The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “The Balance (scale) will be set up on the Day of Resurrection, and if the heavens and the earth were to be weighed in it, it would be sufficient to carry them, And the angels will say, ‘O Lord, who is this for?’ Allah will say, ‘For whomsoever I will from among My slaves.’”
[Al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 941]
The Balance (scale) will be set up on the Day of Judgment to weigh people’s deeds.
Imam Al-Qurtubi (May Allah mercy upon him) said: “When the Reckoning is completed, then people’s deeds will be weighed, because the weighing has to do with reward and punishment. So it is apt that it should come after the Reckoning. The Reckoning is to evaluate the deeds, and the weighing is to determine the amount of reward or punishment.”
The texts indicate that the Balance is a real Balance, with two pans, in which people’s deeds will be weighed. It is a huge Balance, the size of which is known only to Allah. The scholars (may Allah have mercy upon them) differed as to whether it is one Balance in which people’s deeds will be weighed, or whether there are numerous Balances, so that each person will have his own Balance. Those who said that there will be numerous balances quote as evidence the fact that the word appears in plural form in some verses, for example (interpretation of the meaning): “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 to take account” [al-Anbiya’ 21:47]
Those who say that it will be one Balance quoted as evidence the above Hadith which we are discussing today.
What will be weighed?
One of the things that indicate that words will be weighed is the Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu), according to which the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Two words which are light on the tongue but will weigh heavily in the Balance and are beloved to the Most Merciful: Subhaan Allaah il-‘Azeem, Subhaan Allaahi wa bi Hamdihi (Glory be to Allah the Almighty, Glory and praise be to Allah).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
A persons actual deeds will be weighed and is indicated by the Sahih Hadith narrated from Abu’l-Darda’ (radi Allahu anhu) who said: “I heard the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) say, ‘There is nothing that will be placed in the Balance that will weigh more heavily than a good attitude. The one who has a good attitude will attain thereby the status of one who fasts and prays (a great deal).’” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]
An authentic Hadith indicates that the persons books of deeds will be weighed and it is known as the Hadith of al-Bitaaqah from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas (radi Allahu anhum) who said, the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah will separate a man belonging to my ummah in the presence of all creatures and will spread ninety-nine scrolls for him, each scroll extending as far as the eye can see. Then He will say, ‘Do you object to anything in this? Have my scribes who keep note wronged you?’ He will say, ‘No, my Lord.’ He will ask him, ‘Do you have any excuse?’ He will say, ‘No my Lord.’ Allah will say, ‘On the contrary, you have with Us a good deed, and you will not be wronged this Day.’ A slip of paper will then be brought out, on which are the words ‘Ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu (I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger).’ Allah will say, ‘Bring your weight (i.e., the scrolls).’ The man will say, ‘O Lord, what is this slip of paper in comparison to these scrolls?’ And He will reply, ‘You will not be wronged.’ The scrolls will then be put in one side of the Balance and the slip of paper in the other, and the scrolls will become light and the slip of paper heavy, for nothing could compare in weight to the name of Allah.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]
Other ahadith indicate that person himself will be weighed as found in the Hadith narrated from Abu Hurayrah (radi Allahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “A huge fat man will be brought on the Day of Resurrection, and he will not weigh more before Allah than the wing of a gnat. Recite: ‘and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them’ [al-Kahf 18:105 – interpretation of the meaning].” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
It is also indicated by the fact that Ibn Mas’ood (radi Allahu anhu) was trying to break a siwaak branch from an araak tree and he had thin legs and the wind started to buffet him, so the people laughed at him. The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “What are you laughing at?” They said, “O Prophet of Allah, because his legs are so thin.” He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, they will weigh more heavily in the Balance than Mount Uhud.” [Its isnaad was classed as Hasan by al-Albaani in Sharh al-Tahhaawiyyah]
We ask Allah to make us weigh heavily in the Balance along with our deeds!
And Allah knows best!