The Quran describes various people and items that will be used as witnesses for one’s actions on the Day of Judgement. These are: Allah himself, one’s body parts, the prophets and friends of God, and one’s own deeds. The purpose of these witnesses is to provide evidence for each individual of the deeds they performed, leaving no room for denial or refutation of their sins.
Who Will Be Witnesses for or Against Us on the Day of Judgement?
The Quran describes a detailed series of witnesses that will be present on the Day of Judgement to testify the good and bad deeds each person has performed. What is the purpose of these witnesses? The witnesses are not there because God needs them in order to execute justice. They are there for the sake of the individuals being judged, to show in as much detail to each person exactly what they performed in their lifetime, leaving no room for denial or refutation.
The Quran describes people and items which will be used as witnesses for a person’s actions on the Day of Judgement. It mentions:
- Allah Himself
- One’s body parts – hands, feet, eyes, ears, skin
- Prophets, martyrs, and friends of God
- One’s own deeds
First and foremost, God is, and always will be, a witness to every action done in this world. This is in accordance with his Omniscience. God says, “Why do they not believe in the signs of God? He is a witness to all that you do” (The Quran 3:98). On the Day of Judgement, people will deny the account of their sins and “swear lyingly”, fearing punishment (Lari, 1992). This is mentioned in the verse, “On the day when God shall resurrect them all and they will swear lyingly to God as they once swore lyingly to you” (The Quran 58:18). According to Tafsir al-Qummi, it is at this point that God will place a seal on their tongues and cause their body parts to testify about what they have done (Lari, 1992).There will be no way to deny this testament.
One’s Body Parts
The Quran describes that a person’s own body parts will testify against them about the actions they committed and be used as witnesses. It mentions, “Let them fear a day on which their tongues, their hands and their feet shall bear testimony against them” (The Quran 24:24).
It also says:
“… their ears, their eyes and the skin on their bodies shall testify to the sins they have committed. They will address their limbs in astonishment, saying, ‘How do you testify concerning our deeds?’ They will answer, ‘God who gave speech to all creatures has also given us speech. First He created you, and now He brings you back to Him. You concealed your ugly deeds not in order that your ears, eyes and skins should not give witness today, but because you imagined God unaware of what you hid from other men. It is this groundless assumption that has brought about your perdition, for today you are in the ranks of the losers.’” (The Quran 41:19-23)
God will give a person’s body parts speech, and the sinners will stand, astonished, in response to the testimonies presented to them.
Prophets, Martyrs, and Friends of God
The Quran also mentions that those who are in proximity to God, namely the Prophets and friends of God, will also bear witness to the actions done by the people that lived amongst them. This is mentioned in the verse:
The fact that these individuals are able to bear testimony indicates that they had a certain special awareness in this world, that they were able to observe – with understanding – the actions of ordinary people. Notably, this status is reserved specifically for those whose souls are near to God and have been gifted with the ability to understand the inner and outer aspects of the deeds of others (Lari, 1992).
On the Day of Judgement, each person’s deeds will take on a physical form, present themselves to their owner, and bear testimony. This is alluded to in the verse, “On the day of resurrection they will find whatever they have done confronting them” (The Quran 18:49). Another verse mentions that, “There will be a day on which everyone who has done a good deed will find it confronting him, and those who have done evil will wish that it were kept far distant from them. God warns you against His punishment for He is in truth compassionate toward His servants” (The Quran 3:30). From this, it is evident that both good deeds and bad deeds will be presented on that Day, and there will be no way to deny them or make them disappear.
The Day of Judgement will be a time for everyone to account for their deeds – both good and bad. Witnesses will be present to provide testaments to the deeds performed.
Lari, S. M. M. (1992). Resurrection, Judgement and the Hereafter. Foundation of Islamic Cultural Propagation in the World.