Translation: Aboo Sahl (@dhikrulas)
Prelude: The narration was named thus by Al-Mardaawee Al-Hanbalee in Al-Laail'u al Baahiyah Sharh Laamiyah pp.135-136, Sharh Aqeedah al-Waasitiyah pp.341 and 342 of Al 'Uthaymeen, Sharh-us-Sunnah p.72 of Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan and Sharh Usool as-Sunnah p.29 Shaykh Raabi' bn Haadee (he named it Hadeeth As-Sijjilaat).
Amr bn Al 'Aas - may Allaah be pleased with him - reported:
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَيُخَلِّصُ رَجُلاً مِنْ أُمَّتِي عَلَى رُءُوسِ الْخَلاَئِقِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَيَنْشُرُ عَلَيْهِ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ سِجِلاًّ كُلُّ سِجِلٍّ مِثْلُ مَدِّ الْبَصَرِ ثُمَّ يَقُولُ أَتُنْكِرُ مِنْ هَذَا شَيْئًا أَظَلَمَكَ كَتَبَتِي الْحَافِظُونَ فَيَقُولُ لاَ يَا رَبِّ. فَيَقُولُ أَفَلَكَ عُذْرٌ فَيَقُولُ لاَ يَا رَبِّ. فَيَقُولُ بَلَى إِنَّ لَكَ عِنْدَنَا حَسَنَةً فَإِنَّهُ لاَ ظُلْمَ عَلَيْكَ الْيَوْمَ فَتَخْرُجُ بِطَاقَةٌ فِيهَا أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللَّهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ فَيَقُولُ احْضُرْ وَزْنَكَ فَيَقُولُ يَا رَبِّ مَا هَذِهِ الْبِطَاقَةُ مَعَ هَذِهِ السِّجِلاَّتِ فَقَالَ إِنَّكَ لاَ تُظْلَمُ. قَالَ فَتُوضَعُ السِّجِلاَّتُ فِي كِفَّةٍ وَالْبِطَاقَةُ فِي كِفَّةٍ فَطَاشَتِ السِّجِلاَّتُ وَثَقُلَتِ الْبِطَاقَةُ فَلاَ يَثْقُلُ مَعَ اسْمِ اللَّهِ شَيْءٌ».
Allaah's Messenger (sallaLlaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
On the Day of Resurrection, Allaah will pick out a man from my ummah in front of all the creatures. Ninety scrolls will be (opened and) presented to him, each scroll the length of the eye-sight. He (Allaah) will ask, "Do you deny from it anything? Have My guardian-recorders wronged you?" He will say, "No, my Lord." He will ask, "Do you have an excuse?" He will answer, "No, my Lord." Allah will say, "Rather! We have with us a pious deed from you, and, indeed, you will not be wronged today." So a card would be taken out inscribed on it (the words): 'I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allaah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger'. He (Allah) will say, "Bring your scale." He will plead, "My Lord, what is this card before these scrolls?" Allah will say, "You will not be wronged." So, the scrolls will be placed on one balance and the card on another balance. The scrolls shall fail and the card shall outweigh them, and nothing is heavier than the Name of Allaah.
Sources: Jaami' at Tirmidhee #2639, Ibn Majah #4300 and Ahmad #6955.
Grading: At-Tirmidhee graded it hasan ghareeb. Al-Albaanee classed it authentic (As-Saheehah #135 and Saheeh Al Jaami' #1776).
Monotheistic Benefit: Everyone should strive to worship Allaah alone. Indeed, Islamic Monotheism is the first, second, third, fourth... O the callers!!
The narration cums some creedal issues like; Interaction between Allaah and man (this was mentioned by Al-Imaam Ahmad in Usool us Sunnah), Allaah Speaks and Hears, but the major one is about The Scale (Meezaan).
Al Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah chanted:
And I affirm the weight (of measuring deeds in the Hereafter)...
Is the report general to every creation?
Ash-Shaykh Saalih Al 'Uthaymeen (Aqeedah al-Wasitiyah p.343) said: 'and what was reported in the report of ibn Mas'ood and the narration of the possessor of the card; it is possible that Allaah distinguished the affair (as mentioned in the report) with whom He wishes amongst His slaves.
Purpose of Weighing
Ath-Tha'labee (Al-Laail'u p.136) said: What is the wisdom in weighing while Allaah The High knows everything?
Al-Aynee (Umdatul Qaaree vol.25 p.202) said: The reason is in order to show equality, the climax of fairness and obligatory stoppage to the excuses of the slaves.
When Will the Weighing Occur?
Al-Qurtubee (At-Tadhkhirah p.359) said: The scholars said: When the reckoning ends; after it will be weighing of deeds, because weighing is for reward. It is supposed to be after reckoning, because reckoning is the presentation of the deeds and weighing is declaration of its value. (End quote)
Description of the Scale
Al-Imaam Khalaf Al-Barbahaaree (Sharh-Us-Sunnah point number 18) said:The scale has two balances and a tongue.
Ash-Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (Sharh-us-Sunnah p. 72) commented: The tongue of the scale is known amongst the people. They call it 'the heart of the scale' of which it bends to the right and the left. If the shoulder is at the same proportion, the tongue of the scale will at the midway, but if one shoulder is outbalance, the heart (of the scale) will bend. (End quote)
Ash-Shaykh Raabi' bn Haadee (Sharh Usool us Sunnah p. 29) said: The scale has two shoulders wherein the deeds will be measured. This is from the evidence of the narration of the scrolls... (End Quote).
Is it a scale or some scales?
Ash-Shaykh Saalih al-'Uthaymeen (summary from Sharh al Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah p. 340) said: There are textual evidences in plural and singular (form regarding the scale).
The examples of plural (form): Allaah says:
وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَازِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئًا وَإِن كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا وَكَفَىٰ بِنَا حَاسِبِينَ
And We shall set up balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We as Reckoners.(Al-Ambiyaa:47)
Singular form: The Prophet of Allaah - sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam - said:
كَلِمَتَانِ خَفِيفَتَانِ عَلَى اللِّسَانِ، ثَقِيلَتَانِ فِي الْمِيزَانِ، حَبِيبَتَانِ إِلَى الرَّحْمَنِ، سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ، سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ
There are two expressions which are very easy for the tongue to say, but they are very heavy on the scale and are very dear to The Beneficent (Allaah), and they are, 'Subhan Allah Al- `Azim and 'Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi.'(Agreed upon).
Hou can we reconcile between the verse and the narration?!
The answer: The apparent is the scale is one, but it is plural considering the measured (deeds); with the evidence;
How can the deeds be measured, while it is a description of the doer and has no body?!
Answer: It is possible that Allaah The Sublime can make these deeds bodies, this is not strange based on The Ability of Allaah, and it has similitude; the death. It will be made in form of a ram and will be slaughtered between the paradise and hell, despite that death is just an effect, it has no body and the one that will be slaughtered is not the Angel of death, rather the main death when Allaah made it a body visible, akin to the deeds, Allaah will make it a body and will be weighed on the physical scale. End quote.
What will be weighed deeds; the doer or the scroll?
Ash-Shaykh Saalih Al-'Uthaymeen (Sharh Aqeedah al-Waasitiyah p.343) said: After pondering, we found that many of the textual evidences indicate that, what will be measured are the deeds, but some people will be distinguished and thier scrolls of deeds will be measured or he himself will be measured.(End Quote).
The Misguuded Sects Regarding the Scale
Ash-Shaykh Raabi' (Sharh Usool Sunnah p.29) said: The Mu'tazillah, Jahmiyyah and the misguided people reject the physical scale, they changed (the meaning of) the scale to equality ('adl). (End Quote).
Ash-Shaykh Saalih Al-Uthaymeenn(Sharh Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah p. 341) said: The Mu'tazillah said: There is no physical scale, there is no need of it, because Allaah had known the actions of the slaves and accounted it. But, the meaning of the scale is: the abstract scale which is equality ('adl).
There is no doubt the saying of the Mu'tazillah is null and void, because it opposes the glare text of the Qur'aan and the consensus of the scholars. (End Quote).
The Mu'tazillee and Jahmee of our Time: Sayyid Qutb
Ash-Shaykh Raabi' (Sharh Usool As-Sunnah p. 30) said: Sorrowfully, by Allaah Sayyid Qutb rejected (the existence) of the scale and seeing Allaah (by the believers in the Hereafter). He is with Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazillah in many of (his) creeds. By Allaah, this is the issue, but we are only saying this in order that the people will not be deceived by the books of this man. By Allaah it (his books) is full of bits of misguidance, O brethren... (End Quote).
Oh Allaah, please elongate our lives, perfect our faith, creed and mutual relations with the people and make our scale heavy.