In Buddhism and in the Hindu religion little is said
about the Day of Judgment, because they have the doctrine
of Karma; but in the Quran it recurs often
in the different surahs, great emphasis being put
upon it, and in the Bible the Day of Judgment is spoken
of very many times.
This Day of Judgment, of which various religions have
spoken, is a great secret. All that can be said about it
is that not one moment of time, not the blinking of the
eye passes without a judgment; that in the conscience of
each individual there is the faculty of judging, which judges
himself and others, and that this faculty exists in its
perfection in the universal Conscience, which judges the
whole universe. The former is man's justice, the latter
the justice of God.
In man's justice partiality and error are found, for
his conscience is overshadowed by his self; thus the seeing
faculty of the conscience is dimmed. God's justice is the
right justice, for no shadow of partiality falls upon His
universal consciousness because the whole universe is His
field of vision and therefore His sight is keen. As our
justice determines our likes and dislikes and creates in
us favor or disfavor for another, so it is with God. He
reckons the account of deeds and bestows rewards and punishments.
He also forgives in His mercy and compassion whomever he
may choose to forgive, as do we human beings in our small
way. To the short-sighted, man's justice is plain, but God's
justice is too vague to be apprehended; and there are many
apparent examples to lead him astray, such as the righteous
being ill-treated while the wicked enjoy life; but the keen
sighted can see an end to the enjoyment of the wicked and
to the ill-treatment of the righteous. The seer can see
the blow awaiting its time to fall upon the one, and the
reward being prepared for the other. It is only a matter
To a material person this seems absurd. He thinks, 'If
I rob someone, if the police catch me, that is the judgment.
If they do not catch me, it is all right; then I am safe
from it. If I have a purse full of money, and I can pay
barristers and lawyers, it is all right.' For he does not
see anything in the hereafter. He sees only what is here.
A simple believer believes that there is a Day of Judgment,
but he knows hardly anything about it. It is for the Sufi
to understand that there is a record in the memory of every
action, thought, and work – nature's manuscript open before
our own conscious; and if a murderer escapes the police,
he cannot escape from his conscience within. One might think,
'It is his own conscience, what does it matter if it is
displeased for a while?' But there is the universal Conscience
behind it, perfectly just and all-powerful, which, if he
escaped from the land and sought refuge in the water, could
hang him even by means of the waves of the sea, as a penalty
for his crime.
Everything that one does, all one's works, have three
parts: the beginning, the action, and the end. In the beginning
there is hope. In the action there is joy, but in the end
comes the realization.
In the morning when one wakes up, one is fresh and ready
to plan all the work of the day. A person works all day,
and in the evening he sees what result he has got from his
work, how much he has gained.
When a child is born it is fresh and ready to enjoy everything.
It is happy with any little thing, any little doll that
it is given. It does not know where the world is nor what
the cares of life are. Then a person has to go through all
experiences, good and bad, in life; and when old age comes,
then he sees the results of his actions. At the time of
action he does not see them, because action is blinding.
Then, if he has worked for riches, he has got riches. If
he has worked for fame, he will have that. And if he loves,
he receives the affection and sympathy of his surroundings.
When he is old, that is the period of his judgment on earth.
Then he sees the reward of his action. If he has murdered
someone, the judgment is when he is hanged. If he has robbed,
he is in jail and he repents. But the time of action comes
only once, and after that it is too late to repair one's
There are many things that we do that seem all right
at the moment, but afterwards our self is not satisfied.
It is just like a person eating something that at the time
has a pleasant taste but afterwards produces a bad odor,
so that the smell of his own breath makes his head ache.
Whatever was tolerated in him while he had power, magnetism,
and activity, together with energy, manner, appearance,
and looks, no one will tolerate any longer when the power
has left him. He has become cranky. His children want to
leave him, because they say that old papa has lost his head.
His friends despise him, because they say that he is no
There are many habits and weaknesses of the mind which
in youth do not seem of much consequence, such as jealousy,
greed, envy, anger, and passion. When youth is gone, and
the strength and magnetism of youth, then only weakness
remains with its gaping mouth. Whilst we are engaged in
an activity, we are blind. Our eyes are opened when the
A Padishah was once riding in the jungle. Crossing
a bridge he saw a man who was quite drunk standing in the
middle of the bridge. The man called out, 'Will you sell
that horse, O passerby?' for he was quite drunk and could
not recognize the rider. The Padishah thought, 'He
is drunk,' so he paid no heed. After shooting for some hours
in the jungle he returned and saw the man who had been standing
in the middle of the road now sitting by the roadside. The
Padishah asked the man in fun, 'Do you want to purchase
this horse?' The man's drunkenness had now passed. He was
astonished to think what he had said to the Padishah
in his drunken state, but fortunately he thought of a very
witty answer. He said, 'The purchaser of the horse has gone,
the groom of the horse remains.' This amused the Padishah,
who overlooked his fault.
There is a time when our ego desires all that tempts
it, but when that stage of beginning and action is past,
Our life has three parts, the part before our birth,
the time of our life here, and the time after death. When
considering our life here and hereafter we understand that
our life on earth is our youth, the hereafter age, the time
of reaping fruits of our actions. And the judgment comes
in age, which is the time after death.
In the arts too we see that there are these three aspects.
In music there is first the introduction, then there is
the music in its full grandeur, then there is the conclusion,
which gives the essence of all that has gone before. In
painting the artist first designs. Then he colors the picture,
and then he looks at it, if it is not as he likes, he wipes
it off or he tears it up. A person might say, 'You yourself
have made it, why do you tear it up?' It is because when
he looks at it, he sometimes discovers that it is valueless,
whereas when it is better the artist desires it to be sent
to the exhibition, and he proudly calls his relations and
friends to look at it. This world is the Creator's picture.
The Creator as an artist looks at his work; and He alters
it, improves it, or He wipes it off as He chooses best.
Why is the Day of Judgment called 'day'? Our day is when
we are awake. Our night is when we are asleep. This is not
the day and night of earth, which are limited to twelve
hours each, but the day and night of the consciousness.
What separates one day from another, what makes us distinguish
the days, is the night.
Here our life is in the darkness of activity, where the
world of illusion appears to our eyes as real, and the rapid
passing of life appears to us stable; just as when in the
train it seems as if the trees by the line were running
while the train is standing still. When the illusionary
life has proved to be not so real as for some time we had
thought it to be then comes the day when things appear as
clear as in daylight. To some few this happens in this world,
but to all in the hereafter.
Here we have two states, the waking state and the dream.
There the only reality will be the dream. That will be our
day, uninterrupted by any intervening night. It will not
change. And this day will last for ever, that is to say
until our individuality is merged in the divine consciousness.
We dream of all the things which are in our surroundings
and of all things as they appear naturally. We dream of
a horse or an elephant, or of our brother, our sister, our
mother, our father, or our uncle; but we do not dream of
nonexistent objects, such as a horse with wings, or a rabbit
with elephant's ears, because these are not of our world.
That with which our consciousness is impressed, that only
is our world. And that world comes into the judgment which
is always going on. The world of the husbandman will be
his cottage with his family, the world of the king will
be the surroundings of his palace.
Shall we, then, not be in a great gathering where there
will be millions and billions of souls in whatever form
they may appear, and all the souls that have existed on
earth will be tried at the same time? It will be so in appearance,
but not in reality, for every individual's Judgment Day
will reflect the whole world within himself and will be
peculiar to himself. In other words a world will be resurrected
in each soul. The affirming and denying aspects of conscience
will both be in full play, sometimes in the guise of
Munkir and Nakir, the recording angels.
In reality it will be like a gramophone record, which
repeats all one's life's experiences, remembered and forgotten,
good and bad, together with the moving picture of all who
were concerned in them, whether dead before or after, or
still alive on earth. This takes place before one's own
soul in the presence of the perfectly just and mighty Being,
the thorough Knower and Weigher of all things.