(9,687 words)

Eschatology (ʿilm al-maʿād), religious teaching about the end of the created world and its return to the Creator. In Islam, the Qurʾān and ḥadīth provide the outline of the stages and/or landmarks of this process, the most important of which are the grave (al-qabr), the rising (al-qiyāma), the gathering (al-ḥashr), the questioning (al-suʾāl), the path (al-ṣirā), the garden (al-janna), the fire (al-nār), and the ramparts (al-aʿrā). Both the resurrection and its landmarks are interpreted in multiple, sometimes incompatible, ways by different currents of Islamic thought. The problem of eschatology is also intimately related—especially but not exclusively in Ismaili thought—with the transmigration of (human) souls from one body to another, this is not discussed here (see instead q.v. transmigration or tanāsukh). This article focuses predominantly on the interpretations character…

Cite this page
Janis Esots, “Eschatology”, in: Encyclopaedia Islamica, Editors-in-Chief: Wilferd Madelung and, Farhad Daftary. Consulted online on 22 January 2018 <>
First published online: 2017

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