Surah Al Qamar (Arabic Text: سورة القمر) is the 54th chapter of the Qur’an with total of 55 ayats. It is classified as a Meccan Surah and titled “The Moon”.
The main theme or subject matter of this chapter is about the day of judgement. It paints a picture of the scenes of that day.
There are references to the stories of other prophets and consequences for not listening to their message when it arrived. It describes the flood that washed away deniers of Prophet Noah, punishment of the people of ‘Ad and of Prophet Lot, what happened to the Pharaoh who did not listen to Musa (may peace and blessings be upon all the Prophets).
And everything they did is in written records. And every small and great [thing] is inscribed. Surah Qamar Ayat 52-53
Read Surah Qamar with Translation and Transliteration
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Raheem
In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful
ٱقْتَرَبَتِ ٱلسَّاعَةُ وَٱنشَقَّ ٱلْقَمَرُ
Iqtarabatis Saa’atu wan shaqqal qamar
1. The Hour has come near, and the moon has split [in two].
وَإِن يَرَوْا۟ ءَايَةًۭ يُعْرِضُوا۟ وَيَقُولُوا۟ سِحْرٌۭ مُّسْتَمِرٌّۭ
Wa iny yaraw aayatany yu’ridoo wa yaqooloo sihrum mustamirr
2. And if they see a miracle, they turn away and say, “Passing magic.”
وَكَذَّبُوا۟ وَٱتَّبَعُوٓا۟ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ ۚ وَكُلُّ أَمْرٍۢ مُّسْتَقِرٌّۭ
Wa kazzaboo wattaba’ooo ahwaaa’ahum; wa kullu amrim mustaqirr
3. And they denied and followed their inclinations. But for every matter is a [time of] settlement.
وَلَقَدْ جَآءَهُم مِّنَ ٱلْأَنۢبَآءِ مَا فِيهِ مُزْدَجَرٌ
Wa laqad jaaa’ahum minal ambaaa’i maa feehi muzdajar
4. And there has already come to them of information that in which there is deterrence –
حِكْمَةٌۢ بَـٰلِغَةٌۭ ۖ فَمَا تُغْنِ ٱلنُّذُرُ
Hikmatum baalighatun famaa tughnin nuzur
5. Extensive wisdom – but warning does not avail [them].
فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ ۘ يَوْمَ يَدْعُ ٱلدَّاعِ إِلَىٰ شَىْءٍۢ نُّكُرٍ
Fatawalla ‘anhum; yawma yad’ud daa’i ilaa shai ‘in nukur
6. So leave them, [O Muhammad]. The Day the Caller calls to something forbidding,
خُشَّعًا أَبْصَـٰرُهُمْ يَخْرُجُونَ مِنَ ٱلْأَجْدَاثِ كَأَنَّهُمْ جَرَادٌۭ مُّنتَشِرٌۭ
khushsha’an absaaruhum yakrujoona minal ajdaasi ka annahum jaraadum muntashir
7. Their eyes humbled, they will emerge from the graves as if they were locusts spreading,
مُّهْطِعِينَ إِلَى ٱلدَّاعِ ۖ يَقُولُ ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَ هَـٰذَا يَوْمٌ عَسِرٌۭ
Muhti’eena ilad daa’i yaqoolul kafiroona haazaa yawmun ‘asir
8. Racing ahead toward the Caller. The disbelievers will say, “This is a difficult Day.”
۞ كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍۢ فَكَذَّبُوا۟ عَبْدَنَا وَقَالُوا۟ مَجْنُونٌۭ وَٱزْدُجِرَ
Kazzabat qablahum qawmu Noohin fakazzaboo ‘abdanaa wa qaaloo majnoo nunw wazdujir
9. The people of Noah denied before them, and they denied Our servant and said, “A madman,” and he was repelled.
فَدَعَا رَبَّهُۥٓ أَنِّى مَغْلُوبٌۭ فَٱنتَصِرْ
Fada’aa Rabbahooo annee maghloobun fantasir
10. So he invoked his Lord, “Indeed, I am overpowered, so help.”
فَفَتَحْنَآ أَبْوَٰبَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ بِمَآءٍۢ مُّنْهَمِرٍۢ
Fafatahnaaa abwaabas sa maaa’i bimaa’im munhamir
11. Then We opened the gates of the heaven with rain pouring down
وَفَجَّرْنَا ٱلْأَرْضَ عُيُونًۭا فَٱلْتَقَى ٱلْمَآءُ عَلَىٰٓ أَمْرٍۢ قَدْ قُدِرَ
Wa fajjamal arda ‘uyoonan faltaqal maaa’u ‘alaaa amrin qad qudir
12. And caused the earth to burst with springs, and the waters met for a matter already predestined.
وَحَمَلْنَـٰهُ عَلَىٰ ذَاتِ أَلْوَٰحٍۢ وَدُسُرٍۢ
Wa hamalnaahu ‘alaa zaati alwaahinw wa dusur
13. And We carried him on a [construction of] planks and nails,
تَجْرِى بِأَعْيُنِنَا جَزَآءًۭ لِّمَن كَانَ كُفِرَ
Tajree bi a’yuninaa jazaaa ‘al liman kaana kufir
14. Sailing under Our observation as reward for he who had been denied.
وَلَقَد تَّرَكْنَـٰهَآ ءَايَةًۭ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍۢ
Wa laqat taraknaahaad aayatan fahal mim muddakir
15. And We left it as a sign, so is there any who will remember?
فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ
Fakaifa kaana ‘azaabee wa nuzur
16. And how [severe] were My punishment and warning.
وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍۢ
Wa laqad yassamal Quraana liz zikri fahal minmuddakir
17. And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?
كَذَّبَتْ عَادٌۭ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ
Kazzabat ‘Aadun fakaifa kaana ‘azaabee wa nuzur
18. ‘Aad denied; and how [severe] were My punishment and warning.
إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحًۭا صَرْصَرًۭا فِى يَوْمِ نَحْسٍۢ مُّسْتَمِرٍّۢ
Innaa arsalnaa ‘alaihim reehan sarsaran fee Yawmi nahsim mustamirrm
19. Indeed, We sent upon them a screaming wind on a day of continuous misfortune,
تَنزِعُ ٱلنَّاسَ كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍۢ مُّنقَعِرٍۢ
Tanzi;un naasa ka anna huma’jaazu nakhlim munqa’ir
20. Extracting the people as if they were trunks of palm trees uprooted.
فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ
‘Fakaifa kaana ‘azaabee wa nuzur
21. And how [severe] were My punishment and warning.
وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍۢ
Wa laqad yassamal Quraana liz zikri fahal mim muddakir
22. And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?
كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ بِٱلنُّذُرِ
Kazzabat Samoodu binnuzur
23. Thamud denied the warning
فَقَالُوٓا۟ أَبَشَرًۭا مِّنَّا وَٰحِدًۭا نَّتَّبِعُهُۥٓ إِنَّآ إِذًۭا لَّفِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ وَسُعُرٍ
Faqaalooo a-basharam minnaa waahidan nattabi’uhooo innaa izal lafee dalaalinw wa su’ur
24. And said, “Is it one human being among us that we should follow? Indeed, we would then be in error and madness.
أَءُلْقِىَ ٱلذِّكْرُ عَلَيْهِ مِنۢ بَيْنِنَا بَلْ هُوَ كَذَّابٌ أَشِرٌۭ
‘A-ulqiyaz zikru ‘alaihi mim baininaa bal huwa kazzaabun ashir
25. Has the message been sent down upon him from among us? Rather, he is an insolent liar.”
سَيَعْلَمُونَ غَدًۭا مَّنِ ٱلْكَذَّابُ ٱلْأَشِرُ
Sa-ya’lamoona ghadam manil kazzaabul ashir
26. They will know tomorrow who is the insolent liar.
إِنَّا مُرْسِلُوا۟ ٱلنَّاقَةِ فِتْنَةًۭ لَّهُمْ فَٱرْتَقِبْهُمْ وَٱصْطَبِرْ
Innaa mursilun naaqati fitnatal lahum fartaqibhum wastabir
27. Indeed, We are sending the she-camel as trial for them, so watch them and be patient.
وَنَبِّئْهُمْ أَنَّ ٱلْمَآءَ قِسْمَةٌۢ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ كُلُّ شِرْبٍۢ مُّحْتَضَرٌۭ
Wa nabbi’hum annal maaa’a qismatum bainahum kullu shirbim muhtadar
28. And inform them that the water is shared between them, each [day of] drink attended [by turn].
فَنَادَوْا۟ صَاحِبَهُمْ فَتَعَاطَىٰ فَعَقَرَ
Fanaadaw saahibahum fata’aataa fa’aqar
29. But they called their companion, and he dared and hamstrung [her].
فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ
Fakaifa kaana ‘azaabee wa nuzur
30. And how [severe] were My punishment and warning.
إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ صَيْحَةًۭ وَٰحِدَةًۭ فَكَانُوا۟ كَهَشِيمِ ٱلْمُحْتَظِرِ
Innaaa arsalnaa ‘alaihim saihatanw waahidatan fakaano kahasheemil muhtazir
31. Indeed, We sent upon them one blast from the sky, and they became like the dry twig fragments of an [animal] pen.
وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍۢ
Wa laqad yassarnal quraana liz zikri fahal mim muddakir
32. And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?
كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ لُوطٍۭ بِٱلنُّذُرِ
Kazzabat qawmu lootim binnuzur
33. The people of Lot denied the warning.
إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ حَاصِبًا إِلَّآ ءَالَ لُوطٍۢ ۖ نَّجَّيْنَـٰهُم بِسَحَرٍۢ
Innaa arsalnaa ‘alaihim haasiban illaaa aala Loot najjainaahum bisahar
34. Indeed, We sent upon them a storm of stones, except the family of Lot – We saved them before dawn
نِّعْمَةًۭ مِّنْ عِندِنَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى مَن شَكَرَ
Ni’matam min ‘indinaa; kazaalika najzee man shakar
35. As favor from us. Thus do We reward he who is grateful.
وَلَقَدْ أَنذَرَهُم بَطْشَتَنَا فَتَمَارَوْا۟ بِٱلنُّذُرِ
Wa laqad anzarahum batshatanaa fatamaaraw binnuzur
36. And he had already warned them of Our assault, but they disputed the warning.
وَلَقَدْ رَٰوَدُوهُ عَن ضَيْفِهِۦ فَطَمَسْنَآ أَعْيُنَهُمْ فَذُوقُوا۟ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ
Wa laqad raawadoohu ‘andaifee fatamasnaaa a’yunahum fazooqoo ‘azaabee wa nuzur
37. And they had demanded from him his guests, but We obliterated their eyes, [saying], “Taste My punishment and warning.”
وَلَقَدْ صَبَّحَهُم بُكْرَةً عَذَابٌۭ مُّسْتَقِرٌّۭ
Wa laqad sabbahahum bukratan ‘azaabum mustaqirr
38. And there came upon them by morning an abiding punishment.
فَذُوقُوا۟ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ
Fazooqoo ‘azaabee wa nuzur
39. So taste My punishment and warning.
وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍۢ
Wa laqad yassarnal Quraana liz zikri fahal mim muddakir
40. And We have certainly made the Qur’an easy for remembrance, so is there any who will remember?
وَلَقَدْ جَآءَ ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ ٱلنُّذُرُ
Wa laqad jaaa’a Aala Fir’awnan nuzur
41. And there certainly came to the people of Pharaoh warning.
كَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا كُلِّهَا فَأَخَذْنَـٰهُمْ أَخْذَ عَزِيزٍۢ مُّقْتَدِرٍ
Kazzaboo bi Aayaatinaa kullihaa fa akhaznaahum akhza ‘azeezim muqtadir
42. They denied Our signs, all of them, so We seized them with a seizure of one Exalted in Might and Perfect in Ability.
أَكُفَّارُكُمْ خَيْرٌۭ مِّنْ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكُمْ أَمْ لَكُم بَرَآءَةٌۭ فِى ٱلزُّبُرِ
Akuffaarukum khairum min ulaaa’ikum am lakum baraaa’atun fiz Zubur
43. Are your disbelievers better than those [former ones], or have you immunity in the scripture?
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ نَحْنُ جَمِيعٌۭ مُّنتَصِرٌۭ
Am yaqooloona nahnu jamee’um muntasir
44. Or do they say, “We are an assembly supporting [each other]”?
سَيُهْزَمُ ٱلْجَمْعُ وَيُوَلُّونَ ٱلدُّبُرَ
Sa yuhzamul jam’u wa yuwalloonad dubur
45. [Their] assembly will be defeated, and they will turn their backs [in retreat].
بَلِ ٱلسَّاعَةُ مَوْعِدُهُمْ وَٱلسَّاعَةُ أَدْهَىٰ وَأَمَرُّ
Balis Saa’atu maw’iduhum was Saa’atu adhaa wa amarr
46. But the Hour is their appointment [for due punishment], and the Hour is more disastrous and more bitter.
إِنَّ ٱلْمُجْرِمِينَ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ وَسُعُرٍۢ
Innal mujrimeena fee dalaalinw wa su’ur
47. Indeed, the criminals are in error and madness.
يَوْمَ يُسْحَبُونَ فِى ٱلنَّارِ عَلَىٰ وُجُوهِهِمْ ذُوقُوا۟ مَسَّ سَقَرَ
Yawma yushaboona fin Naari’alaa wujoohimim zooqoo massa saqar
48. The Day they are dragged into the Fire on their faces [it will be said], “Taste the touch of Saqar.”
إِنَّا كُلَّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقْنَـٰهُ بِقَدَرٍۢ
Innaa kulla shai’in khalaqnaahu biqadar
49. Indeed, all things We created with predestination.
وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلَّا وَٰحِدَةٌۭ كَلَمْحٍۭ بِٱلْبَصَرِ
Wa maaa amrunaaa illaa waahidatun kalamhim bilbasar
50. And Our command is but one, like a glance of the eye.
وَلَقَدْ أَهْلَكْنَآ أَشْيَاعَكُمْ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍۢ
Wa laqad ahlaknaaa ashyaa’akum fahal mim muddakir
51. And We have already destroyed your kinds, so is there any who will remember?
وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍۢ فَعَلُوهُ فِى ٱلزُّبُرِ
Wa kullu shai’in fa’aloohu fiz Zubur
52. And everything they did is in written records.
وَكُلُّ صَغِيرٍۢ وَكَبِيرٍۢ مُّسْتَطَرٌ
Wa kullu sagheerinw wa kabeerim mustatar
53. And every small and great [thing] is inscribed.
إِنَّ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ فِى جَنَّـٰتٍۢ وَنَهَرٍۢ
Innal muttaqeena fee jannaatinw wa nahar
54. Indeed, the righteous will be among gardens and rivers,
فِى مَقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ عِندَ مَلِيكٍۢ مُّقْتَدِرٍۭ
Fee maq’adi sidqin ‘inda Maleekim Muqtadir
55. In a seat of honor near a Sovereign, Perfect in Ability.
Surah Qamar Tafseer
The Qur’an was revealed as a book of proof that Islam is the one true religion and to be a book of guidance. We should read the Qur’an but also make it a study. We’ve added this section to include tafseer of Surah Rahman for those looking to benefit from reading the commentary.
Tafsir Surah Qamar by Ibn Kathir
The Hadith of Abu Waqid preceded, in which it is mentioned that the Messenger of Allah would recite Surah Qaf (chapter 53) and Iqtarabat As-Sa`ah (Al-Qamar, chapter 54), during (the `Id Prayers of) Al-Adha and Al-Fitr. The Prophet used to recite these two Surahs during major gatherings and occasions because they contain Allah’s promises and warnings, and information about the origin of creation, Resurrection, Tawhid, the affirmation of prophethood, and so forth among the great objectives.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Allah informs about the approach of the Last Hour and the imminent end and demise of the world,
(The Event ordained by Allah will come to pass, so seek not to hasten it.)(16:1),
(Draws near for mankind their reckoning, while they turn away in heedlessness.)(21:1)
There are several Hadiths with this meaning. Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar recorded that Anas said that one day, when the sun was about to set, the Messenger of Allah gave a speech to his Companions, saying,
(By He in Whose Hand is my soul! Not much of this world is left compared to what has already passed of it, except as much as what is left in this day of yours compared to what has already passed of it.) Anas said, “We could only see a small part of the setting sun at the time.” Another Hadith that supports and explains the above Hadith is recorded by Imam Ahmad that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “We were sitting with the Prophet while the sun was rising above Qu`ayqa`an, after `Asr. He said,
(What remains of your time, compared to what has passed, is as long as what remains of this day compared to what has passed of it.)” Imam Ahmad recorded that Sahl bin Sa`d said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,
(I was sent like this with the Last Hour.) and he pointed with his middle and index finger. The Two Sahihs also recorded this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded that Wahb As-Suwa’i said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(I was sent just before the Last Hour, like the distance between this and this; the latter almost overtook the former.) Al-A`mash joined between his index and middle fingers while narrating this Hadith. Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Awza`i said that Isma`il bin `Ubaydullah said, “Anas bin Malik went to Al-Walid bin `Abdul-Malik who asked him about what he heard from the Messenger of Allah about the Last Hour. Anas said, `I heard the Messenger of Allah say,
(You and the Last Hour are as close as these two (fingers).)”’ Only Imam Ahmad collected this Hadith. There is proof to support these Hadiths in the Sahih listing, Al-Hashir (literally the Gatherer), among the names of the Messenger of Allah ; he is the first to be gathered, and all people will be gathered thereafter (for the Day of Judgement). Allah’s statement,
(and the moon has been cleft asunder.) It occurred during the time of Allah’s Messenger , according to the authentic Mutawatir Hadiths the scholars agree that the moon was cleft asunder during the lifetime of the Prophet, and it was among the clear miracles that Allah gave him. Hadiths mentioning that the Moon was split
Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “The people of Makkah asked the Prophet for a miracle and the moon was split into two parts in Makkah. Allah said,
(The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder.)” Muslim also collected this Hadith. Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “The people of Makkah asked the Messenger of Allah to produce a miracle, and he showed them the splitting of the moon into two parts, until they saw (the mount of) Hira’ between them.” This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs with various chains of narration.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Jubayr bin Mut`im said, “The moon was split into two pieces during the time of Allah’s Prophet ; a part of the moon was over one mountain and another part over another mountain. So they said, `Muhammad has taken us by his magic.’ They then said, `If he was able to take us by magic, he will not be able to do so with all people.”’ Only Imam Ahmad recorded this Hadith with this chain of narration. Al-Bayhaqi used another chain of narration in a similar Hadith he collected in Ad-Dala’il.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “The moon was split during the time of the Prophet .” Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah’s saying:
(The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder. And if they see a sign, they turn away and say: “This is magic, Mustamir.”) “This occurred before the Hijrah; the moon was split and they saw it in two parts.”
Al-Bayhaqi recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar commented on Allah’s statement:
(The Hour has drawn near, and the moon has been cleft asunder.) “This occurred during the time of Allah’s Messenger ; the moon was split in two parts. A part of it was before the mount and a part on the other side. The Prophet said,
(O Allah! Be witness.)” This is the narration that Muslim and At-Tirmidhi collected. At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.”
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said, “The moon was split in two parts during the time of Allah’s Messenger, and they saw its two parts. Allah’s Messenger said,
(Be witnesses.)” Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith. Ibn Jarir recorded that `Abdullah (Ibn Mas`ud) said, “I saw the mountain between the two parts of the moon when it was split.” Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah said, “The moon was split during the time of Allah’s Messenger and I saw the mount between its two parts.
(And if they see an Ayah), if they see proof, evidence and a sign,
(they turn away), they do not believe in it. Rather, they turn away from it, abandoning it behind their backs,
(and say: “This is magic, Mustamir.”) They say, `the sign that we saw was magic, which was cast on us.’ Mustamir, means, `will soon go away’, according to Mujahid, Qatadah and several others. The Quraysh said that the cleaving of the moon was false and will soon diminish and fade away,
(They denied and followed their own lusts.), they rejected the truth when it came to them, following the ignorance and foolishness that their lusts and desires called them to. Allah’s statement,
(And every matter will be settled.) means, the good deeds will take their doers to all that is good and righteous, and similarly evil deeds will take their doers to all that is evil, according to Qatadah, while Ibn Jurayj said, “will settle according to its people.” Mujahid commented on the meaning of,
(And every matter will be settled.) by saying, “On the Day of Resurrection.” Allah’s statement,
(And indeed there has come to them news); in this Qur’an, there has come to them the news of the earlier nations that disbelieved in their Messengers and the torment, punishment and affliction that befell them,
(wherein there is Muzdajar), wherein there are warnings and lessons to stop them from idolatry and persisting in denial,
(Perfect wisdom,) in that Allah guides whomever He wills and misguides whomever He wills,
(but warners benefit them not.) but the preaching of warnings does not benefit those upon whom Allah has written misery and sealed their hearts. Who can guide such people after Allah This Ayah is similar to Allah’s statements,
(Say: “With Allah is the perfect proof and argument; had He so willed, He would indeed have guided you all.”)(6:149) and,
(But neither Ayat nor warners benefit those who believe not.)(10:101)
Allah the Exalted says, `O Muhammad, turn away from these people who, when they witness a miracle, they deny it and say that this is continuous magic.’ Turn away from them and wait until,
(The Day that the caller will call (them) to a terrible thing.) to the Recompense and the afflictions, horrors and tremendous hardships that it brings forth,
(with humbled eyes), their eyes will be covered with disgrace,
(they will come forth from (their) graves as if they were locusts spread abroad.) They will gather towards the area of Reckoning in such haste and crowds, in response to the caller, as if they were crowds of locusts spreading all about. Allah said,
(Hastening) meaing hurriedly,
(towards the caller.) without being able to hesitate or slow down,
(The disbelievers will say: “This is a hard Day.”), meaing, `this is a hard, terrible, horrifying and distressful Day,’
(Truly, that Day will be a Hard Day — far from easy for the dis- believers.) (74:9-10)
Allah the Exalted said,
(denied) `before your people, O Muhammad,’
(the people of Nuh. They rejected Our servant) means, they denied him categorically and accused him of madness,
(and said: “A madman!” Wazdujir.) Mujahid said about Wazdujir: “He was driven out accused on account of madness.” It was also said that Wazdujir means, he was rebuked, deterred, threatened and warned by his people saying:
(“If you do not stop O Nuh, you will be among those who will be stoned.”) ﴿26:116﴾ This was said by Ibn Zayd, and it is sound.
(Then he invoked his Lord (saying): “I have been overcome, so help (me)!”) meaning, `I am weak and cannot overcome or resist my people, so help Your religion!’ Allah the Exalted said,
(So, We opened the gates of the heaven with water Munhamir.) As-Suddi said about Munhamir, “It means abundant.”
(And We caused springs to gush forth from the earth.) means, from every part of the earth, and even ovens in which fire was burning — water and springs gushed forth,
(So, the waters met), means, of the heaven and the earth,
(for a matter predestined.) Ibn Jurayj reported from Ibn `Abbas:
(So, We opened the gates of the heaven with water Munhamir), Torrential rain, the only water that fell from the sky before that day and ever since was from clouds. But the sky’s gates were opened on them that day, and therefore, the water that came down was not from clouds. So both the waters (of the earth and the heaven) met according to a matter ordained.” Allah said,
(And We carried him on a (ship) made of planks and nails (Dusur)), Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Qurazi, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said that Dusur means nails. Ibn Jarir preferred this view. Allah’s statement,
(Floating under Our Eyes), means, `by Our command and under Our protection and observation,’
(a reward for him who had been rejected!) meaning, as recompense for them because of their disbelief in Allah and as reward for Nuh, peace be upon him. Allah the Exalted said,
(And indeed, We have left this as a sign.) Qatadah said, “Allah left the ship of Nuh intact until the first generation of this Ummah were able to see it.” However, it appears that the meaning here is that Allah kept ships as a sign. For instance, Allah the Exalted said,
(And a sign for them is that We bore their offspring in the laden ship. And We have created for them of the like thereunto, on which they ride.)(36:41-42),
(Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits, We carried you in the boat. That We might make it an admonition for you and that it might be retained by the retaining ears.)(69:11-12) Allah’s statement here,
(Then is there any that will remember) means, `is there any that will receive admonition and reminder. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, “The Prophet recited to me,
(Then is there any that will remember)” Al-Bukhari collected a similar Hadith from `Abdullah that he said, “I recited to the Prophet (فَهَلْ مِن مُّذَّكِرٍ) (then is there any that will remember) and the Prophet said,
(Then is there any that will remember)” Allah’s statement,
(Then how (terrible) was My torment and My warnings) means, `how terrible was My torment that I inflicted on those who disbelieved in Me and denied My Messengers, who did not heed to My warnings How was My help that I extended to My Messengers and the revenge exerted on their behalf,’
(And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember); meaning, `We have made the Qur’an easy to recite and comprehend for those who seek these traits, to remind mankind,’ as Allah said,
((This is) a Book which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Ayat, and that men of understanding may remember.)(38:29),
(So We have made this (the Qur’an) easy in your own tongue, only that you may give glad tidings to those who have Taqwa and warn with it the most quarrelsome people.)(19:97) Allah said,
(then is there any that will remember), meaning, `is there anyone who will remember through this Qur’an, which We made easy to memorize and easy to understand’ Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi commented on this Ayah, “Is there anyone who will avoid evil”
So, Allah sent on them,
(against them a violently cold (Sarsar) wind), means, a bitterly cold and furious wind,
(on a day of calamity), against them, according to Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and As-Suddi,
(continuous), upon them because the calamity, torment and destruction that they suffered in this life on that day continued with that of the Hereafter,
(Plucking out men as if they were uprooted stems of date palms.) The wind would pluck one of them and raise him high, until he could no longer be seen, and then violently send him down on his head to the ground. His head would be smashed and only his body would be left, headless,
(as if they were uprooted stems of date palms. Then, how was My torment and My warnings And We have indeed made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember; then is there any that will remember)
Allah states here that the people of Thamud denied their Messenger Salih,
(And they said: “A man, alone among us — shall we follow him Truly, then we should be in error and distress!”) They said, `We would have earned failure and loss if we all submitted to a man from among us.’ They were amazed that the Reminder was sent to him alone among them, and therefore, accused him of being a liar,
(Nay, he is an insolent liar!), means, he has tresspassed the limits in his lies. Allah the Exalted responded,
(Tomorrow they will come to know who is the liar, the insolent one!), thus warning and threatening them and delivering a sure promise to them,
(Verily, We are sending the she-camel as a test for them.) To test and try the people of Thamud, Allah sent to them a superb, pregnant female camel that emerged from solid rock, according to their request, so that it would become a proof against them from Allah, the Exalted. Thereafter, they were supposed to believe in what was brought to them by Salih, peace be upon him. Allah ordered His servant and Messenger Salih,
(So watch them, and be patient!) Allah commanded, `await, O Salih, and see what will become of them and be patient; verily the better end will be yours and you will have success in this life and the Hereafter,’
(And inform them that the water is to be shared between them) one day for her to drink and one day for them to drink,
(He said: “Here is a she-camel: it has a right to drink, and you have a right to drink (water) on a day, known.”) (26:155) Allah’s statement,
(each one’s right to drink being established.) Mujahid said, “When she did not drink, they would drink the water, and when she drank, they would drink her milk.” Allah the Exalted said;
(But they called their comrade and he took and killed.) According to the Scholars of Tafsir, his name was Qudar bin Salif; he was the evilest among them,
(When the most wicked man among them went forth (to kill the she-camel).)(91:12) Allah said here,
(and he took) meaning to harm,
(and killed (her). Then, how was My torment and My warnings), `I tormented them, so how was the torment I sent on them because of their disbe- lief in Me and denying My Messenger’
(Verily, We sent against them a single Sayhah, and they became like straw Al-Muhtazir.) They all perished and none of them remained. They were no more, they died out, just as plants and grass dry and die out. As-Suddi said that they became like the dry grass in the desert when it becomes burned and the wind scatters it all about. Ibn Zayd said, “The Arabs used to erect fences (Hizar, from which the word, Al-Muhtazir, is derived) made of dried bushes, around their camels and cattle, so Allah said,
(like straw Al-Muhtazir.)
Allah the Exalted states that the people of Lut defied and denied their Messenger and committed sodomy, the awful immoral sin that no people in the history of mankind had committed before. This is why Allah destroyed them with a type of torment that He never inflicted upon any nation before them. Allah the Exalted commanded Jibril, peace be upon him, to raise their cities to the sky and then turn them upside down over them, followed by stones made of marked Sijjil. So He said here:
(Verily, We sent against them Hasib (a violent storm of stones) except the family of Lut, them We saved in the last hour of the night.) They left the city in the last part of the night and were saved from the torment that struck their people, none of whom believed in Lut. And even Lut’s wife suffered the same end as her people. Allah’s Prophet Lut left Sodom with his daughters in safety, unharmed. Allah said,
(Thus do We reward him who gives thanks. And he indeed had warned them of Our punishment,) meaning, before the torment struck his people, he warned them of Allah’s torment and punishment. They did not heed the warning, nor listen to Lut, but instead doubted and disputed the warning.
(And they indeed sought to shame his guests) that is the night the angels Jibril, Mika’il and Israfil came to him in the shape of handsome young men, as a test from Allah for Lut’s people. Lut hosted his guests, while his wife, the evil old one, sent a message to her people informing them of Lut’s guests. They came to him in haste from every direction, and Lut had to close the door in their faces. They came during the night and tried to break the door; Lut tried to fend them off, while shielding his guests from them, saying,
(These are my daughters, if you must act (so).) (15:71), in reference to their women,
(They said: “Surely, you know that we have neither any desire nor need of your daughters!”)(11:79), meaning, `we do not have any desire for women,’
(and indeed you know well what we want!)(11:79) When the situation became serious and they insisted on coming in, Jibril went out to them and struck their eyes with the tip of his wing, causing them to lose their sight. They went back feeling for the walls to guide them, threatening Lut with what would befall him in the morning. Allah the Exalted said,
(And verily, an abiding torment seized them early in the morning.) meaning, a torment that they had no way of escaping or avoiding,
(Then taste you My torment and My warnings. And indeed, We have made the Qur’an easy to understand and remember; then is there any that will remember)
Allah the Exalted narrates to us the story of Fir`awn and his people. A Messenger came to them from Allah, Musa supported by his brother Harun. Their Messengers delivered good news if they believe, and a warning if they rejected the Message. Allah supported Musa and Harun with tremendous miracles and great signs, but Fir`awn and his people rejected all of them. Allah took them the way the All-Mighty, the All-Capable would; He destroyed them all leaving none surviving to tell the story of what happened to them. Advising and Threatening the Quraysh Allah said,
(Are your disbelievers) meaning, `O idolators of the Quraysh,’
(better than these) meaning better than the nations that were mentioned here, who were destroyed on account of their disbelief in the Messengers and rejecting the Scriptures. `Are you better than these’
(Or have you immunity in the Divine Scriptures), `do you have immunity from Allah that the torment and punishment will not touch you’ Allah said about the Quraysh,
(Or say they: “We are a great multitude, victorious”) stating that they believed they will support each other and their great gathering will avail them against those who intend to harm them. Allah the Exalted responded,
(Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs.) affirming that their gathering shall scatter, and they shall be defeated. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, “The Prophet , while in a dome-shaped tent on the day of the battle of Badr, said,
(O Allah! I ask you for the fulfillment of Your covenant and promise. O Allah! If You wish (to destroy the believers), You will never be worshipped on the earth after today.) Abu Bakr caught him by the hand and said, `This is sufficient, O Allah’s Messenger! You have sufficiently asked and petitioned Allah.’ The Prophet was clad in his armor at that time and went out, saying,
(Their multitude will be put to flight and they will show their backs. Nay, but the Hour is their appointed time and that Hour will be more grievous and more bitter.)” Al-Bukhari also recorded that Yusuf bin Mahak said, “I was with the Mother of the faithful, `A’ishah, when she said, `When I was still a young playful girl in Makkah, this Ayah was revealed to Muhammad ,
(Nay, but the Hour is their appointed time and that Hour will be more grievous and more bitter.)” This is the abridged narration that Al-Bukhari collected, but he also collected a longer narration of it in the Book of the Virtues of the Qur’an. Muslim did not collect this Hadith.
Allah the Exalted states that the criminals are misguided away from the truth and engulfed in confusion, because of the doubts and uncertainty they are in. This description befits every disbeliever and innovator of all types and forms of sects. Allah the Exalted said,
(The Day they will be dragged on their faces into the Fire), meaning, just as they were consumed in doubt, suspicion and hesitation, they ended up in the Fire. And just as they were misguided, they will end up being dragged on their faces, unaware of where they will be taken. They will be admonished and criticized,
(“Taste you the touch of Hell!”)
(Verily, We have created all things with Qadar.) is similar to several other Ayat,
(He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements (Faqaddarahu Taqdir).) (25:2) and,
(Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High. Who has created (everything), and then proportioned it. And Who has measured (Qaddara) and then guided.)(87:1-3), i.e., He measured out the total sum (Qadar) of everything and then guided the creation to it. The Imams of the Sunnah relied on this honorable Ayah as evidence that Allah created the creation with destined limits before they were created. He knew everything that will occur before it occurred and recorded everything that will occur, before they occurred. They used this Ayah and similar Ayat and Hadiths to refute the Qadariyyah sect, who started their sect during the latter time of the Companions. I mentioned this subject in detail in my explanation on the chapter on faith of Sahih Al-Bukhari. I will mention here some Hadiths pertaining to this honorable Ayah. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “The idolators of the Quraysh came to the Messenger of Allah arguing with him and discounting the Qadar. This Ayah was revealed,
(The Day they will be dragged on their faces into the Fire: “Taste you the touch of Hell!” Verily, We have created all things with Qadar.)” Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith. Al-Bazzar recorded that `Amr bin Shu`ayb said that his father narrated that his grandfather said, “These Ayat were revealed about those who deny Al-Qadar,
(Verily, the criminals are in error and will burn. The Day they will be dragged on their faces into the Fire: “Taste you the touch of Hell!” Verily, We have created all things with Qadar.)” Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded that Zurarah said that his father said that the Prophet recited this Ayah,
(“Taste you the touch of Hell!” Verily, We have created all things with Qadar.) and then said,
(These Ayat were revealed about some members of my Ummah. They will come before the end of time and deny Al-Qadar.) Ata’ bin Abi Rabah said, “I went to Ibn `Abbas and found him drawing water from the well of Zamzam. The bottom of his clothes were wet with the water of Zamzam and I said to him, `They talked about Al-Qadar (some denied it).’ He asked, `Have they done this’ I said, `Yes.’ He said, `By Allah! This Ayah was revealed only about them,
(“Taste you the touch of Hell!” Verily, We have created all things with Qadar.) They are the worst members of this Ummah. Do not visit those who fall ill among them or pray the Funeral prayer for those among them who die. If I saw one of them, I would pluck out his eyes with these two fingers of mine.”’ Imam Ahmad recorded that Nafi` said, ” `Abdullah bin `Umar had a friend in the area of Ash-Sham who used to write to him. `Abdullah bin `Umar wrote to him, `I was told that you started talking about Al-Qadar. Therefore, do not dare write to me any more. I heard the Messenger of Allah say,
(There will be some members of my Ummah who will deny Al-Qadar.)” Abu Dawud collected this Hadith from Ahmad bin Hanbal. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Every thing is predetermined, even laziness and intelligence.) Muslim collected this Hadith using a chain of narration through Imam Malik. There is also an authentic Hadith in which the Messenger of Allah said,
(Seek the help of Allah and do not succumb to feebleness. And when an affliction strikes you, say, “Allah has decreed this, and He does as He wills.” Do not say, “Had I done this or that, this or that would have happened, because “if” opens the door wide for the work of Ash-Shaytan.)” In a Hadith from `Abbas, the Messenger of Allah said to him,
(Know that if the Ummah were to all gather their strength to cause you some benefit that Allah has not decreed for you, they will never be able to bring you that benefit. And if they gather their strength to bring a harm to you that Allah has not written on you, they will never be able to harm you. The pens have gone dry and the Books of Record have been closed.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ubadah bin Al-Walid bin Ubadah said that his father said to him, “I went to `Ubadah when he was ill, and I thought that he was going to die. So I said, `O my father, advise us and make the best effort in this regard.’ He said, `Help me sit up,’ and when he was helped up, he said, `O my son! Know that you will not taste the delight of Faith or earn true knowledge in Allah until you believe in Al-Qadar, the good and the not so good parts of it.’ I asked, `O my father! How can I know (or believe in) Al-Qadar, the good and the not so good parts of it’ He said, `When you know that what has missed you, would never have come to you and what has befallen you would never have missed you. O my son! I heard the Messenger of Allah say,
(The first thing Allah created was the Pen, right after that commanded it, `Record!’ and the Pen recorded everything that will occur until the Day of Resurrection.) O my son! If you die not having this belief, you will enter the Hellfire.”’ At-Tirmidhi also recorded it and said: “Hasan Sahih Gharib.” It is confirmed in Sahih Muslim from `Abdullah bin `Amr that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Verily, Allah recorded the measurements for the creatures fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth.) Ibn Wahb added,
(And His Throne was over the water.)(11:7) At-Tirmidhi also recorded it, and he said: “Hasan, Sahih Gharib.”
(And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.) This is information about the execution of His will in His creation, just as He informed us the execution of His decree in them,
(And Our commandment is but one) meaning, `We only command a thing once, without needing to repeat the command; and whatever We command comes to existence faster than the blinking of an eye without any delay, not even for an instant.’ Allah said,
(And indeed, We have destroyed your likes), i.e. the earlier nations who denied their Messengers,
(then is there any that will remember) meaning, is there any that will receive admonition by remembering the humiliation and torment that Allah decreed for them
(And a barrier will be set between them and that which they desire, as was done in the past with the people of their kind.)(34:54) Allah’s statement,
(And everything they have done is noted in Az-Zubur.) meaning, everything they did is recorded in the Books of Record entrusted to the angels, peace be upon them,
(And everything, small and large,) meaning, of their actions,
(is written down.) everything that they do is recorded and written in their Record of deeds, which leave nothing, whether large or small, but it is recorded and counted. Imam Ahmad recorded that `A’ishah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(O `A’ishah! Beware of small sins, because there is someone assigned by Allah who records them.) An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah also collected this Hadith.
(Verily, those who have Taqwa, will be in the midst of Gardens and Rivers.), unlike the end that the miserable are facing, loss, confusion and being dragged in the Fire on their faces, as well as being disgraced, punished and threatened. Allah said,
(In a seat of truth,) in the Dwelling of Allah’s honor, encompassed by His pleasure, favors, bounties, generosity and compassion,
(near the Muqtadir King.) meaning with the Magnificent King Who created everything and measured its destiny; He is able to grant them whatever they wish and ask for. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr said that the Prophet said,
(Verily, the just will be with Allah on podiums of light, to the right of Ar-Rahman, and both of His Hands are right. They are those who are just and fair in their judgement and with their families and those whom they are responsible for.) Muslim and An-Nasa’i also recorded this Hadith.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Iqtarabat (Al-Qamar). All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and success and immunity from error come from Him.
Tafseer Surah Qamar by Abul Ala Maududi
54. Surah Al Qamar (The Moon)
The Surah takes its name from the very first verse Wan shaqq al-Qamar, thereby implying that it is a Surah in which the word al-Qamar has occurred.
Period of Revelation
The incident of the shaqq-al-Qamar (splitting of the moon) that has been mentioned in it, determines its period of revelation precisely. The traditionists and commentators are agreed that this incident took place at Mina in Makkah about five years before the Holy Prophet’s hijrah to Madinah.
Theme and Subject Matter
In this Surah the disbelievers of Makkah have been warned for their stubbornness which they had adopted against the invitation of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The amazing and wonderful phenomenon of the splitting of the Moon was a manifest sign of the truth that the Resurrection, of which the Holy Prophet was giving them the news, could take place and that it had approached near at hand. The great sphere of the Moon had split into two distinct parts in front of their very eyes. The two parts had separated and receded so much apart from each other that to the on-lookers one part had appeared on one side of the mountain and the other on the other side of it. Then, in an instant the two had rejoined. This was a manifest proof of the truth that the system of the Universe was neither eternal nor immortal, it could be disrupted. Huge stars and Planets could split asunder, disintegrate, collide with each other, and everything that had been depicted in the Quran In connection with the description of the details of Resurrection, could happen. Not only this : it was also a portent that the disintegration of the system of the Universe had begun and the time was near when Resurrection would take place. The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) invited the people’s attention to this event only with this object in view and asked them to mark it and be a witness to it. But the disbelievers described it as a magical illusion add persisted in their denial. For this stubbornness they have been reproached in this Surah.
At the outset it has been said: “These people neither believe in the admonition, nor learn a lesson from history, nor affirm faith after witnessing manifest signs with their eyes. Now they would believe only when Resurrection has taken place and they would be rushing out of their graves towards the Summoner on that Day.”
Then, the stories of the people of Noah and of ‘Ad and Thamud and of the peoples of Lot and the Pharaoh have been related briefly and they have been reminded of the terrible punishments that these nations suffered when they belied and disregarded the warnings given by the Prophets of God. After the narration of each story the refrain that has been provided is : “This Qur’an is an easy means of admonition, which if a nation takes to heart and thereby takes the Right Way, the torment that descended on the former nations could be avoided. But it would indeed be a folly if instead of heeding the admonition through this easy means, one persisted in heedlessness and disbelieved until one was overtaken by the torment itself.”
Likewise, after citing admonitory precedents from the history of the former nations, the disbelievers of Makkah have been addressed and warned to this effect: “If you too adopt the same attitude and conduct for which the other nations have already been punished, why will you not be punished for it?Are you in any way a superior people that you should be treated differently from others? Or, have you received a deed of amnesty that you will not be punished for the crime for which others have been punished?And if you feel elated at your great numbers, you will soon see that these very numbers of yours are put to rout (on the battlefield) and on the Day of Resurrection you will be dealt with even more severely.”
In the end, the disbelievers have been told that Allah does not need to make lengthy preparations to bring about Resurrection. No sooner does He give a simple command for it than it will take place immediately. Like everything else the Universe and mankind also have a destiny. According to this destiny everything happens at its own appointed time. It cannot be so that whenever somebody gives a challenge, Resurrection is brought about in order to convince him. If you adopt rebellion because you do not see it coming, you will only be adding to your own distress and misfortune. For your record which is being prepared by Divine agents, has not left any misdeed of yours, great or small, unrecorded.
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
1-8 The day of judgment is drawing near yet the unbelievers ate not paying heed to the signs of Allah
(54:1) The Hour of Resurrection drew near and the moon split asunder.1 (54:2) (Regardless of any Signs these people see), they turn away and say: “This is an ongoing sorcery.”2 (54:3) They also gave the lie to (the splitting asunder of the moon) and only followed their desires.3 Yet everything is destined to reach an end. 4 (54:4) Surely there came to them narratives (of the ancient nations) that should suffice to deter (them from transgression), (54:5) narratives that are full of consummate wisdom. But warnings do not avail them. (54:6) So turn away from them, (O Prophet).5 On the Day when a caller shall call them to a thing most terrible,6 (54:7) with down-cast eyes8 they shall go forth from their graves,7 as though they were scattered locusts. (54:8) They shall be hurrying forth towards the caller, and the unbelievers (who had once denied this Day), will say: “This is a woeful Day.”
1. That is, the splitting of the Moon asunder is a portent that the Hour of Resurrection of which you are being foretold, has drawn near at hand, and the order of the universe has begun to be disrupted. Moreover, the incident that a great sphere like the moon has split into two distinct parts is a specific proof of the fact that Resurrection of which you are being forewarned can take place. Obviously, when the Moon can split, the earth can also split, the orbits of the stars and planets can also change and the whole system of the heavens can also be disturbed. There is nothing eternal and everlasting and stable here so that Resurrection may be improbable.
Some people have taken this sentence to mean: The Moon will split. Although according to Arabic usage it is possible to take this meaning, the context clearly rejects it. In the first place, if this were the meaning, the first sentence would become meaningless. If the moon had not actually split at the time when this revelation was made, but it was going to split some time in the future, it would be absurd to say on the basis of this that the Hour of Resurrection had approached near at hand. After all, how can an incident that is to take place in the future, be regarded as a sign of Resurrection’s being near at hand, and how can such a testimony be put forward as a rational argument? Second, with this meaning in mind when we read the following verses, they appear to be altogether incoherent. The verses that follow clearly show that the people at that time had witnessed a sign that was a manifest portent of the possibility of Resurrection, but they rejected it as a magical illusion, and persisted in their belief that Resurrection was not possible. In this context, the words inshaqq-al-Qamar can be meaningful only if they are taken to mean: The moon split asunder. If they are taken to mean: The moon will split asunder, the entire following theme becomes disjointed. It will look like this:
The Hour of Resurrection has drawn near and the moon will split asunder. Yet whatever sign these people may see, they turn away and say: This is current magic! They have denied and followed only their own lusts.
Therefore, the truth is that the incident of the splitting of the moon is confirmed explicitly by the words of the Quran and it is not dependent upon the traditions of the Hadith. However, the traditions supply its details, and one comes to know when and how it had taken place. These traditions have been related by Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Abu Uwanah, Abu Daud Tayalisi, Abdur Razzaq, Ibn Jarir, Baihaqi, Tabarani, Ibn Marduyah, and Abu Nuaim Tsfahani with many chains of transmitters on the authority of Ali, Abdullah bin Masud, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abdullah bin Umar, Hudhaifah, Anas bin Malik and Jubair bin Mutim. Three of these authorities, viz, Abdullah bin Masud, Hudhaifah, and Jubair bin Mutim state that they were the eye-witnesses of this event; two of them cannot be its eye-witnesses, for this event took place before the birth of one (i.e. Abdullah bin Abbas) and at a time when the other (i.e. Anas bin Malik) was yet a child. But since both these scholars were companions, obviously they must have reported this event after they had heard it from the aged companions who had direct knowledge of it.
The information that one gathers from the various traditions is that this incident occurred about five years before the Hijrah. It was the 14th night of the lunar month; the moon had just risen when it suddenly split and its two parts were seen on either side of the hill in front. Then after a moment or so they rejoined. The Prophet (peace be upon him) at that time was at Mina. He told the people to mark it and be witnesses to it. The disbelievers said that Muhammad (peace be upon him) had worked magic on them; therefore, their eyes had been deceived. The other people said: Muhammad could have worked magic on us but not on all the people. Let the people from other places come, we shall ask them if they also had witnessed this incident. When the people from other places came, they bore evidence that they also had witnessed the same phenomenon.
Some traditions which have been related from Anas give rise to the misunderstanding that the incident of the splitting of the moon had happened twice. But, in the first place, no one else from among the companions has stated this; second, in some traditions of Anas himself also the words are marratain (twice), and in some firqatain and shaqqatain (two pieces); third, the Quran mentions only one incident of the moon’s splitting asunder. The correct view therefore is that this incident happened only once. As for the stories which are current among the people that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had made a gesture towards the moon and it split into two parts and that one part of the moon entered the breast of the garment of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and went out of the sleeve, have no basis whatsoever.
Here, the question arises: What was the real nature of this incident. Was it a miracle that the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed on the demand of the disbelievers of Makkah as a proof of his Prophethood? Or, was it only an accident that occurred on the moon by the power of Allah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) had only called the peoples’ attention to it and warned them to mark it as a sign of the possibility and nearness of Resurrection? A large group of the Muslim scholars regards it as among the miracles of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and holds the view that it had been shown on the demand of the disbelievers. But this view is based only on some of those traditions which have been related from Anas. Apart from him no other companion has stated this. According to Fath al Bari, Ibn Hajar says: Apart from the narration by Anas, in no other narration of this story have I come across the theme that the incident of the splitting of the moon had taken place on the demand of the polytheists. (Bab Inshiqaq al-Qamar). Abu Nuaim Isfahani has related a tradition on this subject in Daleil an-Nubuwwat, on the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas also, but it has a weak chain of transmitters and none of the traditions that have been related with strong chains of transmitters in the collections of Hadith on the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas, contains any mention of this. Furthermore, neither Anas nor Abdullah bin Abbas was a contemporary of this incident. On the contrary, none of the companions, from among Abdullah bin Masud, Hudhaifah, Jubair bin Mutim, Ali, Abdullah bin Umar, who were contemporaries of the incident, has stated that the pagans of Makkah had demanded a sign from the Prophet (peace be upon him) to testify to his Prophethood on which he might have shown the miracle of the splitting of the moon. Above all, the Quran itself is also presenting this event not as a sign of the Prophethood but as a sign of the nearness of Resurrection. However, this was indeed conspicuous proof of the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) truthfulness because it testified to the news that he was giving to the people of the coming of Resurrection.
The critics raise two kinds of objections against it. In the first place, they say it is impossible that a great sphere like the moon should split asunder into two distinct parts, which should get hundreds of miles apart and then rejoin. Secondly, they say if it had so happened, it would be a wellknown event in the world and would have found mention in the books of History and Astronomy. But, in fact, both these objections are flimsy. As for the discussion of its possibility, it could perhaps find credibility in the ancient days but on the basis of what man has come to know in the present day about the structure of the planets, it can be said that it is just possible that a sphere may burst because of its internal volcanic action and its two parts may be thrown far apart by the mighty eruption, and then may rejoin under the magnetic force of their center. As for the second objection, it is flimsy because the event had taken place suddenly and lasted a short time only. It was not necessary that at that particular moment the world might be looking at the moon. There was no explosion either that might have attracted the people’s attention; there was no advance information of it that the people might be awaiting its occurrence and looking up at the sky. It could not also be seen everywhere on the earth but only in Arabia and the eastern lands where the moon had risen and was visible at that time. The taste and art of writing history also had not yet developed so that the people who might have witnessed it, should have made a record of it and then some historian might have gathered the evidence and preserved it in some book of History. However, in the Histories of Malabar mention has been made of a native ruler who had witnessed this phenomenon that night. As for the books of Astronomy and Calendars, this event might have been mentioned in them only if the event had affected the movement of the moon, its orbit and the times of its rising and setting. As no such thing happened, it did not attract the ancient astronomers’ attention. The observatories were also not so developed that they might have taken notice of everything happening in the heavens and preserved a record of it.
2. The words sihr-um mustamirr of the text can have several meanings:
(1) That, God forbid, this magical illusion also is one of those magical performances that Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been performing day and night.
(2) That this certainly is a work of magic which has been performed with great expertise.
(3) That just as other works of magic have passed, so will this also pass without leaving any lasting effect behind.
3. That is, they still persisted in the same decision that they had made of denying the Hereafter and have not changed their mind even after having witnessed this manifest sign, mainly because it clashed with their desires of the flesh.
4. That is, it cannot be so endlessly that Muhammad (peace be upon him) should go on inviting you to the truth while you persist in your falsehood stubbornly and his truth and your falsehood should never be established. All affairs ultimately have to reach an appointed end. Likewise, inevitably this conflict between you and Muhammad (peace be upon him) has also to reach an end. A time will certainly come when it will be clearly established that he had been in the right and you in the wrong throughout. Likewise, the worshipers of the truth shall one day see the result of their worshiping the truth and the worshipers of falsehood of their worshiping the falsehood.
5. In other words, leave them to themselves. When every effort has been made to make them understand the truth in the most rational ways, when instances have been cited from history to show them the evil results of the denial of the Hereafter, when the dreadful fates suffered by the other nations in consequence of their rejecting the Prophetic messages have been brought to their notice and yet they are disinclined to give up their stubbornness, they should be left alone to gloat over their follies. Now, they would believe only when after death they arise from their graves to see with their own eyes that the Resurrection of which they were being forewarned and exhorted to adopt the truth, had actually taken place.
6. Another meaning can be “an unknown thing”, a thing which they never could imagine, of which they never had any concept and no idea whatever that it also could occur.
8. Literally: Their looks will be downcast. This can have several meanings:
(1) That they will appear terror-stricken.
(2) That they will be reflecting disgrace and humiliation, for as soon as they arise out of their graves they would realize that it was indeed the same second life which they had been denying, for which they had made no preparation, and in which they would have to present themselves before their God as culprits.
(3) That with awe-struck looks they would be watching the dreadful scenes before them, from which they would not be able to avert their eyes.
9. That is, they denied that the Hereafter has to take place when man will have to render an account of his deeds; they denied the Prophethood of the Prophet who was making his people aware of this truth; and they denied the teaching of the Prophet, which taught them what to believe and what creed and conduct they should adopt in order to pass the reckoning of the Hereafter.
9-22 We have made the Quran easy to understand the admonition, so is there any who would take the admonition?
(54:9) Before them Noah’s people also gave the lie (to his Message).9 They rejected Our servant as a liar, saying: “He is a madman”; and he was rebuffed.10 (54:10) Then he called upon His Lord: “Verily I am vanquished; so come You to my aid.” (54:11) Thereupon We opened the gates of the sky for water to pour down, (54:12) and We made the earth burst forth with springs,11 and all this water converged to fulfil that which had been decreed. (54:13) And We bore Noah on the vessel built of planks and nails,12 (54:14) which sailed on under Our supervision: a reward for him who had been shown ingratitude.13 (54:15) And We left the Ark as a Sign.14 Is there, then, any who will take heed? (54:16) So how awesome were My chastisement and My warnings! (54:17) We have made this Qur’an easy as a reminder.15 Is there, then, any who will take heed? (54:18) ‘Ad also gave the lie (to Hud). So how awesome were My chastisement and My warnings! (54:19) We sent a tumultuous wind against them on a day of unremitting misfortune,16 (54:20) which tore people away and hurled them as though they were trunks of uprooted palm-trees. (54:21) So how awesome were My chastisement and My warnings! (54:22) We have made the Qur’an easy to derive lessons from. Is there, then, any who will take heed?
9. That is, they denied that the Hereafter has to take place when man will have to render an account of his deeds; they denied the Prophethood of the Prophet who was making his people aware of this truth; and they denied the teaching of the Prophet, which taught them what to believe and what creed and conduct they should adopt in order to pass the reckoning of the Hereafter.
10. That is, the people not only belied the Prophet but also branded him as a madman; they uttered threats against him, showered him with curses and abuses; and did whatever possibly they could to stop him from preaching the truth, and thus made life extremely difficult for him.
11. That is, the earth so burst forth with springs at the command of Allah that it was no longer earth but presented a scene of the springs all around.
12. This signifies the Ark which the Prophet Noah had built under Allah’s care and guidance even before the coming of the Flood.
13. Literally: This was a vengeance for the sake of him whose kufr had been committed. If kufr be taken in the sense of denial, it would mean: Whose message had been denied and rejected; and if it is taken in the meaning of ingratitude for a blessing, it would mean: Who was indeed a blessing for the people, but had been ungratefully rejected.
14. It may also mean: We left this dreadful punishment as a sign of warning, but in our opinion the preferable meaning is that the Ark was left as a sign of warning. Its resting and existence on a high mountain continued to warn the later generations of the wrath of God for thousand of years and kept on reminding them how the people who had disobeyed God on this earth had met their fall, and how the believers had been rescued from it. Imam Bukhari, Ibn Abi Hatim, Abdur Razzaq and Ibn Jarir have related traditions on the authority of Qatadah saying that at the time the Muslims conquered Iraq and al-Jazirah, this Ark still existed on Mount Judi (and according to a tradition, near the settlement of Baqirda), and the early Muslims had seen it. In the modern times also some people during their flights in the airplanes have sighted an Ark-like object on a peak in this region, which is suspected to be the Ark of Noah, and on the basis of the same, expeditions have been sent from time to time to search it out. (For further details, see (E.N. 47 of Surah Al-Aaraf); (E.N. 46 of Surah Houd), and ( E.N. 25 of Surah Al-Ankabut).
15. Some people have misconstrued the words yassarnal- Quran to mean that the Quran is an easy Book; no knowledge is required to understand it so much so that a person even without the knowledge of the Arabic language, can write a commentary on it, and can deduce any injunctions he likes from its verses independent of the Hadith and Islamic Law, whereas the context in which these words occur, indicates that they are meant to make the people realize this: One means of the admonition are the dreadful torments that descended upon the rebellious nations, and the other means is this Quran, which guides you to the right path by argument and instruction. Obviously, this means of admonition is by far the easier one; then, why don’t you take advantage of it and insist on meeting with the torment instead? It is indeed Allah’s bounty that He has sent this Book through His Prophet and is warning you that the ways you are following lead only to destruction and your well-being lies only in following this way. This method of admonition has been adopted so that you are rescued even before you fall into the pit of destruction. Now, who could be more foolish than the one who does not believe in the admonition and realizes his error only after he has fallen into the pit.
16. That is, on a day the ill omen of which continued to rage for several days. In Surah HaMim As-Sajdah, Ayat 16, the words are: fi ayyam in nahisat, in a few ill-omened days, and in (Surah Al-Haqqah, Ayat 7), it has been said: This wind storm continued to rage for seven nights and eight days. It is said that the day on which the storm started was Wednesday. From this the idea spread that Wednesday was a day of ill-luck, and no work should be started on this day. Some very weak traditions also have been cited to support this view, which have further strengthened the idea that this day is ill-omened. For example, there is Ibn Marduyah and Khatib al-Baghdadi’s tradition that the last Wednesday of the month is ill-omened, the ill-omen of which is endless. Ibn Jauzi regards this tradition as fabricated and Ibn Rajab as unauthentic. Hafiz Sakhavi says that all the methods through which this tradition has been reported, are weak. Likewise, Tabarani’s tradition (Wednesday is a day of perpetual ill-luck) also has been declared as weak by the scholars of Hadith. In some other traditions one is also forbidden to start a journey, to do business transactions, to pare the nails, or to visit the sick on a Wednesday. They also say that leprosy starts on this day. But all these traditions are weak and these cannot be made the basis of any belief. The scholar Munawi says: To abandon Wednesday, taking it as ill-omened and to entertain the astrologer’s whims in this regard is forbidden, strictly forbidden. For, all days belong to Allah. no day is beneficial by itself nor harmful. Allama Alusi says: All days are equal, Wednesday has no peculiarity about it. There is no hour in the night or day which might be good for one person and bad for another. It is Allah Who creates favorable conditions for some people and adverse for others.
23-40 Story of Thamud and Lut who called their Prophet liars to show how terrible was Allah’s scourge and how clear was His warning?
(54:23) Thamud gave the lie to the warnings, (54:24) saying: “Are we to follow a single mortal,17 one from among ourselves? If we do that, we shall surely be in error and folly. (54:25) Was there none but he to whom the Reminder could be vouchsafed excluding all others? Nay; he is an insolent liar.”18 (54:26) (We told Our Messenger): “Tomorrow they shall know who is the insolent liar. (54:27) We shall send the she-camel as a trial for them; so watch their end with patience. (54:28) Let them know that the water should be divided between them and the she-camel, each availing their turn.”19 (54:29) Eventually, they summoned their companion, and he undertook the (outrageous) task and hamstrung the she-camel.20 (54:30) So how awesome were My chastisement and My warnings! (54:31) Behold, We sent a single Blast against them, and they became like the trampled twigs of a sheep pen-builder.21 (54:32) Surely We have made this Qur’an easy as a reminder. Is there, then, any who will take heed? (54:33) Lot’s people also gave the lie to the warnings, (54:34) and behold, We let loose upon them a tempest which rained stones upon them, except upon Lot’s household whom We rescued in the last hours of the night (54:35) as a favour from Us. Thus do We reward those who give thanks. (54:36) Surely Lot warned his people that We shall seize them (with Our chastisement), but they doubted the warnings. (54:37) Then they even solicited his guests from him, whereupon We blotted out their eyes, (telling them): “Now have a taste of My chastisement and My warnings.” 22 (54:38) Indeed an abiding chastisement came upon them in the morning. (54:39) So have a taste of My chastisement and My warnings. (54:40) Surely We have made this Qur’an easy as a reminder. Is there, then, any who will take heed?
17. In other words, there were three reasons for their refusal to obey and follow the Prophet Salih:
(1) He is a human being and not a super-human person so that we may regard him as superior to ourselves.
(2) He is a member of our own nation, he is in no way superior to us.
(3) He is a single man, one from among ourselves. He is not a prominent chief with a large following, or an army of soldiers. Or a host of attendants so that we may acknowledge his superiority. They wanted that a Prophet should either be a superman, or if he be a common man, he should not have been born in their own land and nation, but should have descended from above, or sent from another land, and if nothing else, he should at least have been a rich man, whose extraordinary splendor should make the people believe why Allah had selected him alone for the leadership of the nation. This same was the error of ignorance in which the disbelievers of Makkah were involved. They also refused to acknowledge the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a Prophet on the basis that he was a man who moved about in the streets like the common men, had been born among them only the other day and now was claiming that God had appointed him as a Prophet.
18. The word ashir of the original means a conceited, insolent person given to bragging of his own superiority over others.
19. This explains the verse: We are sending the she-camel as a trial for them. The trial was that suddenly a she-camel was produced before them and they were told that one day she would drink the water all by herself and the next day they would be allowed to have water for themselves and their cattle. On the day of her turn neither would any of them himself come to any of the springs and wells to take water nor bring his cattle for watering. This challenge was given on behalf of the person about whom they themselves admitted that he had no army and no hosts to support him.
20. These words by themselves indicate that the she-camel roamed at will in their settlements for a long period of time. No one could dare approach a source of water on the day of her turn. At last, they called out to a haughty chief of theirs who was well known for his courage and boldness, and urged him to put an end to her. Emboldened by the false encouragement, he took up the responsibility and killed the she-camel. This clearly means that the people were very frightened. They felt that she had extraordinary power, and so they dared not touch her with an evil intention. That is why the killing of a mere she-camel especially when the Prophet who had presented her, did not possess any army that could be a deterrent for them, amounted to undertaking a dangerous and difficult task. (For further details. see (E.N 58 of Surah Al-Aaraf) and (E.Ns 104. 105 of Surah Ash-Shuara).
21. The crushed and rotten bodies of the people of Thamud have been compared to the trampled and trodden twigs and pieces of bush lying around an enclosure for cattle.
22. The details of this story have been given in (Surah Houd, Ayats 77-83) and (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayats 61-74), a resume of which is as follows: When Allah decided to punish those people with a torment, He sent a few angels in the guise of handsome boys as guests in the house of the Prophet Lot (peace be upon him). When the people saw such handsome guests in Lot’s house, they rushed to it and demanded that they be handed over to them for the gratification of their lust. The Prophet Lot implored them to desist from their evil intention, but they did not listen and tried to enter his house to take hold of the guests forcibly. At this stage suddenly their eyes were blinded. Then the angels told Prophet Lot (peace be upon him) that he and his household should leave the city before dawn; then as soon as they had left a dreadful torment descended on the people. In the Bible also this event has been described. The words are: And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. But the men (i.e. the angels) put forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door. (Gen. 19: 9-11).
41-44 People of Fir’on were seized for disbelieving Allah’s warning The same warning has come to you, will you not take admonition?
(54:41) Warnings also came to the Pharaonites, (54:42) but they gave the lie to Our Signs, to all of them. Thereupon We seized them with the seizing of the Most Mighty, the Most Powerful. (54:43) Are your unbelievers (of Makkah) any better than they?23 Or have you been granted any immunity in the Scriptures? (54:44) Or do they say: “We are a strong legion, strong enough for victory?”
23. The address here is directed to the Quraish, as if to say: When the other nation have been punished for adopting disbelief and showing stubbornness and denying the truth, why would you not be punished if you adopted the same attitude and conduct. For, you are not a special people in any way.