Assalamualaikum, we begin with a brief introduction of Surah Inshiqaq. The English meaning of this surah is “The Sundering”, “Splitting Open” and it’s the 84th chapter of the Quran. It is a Meccan surah consisting of 25th ayats or verses.

The Surah refers to what will happen on the day of judgement. The first five ayats mentions the events that will happen like the flattening of the earth and the splitting of the sky. 

Ayat 6 to 15 mentions disparity between those who have been “given [their] book in [their] right hand” and have a joyful reckoning, and those who will not.

Ayat 16-18 contains few oaths. This is followed by another contrast between the fate of the believers and the non-believers.

You can read Surah Inshiqaq with transliteration, english translation and in Arabic below.

Skip To Tafsir

Read Surah Inshiqaq Transliteration

Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful

Itha assamao inshaqqat
1. When the sky has split [open]

Wa azinat li Rabbihaa wa huqqat
2. And has responded to its Lord and was obligated [to do so]

Wa-itha al-ardu muddat
3. And when the earth has been extended

Waalqat ma feeha watakhallat
4. And has cast out that within it and relinquished [it]

Waathinat lirabbiha wahuqqat
5. And has responded to its Lord and was obligated [to do so] –

Yaaa ayyuhal insaanu innaka kaadihun ilaa Rabbika kad han famulaaqeeh
6. O mankind, indeed you are laboring toward your Lord with [great] exertion and will meet it.

Fa ammaa man ootiya kitaabahoo biyameenih
7. Then as for he who is given his record in his right hand,

Fasawfa yuhasabu hisabanyaseera
8. He will be judged with an easy account

Wayanqalibu ila ahlihi masroora
9. And return to his people in happiness.

Waamma man ootiya kitabahu waraathahrih
10. But as for he who is given his record behind his back,

Fasawfa yadAAoo thuboora
11. In an elevated garden,

Wayasla saAAeera
12. And [enter to] burn in a Blaze.

Innahu kana fee ahlihi masroora
13. Indeed, he had [once] been among his people in happiness;

Innahoo zanna al lai yahoor
14. Indeed, he had thought he would never return [to Allah].

Balaaa inna Rabbahoo kaana bihee baseeraa
15. But yes! Indeed, his Lord was ever of him, Seeing.

Falaaa uqsimu bishshafaq
16. So I swear by the twilight glow

Wallaili wa maa wasaq
17. And [by] the night and what it envelops

Walqamari izat tasaq
18. And [by] the moon when it becomes full

Latarkabunna tabaqan AAan tabaq
19. [That] you will surely experience state after state.

Fama lahum la yu/minoon
20. So what is [the matter] with them [that] they do not believe,

Wa-itha quri-a AAalayhimu alqur-anula yasjudoon
21. And when the Qur’an is recited to them, they do not prostrate [to Allah]?

Bali allatheena kafaroo yukaththiboon
22. But those who have disbelieved deny,

Wallahu aAAlamu bimayooAAoon
23. And Allah is most knowing of what they keep within themselves.

Fabashshirhum biAAathabin aleem
24. So give them tidings of a painful punishment,

Illa allatheena amanoowaAAamiloo assalihati lahum ajrun ghayrumamnoon
25. Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds. For them is a reward uninterrupted.

Surah Inshiqaq Tafsir and Benefits

This Tafsir is given by popular muffasir Ibn Kathir. His work titled, Tafseer Al-Quran Al-Aẓeem. He analyzes each verse and relates back to hadith and other quran verses that would explain verse in detail.

Which was revealed in Makkah
The Prostration of Recitation in Surat Al-Inshiqaq

It is reported from Abu Salamah that while leading them in prayer, Abu Hurayrah recited, (When the heaven is split asunder.) and he prostrated during its recitation.

Then when he completed the prayer, he informed them that the Messenger of Allah prostrated during its recitation. This was recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa’i on the authority of Malik. Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Rafi` that he prayed the Night prayer with Abu Hurayrah) recited, (When the heaven is split asunder.) then he prostrated. So Abu Rafi` said something to him about it (questioning it).

Abu Hurayrah replied, “I prostrated behind Abul-Qasim (the Prophet ), and I will never cease prostrating during its recitation until I meet him.”

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

(1. When the heaven is split asunder,)
(2. And listens to and obeys its Lord – and it must do so.)
(3. And when the earth is stretched forth,) (4. And has cast out all that was in it and became empty.)
(5. And listens to and obeys its Lord — and it must do so.)
(6. O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions, a sure returning, and you will meet.)
(7. Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand,)
(8. He surely will receive an easy reckoning,)
(9. And will return to his family Masrur (in joy)!)
(10. But whosoever is given his Record behind his back,)
(11. He will invoke destruction,)
(12. And he shall enter a blazing Fire, and made to taste its burning.) (13. Verily, he was among his people in joy!)
(14. Verily, he thought that he would never return!)
(15. Yes! Verily, his Lord has been ever beholding him!)

Splitting the Heavens asunder and stretching the Earth forth on the Day of Resurrection

Allah says, (When the heaven is split asunder,) This refers to the Day of Judgement. (And listens to and obeys its Lord) meaning, it listens to its Lord and obeys His command to split apart.

This will occur on the Day of Judgement. (and it must do so.) meaning, it is right for it to obey the command of its Lord, because it is great and cannot be rejected, nor overcome. Rather it overpowers everything and everything is submissive to it.

Then Allah says, (And when the earth is stretched forth,) meaning, when the earth is expanded, spread out and extended. Then He says, (And has cast out all that was in it and became empty.) meaning, it throws out the dead inside of it, and it empties itself of them. This was said by Mujahid, Sa`id, and Qatadah. (And listens to and obeys its Lord, and it must do so.) The explanation of this is the same as what has preceded.

The Recompense for Deeds is True

Allah says, (O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions, a sure returning,) meaning, `verily you are hastening to your Lord and working deeds.’

(and you will meet.) Then you will meet that which you did of good or evil.’ A proof for this is what Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded from Jabir, that the Messenger of Allah said, (Jibril said, “O Muhammad! Live how you wish, for verily you will die; love what you wish, for verily you will part with it; and do what you wish, for verily you will meet it (your deed).)

There are some people who refer the pronoun back to the statement “your Lord.” Thus, they hold the Ayah to mean, “and you will meet your Lord.” This means that He will reward you for your work, and pay you for your efforts.

Therefore, both of these two views are connected. Al-`Awfi recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said explaining, (O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions, a sure returning,) “Whatever deed you do, you will meet Allah with it, whether it is good or bad.”

The Presentation and the Discussion that will take place during the Reckoning

Then Allah says, (Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand, he surely, will receive an easy reckoning,) (84:7-8) meaning, easy without any difficulty.

This means that he will not be investigated for all the minute details of his deeds. For verily, whoever is reckoned like that, he will certainly be destroyed. Imam Ahmad recorded from `A’ishah that the Messenger of Allah said, (Whoever is interrogated during the reckoning, then he will be punished.) `A’ishah then said, “But didn’t Allah say, (He surely will receive an easy reckoning,)”

The Prophet replied, (That is not during to the Reckoning, rather it is referring to the presentation. Whoever is interrogated during the Reckoning on the Day of Judgement, then he will be punished.)

This Hadith has also been recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Jarir. In reference to Allah’s statement, (And will return to his family Masrur!) This means that he will return to his family in Paradise. This was said by Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak.

They also said, “Masrur means happy and delighted by what Allah has given him.” Allah said; (But whosoever is given his Record behind his back,) meaning, he will be given his Book in his left hand, behind his back, while his hand is bent behind him. (He will invoke destruction,) meaning, loss and destruction. (And he shall enter a blazing Fire, and made to taste its burning. Verily, he was among his people in joy!) meaning, happy.

He did not think about the consequences, nor feared what (future) was in front of him. His light happiness will be followed by long grief. (Verily, he thought that he would never return!) meaning, he used to believe that he would not return to Allah, nor would Allah bring him back (to life) after his death.

This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and others. Allah then says, (Yes! Verily, his Lord has been ever beholding him!) meaning, certainly Allah will repeat his creation just as he began his creation, and He will reward him based upon his deeds, whether they were good or bad.

He was ever watchful of him, meaning All-Knowing and All-Aware.

Second Half Of Surah Inshiqaq

(16. But no! I swear by Ash-Shafaq;)
(17. And the night and what it Wasaqa,)
(18. And the moon when it Ittasaq.)
(19. You shall certainly travel from stage to stage.)
(20. What is the matter with them, that they believe not)
(21. And when the Qur’an is recited to them, they fall not prostrate.)
(22. Nay, those who disbelieve deny.)
(23. And Allah knows best what they gather,)
(24. So, announce to them a painful torment.)
(25. Save those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them is a reward that will never come to an end.)

Swearing by the Various Stages of Man’s Journey

It has been reported from `Ali, Ibn `Abbas, `Ubadah bin As-Samit, Abu Hurayrah, Shaddad bin Aws, Ibn `Umar, Muhammad bin `Ali bin Al-Husayn, Makhul, Bakr bin `Abdullah Al-Muzani, Bukayr bin Al-Ashaj, Malik, Ibn Abi Dhi’b, and `Abdul-`Aziz bin Abi Salamah Al-Majishun, they all said, “Ash-Shafaq is the redness (in the sky).`Abdur-Razzaq recorded from Abu Hurayrah that he said, “Ash-Shafaq is the whiteness.” So Ash-Shafaq is the redness of the horizon, either before sunset, as Mujahid said or after sunset, as is well known with the scholars of the Arabic Language.

Al-Khalil bin Ahmad said, “Ash-Shafaq is the redness that appears from the setting of sun until the time of the last `Isha’ (when it is completely dark). When that redness goes away, it is said, `Ash-Shafaq has disappeared.”’ Al-Jawhari said, “Ash-Shafaq is the remaining light of the sun and its redness at the beginning of the night until it is close to actual nighttime (darkness).”

Ikrimah made a similar statement when he said, “Ash-Shafaq is that what is between Al-Maghrib and Al-`Isha’.” In the Sahih of Muslim, it is recorded from `Abdullah bin `Amr that the Messenger of Allah said, (The time of Al-Maghrib is as long as Ash-Shafaq has not disappeared.)” In all of this, there is a proof that Ash-Shafaq is as Al-Jawhari and Al-Khalil have said. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Qatadah, all said that, (and what it Wasaqa) means “What it gathers.” Qatadah said, “The stars and animals it gathers.” `Ikrimah said, (And by the night and what it Wasaqa,) “What it drives into due to its darkness, because when it is nighttime everything goes to its home.”

Concerning Allah’s statement, (And by the moon when it Ittasaqa.) Ibn `Abbas said, “When it comes together and becomes complete.” Al-Hasan said, “When it comes together and becomes full.” Qatadah said, “When it completes its cycle.”

These statements refer to its light when it is completed and becomes full, as the idea was initiated with “The night and what it gathers.” Allah said, (You shall certainly travel from stage to stage.) Al-Bukhari recorded from Mujahid that Ibn `Abbas said, (You shall certainly travel from stage to stage.) “Stage after stage. Your Prophet has said this.”

Al-Bukhari recorded this statement with this wording. `Ikrimah said, (From stage to stage.) “Stage after stage. Weaned after he was breast feeding, and an old man after he was a young man.”

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, (From stage to stage.) Stage after stage. Ease after difficulty, difficulty after ease, wealth after poverty, poverty after wealth, health after sickness, and sickness after health.”

The Disapproval of Their Lack of Faith, giving Them Tidings of the Torment, and that the Ultimate Pleasure will be for the Believers

Allah said, (What is the matter with them, that they believe not And when the Qur’an is recited to them, they fall not prostrate.) meaning, what prevents them from believing in Allah, His Messenger and the Last Day, and what is wrong with them that when Allah’s Ayat and His Words are recited to them they do not prostrate due to awe, respect and reverence

Concerning Allah’s statement, (Nay, those who disbelieve deny.) meaning, from their mannerism is rejection, obstinacy, and opposition to the truth. (And Allah knows best what they gather,) Mujahid and Qatadah both said, “What they conceal in their chests.” (So, announce to them a painful torment.) meaning, `inform them, O Muhammad, that Allah has prepared for them a painful torment.’

Then Allah says, (Save those who believe and do righteous good deeds,) This is a clear exception meaning, `but those who believe.’ This refers to those who believe in their hearts.

Then the statement, “and do righteous good deeds,” is referring to that which they do with their limbs. (for them is a reward) meaning, in the abode of the Hereafter. (that will never come to an end.) Ibn `Abbas said, “Without being decreased.” Mujahid and Ad-Dahhak both said, “Without measure.”

The result of their statements is that it (the reward) is without end. This is as Allah says, (A gift without an end.) (11:108) As-Suddi said, “Some of them have said that this means without end and without decrease.”

***

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Inshiqaq. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and He is the giver of success and freedom from error.