Surah Waqi‘ah

Surah Waqi‘ah

Qur'ānic Exegesis

This is an independent sūrah and does not have a pair. The Makkan sūrahs of this group end on it. It contains a summary of all the discussion regarding reward and punishment found in the six previous sūrahs (Surah Qāf to Sūrah Rahmān). In these sūrahs, reward and punishment were substantiated on the basis of the manifestation of God's law of retribution in human nature and intellect, the world around man and that within him and in the history of mankind. The last of this series of sūrahs is Sūrah Rahmān in which besides the above motifs the topic of giving glad tidings and warnings has also been fully mentioned. It is this topic which reaches its culmination with all its details in the current sūrah. In this respect, this sūrah is a supplement to the previous ones.

The addressees are the arrogant among the Quraysh who are warned that the Day of Judgement is certain to come. It shall manifest come what may. People will then necessarily be raised to life in a new world where the yardstick of respect and humiliation will have changed. Honour and success in that world will belong to the sābiqūn and the ashāb al-yamīn and for the arrogant ashāb al-shimāl will be the eternal punishment of Hell.

It is evident from its subject that it was revealed in Makkah in the phase of indhār-i 'ām of the Prophet's mission.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

إِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ (1) لَيْسَ لِوَقْعَتِهَا كَاذِبَةٌ (2) خَافِضَةٌ رَّافِعَةٌ (3) إِذَا رُجَّتِ الْأَرْضُ رَجًّا (4) وَبُسَّتِ الْجِبَالُ بَسًّا (5) فَكَانَتْ هَبَاء مُّنبَثًّا (6) وَكُنتُمْ أَزْوَاجًا ثَلَاثَةً (7) فَأَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ (8) وَأَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ (9) وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ (10) أُوْلَئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ (11) فِي

In the name of God, the Most-Gracious, the Ever-Merciful.

[They should remember the day] when that which is to happen shall happen.[1]There is absolutely no falsity in its happening.[2]It is one which elevates and one which relegates;[3][on that day], when the earth will be totally rattled, and the mountains while being crushed to pieces will become dispersed dust. [On that day], you shall be divided into three groups. (1-7)

One group shall be of the companions of the right hand; so what to speak of the companions of the right hand![4]The second group shall be of the companions of the left hand; so what

جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ (12) ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ (13) وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِينَ (14) عَلَى سُرُرٍ مَّوْضُونَةٍ (15) مُتَّكِئِينَ عَلَيْهَا مُتَقَابِلِينَ (16) يَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَانٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ (17) بِأَكْوَابٍ وَأَبَارِيقَ وَكَأْسٍ مِّن مَّعِينٍ (18) لَا يُصَدَّعُونَ عَنْهَا وَلَا يُنزِفُونَ (19)

humiliation shall befall the companions of the left hand![5]And the foremost, are in fact the foremost.[6]They shall be the favoured ones;[7]living in gardens of delight: most among them will be from the earlier ones[8]but only a few from the later ones.[9]They shall recline on jewelled couches face to face.[10]Immortal youths[11]shall run around them to serve them with bowls and ewers and cups of purest wine[12]that will neither cause headaches

وَفَاكِهَةٍ مِّمَّا يَتَخَيَّرُونَ (20) وَلَحْمِ طَيْرٍ مِّمَّا يَشْتَهُونَ (21) وَحُورٌ عِينٌ (22) كَأَمْثَالِ اللُّؤْلُؤِ الْمَكْنُونِ (23) جَزَاء بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ (24) لَا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا وَلَا تَأْثِيمًا (25) إِلَّا قِيلًا سَلَامًا سَلَامًا (26) وَأَصْحَابُ الْيَمِينِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْيَمِينِ (27) فِي سِدْرٍ مَّخْضُودٍ (28) وَطَلْحٍ مَّنضُودٍ (29) وَظِلٍّ مَّمْدُودٍ (30) وَمَاء مَّسْكُوبٍ (31) وَفَاكِهَةٍ كَثِيرَةٍ (32) لَّا مَقْطُوعَةٍ وَلَا مَمْنُوعَةٍ (33) وَفُرُشٍ

nor take away their sanity; and fruits of their own choice and meat of the birds they desire. And for them shall be large-eyed houris like hidden pearls:[13]a reward for their deeds that they did. There they shall hear no absurd talk, no sinful speech. Only greetings and congratulations everywhere.[14](8-26)

And as for the companions of the right hand – what to speak of the companions of the right hand! Among thornless lote-trees[15]and clusters of bananas and vast shades; amidst gushing waters and everlasting abundant fruits, whose trees will never stop bearing fruit, and bedding raised high [where their wives will be]. We would have raised them in a unique manner[16]and would

مَّرْفُوعَةٍ (34) إِنَّا أَنشَأْنَاهُنَّ إِنشَاء (35) فَجَعَلْنَاهُنَّ أَبْكَارًا (36) عُرُبًا أَتْرَابًا (37) لِّأَصْحَابِ الْيَمِينِ (38) ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ (39) وَثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِينَ (40) وَأَصْحَابُ الشِّمَالِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الشِّمَالِ (41) فِي سَمُومٍ وَحَمِيمٍ (42) وَظِلٍّ مِّن يَحْمُومٍ (43) لَّا بَارِدٍ وَلَا كَرِيمٍ (44) إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ مُتْرَفِينَ (45) وَكَانُوا يُصِرُّونَ عَلَى الْحِنثِ الْعَظِيمِ (46) وَكَانُوا يَقُولُونَ أَئِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَعِظَامًا

have made them virgins, enchanting and of the same age.[17]All this shall be for the companions of the right hand. Among them will be many from later generations and also many from the early ones. (27-40)

As for the companions of the left hand, what a horrible fate shall befall them! They shall be amidst scorching winds and seething water and in the shade of smoke which will neither be cool nor with any other benefit. Before this, they lived in comfort and persisted in the greatest sin.[18]They would say: "Would that when we die and turn to dust and bones, shall we be raised to life again?[19]And our forefathers too who lived in the past?" Tell them: "Those of the old and those of the present age

أَئِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ (47) أَوَ آبَاؤُنَا الْأَوَّلُونَ (48) قُلْ إِنَّ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَالْآخِرِينَ (49) لَمَجْمُوعُونَ إِلَى مِيقَاتِ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ (50) ثُمَّ إِنَّكُمْ أَيُّهَا الضَّالُّونَ الْمُكَذِّبُونَ (51) لَآكِلُونَ مِن شَجَرٍ مِّن زَقُّومٍ (52) فَمَالِؤُونَ مِنْهَا الْبُطُونَ (53) فَشَارِبُونَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْحَمِيمِ (54) فَشَارِبُونَ شُرْبَ الْهِيمِ (55) هَذَا نُزُلُهُمْ يَوْمَ الدِّينِ (56)

نَحْنُ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ فَلَوْلَا تُصَدِّقُونَ (57) أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تُمْنُونَ (58) أَأَنتُمْ تَخْلُقُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْخَالِقُونَ (59) نَحْنُ قَدَّرْنَا بَيْنَكُمُ الْمَوْتَ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَسْبُوقِينَ (60) عَلَى أَن نُّبَدِّلَ أَمْثَالَكُمْ وَنُنشِئَكُمْ فِي مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ (61) وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ النَّشْأَةَ الْأُولَى

shall all be brought together till the prescribed time of an appointed day. Then you people! O those have been led astray and who have denied the truth![20]You shall eat from the tree of zaqqūm and fill your bellies with it. Then upon this you shall drink scalding water like a thirsty camel – this shall be the first feast [of these wretched people] on the Day of Reckoning."[21](49-56)

We have created you. So why do not you testify to the Day of Judgement?[22]Have you pondered on the sperm you discharge? [Whatever is made from it] do you make it or We? We have ordained death among you, and We are not helpless; in fact, We have the power to replace you with those like you[23]and raise you

فَلَوْلَا تَذكَّرُونَ (62) أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَحْرُثُونَ (63) أَأَنتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَّارِعُونَ (64) لَوْ نَشَاء لَجَعَلْنَاهُ حُطَامًا فَظَلَلْتُمْ تَفَكَّهُونَ (65) إِنَّا لَمُغْرَمُونَ (66) بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ (67) أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ الْمَاء الَّذِي تَشْرَبُونَ (68) أَأَنتُمْ أَنزَلْتُمُوهُ مِنَ الْمُزْنِ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنزِلُونَ (69) لَوْ نَشَاء جَعَلْنَاهُ أُجَاجًا فَلَوْلَا تَشْكُرُونَ (70) أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ النَّارَ الَّتِي تُورُونَ (71) أَأَنتُمْ أَنشَأْتُمْ شَجَرَتَهَا أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنشِؤُونَ (72)

in a world you know not. You surely know of your first creation. So why then do you not receive a reminder from it? (57-62)

Have you reflected on what you sow? Is it you who make it grow or We?[24]If We intend, We can crush it into bits and you end up bewildered that we have been fined; [no,] in fact, we have been completely deprived. (63-67)

Have you ever though about this water which you drink! Was it you who sent it down from the clouds or We Who send it down? If We desire, We can turn it totally bitter; then why do you not express gratitude? (68-70)

Have you ever though about fire which you light. Did you create its tree or We were its Creators?[25]We made it a reminder, and for

نَحْنُ جَعَلْنَاهَا تَذْكِرَةً وَمَتَاعًا لِّلْمُقْوِينَ (73) فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ (74)

فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَاقِعِ النُّجُومِ (75) وَإِنَّهُ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عَظِيمٌ (76) إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ

the traveller a very beneficial thing.[26](71-73)

So [Leave them O Prophet! and] glorify, your great Lord with the help of His name.[27](74)

[They deny the Qur'ān.[28]] Thus no [this has not been inspired by

(77) فِي كِتَابٍ مَّكْنُونٍ (78) لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ (79) تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (80) أَفَبِهَذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَنتُم مُّدْهِنُونَ (81) وَتَجْعَلُونَ رِزْقَكُمْ أَنَّكُمْ تُكَذِّبُونَ

some devil.] I present as witness the abodes where stars fall,[29]and if you understand this is a very great evidence.[30]Indeed, this is a glorious Qur'ān,[31]in a protected book.[32]None touch it except the [angels] pure; It has been revealed from the Lord of the Universe. So why is it that you people show indifference to this discourse? And refute what is [God's] sustenance for you![33](75-82)

(82) فَلَوْلَا إِذَا بَلَغَتِ الْحُلْقُومَ (83) وَأَنتُمْ حِينَئِذٍ تَنظُرُونَ (84) وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنكُمْ وَلَكِن لَّا تُبْصِرُونَ (85) فَلَوْلَا إِن كُنتُمْ غَيْرَ مَدِينِينَ (86) تَرْجِعُونَهَا إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ (87) فَأَمَّا إِن كَانَ مِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ (88) فَرَوْحٌ وَرَيْحَانٌ وَجَنَّةُ نَعِيمٍ (89) وَأَمَّا إِن كَانَ مِنَ أَصْحَابِ الْيَمِينِ (90) فَسَلَامٌ لَّكَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْيَمِينِ (91) وَأَمَّا إِن كَانَ مِنَ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ الضَّالِّينَ (92) فَنُزُلٌ مِّنْ حَمِيمٍ (93)

If you are subservient to no one, then at the time when a man's soul reaches his throat[34]and you see this but do not see that We are nearer to him than you – so if you are subservient to no one, then why do not you restore this person's life if you are truthful.[35](83-87)

Thus [bear in mind], if the deceased is from among the favoured ones, for him is bliss and ecstasy[36]and a garden of delight. And if he is from among the companions of the right hand, then peace be to you O one who was from among the companion of the right hand. And if he is from those who have denied and has been led astray,[37]then for him is the feast of

وَتَصْلِيَةُ جَحِيمٍ (94) إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ حَقُّ الْيَقِينِ (95) فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ (96)

scalding water and entry to Hell. (88-94)

All these things are the absolute truth. So [O Prophet! Leave them and] glorify your great Lord with the help of His name. (95-96)


10th September 2009

(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)


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