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As-Sirāt (Arabic: الصراط aṣ-ṣirāṭ) is, according to Islam, the bridge which every human must pass on the Yawm al-Qiyamah ("Day of Resurrection") to enter Paradise. It is not mentioned in the Quran, but is described in hadith.
As-Sirāt is said that it is thinner than a strand of hair and as sharp as the sharpest knife or sword (because of its danger). Below this path are the fires of Hell, which burn the sinners to make them fall. Those who performed acts of goodness in their lives are transported across the path in speeds according to their deeds leading them to the Hawd al-Kawthar, the Lake of Abundance.
In the HadithEdit
Narrated by Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri: We, the companions of the Prophet said, "O Allah's Apostle! What is the bridge?' He said, "It is a slippery (bridge) on which there are clamps and (Hooks like) a thorny seed that is wide at one side and narrow at the other and has thorns with bent ends. Such a thorny seed is found in Najd and is called As-Sa'dan. Some of the believers will cross the bridge as quickly as the wink of an eye, some others as quick as lightning, a strong wind, fast horses or she-camels. So some will be safe without any harm; some will be safe after receiving some scratches, and some will fall down going into Hell. The last person will cross by being dragged over the bridge." (Sahih Bukhari - Volume 9, Book 93, Number 532)
In other religionsEdit
The Abrahamic faith of Judaism does not have this teaching, but the monotheistic faith of Zoroastrianism does have it. The Chinvat bridge, which occurs in the Gathas of Zarathushtra, has many similarities and is a close concept to As-Sirat. Certain forms of Christianity also feature a similar bridge or passage, such as the Brig of Dread in folk Western Christianity, or the passage through the aerial toll houses in Eastern Orthodoxy.
Early Muslim writers were uncertain on how to spell this word as it was rendered صراط, سراط and زراط. They were equally uncertain of its gender. It appears ultimately to be the Hellenised στράτα of Latin: strata (street), which entered Arabic via Classical Syriac: ܐܣܛܪܛܐ.
American science fiction author Frank Herbert adopted the idea for his novel Dune. In the Orange Catholic Bible, life is described as a journey across the Sirat, with "Paradise on my Right, Hell on my Left, and the Angel of Death Behind".
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