizens of Hell, and it would be said to him: That is your seat until Allah raises you on the Day of Resurrection (and sends you to your proper seat).
You asked, “how then on the day of resurrection we will all be fearful of our fate, but won’t we know where we are going by then?”
There are a few points to discuss here:
1- Knowing is not like experiencing first hand.
- If you know that you are the valedictorian, is it the same as actually attending the ceremony and delivering the speech in front of hundreds of people? Wouldn’t you still have awe and fear from the intensity of the ceremony?
- If a criminal knows that he is receiving the death penalty, is it the same as the day of execution when he actually meets his fate and gets punished for his crimes?
- If you know you won a trip to the Maldives, for example, is it the same as actually going and experiencing all the joys and pleasures and beautiful scenery first hand?
So, knowing the fate is not like actually experiencing it firsthand.
Allah informed us that the Day of Judgment is very intense. Experiencing it first hand is not like anything people have imagined.
“O mankind! Fear your Lord, for the ˹violent˺ quaking at the Hour is surely a dreadful thing.
The Day you see it, every nursing mother will abandon what she is nursing, and every pregnant woman will deliver her burden ˹prematurely˺. And you will see people ˹as if they were˺ drunk, though they will not be drunk; but the torment of Allah is ˹terribly˺ severe.” (Quran 22: 1-2)
2- You mentioned that “we will all be fearful”, however, not all people will have the same experience. Some people – may Allah make us among them- will have a joyous pleasant experience, as Allah informed us:
“( 33) But when there comes the Deafening Blast
( 34 ) On the Day a man will flee from his brother
( 35 ) And his mother and his father
( 36 ) And his wife and his children,
( 37 ) For every man, that Day will be a matter adequate for him.
( 38 ) [Some] faces, that Day, will be bright –
( 39 ) Laughing, rejoicing at the good news.
( 40 ) And [other] faces, that Day, will have upon them dust.
( 41 ) Blackness will cover them.
( 42 ) Those are the disbelievers, the wicked ones.” (Quran chapter 80)
And He said:
“[Some] faces, that Day, will be radiant,
Looking at their Lord.” (Quran 75: 22-23)
And He said:
“( 8) [Other] faces, that Day, will show pleasure.
( 9 ) With their effort [they are] satisfied
( 10 ) In an elevated garden,
( 11 ) Wherein they will hear no unsuitable speech.
( 12 ) Within it is a flowing spring.
( 13 ) Within it are couches raised high
( 14 ) And cups put in place
( 15 ) And cushions lined up
( 16 ) And carpets spread around.” (Quran 88: 8- 16)
Throughout the Quran, Allah shows us the fate and destiny of those who believe, and their unmatched pleasurable rewards, and those who mock and deny and disbelieve, and their fitting outcome for their deeds.
Experiencing the Day of Judgment will be like nothing else one has imagined.
The most important matter for us now is to be prepared.
Death comes any minute and no one can prevent it. We were created for a purpose, like everything in life has a purpose. We need to know and actualize our purpose, read the message of the Creator to mankind (the Quran), follow His final Messenger (Muhammad), have sincere faith in The One & Only Judge and Owner of The Day of Judgment, love, and hope for His rewards, and this will grant us security that Day and beyond for eternity, insha’Allah.
Anas b. Malik reported:
Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and I were coming out of the mosque that we met a person on the threshold of the mosque and he said to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him):
When would be the Last Hour? Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: What preparation have you made for that? The man became silent and then said: Allah’s Messenger, I have made no significant preparation with prayer and fasting and charity but I, however, love Allah and His Messenger. Thereupon (the Holy Prophet) said: You would be along with one whom you love. [Sahih Muslim]
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
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