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1-Sura Al-Fatihah

(4) مَالِكِ يَوْمِ الدِّينِ

” Master of the Day of Judgement.”
Commentary :
‘ Faith in the Resurrection ‘, the Second Principle
In this verse, attention is paid to the second important principle in Islam, i.e. Resurrection and the Hereafter when it says:
” Master of the Day of Judgement “.
Thus, the focus of the idea of the Origin and End, which is the main foundation of all ethical and social improvements in Man, reaches the peak of perfection.
It is noteworthy, here, that the mastership of Allah, or His Ownership, is pointed out, which illustrates His Sovereignty and Domination over everything and everyone on that Day, when all human beings will attend that Great Court for reckoning, before their real and genuine Master. They will see all their deeds and even their thoughts present without there being aught less than the original or anything forgotten. They will even have to accept their share of responsibility for any customs for which they have merely been the founders of, not necessarily the doers of them.
Allah’s Ownership, on that Day, is not similar to our imaginary ownership of that which belongs to us from the things of this world. His Ownership, regarding the world of existence, is the real ownership. It is the special dependence of creatures on the Lord and their being in need of Him. If the flow of His blessings ceased even for a single moment, it would cause them to perish altogether.
In other words, this ownership is the consequence of His Creatorship and Divinity. He, Who creates beings, gives them life every moment and cherishes them, protects them and guides them, is the real master of all creatures. As a matter of fact, He is the only Ruler of all powers in the world of existence.
There is no doubt that Allah is ‘ The Lord of the Worlds ‘. The question to be raised here is this : ‘ Is not Allah the Absolute Owner of this world ? ‘ versus our statement to this effect that ‘ He is the Master of the Day of Judgement ‘. The answer to this question lies in the fact that the ‘ Ownership of Allah ‘, though it comprises both worlds, enjoys further manifestation in the Hereafter. This is because all material ties and imaginary ownerships are cut off (in the Hereafter), and no one has anything of his or her own on That Day. Even intercession, if ever achieved, is by Allah’s command, as the Qur’an says about the Reckoning Day: ” The Day on which no soul shall have aught for (another) soul, and the command That Day shall be (wholly) Allah’s “, (Sura Al-Infitar, No. 82, verse 19).
In other words, occasions arise, in this world, when one helps another through his or her speech, money, power, advocates, plans, designs, and so on. On That Day (the Hereafter), however, certainly not a single trace of such affairs will exist. Therefore, when people are asked: ” Whose will be the Domination This Day ?…”, they answer: “… that of Allah, the One, the Almighty! “, (Sura Al-Mu’min, No. 40, verse16). This is also an answer to those who reject the idea that when Allah is the Owner of everything why, then, He is called the ‘ Master of the Day of Judgement ‘.
Man, with no belief in the Hereafter and the Day of Reckoning, would have the potential to be the most immoral of beings, the biggest tyrant committing the worst and the most hideous crimes, for, in his view, there is not any one to question or punish him if he is clever enough not to get caught and, with such characteristics, sometimes, it would be so terrible or impossible for other fellow-creatures to continue their lives in this world. Therefore, faith in life after death and the Day of Judgement, which is an essential part of Islam, like prayer, is very helpful in controlling men against committing sins.
Emphasizing the Ownership of Allah on the Day of Judgement has this effect, too, that it stands against the disbelief of disbelievers in the Hereafter. It is understood from the verses of the Holy Qur’an that Faith in Allah has been a common belief even among disbelievers in the Age of Ignorance. Sura Luqman, No. 31, verse 25 says about them: ” If thou ask them, who it is that created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say: ‘ Allah ‘…”, while they did not accept the speech of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) about the Resurrection: ” The Unbelievers say (in ridicule): ‘Shall we point to you a man that will tell you, when ye are all scattered to pieces in disintegration, that ye shall (then be raised) in a New creation ? ” ” Has he invented a falsehood against Allah, or has a spirit (seized) him ?…”, (Sura Saba, No. 34, verses 7,8).
A tradition about Imam Sajjad (a.s.) says: ” When Ali-ibn-il-Husayn (a.s.) began reciting ‘Master of the Day of Judgement’, he repeated it so many times that he was at the point of losing his life “. (1)
The phrase / yaum-id-din /, is repeated more than ten times in the Qur’an, exclusively with the meaning of ‘the Hereafter’: ” And what makes you know what the Day of Reckoning is ? ” ” Again, what makes you know what the Day of Reckoning is ? ” ” The Day on which no soul shall have aught for (another) soul, and the command that Day shall be (wholly) Allah’s “, (Sura Al-Infitar, No. 82, verses 17-19).
The phrase /yaum-id-din/ is used in the sense of ‘ the Day of Judgement ‘, for ‘ That Day ‘ is the day of rewards; and /din/ in Arabic philology means: ‘reward, recompense’. The most evident procedure fulfilled in the Hereafter is the procedure of paying rewards or inflicting punishments. On That Day, the curtains will be removed and the deeds of all will be reckoned, precisely, and everyone shall reap the fruit of his own actions, be they good or evil.
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said in a tradition that the Day of Judgement is ‘ The Reckoning Day ‘. (2)
It is also noteworthy to mention that some commentators believe that ‘Resurrection’ is called /yaum-ud-din/ because on That Day,everyone is recompensed for his own religion, if he has followed it accordingly.
* * * *

(1) Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, Commentary, vol. 1, p. 19
(2) Majma’-ul-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 24 ; Manhaj-us-Sadiqin, vol. 1, p. 24


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