Seizure of the earth and folding of the heaven
The Quran speaks about the Horrors of the Day of Resurrection which the people will experience and which will preoccupy their minds and shake their hearts.
One of the most prominent of those horrors is the total and frightful destruction of this universe including the earth, the mountains, the skies, the stars, the sun and the moon.
The earth will be shaken, the mountains will be made to march and then blown away, the sky will be rendered asunder, the sun will be wrapped up in darkness, the moon will eclipse, and the stars will fall and disperse and their light will fade away.
On the Day of Resurrection, the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand.
وَمَا قَدَرُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدْرِهِ وَالْأَرْضُ جَمِيعًا قَبْضَتُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَالسَّمَاوَاتُ مَطْوِيَّاتٌ بِيَمِينِهِ ۚ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
“They made not a just estimate of Allah such as is due to Him. And on the Day of Resurrection the whole of the earth will be grasped by His Hand and the heavens will be rolled up in His Right Hand. Glorified is He, and High is He above all that they associate as partners with Him!”
In another verse, Allah says;
يَوْمَ نَطْوِي السَّمَاءَ كَطَيِّ السِّجِلِّ لِلْكُتُبِ ۚ كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُعِيدُهُ ۚ وَعْدًا عَلَيْنَا ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ
“And (remember) the Day when We shall roll up the heavens like a scroll rolled up for books. As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise bindingupon Us. Truly, We shall do it.”
In the Hadith, Abu Hurayrah (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said;
“0n the Day or Resurrection, Allah will grasp the earth and roll up the heavens in His right Hand. He will then say: I am the King. Where are the kings of the earth?!”
Recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim
This grasping of the earth and rolling up of the heavens will occur after Allah has annihilated the entire creation. Some scholars say;
A caller will make a pronouncement after the creatures would have been gathered on a land that is as white as silver and on which Allah has never been disobeyed.
This is the view of Abu Ja”far An-Nahhas, and he attributed it to ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him).
Al-Qurtubi said, “The purpose is to show Allah’s exclusive right to dominion when there will be no more claimants to sovereignty.
For then, every king would have been destroyed along with his kingdom and every tyrant would have been annihilated along with his power.
Crushing of the earth and blowing away of the mountains
Allah informs us that this solid earth and all that is on it of mountains will be held on the Day of Resurrection and crushed with a single crushing.
فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ نَفْخَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ
“Then when the Trumpet will be blown with one blowing (the first one).
وَحُمِلَتِ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ فَدُكَّتَا دَكَّةً وَاحِدَةً
And the earth and the mountains shall be removed from their places, and crushed with a single crushing.
فَيَوْمَئِذٍ وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ
Then on that Day shall the (Great) Event befall.
Then these firm mountains shall turn to dust.
يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيبًا مَهِيلًا
“On the Day when the earth and the mountains will be in violent shake, and the mountains will be a heap of sand poured out.”
In another verse, Allah informs us that the mountains will become like flakes of wool.
وَتَكُونُ الْجِبَالُ كَالْعِهْنِ
“And the mountains will be like flakes of wool.”
وَتَكُونُ الْجِبَالُ كَالْعِهْنِ الْمَنْفُوشِ
“And the mountains will be like carded wool.”
Allah, High and Exalted, will remove these mountains and level the earth that there will remain no high or low place. The Quran then expresses that the mountains will be annihilated and blown away once more.
وَإِذَا الْجِبَالُ سُيِّرَتْ
“And when the mountains are made to pass away.”
He also says,
وَسُيِّرَتِ الْجِبَالُ فَكَانَتْ سَرَابًا
“And the mountains shall be moved away from their places and they will be as if they were a mirage.”
And He says,
وَإِذَا الْجِبَالُ نُسِفَتْ
“And when the mountains are blown away.”
Allah then explains what the situation of the earth will be after the mountains would have been blown away.
وَيَوْمَ نُسَيِّرُ الْجِبَالَ وَتَرَى الْأَرْضَ بَارِزَةً وَحَشَرْنَاهُمْ فَلَمْ نُغَادِرْ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا
“And (remember) the Day We shall cause the mountains to pass away (like clouds of dust), and you will see the earth as a leveled plain, and we shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind.”
◊ وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْجِبَالِ فَقُلْ يَنْسِفُهَا رَبِّي نَسْفًا
And they ask you concerning the mountains: say, “My Lord will blast them and scatter them as particles of dust.
Taa Haa 20:105
◊ فَيَذَرُهَا قَاعًا صَفْصَفًا
Then He shall leave it as a level smooth plain.
Taa Haa 20:106
◊ لَا تَرَىٰ فِيهَا عِوَجًا وَلَا أَمْتًا
You will see therein nothing crooked or curved.
Taa Haa 20:105-107
Eruption and overflowing of seas
As for the seas which cover the greatest part of this earth, and which remain an astounding abode of different worlds for living creatures, they will erupt on that Day.
In this modern age, we know an enormous shock can be caused by an explosion of small particles that are even smaller than water particles. You can imagine how the situation will be if the water particles of these gigantic seas erupt.
Then the seas will overflow and go up in flames. Imagine these great and enormous seas turning into a flammable substance and imagine what the scene is going to look like!
وَإِذَا الْبِحَارُ فُجِّرَتْ
And when the seas are burst forth.
He also says,
وَإِذَا الْبِحَارُ سُجِّرَتْ
“And when the seas shall become as blazing Fire or overflow.”
The earlier scholars of Tafseer held a view that eruption of the seas means cracking of their shores and extinction of all their barriers and mixing of sweet seas with saline ones, so that all the seas become one.
However, what we mentioned is nearer and clearer. Allah knows best.
Breaking apart and swaying of the sky
On the Day of Resurrection, the beautiful sky that gladdens your hearts when you look up at it, will sway with circular motion and will be greatly disrupted.
يَوْمَ تَمُورُ السَّمَاءُ مَوْرًا
“On the Day when the heaven will shake with a dreadful shaking,”
It will then break apart.
إِذَا السَّمَاءُ انْفَطَرَتْ
“When the heaven is cleft asunder.”
He also says,
◊ إِذَا السَّمَاءُ انْشَقَّتْ
“When the heaven is split asunder, and listens to and obeys it’s Lord.
◊ وَأَذِنَتْ لِرَبِّهَا وَحُقَّتْ
And it must do so.
Then the sky will become weak just like a massive and strongly-built palace when hit by an earthquake. The heaven will become weak and broken apart.
وَانْشَقَّتِ السَّمَاءُ فَهِيَ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَاهِيَةٌ
“And the heaven will be rent asunder, for that Day it (the heaven) will be frail and torn up.”
As for the beautiful blue color of the sky, it will also disappear. It will start changing to different colors such as red, yellow, green and blue.
فَإِذَا انْشَقَّتِ السَّمَاءُ فَكَانَتْ وَرْدَةً كَالدِّهَانِ
“Then when the heaven is rent asunder, and it becomes rosy or red like red-oil, or red hide.”
It is reported from Ibn ‘Abbaas (May Allah be pleased with him) that on the Day of Resurrection, the sky will be like a red horse; and the red horse, according to al-Baghawi, changes its color to yellow in the spring and red in the winter.
Wrapping up of the sun, eclipse of the moon and scattering of the stars
As for the sun that covers the earth with its light, it is going to be wrapped up on the Day of Resurrection, and its light will disappear.
إِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ
“When the sun is wound round and its light is lost and is overthrown.”
Likewise, the moon that starts at the beginning every month as a crescent and then grows little by little until it becomes a full and beautiful moon, it will also eclipse and it’s light will be lost.
◊فَإِذَا بَرِقَ الْبَصَرُ
So, when the sight shall be dazed.
And the moon will be eclipsed.”
As for the scattered shining stars that dot the sky, they will fall and disperse.
وَإِذَا النُّجُومُ انْكَدَرَتْ
“And when the stars shall fall.”
He also says,
وَإِذَا الْكَوَاكِبُ انْتَثَرَتْ