The Number of Groups on Judgement Day
The allegation is as follows:
According to Sura 56:7 there will be THREE distinct groups of people at the Last Judgement, but 90:18-19, 99:6-8, etc. mention only TWO groups
The verses in question:
56:7 And ye shall be sorted out into three classes.
90:18-19 Such are the Companions of the Right Hand. 90:19 But those who reject Our Signs, they are the (unhappy) Companions of the Left Hand.
99:6-8 On that Day will men proceed in companies sorted out, to be shown the deeds that they (had done). Then shall anyone who has done an atom's weight of good, see it! And anyone who has done an atom's weight of evil, shall see it.
Verse 56:7 describes three groups and the Chapter goes on to mention that they are 1. The elite/closest ones 2. The companions of the right hand and 3. the companions of the left hand.
So there are a few points that can be raised to refute this alleged contradiction.
1. The only verse which specifies the number of groups is 56:7. Verses 90:18-19 do not mention the number of groups but only describe two of them. How then can this be considered a contradiction? It is as though I told someone that I have three bedrooms in my house and later on I told them that the bedroom on the right is large and the bedroom on the left is small. Does my not mentioning the third bedroom constitute a contradiction?
2. The elite are a subgroup of the companions of the right. They are mentioned separately in Chapter 56 to distinguish between those foremost in performing good deeds. This usually occurs when the subset of a group is so distinct from other elements in the group that it can effectively be categorized on its own.
An example is when we commonly differentiate between humans, plants and animals. We often mentions humans separately from animals, because of the great differences between humans and other animal species. But as we know, humans are merely one species of the Kingdom Animalia, which contains many other species of animals. But because humans are so distinct from the other species, we often categorize them separately.
3. Lastly, it is the style of the Qur'an to mention some groups separately for emphasis.
2:98 Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and apostles, to Gabriel and Michael,- Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.
This verse mentions Angle Gabriel and Angel Michael separately from the other angels, but we know that they are angels themselves. This is simply the Qur'anic style of emphasis.
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