Surah Mutaffifin

Surah Mutaffifin

Surah Mutaffifin is one of the chapters of the Quran that focuses heavily on Qiyamah, one of the main principles of Islam and gives an insight into the different events and outcomes of various types of people on that day.

Facts about Surah Mutaffifin

One of the numerous chapters of the 30th part of the Quran that speaks of the Day of Judgment, Surah Mutaffifin delves into important topics in regards to this day including the books of deeds of believers and disblievers, the defrauders and their punishment and the opportunity the believers will have to pay back the disbelievers on that Day for all the grievances they caused them in the world.

83 Surah no.

Juz’ 30 Place

Either, Not Specified Makki/Madani

86 Order of revelation

36 No. of verses

169 No. of words

751 No. of letters


Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Mutaffifin


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, most merciful

وَيْلٌ لِّلْمُطَفِّفِينَ ﴿1﴾

Woe to the defrauders, who use short measures,

الَّذِينَ إِذَا اكْتَالُوا عَلَى النَّاسِ يَسْتَوْفُونَ ﴿2﴾

Who, when they measure [a commodity bought] from the people, take the full measure,

وَإِذَا كَالُوهُمْ أَو وَّزَنُوهُمْ يُخْسِرُونَ ﴿3﴾

But diminish when they measure or weigh for them.

أَلَا يَظُنُّ أُولَـٰئِكَ أَنَّهُم مَّبْعُوثُونَ ﴿4﴾

Do they not know that they will be resurrected

لِيَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴿5﴾

On a tremendous day,

يَوْمَ يَقُومُ النَّاسُ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿6﴾

A day when mankind will stand before the Lord of all the worlds?

كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْفُجَّارِ لَفِي سِجِّينٍ ﴿7﴾

Indeed, the record of the vicious is in Sijjeen.

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا سِجِّينٌ ﴿8﴾

And what will show you what is Sijjeen?

كِتَابٌ مَّرْقُومٌ ﴿9﴾

It is a written record.

وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ ﴿10﴾

Woe to the deniers on that day,

الَّذِينَ يُكَذِّبُونَ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ ﴿11﴾

Who deny the Day of Retribution;

وَمَا يُكَذِّبُ بِهِ إِلَّا كُلُّ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ ﴿12﴾

And none denies it except every sinful transgressor.

إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ آيَاتُنَا قَالَ أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿13﴾

When Our signs are recited to him, he says, ‘Myths of the ancients!’

كَلَّا ۖ بَلْ ۜ رَانَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِم مَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ ﴿14﴾

No, that is not the case! Rather, their hearts have been sullied by what they have been earning.

كَلَّا إِنَّهُمْ عَن رَّبِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّمَحْجُوبُونَ ﴿15﴾

Indeed, they will be alienated from their Lord on that day.

ثُمَّ إِنَّهُمْ لَصَالُو الْجَحِيمِ ﴿16﴾

Afterward they will enter hell,

ثُمَّ يُقَالُ هَـٰذَا الَّذِي كُنتُم بِهِ تُكَذِّبُونَ ﴿17﴾

Then told, ‘This is what you used to deny!’

كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْأَبْرَارِ لَفِي عِلِّيِّينَ ﴿18﴾

Indeed, the record of the pious is in Illeeyun.

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا عِلِّيُّونَ ﴿19﴾

And what will show you what is Illeeyun?

كِتَابٌ مَّرْقُومٌ ﴿20﴾

It is a written record,

يَشْهَدُهُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ﴿21﴾

Witnessed by those brought near [to Allah].

إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ ﴿22﴾

The pious shall be amid bliss,

عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ يَنظُرُونَ ﴿23﴾

Observing, [as they recline] on couches.

تَعْرِفُ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ نَضْرَةَ النَّعِيمِ ﴿24﴾

You will perceive in their faces the freshness of bliss.

يُسْقَوْنَ مِن رَّحِيقٍ مَّخْتُومٍ ﴿25﴾

They will be served with a sealed pure wine,

خِتَامُهُ مِسْكٌ ۚ وَفِي ذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنَافِسُونَ ﴿26﴾

Whose seal is musk—for such let the viers vie—

وَمِزَاجُهُ مِن تَسْنِيمٍ ﴿27﴾

And whose seasoning is from Tasneem,

عَيْنًا يَشْرَبُ بِهَا الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ﴿28﴾

A spring where those brought near [to Allah] drink.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أَجْرَمُوا كَانُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يَضْحَكُونَ ﴿29﴾

Indeed the guilty used to laugh at the faithful,

وَإِذَا مَرُّوا بِهِمْ يَتَغَامَزُونَ ﴿30﴾

And when they passed them by they would wink at each other,

وَإِذَا انقَلَبُوا إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِمُ انقَلَبُوا فَكِهِينَ ﴿31﴾

And when they returned to their folks they would return amused,

وَإِذَا رَأَوْهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ لَضَالُّونَ ﴿32﴾

And when they saw them they would say, ‘Indeed those are the astray!’

وَمَا أُرْسِلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ حَافِظِينَ ﴿33﴾

Though they were not sent to watch over them.

فَالْيَوْمَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنَ الْكُفَّارِ يَضْحَكُونَ ﴿34﴾

So today the faithful will laugh at the faithless,

عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ يَنظُرُونَ ﴿35﴾

Observing from their couches:

هَلْ ثُوِّبَ الْكُفَّارُ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ ﴿36﴾

Have the faithless been requited for what they used to do? 1

The main topics discussed in this article are:

Benefits of Reciting Surah Mutaffifin

It has been narrated from the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) that the person who recites Surah Mutaffifin, God will give him a drink of sealed nectar on Qiyamah.

Ja‘ar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) narrates: Whoever becomes accustomed to reciting it in his obligatory prayers, Allah will grant him security from the fire and the reckoning, and he will not pass over the path of hell. 2

Occasion of Revelation of Some of the Verses of Surah Mutaffifin

  • Ibn Abbas narrates that when the Prophet entered Madinah, a lot of the people were involved in defrauding their customers; God revealed these verses and they stopped doing so.
  • In another tradition it has been narrated that when the Prophet entered Madinah there was a man there known as Abu Juhaina. He had two measuring cups. With one he would measure completely and fully for himself and with the other – which was smaller – he would measure for the people. Then these verses of Surah Mutaffifin were revealed. 3

Admonishing the Defrauders in Surah Mutaffifin!

وَيْلٌ لِّلْمُطَفِّفِينَ ﴿1﴾

Woe to the defrauders, who use short measures,

These verses of Surah Mutaffifin are a warning to the defrauders. Defrauding and treachery in transactions – apart from the punishment of the Hereafter – takes away trust among people. 4

Who are the Defrauders in Surah Mutaffifin?

الَّذِينَ إِذَا اكْتَالُوا عَلَى النَّاسِ يَسْتَوْفُونَ ﴿2﴾

Who, when they measure [a commodity bought] from the people, take the full measure,

وَإِذَا كَالُوهُمْ أَو وَّزَنُوهُمْ يُخْسِرُونَ ﴿3﴾

But diminish when they measure or weigh for them.

They are people who take full and complete rights when buying something from others; but when they want to sell to others they give less in terms of weight and measure and cause them loss.

These two verses are admonishing such people as they do not observe the rights of others as they do their own and this is cause for the destruction of societies which are based on the balance of mutual rights. 5

Probability of Resurrection being enough to Abstain from Sins as stated in Surah Mutaffifin

أَلَا يَظُنُّ أُولَـٰئِكَ أَنَّهُم مَّبْعُوثُونَ ﴿4﴾

Do they not know that they will be resurrected

لِيَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴿5﴾

On a tremendous day,

Belief in Qiyamah must be certain and based on knowledge; however, in these verses, God uses the word ‘zann’ (ظن) which means supposition or surmise, to show that even lack of certain knowledge and a supposition in Qiyamah is enough to make us stay away from sins due to the probability of loss and harm on that Day. 6

The Fate of the Wicked in Surah Mutaffifin

كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْفُجَّارِ لَفِي سِجِّينٍ ﴿7﴾

Indeed, the record of the vicious is in Sijjeen.

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا سِجِّينٌ ﴿8﴾

And what will show you what is Sijjeen?

كِتَابٌ مَّرْقُومٌ ﴿9﴾

It is a written record.

وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ ﴿10﴾

Woe to the deniers on that day,

The Meaning of the Word ‘Book’ in Surah Mutaffifin

The word book (کتاب) that has been used twice in these four verses of Surah Tatfif (تطفیف) or Mutaffifin refers to something that has been written but not the conventional way using pen and paper; rather, it refers to certain destiny that has been decreed.

‘Kitab al-Fujjar’ (کتاب الفجار) is the fate that God has decreed for the wicked which is the punishment that He has affirmed through His certain destiny. 7

What is ‘Sijjin’ (سجین) in Surah Mutaffifin?

Sijjin is derived from the word ‘sijn’ (سجن) which means prison and is a used in a noun form that indicates intensity, i.e. an eternal and difficult prison. 8

What is the ‘Written Record’ in Surah Mutaffifin?

Another term that has been used in this verse is ‘kitabun marqum’ (کتاب مرقوم) which means ‘Written Record‘; the word ‘ketab’ here also refers to decree. 9

The word ‘marqum’ (مرقوم), from the root word ‘raqama’ (رقم), means correct and distinct writing in a way that it cannot be mistaken with other writings. Therefore, the aforementioned term which refers to the fate of the wicked is completely clear and certain: they will forever be held captive in the eternal prison of Hell. 10

Sins Lead to Disbelief and Denial According to Surah Mutaffifin

الَّذِينَ يُكَذِّبُونَ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ ﴿11﴾

Who deny the Day of Retribution;

وَمَا يُكَذِّبُ بِهِ إِلَّا كُلُّ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ ﴿12﴾

And none denies it except every sinful transgressor.

إِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ آيَاتُنَا قَالَ أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿13﴾

When Our signs are recited to him, he says, ‘Myths of the ancients!’

The word ‘din’ (دین) in verse 11 refers to Qiyamah and Retribution; whereas, the word ‘athim’ (أثیم) refers to one who is drowning in sins.

Sins lead man to disbelief and denying the truth and realities and it is those who have sunk into sins that consider the verses of the Quran to be myths and fables.

Man’s actions have an effect on his beliefs and faith and continuous sinning and transgressions is what leads to denying Qiyamah. 11

Rusting of the Hearts

كَلَّا ۖ بَلْ ۜ رَانَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِم مَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ ﴿14﴾

No, that is not the case! Rather, their hearts have been sullied by what they have been earning.

What does this verse of Surah Tatfif mean when it says that their hearts are rusted?

It is an indication of the fact that sins have put a veil over their hearts and they are unable to distinguish the truth as it is. 12

Conclusions from this Verse

  1. Evil acts give a form to the soul
  2. These forms are an obstacle to perceiving the truth and are a veil between it and man’s soul
  3. In accordance to man’s initial nature, his soul possesses a goodness and shine which allows it to perceive the truth as it is and to distinguish between it and falsehood and between the truth and evil. 13

The Book of Deeds of the Good-Doers in Surah Mutaffifin

كَلَّا إِنَّ كِتَابَ الْأَبْرَارِ لَفِي عِلِّيِّينَ ﴿18﴾

Indeed, the record of the pious is in Illeeyun.

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا عِلِّيُّونَ ﴿19﴾

And what will show you what is Illeeyun?

كِتَابٌ مَّرْقُومٌ ﴿20﴾

It is a written record,

What does Illeeyyin (علیین) Refer to in Surah Mutaffifin?

The word ‘Illeeyyin’ is the name of the book in which all good deeds of the ones ‘brought near’ are recorded. It comes from the root word ‘uluww’ (علوّ) which means elevated and is named such for multiple reasons:

  • Because it the reason for elevating to high stations in Heaven
  • Because the place book of good deeds is in the seventh Heaven and under the Divine Throne (عرش) and is in an elevated place
  • Illeeyyin refers to ‘Sidratul Muntaha’ (سدرة المنتهی), the place and station of Gabriel. 14

Who are ‘those brought near [to Allah]’?

يَشْهَدُهُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ﴿21﴾

Witnessed by those brought near [to Allah].

The ‘Muqarrabun’ (مقربون) or ‘those brought near’ refer to those inhabitants in Heaven whose status is higher than that of the general good-doers 15 and are the ones who are close to God in the highest and best stations. 16

The Rewards of the Pious in Surah Mutaffifin

The verses in this part of the chapter show, to a certain extent, the high status of the pious in God’s eyes and their happy life in Heaven. They state that the doers of good who are being belittled by the disbelievers today will very soon laugh at them and observe their punishment. 17

Indescribable Blessings

إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ ﴿22﴾

The pious shall be amid bliss,

The verse means that they will enjoy abundant blessings which cannot be described. 18

A Few of the Blessings of the Good-Doers in Surah Mutaffifin

  • Looking at the beautiful and pleasant scenes of Heaven and the eternal blessings in it. 19
  • Whoever looks at the face of the dwellers of Heaven recognizes the happiness and prosperity that stems from enjoying Heavenly blessings on their faces. 20
  • They will drink from ‘Rahiq’ (رحیق), a clear and pure drink that is uncontaminated. This drink is sealed and only something that is priceless and pure is sealed so that it is not contaminated. 21

A Description of the Heavenly Drink

خِتَامُهُ مِسْكٌ ۚ وَفِي ذَٰلِكَ فَلْيَتَنَافَسِ الْمُتَنَافِسُونَ ﴿26﴾

Whose seal is musk—for such let the viers vie—

The word ‘khitam’ (ختام) could either mean the implement through which one seals something or the last taste that a drink leaves in one’s mouth. In case of the former, the seal is musk and so it is in case of the latter. 22

The word ‘Tanafas’ (تنافس) can be derived from eiter of the following two root words:

  • From the word ‘nafis’ (نفیس), i.e. valuable; in which case the abovementioned word would mean that two people strive to attain something that is valuable;
  • Or it could come from the root word ‘nafas’ (نفس), i.e. breath and the word would then mean that two people strive till their last breath to attain something. 23

The Spring of Tasnim (تسنیم) in Surah Mutaffifin

وَمِزَاجُهُ مِن تَسْنِيمٍ ﴿27﴾

And whose seasoning is from Tasneem,

عَيْنًا يَشْرَبُ بِهَا الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ﴿28﴾

A spring where those brought near [to Allah] drink.

Tasnim (تسنیم) is a Heavenly spring which is named such by God and the bowl or dish of the pious and good-doers that is full of the pure, sealed drink is mixed with this spring. The close and special, chosen servants of God drink only from this spring. 24

Comparing the two Heavenly Drinks

This proves two things:

  • Tasnim is more valuable than Rahiq Makhtoum since the latter becomes more pleasant when mixed with the former;
  • That those brought near [to Allah] are in a higher rank than the ‘Abrar’ (ابرار) or good-doers/pious people. 25

The Tables Turned

In the next few verses of Surah Mutaffifin the Quran first describes the actions that the disbelievers used to do to mock the believers in the world:

  • They used to laugh and mock the believers because of their faith. 26

According to Ibn Abbas in verse 29, Indeed the guilty, refers to the hypocrites among the Quraysh; whereas the faithful, refers to Ali bin Abi Taleb. 27

  • They would wink at and ridicule them when they encountered them. 28
  • When they would return to those who were like them they would express happiness at these actions that they had performed. Alternatively, it could also mean that they would sit together and narrate to each other what each had done. 29
  • They would judge them as deviated when they saw them. 30

The Believers Laugh at the Disbelievers

On Qiyamah this situation becomes the opposite and the tables are turned on the disbelievers. 31

The punishment of Qiyamah is congruent with the sins committed in the world. Therefore, the punishment of the mocking laughter in the world is to be laughed at in the Hereafter and on that day the believers will be a cause for the mental suffering of the disbelievers through laughing at them. 32

فَالْيَوْمَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنَ الْكُفَّارِ يَضْحَكُونَ ﴿34﴾

So today the faithful will laugh at the faithless,

A Narration regarding Laughing at the Disbelievers

It has been narrated from the Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) that:

On that Day a door in Heaven will be opened to the disbelievers and they, thinking that they are free from the fire of Hell, go toward it. But, when they reach the door, it will be closed quickly. This will occur several times and the Believers, watching them from Heaven, will laugh. 33

Observing the Disbelievers

عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ يَنظُرُونَ ﴿35﴾

Observing from their couches:

What are they looking at? They are looking upon the punishment of the disbelievers; a punishment they were inflicted with due to their reprehensible acts, one of which was mocking and laughing at the believers. 34

Rhetorical Question

هَلْ ثُوِّبَ الْكُفَّارُ مَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ ﴿36﴾

Have the faithless been requited for what they used to do?

This last verse of Surah Mutaffifin is a rhetorical question and indicates that of course they have been punished in the same way that they used to mock and laugh at the believers in the world and because of that have been inflicted with punishment in Hell.

It is also possible that it is the angels who are saying this to the believers, i.e. that the disbelievers have received their just deserts for their actions, in order to increase the happiness of the believers. 35

A Summary of Surah Mutaffifin

This chapter starts off by warning those who defraud others by selling to them less than the value for their money. It goes on to talk about Qiyamah and the fate and outcome of the believers and disbelievers and their rewards and punishments, finally ending with describing how the tables will be turned on Qiyamah and where in the world the believers were mocked by the disbelievers, on that day it be the opposite.


References

  1. Qarai translation
  2. Al-Islam
  3. Tabarsi, F. (1360). Majma‘ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran. Translated by a group of translators. Farahani Publications. Vol. 26, p. 362.
  4. Qarashi, A. A. (1377). Tafsir-i Ahsan al-Hadith. Bethat Publications. Vol. 12, p. 128.
  5. Tabatabai, M. H. (1374 AP). Tafsir al-Mizan. (Transl. by Seyed Muhammad Baqir Musavi Hamedani). Jamiat al-Modarresin Publications. Vol. 20, p. 379
  6. Ibid, p. 380-381
  7. Ibid, pp. 381-382
  8. Qaraati, M. Tafsir Nur. Commentary of Surah Mutaffifin, verses 7-13.
  9. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p. 382
  10. Qaraati, M. Ibid.
  11. Qaraati, M. Ibid.
  12. Tabatabai, M.H. Ibid. p. 385
  13. Ibid.
  14. Tabarsi, F. (1377). Tafsir Jawami‘ al-Jame‘. Transl. by a group of translators. Astan Qods Razavi Publications. vol. 6, p. 589.
  15. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p. 387
  16. Tabarsi, F. (1360). Ibid. Vol. 26, p. 376.
  17. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p. 392
  18. Ibid.
  19. See verse 32
  20. See verse 33
  21. See verse 34. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. pp. 392-393
  22. Ibid. p. 393
  23. Qaraati, M. Ibid. commentary of verses 18-28.
  24. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p. 394
  25. Ibid
  26. See verse 29
  27. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p. 397
  28. See verse 30
  29. See verse 31
  30. See verse 32; Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p. 395
  31. Ibid.
  32. Qaraati, M. Ibid. commentary of verses 29-36.
  33. Al-Islam
  34. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p. 396
  35. Hosseini Shah Abdul Azimi, H. (1363). Tafsir Ithna Ashari. Miqat Publications. Vol. 14, p. 112.

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  1. I can’t imagine in spite of all the emphasis that Islam puts on honesty in trades, we people are moving fast to the opposite side.

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Who Wrote the Quran

Who Wrote the Quran?

Many times, we are negligent of who wrote the Quran …

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Islam4U was born out of a passion to fulfill the needs of our brothers and sisters who are after useful Islamic courses and articles for themselves and their loved ones.  We meet the demands of born Muslims, as well as the many reverts out there, those who are eager to seek knowledge in the path of Islam.

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