Sūrahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Sūrahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Qur'ānic Exegesis

Sūrah Muzzammil and Sūrah Muddaththir form a pair with regard to the subject discussed in them. Sūrah Muzzammil directs the Prophet (sws) to prepare himself for bearing the burden of a heavy responsibility, while Sūrah Muddaththir explains this very responsibility: the Prophet (sws) after indhār(warning), the first phase of his mission, should launch the second phase: indhār-i 'ām(open warning).

Both sūrahsare addressed to the Prophet (sws) and also to his addressees: the leadership of the Quraysh.

It is evident from the subject of these sūrahsthat with their revelation in Makkah began the phase of indhār-i 'āmof the Prophet Muhammad's preaching mission (sws).

The central theme of the first sūrah –Muzzammil is to direct the Prophet (sws) to abandon his state of sorrow resulting from the reaction of his people and prepare to bear the burden of a heavy responsibility and to admonish the leadership of the Quraysh that they have very little time left; if they do not mend their ways, they should get ready to face the consequences.

The central theme of the second sūrah – Muddaththtir is to explain the responsibility of indhār-i 'āmto the Prophet (sws) and to disclose to him its requirements and its limits and to threaten and rebuke his addressees that the Day of Judgement about which the Prophet (sws) has now been directed to openly warn them of, must not be regarded by them as something trivial. It is a day which will not be easy upon those who reject it and it is a reality which cannot be denied; no intercession will be of any use to save one's self from its torment.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ (1) قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا (2) نِصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا (3) أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا (4) إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا (5) إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ

O ye sitting while being enfolded in your shawl[1] stand by night,[2] but a little. Half the night or even less or a little more and [in this prayer of yours] recite the Qur'ān in a measured tone.[3]

أَشَدُّ وَطْءًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا (6) إِنَّ لَكَ فِي اَلنَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا (7) وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ

Because soon We shall lay on you the burden of a heavy word.[4] Indeed, this rising by night is very suitable for the heart's resolve[5] and for the speech's correctness.[6] The reason is that during the daytime you will be hard-pressed with [this task; so pray at this

وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا (8) رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا (9) وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا (10) وَذَرْنِي وَالْمُكَذِّبِينَ أُولِي النَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيلًا (11) إِنَّ لَدَيْنَا أَنكَالًا وَجَحِيمًا (12) وَطَعَامًا ذَا غُصَّةٍ وَعَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

time] and remember the name of your Lord[7] and [in this seclusion of the night] devote yourself entirely to Him.[8] He is the Lord of the East and the West. There is no god but He. Therefore, take Him alone as your Guardian, and bear with patience what they say and with dignity ignore them.[9] And leave their matter, the matter of these who deny, who enjoy the comforts of life[10] to Me and give them a little respite.[11] We have

(13) يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيبًا مَّهِيلًا (14)

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَاهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا (15) فَعَصَى فِرْعَوْنُ الرَّسُولَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُ أَخْذًا وَبِيلًا (16) فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِن كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا (17) السَّمَاء مُنفَطِرٌ بِهِ كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَفْعُولًا (18) إِنَّ هَذِهِ

in store [for them] heavy fetters and a blazing fire, and choking food and a painful torment also. On the Day when the earth and the mountains shall tremble violently and the mountains shall be as if they are disbanding heaps of sand. (1-14)

To you [O Quraysh of Makkah!] We have sent forth a Messenger as a witness to you just as we had sent a Messenger to the Pharaoh.[12] Then the Pharaoh disobeyed that Messenger; so We seized him with a dreadful punishment. So if you also deny, then how will you save yourself from the Day which shall make the children old.[13] The heavens are ripping apart with its burden[14] and the promise of God is certain to be fulfilled. Indeed, [before

تَذْكِرَةٌ فَمَن شَاء اتَّخَذَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا (19)

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَى مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ وَاللَّهُ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ عَلِمَ أَن لَّن تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ فَاقْرَؤُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ عَلِمَ أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُم مَّرْضَى وَآخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَآخَرُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَاقْرَؤُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ

this happens] this is a reminder. So whoever wants, he can take the path which leads to His Lord. (15-19)

[O Prophet! We had enjoined upon you to stand by night.[15]] Your Lord well knows that sometimes you stand almost two thirds of the night [before him], sometimes half and sometimes one third of it, and so does a group among your companions. And God alone [keeping in regard the need of people] appoints the day and night in due measure.[16] He knew that you would not be able to follow this [routine]. So He turned towards you mercifully.[17] Recite then from this Qur'ān[in this prayer] as much as you are able to.[18] He knows that there will be those among you who will be sick and others who be travelling to seek the bounty of God and others who will be fighting for the cause of God; so recite then from this as much as is possible for you, and [in the daytime and at night] adhere diligently to the prayers

وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ (20)

and pay zakāh and [for the cause of your religion and state] lend to God a befitting loan, and [remember that] whatever good you send forth for yourselves you shall find it with God better than before and greater in reward. Seek God's forgiveness. Indeed, He is Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful. (20)


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُدَّثِّرُ (1) قُمْ فَأَنذِرْ (2) وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ (3) وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ (4)

O ye enfolded in your shawl![19] Arise and give open warning[20] and proclaim the greatness of your Lord only,[21] and cleanse[22] the apparel of your soul[23] and keep away from the dirt [of polytheism]

وَالرُّجْزَ فَاهْجُرْ (5) وَلَا تَمْنُن تَسْتَكْثِرُ (6) وَلِرَبِّكَ فَاصْبِرْ (7)

and [listen!] do not discontinue your endeavour regarding it to be enough,[24] and with perseverance wait for the decision of your Lord.[25] (1-7)

فَإِذَا نُقِرَ فِي النَّاقُورِ (8) فَذَلِكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوْمٌ عَسِيرٌ (9) عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ غَيْرُ يَسِيرٍ (10) ذَرْنِي وَمَنْ خَلَقْتُ وَحِيدًا (11) وَجَعَلْتُ لَهُ مَالًا مَّمْدُودًا (12) وَبَنِينَ شُهُودًا (13) وَمَهَّدتُّ لَهُ تَمْهِيدًا (14) ثُمَّ يَطْمَعُ أَنْ أَزِيدَ (15) كَلَّا إِنَّهُ كَانَ

Because when the trumpet is sounded, that Day will be very severe. It will not be easy for these disbelievers.[26] Leave to Me whom I have created alone[27] and bestowed abundant wealth spread about[28] and sons abiding in his presence[29] and well smoothed out for him [the path of success and achievement in this world]. Still he expects that [when he has received so much

لِآيَاتِنَا عَنِيدًا (16) سَأُرْهِقُهُ صَعُودًا (17)

إِنَّهُ فَكَّرَ وَقَدَّرَ (18) فَقُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ (19) ثُمَّ قُتِلَ كَيْفَ قَدَّرَ (20) ثُمَّ نَظَرَ (21) ثُمَّ عَبَسَ وَبَسَرَ (22) ثُمَّ أَدْبَرَ وَاسْتَكْبَرَ (23) فَقَالَ إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا سِحْرٌ يُؤْثَرُ (24) إِنْ هَذَا إِلَّا قَوْلُ الْبَشَرِ (25)

سَأُصْلِيهِ سَقَرَ (26) وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا سَقَرُ (27) لَا تُبْقِي وَلَا تَذَرُ (28) لَوَّاحَةٌ لِّلْبَشَرِ (29) عَلَيْهَا تِسْعَةَ عَشَرَ (30)

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ إِلَّا مَلَائِكَةً وَمَا جَعَلْنَا عِدَّتَهُمْ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا

in this world] I shall give him more [in the next]. Certainly not! He has turned out to be an enemy of Our revelations. [Therefore], soon I will make him climb a mounting slope.[30] (8-17)

[This wrongdoer,][31] he pondered and schemed. Cursed be he; what he schemed! Then cursed be he, what he schemed. Then he looked [around him]. Then he frowned and scowled. Then he turned away in scornful pride. Then said: "This is nothing but a magic [of eloquent words; the same] which is being handed down from the past. [This is no divine inspiration]; it is but the word of man."[32] (18-25)

[This wrongdoer], I will soon cast him into Hell. And what do you know what Hell is? It will not show mercy[33] nor spare anyone. It scorches the skin. Over it are nineteen.[34] (26-30)

[35]We have appointed none but angels as the keepers of Hell

لِيَسْتَيْقِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَيَزْدَادَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِيمَانًا وَلَا يَرْتَابَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَلِيَقُولَ الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْكَافِرُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَذَا مَثَلًا كَذَلِكَ يُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَن يَشَاء وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء وَمَا يَعْلَمُ جُنُودَ رَبِّكَ إِلَّا

and have mentioned their number only to make it a test[36] for those who do not believe. So that the People of the Book receive assurance from this, the believers may increase in their faith and that the People of the Book and the believers have no doubt about it and those among the [People of the Book] who have the ailment [of jealousy] in their hearts and the disbelievers [make fun of this and] say: "What does God mean by this mention?"[37] In this way, God [according to His law] leads astray whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases.[38] [They should never have any misconception about their knowledge; the fact is that] no one knows the armies of your Lord except He.[39] And this

هُوَ وَمَا هِيَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَى لِلْبَشَرِ (31)

كَلَّا وَالْقَمَرِ (32) وَاللَّيْلِ إِذْ أَدْبَرَ (33) وَالصُّبْحِ إِذَا أَسْفَرَ (34) إِنَّهَا لَإِحْدَى الْكُبَرِ (35) نَذِيرًا لِّلْبَشَرِ (36) لِمَن شَاء مِنكُمْ أَن يَتَقَدَّمَ أَوْ يَتَأَخَّرَ (27) كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ (38) إِلَّا أَصْحَابَ الْيَمِينِ (39) فِي جَنَّاتٍ يَتَسَاءلُونَ(40) عَنِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ (41) مَا سَلَكَكُمْ فِي سَقَرَ (42) قَالُوا لَمْ نَكُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَ (43)

[narrative[40]] is just a reminder for man. (31)

[This not a matter of making fun of or asking to hasten it.] Certainly not! The moon bears witness and the night also when it turned its back and the morning when it shines forth that this matter [of the Day of Judgement] is from among the great matters narrated to warn man[41] for every person who wants to advance forward [to accept it] or wants to turn away [from it after denying it]. Every soul [on that Day] shall be held in pledge for its deeds[42] except the people of the right hand.[43] They will be in gardens. They will be inquiring after these wrongdoers:

وَلَمْ نَكُ نُطْعِمُ الْمِسْكِينَ (44) وَكُنَّا نَخُوضُ مَعَ الْخَائِضِينَ (45) وَكُنَّا نُكَذِّبُ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ (46) حَتَّى أَتَانَا الْيَقِينُ (47)

فَمَا تَنفَعُهُمْ شَفَاعَةُ الشَّافِعِينَ (48) فَمَا لَهُمْ عَنِ التَّذْكِرَةِ مُعْرِضِينَ (49) كَأَنَّهُمْ حُمُرٌ مُّسْتَنفِرَةٌ (50) فَرَّتْ مِن قَسْوَرَةٍ (51) بَلْ يُرِيدُ كُلُّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُمْ أَن يُؤْتَى صُحُفًا مُّنَشَّرَةً (52) كَلَّا بَل لَا يَخَافُونَ الْآخِرَةَ (53) كَلَّا إِنَّهُ تَذْكِرَةٌ (54)

"What has brought you intoHell?" They will reply: "[It was our misfortune that] we were not among those who prayed nor did we feed the poor; we used to quibble with these quibblers and used to deny the Day of Reckoning[44] till there came the moment of certainty. (32-47)

At that time, no intercession of [their] intercessors will be of any use to them.[45] What then is the matter with them that they are turning away from this reminder,[46] as though they are frightened asses fleeing from a lion? Each one of them, in fact, desires that [instead of a prophet sent forth], he be handed open scrolls.[47] Certainly not! [This never happened in the past nor will it ever happen in the future]; in fact [the truth is that] they have no fear of the Day of Judgement. [Do not go after them], never! This is only a reminder. So let him, who wants, take heed – and

فَمَن شَاء ذَكَرَهُ (55) وَمَا يَذْكُرُونَ إِلَّا أَن يَشَاء اللَّهُ هُوَ أَهْلُ التَّقْوَى وَأَهْلُ الْمَغْفِرَةِ (56)

they will not take heed unless God [according to His law] so wants[48] – [so let him, who wants, take heed]. He alone is pious and worthy of being forgiven by his Lord. (48-56)

Kuala Lumpur

12th February 2010

(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)


Articles by this author

Sūrah Shūrā

Surah Ha Mim al-Sajdah

Surah al-Mu’min

Surah al-Zumar

Surah Saffat

Surah Yasin

Surah Saba

Surah al-Qasas

Ghamidi on Farahi

Surah Luqman

Surah Ahzab

Sūrah al-Rūm

Surah al-‘Ankabut

Surah al-Naml (2/2)

Surah al-Naml (1/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (2/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (1/2)

Surah al-Furqan

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

Indications of Islam, Faith, Virtue and the Day of Judgement

Surah al-Nur (2/2)

Surah al-Nur (1/2)

Surah Mu’minun (2/2)

Surah Mu’minun (1/2)

Surah al-Hajj (2/2)

Surah al-Hajj (1/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (2/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (1/2)

Surah Taha (3/3)

Surah Taha (2/3)

Surah Taha (1/3)

Surah Maryam (2/2)

Surah Maryam (1/2)

Surah al-Kahf (2/2)

Surah al-Kahf (1/2)

Surah Bani Isra’il (1/3)

Surah al-Nahl (2/2)

Surah al-Nahl (1/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (2/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (1/2)

Surah Yusuf (3/3)

Surah Yusuf (2/3)

Surah Yusuf (1/3)

Surah Hud (3/3)

Surah Hud (2/3)

Surah Hud (1/3)

Surah Yunus (2/2)

Surah Yunus (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (38-60)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (1/2)

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (2/2)

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (1/2)

Surah al-Anfal (31-40)

Surah Nisa’ (153-176)

Surahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Surah al-Anfal (1-30)

Surah al-A’raf (184-205)

Surah al-A’raf (163-183)

Islamic Punishments

Surah al-A’raf (152-162)

Surah al-A‘raf (123-153)

Surah al-A‘raf (80-122)

Surah al-A‘raf (57-79)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (2/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (1/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (1-25)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (2/2)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (1/2)

Surah An‘am (100-127)

Surah An‘am (74-99)

Surah An‘am (46-73)

Surah An‘am (25-45)

The Noble Wives of the Prophet (sws)

Surah An‘am (1-24)

Islamic Punishments

Surahs Falaq-Nas

Surahs Lahab-Ikhlas

Surahs Kafirun-Nasr

Surahs Ma‘un-Kawthar

Surah Fil – Surah Quraysh

Surah ‘Asr – Surah Humazah

Surah Qari‘ah – Surah Takathur

Surah Zilzal – Surah ‘Aadiyat


Surahs Qadr-Bayyinah

Surahs Tin – ‘Alaq

State and Government

Surahs Duha-Alam Nashrah

Surahs Shams-Layl

Islam and the State: A Counter Narrative

Surahs Fajr-Balad

The Basis of Legislation

The Shari‘ah of Preaching

Surahs A‘la - Ghashiyah

Variant Readings

Surahs Mutaffifin - Inshiqaq

Surahs Buruj – Tariq

Itmam al-Hujjah [1] of God’s Messengers

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs ‘Asr-Humazah

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs Nazi‘at-‘Abas

Surahs Mursalat-Naba

Dealings and Practices of God

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Wudū and Nail Polish

Surahs Qiyamah-Dahr

Surahs Takwir - Infitar

Sūrahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Downfall of the Muslims

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi on Hadith

Your Questions Answered

Surahs Nuh and Jinn

Birth Control

An Interview with the Indian Media

Surahs Haqqah and Ma‘arij

Roles and Responsibilities of Muslims in the West

Surahs Mulk - Qalam

The Punishment of Intentional Murder

Hajj and ‘Umrah

Sūrahs Hashr – Mumtahinah

Religious Extremism

Sūrahs Hadīd – Mujādalah

The Right to make a Will

Talks of the Prophet Muhammad (sws)

Surah Waqi‘ah

The General and the Specific

Sūrah Qamar and Sūrah Rahmān

Surah Tur and Surah Najm

Inheritance of an Orphaned Grandchild

The Sharī‘ah of Preaching

The Source of Religion

Sūrah Mā’idah (90-120)

The Prayer

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 2/2)

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (2/2)

Dealings and Practices of God

Age of ‘Ā’ishah (rta) at her Marriage

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (2/2)

Sūrah Nisā’ (153-176)