What is the meaning of sirat? What is the sirat in islam?
Sırat is the name of the Bridge established over the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgement. All people will necessarily cross this bridge. This passage will be realised in accordance with the degree of one’s belief in this world and the quality of their actions. For this reason, the Bridge will become so thin under the feet of some people that those crossing it will see it to be – as in the famous saying – thinner than a strand of hair and sharper than a sword. Under the feet of some people, however, it will widen, allowing them comfortable passage to The Garden where they will find the bounties that Allah Almighty has prepared for them.
In contrast, the companions of the Fire will slip while trying to cross the Bridge and tumble down into the Blaze.
On the authority of Abu Hurayra (may Allah be well pleased with him) some people said:
“Messenger of Allah, will we see our Lord on the Day of Rising?”
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) responded to this question with a question:
“Do you have any doubt about seeing the moon on a night when it is full and there are no clouds obscuring it?”
The companions said, “No, Messenger of Allah.”
He said, “Do you have any doubt about seeing the sun when there are no clouds obscuring it?”
They said, “No, Messenger of Allah.”
He said, “That is how you will see Him on the Day of Rising. Allah will gather all the people together and will say, ‘Let whoever used to worship something pursue it.’
Those who worshipped the sun will pursue it, those who worshipped the moon will pursue it, and those who worshipped idols will follow them. This community will be left, together with its hypocrites.
Then Allah will come to them in other than the form which they recognise and say, ‘I am your Lord.’
They will say, ‘We seek refuge in Allah from you. This is where we will stay until our Lord comes to us. When our Lord comes to us, we will recognise Him.’
Then Allah will come to them again in the form which they recognise and say, ‘I am your Lord.’
They will say, ‘You are our Lord,’ and they will follow Him.
A bridge will then be set up over Hellfire. I will be the first to cross it. The supplication of the Messengers on that day will be, ‘O Allah, preserve us! Preserve us!’
The Bridge has hooks like the thorns of the prickly-plant. Have you seen the thorns of the prickly-plant?”
They said, ‘Yes, indeed, Messenger of Allah.”
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) continued:
“They are like the thorns of the prickly-plant except that only Allah knows how big they are. They will hook onto people according to their actions. Some of them will be destroyed by their actions and some will be lacerated and then saved…” (Bukhari, Riqaq, 52)
The Bridge is the only point of passage for all human beings. Consequently everyone, believing or not, will reach it. However, as stated in a Qur’anic verse, the saintly slaves of Allah will have no fear on that Day, and will cross it safely. Sinning slaves, however, will endure difficulty in accordance with their evil deeds.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) once said in the company of his wife Hafsa, may Allah be well pleased with her:
“God willing, the people who swore allegiance under the tree (ashab al-shajara) will never enter the Fire.”
Hafsa asked, “Allah says, ‘Not one of you but will pass over it (the Fire).‘ (How will this be?)”
Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) then said, “Allah, the Exalted, has said, reciting the subsequent verse, “We will rescue those who are godfearing and We will leave the wrongdoers in it on their knees.” (Maryam, 19:72) (Muslim, Fada’il al-Sahaba, 163)
Thus, for the companions of the Garden, ‘coming to’ the Fire implies passing over the Fire when crossing the Bridge of Sirat, and not falling into it.
On the same token, the companions of the Garden will cross the Bridge with a speed that is determined by their deeds. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said:
“The people will pass over the Fire, and then traverse it based on their deeds. The first of them like a flash of lightning, then like the wind, then like a fleeing horse, then like a rider fleeing on a mount, then like a man fleeing, then like a person walking.” (Tirmidhi, Tafsir, 19/3159)
However long a person remains on the Bridge is the extent to which they will be subjected to the heat, smoke, stench and frightful scenes of Hellfire. Worse than that, they will experience constant dread in the fear of falling into the blazing flame at any moment. This is why the faster a person crosses it, the more secure they will be from torment.
Once again, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) has said:
“…and the first of you will cross with the swiftness of lightning… Then like the wind, then like a bird, and the next with the speed of a running man, according to (the nature and quality of) their deeds. And your Messenger will be standing at the foot of the Bridge saying, ‘O Lord, preserve them! Preserve them! (Rabbi Sallim, Sallim)’
This will continue until people’s deeds become too few to allow them passage, that some people come who will be able only to crawl. On both sides of the Bridge pronged flesh hooks will be hung and will seize those about whom they receive command. Some people will be lacerated and escape (wounded) and others will be thrown into the Fire.” (Muslim, Iman, 329)
Every sin committed in this world, therefore, actually translates as a hook on the side of this Bridge. For that matter, The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) cites trustworthiness and the ties of kinship, saying that these would be dispatched to stand on the right and left of the Bridge, and would struggle against those who did not observe them in the world. The specific mention of these two elements in this narration serves to illustrate their great importance and the great neglect shown in these matters.
At the Bridge, the believers, like Allah’s Messenger, will have the same entreaty on their lips. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) says:
“The distinguishing phrase of the believers upon the Bridge will be, ‘O lord, preserve us, preserve us.'” (Tirmidhi, Qiyama, 9/2432)
Allah’s Messenger will stand at the foot of the Bridge for the purpose of intercession. He has stated in another Prophetic narration:
“…Then the Bridge will be established over the Fire and permission for intercession will be granted…” (Muslim, Iman, 302)
The believers who escape the pronged hooks of the Bridge will confront one another for some of the smaller injustices they perpetrated against one another in the world. These, however, there are those believers whose righteous deeds will not be wasted upon the carrying out of qisas, or retaliation, and who will not be excluded from the Garden.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) describes this event in the following narration:
“After the believers are saved from the Fire, they will be stopped at (another) bridge between the Garden and the Fire where they will exact retaliation against one another in response to the injustices which arose between them in this world. After they are purified and purged, they will be granted permission to enter the Garden. By the One in Whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, each one of them will recognise their dwelling in the Garden better than they recognise their dwelling in this world.” (Bukhari, Riqaq, 48)
The prophetic narration below points to this wait:
“I stood at the gate of the Garden and most of those who entered it were poor while the wealthy were held back for reckoning, but the people of the Fire had been commanded to enter the Fire. I stood at the gate of the Fire and saw that most of those who entered it were women.” (Bukhari, Riqaq, 51; Muslim, Zuhd, 93)
The Day of Resurrection is extremely difficult and very long. But Allah Almighty will make the day easier for his righteous slaves and free them of all trouble and concern.
Indeed, the Companions of Allah’s Messenger once expressed their wonderment and concern at this Day being described as a day measuring fifty thousand years.
The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) responded saying:
“By the One in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad that Day is made easy for the believer so that it will be easier for them than a single obligatory prayer which they observe in the world.” (Ahmad, III, 75; Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-Iman, I, 556/355; Haythami, X, 337)
 See Bayhaqi, Shu’ab, I, 565/361.
 According to the commentary of Qadi ‘Iyad, they will follow Allah’s command, or the angels He has appointed to this end.
 See Qur’an, (10:62-64).
 See Muslim, Iman, 329.
 It appears that this bridge is the end of the Bridge (of Sirat) which leads to The Garden. It might also be a different bridge altogether. Or this group of believers will stand beside something resembling a great archway.