Quranic Reflection No 630. Āyat 18:105 – Weight and Value on Qiyāmah

Bismillāh. 26 May 2023/6 Dhul-Qa‘dah 1444.

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فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَزْنًا

On the Day of Resurrection, We will not give them any weight

(Sūrat al-Kahf, No.18, Āyat 105)

On the day of Resurrection, the actions of human beings will be weighed. According to Tafsīr Nūr, there will be three types of people at the weighing scale:

1) Those whose deeds will be so great and virtuous that no weighing is required for them. There is no predetermined measure or calculation that can do justice to their deeds. Allah says:

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Indeed, the patient will be paid in full their reward without any account (Q 39:10).

2) Those unfortunate people whose deeds have been rendered void and do not need a scale. Verse 18:105 mentioned at the beginning is an example of such deeds.

3) The group in between these two groups. They have some good deeds and some bad deeds. The scale will weigh and see what is heavier. The Quran says:

فَأَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ

فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ

وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ

فَأُمُّهُ هَاوِيَةٌ 

As for him, whose deeds weigh heavy in the scales, he will have a pleasing life. But as for him, whose deeds weigh light in the scales, his home will be the Abyss. (Q 101:6-9)

According to Q 18:105, deeds can be such that they are weightless on the weighing scale of Allah ‘azza wajall. In Arabic terminology when a thing is said to have no weight, it means it has no value. There will be some people on that day who will find their deeds valueless. All that they did in the world carried no weight. A Hadith of the Prophet sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam says that on the day of Resurrection there will be people brought out whose deeds will not even have the value (weight) of the wing of a fly (quoted in Tafsīr Majma’ul Bayān). People who fall in this category will have no attention or respect paid to them on the Day of Resurrection.

The lack of weight is because the deeds were not done to please Allah subhānahu wata‘ālā. Actions are judged according to the intentions behind them. It is the intention which is of value and not the action itself. The deed might be small or large, but its worth is dependent on the sincerity behind it. An action that is devoid of a sincere intention is hollow inside. Āghā Muhsin Qarā’atī says in his book A Commentary on Prayer

The value of every deed lies in the intention and motive behind it; not merely in the deed itself. Thus, the quality of the actions of a person who stops on a red traffic light to maintain order and respect for the law is different from that of a person who carries out the same actions but out of fear of the traffic officer or of the fine that he might receive for violating traffic regulations. In all forms of worship, especially in prayer, intention occupies a special importance.

Weight of deeds on the Day of Resurrection will be according to the truth and goodness behind the action. The Quran says:

وَالْوَزْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ ۚ فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنفُسَهُم بِمَا كَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يَظْلِمُونَ ‎

On that Day the weighing of deeds will be true and just: those whose good deeds are heavy on the scales will be the ones to prosper. And those whose good deeds are light will be the ones who have lost their souls through their wrongful rejection of Our messages (Q 7:8-9).

Let the verses quoted in this Reflection, be a strong reminder that our deeds must be done with sincere intentions. We must strive constantly to purify our intentions lest we become like those whose deeds will be of no weight on the Last day.

Sources: Shaykh Tabarsī, Tafsīr Majma’ul Bayān; Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed), Tafsīr-e Namūneh; Agha Muhsin Qarā’atī, Tafsīr Nūr.