MIZAN ميزان. pl. mawazin
(1) The law contained in the Qur’an, Surah xlii. 16: “God is He who hath sent down the Book with truth and the balance.”
(2) The scales in which the actions of all men shall be weighed. Surah xxi 47 “Just balances will be set up for the Day of Resurrection, neither shall any soul be wronged in aught; though, were a work but the weight of a grain of mustard seed, we would bring it forth to be weighed; and out reckoning will suffice.”
Muhammad is related by ‘Abdu ‘llah ibn ‘Amr to have said: “Verily, God will bring a Muslim into the presence of all men on the Day of Judgment, and will show him ninety-nine large books, and each book its long as the eye can reach. Then God will say to him, ‘Do you deny anything in these books? Have my writers injured you?’ And the Muslim wilt say, ‘O my Lord. I deny nothing that is in them.’ Then God will say, ‘Have you any excuse?’ And he will say, ‘No.’ Thou God will say, ‘I have good news for you. for there is no oppression in this day,’ Then God will bring forth a piece of paper, on which is written: ‘I bear witness that there is no deity hut God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and apostle.’ And God will say, ‘Go and weigh your actions.’ And the Muslim will say, ‘What is this bit of paper compared with those large books?’ And God will say, ‘This bit of paper is heavy, weigh it.’ Then the books will be put in the scale, and the bit of paper on the other, and the books containing the actions wilt he light, and the bit of paper whereon is written the creed of time Muslim, will be heavy.’ (see Collection of Hadis by at-Tirmizi.)
The commentators say that the scales wilt be held by the angel Gabriel, and that they are of so vast a size, one hangs over Paradise, and the other over Hell, and they are capacious enough to contain both heaven and earth. Though some are willing to understand what is said in the Traditions concerning this balance allegorically, and only as a figurative representation of God’s equity, yet the more ancient and orthodox opinion is that it is to be taken literally; and since words and actions, being mere accidents, are not capable of being themselves weighed, they say that the books wherein they are written will be thrown into time scales, and according as those wherein the good or the evil actions are recorded shall preponderate, sentence will be given; those whose balances laden with their good works shall be heavy will be saved; but those whose balances are light, will be condemned. Nor will anyone hare cause to complain that God suffers any good actions to pass unrewarded, because the wicked obtain rewards for the good they do in the present life, and therefore can expect no favour in the next.
The old Jewish writers make mention of the books to be produced at the Last Day, wherein men’s actions are registered as of the balance wherein they shall he weighed, and the Bible itself seems to have given the first notion of both. But what the Persian Magi believe of the balance comes nearest to the Muhammnadan opinion. They hold that on the Day of Judgment, two angels, named Mihr and Sorush will stand on the bridge between heaven and hell, and examine every person as he passes; that the former, who represents the divine mercy, will hold a balance in his band to weigh the actions of men; that, according to the report he shall make thereof to God, sentence will be pronounced, and those whose good works are found more ponderous, if they turn the scale but by the weight of a hair, will be permitted to pass forward to Paradise; but those whose good works shall be found light, will be, by the other angel, who represents God’s justice, precipitated from the bridge into hell.
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam