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Surah Qamar: The Moon

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Surah Qamar is the 54th chapter of the Noble Quran. Allah revealed this surah to Prophet Muhammad (s) during his time in Mecca. In this Islam4u article, we shall delve into the various concepts discussed in Surah Qamar.

Facts About Surah Qamar

Surah Qamar is in juz 27 of the Quran. This surah was revealed in Mecca. The name “Qamar” is derived from its first verse, which recounts the miraculous event of Prophet Muhammad (s) splitting the moon. Surah Qamar has 55 verses, 342 words, and 1470 letters. The order of revelation of this surah is 37. In the current arrangement of surahs, it is the 54th surah.

The Gist of Surah Qamar

The verses of Surah Qamar, except for the last two verses which promise paradise and the presence of the righteous in the presence of Allah, all revolve around warning and admonition. In this surah, the first reference is made to the miracle of the splitting of the moon, which the Messenger of Allah (s) performed in response to the request of people. However, they labeled him as a sorcerer and rejected his prophethood.

They followed their own desires despite having heard alarming news about the signs of the Day of Judgment and stories of past nations. Then Allah relates some of these stories and discusses the narratives of the people of Noah, ‘Ad, Thamud, the people of Lot, and Pharaoh’s dynasty, along with the agonizing punishments that befell them due to their denial of their prophets. It should be noted that the people of the Islamic Prophet are not dearer to Allah than those nations, and they, like their predecessors, cannot render Allah powerless.

Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Qamar


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful.

ٱقْتَرَبَتِ ٱلسَّاعَةُ وَٱنشَقَّ ٱلْقَمَرُ ‎﴿١﴾

The Hour has drawn near and the moon is split.

وَإِن يَرَوْا۟ ءَايَةً يُعْرِضُوا۟ وَيَقُولُوا۟ سِحْرٌ مُّسْتَمِرٌّ ‎﴿٢﴾

If they see a sign, they turn away, and say, ‘An incessant magic!’

وَكَذَّبُوا۟ وَٱتَّبَعُوٓا۟ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ ۚ وَكُلُّ أَمْرٍ مُّسْتَقِرٌّ ‎﴿٣﴾‏

They denied and followed their own desires, and every matter has a setting [appropriate to it].

وَلَقَدْ جَآءَهُم مِّنَ ٱلْأَنۢبَآءِ مَا فِيهِ مُزْدَجَرٌ ‎﴿٤﴾

There have already come to them reports containing admonishment,

حِكْمَةُۢ بَٰلِغَةٌ ۖ فَمَا تُغْنِ ٱلنُّذُرُ ‎﴿٥﴾

[and representing] far-reaching wisdom; but warnings are of no avail!

فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ ۘ يَوْمَ يَدْعُ ٱلدَّاعِ إِلَىٰ شَىْءٍ نُّكُرٍ ‎﴿٦﴾‏

So turn away from them! The day when the Caller calls to a dire thing,

خُشَّعًا أَبْصَٰرُهُمْ يَخْرُجُونَ مِنَ ٱلْأَجْدَاثِ كَأَنَّهُمْ جَرَادٌ مُّنتَشِرٌ ‎﴿٧﴾

they will emerge from the graves as if they were scattered locusts with a humbled look [in their eyes],

مُّهْطِعِينَ إِلَى ٱلدَّاعِ ۖ يَقُولُ ٱلْكَٰفِرُونَ هَٰذَا يَوْمٌ عَسِرٌ ‎﴿٨﴾

scrambling toward the summoner. The faithless will say, ‘This is a hard day!’

كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ فَكَذَّبُوا۟ عَبْدَنَا وَقَالُوا۟ مَجْنُونٌ وَٱزْدُجِرَ ‎﴿٩﴾‏

The people of Noah impugned before them. So they impugned Our servant and said, ‘A crazy man,’ and he was reviled.

فَدَعَا رَبَّهُۥٓ أَنِّى مَغْلُوبٌ فَٱنتَصِرْ ‎﴿١٠﴾

Thereat he invoked his Lord, [saying,] ‘I have been overcome, so help [me].’

فَفَتَحْنَآ أَبْوَٰبَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ بِمَآءٍ مُّنْهَمِرٍ ‎﴿١١﴾

Then We opened the gates of the sky with pouring waters,

وَفَجَّرْنَا ٱلْأَرْضَ عُيُونًا فَٱلْتَقَى ٱلْمَآءُ عَلَىٰٓ أَمْرٍ قَدْ قُدِرَ ‎﴿١٢﴾‏

and We made the earth burst forth with springs, and the waters met for a preordained purpose.

وَحَمَلْنَٰهُ عَلَىٰ ذَاتِ أَلْوَٰحٍ وَدُسُرٍ ‎﴿١٣﴾

We bore him on a vessel made of planks and nails,

تَجْرِى بِأَعْيُنِنَا جَزَآءً لِّمَن كَانَ كُفِرَ ‎﴿١٤﴾‏

which sailed [over the flood waters] in Our sight, as a retribution for him who was met with disbelief.

وَلَقَد تَّرَكْنَٰهَآ ءَايَةً فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿١٥﴾

Certainly We have left it as a sign; so is there anyone who will be admonished?

فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿١٦﴾

So how were My punishment and warnings?

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿١٧﴾

Certainly We have made the Quran simple for the sake of admonishment. So is there anyone who will be admonished?

كَذَّبَتْ عَادٌ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿١٨﴾

[The people of] ‘Ad impugned [their apostle]. So how were My punishment and warnings?

إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحًا صَرْصَرًا فِى يَوْمِ نَحْسٍ مُّسْتَمِرٍّ ‎﴿١٩﴾‏

Indeed We unleashed upon them an icy gale on an incessantly ill-fated day,

تَنزِعُ ٱلنَّاسَ كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ مُّنقَعِرٍ ‎﴿٢٠﴾

knocking down people as if they were trunks of uprooted palm trees.

فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿٢١﴾

So how were My punishment and warnings?!

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿٢٢﴾

Certainly We have made the Quran simple for the sake of admonishment. So is there anyone who will be admonished?

كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ بِٱلنُّذُرِ ‎﴿٢٣﴾

[The people of] Thamud denied the warnings,

فَقَالُوٓا۟ أَبَشَرًا مِّنَّا وَٰحِدًا نَّتَّبِعُهُۥٓ إِنَّآ إِذًا لَّفِى ضَلَٰلٍ وَسُعُرٍ ‎﴿٢٤﴾‏

and they said, ‘Are we to follow a lone human from ourselves?! Indeed then we would be in error and madness.’

أَءُلْقِىَ ٱلذِّكْرُ عَلَيْهِ مِنۢ بَيْنِنَا بَلْ هُوَ كَذَّابٌ أَشِرٌ ‎﴿٢٥﴾

‘Has the Reminder been cast upon him from among us? No, he is a self-conceited liar.’

سَيَعْلَمُونَ غَدًا مَّنِ ٱلْكَذَّابُ ٱلْأَشِرُ ‎﴿٢٦﴾

‘Tomorrow they will know who is a self-conceited liar.

إِنَّا مُرْسِلُوا۟ ٱلنَّاقَةِ فِتْنَةً لَّهُمْ فَٱرْتَقِبْهُمْ وَٱصْطَبِرْ ‎﴿٢٧﴾‏

We are sending the She-camel as a trial for them; so watch them and be steadfast.

وَنَبِّئْهُمْ أَنَّ ٱلْمَآءَ قِسْمَةُۢ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ كُلُّ شِرْبٍ مُّحْتَضَرٌ ‎﴿٢٨﴾

Inform them that the water is to be shared between them; each of them showing up at his turn.’

فَنَادَوْا۟ صَاحِبَهُمْ فَتَعَاطَىٰ فَعَقَرَ ‎﴿٢٩﴾

But they called their companion, and he took [a knife] and hamstrung [her].

فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿٣٠﴾

So how were My punishment and My warnings?!

إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ صَيْحَةً وَٰحِدَةً فَكَانُوا۟ كَهَشِيمِ ٱلْمُحْتَظِرِ ‎﴿٣١﴾‏

We sent against them a single Cry, and they became like the dry sticks of a corral builder.

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿٣٢﴾

Certainly We have made the Quran simple for the sake of admonishment. So is there anyone who will be admonished?

كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ لُوطِۭ بِٱلنُّذُرِ ‎﴿٣٣﴾

And the people of Lot denied the warnings.

إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ حَاصِبًا إِلَّآ ءَالَ لُوطٍ ۖ نَّجَّيْنَٰهُم بِسَحَرٍ ‎﴿٣٤﴾

We unleashed upon them a rain of stones, excepting the family of Lot, whom We delivered at dawn

نِّعْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى مَن شَكَرَ ‎﴿٣٥﴾‏

as a blessing from Us. Thus do We reward those who give thanks.

وَلَقَدْ أَنذَرَهُم بَطْشَتَنَا فَتَمَارَوْا۟ بِٱلنُّذُرِ ‎﴿٣٦﴾

He had already warned them of Our punishment, but they disputed the warnings.

وَلَقَدْ رَٰوَدُوهُ عَن ضَيْفِهِۦ فَطَمَسْنَآ أَعْيُنَهُمْ فَذُوقُوا۟ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿٣٧﴾

They even solicited of him his guests, whereat We blotted out their eyes, [saying,] ‘Taste My punishment and My warnings!’

وَلَقَدْ صَبَّحَهُم بُكْرَةً عَذَابٌ مُّسْتَقِرٌّ ‎﴿٣٨﴾‏

Early at dawn there visited them an abiding punishment:

فَذُوقُوا۟ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿٣٩﴾‏

‘Taste My punishment and warnings!’

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿٤٠﴾

Certainly We have made the Quran simple for the sake of admonishment. So is there anyone who will be admonished?

وَلَقَدْ جَآءَ ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ ٱلنُّذُرُ ‎﴿٤١﴾‏

Certainly the warnings did come to Pharaoh’s clan

كَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَا كُلِّهَا فَأَخَذْنَٰهُمْ أَخْذَ عَزِيزٍ مُّقْتَدِرٍ ‎﴿٤٢﴾‏

who denied all of Our signs. So We seized them with the seizing of One [who is] all-mighty, Omnipotent.

أَكُفَّارُكُمْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أُو۟لَٰٓئِكُمْ أَمْ لَكُم بَرَآءَةٌ فِى ٱلزُّبُرِ ‎﴿٤٣﴾‏

Are your faithless better than those? Have you [been granted] [some sort of] immunity in the scriptures?

أَمْ يَقُولُونَ نَحْنُ جَمِيعٌ مُّنتَصِرٌ ‎﴿٤٤﴾

Do they say, ‘We are a confederate league’?

سَيُهْزَمُ ٱلْجَمْعُ وَيُوَلُّونَ ٱلدُّبُرَ ‎﴿٤٥﴾

The league will be routed and turn its back [to flee].

بَلِ ٱلسَّاعَةُ مَوْعِدُهُمْ وَٱلسَّاعَةُ أَدْهَىٰ وَأَمَرُّ ‎﴿٤٦﴾‏

Indeed, the Hour is their tryst; and the Hour will be most calamitous and bitter.

إِنَّ ٱلْمُجْرِمِينَ فِى ضَلَٰلٍ وَسُعُرٍ ‎﴿٤٧﴾

Indeed the guilty are steeped in error and madness.

يَوْمَ يُسْحَبُونَ فِى ٱلنَّارِ عَلَىٰ وُجُوهِهِمْ ذُوقُوا۟ مَسَّ سَقَرَ ‎﴿٤٨﴾

The day when they are dragged on their faces into the Fire, [it will be said to them,] ‘Taste the touch of hell!’

إِنَّا كُلَّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقْنَٰهُ بِقَدَرٍ ‎﴿٤٩﴾‏

Indeed We have created everything in a measure,

وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلَّا وَٰحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحِۭ بِٱلْبَصَرِ ‎﴿٥٠﴾‏

and Our command is but a single [word], like the twinkling of an eye.

وَلَقَدْ أَهْلَكْنَآ أَشْيَاعَكُمْ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿٥١﴾‏

Certainly We have destroyed your likes. So is there anyone who will be admonished?

وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ فَعَلُوهُ فِى ٱلزُّبُرِ ‎﴿٥٢﴾

Everything they have done is in the books,

وَكُلُّ صَغِيرٍ وَكَبِيرٍ مُّسْتَطَرٌ ‎﴿٥٣﴾

and everything big and small is committed to writing.

إِنَّ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ فِى جَنَّٰتٍ وَنَهَرٍ ‎﴿٥٤﴾

Indeed the Godwary will be amid gardens and streams,

فِى مَقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ عِندَ مَلِيكٍ مُّقْتَدِرِۭ ‎﴿٥٥﴾‏

in the abode of truthfulness with an omnipotent King.

(Translation by Qarai)

Verse One: The Moon Is Split

Verse one of Surah Qamar reads:

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

ٱقْتَرَبَتِ ٱلسَّاعَةُ وَٱنشَقَّ ٱلْقَمَرُ ‎﴿١﴾

The Hour has drawn near and the moon is split.

Fourteen people came to the Prophet (s) and said, “O Muhammad! Every prophet had miracles to prove their prophethood. We want you to show us a miracle too.” The Prophet (s) said, “What do you mean?” They said, “If you possess power and status with your Lord, command the moon to split into two halves.” After this request, Gabriel came to the Prophet and said, “O Muhammad, the Lord has sent His greetings and salutations to you and says: Whatever I have commanded you, I have placed under your authority.” The Prophet raised his head towards the high heavens and commanded the moon to split into two halves.

Following this command, the moon split into two halves. The Prophet prostrated in gratitude, and his companions who were present also prostrated. Then the Prophet lifted his head from prostration and raised it again towards the heavens, and his companions followed the same action. The Prophet then wished for the moon to return to its original state, and the moon returned to its original form. Afterward, those fourteen individuals said, “O Muhammad, when our fellow travelers return from Yemen and Syria, we will ask them if they have witnessed such a sight in those regions or not. If they say that they have witnessed the splitting of the moon, we will be certain that this action was from your Lord. And if they say that they have not seen such a splitting in those lands, it will be evident that your action was nothing but sorcery.” Then, the first few verses of Surah Qamar were revealed.[1]

For more information about the splitting of the moon, please read the article When Prophet Muhammad Split the Moon.

Verse Two: Miracles Are Magic?!

Verse two of Surah Qamar reads:

وَإِن يَرَوْا۟ ءَايَةً يُعْرِضُوا۟ وَيَقُولُوا۟ سِحْرٌ مُّسْتَمِرٌّ ‎﴿٢﴾

If they see a sign, they turn away, and say, ‘An incessant magic!’

Throughout the history of Allah’s prophets, whenever they demonstrated miracles to their people, those who stubbornly opposed them would dismiss the miracles as sorcery or magic. When Moses (a) presented Pharaoh with the transformation of his staff into a colossal serpent or dragon, the Pharaoh brushed it off as sorcery. Similarly, when Jesus (a) revived the dead, they attributed it to magic. And now, as the Prophet of Islam (s) splits the moon in half, some critics label it as “continuous magic.”

Verse Three: Worldly Desires Are an Obstacle to Belief in Allah

Verse three of Surah Qamar reads:

وَكَذَّبُوا۟ وَٱتَّبَعُوٓا۟ أَهْوَآءَهُمْ ۚ وَكُلُّ أَمْرٍ مُّسْتَقِرٌّ ‎﴿٣﴾‏

They denied and followed their own desires, and every matter has a setting [appropriate to it].

Their hearts are too hard to accept the truth. They only wish to follow their base desires. If they are to believe in the Prophet (s) and Allah, they will no longer be able to satisfy their worldly desires and further their selfish interests. Therefore, they reject the clear proofs of the Prophet (s) and find excuses not to accept them.

The phrase “وَ کُلُّ أَمْرٍ مُسْتَقِرٌّ” refers to the truth that nothing in this world vanishes, and every good or bad deed remains steadfast and enduring until humans witness its consequences. Nothing passes without the beautiful face of truth becoming apparent, and even the ugly and detested face of falsehood manifests itself. This is a divine tradition that Allah implements in the universe.

Verse Four: They Have Been Admonished Aforetime

Verse four of Surah Qamar reads:

وَلَقَدْ جَآءَهُم مِّنَ ٱلْأَنۢبَآءِ مَا فِيهِ مُزْدَجَرٌ ‎﴿٤﴾‏

There have already come to them reports containing admonishment.

Continuing the previous discussion, verse four of Surah Qamar states how these disbelievers who are denying the Prophet (s) and calling him a magician have already received news of past nations and prophets concerning things such as monotheism, belief in the Day of Judgment, and the prophethood of the prophets. So the reason they are not accepting the Prophet (s) is not that they do not have enough information but rather it is their stubbornness that is withholding them from believing in Allah and the Prophet (s).

Verse Five: Warnings Are of No Avail

Verse five of Surah Qamar reads:

حِكْمَةُۢ بَٰلِغَةٌ ۖ فَمَا تُغْنِ ٱلنُّذُرُ ‎﴿٥﴾

[And representing] far-reaching wisdom; but warnings are of no avail!

This verse states that these verses are far-reaching wisdom. However, those who are obstinate will never heed the warnings of Allah. The ineffectiveness of the reminders of the prophets does not mean they were bad or weak. If carnal desires prevail over a human being, the warnings of no prophet will be effective.

Verse Six: Turn Away From Them

Verse six of Surah Qamar reads:

فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ ۘ يَوْمَ يَدْعُ ٱلدَّاعِ إِلَىٰ شَىْءٍ نُّكُرٍ ‎﴿٦﴾‏

So turn away from them! [Remember] the day when the Caller calls to a dire thing.

In this verse, Allah advises the Prophet (peace be upon him) to disregard the disbelievers who refuse to listen, persist in denying Allah, and falsely accuse him of sorcery. Allah’s message is that the Prophet should not waste his efforts trying to guide such individuals, as they are unlikely to be guided. Hence, he should let them be, as their guidance is beyond his control. The subsequent part of the verse urges the reader to remember a future day when a caller, meaning the angel Israfil, will summon people to a dreadful affair. What is this dreadful affair? Let us proceed to discover it further.

Verse Seven: Scattered Locusts

Verse seven of Surah Qamar reads:

خُشَّعًا أَبْصَٰرُهُمْ يَخْرُجُونَ مِنَ ٱلْأَجْدَاثِ كَأَنَّهُمْ جَرَادٌ مُّنتَشِرٌ ‎﴿٧﴾‏

They will emerge from the graves as if they were scattered locusts with a humbled look [in their eyes].

The term “humbled look” is attributed to their eyes because the scene is so terrifying that they cannot bear to witness it, hence they avert their gaze and cast it downward.

The simile of “scattered locusts” is appropriate because, unlike many birds that move in a synchronized and orderly manner when flying together, locusts never exhibit any order or arrangement. Furthermore, on that day, they will be feeble and helpless creatures, overwhelmed with such fear that they will act like intoxicated individuals, oblivious to everything around them and moving to and fro.

Verse Eight: The Hard Day

Verse eight of Surah Qamar reads:

مُّهْطِعِينَ إِلَى ٱلدَّاعِ ۖ يَقُولُ ٱلْكَٰفِرُونَ هَٰذَا يَوْمٌ عَسِرٌ ‎﴿٨﴾

Scrambling toward the summoner. The faithless will say, ‘This is a hard day!’

The day that awaits the disbelievers is undeniably a day of immense hardship. They will find themselves utterly devoid of any benefits or advantages. Throughout their lives, they failed to embrace faith in Allah, neglected the performance of righteous deeds, and instead indulged in numerous sins and transgressions. Consequently, when that fateful day arrives, they will find themselves utterly bereft. What do they have to present as a testament to their worth? Regrettably, their account will be weighed down with emptiness and deprivation. It is no wonder, then, that this day will be extraordinarily arduous and distressing for them, as they come face to face with the consequences of their choices and actions.

Verse Nine: The People of Noah

Verse nine of Surah Qamar reads:

كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ فَكَذَّبُوا۟ عَبْدَنَا وَقَالُوا۟ مَجْنُونٌ وَٱزْدُجِرَ ‎﴿٩﴾

The people of Noah impugned before them. So they impugned Our servant and said, ‘A crazy man,’ and he was reviled.


The story of the people of Noah serves as a lesson and admonition. The Quranic tradition often recounts the tales of past nations and their tragic outcomes after warning the disbelievers and criminals. It aims to make them understand that if they persist in following the wrong path, their fate will be no better than those before them.

Here, following the discussion presented in previous verses, the Quran briefly and meaningfully alludes to the history of five rebellious nations from the past. The first of these nations is the people of Noah (a).

It states, “Before them, the people of Noah denied (their messenger).” Indeed, they “denied Our servant and said, ‘He is insane!’ And he was repelled with harsh treatment.” They rejected Noah, calling him insane, and subjected him to various forms of torment to deter him from continuing his mission.

At times, they would threaten him, saying, “If you do not desist, O Noah, you will surely be stoned!” And at other times, they would oppress him so severely that he would lose consciousness and fall to the ground. But when he regained consciousness, he would pray, “My Lord, forgive my people, for they do not know.”

The story of the people of Noah stands as a testament to their denial, persecution of their messenger, and their ultimate failure to recognize the truth. It serves as a cautionary tale to the disbelievers of the present, reminding them of the consequences that await if they persist on their misguided path.

Verse Ten: Noah Calls Allah for Help

Verse ten of Surah Qamar reads:

فَدَعَا رَبَّهُۥٓ أَنِّى مَغْلُوبٌ فَٱنتَصِرْ ‎﴿١٠﴾

Thereat he invoked his Lord, [saying,] ‘I have been overcome, so help [me].’

Verse ten states, when Noah became completely hopeless of guiding them, he supplicated to his Lord saying, “My Lord, I am overcome, so avenge me and deliver me from them.” They have never been able to defeat me with reason, evidence, or argumentation. However, they have prevailed over me through injustice, wrongdoing, denial, and various forms of torment and pressure. These people no longer deserve to exist. Take vengeance upon them and grant me victory over them.

Verses 11-12: The Great Flood

Verses 11-12 of Surah Qamar read:

فَفَتَحْنَآ أَبْوَٰبَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ بِمَآءٍ مُّنْهَمِرٍ ‎﴿١١﴾‏ وَفَجَّرْنَا ٱلْأَرْضَ عُيُونًا فَٱلْتَقَى ٱلْمَآءُ عَلَىٰٓ أَمْرٍ قَدْ قُدِرَ ‎﴿١٢﴾‏

Then We opened the gates of the sky with pouring waters, (11) and We made the earth burst forth with springs, and the waters met for a preordained purpose. (12)

Then, Allah made rain fall from the sky and water gushed forth from the earth. The expression, “opening of the gates of the sky” is very beautiful. It refers to what happens when there is a flood or heavy rainfall.

In verse 12, we learn that not only did abundant water pour down from the sky, but water also gushed forth from the earth, as stated in the verse: “And We split open the earth and gushed forth springs.” “And these two waters mixed according to a predetermined measure,” forming a terrifying sea (flood).

Water erupted from every corner of the earth, springs burst forth, and rain poured down from the entire sky, merging and creating a massive sea and a devastating flood.

Verses 13-14: The Ark of Noah

Verses 13-14 of Surah Qamar read:

وَحَمَلْنَٰهُ عَلَىٰ ذَاتِ أَلْوَٰحٍ وَدُسُرٍ ‎﴿١٣﴾‏ تَجْرِى بِأَعْيُنِنَا جَزَآءً لِّمَن كَانَ كُفِرَ ‎﴿١٤﴾‏

We bore him on a vessel made of planks and nails, (13) which sailed [over the flood waters] in Our sight, as a retribution for him who was met with disbelief. (14)

Here, the Quran leaves the topic of the flood aside, as what needs to be mentioned has been conveyed in the previous sentences. It then turns its attention to the ark of salvation made for Noah and states, “And We carried him on a vessel made of planks and nails.”

Then in verse 14, with His special favor, God refers to the ark of Noah and states, “A vessel that sailed under Our observation.” He further adds, “All of this was a reward for the one (i.e., Noah) who had been denied” and a punishment for those who had denied him and turned into disbelievers.

Indeed, like all the prophets, Noah was bestowed with great divine blessings and immense favors, which the ignorant ones denied and disbelieved in his religion.

Verses 15-17: Will Anyone Be Admonished?

Verses 15-17 of Surah Qamar read:

وَلَقَد تَّرَكْنَٰهَآ ءَايَةً فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿١٥﴾‏ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿١٦﴾‏ وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿١٧﴾

Certainly We have left it as a sign; so is there anyone who will be admonished? (15) So how were My punishment and warnings? (16) Certainly We have made the Quran simple for the sake of admonishment. So is there anyone who will be admonished? (17)

Allah emphasizes in these verses that the story of Noah, his people, the great flood, and the salvation of the believers through the ark should serve as a profound lesson for humanity. After witnessing these events, is there anyone who still fails to draw lessons from them? Have you not seen how Allah warns people and punishes those who disregard His warnings?

In verse 17, Allah highlights that the Quran itself serves as a reminder and admonishment. It is designed to be easily understood, as Allah has made it accessible and comprehensible. The language of the Quran is not overly complex, allowing Muslims from all nations to learn and comprehend its teachings. This accessibility is yet another miraculous aspect of the Quran.

As Allah states in verses 16 and 17 of this surah, the purpose is to provide admonishment and guidance to people. In certain surahs, specific verses are repeated to emphasize their significance. Verse 17 is one such verse that is reiterated after a few verses, underscoring its importance.

Verses 18-22: The People of ‘Ad

Verses 18-22 of Surah Qamar read:

كَذَّبَتْ عَادٌ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿١٨﴾‏ إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحًا صَرْصَرًا فِى يَوْمِ نَحْسٍ مُّسْتَمِرٍّ ‎﴿١٩﴾‏ تَنزِعُ ٱلنَّاسَ كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ مُّنقَعِرٍ ‎﴿٢٠﴾‏ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿٢١﴾‏ وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿٢٢﴾‏

[The people of] ‘Ad impugned [their apostle]. So how were My punishment and warnings? (18) Indeed We unleashed upon them an icy gale on an incessantly ill-fated day, (19) knocking down people as if they were trunks of uprooted palm trees. (20) So how were My punishment and warnings?! (21) Certainly We have made the Quran simple for the sake of admonishment. So is there anyone who will be admonished? (22)

Allah makes a quick mention of the people of ‘Ad and how they also impugned their prophet, Hud (a). Allah mentions them as a warning to the disbelievers and wrongdoers. They were punished for their obstinacy and refusal to accept the truth and believe in Allah. They were punished by an icy gale and were destroyed to such an extent that they became like trunks of uprooted palm trees. Then Allah says, “Just look at My punishment and warning. See what it did to the peoples of Noah and ‘Ad.” Then, in verse 22, once again Allah asks us to heed His warnings.

Verses 23-32: The People of Thamud

 Verses 23-32 of Surah Qamar read:

كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ بِٱلنُّذُرِ ‎﴿٢٣﴾‏ فَقَالُوٓا۟ أَبَشَرًا مِّنَّا وَٰحِدًا نَّتَّبِعُهُۥٓ إِنَّآ إِذًا لَّفِى ضَلَٰلٍ وَسُعُرٍ ‎﴿٢٤﴾‏ أَءُلْقِىَ ٱلذِّكْرُ عَلَيْهِ مِنۢ بَيْنِنَا بَلْ هُوَ كَذَّابٌ أَشِرٌ ‎﴿٢٥﴾‏ سَيَعْلَمُونَ غَدًا مَّنِ ٱلْكَذَّابُ ٱلْأَشِرُ ‎﴿٢٦﴾‏ إِنَّا مُرْسِلُوا۟ ٱلنَّاقَةِ فِتْنَةً لَّهُمْ فَٱرْتَقِبْهُمْ وَٱصْطَبِرْ ‎﴿٢٧﴾‏ وَنَبِّئْهُمْ أَنَّ ٱلْمَآءَ قِسْمَةُۢ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ كُلُّ شِرْبٍ مُّحْتَضَرٌ ‎﴿٢٨﴾‏ فَنَادَوْا۟ صَاحِبَهُمْ فَتَعَاطَىٰ فَعَقَرَ ‎﴿٢٩﴾‏ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿٣٠﴾‏ إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ صَيْحَةً وَٰحِدَةً فَكَانُوا۟ كَهَشِيمِ ٱلْمُحْتَظِرِ ‎﴿٣١﴾‏ وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿٣٢﴾

[The people of] Thamud denied the warnings, (23) and they said, ‘Are we to follow a lone human from ourselves?! Indeed then we would be in error and madness.’ (24) ‘Has the Reminder been cast upon him from among us? No, he is a self-conceited liar.’ (25) ‘Tomorrow they will know who is a self-conceited liar. (26) We are sending the She-camel as a trial for them; so watch them and be steadfast. (27) Inform them that the water is to be shared between them; each of them showing up at his turn.’ (28) But they called their companion, and he took [a knife] and hamstrung [her]. (29) So how were My punishment and My warnings?! (30) We sent against them a single Cry, and they became like the dry sticks of a corral builder. (31) Certainly We have made the Quran simple for the sake of admonishment. So is there anyone who will be admonished? (32)

A group of people came after the people of ‘Ad who were known as the people of Thamud. Similar to the people of ‘Ad, they were also idolaters and did not believe in Allah. Allah sent a prophet named Saleh to them who warned them of Allah’s punishment if they did not obey Him and abandon their worship of idols. The people of Thamud also impugned their prophet and said, “Why should we follow a human like ourselves? We would be crazy if we do that. No he is just a liar.” Then, Saleh should them one of his miracles. A she-camel came out from the mountain. They were told to allow it to drink water for a day, and the next day would be their turn. However, they killed the she-camel. Allah then punished them for this act. Then they became like dry sticks that are gathered in a corral.

Verses 33-40: The People of Lot

Verses 33-40 of Surah Qamar read:

كَذَّبَتْ قَوْمُ لُوطِۭ بِٱلنُّذُرِ ‎﴿٣٣﴾‏ إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ حَاصِبًا إِلَّآ ءَالَ لُوطٍ ۖ نَّجَّيْنَٰهُم بِسَحَرٍ ‎﴿٣٤﴾‏ نِّعْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى مَن شَكَرَ ‎﴿٣٥﴾‏ وَلَقَدْ أَنذَرَهُم بَطْشَتَنَا فَتَمَارَوْا۟ بِٱلنُّذُرِ ‎﴿٣٦﴾‏ وَلَقَدْ رَٰوَدُوهُ عَن ضَيْفِهِۦ فَطَمَسْنَآ أَعْيُنَهُمْ فَذُوقُوا۟ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿٣٧﴾‏ وَلَقَدْ صَبَّحَهُم بُكْرَةً عَذَابٌ مُّسْتَقِرٌّ ‎﴿٣٨﴾‏ فَذُوقُوا۟ عَذَابِى وَنُذُرِ ‎﴿٣٩﴾‏ وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿٤٠﴾‏

And the people of Lot denied the warnings. (33) We unleashed upon them a rain of stones, excepting the family of Lot, whom We delivered at dawn (34) as a blessing from Us. Thus do We reward those who give thanks. (35) He had already warned them of Our punishment, but they disputed the warnings. (36) They even solicited of him his guests, whereat We blotted out their eyes, [saying,] ‘Taste My punishment and My warnings!’ (37) Early at dawn there visited them an abiding punishment: (38) ‘Taste My punishment and warnings!’ (39) Certainly We have made the Quran simple for the sake of admonishment. So is there anyone who will be admonished? (40)

The people of Lot, mentioned briefly in Surah Qamar, were a nation known for their deviant behavior of engaging in same-sex relationships, preferring males over females as partners. In order to rectify their reprehensible and immoral conduct, Prophet Lot (a) was sent as a messenger to guide and counsel them. He implored them to abandon their wicked ways and warned them of the severe consequences if they persisted in committing such an abominable sin. Despite the repeated admonitions and sincere efforts of Prophet Lot (a), they obstinately rejected his message and continued to indulge in their depravity.

Prophet Lot (a) earnestly conveyed the divine message, emphasizing that if they persisted in their transgressions, they would undoubtedly incur the wrath and punishment of Allah. However, the people of Lot paid no heed to his warnings, dismissing them as insignificant and choosing to disregard the consequences of their actions. Consequently, Allah’s punishment was unleashed upon them, and the entire city was overturned, eradicating its inhabitants.

This account serves as a powerful reminder of the truthfulness of Allah’s warnings and promises. It serves as a lesson for those who reflect upon it, emphasizing the gravity of transgressing the limits set by Allah and the dire consequences that follow such actions. The fate of the people of Lot stands as a testament to divine justice and the fulfillment of Allah’s decrees.

In light of this narrative, it becomes imperative for individuals to take heed, contemplate, and be admonished by the accounts of past nations. The lessons drawn from these incidents should serve as a reminder for all, urging them to abandon immoral conduct, adhere to the guidance of Allah, and seek His forgiveness and mercy. Ultimately, it is through sincere repentance and obedience to Allah’s commands that one finds salvation and avoids the retribution of a just and merciful Creator.

Verses 41-46: Pharaoh’s Clan

Verses 41-46 of Surah Qamar read:

وَلَقَدْ جَآءَ ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ ٱلنُّذُرُ ‎﴿٤١﴾‏ كَذَّبُوا۟ بِـَٔايَٰتِنَا كُلِّهَا فَأَخَذْنَٰهُمْ أَخْذَ عَزِيزٍ مُّقْتَدِرٍ ‎﴿٤٢﴾‏ أَكُفَّارُكُمْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أُو۟لَٰٓئِكُمْ أَمْ لَكُم بَرَآءَةٌ فِى ٱلزُّبُرِ ‎﴿٤٣﴾‏ أَمْ يَقُولُونَ نَحْنُ جَمِيعٌ مُّنتَصِرٌ ‎﴿٤٤﴾‏ سَيُهْزَمُ ٱلْجَمْعُ وَيُوَلُّونَ ٱلدُّبُرَ ‎﴿٤٥﴾‏ بَلِ ٱلسَّاعَةُ مَوْعِدُهُمْ وَٱلسَّاعَةُ أَدْهَىٰ وَأَمَرُّ ‎﴿٤٦﴾

Certainly the warnings did come to Pharaoh’s clan (41) who denied all of Our signs. So We seized them with the seizing of One [who is] all-mighty, Omnipotent. (42) Are your faithless better than those? Have you [been granted] [some sort of] immunity in the scriptures? (43) Do they say, ‘We are a confederate league’? (44) The league will be routed and turn its back [to flee]. (45) Indeed, the Hour is their tryst; and the Hour will be most calamitous and bitter. (46)

These verses in Surah Qamar describe the fate of Pharaoh and his clan who rejected the signs and warnings brought to them by the messengers of Allah. Despite witnessing miraculous signs and being confronted with the truth, they stubbornly denied and disbelieved. As a consequence of their defiance, Allah seized them with a punishment of great magnitude, demonstrating His absolute might and power. The punishment befell them with overwhelming force, leaving no room for escape or resistance.

The rhetorical question posed in verse 43 challenges the arrogance and false sense of superiority of the disbelievers. It questions whether they believe themselves to be better or immune from divine consequences than those who preceded them. The disbelievers’ claims of being a united alliance or confederate league are dismissed in verse 44, asserting that their unity will crumble and they will be defeated. Their alliance will collapse, and they will flee in defeat.

The mention of “the Hour” in verse 45 refers to the Day of Judgment, which is their appointed time for accountability and reckoning. The Day of Judgment is depicted as a moment of great calamity and bitterness for the disbelievers. It serves as a reminder that their worldly power, alliances, and defiance will ultimately be rendered insignificant in the face of the immense and inevitable consequences awaiting them in the Hereafter.

Verses 47-48: The Consequences Await the Guilty: Punishment and the Fire of Hell

Verses 47-48 of Surah Qamar read:

إِنَّ ٱلْمُجْرِمِينَ فِى ضَلَٰلٍ وَسُعُرٍ ‎﴿٤٧﴾‏ يَوْمَ يُسْحَبُونَ فِى ٱلنَّارِ عَلَىٰ وُجُوهِهِمْ ذُوقُوا۟ مَسَّ سَقَرَ ‎﴿٤٨﴾

Indeed the guilty are steeped in error and madness. (47) The day when they are dragged on their faces into the Fire, [it will be said to them,] ‘Taste the touch of hell!’ (48)

In these verses, the Quran describes the state of the guilty individuals who have strayed far from the right path and are immersed in error and madness. Their actions and choices have led them astray, distancing them from the truth and righteousness. This portrayal highlights the severity of their deviation and the consequences they will face as a result.

The verses also depict the horrifying scene of the Day of Judgment when the guilty will be dragged on their faces into the Fire of Hell. This vivid imagery emphasizes the intensity and severity of their punishment. It signifies the retribution they will experience for their transgressions, as they come face to face with the torment and agony of Hell. The phrase “taste the touch of hell” conveys the harsh reality they will encounter, as they finally experience the torment they had denied or ignored in their worldly lives.

Overall, these verses serve as a warning and a reminder of the severe consequences that await those who persist in their wrongdoings and refuse to repent. It emphasizes the accountability and justice that will be served on the Day of Judgment, where the guilty will face the full weight of their actions and taste the punishment they had disregarded in their earthly existence.

Verses 49-53: Divine Order and Accountability: Creation, Command, and Recordkeeping

Verses 49-53 of Surah Qamar read:

إِنَّا كُلَّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقْنَٰهُ بِقَدَرٍ ‎﴿٤٩﴾‏ وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلَّا وَٰحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحِۭ بِٱلْبَصَرِ ‎﴿٥٠﴾‏ وَلَقَدْ أَهْلَكْنَآ أَشْيَاعَكُمْ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ ‎﴿٥١﴾‏ وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ فَعَلُوهُ فِى ٱلزُّبُرِ ‎﴿٥٢﴾‏ وَكُلُّ صَغِيرٍ وَكَبِيرٍ مُّسْتَطَرٌ ‎﴿٥٣﴾

Indeed We have created everything in a measure, (49) and Our command is but a single [word], like the twinkling of an eye. (50) Certainly We have destroyed your likes. So is there anyone who will be admonished? (51) Everything they have done is in the books, (52) and everything big and small is committed to writing. (53)

These verses from Surah Qamar emphasize the divine order and accountability in the universe. Allah states that everything in existence has been created with precision and balance, reflecting His profound knowledge and wisdom. Each entity and phenomenon has been meticulously measured and designed by Allah, illustrating His control and mastery over creation. This verse showcases the intricate interconnectedness and purpose behind every aspect of the world. It reminds us of the divine plan that governs all things, encouraging us to recognize the signs of Allah’s creation and appreciate the harmonious balance that exists.

The subsequent verse draws attention to the power and swiftness of Allah’s command. It compares the execution of His command to the twinkling of an eye, highlighting its immediacy and effectiveness. This depiction serves as a reminder of Allah’s omnipotence and authority. The following verses then draw a parallel between past nations and the listeners, emphasizing that those who rejected the warnings of the messengers were ultimately destroyed. This prompts reflection on the consequences of disregarding divine guidance. The verses conclude by highlighting the meticulous recording of human actions. Every deed, no matter how big or small, is meticulously recorded in the divine books, emphasizing the importance of accountability and the eternal nature of consequences. These verses serve as a reminder to ponder upon the past, seek admonition, and recognize the significance of one’s actions.

Verses 54-55: The Pious Are in Gardens

Verses 54-55 of Surah Qamar read:

إِنَّ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ فِى جَنَّٰتٍ وَنَهَرٍ ‎﴿٥٤﴾‏ فِى مَقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ عِندَ مَلِيكٍ مُّقْتَدِرِۭ ‎﴿٥٥﴾

Indeed the Godwary will be amid gardens and streams, (54) in the abode of truthfulness with an omnipotent King. (55)

The last two verses from Surah Qamar paint a vivid picture of the rewarding and blissful abode awaiting the God-fearing individuals. It describes a scene of serene beauty and tranquility, where the righteous will reside in lush gardens adorned with flowing streams. This imagery symbolizes the abundance and blessings that await them in the Hereafter. The mention of gardens and streams evokes a sense of peace, freshness, and rejuvenation, reflecting the everlasting bliss and contentment of the righteous in the presence of Allah. It signifies the fulfillment of their deepest desires and the ultimate reward for their devotion and righteousness.

The verses further emphasize that the abode of the righteous is a place of truthfulness, where sincerity and authenticity prevail. It highlights the purity and integrity of the God-fearing individuals, who adhered to the truth and righteousness in their earthly lives. They will dwell in the company of an omnipotent King, indicating the honor and privilege bestowed upon them by Allah Himself. The presence of the King signifies divine sovereignty and authority, underscoring the significance and elevated status of the righteous believers. These verses inspire believers to strive for righteousness, seeking the favor and pleasure of Allah, and reminding them of the glorious reward that awaits those who remain steadfast in their faith and piety.

Benefits and Virtues of Reciting Surah Qamar


In the book Majma’ al-Bayan, it is narrated from the Prophet (s) that whoever recites Surah Qamar every other day will enter the Day of Resurrection with a shining face, resembling the radiance of the full moon on the fourteenth night. It is recommended to recite it every night, and on the Day of Resurrection, the person will enter with a face shining with whiteness.

It is also narrated from Imam Sadiq (a) that whoever recites Surah Qamar, Allah will take him out of his grave while riding on a heavenly chariot among the chariots of Paradise.

In the Quranic exegesis of Burhan, it is mentioned that reciting this surah has benefits such as gaining people’s love and honor and making difficult tasks easier.

Conclusion

Surah Qamar presents profound lessons and warnings for humanity. It emphasizes the power and authority of Allah, who has created everything in a measured and precise manner. The surah highlights the consequences of disbelief and disobedience, showcasing historical accounts of past nations that were destroyed due to their transgressions. It serves as a reminder that Allah’s warnings and promises are true and that individuals should take heed and learn from the mistakes of those who came before them.

Surah Qamar also emphasizes the importance of reciting and reflecting upon the Quran. It serves as a reminder of the transformative power of the Quran and its ability to guide and shape the lives of believers. Overall, Surah Qamar calls upon individuals to reflect, ponder, and seek guidance from the Quran. It encourages them to recognize the consequences of their actions, turn toward righteousness, and be mindful of the Day of Judgment. By internalizing the messages conveyed in this surah, individuals can strive to lead lives that are pleasing to Allah and avoid the pitfalls of disbelief and disobedience.


References

[1] Tafsir of Ali ibn Ibrahim and Tafsir Burhan.

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