Tuesday 22 December 2020

Surah Al Qiyamah - The Resurrection: Exegesis 75th Chapter of Quran

Sūrah Al-Qiyāmah " القيامة " is the seventy fifth sürah with 40 āyāt with two rukus, part of the 30th Juzʼ  of the Qur'ān. The Surah has been so named after the word al-Qiyamah in the first verse. This is not only the name but also the title of this Surah, for it is devoted to Resurrection itself.

This surah belongs to the early Makkan period, but comes chronologically a good deal later than the last two surahs. Its subject-matter is the Resurrection, viewed from the point of view of Man, especially unregenerate Man, as he is now, and as he will be then, -his inner and psychological history.

The surah is divided into two Ruku as under:
  • Ruku One: Verses 1-30. Wherein verses 1-15 warn of the day of resurrection and judgement, from which there is no escape from it. The following verses 16-30 explain that Allah Himself took the responsibility of Al-Quran and Last moments of disbeliever's death.
  • Ruku Two: Verses 31-40. These verses are about the Disbelievers who do not believe because they never took Al-Islam seriously
We have already presented the overview / summary of the sürah. Let us now read the verse by verse translation and exegesis / tafseer in English. You may also like to listen to eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan explaining the Sūrah Al-Qiyāmah at the end of the post. 

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"

Ruku One: Verses 1-30: Verses 1-15 warn of the day of resurrection and judgement, from which there is no escape from it.

لَاۤ اُقۡسِمُ بِيَوۡمِ الۡقِيٰمَةِۙ‏ 
( 1 )   I swear by the Day of Resurrection
To begin the discourse with ‘Nay’ by itself indicates that the Surah was sent down to refute some argument which was already in progress. The theme that follows shows that the argument was about Resurrection and life after death, which the people of Makkah were denying and also mocking at it at the same time. This can be understood by an example. If a person only wants to affirm the truth of the Messenger, he will say: By God, the Messenger has come with the truth. But if some people might be denying the truth of the Messenger, he in response would rejoin, thus: Nay, by God, the Messenger has come with the truth. It would mean: That which you say is not true. I swear that the truth is this and this.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The Oath about the Final Return on the Day of Resurrection and the Refutation against the Plots - It has been mentioned previously on more than one occasion that if the thing that is being sworn about is something that is being negated, then it is permissible to use the word "La'' (Nay) before the oath to emphasize the negation. Here, what is being sworn about is the affirmation of the final abode and the refutation against the claim of the ignorant that the resurrection of bodies will not occur. 

This is why Allah says, (Nay! I swear by the Day of Resurrection. And nay! I swear by An-Nafs Al-Lawwamah.) Qatadah said, "This means, I swear by both of these things.'' This has also been reported from Ibn `Abbas and Sa`id bin Jubayr. Concerning the Day of Judgement, it is well known what it is. In reference to An-Nafs Al-Lawwamah, Qurrah bin Khalid reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basri that he said about this Ayah, "Verily, by Allah, we think that every believer blames himself. He says (questioning himself), `What did I intend by my statement What did I intend by my eating What did I intend in what I said to myself' However, the sinner proceeds ahead and he does not blame himself.'' 

Ibn Jarir recorded from Sa`id bin Jubayr that he said concerning Allah's statement, (And nay! I swear by An-Nafs Al-Lawwamah) "He criticizes himself in good and bad.'' Similar has been reported from `Ikrimah. Ibn Abi Najih reported from Mujahid: "He is sorry for what he missed (of good deeds) and he blames himself for it.''

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. lxx. 40. Here the point to be enforced is understood. The appeal is made to two considerations: (1) That every act has to be accounted for, and evil must have its recompense at the Resurrection; and (2) that man's own spirit has a conscience which would reproach him for sin, if he did not suppress that inner voice.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: By "calling it to witness", i.e., by speaking of the Day of Resurrection as if it had already occurred, the above phrase is meant to convey the certainty of its coming.

وَلَاۤ اُقۡسِمُ بِالنَّفۡسِ اللَّوَّامَةِؕ‏ 
( 2 )   And I swear by the reproaching soul [to the certainty of resurrection].
The Quran has mentioned three kinds of human self:

(1) Ammarah: the self that urges man to evil.

(2) Lawwamah: the self that feels repentant at doing wrong, thinking wrong and willing wrong and reproaches man for this; and the same is called conscience in modern terminology.

(3) Mumtmainnah: the self that feels full satisfaction at following the right path and abandoning the wrong path.

Here the thing for which Allah has sworn an oath by the Resurrection (al-Qiyamah) and the self-reproaching self, has not been mentioned, for the following sentence itself points it out. The oath has been sworn to stress the truth that Allah will certainly resurrect man after death and He has full power to do so. Now, the question arises: What is the relevance of swearing an oath by these two truths to this thing?

As for the Day of Resurrection, the reason of swearing by it is certainty. The whole system of the universe testifies that it is neither eternal nor everlasting. Its own nature tells that it has neither existed since eternity nor can last till eternity. Human intellect has never had any strong argument to support the baseless view that this ever changing world could have existed since ever and would last for ever. But as the knowledge of man about this world goes on increasing, it goes on becoming more and more certain for man himself that this workhouse of life had a beginning in time before which it was not, and necessarily it has also an end in time after which it will not be. For this reason, Allah has sworn an oath by Resurrection itself on the occurrence of Resurrection, and this is an oath of the kind that we might swear addressing a skeptical person, who may be skeptical about his own existence, saying: By you yourself, you exist, i.e. your own being itself testifies that you exist.

But an oath by the Day of Resurrection is only an argument for the truth that this system will one day be upset. As for the truth that after that man shall be resurrected and called upon to account for his deeds and made to see the good or evil results thereof, another oath has been sworn by the self reproaching soul. No man exists in the world who may not have a faculty called conscience in him. This conscience is necessarily conscious of the good and evil, and no matter how perverted and degraded a man might be, his conscience always checks him on doing evil and for not doing good irrespective of the fact whether the criterion of good and evil that he had set for himself might in itself be right or wrong. This is an express pointer that man is not merely an animal but a moral being. He naturally can distinguish good from evil; he regards himself as responsible for the good or the evil he does; and even if he might feel pleased suppressing the reproaches of his conscience over the evil he has done to another, he, on the contrary, feels and demands from within that the other one who has done the same evil to him, must deserve punishment. Now, if the existence of a self-reproaching soul of this kind in man himself is an undeniable truth, then this truth too is undeniable that the same self-reproaching soul is an evidence of the life hereafter, which exists in man’s own nature itself. For this demand of nature that man must be rewarded or punished for his good or evil deeds for which he himself is responsible, cannot be met in any other way than in the life hereafter. No sensible man can deny that if man becomes non existent after death, he will certainly be deprived of the rewards of his good deeds and escape the just and lawful punishment of many of his evil deeds. Therefore, unless one comes to believe in the absurd idea that a rational being like man has stumbled into an irrational system of the universe and a moral being like man has happened to be born in a world which basically has nothing to do with morality, he cannot deny the life hereafter. Likewise, the philosophy of the transmigration of souls also is no reply to this demand of nature, for if man goes on being born and reborn in this very world for the sake of being rewarded and punished for his moral acts, in every cycle of life he will perform some additional moral acts, which again will need to be rewarded and punished, thus making his account more and more lengthy and complicated in an endless way instead of being settled finally and for good. Therefore, this demand of nature is fulfilled only in case man in this world should have only one life and then, after the whole human race has been brought to an end, there should be another life in which all acts of man should be judged and assessed rightly and justly and he should be fully rewarded or punished in consequence thereof. (For further explanation, (see verse 38 of Surah 7. Al- Aaraf).

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Our doctors postulate three states or stages of the development of the human soul: (1) Ammara (xii. 53), which is prone to evil, and, if not checked and controlled, will lead to perdition; (2) Lawwama, as here, which feels conscious of evil, and resists it, asks for Allah's grace and pardon after repentance and tries to amend; it hopes to reach salvation; (3) Mutmainna (lxxxix 27), the highest stage of all, when it achieves full rest and satisfaction. Our second stage may be compared to Conscience, except that in English usage Conscience is a faculty and not a stage in spiritual development.

اَيَحۡسَبُ الۡاِنۡسَانُ اَلَّنۡ نَّجۡمَعَ عِظَامَهٗؕ‏ 
( 3 )   Does man think that We will not assemble his bones?
The above two arguments, which have been presented in the form of the oaths, only prove two things. First, that the end of the world (i.e. the first stage of Resurrection) is a certainty; and second, that another life after death is necessary, for without it the logical and natural demands of man’s being a moral being cannot be fulfilled; and this will certainly happen, for the existence of the conscience in man testifies to it. 

Now, this third argument has been given to prove that life after death is possible. 
The people of Makkah who denied it, said again and again: How can it be that the people who died hundreds of thousands of years ago, whose bodies have disintegrated into particles and mixed in the dust, whose bones decayed and were scattered away by the winds, some of whom were burnt to ashes, others devoured by the beasts of prey, still others drowned in the seas and swallowed by fish, the material constituents of their bodies should re-assemble and every man should rise up as the same person that he once was ten or twenty thousand years before? 
Allah has given its very rational and highly forceful reply in the form of this brief question: Does man think that We shall not be able to put his bones together? That is, If you had been told that the scattered particles of your body would reunite of their own accord some time in the future, and you would come back to life by yourself with this very body, you would no doubt have been justified in regarding it as impossible. But what you have actually been told is that such a thing will not happen by itself, but Allah Almighty will do this. Now, do you really think that the Creator of the universe, Whom you yourself also regard as the Creator, would be powerless to do so? This was such a question in answer to which nobody who believed in God to be the Creator of the universe; could say, neither then nor today, that even God Himself could not do this even if He so willed. And if a disbeliever says such a thing, he can be asked: How did God in the first instance make the body in which you at present exist, by gathering its countless particles together from the air, water and earth and many other places you do not know. How, then, can you say that the same God cannot gather its constituent parts together once again.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, `on the Day of Judgement does he think that We are not able to return his bones and gather them from their various places'

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The Unbelievers' usual cry is: "What! when we are reduced to bones and dust, how can our personality be called to account?" (xvii. 49). The answer is: Allah has said so, and He will do it; for the death here is not the end of all things.

بَلٰى قٰدِرِيۡنَ عَلٰٓى اَنۡ نُّسَوِّىَ بَنَانَهٗ‏ 
( 4 )   Yes. [We are] Able [even] to proportion his fingertips.
That is, not to speak of building up your skeleton once again by gathering together the major bones? We are able to make whole the most delicate parts of your body, even your finger tips, as they used to be before.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: `Does man think that We will not gather his bones Surely, We will gather them and We are quite able to put together his fingertips. This means Our power is suitable to gather (and recreate) them, and if We wished We could surely resurrect him with more than what he originally had. We could make his Banan, which are the tips of his fingers, all equal (in length).'

Yusuf Ali Explanation: An idiom for the most delicate parts of his body

بَلۡ يُرِيۡدُ الۡاِنۡسَانُ لِيَفۡجُرَ اَمَامَهٗ​ۚ‏ 
( 5 )   But man desires to continue in sin.
In this brief sentence the real disease of the deniers of the Hereafter has been clearly diagnosed. What makes them deny the Hereafter is not, in fact, their regarding the Resurrection and Hereafter as impossible but they deny it because acceptance of the Hereafter inevitably imposes certain moral restrictions on them, which they detest. They desire that they should continue roaming in the world at will as they have been roaming before. They should have full freedom to go on committing whatever injustice, dishonesty, sin and wickedness that they have been committing before, and there should be no deterrent to obstruct their freedom and to warn them that one day they will have to appear and render an account of their deeds before their God. Therefore, it is not their intellect which is hindering them from believing in the Hereafter but their desires of the self.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: It is bad enough not to repent of past sins. But the evil-doer who rejects a Day of Reckoning and has no conscience wants to go on in his career of sin and jeopardies his future also.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Sa`id reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "This means to proceed forward.'' Mujahid said about, (to break out ahead of himself.) "This means that he wants to proceed ahead following his own whims.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "This refers to the disbeliever who denies the Day of Reckoning.'' Ibn Zayd said the same thing. Thus, Allah says after this:

يَسۡـئَـلُ اَيَّانَ يَوۡمُ الۡقِيٰمَةِؕ‏ 
( 6 )   He asks, "When is the Day of Resurrection?"
This question was not put as a question but derisively and to deny Resurrection, That is, they did not want to ask when Resurrection would take place but asked mockingly: What has happened to the day with which you are threatening us. When will it come.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, he says when will the Day of Judgement be His question is only a question of denying its occurrence, and rejecting its existence. 

This is as Allah says, (And they say: "When is this promise if you are truthful'' Say: "The appointment to you is for a Day, which you cannot put back for an hour nor put forward.'') (34:29-30) 

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The question is skeptical or derisive. He does not believe that there is any chain of consequences in the Hereafter. He does not believe in a Hereafter.

فَاِذَا بَرِقَ الۡبَصَرُۙ‏ 
( 7 )   So when vision is dazzled
Literally, the words bariq al-basaru mean dazzling of the eyes by lightning, but in the Arabic idiom these words do not specifically carry this meaning only but are also used for man’s being terror-stricken and amazed, or his being confounded on meeting with an accident suddenly and his eyes being dazed at some distressing sight before him. This subject has been expressed at another place in the Quran, thus: Allah is only deferring their case to the Day when the eyes shall stare with consternation. [ (14:42) "Do not think Allah is heedless of the evil deeds in which the evil-doers are engaged. He is merely granting them respite until a Day when their eyes shall continue to stare in horror" (Surah 14. Ibrahim, Ayat 42)].

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Abu `Amr bin Al-`Ala' recited this Ayah as Bariqa with a Kasrah under the letter Ra, which means to be diminished. That which he (Abu `Amr) has said resembles the statement of Allah, (Their gaze returning not towards them.) (14:43) meaning, they will be looking this way and that way in horror. Their gaze will not be able to rest upon anything due to the severity of the terror on that Day. Others recited it as Baraqa with a Fathah over the letter Ra, and its meaning is close to the first recitation (Bariqa). The intent here is that the eyes will be dazzled, humbled, diminished, and humiliated on the Day of Judgement due to the severity of the horrors and the greatness of the matters that they will witness on that Day. 

Yusuf Ali Explanation: At the Hour of Judgment the full light and glory of the Lord will shine, and the effulgence will daze man's eyes. For the world as we knew it will go to pieces and a new World will come into being.

وَخَسَفَ الۡقَمَرُۙ‏ 
( 8 )   And the moon darkens

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Not only will man's sight be dazed, but the great luminaries themselves will lose their light. The moon with its present reflected light will then cease to shine. All reflected or relative truth or goodness will sink into nothing before the true and Eternal Reality.

وَجُمِعَ الشَّمۡسُ وَالۡقَمَرُۙ‏ 
( 9 )   And the sun and the moon are joined,
This is a brief description of the chaotic condition of the system of the universe that will prevail in the first stage of Resurrection. The darkening of the moon and the joining of the moon and the sun together can also mean that not only will the moon lose its light, which is borrowed from the sun, but the sun itself will become dark and both will become devoid of light similarly. Another meaning can be that the earth will suddenly start rotating in the reverse order and on that day both the moon and the sun will rise simultaneously in the west. And a third meaning can be that the moon will suddenly shoot out of the earth’s sphere of influence and will fall into the sun. There may possibly be some other meaning also of this which we cannot understand today.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Mujahid said, "They will be rolled up.'' In explaining this Ayah, Ibn Zayd recited the following Ayat, (When the sun is wound round and its light is lost and is overthrown, and when the stars fall.) (81:1,2) It has been reported from Ibn Mas`ud that he recited the Ayah as, (وَجُمِعَ بَيْنَ الشَّمْسِ وَالْقَمَرِ) (and the sun and the moon will be joined between each other.) 

Yusuf Ali Explanation: To the moon the sun is the original light, but the sun itself is a created light, and it will sink into nothingness along with the moon. Both will be like empty shells "whose lights are fled, whose glories dead", because the Light of Allah now shines in full splendour in a new World. See explanation of xxxix. 69.

يَقُوۡلُ الۡاِنۡسَانُ يَوۡمَـئِذٍ اَيۡنَ الۡمَفَرُّ​ ۚ‏
( 10 )   Man will say on that Day, "Where is the [place of] escape?"

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, the human will see these horrors on the Day of Judgement and he will want to flee. He will say, "Where (is the place) to flee to'' This means, where is the escape or refuge Allah then says:

كَلَّا لَا وَزَرَؕ‏ 
( 11 )   No! There is no refuge.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr and several others of the Salaf said, "There will be no salvation.'' 

This Ayah is similar to Allah's statement, (You will have no refuge on that Day nor there will be for you any denying.) (42:47) meaning, `there will be no place for you to hide.' This is like what Allah says here, (There is no refuge.) meaning, `there will be no place for you to seek shelter.' Thus, Allah says:

اِلٰى رَبِّكَ يَوۡمَـئِذِ اۨلۡمُسۡتَقَرُّ ؕ‏ 
( 12 )   To your Lord, that Day, is the [place of] permanence.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, the place of return and the final destination. The Deeds of Man will be placed before Him on the Day of Judgement. Then Allah says:

يُنَبَّؤُا الۡاِنۡسَانُ يَوۡمَـئِذٍۢ بِمَا قَدَّمَ وَاَخَّرَؕ‏ 
( 13 )   Man will be informed that Day of what he sent ahead and kept back.
Bima qaddama wa akhkhara " بِمَا قَدَّمَ وَاَخَّرَؕ‏ " is a very comprehensive sentence, which can have several meanings and probably all are implied:

(1) That man on that Day will be told what good or evil he had earned in his worldly life before death and sent forward for his hereafter, and also informed what effects of his good or evil acts he had left behind in the world, which continued to work and to influence the coming generations for ages after him.

(2) That he will be told everything he ought to have done but which he did not do, and did what he ought not to have done.

(3) That the full date wise account of what he did before and what he did afterwards will be placed before him.

(4) That he will be told whatever good or evil he had done as well as informed of the good or the evil that he had left undone.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: All good and bad deeds, positive and negative, i.e., all sins of commission and omission, and all the good that a man did and all the evil that he omitted, all the influence that he radiated before him and all that he left behind him.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "what he has sent ahead and left behind", i.e., whatever good and bad deeds he committed or omitted (Zamakhshari).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, he will be informed of all of his deeds, the old of them and the recent of them, the first of them and the last of them, the small of them and the large of them. This is as Allah says, (And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice.) (18:49) 

Likewise, Allah says here:

بَلِ الۡاِنۡسَانُ عَلٰى نَفۡسِهٖ بَصِيۡرَةٌ ۙ‏ 
( 14 )   But lo, man is well aware of himself,

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Nay! Man will be well informed about himself, though he may put forth his excuses.) meaning, he will be a witness against himself, knowing full well what he did, even though he will try to make excuses and deny it. 

This is as Allah says, ((It will be said to him): "Read your book. You are sufficient as a reckoner against yourself this Day.'') 

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, (Nay! Man will be well informed about himself.) "His hearing, his sight, his two hands, his two legs and his limbs.'' Qatadah said, "This means he is a witness against himself.'' In another narration from Qatadah he said, "By Allah! If you wish to see him, you would see him as someone who sees the shortcomings of the people and their sins, yet he is heedless of his own sins.'' It used to be said, "Verily, it is written in the Injil: `O Son of Adam, do you see the small splinters in the eye of your brother and disregard the tree stump that is in your eye, so you do not see it''' 

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. xxiv. 24 and its explanation: "On the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions. " It is not what a man says about himself, or what others say of him, that determines judgment about him. It is what he is in himself. His own personality betrays him or commends him.

وَّلَوۡ اَلۡقٰى مَعَاذِيۡرَهٗؕ‏ 
( 15 )   Even if he presents his excuses.
That is, the object of placing man’s record before him will not be to inform the culprit of his crimes, but this will be done because the demands of justice are not fulfilled unless the proof of the crime is produced before the court; otherwise everyman fully knows what he actually is. For the sake of self-knowledge he does not need that another one should tell him what he is. A liar can deceive the whole world but he himself knows that he lies. A thief can devise a thousand devices to conceal his crime but he himself is aware that he is a thief. A person involved in error can present a thousand arguments to assure the people that he is honestly convinced of the disbelief, atheism or polytheism, which he professes and follows, but his own conscience is never unaware of why he persists in that creed and what, in fact, prevents him from understanding and admitting its error and falsity. An unjust, wicked, dishonest, unmoral and corrupt person can even suppress the voice of his own conscience by inventing one or another excuse so that it may stop reproaching him and should be satisfied that he is doing whatever he is doing only because of certain compulsions, expediencies and genuine needs, but despite this he has in any case the knowledge of what wrong he has committed against a certain person, how he has deprived another of his rights, how he deceived still another and that unlawful methods he used to gain what he has gained. Therefore, at the time when one appears in the court of the Hereafter, every disbeliever, every hypocrite, every wicked person and culprit will himself be knowing what he has done in the world and for what crime he stands before his God.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Mujahid said, (Though he may put forth his excuses.) "This means, even though he argues in defense of it, he is a witness against it.'' 

Qatadah said, (Though he may put forth his excuses.) "Even though he will try to make false excuses on that Day, they will not be accepted from him.'' 

As-Suddi said, (Though he may put forth his excuses.) "This means his argument.'' This is as Allah says, (There will then be no Fitnah for them but to say: "By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah.'') (6:23)

Allah also says, (On the Day when Allah will resurrect them all together; then they will swear to Him as they swear to you (O Muslims). And they think that they have something. Verily, they are liars!) (58:18) 

Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas: (Though he may put forth his excuses.) "This is apologizing. Haven't you heard that Allah said, (The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers.) (40:52) and He says, (And they will offer submision to Allah on that Day.) (16:87) and He says, (Then they will (falsely) submit: "We used not to do any evil.'') (16:28) and their statement, (By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah.) (6:23)''

Ruku One: Verses 16-30: These verses explain that Allah Himself took the responsibility of Al-Quran and Last moments of disbeliever's death.

لَا تُحَرِّكۡ بِهٖ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعۡجَلَ بِهٖؕ‏ 
( 16 )   Move not your tongue with it, [O Muhammad], to hasten with recitation of the Qur'an.
The whole passage from here to “Then, indeed, it is upon Us its clarification (verse 19)” is a parenthesis, which has been interposed here as an address to the Prophet (peace be upon him). As we have explained in the introduction above, in the initial stages of the Prophethood when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was not yet fully used to receiving the revelation, he was afraid when revelation came down to him whether he would be able to remember exactly what the Angel Gabriel was reciting to him or not. Therefore, he would try to commit to memory rapidly what he heard from the Angel simultaneously. The same thing happened when Gabriel was reciting these verses of Surah Al- Qiyamah. Therefore, interrupting what was being revealed, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was instructed to the effect: Do not try to memorize the words of the revelation, but listen to it attentively and carefully. It is Our responsibility to enable you to remember it by heart and then to recite it accurately. Rest assured that you will not forget even a word of this revelation, nor ever commit a mistake in reciting it.

After this instruction the original theme is resumed with: Nay, but you love the worldly life. The people who are not aware of this background regard these sentences as entirely unconnected with the context when they see them interposed here. But one does not see any irrelevance when he has understood their background. This can be understood by an example. A teacher seeing the inattentiveness of a student in the course of the lesson might interrupt the lesson to tell him: Listen to me carefully, and then resume his speech, This sentence will certainly seem to be irrelevant to those who might be unaware of the incident and might read the lesson when it is printed and published word for word, But the one who is aware of the incident because of which this sentence was interposed, will feel satisfied that the lesson has been reproduced verbatim and nothing has been increased or decreased in it in the process of reproduction.

The explanation that we have given above of the interpolation of the parenthesis in the present context is not merely based on conjecture, but it has been explained likewise in the authentic traditions. Imam Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Nasai, Tirmidhi Ibn Jarir, Tabarani, Baihaqi and other traditionists have related with authentic chains of transmitters a tradition from Abdullah bin Abbas, saying that when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he would start repeating the words of the revelation rapidly as the Angel Gabriel recited them, fearing lest he should forget some part of it later. Thereupon, he was instructed: Do not move your tongue to remember this revelation hastily. The same thing has been related from Shabi, Ibn Zaid, Dahhak, Hasan Basri, Qatadah, Mujahid and other early commentators.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (How the Prophet received the Revelation)
This is Allah teaching His Messenger how to receive the revelation from the angel. For verily, he (the Prophet ) was rushing in his attempts to grasp the revelation and he would be reciting the revelation with the angel while he was reciting it. Therefore, Allah commanded him that when the angel brings some revelation to him he should just listen. Allah would make sure to collect it in his chest, and He would make it easy for him to recite it in the same way that it was revealed to him. Allah would explain it, interpret it and clarify it for him. So the first phase was gathering it in his chest, the second phase was recitation and the third phase was its explanation and clarification of its meaning. 

Thus, Allah says, (Move not your tongue concerning to make haste therewith.) meaning, with the Qur'an. This is as Allah says, (And be not in haste with the Qur'an before its revelation is completed to you, and say: "My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.'') (20:114) 

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. xx. 114 and its explanation: "Be not in haste with the Qur'an before its revelation to thee is completed." S. lxxv. is an earlier revelation, and the shade of meaning is slightly different. The immediate meaning was that the holy Prophet was to allow the revelation conveyed to him to sink into his mind and heart and not to be impatient about it; Allah would certainly complete it according to His Plan, and see that it was collected and preserved for men, and not lost; that the inspired one was to follow it and recite it as the inspiration was conveyed to him; and that it carries its own explanation according to the faculties bestowed by Allah on man. The general meaning follows the same lines: we must not be impatient about the inspired Word; we must follow it as made clear to us by the faculties given to us by Allah.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit. "Move not thy tongue therewith so that thou might hasten it" - the pronoun undoubtedly referring to the contents of revelation. In order to understand this parenthetic passage (verses {16-19}) more fully, one should read it side by side with the related passage in 20:114. Both these passages are in the first instance addressed to the Prophet, who is said to have been afraid that he might forget some of the revealed words unless he repeated them at the very moment of revelation; but both have also a wider import inasmuch as they apply to every believer who reads, listens to or studies the Qur'an. In 20:114 we are told not to draw hasty - and therefore potentially erroneous - conclusions from isolated verses or statements of the Qur'an, since only the study of the whole of its message can give us a correct insight. The present passage, on the other hand, lays stress on the need to imbibe the divine writ slowly, patiently, to give full thought to the meaning of every word and phrase, and to avoid the kind of haste which is indistinguishable from mechanical glibness, and which, moreover, induces the person who reads, recites or listens to it to remain satisfied with the mere beautiful sound of the Qur'anic language without understanding - or even paying adequate attention to - its message.

اِنَّ عَلَيۡنَا جَمۡعَهٗ وَقُرۡاٰنَهٗۚ  ۖ‏ 
( 17 )   Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., "it is for Us to make thee remember it and to cause it to be read with mind and heart". As pointed out in the preceding note, the Qur'an can be understood only if it is read thoughtfully, as one integral whole, and not as a mere collection of moral maxims, stories or disjointed laws.

فَاِذَا قَرَاۡنٰهُ فَاتَّبِعۡ قُرۡاٰنَهٗ​ۚ‏ 
( 18 )   So when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation.
Although it was Angel Gabriel who recited the Quran to the Prophet (peace be upon him), since he recited it on behalf of Allah and not on his own behalf, Allah said: When We have recited it.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "follow thou its recitation", i.e., its message as expressed in words. Since it is God who reveals the Qur'an and bestows upon man the ability to understand it, He attributes its "recitation" to Himself.

ثُمَّ اِنَّ عَلَيۡنَا بَيَانَهٗؕ‏ 
( 19 )   Then upon Us is its clarification [to you].
This gives the feeling, and some early commentators have also given expression to the same, that probably in the beginning the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah used to ask of the Angel Gabriel the meaning of a verse or a word or a command of the Quran even in the very midst of the revelation itself. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was not only given the instruction that he should listen quietly to revelation when it came down to him, and assured that its each word would be preserved in his memory precisely, and he would be enabled to recite the Quran exactly as it was revealed, but at the same time it was also promised that he would be made to understand the meaning and intention of each command and each instruction of divine revelation.

This is a very important verse, which proves certain fundamental concepts which, if understood well, can protect one against the errors which some people have been spreading before as they are spreading them today.
First, it clearly proves that the Prophet ((peace be upon him) did not receive only the revelation which is recorded in the Quran but besides that he was also given such knowledge by revelation as is not recorded in it. For, if the meaning and intention of the commandments of the Quran, its allusions, its words and its specific terms, which the Prophet (peace be upon him) was made to understand had been recorded in the Quran, there was no need to say that it was also Allah’s own responsibility to explain its meaning, for it should then be there in the Quran itself. Hence, one will have to admit that the explanations which were given by Allah of the meanings of the contents of the Qur'an, were in any case in addition to the words of the Quran. This is another proof of the secret revelation to the Prophet (peace be upon him) which the Quran provides. (For further proofs of this from the Quran, see our book Sunnat ki Aaini Haithiyat pp. 94-95 and pp. 118-125).
Secondly, the explanation of the meaning and intention of the Quran and of its commandments that was given by Allah to the Prophet (peace be upon him), was given for the purpose that he should make the people understand the Quran by his word and deed according to it and teach them to act on its commands. If this was not the object, and the explanation was only given so that he may restrict its knowledge to himself, it was then an exercise in futility, for it could not help in any way in the performance of the prophetic duties. Therefore, only a foolish person could say that this explanatory work had no legal value at all. Allah Himself has said in(Surah 16. An-Nahl, Ayat 44): And O Prophet, We have sent down this admonition to you so that you may make plain and explain to the people the teaching which has been sent for them. And at four places in the Quran Allah has stated that the Prophet’s task was not only to recite the verses of the Book of Allah but also to teach the Book. (Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayats 129, 151); (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 164); (Surah Al-Jumuah, Ayat 2). We have fully explained all these verses at pp. 74-77 of Sunnat ki Aaini Haithiyat. After this, how can a believer of the Quran deny that the Quran’s correct and authoritative, as a matter of fact official, explanation is only that which the Prophet (peace be upon him) has given by his word and deed, for it is not his personal explanation but the explanation given by the God Who sent down the Quran to him. Apart from this, or leaving this aside any person who explains a verse, or a word, of the Quran according to his personal whim and desire, commits a boldness which no true believer could ever commit.
Thirdly, even if a person has read the Quran only cursorily, he cannot help feeling that there are many things in it whose actual meaning and intention cannot be understood by a reader of Arabic only from the words of the Quran, nor can he know how to act on the commands enjoined in them. Take the word salat for instance. The act which has been most stressed by the Quran after the affirmation of faith is the act of salat. But no man only with the help of the dictionary can determine its actual meaning. At the most what one can understand from the way it has been repeatedly mentioned in the Quran is that this Arabic word has been used in some special terminological sense, and it probably implies some special act which the believers are required to perform. But merely by reading the Quran no reader of Arabic can determine what particular act it is, and how it is to be performed. The question: If the Sender of the Quran had not appointed a teacher from Himself and explained to him the precise and exact meaning of this term and taught him the method in full detail of implementing the command of salat, could there be even two Muslims in the world who would have agreed on one method of acting on the command of salat just by reading the Quran. The reason why Muslims have been performing salat in one and the same way, generation after generation, for more than 1500 years, and the way millions and millions of Muslims are carrying out the command of salat similarly in every part of the world, is that Allah had not only revealed the words of the Quran to His Messenger (peace be upon him) but had also explained to him fully the meaning of those words and the same meaning he taught to the people who accepted the Quran as the Book of Allah and him as the Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah.
Fourthly, the means of knowing the explanation of the words of the Quran that Allah taught His Messenger (peace be upon him) and the Messenger (peace be upon him) his ummah by word and deed, is none but the Hadith and the sunnah, The Hadith implies the traditions which the earliest followers passed on to the later generations about the sayings and acts of the Messenger (peace be upon him) on sound authority, and the sunnah implies the way of life which became prevalent in the individual and collective life of the Muslims by the Messenger’s (peace be upon him) oral and practical teaching, the details of which have been bequeathed by the former to the latter generations by reliable traditions as well as seen by them practically in the life of the earliest followers. The person who refuses to acknowledge this means of knowledge, in fact, says that Allah after taking the responsibility of explaining the meaning of the Quran to His Messenger (peace be upon him) had, God forbid, failed to fulfill His promise. For this responsibility had not been taken to explain the meaning only to the Messenger in his personal capacity but for the purpose that the ummah also be made to understand the meaning of the divine Book through the agency of the Messenger (peace be upon him). And as soon as the Hadith and the sunnah are denied to be a source of law, it virtually amounts to saying that Allah has failed to carry out His responsibility. May Allah protect us froth such blasphemy. To the one who argues that many people had also fabricated Hadith, we would say that fabrication of Hadith itself is a major proof of the fact that in the beginning the entire ummah gave the sayings and acts of the Messenger (peace be upon him) the status of law, otherwise why should the people who wanted to spread error have fabricated false Hadith. For only those coins are counterfeited which are current in the bazaar; nobody would print paper currency which had no value in the bazaar. Then, those who say such a thing perhaps do not know that this ummah had seen to it from the very beginning that no falsehood was ascribed to the holy man whose sayings and acts had the status of law, and as the danger of ascribing false things to him increased, the well-wishers of the ummah made greater efforts to distinguish the genuine from the counterfeit. The science of distinguishing the genuine from the false traditions is a unique science invented and developed only by the Muslims. Unfortunate indeed are those who without acquiring this science are being misled by the western orientalists to look upon the Hadith and the sunnah as unauthentic and unreliable and do not realize how grievously they are harming Islam by their foolhardiness.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, `after memorizing it and reciting it, We will explain it to you, clarify it and inspire you with its meaning according to what We intended and legislated.' Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said that the Messenger of Allah used to struggle very hard to grasp the revelation and he used to move his lips (rapidly with the recitation). The narrator, Sa`id, then said, "Ibn `Abbas said to me, `I will move my lips like the Messenger of Allah used to move his lips (in order to show you).''' Then, the sub narrator said, "And Sa`id said to me, `I will move my lips like I saw Ibn `Abbas moving his lips (in order to show you).'' 

Then Allah revealed, (Move not your tongue concerning to make haste therewith. It is for Us to collect it and that it be recited.) Ibn `Abbas said, "This means He will collect it in his chest to recite it.

(And when We have recited it to you, then follow its recitation.) meaning, listen to it and pay attention.

(Then it is for Us to make it clear (to you).) So after this, when Jibril would leave, he would recite it as Jibril had taught him to recite it.'' This has also been recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. Al-Bukhari's wording says, "So whenever Jibril would come to him he would be silent, and when Jibril had left he would recite it just as Allah, the Mighty and Sublime had promised him.''

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., if the Qur'an is read "as it ought to be read" (see explanation of verse 17 above), it becomes - as stressed by Muhammad 'Abduh - "its own best commentary". 

كَلَّا بَلۡ تُحِبُّوۡنَ الۡعَاجِلَةَ ۙ‏ 
( 20 )   No! But you love the immediate
The theme is again resumed from where it was interrupted by the parenthesis. Nay implies: You deny the Hereafter not because you regard the Creator of the universe as helpless to bring about Resurrection and raise the dead, but because of this and this other reason.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. xxi. 37. Man loves haste and things of haste. For that reason he pins his faith on transitory things that come and go, and neglects the things of lasting moment, which come slowly, and whose true import will only be fully seen in the Hereafter.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The Cause of rejecting the Day of Judgement is Love of the World and Heedlessness of the Hereafter - 

Concerning Allah's statement, (But no! Rather you love the present life of this world. And neglect the Hereafter. verses 20-21) meaning, the only thing that has caused them to reject the Day of Judgement and oppose the true revelation and the Mighty Qur'an Allah revealed to His Messenger is that their only concern is the present worldly life. They are preoccupied and distracted from the Hereafter. nt, and when Jibril had left he would recite it just as Allah, the Mighty and Sublime had promised him.'' sed to move his lips (rapidly with the recitation). The narrator, Sa`id, then said, "Ibn `Abbas said to me, `I will move my lips like the Messenger of Allah used to move his lips (in order to show you).''' Then, the subnarrator said, "And Sa`id said to me, `I will move my lips like I saw Ibn `Abbas moving his lips (in order to show you).'''

وَتَذَرُوۡنَ الۡاٰخِرَةَ ؕ‏
( 21 )   and are oblivious of the Hereafter.
This is the second reason for denying the Hereafter, the first being the one mentioned in verse 5 above, saying: Since man wants to avoid the moral restrictions which are inevitably imposed by the belief in the Hereafter, his selfish motives, in fact, urge him to deny the Hereafter, and then he tries to present arguments in order to rationalize his denial. Now, the second reason being presented is that the deniers of the Hereafter are narrow-minded and shortsighted; for them only those results are all important, which appear in this world, and they do not give any importance to those effects which will appear in the Hereafter. They think that they should spend all their labor and effort in attaining whatever benefits, pleasures or joys they can attain here, for if one attained this, one attained everything, no matter what evil end this might lead to in the Hereafter. Likewise, they think that the loss or trouble or grief that can afflict one here is a thing that one must avoid, no matter how great a reward it might earn one in the Hereafter if one endured it here. They are only interested in the cash bargain. For the sake of as remote a thing as the Hereafter they can neither abandon a profit nor suffer a loss today. With this mode of thought when they discuss the question of the Hereafter rationally, it is not true rationalism but a mode of thinking because of which they are resolved not to acknowledge the Hereafter in any case even if their conscience might be crying froth within that the arguments for the possible occurrence and necessity of the Hereafter given in the Quran are highly rational and their own reasoning against it is very weak.

وُجُوۡهٌ يَّوۡمَـئِذٍ نَّاضِرَةٌ ۙ
( 22 )   [Some] faces, that Day, will be radiant,
Some faces shall be radiant; will be beaming with joy and delight, for the Hereafter which they had believed in, will be before them precisely accordingly to their belief. Thus, when they see the Hereafter for the sake of which they had given up the unlawful benefits of the world and suffered the lawful losses, actually established before their very eyes, they will have the satisfaction that they had made the correct decision about their way of life, and the time had come when they would enjoy its best and plentiful fruits.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Seeing Allah in the Hereafter
Allah says, (Some faces that Day shall be Nadirah.) which comes from the word Nadarah, which means splendid, radiant, glowing, delighted with goodness.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: This passage (especially with reference to verses 26-28) would seem to refer to what our Doctors call the Lesser Judgment (Qiyamat-us-Sugra), which takes place immediately after death, and not to the Greater or General Judgment, which may be supposed to be referred to in such passages as occurs in S. lvi. There are other passages referring to the Lesser Judgment immediately after death; e.g., vii. 37 etc. If I understand aright, the punishment of sin takes place in three ways; (1) it may take place in this very life, but this may be deferred, to give the sinner respite; (2) it may be an agony immediately after death; and (3) in the final Resurrection, when the whole of the present order gives place to a wholly new World: xiv, 48.

اِلٰى رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌ​ ۚ‏ 
( 23 )   Looking at their Lord.
Some commentators have understood this allegorically. They say that the words looking towards someone are used idiomatically for having expectations from some one, awaiting his decision and hoping for his mercy and kindness: so much so that even a blind person also says that he is looking towards some one in the hope to see how he helps him. 

But in a large number of the Ahadith the commentary that has been reported of it from the Prophet (peace be upon him) is that in the Hereafter the illustrious servants of Allah will be blessed with the vision of their Lord. According to a tradition in Bukhari: You will openly see your Lord. Muslim and Tirmidhi have related on the authority of Suhaib that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When the righteous people enter Paradise, Allah will ask them: Do you want that I should bless you with something more? They will answer: Have You not made our faces bright: Have You not admitted us into Paradise and saved us from Hell? Thereupon, Allah will remove the curtain and none of the blessings that they had been blessed with until then will be dearer to them than that they should be blessed with the vision of their Lord. And this very reward is the additional reward about which the Quran says: Those who have done excellent works, will get excellent rewards, and even something in addition to that. (Surah 10. Younus, Ayat 26). 
Bukhari and Muslim have related, on the authority of Abu Saeed Khudri and Abu Hurairah: The people asked: O Messenger of Allah, shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection. The Messenger (peace be upon him) replied: Do you find any difficulty in seeing the sun and the moon when there is no cloud in between? They said that they did not. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Likewise, you will see you Lord. Another tradition bearing almost on the same subject has been reported in Bukhari and Muslim from Jarir bin Abdullah, Imam Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Daraqutni, lbn Jarir, Ibn AlMundhir, Tabarani, Baihaqi, Ibn Abi Shaibah and some other traditionists have related, with a little variation in wordings a tradition from Abdullah bin Umar, saying: The man of the lowest rank among the dwellers of Paradise will see the vastness of his kingdom up to a distance covered in two thousand years, and the people of the highest rank among them will see their Lord twice daily. Then, the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited this verse: On that Day some faces shall be radiant, looking towards their Lord. A tradition in Ibn Majah from Jabir bin Abdullah is to the effect: Allah will look towards them, and they will look towards Allah. Then, until Allah hides Himself from them, they will not pay attention to any other blessing of Paradise, and will continue to look towards Him. On the basis of this and many other traditions, the followers of the sunnah almost unanimously understand this verse in the meaning that in the Hereafter the dwellers of Paradise will be blessed with the vision of Allah, and this is supported by this verse of the Quran too: Nay, surely on that Day they (the sinners) shall be kept away from their Lord's vision. (Surah Al-Mutaffifin, Ayat 15). From this one can automatically conclude that this deprivation will be the lot of the sinners, not of the righteous.
Here, the question arises how can man ever see God? A thing is seen when it is there in a particular direction, place, form and color, and the rays of light are reflected from it to the eye of man and its image is conveyed from the eye to the sight area in the brain. Is it ever conceivable with regard to the Being of Allah, Lord of the Universe, that man would be able to see Him in this way? But this question, in fact, springs from a grave misunderstanding. It does not take into account the distinction between two things: the essence of seeing and the specific form of the occurrence of the act of seeing with which we are familiar in the world. The essence of seeing is that the seer should be characterized by the power of sight: he should not be blind, and the thing to be seen should be manifest to him, not hidden from him. But in the world what we experience and observe is only the specific form of seeing in which a man or an animal practically sees something, and for this it is necessary that the seer should have an organ called the eye in his body, the eye should have the power of sight, it should have a physically bounded, colored object before it, which should reflect rays of light to the eye, and the eye should be able to receive its image. Now, if a person thinks that the practical demonstration of the essence of seeing can take place only in the form with which we are familiar in the world, he would be only showing the narrowness of his own mental outlook; otherwise there can be in the Kingdom of God countless ways of seeing, which we cannot even imagine. The one who disputes this should tell us whether his God is seeing or blind. If He is seeing and sees His whole Universe and everything in it, does He see all this with an organ called the eye with which men and animals see things in the world, and does the act of seeing issue forth from Him as it issues forth from us? Obviously, the answer to this is in the negative, and when it is so, why should a sensible man find it difficult to understand that in the Hereafter the dwellers of Paradise will not see Allah in the specific form in which man sees something in the world, but their nature of seeing will be different, which we cannot comprehend here. The fact is that it is even more difficult for us to understand the nature of the Hereafter precisely and accurately than it is for a two-year-old child to understand what matrimonial life is, whereas he himself will experience it when he grows up.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Looking at their Lord.) meaning, they will see Him with their very eyes. 
This is just as was recorded by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih, (Verily, you all will see your Lord with your own eyes.) The believers seeing Allah in the abode of the Hereafter has been confirmed in the authentic Hadiths from numerous routes of transmission with the scholars of Hadith. It is not possible to deny this or refuse it. Examples would be the Hadiths of Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurayrah, and they are both recorded in the Two Sahihs. They both mentioned that some people said, "O Messenger of Allah! Will we see our Lord on the Day of Judgement'' 

The Prophet said, (Are you harmed by seeing the sun and the moon when there are no clouds beneath them) They replied, "No.'' The Prophet then said, (Then you will surely see your Lord like that.) In the Two Sahihs it is recorded from Jabir that he said, "The Messenger of Allah looked at the moon on a night when it was full, and he said, (Verily, you will see your Lord just as you see this moon! So if you are able to avoid missing a prayer before the rising of the sun (Fajr prayer) or before its setting (`Asr prayer) then do so.)'' 

Among the Hadiths, which Muslim was alone in recording, is a narration from Suhayb that the Prophet said, (When the people of Paradise enter the Paradise, Allah will say, `Do you want me to give you anything extra' They will say, `Haven't you whitened our faces Haven't you entered us into Paradise and saved us from the Fire' Then He will remove the veil and they will not be given anything more beloved to them than looking at their Lord, and that will be the extra (Ziyadah).) 

Then he recited this Ayah, (For those who have done good is the best and extra (Ziyadah).) (10:26) Also among the Hadiths, which Muslim was alone in recording, is the Hadith of Jabir in which the Prophet said, (Verily, Allah will appear before the believers while He is laughing.) This will take place on the open plains of the Resurrection place. In some of these Hadiths, it mentions that the believers will be looking at their Lord on the open plains and some mention that this will occur in the Gardens of Paradise. If it were not due to fear of taking up a lot of space, we would present all of these Hadiths with their routes of transmission and wordings from those that are in the Sahih collections, the collections of good narrations, the Musnad collections and the Sunan collections. However, we have mentioned this in separate places in this Tafsir, and Allah is the Giver of success. This issue is something that the Companions, the Successors and the Salaf of this nation have agreed upon, and all praise is due to Allah. It is something that is agreed upon between the Imams of Islam and the guides of all mankind.

وَوُجُوۡهٌ يَّوۡمَـئِذٍۢ بَاسِرَةٌ ۙ‏ 
( 24 )   And [some] faces, that Day, will be contorted,

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Blackening of the Faces of the Disobedient People on the Day of Judgement - 
Allah says, (And some faces that Day will be Basirah. Thinking that some calamity is about to fall on them.) These are the faces of the sinners that will be Basirah on the Day of Judgement. Qatadah said, "This means gloomy.'' As-Suddi said, "Their (the faces) color will change.''

(Thinking) meaning, they will be certain.

(that some calamity is about to fall on them.) Mujahid said, "A disaster.'' Qatadah said, "An evil.'' As-Suddi said, "They will be certain that they are going to be destroyed.'' Ibn Zayd said, "They will think that they are going to enter into the Hellfire.'' 

This situation is similar to Allah's statement, (On the Day when some faces will become white and some faces will become black.) (3:106) 

Similarly Allah says, (Some faces that Day will be bright. Laughing, rejoicing at the good news. And other faces, that Day will be dust-stained; darkness will cover them, such will be the disbelieving, wicked.) (80:38-42) 

Allah also says, (Some faces, that Day will be humiliated. Laboring, weary. They will enter in the hot blazing Fire.) (88:2-4) until Allah says, ((Other) faces that Day will be joyful. Happy with their endeavor. In a lofty Paradise.) (88:8-10) And there are other similar Ayat and discussions (in the Qur'an).

تَظُنُّ اَنۡ يُّفۡعَلَ بِهَا فَاقِرَةٌ ؕ‏ 
( 25 )   Expecting that there will be done to them [something] backbreaking.

كَلَّاۤ اِذَا بَلَغَتِ التَّرَاقِىَۙ‏ 
( 26 )   No! When the soul has reached the collar bones
The word Nay relates to the context, and means: You are wrong in thinking that you will be annihilated after death and you will not return to your Lord.

وَقِيۡلَ مَنۡ رَاقٍۙ‏ 
( 27 )   And it is said, "Who will cure [him]?"
The word raqin " رَاقٍ " in the original may be derived from ruqayyah, which means resort to charming, enchanting and exercising, and also from raqi, which means ascending. In the first case, the meaning would be: At last, when the attendants of the patient are disappointed with every remedy and cure, they will say: Let us at least call in an enchanter, who may save him. In the second case, the meaning would be: At that time the angels will say: which angels are to take his soul: the angels of punishment or the angels of mercy? In other words, at that very time the question will be decided in what capacity the dying one is entering the Hereafter; if he is a righteous person, the angels of mercy will take him, and if he is wicked, the angels of mercy will keep away and the angels of punishment will seize him and take him away.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Certainty will Occur at the Time of Death. Allah Informs of the Condition at the Time of Death and What Terrors it Contains - May Allah make us firm at that time with the Firm Statement. 

Allah says, (Nay, when it reaches to the collarbones.) If we make the word "Kalla'' negative, then this Ayah means, `O son of Adam! You are not able to deny that which I informed you of at that time (death). This will become something witnessed by you with your own eyes.' If we consider the word "Kalla'' to be a word of affirmation, then this would be the most obvious meaning. In this case it would mean that it is certainly true when the soul reaches the collarbones - meaning, `your soul will be pulled out of your body and it will reach your collarbones.' 

This is similar to Allah's statement, (Then why do you not (intervene) when (the soul of the dying person) reaches the throat And you at the moment are looking on, but We are nearer to him than you, but you see not, then why do you not if you are exempt from the reckoning and recompense, bring back the soul, if your are truthful) (56:83-87) 

Thus, Allah similarly says here, (Nay, when it reaches to the collarbones. And it will be said: "Who can cure him) `Ikrimah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "Meaning, who is the person who recites divine prayers of healing so that he may come and cure him'' 

Abu Qilabah made a similar statement when he said, (And it will be said: "Who can cure him) "This means who is the doctor that can cure him'' Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd all have similar statements. 

وَّظَنَّ اَنَّهُ الۡفِرَاقُۙ‏ 
( 28 )   And the dying one is certain that it is the [time of] separation

Yusuf Ali Explanation: He=the dying man, whose soul is referred to in verse 26 above.

وَالۡتَفَّتِ السَّاقُ بِالسَّاقِۙ‏ 
( 29 )   And the leg is wound about the leg,
Some commentators have taken the word saq (leg, shank) in its literal meaning, thereby implying that at death one lean leg will join the other lean leg; some others have taken it metaphorically in the sense of difficulty, vehemence and hardship so as to mean: At that time one affliction will be joined with another affliction, one of being separated from the world and all its enjoyments, and the other of being seized and taken to the Hereafter as a culprit, and this will be experienced by every disbeliever, hypocrite and sinner.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: When the soul has departed, the legs of the dead body are placed together in position, in preparation for the rites preliminary to the burial. Saq (literally, leg) may also be taken metaphorically to mean a calamity: calamity will be joined to calamity for the poor departed sinner's soul, as his life-story in this world is now done. Willy-nilly, he will now have to go before the Throne of Judgment.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "when shank is wrapped around shank" - an idiomatic phrase denoting "the affliction of the present state of existence...combined with that of the final state" (Lane IV, 1471, quoting both the Qamus and the Taj al-'Arus). As pointed out by Zamakhshari, the noun saq (lit., "shank") is often used metaphorically in the sense of "difficulty", "hardship" or "vehemence" (shiddah); hence the well-known phrase, qamat al-harb 'ala saq, "the war broke out with vehemence" (Taj al-'Arus).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said concerning the Ayah, (And one shank will be joined with another shank.) "This is the last day of the days of this world and the first day of the days of the Hereafter. So there will be hardships that will meet (more) hardships, except for he whom Allah has mercy upon.'' 

`Ikrimah said, (And one shank will be joined with another shank.) "The great matter (will be joined) with the great matter.'' Mujahid said, "A test (will be joined) with a test.'' 

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said concerning Allah's statement, (And one shank will be joined with another shank. ) "These are your two shins when they are bound together.'' In another narration from him (Al-Hasan) he said, "His two legs have died and they will not carry him while he used to walk around on them.'' 

Concerning Allah's statement:

اِلٰى رَبِّكَ يَوۡمَـئِذِ اۨلۡمَسَاقُؕ
( 30 )   To your Lord, that Day, will be the procession.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (The drive will be on that Day to your Lord!) meaning, the place of return and the destination. This is that the soul ascends into the heavens and Allah says, "Return my servant to the earth, for verily, I have created them from it, I return them into it, and from it I will bring them out at another time.'' 

This has been reported in the lengthy Hadith of Al-Bara'. Verily, Allah says, (He is the Irresistible (Supreme), over His servants, and He sends guardians over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers take his soul, and they never neglect their duty. Then they are returned to Allah, their True Master. Surely, for Him is the judgement and He is the

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "towards thy Sustainer will be the driving", i.e., with belated repentance (see next three verses). The phrase rendered above as "at the time" reads, literally, "on that day"; but the term yawm is often used idiomatically in the sense of "time" regardless of its duration.

Ruku Two: Verses 31-40: These verses are about the Disbelievers who do not believe because they never took Al-Islam seriously

فَلَا صَدَّقَ وَلَا صَلّٰىۙ‏ 
( 31 )   But he (the disbeliever) did not verify the Truth, nor did he observe Prayer;

Yusuf Ali Explanation: His indictment in this and the succeeding verse consists of four counts: (1) he neglected prayer; (2) he neglected charity; (3) he rejected Truth; and (4) he turned away. In lxxiv. 43-46, the four counts are (1) neglecting prayer; (2) neglecting charity; (3) talking vanities; (4) denying the Day of Judgment; explanation of verse of 39 of Surah 74. Al-Muddaththir, Nos. (1) and (2) are identical in both places, and Nos. (3) and (4) are analogous. Rejecting the truth is equivalent to talking vanities and making an alliance with falsehoods. Denying the Day of Judgment means behaving as if no account was to be given of our actions, i.e., turning away from right conduct. An additional touch is found here in verse 33. 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: This interpolation, necessary for a full understanding of the sequence, is based on {4:17-18}, which has a definite bearing on the above passage.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Mentioning the Case of the Denier- Allah says, (So, he neither believed nor prayed! But on the contrary, he denied and turned away! - verses 31-32) This is to inform about the disbeliever who used to deny the truth in his heart in the abode of this worldly life, and he used to turn away from acting according to its way. Thus, there is no good in him, internally or externally. 

Therefore, Allah says, (So he neither believed nor prayed! But on the contrary, he denied and turned away! Then he walked in conceit (full pride) to his family admiring himself!)(75:31-33) meaning, stubborn, cruel, obstinate, wanton, lazy, having no concern and doing no deeds. 

This is similar to Allah's statement, (And when they returned to their own people, they would return jesting.) (83:31) 

Allah also says, (Verily, he was among his people in joy! Verily, he thought that he would never come back (to Us)!) (84:13,14) meaning, return.

وَلٰڪِنۡ كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلّٰىۙ‏ 
( 32 )   But [instead], he denied and turned away.

ثُمَّ ذَهَبَ اِلٰٓى اَهۡلِهٖ يَتَمَطّٰىؕ‏ 
( 33 )   And then he went to his people, swaggering [in pride].
It means that the one who was not prepared to believe in the Hereafter, heard all that has been described in the above verses; yet he persisted in his denial, and hearing these verses went back to his household, arrogantly. Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zaid say that this person was Abu Jahl. The words of the verse also indicate that it was some particular person, who adopted such a conduct after having heard the above-mentioned verse of Surah Al- Qiyamah. The words, He neither affirmed the truth nor offered the Prayer, are particularly noteworthy. They clearly show that the first and necessary demand of acknowledging the truth about Allah and His Messenger and Book is that one should perform the Prayer, The occasion and time to carry out the other injunctions of the divine Shariah come later but the Prayer time approaches soon after one has affirmed the faith, and then it becomes known whether what one has affirmed with the tongue was really the voice of his heart, or it was only a puff of the wind which one sent out from his mouth in the form of words.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Conceit or arrogance is the root-cause of most Evil. By that cause fell Iblis: see ii. 34.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Lit., "to his people": i.e., to the arrogant belief, rooted in the materialism of his social environments that man is "self-sufficient" and, therefore, not in need of any divine guidance (cf. 96:6).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Then he walked in conceit to his family admiring himself!) "This means arrogantly.'' Qatadah and Zayd bin Aslam both said, "Strutting.'' 

Allah then says: 

اَوۡلٰى لَكَ فَاَوۡلٰىۙ‏ 
( 34 )   Woe to you, and woe!

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Woe to you! And then woe to you! Again, woe to you! And then woe to you! Verses 34-35) This is a definite warning and threat from Allah to those who disbelieve in Him and strut about when walking. This means, `you deserve to strut like this while you have disbelieved in your Creator and Maker.' This is what is commonly said in this type of situation in order to mock and intimidate (someone). 

This is as Allah says, (Taste you (this)! Verily you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous!) (44:49) 

Similarly, Allah says, (Eat and enjoy yourselves for a little. Verily, you are criminals.) (77:46) 

Allah also says, (So worship what you like besides Him.) (39:15) 

And like Allah's statement, (Do what you will.) (41:40) 

There are other examples of this as well. Abu `Abdur-Rahman An-Nasa'i recorded from Sa`id bin Jubayr that he said, "I mentioned to Ibn `Abbas, (Woe to you! And then woe to you! Again, woe to you! And then woe to you!) He (Ibn `Abbas) replied, `The Messenger of Allah said this to Abu Jahl, then Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, revealed this Ayah.''' 

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Qatadah that he said concerning Allah's statement, (Woe to you! And then woe to you! Again, woe to you! And then woe to you!) "It is a threat followed by a threat, just as you hear it. They claim that the Prophet of Allah grabbed the clothes of the enemy of Allah, Abu Jahl. The Prophet then said to him, `Woe to you! And then (again) woe to you! Again woe to you! And then (again) woe to you!' At this the enemy of Allah, Abu Jahl, said, `Are you threatening me, O Muhammad By Allah! Neither you nor your Lord are able to do anything, and verily, I am the mightiest person walking between its (Makkah's) two mountains.'''

ثُمَّ اَوۡلٰى لَكَ فَاَوۡلٰىؕ‏ 
( 35 )   Then woe to you, and woe!
The commentators have given several meanings of the word aula laka " لَكَ ": shame on you, may you perish, woe to you, may you hasten to your doom. But in our opinion, in view of the context, the most appropriate meaning is that which Hafiz Ibn Kathir has given in his commentary: When you have had the boldness to disown your Creator, then it only behooves a person like you to persist in the sort of conduct you display. This is the same sort of sarcastic remark as occurred in (Surah 44. Ad-Dukhan, Ayat 49). While meting out punishment to the culprit in Hell, it will be said: Taste this, a mighty and honorable man that you are.

اَيَحۡسَبُ الۡاِنۡسَانُ اَنۡ يُّتۡرَكَ سُدًىؕ‏ 
( 36 )   Does man think that he will be left neglected?
Now, in conclusion, the same theme is being repeated with which the discourse began life-after-death is necessary as well as possible.

The word suda " سُدًى " when used with regard to a camel implies a camel who is wandering aimlessly, grazing at will, without there being anybody to look after him. Thus, the verse means: Does man think that he has been left to himself to wander at will as if his Creator had laid no responsibility on him, had imposed no duty on him, had forbidden nothing to him, that at no time in future he would be required to account for his deeds. This same theme has been expressed in (Surah 23. Al-Mominoon, Ayat 115) thus: On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will ask the disbelievers: Did you think that We had created you without any purpose, and that you would never be brought back to Us. At both these places the argument for the necessity of the life hereafter has been presented as a question. The question means: Do you really think that you are no more than mere animals? Don’t you see the manifest difference between yourself and the animal. The animal has been created without the power of choice and authority, but you have been blessed with the power of choice and authority; there is no question of morality about what the animal does, but your acts are necessarily characterized by good and evil. Then, how did you take it into your head that you had been created irresponsible and unanswerable as the animal has been? Why the animal will not be resurrected, is quite understandable. The animal only fulfilled the fixed demands of its instinct, it did not use its intellect to propound a philosophy; it did not invent a religion; it did not take anyone its god nor became a god for others; it did nothing that could be called good or bad; it did not enforce a good or bad way of life, which would influence others, generation after generation, so that it should deserve a reward or punishment for it. Hence, if it perished to annihilation, it would be understandable, for it could not be held responsible for any of its acts to account for which it might need to be resurrected. But how could you be excused from life-after-death when right till the time of your death you continued to perform moral acts, which your own intellect judged as good or bad and worthy of reward or punishment? Should a man who killed an innocent person, and then fell a victim to a sudden accident immediately after it, go off free and should never be punished for the crime of murder he committed? Do you really feel satisfied that a man, who sowed corruption and iniquity in the world, which entailed evil consequences for mankind for centuries after him, should himself perish like an insect; or a grasshopper, and should never be resurrected to account for his misdeeds, which corrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of human beings after him? Do you think that the man, who struggled throughout his life for the cause of truth and justice, goodness and peace, and suffered hardships for their sake, was a creation of the kind of an insect, and had no right to be rewarded for his good acts.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Sudan " سُدًى ": has many implications: (1) uncontrolled, free to do what he likes: (2) without any moral responsibility; not accountable for his actions; (3) without a purpose, useless; (4) forsaken.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Man will not be left neglected- Allah says, (Does man think that he will be left neglected) As-Suddi said, "Meaning not resurrected.'' Mujahid, Ash-Shafi`i and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, all said, "Meaning, he will not be commanded and prohibited.'' Apparently the Ayah includes both meanings. This means that he will not be left neglected in this worldly life, without being commanded and prohibited. He also will not be left neglected in his grave unattended to without being resurrected. Rather he will be commanded and prohibited in this life, and gathered back to Allah in the abode of the Hereafter. The intent here is to affirm the existence of the abode of the final return and to refute whoever rejects it from the people of deviance, ignorance and stubbornness. 

Thus, Allah uses the beginning of creation as a proof for the repetition of the creation in His saying:

اَلَمۡ يَكُ نُطۡفَةً مِّنۡ مَّنِىٍّ يُّمۡنٰىۙ‏ 
( 37 )   Had he not been a sperm from semen emitted?

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Was he not a Nutfah of semen emitted) meaning, was not man a weak drop of sperm from a despised fluid known as semen, that is emitted from the loins into the wombs

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. xxii. 5, where the argument is developed in greater detail. The briefer argument here may be stated thus. His lowly animal origin makes him no higher than a brute; his fetal development is still that of a brute animal; then at some stage come human limbs and shape; the divine spirit is poured into him, and he is fashioned in due proportion for his higher destiny. Inspite of that the mystery of sex remains in his nature: we are living souls, yet men and women. Allah Who creates these wonders,-has He not the power to bring the dead to life at the Resurrection?

ثُمَّ كَانَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقَ فَسَوّٰىۙ‏ 
( 38 )   Then he was a clinging clot, and [Allah] created [his form] and proportioned [him]

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The stress on God's creating man after he had been a germ-cell is a metonym for His endowing the (originally) lowly organism with what is described as a "soul". For this rendering of sawwa, see explanation of 87:2 and  91:7.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Then he became an `Alaqah; then shaped and fashioned in due proportion.) meaning, he became a clot, then a lump of flesh, then he was formed and the soul was blown into him. Then he became a perfect creation with healthy limbs, as either a male or a female by the permission and decree of Allah.

Thus, Allah says:

فَجَعَلَ مِنۡهُ الزَّوۡجَيۡنِ الذَّكَرَ وَالۡاُنۡثٰىؕ‏ 
( 39 )   And made of him two mates, the male and the female.

اَلَيۡسَ ذٰلِكَ بِقٰدِرٍ عَلٰٓى اَنۡ يُّحۡـىِۦَ الۡمَوۡتٰى
( 40 )   Is not that [Creator] Able to give life to the dead?
This is an argument for the possibility of life-after-death. As for the people who believe that the whole act of creation, starting from the emission of a sperm-drop till its development into a perfect man, is only a manifestation of the power and wisdom of Allah, they cannot in fact refute this argument in any way, for their intellect however shamelessly and stubbornly they might behave, cannot refuse to admit that the God Who thus brings about man in the world, also has the power to bring the same man into being once again. As for those who regard this expressly wise act only as a result of accident, do not in fact have any explanation to offer, unless they are bent upon stubbornness, how in every part and in every nation of the world, from the beginning of creation till today, the birth of boys and girls has continuously been taking place in such proportion that at no time it has so happened that in some human population only males or only females might have been born and there might be no possibility of the continuation of the human race. Has this also been happening just accidentally. To make such an absurd claim one should at least be so shameless as to come out one day with the claim that London and New York, Moscow and Peking, have come into existence just accidentally. [For further explanation, see explanation of (verses 20-21of Surah 30. Ar-Room) and (verse 31 of Surah Ash-Shura)].

There are several traditions to show that whenever the Prophet (peace be upon him) recited this verse, he would sometimes respond with bala (why not), sometimes with Subhanaka Allahumma fa-bala (Glorified are You, O AIlah, why not) and sometimes with Subhanaka fa-bala or Subhanaka wa-bala. (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Abu Daud). Abu Daud contains a tradition from Abu Hurairah, saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: When in Surah At-Teen, you read the verse; Alais-Allahu bi-ahkamil- Hakimin (Is not Allah the greatest Ruler of all), you should respond to it, saying: Bala waana ala dhalika min-ashshahidin (Why not? I am of those who bear witness to this). And when you read this verse of Surah Al-Qiyamah, say: Bala; and when you read verse: Fabi ayyi hadith-in ba da hu yu minun (Now, what message is there after this, Quran, in which they will believe) of Surah Al-Mursalat, say: Amanna billah (We believed in Allah). Traditions on this subject have also been related by Imam Ahmad Tirmidhi, lbn al-Mundhir, lbn Marduyah, Baihaqi and Hakim.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Is it not so then, that He would be able to give life to the dead) meaning, is not He Who made this perfect creation from this weak drop of sperm able to repeat that as He did originally And "the ability to repeat that'' either refers to the origination only, or to both that and the process of perfecting it, according to two different views, as in Allah's saying; (And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; this is easier for Him.) (30:27) The first view is more popular, and Allah knows best.

Supplication upon completing this Surah
Abu Dawud recorded from Musa bin Abi `A'ishah that he said, "A man used to pray on top of his house and whenever he recited:

أَلَيْسَ ذَلِكَ بِقَـدِرٍ عَلَى أَن يُحْيِىَ الْمَوْتَى  (Is it not so then, that He would be able to give life to the dead) he would say, `Glory to You, of course.' So the people asked him about that and he said, `I heard it from the Messenger of Allah .''' Abu Dawud was alone in transmitting this Hadith and he did not mention who this Companion was, but there is no harm in that. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Qiyamah, all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

Here we come to the end of the exegesis of Sūrah Al-Qiyāmah by some noted exegetes of Islam. 

You may now like to listen to eminent scholar Nouman Ali Khan in which he explains that in Sūrah Al-Qiyāmah Allah teaches us that guilt is a part of human nature. It is meant to serve as a reminder and warning that you will be held accountable for the wrong you did on the Day of Judgment.:

You may refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of other chapters of the Qur'an.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | 9 | 10 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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