Surah Dukhan >> Currently viewing Surah Dukhan Ayat 16 (44:16)

Surah Dukhan Ayat 16 in Arabic Text

يَوْمَ نَبْطِشُ ٱلْبَطْشَةَ ٱلْكُبْرَىٰٓ إِنَّا مُنتَقِمُونَ
Yawma nabtishul batsha tal kubraa innaa muntaqimoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 16

Sahih International
The Day We will strike with the greatest assault, indeed, We will take retribution.

Yusuf Ali
One day We shall seize you with a mighty onslaught: We will indeed (then) exact Retribution!

Abul Ala Maududi
The Day when We shall seize them with a mighty seizing, that will be the Day on which We shall inflict upon you full retribution.

Muhsin Khan
On the Day when We shall seize you with the greatest grasp. Verily, We will exact retribution.

On the day when We shall seize them with the greater seizure, (then) in truth We shall punish.

Dr. Ghali
Upon the Day when We will assault you with the greatest assault; surely We will be Avengers.

Abdel Haleem
and on the Day We seize [them] mightily We shall exact retribution.

Quran 44 Verse 16 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Dukhan ayat 16, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(44:16) The Day when We shall seize them with a mighty seizing, that will be the Day on which We shall inflict upon you full retribution.[13]

13. The commentators have seriously disputed the meaning of these verses, and the difference of opinion existed even in the time of the companions. Masruq, the well-known student of Abdullah bin Masud, states: One day when we entered the mosque of Kufah, we saw a preacher addressing the people. He recited the verse: Yauma tatissama- u bidukhan-im-mubin, then asked: Do you know what kind of smoke it is? This smoke will appear on the Day of Resurrection and will make the disbelievers and the hypocrites blind and deaf, but the believers will be affected only to the extent as if they had caught cold. Hearing this commentary we went to Abdullah bin Masud and reported to him what the preacher had said. Abdullah at that time was lying down. On hearing this commentary he sat up startled and said: When a person does not have the knowledge, he should ask those who have it. The fact is that when the people of the Quraish went on refusing to accept Islam and continued to oppose the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) prayed: O God, help me with a famine like the famine of Joseph (peace be upon him); consequently, a very severe famine overtook Makkah and the people were forced to eat bones, skins and carrion. The conditions became so bad that whoever looked up to the sky would see nothing but smoke due to intensity of hunger. At last, Abu Sufyan came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: You tell the people to treat their kindred kindly, your own people are starving, kindly pray to God to remove this calamity. This was the time when the people of the Quraish had started saying: O God, if You remove this torment from us, we will believe. This same event has been referred to in these verses; and the severest blow implies the calamity that was inflicted on the Quraish in the Battle of Badr. This tradition has been related by Imam Ahmad, Bukhari Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim from Masruq with several chains of authorities. Besides Masruq, Ibrahim Nakhai Qatadah, Asim and Amir have also related that Abdullah bin Masud had given the same commentary of this verse. Therefore there cannot be any doubt that Ibn Masud actually held this same opinion. Among the immediate followers of the companions, Mujahid, Qatadah. Abul Aliyah, Muqatil, Ibrahim Nakhai, Dahhak and Atiyyah al-Aufi and others have also concurred with Ibn Masud in this commentary.

On the contrary, scholars like Ali, Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas, Abu Saeed Khudri, Zaid bin Ali, and Hasan Basri say that in these verses mention has been made of the time just before Resurrection, and the smoke that has been foretold will envelop the earth at that time. This commentary is further strengthened by the traditions that have been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him). Hudhaifah bin Asid al-Ghifari says: One day when we were talking about Resurrection, the Prophet (peace be upon him) came out to us and said: Resurrection will not be established till ten signs have appeared one after the other: Rising of the sun in the west, smoke, the beast, emergence of Gog and Magog, descent of Jesus son of Mary, sinking of the earth in the East, in the West and in the Arabian Peninsula, and the appearance of a fire from Yemen, which will drive the people away. (Muslim) This is confirmed by Abu Malik Ashari’s tradition which has been related by Ibn Jarir and Tabarani, and Abu Said Khudri’s tradition which has been related by Ibn Abi Hatim. Both these traditions show that the Prophet (peace be upon him) regarded the smoke as one of the signs of Resurrection and also said that when that smoke will spread, it will affect the believer only like a cold, but will infuse every nerve of the disbeliever and come out from every part of his body.

A study of the verses under consideration can remove the disparity between the two commentaries. As for the commentary of Abdullah bin Masud, it is a fact that a severe famine had hit Makkah resulting from the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) prayer and it had unnerved the disbelievers considerably and they had requested the Prophet (peace be upon him) to pray for its removal, as referred to at several places in the Quran. (See (Surah Al- Anaam, Ayat 43); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 94-95); (Surah Younus, Ayat 21); (Surah Al-Muminun, Ayats 75-77) and the corresponding E.Ns). In these verses also there is a clear pointer to the same conditions. The disbeliever are saying: Our Lord, remove this torment from us, we will believe. Allah is saying: How can they rid themselves of their heedlessness? Even when a manifest Messenger came to them, they paid no heed to him, and said: He is a madman taught by others. Then Allah is saying: Were We to remove the torment a little, you would revert to the same that you were doing before. All this can be relevant only if it refers to the conditions of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) time. To apply them to what will happen near the time of Resurrection, is not correct. Therefore, in view of this, Abdullah bin Masud’s commentary seems to be correct, but its this part that “the smoke” also had appeared in that very time, in that when the people in their extreme state of hunger looked up to the sky, they could see nothing but smoke, does not seem to be correct. It also does not conform to the apparent words of the Quran and is against the traditions as well. The Quran does not say: The sky brought forth the smoke and it spread over the people; but it says: Wait for the day when the sky will appear with a visible smoke, and it will envelop mankind. A study of the subsequent verses clearly points to this meaning: When you do not believe even after the Messenger’s admonition, nor take heed from the warning given in the shape of the famine, then you should wait for Resurrection. At that time when you see your doom confronting you, you will fully realize what was the truth and what was falsehood. Therefore, as for the smoke, the correct view is that it has nothing to do with the time of the famine, but it is a sign of Resurrection and the same is also confirmed by the Hadith.


The tafsir of Surah Ad-Dukhan verse 16 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Dukhan ayat 9 which provides the complete commentary from verse 9 through 16.

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