Surah Mursalat (Arabic Text: سورة المرسلات) is the 77th Surah of the Quran. It is classified as a Meccan Surah meaning it’s revelation was before the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) migrated from Mecca to Medina. In English it is titled as “The Emissaries” or “Winds Sent Forth” and is composed of a total of 50 ayat (verses).
The theme of this Surah is to affirm the Resurrection and afterlife and to warn people of the consequences of their choices. They are given free will and choice and to either accept or deny these truths.
“Indeed, the righteous will be among shades and springs And fruits from whatever they desire, [Being told], ‘Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you used to do.’ Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.”
Surah Mursalat Ayat 41-44
Read Surah Mursalat with Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
1. By those [winds] sent forth in gusts
2. And the winds that blow violently
3. And [by] the winds that spread [clouds]
4. And those [angels] who bring criterion
5. And those [angels] who deliver a message
عُذْرًا أَوْ نُذْرًا
‘Uzran aw nuzraa
6. As justification or warning,
إِنَّمَا تُوعَدُونَ لَوَاقِعٌ
Innamaa too’adoona lawaaqi’
7. Indeed, what you are promised is to occur.
فَإِذَا النُّجُومُ طُمِسَتْ
Fa izam nujoomu tumisat
8. So when the stars are obliterated
وَإِذَا السَّمَاءُ فُرِجَتْ
Wa izas samaaa’u furijat
9. And when the heaven is opened
وَإِذَا الْجِبَالُ نُسِفَتْ
Wa izal jibaalu nusifat
10. And when the mountains are blown away
وَإِذَا الرُّسُلُ أُقِّتَتْ
Wa izar Rusulu uqqitat
11. And when the messengers’ time has come…
لِأَيِّ يَوْمٍ أُجِّلَتْ
Li ayyi yawmin ujjilat
12. For what Day was it postponed?
Li yawmil Fasl
13. For the Day of Judgement.
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الْفَصْلِ
Wa maaa adraaka maa yawmul fasl
14. And what can make you know what is the Day of Judgement?
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailuny yawma ‘izillilmukazzibeen
15. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
أَلَمْ نُهْلِكِ الْأَوَّلِينَ
Alam nuhlikil awwaleen
16. Did We not destroy the former peoples?
ثُمَّ نُتْبِعُهُمُ الْآخِرِينَ
Summa nutbi’uhumul aakhireen
17. Then We will follow them with the later ones.
كَذَٰلِكَ نَفْعَلُ بِالْمُجْرِمِينَ
Kazzalika naf’alu bilmujrimeen
18. Thus do We deal with the criminals.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailunw yawma ‘izil lil mukazzibeen
19. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
أَلَمْ نَخْلُقكُّم مِّن مَّاءٍ مَّهِينٍ
Alam nakhlukkum mimmaaa’im maheen
20. Did We not create you from a liquid disdained?
فَجَعَلْنَاهُ فِي قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ
Faja’alnaahu fee qaraarim makeen
21. And We placed it in a firm lodging
إِلَىٰ قَدَرٍ مَّعْلُومٍ
Illaa qadrim ma’loom
22. For a known extent.
فَقَدَرْنَا فَنِعْمَ الْقَادِرُونَ
Faqadarnaa fani’mal qaadiroon
23. And We determined [it], and excellent [are We] to determine.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailuny yawma ‘izil lilmukazzibeen
24. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الْأَرْضَ كِفَاتًا
Alam naj’alil arda kifaataa
25. Have We not made the earth a container
Ahyaaa’anw wa amwaataa
26. Of the living and the dead?
وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ شَامِخَاتٍ وَأَسْقَيْنَاكُم مَّاءً فُرَاتًا
Wa ja’alnaa feehaa rawaasiya shaamikhaatinw wa asqainaakum maaa’an furaataa
27. And We placed therein lofty, firmly set mountains and have given you to drink sweet water.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailuny yawma ‘izil lilmukazzibeen
28. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
انطَلِقُوا إِلَىٰ مَا كُنتُم بِهِ تُكَذِّبُونَ
Intaliqooo ilaa maa kuntum bihee tukazziboon
29. [They will be told], “Proceed to that which you used to deny.
انطَلِقُوا إِلَىٰ ظِلٍّ ذِي ثَلَاثِ شُعَبٍ
Intaliqooo ilaa zillin zee salaasi shu’ab
30. Proceed to a shadow [of smoke] having three columns
لَّا ظَلِيلٍ وَلَا يُغْنِي مِنَ اللَّهَبِ
Laa zaleelinw wa laa yughnee minal lahab
31. [But having] no cool shade and availing not against the flame.”
إِنَّهَا تَرْمِي بِشَرَرٍ كَالْقَصْرِ
Innahaa tarmee bishararin kalqasr
32. Indeed, it throws sparks [as huge] as a fortress,
كَأَنَّهُ جِمَالَتٌ صُفْرٌ
Ka annahoo jimaalatun sufr
33. As if they were yellowish [black] camels.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailuny yawma ‘izil lilmukazibeen
34. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
هَـٰذَا يَوْمُ لَا يَنطِقُونَ
Haazaa yawmu laa uantiqoon
35. This is a Day they will not speak,
وَلَا يُؤْذَنُ لَهُمْ فَيَعْتَذِرُونَ
Wa laa yu’zanu lahum fa ya’taziroon
36. Nor will it be permitted for them to make an excuse.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailunw yawma ‘izil lilmukazzibeen
37. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
هَـٰذَا يَوْمُ الْفَصْلِ ۖ جَمَعْنَاكُمْ وَالْأَوَّلِينَ
Haaza yawmul fasli jama ‘naakum wal awwaleen
38. This is the Day of Judgement; We will have assembled you and the former peoples.
فَإِن كَانَ لَكُمْ كَيْدٌ فَكِيدُونِ
Fa in kaana lakum kaidun fakeedoon
39. So if you have a plan, then plan against Me.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailuny yawma’izil lilmukazzibeen
40. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي ظِلَالٍ وَعُيُونٍ
Innal muttaqeena fee zilaalinw wa ‘uyoon
41. Indeed, the righteous will be among shades and springs
وَفَوَاكِهَ مِمَّا يَشْتَهُونَ
Wa fawaakiha mimmaa yashtahoon
42. And fruits from whatever they desire,
كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئًا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
Kuloo washraboo haneee ‘am bimaa kuntum ta’maloom
43. [Being told], “Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you used to do.”
إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
Innaa kazaalika najzil muhsineen
44. Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailuny yawma ‘izil lilmuzkazzibeen
45. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
كُلُوا وَتَمَتَّعُوا قَلِيلًا إِنَّكُم مُّجْرِمُونَ
Kuloo wa tamatta’oo qaleelan innakum mujrimoon
46. [O disbelievers], eat and enjoy yourselves a little; indeed, you are criminals.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailunny yawma ‘izil lilmukazzibeen
47. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ ارْكَعُوا لَا يَرْكَعُونَ
Wa izaa qeela lahumur ka’oo aa yarka’oon
48. And when it is said to them, “Bow [in prayer],” they do not bow.
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ
Wailunny yawma ‘izil lilmukazzibeen
49. Woe, that Day, to the deniers.
فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَهُ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Fabi ayyi hadeesim ba’dahoo yu’minoon (End Juz 29)
50. Then in what statement after the Qur’an will they believe?
surah mursalat tafseer
Here you can read different tafseer of Surah Mursalat including the tafsir by Ibn Kathir.
In Hadith of Sunan Ibn Majah number 3779, it tells us those who read the Quran with difficulty would receive twice the reward just because of their effort in wanting to read the book of Allah. But one thing we should not forget is the purpose Allah sent down the Qur’an. It was to provide a clear evidence to Islam and a guidance on how to live your life if you want to be successful. It has timeless stories and teachings which is why we should not only read the Quran but make it a study.
This is done best by either listening to lectures or reading the tafseer. We believe the tafseer provides a more thought out structured format then a talk, it can be more contextual and provide you with further reading with connections to other Surah. For Surah Mursalat we’ve included three different tafseer for you to learn from.
Tafsir of Surah Mursalat by Ibn Kathir
Al-Bukhari recorded from `Abdullah – that is Ibn Mas`ud — that he said, “While we were with the Messenger of Allah in a cave at Mina,
(By the Mursalat.) was revealed to him. He was reciting it and I was learning it from his mouth. Verily, his mouth was moist with it when a snake leaped out at us. The Prophet said,
(Kill it!) So we quickly went after it, but it got away. Then the Prophet said,
(It was saved from your harm just as you all were saved from its harm.)” Muslim also recorded this Hadith by way of Al-A`mash. Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn `Abbas, who reported from his mother that she heard the Prophet reciting
(By the Mursalat.) in the Maghrib prayer. In a report from Malik on the authority of Ibn `Abbas, he narrated that Umm Al-Fadl (his mother) heard him (Ibn `Abbas) reciting
(By the Mursalat `Urfa.) (77:1) so she said, “O my son! You reminded me with your recitation of this Surat. Verily, it is the last thing I heard from the Messenger of Allah . He recited it in the Maghrib prayer (i.e., before he died).” Both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this report in the Two Sahihs by way of Malik.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said,
(By the Mursalat `Urfa.) “The angels.” From Masruq, Abu Ad-Duha, Mujahid in one narrations from him, As-Suddi and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, statements similar to this have been reported. It has been reported from Abu Salih that he said, “These are the Messenger.” In another narration from him (Abu Salih) he said that it means the angels. Abu Salih has also said the meaning of Al-`Asifat, An-Nashirat, Al-Fariqat and Al-Mulqiyat, that they all refer to the angels. Ath-Thawri narrated from Salamah bin Kuhayl, who reported from Muslim Al-Batin, who reported from Abu Al-`Ubaydayn that he asked Ibn Mas`ud about the meaning of Al-Mursalat `Urfa, and he (Ibn Mas`ud) said, “The wind.” He said the same about Al-`Asifat `Asfa and An-Nashirat Nashra, that they all refer to the wind. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah all said the same. Ibn Jarir confidently affirmed that Al-`Asifat `Asfa means the wind just as Ibn Mas`ud and those who followed him said.However, he (Ibn Jarir) did not affirm whether An-Nashirat Nashra are the angels or the wind as has preceded. It has been reported from Abu Salih that An-Nashirat Nashra is the rain. The most obvious meaning is as Allah says,
(And we send the winds fertilizing.) (15:22) He also says,
(And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy (rain).) (7:57) Similarly, Al-`Asifat are winds. It is said (in Arabic) that the winds `Asifat when they make noise with their blowing. Likewise, An-Nashirat are the winds that scatter into clouds in the horizons of the sky according to the will of the Lord. Allah then says,
(The Fariqat that separate, the Mulqiyat that remind, excusing or warning.) meaning, the angels. This was said by Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Masruq, Mujahid, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, As-Suddi and Ath-Thawri. There is no difference of opinion here, because they (the angels) are the ones who descend with Allah’s command to the Messengers, separating between the truth and falsehood, guidance and misguidance, and the lawful and the forbidden. They bring the revelation to the Messengers, which contains exemption or absolvement for the creatures and a warning for them of Allah’s torment if they oppose His command. Allah said,
(Surely, what you are promised will occur.) This is the subject of these oaths. This means, what you all have been promised concerning the establishment of the Hour (Judgement Day), the blowing of the horn, the resurrection of the bodies, the gathering of those of old and those of latter times on one common ground and the rewarding of every doer of a deed based upon his deed. If he did good, then his reward will be good, and if he did evil, then his reward will be evil. All of this will occur, meaning it will come to pass and there is no avoiding it.
Then Allah says,
(Then when the stars lose their lights.) meaning, their light will leave. This is similar to Allah’s statement,
(And when the star fall.) (81:2) It is also similar to His statement,
(And when the stars have fallen and scattered.) (82:2) Then Allah says,
(And when Furijat the heaven.) meaning, it is cleft asunder, becomes split, its sides fall and its edges become weak.
(And when the mountains are blown away.) meaning, they will be removed and no sight or trace of them will remain. This is as Allah says,
(And they ask you concerning the mountains: Say, “My Lord will blast them and scatter them as particles of dust.”) (20:105) Allah also says,
(And (remember) the Day We shall cause the mountains to pass away (like clouds of dust), and you will see the earth as a leveled plain, and we shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind.) (18:47) Then He says,
(And when the Messengers are Uqqitat.) Al-`Awfi narrated from Ibn `Abbas that he said that Uqqitat means “Gathered.” Ibn Zayd said, “This is similar to Allah’s statement,
(On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together.) Mujahid said,
(Uqqitat.) “This means postponed.” Ath-Thawri narrated from Mansur, who narrated from Ibrahim that he said concerning the word,
(Uqqitat.) “This means promised.” It seems as though he holds this to be similar to Allah’s statement,
(And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord: and the Book will be produced; and the Prophets and the witnesses will be brought forward; and it will be judged between them with truth, and they will not be wronged.) (39:69) Then Allah says,
(For what Day are these signs postponed For the Day of Sorting Out. And what will explain to you what is the Day of Sorting Out Woe that Day to the deniers!) Allah is saying, `for which day are the Messengers postponed and their matter expected, so that the Hour will be established’ This is as Allah says,
(So think not that Allah will fail to keep His promise to His Messengers. Certainly, Allah is Almighty, All-Able of Retribution. On the Day when the earth will be changed to another earth and so will be the heavens, and they will appear before Allah, the One, the Irresistible.) (14:47, 48) This is the Day of Sorting Out, as Allah says,
(the Day of Sorting Out.) Then Allah says, in magnifying its matter,
(And what will explain to you what is the Day of Sorting Out Woe that Day to the deniers.) meaning, woe unto them from Allah’s torment that is coming in the future.
(Did We not destroy the ancients) meaning, those who rejected the Messengers and opposed what they came to them with.
(So shall We make later generations to follow them.) meaning, from those who are similar to them. Thus, Allah says,
(Thus do We deal with the criminals. Woe that Day to the deniers!) Ibn Jarir said this. Then Allah reminding His creatures of His favor, and using the beginning of creation to support the idea of repeating it, He says:
(Did We not create you from a despised water) meaning, weak and despised in comparison to the power of the Creator. This is similar to what has been reported in the Hadith of Busr bin Jahhash (that Allah says),
(“(O) Son of Adam ! How can you think that I am unable, and yet I created you from something like this (i.e., semen)”)
(Then We placed it in a place of safety,) meaning, `We gathered him in the womb, where the fluid of the man and the woman settles. The womb has been prepared for this, as a protector of the fluid deposited in it. Allah said:
(For a known period) meaning, for a fixed period of time, which is from six months to nine months. Thus, Allah says,
(So We did measure; and We are the best to measure. Woe that Day to the deniers!) Then Allah says,
(Have We not made the earth Kifat for the living and the dead) Ibn `Abbas said, “Kifat means a place of shelter.” Mujahid said, “It holds the dead so that nothing is seen of it.” Ash-Sha`bi said, “Its interior is for your dead and its surface is for your living.” Mujahid and Qatadah also said this.
(And have placed therein fixed towers,) meaning, the mountains. The earth is held in place with them so that it does not shake and sway.
(and have given you Furat water) meaning, cold and delicious water from the clouds or from what He causes to gush forth from the springs of the earth.
(Woe that Day to the deniers!) meaning, woe to whoever reflects upon these created things which demonstrate the greatness of their Creator, then after that continues to reject Him and disbelieve in Him.
Allah informs about the disbelievers who deny the final abode, the recompense, Paradise, and the Hellfire. On the Day of Judgement it will be said to them:
(Depart you to that which you used to deny! Depart you to a shadow in three columns,) meaning, a flame of fire when it rises and ascends with smoke. So due to its severity and strength, it will have three columns.
(Neither shady nor of any use against the fierce flame of the Fire.) meaning, shade of the smoke that comes from the flame — which itself will not have a shade, nor will it benefit against the flame. This means it will not protect them from the heat of the flame. Allah said,
(Verily, it throws sparks as Al-Qasr,) meaning, its sparks will shoot out from its flame like huge castles. Ibn Mas`ud said, “Like forts.” Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and Malik who reported from Zayd bin Aslam and others said, “This means the trunk of trees.”
(As if they were Sufr camels.) means, black camels. This is the view of Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, and Ad-Dahhak, and Ibn Jarir favored this view. Ibn `Abbas Mujahid, and Sa`id bin Jubayr said about,
(Sufr camels.) “Meaning ropes of ships.”
(Verily, it (Hell) throws sparks as Al-Qasr.) Imam Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said: “We were directed to the timber a length of three cubits or more in order to use it for construction of buildings. We used to call it Al-Qasr.
(As if they were Sufr camels.) These (Jimalat) are ropes of ships that are bundled until they resemble the intestines of men.”
(Woe that Day to the deniers!)
Then Allah says,
(That will be a Day when they shall not speak,) meaning, they will not speak.
(And they will not be permitted to put forth any excuse.) meaning, they will not be able to speak, nor will they be granted permission to speak so that they can make excuses. Rather, the proof will be established against them, and they will be called upon to speak about the wrong that they did, but they will not be able to say anything. The courts of the Day of Judgement will occur in stages. Sometimes the Lord informs of this stage and sometimes He informs of that stage. This is to show the terrors and calamities of that Day. Thus, after all the details of this discussion, He says:
(Woe that Day to the deniers!) Then Allah says,
(That will be a Day of Decision! We have brought you and the men of old together! So if you have a plot, use it against Me!) This is an address from the Creator to His servants. He says to them,
(That will be a Day of Decision! We have brought you and the men of old together!) meaning, He will gather all of them by His power on one common plane, He will make them hear the caller and He will cause them to see. Then He says,
(So, if you have a plot, use it against Me!) This is a serious threat and a harsh warning. It means, `if you are able to save yourselves from being seized by Me, and rescue yourselves from My ruling, then do so. But you are certainly not able to do so.’ This is as Allah says,
(O assembly of Jinn and men! If you have power to pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, then pass beyond (them)! But you will never be able to pass them, except with authority (from Allah)!) (55:33) Allah also says,
(And you will not harm Him in the least.) (11:57) It is narrated in a Hadith (that Allah said),
(“O My servants! You all can never attain My benefit and thereby benefit Me, and you all can never attain My harm and thereby harm Me.”)
** (Woe that Day to the deniers!) **
(41. Verily, those who had Taqwa, shall be amidst shades and springs.) (42. And fruits, such as they desire.) (43. “Eat and drink comfortably for that which you used to do.”) (44. Verily, thus We reward the Muhsinin.) (45. Woe that Day to the deniers!) (46. Eat and enjoy yourselves for a little while. Verily, you are criminals.) (47. Woe that Day to the deniers!) (48. And when it is said to them: “Bow down yourself!” They bow not down.) (49. Woe that Day to the deniers!)(50. Then in what statement after this will they believe)
Allah informs that His servants who have Taqwa and worship Him by performing the obligations and abandoning the forbidden things, will be in gardens and springs on the Day of Judgement. This means they will be in the opposite condition of the wretched people, who will be in shades of Al-Yahmum, which is purtrid, black smoke. Allah says,
(And fruits, such as they desire.) meaning, and from other types of fruits, they will have whatever they request.
(Eat and drink comfortably for that which you used to do.) meaning, this will be said to them out of kindness for them. Reestablishing what He has previously mentioned, Allah says;
(Verily, thus We reward the Muhsinin.) meaning, `this is Our reward for whoever does good deeds.’
(Woe that Day to the deniers!)
(Eat and enjoy yourselves for a little while. Verily, you are criminals.) This is an address to the deniers of the Day of Judgement. It is commanding them with a command of threat and intimidation. Allah says, s
(Eat and enjoy yourselves for a little while.) meaning, for a period of time that is short, small and brief.
(Verily, you are criminals.) meaning, then you all will be driven to the fire of Hell which has already been mentioned.
(Woe that Day to the deniers!) This is similar to Allah’s statement,
(We let them enjoy for a little while, then in the end We shall oblige them to a great torment.) (31:24) Allah also says,
(Verily, those who invent a lie against Allah, will never be successsful. (A brief) enjoyment in this world! And then unto Us will be their return, then We shall make them taste the severest torment because they used to disbelieve.) (10:69,70) Then Allah says,
(And when it is said to them: “Bow down yourself!” They bow not down.) meaning, when these ignorant disbelievers are ordered to pray with the congregation (of believers), they refuse and turn away from it arrogantly. Thus, Allah says,
(Woe that Day to the deniers!) Then Allah says,
(Then in what statement after this will they believe) meaning, if they do not believe in this Qur’an, then what talk will they believe in This is as Allah says,
(Then in which speech after Allah and His Ayat will they believe) (45: 6)
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Mursalat, and all praise and thanks are due to Allah. He is the Giver of success and security.
[77:1] (I swear) by those (winds) that are sent one after the other,
Occasion of Revelation
Sahih of Bukhari records from Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud that he said: “While we were with Allah’s Messenger in a cave at Mina, the Surah ‘wal-Mursalat’ was revealed to him. He was reciting it, and I was learning it from his mouth. Verily, his mouth was moist with it, when a snake leaped out at us. The Holy Prophet said, ‘Kill it!’ So we quickly went after it, but it got away. Then the Holy Prophet said, ‘It was saved from your harm, just as you all were saved from its harm’.” [ Ibn Kathir ].
Allah swears oaths in this Surah by various phenomena to assert that the Resurrection will certainly take place. The names of the phenomena are not mentioned in the Qur’an, but their five attributes are given in the following manner (The translation is given below without explanatory brackets for a better understanding of the point):
[ 1] (I swear) by those that are sent one after the other, (77:1)
[ 2] and by those that blow violently, (77:2)
[ 3] and by those that spread all over, (77:3)
[ 4] and by those who differentiate (between right and wrong) distinctly, (77:4)
[ 5] then bring down the advice, (77:5)
There is no traceable Hadith that gives the exact interpretation of the phenomena described. Therefore, the interpretation assigned to them by the Companions and their pupils differ. Some scholars say that all five attributes refer to angels. Others say that possibly different groups of angels are bearers of the attributes. Yet other scholars say that they refer to various types of winds. Some authorities on Tafsir say that they refer to Allah’s Prophets and Messengers. Ibn Jarir Tabari says that, in this matter, it is safer to observe silence. He says that both possibilities exist, but he prefers not to side with any particular interpretation. There is no doubt about the fact that some of the attributes are more appropriately applicable to the angels of Allah, and cannot fit the winds without unusual stretch of imagination, and others are more appropriately applicable to winds, and cannot apply to angels without a fanciful stretch of imagination. Therefore, Ibn Kathir’s approach seems to be the best. He says that in the first three verses of this Surah, Allah swears oaths by various types of winds. In verses [ 4] and [ 5], Allah swears oaths by the angels.
If verses [ 4] and [ 5] are applied to the winds, then the imagination will have to be stretched far to interpret them . Likewise, if the first three verses [ mursalat, ` Asifat and nashirat ] are applied to the angels, they have no choice but to assign far-fetched interpretation. According to Ibn Kathir, the verses signify ‘ (I swear) by those (winds) that are sent one after the other’. The word ` urfan could signify ‘beneficial and useful’. The winds that bring rain are obviously beneficial and useful. Another meaning of the word ` urfan is ‘one after another’. In this interpretation, the verse signifies ‘those winds that bring rain and clouds consecutively’. The word ` asifat is derived from ` asf that literally means ‘winds that blow violently or vehemently’. This refers to fiercely blowing winds that sometimes do occur in the world. The word nashirat refers to ‘winds that spread (clouds) all over after the rain is over’. The word fariqat is the attribute of the angels ‘who differentiate (between right and wrong) distinctly by bringing down the Divine revelation’. The phrase fal-mulqiyati dhikran also refers to the ‘angels’. The word dhikr ‘Reminder’ refers to the Qur’an or revelation in general. The verse signifies ‘I swear by angels who [ by bringing down revelation ] separate between truth and falsehood, right and wrong, [ and the lawful and the forbidden ] ‘. Likewise, I swear by angels who bring down revelation or Qur’an to the Holy Prophet t. This interpretation is plain and simple, and does not require any undue stretch of imagination.
In this interpretation, the question arises as to the contextual relationship between swearing oaths by various types of winds and the angels. First of all, it is not possible to fathom the Wisdom of Divine speech. However, it is possible to hypothesise. Allah swears oaths by useful winds and harmful winds. Winds that bring rain and clouds are useful, while those that blow fiercely and cause destruction are harmful. These belong to the perceptible world. All human beings can observe them. The perceptible things are mentioned first for reflection. The imperceptible world is mentioned later, such as the angels and revelation. If man reflects carefully on them, he will develop certainty of belief in them as well.
[77:2] and by those that blow violently,
[77:3] and by those that spread (clouds) all over,
[77:4] and by those (angels) who differentiate (between right and wrong) distinctly,
[77:5] then bring down the advice,
[77:6] providing excuses (for the believers) or giving warnings (to the disbelievers),
عُذْرًا أَوْ نُذْرًا ( to provide excuses [ for the believers ] or giving warnings (to disbelievers…77:6) This phrase is complement to verse [ 5]: فَالْمُلْقِيَاتِ ذِكْرًا then bring down the advice, [ 77:5] The ‘advice’ refers to the ‘revelation’ that came down upon the Prophets. Verse 6 says that it serves two purposes. In the case of the people of truth and believers, it persuades them to seek excuse from Allah for their shortcomings, and pray for forgiveness; and in the case of the people of falsehood and disbelievers, it contains a warning for them of Allah’s torment, if they oppose His command.
[77:7] that which you are promised is sure to happen.
إِنَّمَا تُوعَدُونَ لَوَاقِعٌ ( …that which you are promised is sure to happen…77:7)
This is the subject of these oaths. It means that the Day of Judgment, Reckoning, and Reward and Punishment that is promised by the Prophets (علیہم السلام) has certainly to be fulfilled. Allah then describes some of the events that will occur on the Day of Judgment. The stars will be extinguished, which could mean that they will be completely destroyed, or they will exist, but their lights will be lost. In this way the entire world will be plunged in absolute darkness. The second event to occur is the splitting of the sky. The third event to occur is that the mountains will be blown away as dust. The fourth event is described in the following verse:
[77:8] So, when the stars will be extinguished,
[77:9] and when the sky will be split,
[77:10] and when the mountains will be blown away as dust,
[77:11] and when the messengers will be assembled at the appointed time, (then all matters will be decided.)
وَإِذَا الرُّسُلُ أُقِّتَتْ (and when the messengers will be assembled at the appointed time, [ then all matters will be decided.] [ 77:11] ‘ The word uqqitat is derived from tauqit which primarily means ‘appointment of time’. According to Zamakhshari, it signifies ‘to arrive at an appointed time’ [ as cited in Ruh ]. In this context, the second meaning appears to be more appropriate. The verse signifies that the appointed time for the Prophets and Messengers to assemble with their communities will arrive, so that all matters concerning them may be decided. The verses further describe the Day of Judgment as the great and horrible day and the Day of Decision. It shall be the day of destruction for the deniers and rejecters, thus:
[77:12] (Do you know) for which day has all this been delayed?
[77:13] For the Day of Decision!
[77:14] And what may let you know what the Day of Decision is?
[77:15] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ (Woe, that Day, to the deniers!…77:15) The word wail means ‘destruction’. According to certain Hadith narratives, the word wail is a ‘valley of Hell where the pus of the wounds of the inmates of Hell will be collected. This is the place where the deniers will live. After this, the present-day people are asked to learn a lesson from [ the destruction ] of the former generations, thus:
[77:16] Did We not destroy the earlier people?
أَلَمْ نُهْلِكِ الْأَوَّلِينَ (Did We not destroy the earlier people?…77:16) It refers to the nations of ` Ad, Thamud, nation of Lut (علیہ السلام) and Fir’aun (The Pharaoh) who were destroyed because of their obstinacy.
[77:17] Then We will cause the later ones to follow them.
ثُمَّ نُتْبِعُهُمُ الْآخِرِينَ (Then We will cause the later ones to follow them….77:17) According to popular reading, Verse 17 purports to say that the present-day infidels, the people of Makkah, will receive punishment soon. They were punished and destroyed by Muslims in the Battle of Badr and so on. The difference between the punishment of former nations and the community of the Holy Prophet ﷺ is as follows: The former nations used to be destroyed by celestial punishment with all their habitations. The infidels in the community of the Holy Prophet ﷺ do not receive celestial punishment, because of the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ special honour. They are punished by the weapons of Muslims. Furthermore, the destruction is not general. Only the obdurate criminal leaders are destroyed.
[77:18] Thus We deal with the guilty ones.
[77:19] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
[77:20] Did We not create you from a worthless fluid?
[77:21] Then We put it in a firm place of rest
[77:22] for a known period.
[77:23] Thus, We did (all this with perfect) measure; so We are the best to measure.
[77:24] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
[77:25] Did We not make the earth a container that collects
أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الْأَرْضَ كِفَاتًا أَحْيَاءً وَأَمْوَاتًا (Did We not make the earth a container that collects the living and the dead?….25, 26) The word kit is derived from kaft. It means ‘to gather things together’. Thus kit is a thing that embodies many things within itself. Earth is created by Allah in a fashion that humans when alive, remain on its back, and when dead, in its belly.
[77:26] the living and the dead?
[77:27] And We placed towering mountains therein, and provided you with sweet water to drink.
[77:28] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
[77:29] (It will be said to them that day,) “Push on to what you used to deny.
[77:30] Push on to a canopy (of Hell’s smoke) having three branches,
[77:31] that neither has a comfortable shade, nor is it of any use against the scorching heat.
[77:32] It emits sparks (as huge) as castles,
إِنَّهَا تَرْمِي بِشَرَرٍ كَالْقَصْرِ كَأَنَّهُ جِمَالَتٌ صُفْرٌ (It emits sparks [ as huge ] as castles…77:32) The word gasr means a ‘huge, magnificent castle’. The word jimalah is used in the sense of jamal, and means ‘camel’. The word sufr is the plural of asfar which means ‘yellow’. The verse describes the fire of Hell. It will emit such huge sparks of fire, as if they were huge and magnificent castles. Then they will break up into little splinters, as if they were yellowish camels. Some scholars have translated the word ‘sufr’ as ‘black’ because yellowish colour of camels tends to blackness. [ Ruh ].
[77:33] as if they were yellowish camels.
[77:34] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
[77:35] This is a day when they will not speak,
هَـٰذَا يَوْمُ لَا يَنطِقُونَ وَلَا يُؤْذَنُ لَهُمْ فَيَعْتَذِرُونَ (This is a day when they will not speak, nor will they be allowed to offer excuses….77:35, 36) In other words, this is the Day in which they will not be able to talk, nor will they be permitted to offer pleas for their misdeeds. However, other verses of the Qur’an inform us that they will speak and will be permitted to offer excuses. There is no discrepancy between the two verses, because there will be various stages on the Plain of Gathering (Mahshar) through which people will have to pass. Sometimes they will pass through a stage where it would be forbidden for them to speak or offer excuses; and at another stage they will be permitted. [ Ruh ].
[77:36] nor will they be allowed to offer excuses.
[77:37] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
[77:38] (It will be said to them,) “This is the Day of Decision. We have assembled you and the earlier ones together.
[77:39] Now, if you have a trick, use the trick against Me.”
[77:40] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
[77:41] Of course, the God-fearing will be amid shades and streams,
[77:42] and fruits of their desire.
[77:43] It will be said to them, “Eat and drink with pleasure because of what you used to do.”
[77:44] It will be said to them, “Eat and drink with pleasure because of what you used to do.”
[77:45] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
[77:46] ” (0 disbelievers,) eat and drink for a while! You are guilty ones.”
كُلُوا وَتَمَتَّعُوا قَلِيلًا إِنَّكُم مُّجْرِمُونَ (“Eat and drink for a while! You are guilty ones…77:46) This verse addresses the infidels through the Holy Prophet ﷺ . They may eat and drink and enjoy themselves in this world, but the span is short, and then there will be nothing but punishment for them. [ Abu Hayyan ].
[77:47] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
[77:48] And when it is said to them, “Bow down (i.e. submit to Allah’s commands’ ) “, they do not bow down.
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ ارْكَعُوا لَا يَرْكَعُونَ (And when it is said to them, “Bow down”, they do not bow down…77:48) According to most commentators, the word ruku’ is used here in its primitive sense ‘to bow down and submit’. The verse signifies that when they were told to submit to the Divine commands, they refused to comply. Some scholars take the word ruku` in its technical sense and interpret the verse to signify ‘when they are called to prayer, they refused to pray.’ The ruku` is a part of the prayer, but it refers here to the whole prayer. [ Ruh ]
[77:49] Woe, that Day, to the deniers!
[77:50] Now, in which discourse, after this, will they believe?
فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَهُ يُؤْمِنُونَ (Now, in which discourse, after this, will they believe? …77:50) The Holy Qur’an is the last Book of Allah which explains its message and wisdom most lucidly, excellently, eloquently, elegantly, and its arguments most convincingly. Its style is extremely effective and the admonition soul-capturing. If they do not believe in such a Book, then for which word are they waiting? This is to express disappointment in them. A Hadith narrative instructs that when one recites this verse, he should say ‘I believe in Allah’. This statement must be made outside the prayer, or in voluntary prayer. He must abstain from this statement in obligatory and Sunnah prayer. Hadith narratives are clear on this point. And Allah knows best!
The Commentary on
Tafseer by Abul A’la Maududi
77. Surah Al Mursalat (The Winds Which Are Sent)
The Surah takes its name from the word wal-mursalat in the first verse.
Period of Revelation
Its subject matter bears full evidence that it was revealed in the earliest period at Makkah. If this Surah is read together with the two Surahs preceding it, namely Al-Qiyamah and Ad-Dahr, and the two Surahs following it, namely An-Naba and An-Naziat, it becomes obvious that all these Surahs are the Revelations of the same period, and they deal with one and the same theme, which has been impressed on the people of Makkah in different ways.
Theme and Subject Matter
Its theme is to affirm the Resurrection and Hereafter and to warn the people of the consequences which will ultimately follow the denial and the affirmation of these truths.
In the first seven verses, the system of winds has been presented as an evidence of the truth that the Resurrection which is being foretold by the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings) must come to pass. The reasoning is that the power of All-Mighty Allah Who established this wonderful system on the earth, cannot be helpless in bringing about the Resurrection, and the express wisdom which underlies this system bears full evidence that the Hereafter must appear, for no act of an All-Wise Creator can be vain and purposeless, and if there was no Hereafter, it would mean that the whole of one’s life was useless and absurd.
The people of Makkah repeatedly asked, “Bring about the Resurrection with which you threaten us; only then shall we believe in it.”In vv. 8-l5, their demand has been answered, saying:”Resurrection is no sport or fun so that whenever a jester should ask for it, it should be brought forth immediately. It is indeed the Day of Judgment to settle the account of all mankind and of all its individuals. For it Allah has fixed a specific time it will take place at its own time, and when it takes place with all its dreads and horrors, it will confound those who are demanding it for fun today. Then their cases will be decided only on the evidence of those Messengers whom these deniers of the truth are repudiating with impunity. Then they will themselves realize how they themselves are responsible for their dooms
In vv. 16-28 arguments have been given continuously for the occurrence and necessity of the Resurrection and Hereafter. In these it has been stated that man’s own history, his own birth, and the structure of the earth on which he lives, bear the testimony that the coming of Resurrection and the establishment of the Hereafter are possible as well as the demand of Allah Almighty’s wisdom. History tells us that the nations which denied the Hereafter ultimately became corrupted and met with destruction. This means that the Hereafter is a truth which if denied and contradicted by a nation by its conduct and attitude, will cause it to meet the same doom, which is met by a blind man who bushes headlong into an approaching train. And it also means that in the kingdom of the universe only physical laws are not at work but a moral law also is working in it, under which in this very world the process of retribution is operating. But since in the present life of the world retribution is not taking place in its complete and perfect form, the moral law of the universe necessarily demands that there should come a time when it should take its full course and all those good works and evil deeds, which could not be rewarded here, or which escaped their due punishment should be fully rewarded and punished. For this it is inevitable that there should be a second life after death. If man only considers how he takes his birth in the world, his intellect, provided it is sound intellect, cannot deny that for the God Who began his creation from an insignificant sperm drop and developed him into a perfect man, it certainly possible to create the same man once again. After death the particles of man’s body do not disappear but continue to exist on the same earth on which he lived his whole life. It is from the resources and treasures of this very earth that he is made and nourished and then into the same treasures of the earth he is deposited. The God who caused him to emerge from the treasures of the earth, in the first instance, can also cause him to re-emerge from the same treasures after he has been restored to them at death. If one only considers the powers of Allah, one cannot deny that He can do this; and if one considers the wisdom of Allah, one also cannot deny that it is certainly the very demand of His wisdom to call man to account for the right and wrong use of the powers that He has granted him on the earth; it would rather be against wisdom to let him off without rendering an account.
Then, in vv. 28-40, the fate of the deniers of the Hereafter has been depicted, and in vv. 41-45 of those who affirming faith in it in their worldly life, endeavored to improve their Hereafter, and abstained from the evils of disbelief and thought, morality and deed, conduct and character which might be helpful in man’s worldly life, but are certainly ruinous for his life hereafter.
In the end, the deniers of the Hereafter and those who turn away from God-worship, have been warned as if to say: “Enjoy your short-lived worldly pleasure as you may, but your end will ultimately be disastrous.” The discourse concludes with the assertion that the one who fails to obtain guidance from Book like the Qur’an, can have no ether source in the world to afford him Guidance.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
(77:1) By the (winds) sent forth in quick succession, (77:2) which then blow tempestuously (77:3) and raise (clouds) and scatter them around, (77:4) then winnow them thoroughly, (77:5) and then cast (Allah’s) remembrance (in people’s hearts), (77:6) to serve as an excuse or a warning.1 (77:7) Surely what you are promised2 shall come to pass. 3 (77:8) So when the stars are extinguished,4 (77:9) and the sky is rent asunder,5 (77:10) and the mountains are blown away, (77:11) and the appointed time to bring the Messengers together arrives,(then shall the promised event come to pass).6 (77:12) To which Day has this task been deferred? (77:13) To the Day of Judgement. (77:14) What do you know what the Day of Judgement is? (77:15) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth!7 (77:16) Did We not destroy many a nation of the earlier times?8 (77:17) And We shall cause those of later times9 to follow them. (77:18) Thus do We deal with the guilty. (77:19) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth!10 (77:20) Did We not create you of a mean fluid, (77:21) which We then placed in a secure repository11 (77:22) until an appointed time?12 (77:23) See that We had the power to do so. Great indeed is Our power to do what We will.13 (77:24) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth!14 (77:25) Did We not make the earth a receptacle, (77:26) for the living and the dead, (77:27) and did We not firmly fix towering mountains on it and give you sweet water to drink?15 (77:28) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth!16
1. That is, sometimes the failure of winds causes the people to be alarmed at the prospect of a famine, and they turn to Allah to repent of their sins. Sometimes they bring a lot of rain and the people turn to Allah in gratitude, and sometimes their blowing violently causes dread in the hearts and the people turn to Allah from fear of destruction.
In these verses initially the order of rain-bringing winds has been stated, which is thus: first, winds start blowing in succession; then they assume the proportions of a storm; then they raise the clouds and spread them; then they split and separate them. After this, instead of making mention of the rainfall, it is said that the winds infuse the hearts with the remembrance of Allah, as an excuse or as a warning. That is, it is an occasion when either because of fear man is compelled to remember Allah, or else he confesses his errors and invokes Allah to protect and save him from ruin and bless him with rain. If it has not rained for a long time, and the people are thirsty for rain, even the most hardened disbeliever sometimes begins to remember God when he sees the winds blowing and the clouds advancing. The drought’s being mild and severe makes the difference. In case the drought is mild, the common man who is not far from Allah, will remember Him, but others will offer scientific explanations, saying that there was no cause for anxiety: it did not rain because of such and such a cause and it would be weak-mindedness to start praying to God on such an ordinary thing. However, if the drought is unusually prolonged, and the whole country is faced with a calamitous situation, even the confirmed disbelievers begin to remember God. If they feel shy to use their tongue, in their hearts they feel penitent on their wrongdoing and ingratitude and pray to God to cause rain throughout the country from the winds which are raising the clouds. This is infusion of God’s remembrance in the hearts as an excuse. As for its infusion as a warning, it happens when the wind develops into a cyclone and destroys settlement after settlement or it rains so heavily as to cause a deluge. In such a state even a confirmed atheist starts imploring God out of awe for Him, and then all scientific explanations of the cyclone or deluge evaporate from his mind. Thus, after describing the blowing of winds in their succession to say that they infuse the hearts with Allah’s remembrance as an excuse or as a warning, is meant to impress the truth that the system working in the world keeps on reminding man that everything on the earth has not been placed under his control but there is a Supreme Power above him, which rules his destiny. That Power is so supreme and mighty that it can use the elements for the sustenance and nourishment of man when it so wills and can use the same elements for his destruction when it so wills.
After this the same system of winds has been proffered as an argument to prove that the Resurrection which is being promised to man, must come to pass. Now, let us see how this system testifies to this truth.
Man generally is perplexed in the case of Resurrection and the Hereafter at two questions. First: is the occurrence of Resurrection possible? Second: what is its need and necessity? And then being perplexed at these questions, he starts entertaining doubts whether it will at all occur or not, or whether it was only a figment of the imagination. In this connection, the Quran has at some places reasoned out and proved its possibility, its necessity and occurrence from the system of the universe, and at others adopted another mode of reasoning: oaths have been sworn by some of the countless signs of God’s kingdom and it has been asserted that it shall surely come to pass. This mode of reasoning contains arguments for its possibility as well as arguments for its necessity and arguments for its occurrence.
Here, adopting the same mode of reasoning only the system of the circulation of winds and rainfall has been presented as a sign of the truth that it is a regular system, which has been established by the design of an All-Wise, All-Mighty Sovereign; it is not a chance occurrence, as a result of which a system might have been generated in the atmosphere of the earth that vapors should arise from the seas, winds should carry them and gather them into clouds, then split and separate them into pieces and transport them to different parts of the earth and then should cause them to fall as rain. This system has not been devised accidentally by some blind and deaf nature, but it is a wellconsidered and well-designed plan, which is functioning regularly according to a law. That is why it never so happens that the heat of the sun should produce ice on the surface of the sea instead of vapors, but the sun always raises only vapors from the sea. It never so happens that the monsoons should blow in the reverse order and suppress vapors into the sea but they always raise them up into the atmosphere. It never so happens that the formation of clouds should cease, or the winds should stop to carry them to dry lands or the falling of rain on the earth should discontinue. The same law has been at work since millions and millions of years under which this system is functioning. Had it not been so our coming into existence on the earth and survival here would not be possible.
In this system one finds a clear purpose and the working of a regular law. One can clearly see that on the earth the life of man, animal and vegetation deeply relates to the winds and rainfall, and this arrangement testifies that water has been provided to bring animate life into existence and keep it alive precisely according to their requirements and a law. This purpose and regularity is not found only in this aspect but in the entire system of the universe, and man’s whole scientific progress is based on it. About every thing man tries to find out what is its purpose and on what principle it works. Then as he goes on gaining insight into the purposes of the creation of different things and the principles on which they work, he goes on devising new and ever new methods of their use and making new inventions for the progress of his civilization. Had there been no such concept in the mind of man naturally that the world is a meaningful world and everything in it is working on a principle, he would never have entertained the question about anything as to what was its purpose and how it could be put to use.
Now, when this world and everything in it has meaning, and if there is a law working in this world and in everything it contains, and if it has been functioning with the same purpose and regularity since millions and millions of years, then a stubborn person only could refuse to accept that an All-Knowing, All-Mighty God has made it, and about that God it would be foolish to assume that although He could make and cause it to function but cannot break it, and after breaking it, cannot reconstruct it in any other form if He so wills. The concept about matter that it is imperishable was the chief support of the ignorant atheist of the past, but the progress of knowledge has proved it also false. Now it is an acknowledged scientific fact that matter can change into energy and energy into matter. Therefore, it is perfectly according to knowledge and reason that this material world will last only as long as the Living and Eternal God sustains it. As soon as He wills to change it into energy, He can change it by a simple command and His one command is enough to re-create it into any other material form and shape He wills.
This much then about the possibility of the Resurrection, which cannot now be rejected by any scientific and rational argument. As for the question that it must take place so that man is rewarded for his good works and punished for his evil deeds, the person who acknowledges man’s moral responsibility and also believes that rewarding the good services and punishing the crimes is the necessary demand of this moral responsibility, cannot but admit that there must be the Hereafter. There is no law or government in the world, which can punish every crime and reward every good act. To say that the prick of the conscience is a sufficient punishment for the culprit and the satisfaction of the conscience is sufficient reward for the doer of good is no more than meaningless philosophizing. The question is: How and when did the conscience of the person who killed an innocent man and then himself died in an accident immediately after it helped him? And when did the conscience of the man who went to fight for the sake of truth and justice and fell a victim to a bomb blast suddenly, have the satisfaction that he had laid down his life for a good cause? Thus, the truth is that the pretences invented to avoid the belief in the Hereafter are all meaningless. Man’s intellect wants, his nature requires, that there should be justice, but in the present life of the world it is not possible to have full and perfect justice. Justice can be had only in the Hereafter and only under the judgment and command of the All-Knowing, Omnipotent God. Denial of the necessity of the Hereafter is, in fact, denial of the necessity of justice.
Intellect can go only so far as to convince man that the Hereafter is possible and it should come about. As for the truth that it will surely come about, the knowledge of it can be obtained only through revelation, and revelation has given us the news that that which you are being promised must happen. We cannot attain this knowledge by intellectual reasoning; however, we can attain the certainty of its being true on the basis that the thing of which we are being informed by revelation is both possible and necessary.
2. Another meaning can be: That which you are being threatened with, i.e. the Resurrection and Hereafter.
3 Here an oath has been sworn by five things on the inevitability of the Resurrection:
(1) Those which are sent forth in succession, or for a good cause.
(2) Those which blow violently and tempestuously.
(3) Those which disperse and scatter.
(4) “those which split and separate;” and
(5) Those which inspire the remembrance. As these words only describe the characteristics and it has not been specified what thing or things they qualify, this has given rise to a difference of opinion among the commentators as to whether these are the qualities of one particular thing or of different things and what the thing or things are? One group of them says that all the five are qualify the winds; the second group says that all the five imply the angels; the third group says that the first three imply the winds and the remaining two the angels; the fourth says that the first two imply the winds and the other three the angels; another group has opined that the first quality implies the angels of mercy, the second the angels of punishment and the remaining three imply the verses of the Quran.
In our opinion, the first thing worthy of consideration is that when five characteristic have been mentioned continuously in one and the same context and there is no indication to show as to what has been qualified up to a certain point and wherefrom has the qualification of another thing begun, it cannot be correct, on the basis of a baseless conjecture, to understand that in these verses oaths have been sworn by two or three different things. Rather in this case the continuity of the subject by itself requires that the whole passage be regarded as related to the characteristics of one and the same thing. Secondly, wherever in the Quran an oath bas been sworn by a certain thing or things in order to convince the doubters or deniers of an unseen truth, there the oath stands for an argument or reasoning which is meant to tell that the thing or things point to the truth’s being right and correct. For this purpose obviously it cannot be correct to present one imperceptible thing as an argument for another imperceptible thing; for, only a perceptible thing can be presented as an argument for an imperceptible thing. Hence in our opinion the correct explanation is that it implies the winds and the explanation of the people who interpret the five things to mean the angels cannot be acceptable, for the angels are as imperceptible as is the occurrence of the Resurrection.
Now, let us consider as to how these different states of winds point to the occurrence of the Resurrection. One of the most important factor which has made animal and vegetable life possible on the earth is the air. The relationship its qualities bear with every kind of life testify that there is an All-Powerful, All-Wise Creator, Who willed to create life on this earth and for this purpose created here a thing whose qualities exactly and precisely correspond to the requirements of the existence of living beings. Then, He did not only wrap up the earth in the air and left it alone, but by His power and wisdom characterized this air with countless different states, which are being regulated since millions and millions of years in such a way that they cause the change of seasons and weather: sometimes it is close and sometimes a soft breeze blows; sometimes it is hot and sometimes cold; sometimes it brings clouds and sometimes it drives away clouds; sometimes it causes pleasant gusts to blow and sometimes disastrous windstorms; sometimes it brings beneficial rains and sometimes there is drought; in short, there are different kinds of winds which blow in their own time, and every kind serves one or the other purpose. This arrangement is the proof of a dominant Power, for which neither it can be impossible to bring life into existence, nor to obliterate it, nor to re-create it after having annihilated it. Likewise, this arrangement is also a proof of a supreme wisdom about which only a foolish man could think that all this was being done for fun, without any higher object in view. As against this wonderful system man is so helpless that he can neither cause a favorable wind to blow for himself, nor can prevent a disastrous cyclone from blowing on himself. However shameless, obstinate and stubborn he may be, the wind does at one time or another remind him that a Mighty Sovereign is ruling over him, Who can turn this principal means of his life into a cause of blessing for him or into a cause of ruin for him whenever He so likes, and man does not have the power to prevent or avert any of His decisions. (For further explanation, see(E.N. 7 of Surah Al-Jathiyah); (E.Ns 1 to 4 of Surah Adh-Dhariyat).
4. That is, when they lose their light and luster.
5. When the heaven is rent asunder: when the system and discipline of the heavens under which every star and planet is established and moving in its orbit and everything in the universe is adhering to the bounds set for it, is broken.
6. At several places in the Quran it has been stated that when the case of mankind will be presented before Allah on the Day of Resurrection, the Messenger of every nation will be called upon to testify that he had conveyed Allah’s messages intact to his people. This will be Allah’s first and major argument against the culprits and the wicked people to prove that they were themselves responsible for their wrong attitude and conduct in life, for there had been no negligence on the part of Allah to show guidance and administer warnings . For instance, see (Surah Al-Araf Ayats 172, 173 and E.Ns 134, 135); (Surah Az-Zumar, Ayat 69 and E.N. 80); (Surah Al-Mulk, Ayat 8 and E.N. 14).
7. Deniers: those people who took the news of the coming of Resurrection as a lie, and spent their lives in the world under the delusion that the time would never come when they would have to present themselves before their God and render an account of their deeds.
8. This is an argument from history for the Hereafter, It means: Consider your own history in the world. Whichever nations denied the Hereafter and took this worldly life to be real life and based their moral attitude on the results appearing here regarding them as the criterion of good and evil, ultimately went to their doom without exception. This is a proof of the fact that the Hereafter is a reality overlooking and ignoring which causes the same kind of harm to a person which is caused when he chooses to close his eyes to the hard facts of life.” (For further explanation, see (E.N. 12 of Yunus), (E.N. 86 of An-Naml), (E.N. 8 of Ar- Rum), (E.N. 25 of Surah Saba).
9. That is, this is a permanent law with Us. Just as denial of the Hereafter has proved disastrous for the nations of the past so it will always prove disastrous also for the nations of the future. No nation has been an exception to it before nor will any be so in the future.
10. This sentence in the present context means: The fate they have met or will meet in the world, is not their real punishment; their real doom will descend on them on the Day of Decision. The punishment here is only in the nature of a person’s being arrested when he commits one crime after the other fearlessly and is not inclined to mend and change his ways. The court where his case is to be decided and he is to be punished for all his misdeeds, will not be established in this world but in the Hereafter, and that indeed will be the real day of his ruin and disaster. (For further explanation, (see E.Ns 5, 6 of Surah Al-A’raf); (E.N. 105 of Surah Hud).
11. A secure place: The mother’s womb in which the child is so firmly lodged as soon as it has been conceived and where such arrangements are made for its security and nourishment that abortion cannot take place unless there is a disaster, and even for artificial abortion extraordinary devices have to be adopted, which are both risky and harmful in spite of modern developments in medical science.
12. The words qadar im-malum do not only mean that the term is appointed and fixed but they also contain the sense that it is known to Allah alone. About child, no one knows by any means how many months, days, hours, minutes and seconds it will remain in the mothers womb and what will be its exact and precise time of birth. Allah alone has fixed a specific term for every child and He alone knows it. 2
13. This is an express argument for the possibility of the life-after-death What is meant to be said is: When We had the power to shape and develop you into a perfect and complete man from an insignificant sperm-drop, how shall We be helpless to re-create you in some other way? Our this creation in consequence of which you exist as a living being, is a proof that We are excellent Possessors of power; We cannot be so helpless as to be unable to re-create you after having created you in the first instance.
14. This sentence here gives the meaning that in spite of the express argument for the possibility of life-after-death, the people who are denying it, may mock it as they may and look down upon its believers as people of antiquated ideas and whims, but when the Day comes which they are denying today, they will themselves know that it is a day of their own ruin and disaster.
15. This is yet another argument for the possibility and reasonableness of the Hereafter. It is this very earth which since millions and millions of years has been sustaining and providing for countless different kinds of creatures. Every kind of vegetation and every kind of animal and man are living on it. To meet the requirements of all unmeasureable treasures of provisions of different kinds are coming out of its belly. Then it is on this very earth that countless members of all kinds of creatures die every day, but there exists a wonderful arrangement in that the dead bodies of all creatures are deposited in the same earth, and it again becomes ready for sustaining life and providing home to the new members of every species. This earth has not been shaped like a smooth-surfaced ball either, but here and there on it there have been set high mountains and mountain-ranges, which play an important role in causing the change of seasons and rainfall, the birth of rivers, creation of fertile valleys, growth of trees which supply timber, and provisions of a variety of minerals and stones. Then in the interior of this very earth, sweet water has been stored and on its surface rivers of sweet water have been arranged and also from the saline waters of the sea vapors of pure water are raised and caused to fall as rain from the sky. Is not all this an argument to prove that an All- Powerful Sovereign has created all this and He is not only All-Powerful but All-Knowing and All-Wise as well? Now, if this earth has been thus equipped and provisioned only by His power and wisdom, why should an intelligent man find it difficult to understand that the same Sovereign by His power can wind up this world and create another world on a new pattern, and the demand of His wisdom is that he should create another world after it so that He may call man to account for the deeds he has done in this world?
16. Here, this sentence signifies that the people who deny the coming of the Hereafter and regard it as impossible and irrational in spite of seeing these manifest signs of Allah’s power and wisdom, may remain lost in their vain imaginations if they so like. But the day when all this takes place against their expectations, they will realize that they have earned ruin on account of their own folly.
(77:29) Proceed17 now towards that which you were wont to deny as false; (77:30) proceed towards the three-pronged shadow,18 (77:31) which neither provides (cooling) shade nor protection against the flames; (77:32) it indeed throws up sparks like castles, (77:33) which seem as though they are yellow-coloured camels.19 (77:34) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth! (77:35) That will be the Day on which they will not (be able to) utter a word, (77:36) nor will they be allowed to proffer excuses.20 (77:37) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth! (77:38) That is the Day of Judgement on which We have assembled you as well as all those who went before you. (77:39) So if you have any ploy, try it against Me!21 (77:40) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth!
17. After giving proofs of the coming of the Hereafter, now it is being stated how the deniers will be dealt with when it has actually taken place.
18. Shadow: Shadow of smoke; three columns: Because when a big smoke arises, it is divided into several parts at the top.
19. That is, each spark will be like a castle, and when these huge sparks will rise and burst and fly about in all directions it will seem as though they were yellow camels running and jumping about ceaselessly.
20. This will be their ultimate state at the time they will be entering Hell. Before this in the plain of Resurrection they will be offering all sorts of excuses, blaming others for their errors and proving their own selves to be innocent, abusing their leaders and guides who led them astray; so much so that some of them will even disown their crimes shamelessly, as has been stated at several places in the Quran. But when their being criminals will have been established by every kind of evidence, and when their own hands and feet and limbs will have borne witness against them to prove their guilt fully, and when after fulfilling all requirements of justice rightly and truly, the sentence will be passed on them, they will be dumbfounded and no room will be left for them to offer any excuse. To refuse an opportunity or permission to offer an excuse, does not mean that judgment will be passed against them without giving them a chance for self defense, but it means that their guilt and crime will be proved to the fullest and they will not be able to offer any excuse after it.
21. That is, in the world you used every kind of deception and trick in self-interest. Now, if you have any trick to escape My punishment, you may use it to defeat Me and My plan.
(77:41) Behold, today the God-fearing22 will be amidst shades and springs, (77:42) and the fruits that they desire (will be ready at hand). (77:43) Eat and drink and may every joy attend you as a reward for your deeds. (77:44) Thus do We reward those that do good. (77:45) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth!23
22. As this world has been used here in contrast to the deniers; the righteous here implies the people who refrained from denying the Hereafter and accepted it and passed their life in the world with the belief that in the Hereafter they would have to render an account of their word and deed and their conduct and character.
23. Here this sentence means that one of their afflictions. as mentioned above, will be that they will be standing as culprits in the plain of Resurrection. Their crimes will have been proved and established openly and they will not be in a position even to open their mouths to put forward a plea in self defense, and shall ultimately become fuel of Hell. Their other affliction, and by far the worse will be that they will see the same believers enjoying themselves in Paradise, whom they had been opposing and resisting and mocking throughout their lives as foolish, narrow-minded, mean and old fashioned people.
(77:46) Eat24 and enjoy yourselves for a while.25 Surely you are evil-doers. (77:47) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth! (77:48) When it is said to them: “Bow down (before Allah),” they do not bow down.26 (77:49) Woe on that Day to those that give the lie to the Truth! (77:50) In what discourse after this (Qur’an) will they, then, believe?27
24. In conclusion, these words are being addressed not only to the disbelievers of Makkah but to all disbelievers of the world.
25. For a while: In their brief life of the world.
26. Bowing before Allah: does not only imply worshipping Him but also means believing in the Messenger (peace be upon him) sent by Allah and in the Book revealed by Him and following and obeying His commands.
27. That is, the greatest message that could distinguish the truth from falsehood for man and show him right guidance, has been sent down in the shape of the Quran. If a person does not believe even after reading it or hearing it read, what else after this can show him the correct guidance?