Surah Al Haqqah (Arabic: الحاقة) is the 69th Surah of the Quran with 52 ayats. It is classified as a Meccan Surah and in English is titled “The Reality”.
The Surah tells the fate of people of Thamud, ‘Ad, Pharaoh, and those who ignored Noah. They were among the disbelievers and choose their fate and forced to their reality. This Surah also assures the believers of the truth they believe will be rewarded.
Below you can read Surah Haqqah with transliteration and Sahih International English translation. At the end of the Surah we’ve included three different tafseer of this Surah including tafsir by Ibn Kathir.
“That Day, you will be exhibited [for judgement]; not hidden among you is anything concealed.”
Surah Haqqah Ayat 18
Read Surah Haqqah with Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
1. The Inevitable Reality –
2. What is the Inevitable Reality?
وَمَآ أَدْرَىٰكَ مَا ٱلْحَآقَّةُ
Wa maaa adraaka mal haaaqqah
3. And what can make you know what is the Inevitable Reality?
كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ وَعَادٌۢ بِٱلْقَارِعَةِ
Kazzabat samoodu wa ‘Aadum bil qaari’ah
4. Thamud and ‘Aad denied the Striking Calamity.
فَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَأُهْلِكُوا۟ بِٱلطَّاغِيَةِ
Fa-ammaa Samoodu fauhlikoo bittaaghiyah
5. So as for Thamud, they were destroyed by the overpowering [blast].
وَأَمَّا عَادٌۭ فَأُهْلِكُوا۟ بِرِيحٍۢ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍۢ
Wa ammaa ‘Aadun fa uhlikoo bireehin sarsarin ‘aatiyah
6. And as for ‘Aad, they were destroyed by a screaming, violent wind
سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍۢ وَثَمَـٰنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومًۭا فَتَرَى ٱلْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَىٰ كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍۢ
Sakhkharahaa ‘alaihim sab’a la yaalinw wa samaaniyata ayyaamin husooman fataral qawma feehaa sar’aa ka annahum a’jaazu nakhlin khaawiyah
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.
فَهَلْ تَرَىٰ لَهُم مِّنۢ بَاقِيَةٍۢ
Fahal taraa lahum mim baaqiyah
8. Then do you see of them any remains?
وَجَآءَ فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَن قَبْلَهُۥ وَٱلْمُؤْتَفِكَـٰتُ بِٱلْخَاطِئَةِ
Wa jaaa’a Firawnu wa man qablahoo wal mu’tafikaatu bilhaati’ah
9. And there came Pharaoh and those before him and the overturned cities with sin.
فَعَصَوْا۟ رَسُولَ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَهُمْ أَخْذَةًۭ رَّابِيَةً
Fa’ansaw Rasoola Rabbihim fa akhazahum akhzatar raabiyah
10. And they disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He seized them with a seizure exceeding [in severity].
إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَا ٱلْمَآءُ حَمَلْنَـٰكُمْ فِى ٱلْجَارِيَةِ
Innaa lammaa taghal maaa’u hamalnaakum fil jaariyah
11. Indeed, when the water overflowed, We carried your ancestors in the sailing ship
لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةًۭ وَتَعِيَهَآ أُذُنٌۭ وَٰعِيَةٌۭ
Linaj’alahaa lakum tazki ratanw-wa ta’iyahaa unzununw waa’iyah
12. That We might make it for you a reminder and [that] a conscious ear would be conscious of it.
فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِى ٱلصُّورِ نَفْخَةٌۭ وَٰحِدَةٌۭ
Fa izaa nufikha fis soori nafkhatunw waahidah
13. Then when the Horn is blown with one blast
وَحُمِلَتِ ٱلْأَرْضُ وَٱلْجِبَالُ فَدُكَّتَا دَكَّةًۭ وَٰحِدَةًۭ
Wa humilatil ardu wal jibaalu fadukkataa dakkatanw waahidah
14. And the earth and the mountains are lifted and leveled with one blow –
فَيَوْمَئِذٍۢ وَقَعَتِ ٱلْوَاقِعَةُ
Fa yawma’izinw waqa’atil waaqi’ah
15. Then on that Day, the Resurrection will occur,
وَٱنشَقَّتِ ٱلسَّمَآءُ فَهِىَ يَوْمَئِذٍۢ وَاهِيَةٌۭ
Wanshaqqatis samaaa’u fahiya yawma ‘izinw-waahiyah
16. And the heaven will split [open], for that Day it is infirm.
وَٱلْمَلَكُ عَلَىٰٓ أَرْجَآئِهَا ۚ وَيَحْمِلُ عَرْشَ رَبِّكَ فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍۢ ثَمَـٰنِيَةٌۭ
Wal malaku ‘alaaa arjaaa’ihaa; wa yahmilu ‘Arsha Rabbika fawqahum yawma’izin samaaniyah
17. And the angels are at its edges. And there will bear the Throne of your Lord above them, that Day, eight [of them].
يَوْمَئِذٍۢ تُعْرَضُونَ لَا تَخْفَىٰ مِنكُمْ خَافِيَةٌۭ
Yawma’izin tu’radoona laa takhfaa min kum khaafiyah
18. That Day, you will be exhibited [for judgement]; not hidden among you is anything concealed.
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِىَ كِتَـٰبَهُۥ بِيَمِينِهِۦ فَيَقُولُ هَآؤُمُ ٱقْرَءُوا۟ كِتَـٰبِيَهْ
Fa ammaa man ootiya kitaabahoo biyameenihee fa yaqoolu haaa’umuq ra’oo kitaabiyah
19. So as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will say, “Here, read my record!
إِنِّى ظَنَنتُ أَنِّى مُلَـٰقٍ حِسَابِيَهْ
Innee zannantu annee mulaaqin hisaabiyah
20. Indeed, I was certain that I would be meeting my account.”
فَهُوَ فِى عِيشَةٍۢ رَّاضِيَةٍۢ
Fahuwa fee ‘eeshatir raadiyah
21. So he will be in a pleasant life –
فِى جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍۢ
Fee jannnatin ‘aaliyah
22. In an elevated garden,
23. Its [fruit] to be picked hanging near.
كُلُوا۟ وَٱشْرَبُوا۟ هَنِيٓـًٔۢا بِمَآ أَسْلَفْتُمْ فِى ٱلْأَيَّامِ ٱلْخَالِيَةِ
Kuloo washraboo haneee’am bimaaa aslaftum fil ayyaamil khaliyah
24. [They will be told], “Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past.”
وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِىَ كِتَـٰبَهُۥ بِشِمَالِهِۦ فَيَقُولُ يَـٰلَيْتَنِى لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَـٰبِيَهْ
Wa ammaa man ootiya kitaabahoo bishimaalihee fa yaqoolu yaalaitanee lam oota kitaaabiyah
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
وَلَمْ أَدْرِ مَا حِسَابِيَهْ
Wa lam adri maa hisaabiyah
26. And had not known what is my account.
يَـٰلَيْتَهَا كَانَتِ ٱلْقَاضِيَةَ
Yaa laitahaa kaanatil qaadiyah
27. I wish my death had been the decisive one.
مَآ أَغْنَىٰ عَنِّى مَالِيَهْ ۜ
Maaa aghnaa ‘annee maaliyah
28. My wealth has not availed me.
هَلَكَ عَنِّى سُلْطَـٰنِيَهْ
Halaka ‘annee sultaaniyah
29. Gone from me is my authority.”
30. [ Allah will say], “Seize him and shackle him.
ثُمَّ ٱلْجَحِيمَ صَلُّوهُ
Summal Jaheema sallooh
31. Then into Hellfire drive him.
ثُمَّ فِى سِلْسِلَةٍۢ ذَرْعُهَا سَبْعُونَ ذِرَاعًۭا فَٱسْلُكُوهُ
Summa fee silsilatin zar’uhaa sab’oona ziraa’an faslukooh
32. Then into a chain whose length is seventy cubits insert him.”
إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ لَا يُؤْمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ ٱلْعَظِيمِ
Innahoo kaana laa yu’minubillaahil ‘Azeem
33. Indeed, he did not used to believe in Allah, the Most Great,
وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ ٱلْمِسْكِينِ
wa laa yahuddu ‘alaa ta’aamil miskeen
34. Nor did he encourage the feeding of the poor.
فَلَيْسَ لَهُ ٱلْيَوْمَ هَـٰهُنَا حَمِيمٌۭ
Falaysa lahul yawma haahunaa hameem
35. So there is not for him here this Day any devoted friend
وَلَا طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِنْ غِسْلِينٍۢ
Wa laa ta’aamun illaa min ghisleenm
36. Nor any food except from the discharge of wounds;
لَّا يَأْكُلُهُۥٓ إِلَّا ٱلْخَـٰطِـُٔونَ
Laa yaakuluhooo illal khati’oon
37. None will eat it except the sinners.
فَلَآ أُقْسِمُ بِمَا تُبْصِرُونَ
Falaaa uqsimu bimaa tubsiroon
38. So I swear by what you see
وَمَا لَا تُبْصِرُونَ
Wa maa laa tubsiroon
39. And what you do not see
إِنَّهُۥ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍۢ كَرِيمٍۢ
Innahoo laqawlu Rasoolin kareem
40. [That] indeed, the Qur’an is the word of a noble Messenger.
وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَاعِرٍۢ ۚ قَلِيلًۭا مَّا تُؤْمِنُونَ
Wa ma huwa biqawli shaa’ir; qaleelam maa tu’minoonm
41. And it is not the word of a poet; little do you believe.
وَلَا بِقَوْلِ كَاهِنٍۢ ۚ قَلِيلًۭا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ
Wa laa biqawli kaahin; qaleelam maa tazakkaroon
42. Nor the word of a soothsayer; little do you remember.
تَنزِيلٌۭ مِّن رَّبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ
Tanzeelum mir rabbil ‘aalameen
43. [It is] a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ ٱلْأَقَاوِيلِ
Wa law taqawwala ‘alainaa ba’dal aqaaweel
44. And if Muhammad had made up about Us some [false] sayings,
لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِٱلْيَمِينِ
La-akhaznaa minhu bilyameen
45. We would have seized him by the right hand;
ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ ٱلْوَتِينَ
Summa laqata’naa minhul wateen
46. Then We would have cut from him the aorta.
فَمَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ عَنْهُ حَـٰجِزِينَ
Famaa minkum min ahadin’anhu haajizeen
47. And there is no one of you who could prevent [Us] from him.
وَإِنَّهُۥ لَتَذْكِرَةٌۭ لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ
Wa innahoo latazkiratul lilmuttaqeen
48. And indeed, the Qur’an is a reminder for the righteous.
وَإِنَّا لَنَعْلَمُ أَنَّ مِنكُم مُّكَذِّبِينَ
Wa inna lana’lamu anna minkum mukazzibeen
49. And indeed, We know that among you are deniers.
وَإِنَّهُۥ لَحَسْرَةٌ عَلَى ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ
Wa innahu lahasratun ‘alal kaafireen
50. And indeed, it will be [a cause of] regret upon the disbelievers.
وَإِنَّهُۥ لَحَقُّ ٱلْيَقِينِ
Wa innahoo lahaqqul yaqeen
51. And indeed, it is the truth of certainty.
فَسَبِّحْ بِٱسْمِ رَبِّكَ ٱلْعَظِيمِ
Fassabbih bismi Rabbikal ‘Azeem
52. So exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great.
Tafseer of Surah Haqqah
The Qur’an is a book of revelation to show people evidence that Islam is the one true religion and as a book for guidance for all believers. For this reason we shouldn’t only read the Qur’an but make it a study. There’s no one right way to do this, each person has a different learning style so we can listen to lectures or read tafseer.
It is our personal belief that written text provides a more structured format and is more dense then a formal talk. You can branch off easily and explore different ayat of different Surahs as needed and learn at your own pace. Below we’ve have three different tafseer of Surah Haqqah. If you have any other recommendations you can send an email to our team and we’ll see if it can be added.
Tafsir Surah Haqqah by Ibn Kathir
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
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,
(And what will make you know what Al-Haqqah is)
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,
(Thamud denied through their transgression.) Then Allah says,
(And as for `Ad, they were destroyed by a wind Sarsar) meaning, a cold wind. Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Ath-Thawri all said about,
(`Atiyah) “This means severe blowing of the wind.” Qatadah said, “It blew fiercely upon them until it pierced their hearts.” Ad-Dahhak said,
(Sarsar) “This means cold, and
(`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.”
(Which Allah imposed on them) meaning, He made it overpower them.
(for seven nights and eight days Husum,) Husum means, complete, successive and unfortunately evil. Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ath-Thawri and others all said, “Husum means in succession.” It has been reported that `Ikrimah and Ar-Rabi` bin Khuthaym both said, “It means it was unfortunately evil upon them.” This is similar to Allah’s statement,
(in 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,
(so that you could see the people lying toppled, as if they were A`jaz (trunks) of date palms, Khawiyah!) Ibn `Abbas said about,
(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.)
(Do you see any remnants of them) 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,
(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,
(the overthrown cities) those nations that rejected their Messengers.
(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,
(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,
(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,
(The people of Nuh belied the Messengers)
(`Ad belied the Messengers.)
(Thamud belied the Messengers.) However, only one Messenger came to every nation. Thus, Allah says here,
(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.”
Then, Allah says,
(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,
(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.
(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 Allah said,
(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,
(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,
(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,
(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.
Allah informs of the horrors that will take place on the Day of Judgement. The first of these events is the blowing of fright (into the Trumpet), which will be followed by the blowing of destruction when everyone in the heavens and the earth will be struck down except whoever Allah wills. Then, after this will be the blowing of standing before the Lord of all that exists, and the resurrection, and the gathering. And this is that blowing. It is emphasized here that it is one blowing, because the command of Allah cannot be opposed or prevented, and it does not need to be repeated or stressed. Thus, Allah goes on to say,
(And the earth and the mountains shall be removed from their places, and crushed with a single crushing.) 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.
(Then on that Day shall the Event occur.) meaning, the Day of Judgement.
(And the heaven will be rent asunder, for that Day it will be frail and torn up.) Ibn Jurayj said, “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.”
(And the angels will be on its sides,) 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,
(And the angels will be on its sides,) “This means that they will be standing on what has been ground to powder of the heavens looking at the people of the earth.’
Concerning the statement of Allah,
(That Day shall you be brought to Judgement, not a secret of you will be hidden.) 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.
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!”’
(Surely, I did believe that I shall meet my account!) 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) Allah then says,
(So he shall be in a life, well-pleasing.) (69:21) meaning, pleasant.
(In a lofty Paradise,) 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.) Then Allah says,
(The fruits in bunches whereof will be low and near at hand.) 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. Then Allah says,
(Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!) 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 said,
(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.)
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.
((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.”
(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.’ At this Allah says,
(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. Allah said,
(Then fasten him on a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits!) 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,
(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.” Concerning Allah’s statement,
(Verily, he used not to believe in Allah, the Most Great, and urged not on the feeding of the poor.) 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).) Allah says,
(So no friend has he here this Day. Nor any food except filth from the washing of wounds. None will eat it except the Khati’un.) 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.”
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,
(So I swear by whatsoever you see, and by whatsoever you see not, that this is verily the word of an honored Messenger.) 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.
(It is not the word of a poet, little is that you believe! Nor is it the word of soothsayer, little is that you remember!) 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. Thus, Allah says,
(This is the revelation sent down from the Lord of all that exists.)
(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,
(We surely would have seized him by his right hand,) It has been said that this means, `We would seize him by the right hand because it is more stronger in grabbing.’
(And then We certainly would have cut off Al-Watin from him,) 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.” Concerning Allah’s statement,
(And none of you could have prevented it from him.) 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. Then Allah says,
(And verily, this (Qur’an) is a Reminder for those who have Taqwa.) 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.”) Then Allah says,
(And verily, We know that there are some among you that deny (this Qur’an). ) meaning, with this explanation and clarification, there will still be among you those who reject the Qur’an. Then Allah says,
(And indeed it (this Qur’an) will be an anguish for the disbelievers (on the Day of Resurrection).) 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,
(And verily, it (this Qur’an) is an absolute truth with certainty.) meaning, the right and truthful news in which there is no doubt, suspicion or confusion. Then Allah says,
(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.
[69:1] The Imminent Happening!
This Surah is almost wholly devoted to the subject of inevitability of the Resurrection, its horrors, the punishment of unbelievers and the reward of believers. The Day of Judgment is variously referred to in the Qur’an, and in this Surah we encounter the following three names: الْحَاقَّةُ Al-Haqqah ‘Imminent Happening’, الْقَارِعَةِ Al-Qari’ah ‘Shocking Event’ and الْوَاقِعَةُ -waqi` ah ‘Happening.
The word الْحَاقَّةُ Al-haqqah means an ‘established fact, or inevitable event, reality or truth’. The word Al-haqqah also means ‘Something that provide evidence that something is true.’ It can be applied to the Day of Judgment in both senses of the word, because in the first sense the Day of Judgment itself is an established truth, and its occurrence is a certainty. And in the other sense the Day of Judgment will prove to the believers the reality of Paradise and to the unbelievers the reality of Hell. This name of the Day of Judgment is followed by two questions regarding it. The questions have been put to make the readers realise how horrifying the experience would be – beyond normal experience or even imagination.
The word الْقَارِعَةِ Al-Qari’ah, literally, means ‘rumbling’. The Day of Judgment is so called because there will be rumbling sound which will cause agitation or terror in the hearts of people, and will dreadfully destroy the heavenly and earthly bodies and scatter them apart.
The word الطَّاغِيَةِ At-Taghiyah is derived from tughyan which means ‘to exceed the limit’, signifying an extremely severe punishment, that is, ‘it would be such high pitched sound which would exceed the limit of any of the sounds of the mortal world, and the human heart or brain would not be able to bear’. When Thamud exceeded the limit in denying the Day of Judgment, they were destroyed by that dreadful cry which exceeded all limits. It was a combination of most high pitched sound of thunderbolt together with a flash of lightning that struck them which rent their hearts.
[69:2] What is the Imminent Happening?
[69:3] And what can let you know what the Imminent happening is?
[69:4] Thamud and ` Ad had denied (the happening of) the Shocking Event (the Day of Judgment).
[69:5] As for Thamud, they were destroyed by that (dreadful cry) which exceeded all limits.
[69:6] And as for ` Ad, they were destroyed by a violent windstorm
The phrase رِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ (rihin sarsarin) (in verse 6) refers to a violent windstorm which is also severely cold.
[69:7] that He imposed on them for seven nights and eight consecutive days, so you could see them thrown on the ground, as if they were trunks of hollow palm-trees.
سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ (seven nights and eight consecutive days’… 69:7). According to some of the narratives, the punishment of windstorm started on Wednesday morning, and lasted till the following Wednesday evening. In this way, it makes up eight days and seven nights.
The word husuman (in verse 7) is the plural of hasim and means ‘cutting them off entirely’ or ‘causing them to perish completely’.
The word مُؤْتَفِكَاتُ mu’tafikat (in verse 9) means ‘adjacent to one another’. The towns of Sayyidna Lut Sodom and Gomorrah, are so called because they were adjacent to each other or because when the punishment overtook the disbelievers and criminals overthrowing their towns], they were all jumbled up.1
(1) Another possible meaning of mu’tafikat is ‘overthrown’ as mentioned by several exegetes. The translation in the text is based on this meaning. Muhammad Taqi Usmani
[69:8] So, do you see any remnant of them?
[69:9] And Fir’aun (the Pharaoh) and those before him and the overthrown towns came up with evil.
[69:10] And they disobeyed the messenger of their Lord, so He seized them with an extremely severe seizure.
[69:11] When the water overflowed (in the Deluge of Nuh), We let you (0 mankind,) board the floating ship,
[69:12] so that We make it for you a reminder, and so that a preserving ear may preserve it.
[69:13] Then, when the Trumpet will be blown for the first time,
فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ نَفْخَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ (Then, when the Trumpet will be blown for the first time…69:13). Tirmidhi records a Hadith on the authority of Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Umar ؓ that صور sur ‘trumpet’ is a horn- like object which will be blown on Doomsday.
نَفْخَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ (‘for the first time…69:13). It means that it will be a sudden and a single continuing sound that will last until all die. The texts of Qur’an and Sunnah show that the trumpet will be blown twice on the Day of Judgment. The first trumpet is called nafkhat-us-sa` aq ‘the trumpet of swoon’, in connection with which the Qur’an says:
فَصَعِقَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ
And all those in the heavens and all those in the earth will faint… [39:68]
With this trumpet all angels residing in the heavens and all Jinns and human beings and animals residing on earth will become unconscious and fall to the ground. Whilst they are in the state of unconsciousness, they will die. The second trumpet is called nafkhat-ul-ba` th ‘trumpet of Resurrection’. The word bath means ‘to rise’. With this trumpet all the dead will rise from death and stand up. The Qur’an describes this situation thus:
ثُمَّ نُفِخَ فِيهِ أُخْرَىٰ فَإِذَا هُمْ قِيَامٌ يَنظُرُونَ
Thereafter, it will be blown once again, and suddenly they will stand up, looking around. [39:68]
In other words, then the trumpet will be blown a second time and at once they will be standing upright looking on.
According to some narratives, a third ‘trumpet’ will also be blown before the two trumpets, which is referred to as nafkhat-ul-faza` (‘the trumpet of fright or panic). By a careful analysis of all the narratives and texts, it appears that the first trumpet in its initial stage is nafthat-ul-faza’ and in its final stage it will become sa` aq ‘the trumpet of swoon or death’. [Mazhari]
[69:14] and the earth and the mountains will be lifted and crushed into pieces with a single blow,
[69:15] then on that Day the Happening will happen,
[69:16] and the sky will burst apart, while it will have become frail on that day.
[69:17] And the angels will be on its borders. And on that Day, the Throne of your Lord will be carried above them by eight (angels).
وَيَحْمِلُ عَرْشَ رَبِّكَ فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ ثَمَانِيَةٌ (…And on that Day, the Throne of your Lord will be carried above them by eight [angels]….69:17). In other words, on the Day of Judgment, eight angels will bear the Throne of the Rahman above their heads. According to some of the Prophetic narratives, before the Judgment Day this task will be carried out by four angels. On the Judgment Day, four more angels will be added to carry out the task.
As to what is the Throne of the Rahman, what is its reality, its form and shape, how the angels carry it – are transcendental matters and are all beyond human intellect. Allah is beyond time, space and matter, and therefore we are not permitted to pursue these matters pertaining to Him to determine its exact meaning. The noble Companions, their pupils and the righteous elders took the attitude that they simply believed in all transcendental matters and never questioned about them. Whatever Allah means by them is the Truth. Their nature and reality are unknown.
[69:18] On that day, you will be brought forward in a way that no secret of yours will remain secret.
يَوْمَئِذٍ تُعْرَضُونَ لَا تَخْفَىٰ مِنكُمْ خَافِيَةٌ (On that day, you will be brought forward in a way that no secret of yours will remain secret…69:18). In other words, on the Day of Judgment people will be exposed – no concealed act they did will stay concealed. Nothing is concealed from Divine knowledge and sight even today. The Plain of Gathering has been particularly mentioned in this connection probably because the entire ground will be levelled out as a plain surface. There will be no caves nor mountains, no buildings nor houses nor barriers of any trees. These are the things behind which people normally hide in the mortal world. On the Day of Judgment, none of these things will be available and there will be no possibility of hiding.
[69:19] Now, as for him who is given his book in his right hand, he will say (to his colleagues), “Come here, read my book.
هَاؤُمُ اقْرَءُوا كِتَابِيَهْ (Come here, read my book… 69:19). The word ha’umu, literally means, “come” but, idiomatically, it is used in the sense of the plural imperative verb khudhu “take’. In other words, one who is given his record book in his right hand, he will be elated and, looking at the people around him, will say ‘Here, take my account book and read it!’
[69:20] I was sure that I would encounter my reckoning.”
[69:21] So he will be in a well-pleasing life
[69:22] in a lofty garden,
[69:23] the fruits of which will be close at hand.
[69:24] (It will be said to such people,) “Eat and drink with pleasure, as a reward for what you did in advance during past days.”
[69:25] As for him who will be given his book in his left hand, he will say, ” Oh, would that I had not been given my book,
[69:26] and I had never known what my account is!
[69:27] Oh, would that it (death) had been the end of the matter!
[69:28] My wealth has not been of any use to me.
[69:29] My power has gone from me for good.”
هَلَكَ عَنِّي سُلْطَانِيَهْ (My power has gone from me for good…69:29). The word sultan, literally, yields the sense of ‘power or overpowering’. Therefore, a government or state is referred to as saltanah and a ruler is referred to as sultan. In other words, when people gain power and political ascendancy in the world, they become proud, hold sway over other people, perpetrate injustices and commit atrocities. But in the Hereafter all that will vanish and be lost, and the unjust and proud rulers will have no army to obey or support them. They will be miserable and helpless creatures who will not be able to defend themselves.
The word sultan also stands for ‘authority, proof or argument’ in which case it would mean: ‘Today I have no argument in favour of protecting myself against punishment’.
[69:30] (Then it will be said to angels,) “Seize him, then put a collar around his neck,
خُذُوهُ فَغُلُّوهُ (Seize him, then put a collar around his neck… 69:30). This instruction will be given to the angels to seize the guilty one and truss him up by putting a collar around his neck – though, however, the wordings of the verse do not mention who will seize and who will truss him up. Narratives indicate that when this order will be issued, everything, like submissive and obedient servants, will rush to apprehend him.
[69:31] then, in the blazing fire let him burn.
[69:32] Thereafter, fasten him with a chain the measure of which is seventy hands.”
ثُمَّ فِي سِلْسِلَةٍ ذَرْعُهَا سَبْعُونَ ذِرَاعًا فَاسْلُكُوهُ (Thereafter, make him enter into a chain, the measure of which is seventy hands….69:32). The phrase ‘make him enter into a chain’ could be interpreted metaphorically as ‘bind him in a chain’ but it could be taken in its primary sense, that is, to pierce the chain through one side of the body, so that it could come out from the other side of it like a string is passed through a pearl or the bead of a rosary. Traditional narratives seem to support the primary sense. [Mazhari]
[69:33] Indeed, he did not believe in Almighty Allah,
[69:34] and did not persuade (others) to feed the needy.
[69:35] So, he has no friend here today,
فَلَيْسَ لَهُ الْيَوْمَ هَاهُنَا حَمِيمٌ وَلَا طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِنْ غِسْلِينٍ (So, he has no friend here today, nor any food except from that which flows from wounds when washing…69:35-36]. The word hamim means ‘a sincere or bosom friend’. The word ghislin with ‘gh’ bearing the kasrah [= i] refers to the water with which the pus and blood of the wounds of the inmates of Hell will be washed. The verses signify that on the Day of Resurrection he will have no friend that will support him or save him from punishment, nor will he have anything to eat except the filthy water with which pus exuding from the wound of the inmates of Hell might have been washed. The words ‘nor any food’ mean that they will not have any delectable food to eat. This statement does not negate things like ghislin which are distasteful and reprehensible. Therefore, it does not contradict another verse which states that the inmates of Hell will eat zaqqum.
[69:36] nor any food except from that which flows from wounds when washing,
[69:37] which is eaten by none but the sinners.
[69:38] I swear by what you see,
فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِمَا تُبْصِرُونَ وَمَا لَا تُبْصِرُونَ (I swear by what you see, and what you do not see….69:38-39). This comprehends the entire body of creation. Some say ‘what you do not see’ refers to the Being of Allah Ta` ala and His attributes. Others say ‘what you see’ refers to things of the mortal world, and ‘what you do not see,’ refers to things of the Hereafter. [Mazhari] And Allah, the Pure and Exalted, Knows best!
[69:39] and what you do not see,
[69:40] it is surely the speech of a noble Messenger, (that he conveys from Allah).
[69:41] and it is not the speech of a poet, (but) little you believe,
[69:42] nor is it the speech of a soothsayer, (but) little you heed to the advice.
[69:43] It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.
[69:44] And had he forged some statements in Our name,
وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِيلِ ﴿44﴾ لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ ﴿45﴾ ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ ﴿46﴾
And had he forged some statements in Our name, We would have certainly seized him by the right hand, and then severed his life-astery,…(69:44-46)
The word taqawwul means ‘to forge, fabricate or concoct’ and the word watin refers to ‘aorta or life-artery’. This is the main artery that carries blood from the heart to other parts of the body. Once this artery is cut off, death occurs instantly.The foregoing verses refute the outrageous thoughts of the disbelievers. They used to accuse the Prophet o ﷺ of being a poet and a soothsayer. They said that the Qur’an was the word of a poet or the word of a soothsayer. The Qur’an denounces their argument – it is not the word of a poet nor the word of a soothsayer; it is a revelation from Allah to His Messenger ﷺ . In other words, in verses [37-38] it was claimed that all visible and invisible things prove that the Prophet is Allah’s true Messenger and that the Qur’an is Allah’s revealed Word and not the imaginary flight of a poet’s mind or the wild conjectures of a diviner. In this and the preceding three verses another invincible argument is given in support of his claim. The argument is to the effect that if the Prophet ﷺ had been a forger of lies against Allah, Allah’s strong hand would have seized him by the throat and cut off his life-artery and he would have certainly met with a violent death. The invincible argument is put forward in a strong language – assuming the impossible – to make the ignorant realise the worst-case scenario. The expression ‘right hand’ is used probably because when a convicted criminal is to be executed, the executioner stands in front facing the condemned person. The executioner’s left hand faces the guilty person’s right hand. The executioner holds the condemned person with his left hand and attacks him with his right hand.
A Cautionary Note
This verse refers to a theoretical situation relating to the Apostle of Allah in particular that lest, God forbid, if he were to concoct a word and impute it to Allah, this is the way he would have been dealt with. A hypothetical situation is a possible situation, not an actual situation. Thus this does not necessarily set down a universal principle that any and every impostor, who lays claim to prophethood, would be destroyed as a matter of general rule. History records that many impostors laid claim to prophethood, but no such destructive punishment was ever imposed on them.
[69:45] We would have certainly seized him by the right hand,
[69:46] and then severed his life-artery,
[69:47] so no one from you would have been an impediment against it.
[69:48] And it is a Reminder for the God-fearing.
[69:49] And, of course, We know that among you there are deniers.
[69:50] And surely, it is an anguish for the disbelievers.
[69:51] And it is surely an absolute truth.
[69:52] So, pronounce the purity of the name of your magnificent Lord.
فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ ‘So, pronounce the purity of the name of your magnificent Lord. [69:52] ‘. It was shown in the preceding verses that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ never speak from his own whims and fancies. He only conveys pure revelation revealed to him by Allah. The Divine Word is a reminder and an admonition for the God-conscious people. Allah knows that despite knowing the absolutely incontestable truth many people will continue to reject it. Consequently, it will be a source of eternal remorse, disappointment and punishment in the Hereafter for the disbelievers. In the end, Allah says:
وَإِنَّهُ لَحَقُّ الْيَقِينِ ‘And it is surely an absolute truth. [69:51] ‘. In other words, the Qur’an is undeniably the Truth of Certainty. There is no room for any doubt or suspicion in it.
Finally, Allah addresses the Prophet ﷺ; to say:
فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ ‘So, pronounce the purity of the name of your magnificent Lord.’ [69:52]. This signifies that the Prophet ﷺ should not pay any heed to the criticisms of the obdurate disbelievers nor should he feel distressed. He should rather pronounce the purity of Allah’s name. This will relieve his distress and grief. On another occasion, the Qur’an says:
وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ يَضِيقُ صَدْرُكَ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ ‘And We know that your heart feels distressed for what they say. [15:97-98]. So, proclaim the purity, and glory of your Lord and be among those who prostrate.  ‘ The Prophet is advised not to pay any attention to the disbelievers talking nonsense. The best remedy for his distress and grief is to glorify Allah, praise Him and prostrate before Him.
Abu Dawud records a narration from Sayyidna ‘Uqbah bin Amir Juhani ؓ that when the verse, فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ ‘So, pronounce the purity of the name of your magnificent Lord. [521’ was revealed, the Prophet ﷺ instructed this tasbih to be reserved for the posture of ruku` and when the verse سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الْأَعْلَى ‘Pronounce the purity of the name of your most Exalted Lord. [87:1] ‘ was revealed, he instructed this tasbih to be reserved for the posture of sajdah. Therefore, by common consent of the Ummah these tasbihat are recited in ruku` and sajdah respectively. According to overwhelming majority, it is Sunnah to recite them and repeat them thrice. Some scholars say it is obligatory.
The Commentary on
69. Surah Al Haaqqa (The Inevitable)
The Surah takes its name from the word al-Haaqqah with which it opens.
Period of Revelation
This too is one of the earliest surahs to be revealed at Makkah. Its subject matter shows that it was sent down at the time when opposition to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) had started but had not yet become tyrannical. 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 surah 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).
Theme and Subject Matter
The first section (vv. 1-37) is about the Hereafter and the second (vv. 38-52) about the Qur’an’s being a revelation from Allah and the Holy Prophet’s being a true Messenger of Allah.
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 vv. 4-12, it has been stated that the communities that denied the Hereafter in the past became worthy of Allah’s scourge ultimately. In vv. 13-17 the occurrence of Resurrection has been depicted. In vv. 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.
In the second section (vv. 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.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-18 Description of the day of resurrection and the day of judgement
(69:1) The indubitable event!1 (69:2) And what is that indubitable event? (69:3) And what do you know what that indubitable event is?2 (69:4) The Thamud3 and the Ad denied the (possibility of a) sudden calamity,4 calling it false. (69:5) Then the Thamud were destroyed by an awesome upheaval;5 (69:6) and the Ad were destroyed by a furiously raging wind-storm (69:7) which He let loose upon them for seven nights and eight days in succession; so that (if you had been there) you might have seen people lying prostrate, as though they were uprooted trunks of hollowed palm trees. (69:8) Do you now see any trace of them? (69:9) Pharaoh and those before him and the people of the overturned habitations6 all engaged in the same great sin. (69:10) They did not follow the Messenger of their Lord, and so He seized them with a severe grip. (69:11) Verily when the water rose to great heights,7 We bore you upon a floating vessel (i.e. the Ark)8 (69:12) so that We might make it an instructive event for you, and retentive ears might preserve its memory.9 (69:13) So10 when the Trumpet is blown with a single blast (69:14) and the earth and the mountains are carried aloft and are crushed to bits at one stroke, (69:15) on that Day shall that indubitable event come to pass; (69:16) when the sky will be rent asunder, the grip holding it together having loosened on that Day, (69:17) and the angels will stand on the sides, with eight of them bearing aloft the Throne11 of your Lord on that Day. (69:18) That will be the Day when you shall be brought forth (before Allah) and no secret of yours shall remain hidden.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. In Surah (Al-A’raf Ayat 78), it has been called ar-rajfah (a terrible earthquake); in (Surah Hud 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.
6. 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 Hud Ayat 82) and (Surah Al-Hijr Ayat 74), We turned them upside down.
7. The illusion is to the deluge of 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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 YaSeen, 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 TaHa, Ayats 102-112); (Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats 101-103); (Surah YaSeen, Ayats 51-53) and (Surah Qaf, Ayats 20-22), only the third sounding of the Trumpet has been mentioned. (For explanation, see (E.N. 78 of Surah TaHa); (E.N. 1 of Surah Al-Hajj); (E.Ns 46, 47 of Surah YaSeen). 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.
11. 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.
19-37 Fortunate people and their reward and Unfortunate people and their punishment
12. 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-Anfal Ayat 50); (Surah An-Nahl Ayats 28-32); (Surah Isra 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-Muminun Ayats 45-46); (Surah Muhammad Ayat 27); (Surah Qaf, Ayats 19-23) and the corresponding Notes.
13. That is, he will be overjoyed as soon as he receives his record and will show it to his companions. In (Surah Al-Inshiqaq Ayat 9), it has been said: He will return to his kinsfolk rejoicing.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. That is, I should not have been told what I had done in the world. Another meaning of this verse can also be: I never knew what an account was: I never had imagined that one day I would also have to render my account and that all my deeds would be presented before me.”
18. That is, I should have become extinct after death in the world and should have experienced no other life after death.
19. 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.
20. 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.
(69:19) On that Day, he whose Record is given to him in his right hand12 will say: “Lo! Read my Record!13 (69:20) Verily I was sure that I would be handed over my account.”14 (69:21) Then he shall find himself in a life of bliss; (69:22) in a lofty Garden (69:23) the clusters of whose fruit will be hanging low to be within reach (of the inmates of Paradise). (69:24) (They will be told): “Eat and drink with good cheer as a reward for the good deeds you did in the days that have passed by.” (69:25) As for him whose Record will be given to him in his left hand,15 he will exclaim: “Would that I had never been given my Record,16 (69:26) and had not known my account.17 (69:27) Oh! Would that the death that came to me in the world had made an end of me!18 (69:28) My riches have not availed me, (69:29) and my authority has vanished.”19 (69:30) (A command will be issued): “Seize him and shackle him, (69:31) then cast him in the Fire, (69:32) then fasten him with a chain, seventy cubits long. (69:33) He would not believe in Allah, the Most Great; (69:34) nor would he urge the feeding of the poor.20 (69:35) Today he has been left here friendless;
38-52 Al-Quran is the word of Allah and not of the Prophet, and is a reminder for those who fear Allah (God)
(69:38) But no;21 I swear by what you see, (69:39) and by what you do not see, (69:40) that this is the speech of an honourable Messenger,22 (69:41) not the speech of a poet. Little do you believe!23 (69:42) Nor is this the speech of a soothsayer. Little do you reflect! (69:43) It has been revealed by the Lord of the Universe.24 (69:44) And if he [i.e., the Prophets] had forged this Discourse and thereafter ascribed it to Us, (69:45) We would surely have seized him by the right hand, (69:46) and then severed his life vein; (69:47) and not one of you would have been able to withhold Us from doing so.25 (69:48) Surely it is a Good Counsel for the God-fearing.26 (69:49) We certainly know that some among you will give the lie to it, (69:50) and surely it will be a cause of regret for the unbelievers.27 (69:51) Certainly it is a Truth of absolute certainty. (69:52) So glorify the name of your Lord Most Great.
21. That is, the truth is not as you think it to be.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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 (E.N. 7 of Surah Al-Anbiya), (E.Ns 142-145 of Surah Ash-Shuara), (E.N. 22 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 (E.N. l07 of Surah An-Nahl) and (E.N. 12 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.
25. 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( E.N. 23 of Surah Younus).
26. That is, the Quran is an admonition for those who wish to avoid wrongdoing and its evil consequences. (For explanation, see( E.N. 3 of Surah Al-Baqarah).
27. That is, they will ultimately have to despair and regret as to why they had rejected this