Verses of the Qur’an such as It is but a single cry, (36:29,49,53) which is often repeated, and The command of the Hour is but a twinkling of the eye, or nearer, ( 6:77) show that the Supreme Resurrection will happen in a single instant, without the passage of any extent of time. Our constrained understanding needs some tangible analogy to enable us to concur with and accept that unique, miraculous event.
There are three elements [or stages, if time were not excluded] of the Resurrection:
- Spirits will return to their bodies.
- Bodies will be re-animated.
- Bodies will be re-built and resurrected.
An analogy for the return of spirits to their bodies is as follows:
The soldiers of a highly disciplined army, having dispersed in all directions to their separate rest, can be summoned together with a loud resounding blast on the bugle. Now the Sur, the trumpet of Israfil (the archangel who will blow the Sur just before the destruction of the universe and the Resurrection) is certainly no less powerful than an army bugle, and the spirits of men while still in the world of past eternity and the realm of the particle, which heard the address of ‘Am I not your Lord?’ coming from pre-eternity, and affirmed ‘Indeed, You are,’ are more obedient, disciplined and submissive than any soldiers in any army. Not only the spirits but all particles, too, are obedient troops of a Divine Army.
An analogy for the re-animation of bodies:
Just as, on an occasion of celebration in a great city, a hundred thousand lamps may be illuminated in a single instant by a switch in the city’s power station, without the passage of any extent of time, so too it would be possible to switch on a hundred million electric lamps all over the earth from a single power station [if one such existed]. If a creation of the All-Mighty such as electricity, a servant and a candle-holder in His hostelry can manifest this property through the training and discipline it has been given by its Creator, then the Resurrection may also take place in a twinkling of the eye, within the framework of the orderly laws of Divine Wisdom, of which thousands of illustrious servants, like electricity, are instances.
An analogy for the instant re-building and resurrection of bodies:
In reality, there is not one analogy for the re-building and resurrection of human bodies on the Day of the Resurrection—there are thousands. Some are the following: the way in which the leaves of trees are perfectly restored, almost identically to those of the preceding year, within a few days after the beginning of each spring, even though trees are a thousand times more numerous than all the members of the human race; the way in which all the flowers and fruits of all trees are re-created just like those of the preceding spring; the sudden awakening, unfolding and coming to life of all those countless seeds, kernels and roots that are the origin of spring growth; the way in which trees, resembling upright skeletons, abruptly begin to show signs of ‘resurrection after death’; the re-animation in the most wonderful way of the countless members of all the classes of small creatures, especially the ‘resurrection’ of the flies in their different species—their re-animation and ‘resurrection’ in the course of a few days every spring, together with other species of insect life more numerous than all the children of the human race from the time of Adam to the present.
This world is the realm of Wisdom, while the Hereafter is the abode of Power.2 In this world, in accordance with the requirements of the Divine Names, such as the All-Wise, Arranger, Disposer, and Nurturer and Trainer, creation is extensive, that is, it is to some degree graduated over time: that is required by His Wisdom as the Lord and Sustainer. But given that in the Hereafter, Power and Mercy are more evident than Wisdom, creation is instantaneous, without allowance for substance or matter or space of time. The Qur’an of Miraculous Expression decrees, in reference to the fact that affairs that, in this world, take a whole day or year to accomplish will be accomplished in an instant in the Hereafter: The command of the Hour is but a twinkling of the eye, or nearer.
If you wish to understand with clear certainty that the Resurrection will come, just as the next spring, read attentively the Tenth and the Twenty-ninth Words, both of which deal with this subject.
If there is another element of the Resurrection, it is the destruction of the world. If a planet or asteroid collides with this planet, in which we live as in a hostelry, by the command of God, our dwelling place will be at once destroyed—in the same way that a palace that took ten years to build can be destroyed in a minute.
1. Although the leaves, flowers and fruits of trees are not completely identical to those of the preceding spring, they are not different from them in nature. If they were living, and had spirit like human beings, they would be resurrected in the same identity.
2. This world is the realm of Wisdom where things happen according to certain purposes and deliberation and in conformity with certain laws, where God acts from behind the veil of cause and effect, while the Hereafter is the abode of Power where God will act without any veils.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.