Showing posts with label Surah Al-Ḥāqqah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Surah Al-Ḥāqqah. Show all posts

Wednesday 10 March 2021

Surah Al-Ḥāqqah (The Inevitable Reality): Exegesis / Tafsir of 69th Chapter of Quran

Sūrah Al-Ḥāqqah " الحاقة " - “The Inevitable Hour, or The Reality" is the sixty ninth  sürah with 52 āyāt with two rukus, part of the 29th Juzʼ  of the Qur'ān. The Surah takes its name from the word al-Haaqqah with which it opens.

Sūrah Al-Ḥāqqah belongs to the early middle period of Makkan Revelation. 
Musnad Ahmad contains a tradition from Hadrat Umar, saying: "Before embracing Islam one day I came out of my house with a view to causing trouble to the Holy Prophet, but he had entered the Masjid al-Haram before me. When I arrived I found that he was reciting surah Al-Haaqqah in the Prayer. I stood behind him and listened. As he recited the Qur'an I wondered at its literary charm and beauty. Then suddenly an idea came to my mind that he must be a poet as the Quraish alleged. Just at that moment he recited the words: "This is the Word of an honorable Messenger: it is not the word of a poet." I said to myself: Then, he must be a soothsayer, if not a poet. Thereupon be recited the words: "Nor is it the word of a soothsayer: little it is that you reflect. It is a Revelation from the Lord and Sustainer of the worlds. On hearing this Islam entered deep into my heart." This tradition of Hadrat Umar shows that this sūrah had been sent down long before his acceptance of Islam, for even after this event he did not believe for a long time, and he continued to be influenced in favor of Islam by different incidents from time to time, till at last in the house of his own sister he came by the experience that made him surrender and submit to the Faith completely. (For details, see introduction to surah Maryam and Introduction to surah Al-Waqiah).
The eschatological argument is pressed home: 'the absolute Truth cannot fail; it must therefore be not lured by false appearances in this life; it is Revelation that points to the sure and certain Reality'.

The surah is divided into two Ruku as under:
  • Ruku One [Verses 1-37]: The first section opens with the assertion that the coming of the Resurrection and the occurrence of the Hereafter is a truth which has to take place inevitably. Then in verses 4-12, it has been stated that the communities that denied the Hereafter in the past became worthy of Allah's scourge ultimately. In verses 13-17 the occurrence of Resurrection has been depicted. In verses 18-37 the real object for which Allah has destined a second life for mankind after the present worldly life has been enunciated. In it we are told that on that Day all men shall appear in the Court of their Lord, where no secret of theirs shall remain hidden each man's record will be placed in his hand. Those who had spent lives in the world with the realization that one day they would have to render an account of their deeds before their Lord, and who had worked righteously in the world and provided beforehand for their well being in the Hereafter, will rejoice when they see that they have been acquitted and blessed with the eternal bliss of Paradise. On the contrary, those who neither recognized the rights of Allah, nor discharged the rights of men, will have no one to save them from the punishment of Allah, and they will be cast into Hell.
  • Ruku One [Verses 38-52]: In the second section (verses 38-52) the disbelievers of Makkah have been addressed and told: "You think this Qur'an is the word of a poet or soothsayer, whereas it is a Revelation sent dawn by Allah, which is being presented by the noble Messengers. The Messenger by himself had no power to increase or decrease a word in it. If he forges something of his own composition into it, We will cut off his neck-vein (or heart- vein). For this is the Truth absolute and pure: and those who give it a lie, will have ultimately to regret and repent.
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 listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles at the end of the post:

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

Ruku One (Verses 1-37)

( 1 )   The Inevitable Reality -
The word al-Haaqqah as used in the Text means an event which has inevitably to take place and the occurrence of which in the future is so certain as to admit of no doubt or suspicion. To use this word for Resurrection and to begin the discourse with it by itself shows that the people were denying its occurrence. They are being told: "That which you are denying is inevitable: your denial will not prevent its occurrence."

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Al-haqqa: the sure Truth: the Event that must inevitably come to pass; the state in which all falsehood and pretence will vanish, and the absolute Truth will be laid bare. The questions in the three verses raise an air of wonder. The solution is suggested in what happened to the Thamud and the 'Ad, and other people of antiquity, who disregarded the Truth of Allah and came to violent end, even in this life,-Symbolically suggesting the great Cataclysm of the Hereafter, the Day of Doom.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., the Day of Resurrection and Judgment, on which man will become fully aware of the quality of his past life and, freed from all self-deception, will see himself as he really was, with the innermost meaning of all his past doings - and thus of his destiny in the hereafter - blindingly revealed. (Cf. 37:19 , the last sentence of 39:68 , and {50:21-22}.)

مَا الۡحَـآقَّةُ​ ۚ‏ 
( 2 )   What is the Inevitable Reality?

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Warning concerning the Greatness of the Day of Judgement) - Al-Haqqah is one of the names of the Day of Judgement, because during it the promise and the threat will inevitably occur. Due to this, Allah has declared the greatness of this matter. 

So He says:

وَ مَاۤ اَدۡرٰىکَ مَا الۡحَآقَّۃُ
( 3 )   And what can make you know what is the Inevitable Reality?
These two questions, one after the other, have been put to arouse the listeners, to make them understand the importance of the theme and listen to what follows with full attention.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Implying that this sudden perception of the ultimate reality will be beyond anything that man can anticipate or imagine: hence, no answer is given to the above rhetorical question.

کَذَّبَتۡ ثَمُوۡدُ وَ عَادٌۢ بِالۡقَارِعَۃِ
( 4 )   Thamud and 'Aad denied the Striking Calamity.

As the disbelievers of Makkah denied Resurrection and took the news of its coming lightly, they have been warned at the outset, as if to say: Resurrection is inevitable: whether you believe in it or not, it will in any case take place. Then, they are told: It is not a simple and ordinary thing that a person accepts the news of the coming of an event or not, but it has a deep relationship with the morals of the nations and with their future. The history of the nations, which lived before you, testifies that the nation which refused to believe in the Hereafter and thought this worldly life only to be the real life and denied that man would have ultimately to render an account of his deeds before God, corrupted itself morally until the punishment of God overtook it and eliminated it from the world.

The word al-qariah is derived from qar, which means to hammer, to beat, to knock and to strike one thing upon the other. This other word for Resurrection has been used to give an idea of its terror and dread.

(You may like to read the exegesis of Surah Al Qariah for more details)

Yusuf Ali Explanation: For these two peoples of antiquity, see explanation of verses vii. 73, and vii. 65. Another description of the terrible Day of Judgment. This word Qari'a also occurs as the title of S. ci.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., the Last Hour (see 101:1 . For particulars of the pre-Islamic tribes of 'Ad and Thamud, see {7:65-79}.

فَاَمَّا ثَمُوۡدُ فَاُہۡلِکُوۡا بِالطَّاغِیَۃِ

( 5 )   So as for Thamud, they were destroyed by the overpowering [blast].

In Surah (Al-Aaraf, Ayat 78), it has been called ar-rajfah (a terrible earthquake); in (Surah Houd, Ayat 67) as-sayhah (a violent blast); in (Surah HaMim As-Sajdah, Ayat 17), it has been said: They were overtaken by saiqa-tul-adhab (a humiliating scourge); and here the same punishment has been described as at-taghiyah (a violent catastrophe). These words describe different aspects of the same calamity.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The Thamud were addicted to class arrogance. They oppressed the poor. The prophet Salih preached to them, and put forward a wonderful she-camel as symbol of the rights of the poor, but they ham-strung her. See explanation of verse vii. 73. They were destroyed in a mighty calamity, an earthquake accompanying a terrible thunderstorm.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (Mention of the Destruction of the Nations) - Then Allah mentions the destruction of the nations that denied the Resurrection. He says: (As for Thamud, they were destroyed by the Taghiyah!) It is the cry which will silence them, and the quake that will silence them. Qatadah said similar to this when he said, "At-Taghiyah is the shout.'' Mujahid said, "At-Taghiyah means the sins.'' This was also said by Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and bin Zayd. They said that it means transgression. 

After mentioning this, Ibn Zayd recited the following Ayat as proof for his statement,  (" كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ بِطَغْوَاهَآ  " Thamud denied through their transgression.) Then Allah says: 

وَ اَمَّا عَادٌ فَاُہۡلِکُوۡا بِرِیۡحٍ صَرۡصَرٍ عَاتِیَۃٍ

( 6 )   And as for 'Aad, they were destroyed by a screaming, violent wind

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The 'Ad were an unjust people spoilt by their prosperity. The prophet Hud preached to them in vain. They were apparently destroyed by a terrible blast of wind. See explanation of verses  vii. 65,  xli. 15-16, and liv. 19.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, a cold wind. Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Ath-Thawri all said about, (" عَاتِيَةٍ "`Atiyah) "This means severe blowing of the wind.'' Qatadah said, "It blew fiercely upon them until it pierced their hearts.'' 

Ad-Dahhak said, (" صَرْصَرٍ " Sarsar) "This means cold, and (" عَاتِيَةٍ " `Atiyah) means, it blew fiercely upon them without any mercy or blessing.'' `Ali and others said, "It blew fiercely upon their stored harvest until it was brought out worthless.''

سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ سَبۡعَ لَيَالٍ وَّثَمٰنِيَةَ اَيَّامٍۙ حُسُوۡمًا ۙ فَتَرَى الۡقَوۡمَ فِيۡهَا صَرۡعٰىۙ كَاَنَّهُمۡ اَعۡجَازُ نَخۡلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ​ ۚ‏
( 7 )   Which Allah imposed upon them for seven nights and eight days in succession, so you would see the people therein fallen as if they were hollow trunks of palm trees.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: A graphic simile. Dead men all lying about like hollow trunks of palm-trees, with their roots exposed! The 'Ad were reputed to be of a tall stature.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:  (" سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ " Which Allah imposed on them) meaning, He made it overpower them.

(" سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَـنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُوماً " days of calamity) (41: 16) It has been said that it is that which people now call A`jaz (apparently used to mean evil devastation). 

It seems as though the people took this term from Allah's statement: (" فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ " so that you could see the people lying toppled, as if they were A`jaz (trunks) of date palms, Khawiyah!) 

Ibn `Abbas said about " خَاوِيَةٍ " (Khawiyah) "It means ruined.'' Others besides him said, "It means dilapidated.'' This means that the wind would cause one of them (palm tree) to hit the ground, and it will fall down dead on his head. Then his head would shatter and it would remain a lifeless corpse as if it were without branches, motionless. 

It has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said: (I was helped by an easterly wind and the people of `Ad were destroyed by a westerly wind.) 

فَهَلۡ تَرٰى لَهُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَاقِيَةٍ‏ 
( 8 )   Then do you see of them any remains?

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The calamity was thorough. The 'Ad were destroyed, and then the Thamud, and only the tradition of them was left behind. See the references explanation of verse 4 above.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, `do you find any one of them left or anyone who even attributes himself to being from them' Rather they are all gone, right down to the last of them, and Allah did not make for them any successors. Then Allah says: 

وَجَآءَ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَمَنۡ قَبۡلَهٗ وَالۡمُؤۡتَفِكٰتُ بِالۡخَـاطِئَةِ​ۚ‏ 
( 9 )   And there came Pharaoh and those before him and the overturned cities with sin.
The reference is to the towns and settlements of the people of the Prophet Lot (peace upon be him), about which it has been said in( Surah Houd, Ayat 82) and( Surah Al-Hijr, Ayat 74), We turned them upside down.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Pharaoh's Messenger was Moses. See the story in vii. 103-137 and the notes there. Pharaoh was inordinately proud, and his fall was proportionately great: it gradually extended to his dynasty and his people.

If we follow the sequence of peoples whose sins destroyed them, as mentioned in vii. 59-158, we begin with Noah, then have the 'Ad and the Thamud, then the Cities of the Plain, then Midian, then the people whose prophet was Moses (who occupies a central place in the canvas), and then the Pagan Quraish, to whom came the last and greatest of the prophets, our holy Prophet Muhammad. This is the chronological sequence. Here there is no details, nor even complete mention. But Noah is alluded to last, and the 'Ad and the Thamud mentioned first, because the latter two belong to Arab tradition, and this is specially addressed to the Pagans of Makkah. Pharaoh is mentioned rather than Moses for the same reason, and any others are "those before Pharaoh".

The Cities Overthrown: Sodom and Gomorrah, Cities of the Plain, to whom Lot preached: see ix. 70, n. 1330; and vii. 80-84, n. 1049.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of Lot's people see {11:69-83}.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (" وَجَآءَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَن قَبْلَهُ " And Fir`awn and those before him committed (sin)) This has been recited with a Kasrah under the letter Qaf (in the word Qabalahu, as Qiblahu), which changes the meaning to those who were with him in his time, and they were his followers who were disbelieving Coptic people. Others recited it with a Fathah over the letter Qaf (as the word Qablahu), which means those nations before him who were similar to him. 

Concerning Allah's statement: (" وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَـتِ " (the overthrown cities) those nations that rejected their Messengers.

(" بِالْخَاطِئَةِ " committed Al-Khati'ah.) Al-Khati'ah means their rejection of what Allah revealed. Ar-Rabi` said, (committed Al-Khati'ah.) "This means disobedience.'' Mujahid said, "They committed errors.'' 

Thus, Allah says:

فَعَصَوۡا رَسُوۡلَ رَبِّهِمۡ فَاَخَذَهُمۡ اَخۡذَةً رَّابِيَةً‏ 
( 10 )   And they disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He seized them with a seizure exceeding [in severity].

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: " فَعَصَوْاْ رَسُولَ رَبِّهِمْ " And they disobeyed their Lord's Messenger, ) meaning they were all of the same type, they all denied the Messenger of Allah who was sent to them. 

As Allah says: (" لٌّ كَذَّبَ الرُّسُلَ فَحَقَّ وَعِيدِ " Everyone of them denied the Messengers, so My threat took effect.) So whoever denies a Messenger, then verily, he denies all of the Messengers. 

This is as Allah says: ("كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ الْمُرْسَلِينَ" (The people of Nuh belied the Messengers) (" كَذَّبَتْ عَادٌ الْمُرْسَلِينَ " `Ad belied the Messengers.) (" كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ " (`Ad belied the Messengers.) (" كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ " Thamud belied the Messengers.) However, only one Messenger came to every nation. 

Thus, Allah says here: (" فَعَصَوْاْ رَسُولَ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَهُمْ أَخْذَةً رَّابِيَةً  " (And they disobeyed their Lord's Messenger, so He seized them with a punishment that was Rabiyah.) Rabiyah means, great, severe and painful. Mujahid said, "Rabiyah means severe.'' As-Suddi said, "It means destructive.''

اِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَا الۡمَآءُ حَمَلۡنٰكُمۡ فِى الۡجَارِيَةِ ۙ‏ 
( 11 )   Indeed, when the water overflowed, We carried your ancestors in the sailing ship
The illusion is to the deluge o    f the Prophet Noah (peace be upon him), in which a whole nation was drowned because of this very crime, and only those people were saved, who had listened to and obeyed the Messenger of Allah.

We boarded you: Because the whole human race that exists today has descended from the people who were boarded in the Ark thousands of years ago and thus saved from the deluge. It means: You exist in the world today because in that deluge Allah had caused only the infidels to be drowned and had saved the believers.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: ( A Reminder about the Blessing of the Ship ) - Then, Allah says:
(" إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَا الْمَآءُ " Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits,) meaning, it rose up over its shores by the leave of Allah and it overcame all that existed. Ibn `Abbas and others said, "The water rising beyond its boundary means it increased abundantly.'' This happened due to the supplication of Nuh against his people when they denied him, opposed him and worshipped other than Allah. Therefore, Allah answered his supplication and the people of the earth were covered with the flood except for those who were with Nuh in the ship. Thus, are humans all from the loins of Nuh and his progeny. 

For this reason Allah reminds humanity of His blessing: (  إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَا الْمَآءُ حَمَلْنَـكُمْ فِى الْجَارِيَةِ " Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits, We carried you in the ship.) meaning, a ship running along upon the surface of the water.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: It was a widespread Flood. Cf. vii. 59-64: also xi. 25-49. Noah was ridiculed for his preparations for the Flood: see xi. 38. But Allah had commanded him to build an Ark, in order that mankind should be saved from perishing in the Flood. But only those of Faith got into the Ark and were saved. As the Ark was built to Allah's command, Allah "carried you (mankind) in the floating (Ark)".

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., metonymically (in the consensus of all classical commentators), "your ancestors".

لِنَجۡعَلَهَا لَـكُمۡ تَذۡكِرَةً وَّتَعِيَهَاۤ اُذُنٌ وَّاعِيَةٌ‏ 
( 12 )   That We might make it for you a reminder and [that] a conscious ear would be conscious of it.
The conscious ears: the ears which may hear it consciously and take it in. Although the word ear has been used, it implies the hearers who may hear the event and always remember it, take heed from it, and may never forget what dreadful fate the deniers of the Hereafter and the disbelievers of the Messenger of God would ultimately suffer.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: ("لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً" That We might make it an admonition for you) The pronoun "it'' here refers to the species of the object (ships) due to the general meaning alluding to this. Thus, the meaning is, `We caused its type of creation (ships) to remain (in the earth) for you, so that you ride upon the currents of the water in the seas. ' 

This is as Allah says:
(and has appointed for you ships and cattle on which you ride; In order that you may mount on their backs, and then may remember the favor of your Lord when you mount thereon) (43:12,13) 
(And an Ayah for them is that We bore their offspring in the laden ship. And We have created for them of the like thereunto, on which they ride.) (36:41,42) 
Qatadah said, "Allah caused this ship to remain until the first people of this Ummah saw it.'' However, the first view (that it refers to all ships in general) is the most apparent. 

Allah continues saying: (" وَتَعِيَهَآ أُذُنٌ وَعِيَةٌ " and that it might be retained by the retaining ears.) meaning, that a receptive ear may understand and reflect upon this bounty. Ibn `Abbas said, "This means an ear that is retentive and hearing.'' 

Qatadah said, (" أُذُنٌ وَعِيَةٌ " (by the retaining ears.) means, "An ear that Allah gives intelligence, so it benefits by what it hears from Allah's Book.'' Ad-Dahhak said, (" وَتَعِيَهَآ أُذُنٌ وَعِيَةٌ " (and that it might be retained by the retaining ears.) (69:12) means, "An ear that hears it and retains it, meaning the person who has sound hearing, and correct intellect.'' And this is general concerning everyone who understands and retains.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: It was a memorial for all time, to show that evil meets with its punishment, but the good are saved by the mercy of Allah.

Cf. the biblical Phrase, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matt. xi. 15). But the phrase used here has a more complicated import. An ear may hear, but for want of will in the hearer the hearer may not wish, for the future or for all time, to retain the memory of the lessons he had heard, even though for the time being he was impressed by it. The penetration of the truth has to be far deeper and subtler, and this is desired here.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Alluding to the punishment of evildoers and the saving grace bestowed upon the righteous.

فَاِذَا نُفِخَ فِى الصُّوۡرِ نَفۡخَةٌ وَّاحِدَةٌ ۙ‏ 
( 13 )   Then when the Horn is blown with one blast
While reading the following verses one should keep in mind that at some places in the Quran the three stages of Resurrection which will occur one after the other at different times have been mentioned separately, and at others all the three have been combined and mentioned as a single event. For example, in (Surah An-Naml, Ayat 87) the first blowing of the Trumpet has been mentioned, when everyone will be suddenly struck with terror. At that time they will witness the general confusion and the upsetting of the order of the universe, as described in (Surah Al-Hajj, Ayats 1-2); (Surah Ya Seen, Ayats 49-50) and (Surah At- Takweer, Ayats 1-6). In (Surah Az-Zumar, Ayats 67-70), mention has been made of the second and third blowing of the Trumpet. On the second blowing of it everyone will fall down dead, and when it is blown for the third time, all dead men will rise back to life and present themselves before Allah. In (Surah Ta Ha, Ayats 102-112); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats 101-103); (Surah Ya Seen, Ayats 51-53 )and (Surah Qaf, Ayats 20-22), only the third sounding of the Trumpet has been mentioned. But here and at many other places in the Quran all the events of Resurrection, from the blowing of the first Trumpet till the people’s entry into Heaven and Hell have been described as a single event.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: We now come to the Inevitable Event, the Day of Judgment, the theme of this Surah. This is the first Blast referred to in xxxix. 68.

وَحُمِلَتِ الۡاَرۡضُ وَ الۡجِبَالُ فَدُكَّتَا دَكَّةً وَّاحِدَةً ۙ‏ 
( 14 )   And the earth and the mountains are lifted and leveled with one blow -

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, they will be stretched out to the extent of the surface (of the earth) and the earth will change into something else other than the earth.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The whole of our visible world, as we now know it, will pass away, and a new world will come into being. The mountains are specially mentioned, because they stand as the type of hardness, size, and durability. They will be "crushed", i.e., lose their form and being at one stroke.

فَيَوۡمَـئِذٍ وَّقَعَتِ الۡوَاقِعَةُ ۙ‏ 
( 15 )   Then on that Day, the Resurrection will occur,

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., the end of the world as we know it, followed by resurrection and the Last Judgment.

وَانْشَقَّتِ السَّمَآءُ فَهِىَ يَوۡمَـئِذٍ وَّاهِيَةٌ ۙ‏ 
( 16 )   when the sky will be rent asunder, the grip holding it together having loosened on that Day.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: This is like Allah's statement: (And the heaven shall be opened, it will become as gates.) (78:19) Ibn `Abbas said, "It (the sky) will be torn apart and the Throne will be near it.''

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The term as-sama' may denote here "the sky" or "skies", i.e., the visible firmament, or "heaven" in its allegorical sense, or the aggregate of cosmic systems comprised in the concept of "the universe" (cf. surah {2},verse [29]).Its being "rent asunder" is perhaps a metaphor for a total breakdown of the cosmic order.

وَّالۡمَلَكُ عَلٰٓى اَرۡجَآئِهَا ​ؕ وَيَحۡمِلُ عَرۡشَ رَبِّكَ فَوۡقَهُمۡ يَوۡمَـئِذٍ ثَمٰنِيَةٌ ؕ‏ 
( 17 )   And the angels are at its edges. And there will bear the Throne of your Lord above them, that Day, eight [of them].
This is an ambiguous verse the meaning of which is difficult to determine. We can neither know what the Throne is nor can understand what will be the nature of the eight angels upholding it on the Day of Resurrection. It is, however inconceivable that Allah Almighty would be sitting on the Throne and the eight angels would be upholding it along with Him. The verse also does not say that Allah at that time would be sitting on the Throne. Besides, the conception of God that the Quran gives also prevents one from imagining that the Being Who is free from physical existence as to body, direction and place, should be residing somewhere and His creatures should sustain Him. Therefore, pursuing any research to determine its meaning would be tantamount to disbelief. However, one should understand that in order to give an idea of Allah Almighty’s rule and sovereignty, and of the matters associated with it, the same scene has been depicted by the Quran as of worldly kingship and the same terms have been used for it as are common for kingship and its accompaniments in order to enable us to understand matters pertaining to sovereignty of the universe to some extent only by means of this very scene and terms. All this is meant to bring the real Truth within human understanding; it is not, therefore, right to take it literally.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The word Malak here is referring to the species of angels (all of them); meaning the angels collectively will be standing on the sides of the heavens. Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said concerning Allah's statement, "This means that they will be standing on what has been ground to powder of the heavens looking at the people of the earth.'

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The whole picture is painted in graphic poetical images, to indicate that which cannot be adequately described in words, and which indeed OUT human faculties with their present limited powers are not ready to comprehend. The angels will be on all sides, arrayed in ranks upon ranks, and the Throne of the Lord on high will be borne by eight angels (or eight rows of angels). That will be the Day when Justice will be fully established and man be mustered to his Lord for reckoning.

The number eight has perhaps no special significance, unless it be with reference to the shape of the Throne or the number of the angels. The Oriental Throne is often octagonal, and its bearers would be one at each corner.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Since God is infinite in space as well as in time, it is obvious that His "throne" ('arsh) has a purely metaphorical connotation, circumscribing His absolute, unfathomable sway over all that exists or possibly could exist (cf. 7:54 ). Hence, too, the "bearing aloft" of the throne of His almightiness cannot be anything but a metaphor - namely, an allusion to the full manifestation of that almightiness on the Day of Judgment. The Qur'an is silent as to who or what the "eight" are on whom this manifestation rests. Some of the earliest commentators assume that they are eight angels; others, that they are eight ranks of angels; while still others frankly admit that it is impossible to say whether "eight" or "eight thousand" are meant (Al-Hasan al-Basri, as quoted by Zamakhshari). Possibly, we have here an allusion to eight (unspecified) attributes of God or aspects of His creation; but, as the Qur'an states elsewhere, "none save God knows its final meaning" (see 3:7 and the corresponding note [8]).

يَوۡمَـئِذٍ تُعۡرَضُوۡنَ لَا تَخۡفٰى مِنۡكُمۡ خَافِيَةٌ‏ 
( 18 )   That Day, you will be exhibited [for judgement]; not hidden among you is anything concealed.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, `you will all be presented to the Knower of the secrets and private counsels. He is the One from Whom none of your affairs are hidden. He is the Knower of all things apparent, secret and hidden.' 

This is the reason that Allah says, (not a secret of you will be hidden.) Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Musa that the Messenger of Allah said:
(The people will be exhibited three times on the Day of Judgement. The first two presentations will be (their) arguing and offering excuses. During the third presentation the pages (records) will fly into their hands. Some of them will receive the records in their right hands and some will receive them in their left hands.) Ibn Majah and At-Tirmidhi both recorded this Hadith.
فَاَمَّا مَنۡ اُوۡتِىَ كِتٰبَهٗ بِيَمِيۡنِهٖۙ فَيَقُوۡلُ هَآؤُمُ اقۡرَءُوۡا كِتٰبِيَهۡ​ۚ‏ 
( 19 )   So as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will say, "Here, read my record!
The record’s being given in the right hand will by itself show that the concerned person’s account is clear and settled and he is appearing in the divine court as a righteous man and not as a culprit. It is probable that at the time the records are distributed the righteous man himself will extend his right hand forward to receive his record. For on account of the good treatment that he would have received right from the moment of death till his appearance in the Plain of Assembly at Resurrection would have given him the satisfaction that he was there to be blessed and not to be punished. At many a place in the Quran it has been explicitly stated that right at death itself it becomes clear to every man whether he is entering the next world in a blessed or wretched state. Then from the moment of death till Resurrection the righteous man is treated like a guest and the evil man as a culprit under custody. After this, from the time the second life starts on the Day of Resurrection, the condition and state of the righteous is entirely different from the condition and state of the disbelievers, hypocrites and culprits. (For details, see (Surah Al-Anfaal, Ayat 50); (Surah An-Nahl, Ayats 28-32); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayat 97); (Surah TaHa, Ayats 102, 103, 124-126); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats 1-3); (Surah Al-Furqan, Ayat 24); (Surah An-Naml, Ayat 89); (Surah Saba, Ayat 51); (Surah YaSeen, Ayats 26-27); (Surah Al-Momin, Ayats 45-46); (Surah Muhammad, Ayat 27); (Surah Qaf, Ayats 19-23 ) and the corresponding Notes.

That is, he will be overjoyed as soon as he receives his record and will show it to his companions. In( Surah Al lnshiqaq, Ayat 9), it has been said: He will return to his kinsfolk rejoicing.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: ( " هَآؤُمُ اقْرَؤُاْ كِتَـبيَهْ " The Happiness of the Person Who will receive His Book in His Right Hand and His Good Situation)- Allah informs of the happiness of those who receive their Book in the right hand on the Day of Judgement and being pleased with this. Out of his extreme pleasure is his saying to everyone that he meets: (Here! read my Record!) meaning, `take my Book and read it.' He will say this because he knows that what is in it is good and purely virtuous deeds. He will be of those whom Allah replaced their bad deeds (evils) with good deeds. 

`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd said, "The meaning of (Here! read my Record!) is `Here, read my Book.'... The suffix `Um' is a grammatical addition.'' This is what he (`Abdur-Rahman) said. It seems apparent that the suffix `Um' means here `you all.' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Abdullah bin `Abdullah bin Hanzalah - and he (Hanzalah) was the Companion who was washed by the angels for his funeral - said, "Verily, Allah will stop His servant on the Day of Judgement and He will make his sins appear on the outside of his Book of Records. Then He will say to him, `Did you do this' The servant will respond, `Yes my Lord.' Then Allah will say to him, `I will not expose you (or dishonor you) for it, for verily, I have forgiven you. ' The person will then say, `Here (you all) read my Book!'''

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. xvii. 71, where the righteous are described as those who are given their record in their right hand at Judgment. In lvi. 27, 38, and other passages, the righteous are called "Companions of the Right Hand".

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., whose record shows that he was righteous in his life on earth: cf. 17:71 , as well as the symbolic expression "those on the right hand" in 74:39 . The linguistic origin of the symbolism of "right" and "left" as "righteous" and "unrighteous",  explained in 56:8-9}.

اِنِّىۡ ظَنَنۡتُ اَنِّىۡ مُلٰقٍ حِسَابِيَهۡ​ۚ‏ 
( 20 )   Indeed, I was certain that I would be meeting my account."
That is, he was fortunate because he had been conscious of the Hereafter in the world and had lived his life with the belief that he would have to appear before God one day and render his account to Him.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: This will be when he (the servant of Allah) will be saved from being disgraced and exposed on the Day of Judgement. In the Sahih, it is recorded from Ibn `Umar that he was asked about the private counsel. He responded by saying that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying:
(Allah will bring the servant close (to Him) on the Day of Judgement and make him confess all of his sins. This will continue until the servant thinks that he is about to be destroyed. Then Allah will say, "Verily, I have concealed these sins for you in the worldly life and I have forgiven you for them today.'' Then he will be given his Book of good deeds in his right hand. However, about the disbeliever and the hypocrite, the witnesses will say, ("These are those who lied on their Lord, and verily, the curse of Allah is on the wrongdoers.'')) 
Allah's statement, (Surely, I did believe that I shall meet my account!) means, `I used to be certain in the worldly life that this day would definitely come.' 

This is as Allah says: ((They are those) who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord.) (2:46)

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The righteous one rejoices that the faith he had during this world's life was fully justified, and is now actually realized before him. He quite understood and believed that good and evil must meet with their due consequences in the Hereafter, however much appearances may have been against it in the life in the lower world, "in the days that are gone".

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Implying that he had always been conscious of resurrection and judgment, and had tried to behave accordingly.

فَهُوَ فِىۡ عِيۡشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍۙ‏ 
( 21 )   So he will be in a pleasant life -
The same verse appears in Surah Al Qaria: " فَهُوَ فِىۡ عِيۡشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ ؕ‏  " - (101:7) shall have a blissful life;
Perhaps the Bliss is not of the same grade for all men. In every case it is bliss, but bliss suited to the particular nature of the individual concerned.

فِىۡ جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍۙ‏ 
( 22 )   In an elevated garden,

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, having elevated castles, beautiful wide-eyed maidens, pleasant stations and eternal joy. 

It has been confirmed in the Sahih that the Prophet said, (Verily, Paradise has one hundred levels and between each level is a distance like the distance between the earth and the sky.) 

قُطُوۡفُهَا دَانِيَةٌ‏ 
( 23 )   Its [fruit] to be picked hanging near.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Al-Bara' bin `Azib said, "This means close enough for one of them (the people of Paradise) to reach them while he is lying on his bed.'' More than one person has said this.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The description is that of ripe, luscious grapes, hanging low in heavy bunches, so near that they could be gathered and enjoyed in dignified ease. Cf. also lv. 54; lxxvi. 14.
كُلُوۡا وَاشۡرَبُوۡا هَنِيۡٓـئًا ۢ بِمَاۤ اَسۡلَفۡتُمۡ فِى الۡاَيَّامِ الۡخَـالِيَةِ‏  
( 24 )   [They will be told], "Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past."

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, this will be said to them as an invitation to them of blessing, favor and goodness. For verily, it has been confirmed in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah saidL
(Work deeds, strive, seek to draw near (to Allah) and know that none of you will be admited into Paradise because of his deeds.) They (the Companions) said, "Not even you O Messenger of Allah'' He replied, (Not even me, except if Allah covers me with mercy from Himself and grace. )
Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. ii. 110: "Whatever good ye send forth for your souls before you, ye shall find it with Allah: for Allah sees well all that ye do."

It will be a wholly new world, a new earth and a new heaven, when the blessed might well think with calm relief of "the days that are gone". Cf- xiv. 48. Even Time and Space will be no more, so that any ideas that we may form here will be found to have become wholly obsolete by then.

وَاَمَّا مَنۡ اُوۡتِىَ كِتٰبَهٗ بِشِمَالِهٖ  ۙ فَيَقُوۡلُ يٰلَيۡتَنِىۡ لَمۡ اُوۡتَ كِتٰبِيَهۡ​ۚ‏ 
( 25 )   But as for he who is given his record in his left hand, he will say, "Oh, I wish I had not been given my record"
In Surah Al-Inshiqaq it has been said: And the one whose record is given him behind his back. Probably it will be like this: As the culprit would already be knowing that he was a culprit, and would be aware of what his record contained, he would dejectedly extend his left hand forward to receive it, and then would immediately hide it behind his back so that no one else saw what he had received.

"Oh, I wish I had not been given my record" That is, I should not have been given this record in the Plain of Assembly and thus publicly disgraced before all mankind, but should have been awarded secretly whatever punishment I deserved.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (The Bad Condition of Whoever is given His Record in His Left Hand) - These Ayat inform about the condition of the wretched people when one of them is given his Record (of deeds) in his left hand when the people are brought before Allah. At this time he will be very remorseful.

(" وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِىَ كِتَـبَهُ بِشِمَالِهِ فَيَقُولُ يلَيْتَنِى لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَـبِيَهْ - وَلَمْ أَدْرِ مَا حِسَابِيَهْ - يلَيْتَهَا كَانَتِ الْقَاضِيَةَ " verses 25-27 (He) will say: "I wish that I had not been given my Record! And that I had never known how my account is! Would that it had been my end!...'') Ad-Dahhak said, "Meaning a death which is not followed by any life.'' Likewise said Muhammad bin Ka`b, Ar-Rabi` and As-Suddi. Qatadah said, "He will hope for death even though in the worldly life it was the most hated thing to him.''

Yusuf Ali Explanation: This is in contrast to the righteous ones who will receive their record in their right hand. Cf. lxix. 19. The righteous are glad when they remember their past: their memory is itself a precious possession. The unjust are in agony when they remember their past. Their memory is itself a grievous punishment.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Thus signifying that he had been unrighteous in his earthly life, in contrast with those "whose record will be placed in their right hand" (see verse {19} above).

وَلَمۡ اَدۡرِ مَا حِسَابِيَهۡ​ۚ‏ 
( 26 )   And had not known what is my account.
Regretting that he wished that his conduct sheet should not have been handed over to him for it made him stand out from the rest and perhaps for the first time he felt ashamed of having lived a shameful earthly life. But he would still wonder what has been written in his conduct sheet. He would wish that his earthly life was the end of his lifef and that there was no Resurrection:

يٰلَيۡتَهَا كَانَتِ الۡقَاضِيَةَ​ ۚ‏ 
( 27 )   I wish my death had been the decisive one. / Oh! Would that the death that came to me in the world had made an end of me!

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The death as from this life was but a transition into a new world. They would wish that that death had been the end of all things, but it will not be.

مَاۤ اَغۡنٰى عَنِّىۡ مَالِيَهۡۚ‏ 
( 28 )   My wealth has not availed me.
Those who amass wealth in their wordily life wield tremendous power and boast of their possessions. These are the people who look down upon the poor and orphans and even usurp their possessions to be mighty and powerful. But on the Day of Resurrections, they will stand stripped of all their wealth and power - something they thought will save them from every accountability. But who can be a better accounter than Allah.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Verses 28-29: (My wealth has not availed me; my power has gone from me.) means, `my wealth and my honor did not protect me from the punishment of Allah and His torment. Now the matter has ended with me alone and I have no helper nor anyone to save me.'

هَلَكَ عَنِّىۡ سُلۡطٰنِيَهۡ​ۚ‏ 
( 29 )   Gone from me is my authority."
The word sultan of the text is used both for an argument and for power and authority. If it is taken in the sense of an argument, the meaning would be: The arguments that I used to give would not work here. Here, I have no argument which I can present in self-defense. And if it is taken in the sense of power, it would imply: The power of which I was so proud in the world is no more. I have no army here and there is none to obey me. I stand as a miserable helpless creature, who can do nothing to defend himself.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The term sultan, which primarily signifies "power" or "authority", has here - as in many other places in the Qur'an - evidently the meaning of "argument", synonymous with hujjah (Ibn 'Abbas, 'Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, all of them quoted by Tabari): in this case, an argument or arguments against the idea of life after death and, hence, of divine judgment.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The intersect agony is when the soul loses power over itself, when the personality tries to realize itself in new conditions and cannot: this is life in death.

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual words are: ہَلَکَ عَنِّیۡ سُلۡطٰنِیَہۡ. The preposition عَنْ is appropriate here with ہَلَکَ because the latter encompasses the meaning of ذَهَبَ or بَعُدَ.

خُذُوۡهُ فَغُلُّوۡهُ ۙ‏ 
( 30 )   [Allah will say], "Seize him and shackle him.
This will be moments before the climax when they will be brotula sized by angels on the Divine order and shackled, before being thrown into the hellfire.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Perhaps the word for 'bind' should be construed: 'bind his hands round his neck, to remind him that his hands when they were free were closed to all acts of charity and mercy': Cf. xvii. 29.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Verses 30-31 (Seize him and fetter him; then throw him in the blazing Fire.) meaning, He will command the guardians of Hell to forcibly remove him from the gathering place, fetter him - meaning put iron collars on his neck - then carry him off to Hell and cast him into it, meaning they will submerge him in it.

ثُمَّ الۡجَحِيۡمَ صَلُّوۡهُ ۙ‏ 
( 31 )   Then into Hellfire drive him.

ثُمَّ فِىۡ سِلۡسِلَةٍ ذَرۡعُهَا سَبۡعُوۡنَ ذِرَاعًا فَاسۡلُكُوۡهُ ؕ‏ 
( 32 )   Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits insert him."

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:  Ka`b Al-Ahbar said, "Every ring of it will be equal to the entire amount of iron found in this world.'' Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas and Ibn Jurayj both said, "Each cubit will be the forearm's length of an angel.'' 

Ibn Jurayj reported that Ibn `Abbas said, (" فَاْسْلُكُوهُ " Then fasten him) "It will be entered into his buttocks and pulled out of his mouth. Then they will be arranged on this (chain) just like locusts are arranged on a stick that is being roasted.'' Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "It will be ran into his behind until it is brought out of his two nostrils so he will not be able to stand on his two feet.'' 

Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah bin `Amr that the Messenger of Allah said, (If a drop of lead like this - and he pointed to a skull bone - were sent from the heaven to the earth, and it is a distance of five hundred years travel, it would reach the earth before night. And if it (the same drop of lead) were sent from the head of the chain (of Hell), it would travel forty fall seasons, night and day, before it would reach its (Hell's) cavity or base.) At-Tirmidhi also recorded this Hadith and he said, "This Hadith is Hasan.''

Muhammad Asad Explanation: See 14:49 - "on that Day thou wilt see all who were lost in sin (al-mujrimin) linked together in fetters" - and my explanation (given below) , which explains my above interpolation of the phrase, "of other sinners like him".
In his commentary on this passage, Razi expresses the view that the reference to the sinners' being "linked together in fetters" is a metaphor of their own evil deeds and inclinations and, consequently, of the utter despair which will be common to all of them in the hereafter. To my mind, it may also be an allusion to the chain-reaction which every evil deed is bound to set in motion on earth, one evil unavoidably begetting another.
I.e., a chain exceedingly long - the number "seventy" being used here metonymically, as is often done in classical Arabic, in the sense of "very many" (Zamakhshari); hence "of a measure the length whereof is known only to God" (Tabari; also Al-Hasan, as quoted by Razi).

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The sinful men who will be given their record on the Day of Judgment in their left hands will be in utter despair. Their power and authority which they misused to perpetrate injustice and oppression will be gone. The wealth that had made them turn a deaf ear to the call of Truth will be no more. They will cry out in agony: "O would that we were never raised again!. 0 would that death had obliterated us once for all". But their cries will be of no avail. They will be seized, bound in chains and drawn into the Blazing Fire for their crimes against Allah and man.

اِنَّهٗ كَانَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُ بِاللّٰهِ الۡعَظِيۡمِۙ‏ 
( 33 )   Indeed, he did not used to believe in Allah, the Most Great,

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The grip of sin was fastened on sinners because they forsook Allah. They ran after their own lusts and worshipped them, or they ran after Allah's creatures, ignoring Him Who is the cause and source of all good.

وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلٰى طَعَامِ الۡمِسۡكِيۡنِؕ‏ 
( 34 )   Nor did he encourage the feeding of the poor.
That is, not to speak of feeding a poor man himself, he did not even like to say to others that they should feed the hungry.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (verses 33-34) meaning, he did not establish the right of Allah upon him, of obedience to Him and performing His worship. He also did not benefit Allah's creation nor did he give them their rights. For verily, Allah has a right upon the servants that they worship Him alone and not associate anything with Him. The servants of Allah also have a right upon each other to good treatment and assistance in righteousness and piety. For this reason, Allah commanded performance of the prayer and the payment of Zakah. When the Prophet was (in his last moments) near death he said: (The prayer (As-Salah) and your right hand possessions (i.e., slaves).)

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Cf. cvii. 3; lxxxix, 18. The practical result of their rebellion against the God of Mercy was that their sympathies dried up. Not only did they not help or feed those in need, but they hindered others from doing so. And they have neither friend nor sympathy (food) in the Hereafter.

فَلَيۡسَ لَـهُ الۡيَوۡمَ هٰهُنَا حَمِيۡمٌۙ‏ 
( 35 )   So there is not for him here this Day any devoted friend

وَّلَا طَعَامٌ اِلَّا مِنۡ غِسۡلِيۡنٍۙ‏ 
( 36 )   Nor any food except from the discharge of wounds;

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The noun ghislin " غِسۡلِيۡنٍۙ‏ ", which appears in the Qur'an only in this one instance, has been variously - and very contradictorily - explained by the early commentators. Ibn 'Abbas, when asked about it, frankly answered, "I do not know what grisly denotes" (Razi). The term "filth" used by me contains an allusion to the "devouring" of all that is abominable in the spiritual sense: cf. its characterization in the next verse as "[that] which none but the sinners eat" - i.e., (metaphorically) in this world and, consequently, in the hereafter as well.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: They wounded many people by their cruelty and injustice in this life, and it is befitting that they should have no food other than "the foul pus from the washing of wounds.!"

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation: The actual word is: غِسۡلِیۡن. In the Arabic language, it is used for the fluid in which dirty and impure things are washed. It is evident from this that the very wealth of his that he had made filthy by not spending it for the cause of God will come before him on the Day of Judgement in the form of this fluid.

لَّا يَاۡكُلُهٗۤ اِلَّا الۡخٰطِئُوْنَ‏ 
( 37 )   None will eat it except the sinners.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: (verses 36-37) meaning, there is no one today who can save him from the punishment of Allah, nor any close friend or intercessor whose request would be honored. He will have no food here except for the filthy washing of wounds. Qatadah said, "It will be the worst food of the people of the Hellfire.'' Ar-Rabi` and Ad-Dahhak both said, "It (Ghislin) is a tree in Hell.'' Shabib bin Bishr reported from `Ikrimah that Ibn `Abbas said, `Ghislin will be the blood and fluid that will flow from their flesh.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, `Ghislin is the pus of the people of the Hellfire.''

Ruku One (Verses 38-52)

The Qur'an is the Speech of Allah - Allah swears by His creation, in which some of His signs can be seen in His creatures. These also indicate the perfection of His Names and Attributes. He then swears by the hidden things that they cannot see. This is an oath swearing that the Qur'an is His Speech, His inspiration and His revelation to His servant and Messenger, whom He chose to convey His Message, and the Messenger carried out this trust faithfully. So Allah says:

فَلَاۤ اُقۡسِمُ بِمَا تُبۡصِرُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 38 )   So I swear by what you see
That is, the truth is not as you think it to be.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: This is an adjuration in the same form as that which occurs in lvi. 75, lxx. 40, xc. 1, and elsewhere. Allah's Word is the quintessence of Truth. But what if someone doubts whether a particular Message is Allah's Word communicated through His Messenger, or merely an imaginary tale presented by a poet, or a soothsayer's vain prophecy? Then we have to examine it in the light of our highest spiritual facilities. The witness to that Word is what we know in the visible world, in which falsehood in the long run gives place to truth, and what we know in the invisible world, through our highest spiritual faculties. We are asked to examine and test it in both these ways.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Verses 38-40: meaning, Muhammad . Allah gave this description to him, a description which carries the meaning of conveying, because the duty of a messenger is to convey from the sender. Therefore, 

Allah gave this description to the angelic Messenger in Surat At-Takwir, where he said: (Verily, this is the Word of (this Qur'an brought by) a most honorable messenger. Owner of power (and high rank) with Allah, the Lord of the Throne. Obeyed and trustworthy.) (81:19-21) And here, it refers to Jibril. 
Then Allah says, (and your companion is not a madman. ) (81:22) meaning, Muhammad . (And indeed he saw him in the clear horizon.) (81:23) meaning, Muhammad saw Jibril in his true form in which Allah created him. (And he is not Danin with the Unseen.) (81:24) meaning, suspicious. (And it (the Qur'an) is not he word of the outcast Shaytan.) (81:25) This is similar to what is being said here.
وَمَا لَا تُبۡصِرُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 39 )   And what you do not see

Muhammad Asad Explanation: The phrase "all that you can see" comprises all the observable phenomena of nature - including man himself and the organic conditions of his own existence - as well as the configuration of human society and the perceptible rules of its growth and decay in the historical sense; whereas "that which you cannot see" relates to the intangible spiritual verities accessible to man's intuition and instinct, including the voice of his own conscience: all of which "bears witness", as it were, to the fact that the light which the divine writ (spoken of in the sequence) casts on the innermost realities and interrelations of all that exists objectively - or, as the case may be, manifests itself subjectively in man's own psyche - must be an outcome of genuine revelation, inasmuch as it goes far beyond anything that unaided human intellect could ever achieve.

اِنَّهٗ لَقَوۡلُ رَسُوۡلٍ كَرِيۡمٍۚ ۙ‏ 
( 40 )   [That] indeed, the Qur'an is the word of a noble Messenger.
Here, “a noble Messenger” implies the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and in (Surah At- Takweer, Ayat 19). the angel Gabriel, the argument being that after describing the Quran as the word of an honorable Messenger, it has been said: It is not the word of a poet nor of a soothsayer, and obviously the disbelievers of Makkah branded the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and not Gabriel as a poet and soothsayer. On the contrary, in Surah At-Takweer, after describing the Quran as the word of “a noble messenger” it has been said: That Messenger has great power, and has high ranks with the Owner of the Throne: there he is obeyed and held as trustworthy. And Muhammad (peace be upon him) has seen him on the bright horizon. (verses 20-23). Almost the same thing has been stated in (Surah An-Najm, Ayats 5-10) about Gabriel.

Here, the question arises; In what sense has the Quran been described as the word of Muhammad (peace be upon him) and of Gabriel. The answer is: the people were hearing it being recited by the tongue of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Prophet (peace be upon him) by the tongue of Gabriel. Thereupon, in one way it was the word of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and in another way of Gabriel, but a little below it has been explicitly stated: It is indeed a Revelation from the Lord of the worlds, which is being presented before Muhammad (peace be upon him) by the tongue of Gabriel and before the people by the tongue of Muhammad (peace be upon him). The word Messenger itself points to the truth that the word belongs to neither of them but they have presented it as Messengers of the One Who has sent it down.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: Honoured messenger: one that is worthy of honour on account of the purity of his life, and may be relied upon not to invent things but to give the true word of revelation which he received.

وَّمَا هُوَ بِقَوۡلِ شَاعِرٍ​ؕ قَلِيۡلًا مَّا تُؤۡمِنُوۡنَۙ‏ 
( 41 )   And it is not the word of a poet; little do you believe.
One meaning of “little it is that you believe”, according to Arabic idiom, can be: You do not believe it at all. Another meaning also can be: Hearing the Quran your heart sometimes itself cries out: This cannot be mortal word. Yet you behave stubbornly and refuse to believe in it.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: A poet draws upon his imagination, and the subjective factor is so strong that though we may learn much from him, we cannot believe as facts the wonderful tales he has to tell. And the poet who is not a Seer is merely a vulgar votary of exaggerations and falsehoods.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Verses 41-42 So in one instance Allah applies the term messenger to the angelic Messenger and in another instance He applies it to the human Messenger (Muhammad ). This is because both of them are conveying from Allah that which has been entrusted to them of Allah's revelation and Speech. 

وَلَا بِقَوۡلِ كَاهِنٍ​ؕ قَلِيۡلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُوۡنَؕ‏ 
( 42 )   Nor the word of a soothsayer; little do you remember.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: A soothsayer merely pretends to foretell future events of no profound spiritual consequence. Most of his prophecies are frauds, and none of them is meant to teach lessons of real admonition. Such admonition is the work of an honoured prophet.

تَنۡزِيۡلٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ‏ 
( 43 )   [It is] a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
In short: I swear by whatever you see and by whatever you do not see that this Quran is not the word of a poet or a soothsayer, but it is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds, which is being presented by the Messenger (peace be upon him) who is noble and gentle. Let us now consider in what sense this oath has been sworn. That which was visible to the people was.

(1) This Word was being presented by a person who being noble and gentle was not hidden from anybody in the society of Makkah. Everyone knew that he was the best man of their nation in conduct. It could not be expected of such a man that he would forge a lie and attribute it to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

(2) They also saw clearly that he had no selfish motive in presenting that word before the people, but had rather sacrificed all His personal interests to it. He had ruined his business, he had abandoned every ease and comfort, he was being cursed and abused by the same people who had shown him the highest veneration and esteem and had caused even his family and children to be subjected to these agonies besides himself. A person having selfish motives could not have submitted himself to such tribulations.

(3) They could also see that the lives of the people in their own society, who believed in him, underwent a sudden transformation. The word of no poet or soothsayer has been known to have brought about such a wonderful moral change in the people that his follower should become ready to face every hardship and bear up against every persecution for his sake.

(4) They were also not unaware of the language of poetry and the diction of the soothsayers. Apart from stubborn disbelievers, no one could say that the language of the Quran was the language of poetry or sorcery. (For a detailed discussion of this, see explanation of verse 5 of Surah Al-Anbiya), verses 223-226 of Surah Ash-Shuara), (verse 29 of Surah At- Toor).

(5) This also was before their eyes that no one in entire Arabia was so eloquent of speech that his word could be brought to match with the Quran. Not to speak of equaling it, not even the greatest poet’s eloquence could even approach anywhere near that of Quran.

(6) This was also not hidden from them that the language used by Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself was very different in its literary beauty and merit from the language of the Quran. No Arabic speaking person could, after hearing the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) own speech, and the Quran, say that both emanated from one and the same person.

(7) The people of Makkah had never heard, even until a day before Muhammad (peace be upon him) made the claim to Prophethood, anything relating to the themes that the Quran consisted of, nor they knew that he had any means of obtaining that knowledge and information. That is why even if his opponents alleged that he obtained that information secretly from somewhere, no one in Makkah was prepared to believe it. (For explanation, see verse (l03 of Surah An-Nahl) and (6 of Surah Al-Furqan).

(8) They could also see the wonderful workshop of existence, from the earth to the heavens, which was functioning before their eyes, and in which they could see a supreme, wise law and an all-pervading order and system at work. In it they could see no sign and evidence of the polytheism and denial of the Hereafter, which the Arabs had adopted as their creed, but there were signs and proofs of the existence of One God and of the truth of the Hereafter which the Quran was presenting.

All this they could see, and what they did not see was: Allah Almighty alone is the Creator and Master and Ruler of this universe: all others are only creatures: none beside Him is God. Resurrection has to take place inevitably; Muhammad (peace be upon him) has really been appointed a Messenger by Allah Himself Who is sending down the Quran to him. An oath has been sworn by both truths to affirm that which has been stated in the preceding verses.

If the Prophet forged anything against Allah, then Allah would punish Him - Allah says:

وَلَوۡ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيۡنَا بَعۡضَ الۡاَقَاوِيۡلِۙ‏ 
( 44 )   And if he (Muhammad) had made up about Us some [false] sayings,

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: ( وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا And if he had forged a false saying concerning Us,) meaning, `if Muhammad forged something against Us, as they claim, and added or removed anything from the Message, or said anything from himself while attributing it to Us, then We would surely be swift in punishing him. And of course, Muhammad did not do any of this (as the disbelievers claimed).' Thus, Allah says,

لَاَخَذۡنَا مِنۡهُ بِالۡيَمِيۡنِۙ‏ 
( 45 )   We would have seized him by the right hand;

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: It has been said that this means, `We would seize him by the right hand because it is more stronger in grabbing.'

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The right hand is the hand of power and action. Any one who is seized by his right hand is prevented from acting as he wishes or carrying out his purpose. The argument is that if an impostor were to arise, he would soon be found out. He could not carry out his fraud indefinitely. But the prophets of Allah, however much they are persecuted, gain more and more power every day, as did the holy Prophet, whose truth, earnestness, sincerity, and love for all, were recognised as his life unfolded itself.

Muhammad Asad Explanation: I.e., deprived him of all ability to act - the "right hand" symbolizing power.

ثُمَّ لَقَطَعۡنَا مِنۡهُ الۡوَتِيۡنَ 
( 46 )   Then We would have cut from him the aorta.
This would effectually stop the functioning of his life.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Ibn `Abbas said, "It (Al-Watin) refers to the artery of the heart, and it is the vein that is attached to the heart.'' This has also been said by `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hakim, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Muslim Al-Batin and Abu Sakhr Humayd bin Ziyad. Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "It (Al-Watin) is the heart, its blood, and whatever is near it.''

فَمَا مِنۡكُمۡ مِّنۡ اَحَدٍ عَنۡهُ حَاجِزِيۡنَ‏ 
( 47 )   And there is no one of you who could prevent [Us] from him.
The object is to impress the point that the Prophet (peace be upon him) has no authority whatsoever to make any change in the revelation. If he did so, he would be severely punished. The style depicts the prompt and quick action of a king who strikes off the head of an official, holding him by the hand, if he commits a forgery in his name. Some people have misconstrued this verse to mean that if the heart-vein or neck-vein of an impostor is not immediately severed by Allah, it would be a proof that he was a true prophet, whereas in this verse what has been said is about a true prophet and not about the impostors. Same impostors have even claimed to be God and have thrived and lived long lives in the world, so it could not be a proof of the truth of their claim. For a full discussion of this question, see ( 17 of Surah Younus).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: means, `none of you would be able to come between Us and him if We wanted to do any of this to him.' The meaning behind all of this is to say that he (Muhammad ) is truthful, righteous and guided because Allah determined what he is to convey from Him, and Allah helps him with fantastic miracles and definite proofs.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The protection which the prophets of Allah enjoy in circumstances of danger and difficulty would not be available for impostors.

وَاِنَّهٗ لَتَذۡكِرَةٌ لِّلۡمُتَّقِيۡنَ‏ 
( 48 )   And indeed, the Qur'an is a reminder for the righteous.
That is, the Quran is an admonition for those who wish to avoid wrongdoing and its evil consequences. (For explanation, see( verse 2 of Surah Al-Baqarah).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, the Qur'an. This is just as Allah says, (Say: "It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur'an) is blindness for them.'') 

Muhammad Asad Explanation: Sc., "who believe in [the existence of] that which is beyond the reach of human perception": cf. {2:2-3}.

وَاِنَّا لَنَعۡلَمُ اَنَّ مِنۡكُمۡ مُّكَذِّبِيۡنَ‏ 
( 49 )   And indeed, We know that among you are deniers.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, with this explanation and clarification, there will still be among you those who reject the Qur'an.

وَاِنَّهٗ لَحَسۡرَةٌ عَلَى الۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ‏ 
( 50 )   And indeed, it will be [a cause of] regret upon the disbelievers.
That is, they will ultimately have to despair and regret as to why they had rejected this

Yusuf Ali Explanation: The Message of Allah is glad tidings for those who believe in Him and follow His Law, for it is a message of Mercy and Forgiveness through repentance and amendment. But in the case of the wicked it is a cause of sorrow, for it denounces sin and proclaims the punishment of those who do not turn from evil:

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Ibn Jarir said, "And verily this rejection will be anguish for the disbelievers on the Day of Judgement.'' He (Ibn Jarir) also mentioned a similar statement from Qatadah. It is possible that the meaning of the pronoun (it) may also refer to the Qur'an, in which case the verse would mean that the Qur'an and belief in it are a cause of anguish for the disbelievers. 

This is as Allah says,  (Thus have We caused it (the denial of the Qur'an) to enter the hearts of the criminals. They will not believe in it.) (26:200,201) And Allah said, (And a barrier will be set between them and that which they desire) (34:54). Therefore, Allah says here:

 وَاِنَّهٗ لَحَـقُّ الۡيَقِيۡنِ‏ 
( 51 )   And indeed, it is the truth of certainty.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: All Truth is in itself. But as received by men, and understood with reference to men's psychology, certainty may have certain degrees. There is the probability or certainty resulting from the application of man's power of judgment and his appraisement of evidence. This is ilmulyaqin, certainty by reasoning or inference. Then there is the certainty of seeing something with our own eyes. "Seeing is believing." This is 'ain-ul-yaqin, certainty by personal inspection. See cii. 5, 7. Then, as here, there is the absolute Truth, with no possibility of error of judgment or error of the eye, (which stands for any instrument of sense-perception and any ancillary aids, such as microscopes etc.). This absolute Truth is the haqq-il-yaqin spoken of here.

afsir Ibn Kathir: meaning, the right and truthful news in which there is no doubt, suspicion or confusion. 

Then Allah says, verse 52 below: (So glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most Great.) meaning, He Who sent down this magnificent Qur'an. This is the end of the explanation (Tafsir) of Surat Al-Haqqah. And to Allah belong all praise and blessings.

فَسَبِّحۡ بِاسۡمِ رَبِّكَ الۡعَظِيۡمِ
( 52 )   So exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great.

Yusuf Ali Explanation: As Allah has given us this absolute Truth through His Revelation, it behaves us to understand it and be grateful to Him. We must celebrate His praises in thought, word and deed.

Here we come to the end of Sūrah Al Haaqqah. You may now like to listen to tafsir of Sūrah Al Haaqqah by Nouman Ali Khan:

For Part II of the tafsir by Nouman Ali Khan, please click Here.

Please refer to our Reference Page "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, explanation and exegesis of all other chapters of the Qur'an. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
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 and explanation 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 (links to Reference Pages given below):  
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Tafsir Nouman Ali Khan
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given below. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites:

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 67 | 8 | 9 | 10 |

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