Surah Takwir >> Currently viewing Surah Takwir Ayat 1 (81:1)

Surah Takwir Ayat 1 in Arabic Text

إِذَا ٱلشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ
Izash shamsu kuwwirat

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 1

Sahih International
When the sun is wrapped up [in darkness]

Yusuf Ali
When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up;

Abul Ala Maududi
When the sun shall be folded up,

Muhsin Khan
When the sun Kuwwirat (wound round and lost its light and is overthrown).

When the sun is overthrown,

Dr. Ghali
When the sun will be rolled, (i.e., folded; compressed).

Abdel Haleem
When the sun is shrouded in darkness,

Quran 81 Verse 1 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Takwir ayat 1, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.


(81:1) When the sun shall be folded up,[1]

1. This is a matchless metaphor for causing the sun to lose its light. Takwir means to fold up; hence takwir al-amamah is used for folding up the turban on the head. Here, the light which radiates from the sun and spreads throughout the solar system has been likened to the turban and it has been said that on the Resurrection Day the turban will be folded up about the sun and its radiation will fade.


1.When the sun is Kuwwirat. 2. And when the stars Inkadarat. 3. And when the mountains are made to pass away; 4. And when the pregnant she-camels are neglected; 5. And when the wild beasts are gathered together. 6. And when the seas become as blazing fire. 7. And when the souls are joined with their mates. 8. And when the female infant (Al-Maw’udah) buried alive is questioned (Su’ilat): 9. For what sin was she killed 10. And when the pages are laid open. 11. And when the heaven is Kushitat; 12. And when Hell is Su`irat. 13. And when Paradise is brought near. 14. Every person will know what he has brought.

What will happen on the Day of Judgement, and that is the rolling up of the Sun

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas:

﴿إِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ ﴾

(When the sun is Kuwwirat.) “This means it will be darkened.” Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas; “It will go away.” Qatadah said, “Its light will go away.” Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “Kuwwirat means it will sink in.” Abu Salih said, “Kuwwirat means it will be thrown down.” At-Takwir means to gather one part of something with another part of it (i.e., folding). From it comes the folding of the turban (`Imamah) and the folding of clothes together. Thus, the meaning of Allah’s statement,


(Kuwwirat) is that part of it will be folded up into another part of it. Then it will be rolled up and thrown away. When this is done to it, its light will go away. Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,

«الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ يُكَوَّرَانِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة»

(The sun and the moon will be rolled up on the Day of Judgement.) Al-Bukhari was alone in recording this Hadith and this is his wording of it.

Dispersing the Stars

﴿وَإِذَا النُّجُومُ انكَدَرَتْ ﴾

(And when the stars Inkadarat.) meaning, when they are scattered. This is as Allah says,

﴿وَإِذَا الْكَوَاكِبُ انتَثَرَتْ ﴾

(And when the stars have fallen and scattered.) (82:2) The basis of the word Inkidar is Insibab, which means to be poured out. Ar-Rabi` bin Anas reported from Abu Al-`Aliyah, who reported from Ubayy bin Ka`b that he said, “Six signs will take place before the Day of Judgement. The people will be in their marketplaces when the sun’s light will go away. When they are in that situation, the stars will be scattered. When they are in that situation, the mountains will fall down upon the face of the earth, and the earth will move, quake and be in a state of mixed up confusion. So the Jinns will then flee in fright to the humans and the humans will flee to the Jinns. The domestic beasts, birds and wild animals will mix together, and they will surge together in a wave (of chaos).

﴿وَإِذَا الْوُحُوشُ حُشِرَتْ ﴾

(And when the wild beasts are gathered together.) This means they will be mixed.

﴿وَإِذَا الْعِشَارُ عُطِّلَتْ ﴾

(And when the pregnant she camels are neglected;) This means their owners will neglect them.

﴿وَإِذَا الْبِحَارُ سُجِّرَتْ ﴾

(And when the seas become as blazing fire)” Then he (Ubayy) went on to say, “The Jinns will say, `We come to you with news.’ So they will all go to the sea, and it will be a blazing fire. While they are in that state, the earth will be split with one huge crack that will extend from the lowest, seventh earth to the highest, seventh heaven. So while they are in that state, a wind will come that will kill all of them.” Ibn Jarir recorded this narration with this wording.

Moving of the Mountains, abandoning of the Pregnant She-Camels, and the gathering of the Wild Beasts

Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِذَا الْجِبَالُ سُيِّرَتْ ﴾

(And when the mountains are made to pass away;) meaning, they will not remain in their places and they will be destroyed. Then the earth will be left as a flat, level plain. Then Allah says,

﴿وَإِذَا الْعِشَارُ عُطِّلَتْ ﴾

(And when the pregnant she-camels (`Ishar) are neglected (`Uttilat);) `Ikrimah and Mujahid said, “`Ishar are (pregnant she-) camels.” Mujahid said, “`Uttilat means abandoned and left.” Ubayy bin Ka`b and Ad-Dahhak both said, “Their owners will neglect them.” Ar-Rabi` bin Khuthaym said, “They will not be milked or tied up. Their masters will leave them abandoned.” Ad-Dahhak said, “They will be left with no one to tend to them.” And the meaning of all of these statements is similar. What is intended is that the `Ishar is a type of camel. It is actually the best type of camel, and particularly the pregnant females of them when they have reached the tenth month of their pregnancies. One of them is singularly referred to as `Ushara’, and she keeps that name until she gives birth. So the people will be too busy to tend to her, take care of her or benefit from her, after she used to be the most important thing to them. This will be due to what will suddenly overtake them of the great, terrifying and horrible situation. This is the matter of the Day of Judgement, the coming together of its causes, and the occurrence of those things that will happen before it.

﴿وَإِذَا الْوُحُوشُ حُشِرَتْ ﴾

(And when the wild beasts are gathered together.) meaning, gathered. This is as Allah says,

﴿وَمَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَلاَ طَائِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلاَّ أُمَمٌ أَمْثَـلُكُمْ مَّا فَرَّطْنَا فِى الكِتَـبِ مِن شَىْءٍ ثُمَّ إِلَى رَبِّهِمْ يُحْشَرُونَ ﴾

(There is not a moving creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are communities like you. We have neglected nothing in the Book, then unto their Lord they shall be gathered.) (6:38) Ibn `Abbas said, “Everything will be gathered, even the flies.” This statement was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. Allah also says,

﴿وَالطَّيْرَ مَحْشُورَةً﴾

(And (so did) the birds assembled.) ﴿38:19﴾ meaning, gathered.

The Blazing of the Seas

Allah says,

﴿وَإِذَا الْبِحَارُ سُجِّرَتْ ﴾

(And when the seas become as blazing fire.) Ibn Jarir recorded from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib that `Ali said to a Jewish man, “Where is the Hell” The man said, “The sea.” `Ali then said, “I think he is truthful, as Allah says

﴿وَالْبَحْرِ الْمَسْجُورِ ﴾

(And by the seas kindled (Masjur).) (52:6) and;

﴿وَإِذَا الْبِحَارُ سُجِّرَتْ ﴾

(And when the seas become as blazing fire.)” This has already been discussed previously with the explanation of Allah’s statement,

﴿وَالْبَحْرِ الْمَسْجُورِ ﴾

(And by the seas kindled (Masjur).) (52:6)

Joining the Souls

Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِذَا النُّفُوسُ زُوِّجَتْ ﴾

(And when the souls are joined with their mates.) meaning, every type (of soul) will be gathered with its peer (or mate). This is as Allah says,

﴿احْشُرُواْ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ وَأَزْوَجَهُمْ﴾

(It will be said to the angels): “Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions (from the devils).) (37:22) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from An-Nu`man bin Bashir that the Messenger of Allah said,

﴿وَإِذَا النُّفُوسُ زُوِّجَتْ ﴾

الضُّرَبَاءُ: كُلُّ رَجُلٍ مَعَ كُلِّ قَوْمٍ كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ عَمَلَهُ وَذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقُولُ:

﴿وَكُنتُمْ أَزْوَاجاً ثَلَـثَةً – فَأَصْحَـبُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ مَآ أَصْحَـبُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ – وَأَصْحَـبُ الْمَشْـَمَةِ مَآ أَصْحَـبُ الْمَشْـَمَةِ – وَالسَّـبِقُونَ السَّـبِقُونَ ﴾

هُمُ الضُّرَبَاء»

((And When the souls are joined with their mates.)( Those who are alike. Every man will be with every group of people who performed the same deeds that he did. (This is because Allah says, (And you (all) will be in three groups. So those on the Right Hand – how (fortunate) will be those on Right Hand! And those on the Left Hand – how (unfortunate) will be those on the Left Hand!) (56: 7-10) (They are those who are alike.)

Questioning the Female Infant Who was buried Alive

Allah says,

﴿وَإِذَا الْمَوْءُودَةُ سُئِلَتْ – بِأَىِّ ذَنبٍ قُتِلَتْ ﴾

(And when the female infant (Al-Maw’udah) buried alive is questioned: For what sin was she killed) The majority have recited it as Su’ilat (she is questioned), as it is here. Al-Maw’udah is the female infant that the people of the pre-Islamic time of ignorance would bury in the dirt due to their hatred of girls. Therefore, on the Day of Judgement, the female infant will be asked what sin she committed that caused here to be murdered. This will be a means of frightening her murderer. For verily, if the one who was wronged is questioned, what does the wrongdoer (the one who is guilty of the oppression) think then `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

﴿وَإِذَا الْمَوْءُودَةُ سُئِلَتْ ﴾

(And when the female infant (Al-Maw’udah) buried alive Su’ilat:) “This means that she will ask.” Abu Ad-Duha made a similar statement when he said, “She will ask, meaning she will demand restitution for her blood.” The same has been reported from As-Suddi and Qatadah. Hadiths have been reported concerning the Maw’udah. Imam Ahmad recorded from `A’ishah, who reported from Judamah bint Wahb, the sister of `Ukkashah, that she said, “I was in the presence of the Messenger of Allah when he was with some people, and he said,

«لَقَدْ هَمَمْتُ أَنْ أَنْهَى عَنِ الْغِيلَةِ فَنَظَرْتُ فِي الرُّومِ وَفَارِسَ، فَإِذَا هُمْ يُغِيلُونَ أَوْلَادَهُمْ، وَلَا يَضُرُّ أَوْلَادَهُمْ ذلِكَ شَيْئًا»

(I was about to prohibit sexual relations with breast feeding women, but then I saw that the Romans and the Persians have sexual relations with their women who breast feed their children and it does not harm the children at all.) Then they asked him about interruption of sexual intercourse to prevent the male discharge from entering the womb of the woman, and he said,

«ذلِكَ الْوَأْدُ الْخَفِيُّ، وَهُوَ الْمَوْءُودَةُ سُئِلَت»

(That is the minor infanticide and it is the female infant buried alive (Maw’udah) that will be questioned.)” Muslim, Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i, all recorded this Hadith as well.

The Atonement for burying Infant Girls Alive

`Abdur-Razzaq said that Isra’il informed them from Simak bin Harb, from An-Nu`man bin Bashir, who reported from `Umar bin Al-Khattab that he said concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِذَا الْمَوْءُودَةُ سُئِلَتْ ﴾

(And when the female infant buried alive is questioned.) “Qays bin `Asim came to the Messenger of Allah and said, `O Messenger of Allah! Verily, I buried some daughters of mine alive in the period of pre-Islamic ignorance.’ The Messenger of Allah said,

«أَعْتِقْ عَنْ كُلِّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْهُنَّ رَقَبَة»

(Free a slave for each one of them.) Then Qays said, `O Messenger of Allah! Verily, I am an owner of camels.’ The Prophet said,

«فَانْحَرْ عَنْ كُلِّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْهُنَّ بَدَنَة»

(Then sacrifice a camel for each one of them.)”

The Distribution of the Pages

Allah says,

﴿وَإِذَا الصُّحُفُ نُشِرَتْ ﴾

(And when the pages are laid open.) Ad-Dahhak said, “Every person will be given his paper in his right hand or in his left hand.” Qatadah said, “O Son of Adam ! It (your paper) is written in, then it is rolled up, then it will be distributed to you on the Day of Judgement. So let each man look at what he himself dictated to be written in his paper.”

Removing the Heavens, kindling Hellfire, and Paradise being brought near

Allah says,

﴿وَإِذَا السَّمَآءُ كُشِطَتْ ﴾

(And when the heaven is Kushitat;) Mujahid said, “It drawns away.” As-Suddi said, “Stripped off.” Concerning Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِذَا الْجَحِيمُ سُعِّرَتْ ﴾

(And when Hell is Su`irat.) As-Suddi said, “It is heated.” In reference to Allah’s statement,

﴿وَإِذَا الْجَنَّةُ أُزْلِفَتْ ﴾

(And when Paradise is brought near.) Ad-Dahhak, Abu Malik, Qatadah, and Ar-Rabi` bin Khuthaym, all said, “This means it will be brought near to its inhabitants.”

Everyone will know what He has brought on the Day of Judgement Concerning

Allah’s statement,

﴿عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّآ أَحْضَرَتْ ﴾

(Every person will know what he has brought.) This is the conclusive response of the previous statements, meaning at the time these matters occur, every soul will know what it has done, and that will be brought forth for it, as Allah says,

﴿يَوْمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُّحْضَرًا وَمَا عَمِلَتْ مِن سُوءٍ تَوَدُّ لَوْ أَنَّ بَيْنَهَا وَبَيْنَهُ أَمَدَا بَعِيدًا﴾

(On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done, and all the evil he has done, he will wish that there were a great distance between him and his evil.) (3:30) Allah also says,

﴿يُنَبَّأُ الإِنسَـنُ يَوْمَئِذِ بِمَا قَدَّمَ وَأَخَّرَ ﴾

(On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward, and what he left behind.) (75:13)

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