Surah Qiyamah

Surah Qiyamah

Surah Qiyamah (قیامه) is the 75th surah of the Quran in Juz’ 29 with 40 verses and 164 words. It takes its name from the first verse where God swears to the Day of Resurrection.

A number of insightful descriptions have been provided in surah Qiyamah such as the sequential events at the time of a person’s death and the occurrences marking an end to the material world and the start of a whole new realms which will remain forever.

Surah Qiyamah also mentions the self-critical soul, the immunity of the Quran from any change and alteration, the possibility of the Last Day displaying the Divine power and the different groups of people on the Day of Resurrection.

Facts about Surah Qiyamah

Surah Qiyamah (قیامه) is the 75th surah of the Quran in Juz’ 29 with 40 verses and 164 words. It takes its name from the first verse where God swears to the Day of Resurrection. A number of insightful descriptions have been provided in surah Qiyamah such as the sequential events at the time of a person’s death and the occurrences marking an end to the material world and the start of a whole new realms which will remain forever and ever. Surah Qiyamah also mentions the self-critical soul, the immunity of the Quran from any change and alteration, the possibility of the Last Day displaying the Divine power and the different groups of people on the Day of Resurrection.

75 Surah no.

Juz’ 29 Place

Makki Makki/Madani

31 Order of revelation

40 No. of verses

164 No. of words

676 No. of letters


Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Qiyamah


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

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

لَا أُقْسِمُ بِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ﴿1﴾

I swear by the Day of Resurrection!

وَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِالنَّفْسِ اللَّوَّامَةِ ﴿2﴾

And I swear by the self-critical soul!

أَيَحْسَبُ الْإِنسَانُ أَلَّن نَّجْمَعَ عِظَامَهُ ﴿3﴾

Does man suppose that We will not put together his bones [at resurrection]?

بَلَىٰ قَادِرِينَ عَلَىٰ أَن نُّسَوِّيَ بَنَانَهُ ﴿4﴾

Yes indeed, We are able to [re]shape [even] his fingertips!

بَلْ يُرِيدُ الْإِنسَانُ لِيَفْجُرَ أَمَامَهُ ﴿5﴾

Indeed, man desires to go on living viciously.

يَسْأَلُ أَيَّانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ ﴿6﴾

He asks, ‘When will be this “day of resurrection”?!

فَإِذَا بَرِقَ الْبَصَرُ ﴿7﴾

But when the eyes are dazzled

وَخَسَفَ الْقَمَرُ ﴿8﴾

the moon is eclipsed,

وَجُمِعَ الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ ﴿9﴾

and the sun and the moon are brought together,

يَقُولُ الْإِنسَانُ يَوْمَئِذٍ أَيْنَ الْمَفَرُّ ﴿10﴾

that day man will say, ‘Where is the escape [from this day]?’

كَلَّا لَا وَزَرَ ﴿11﴾

No indeed! There will be no refuge!

إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْمُسْتَقَرُّ ﴿12﴾

That day the [final] goal will be toward your Lord.

يُنَبَّأُ الْإِنسَانُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بِمَا قَدَّمَ وَأَخَّرَ ﴿13﴾

That day man will be informed about what [works] he had sent ahead [to the scene of judgment] and [the legacy that he had] left behind.

بَلِ الْإِنسَانُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ بَصِيرَةٌ ﴿14﴾

Indeed, man is a witness to himself,

وَلَوْ أَلْقَىٰ مَعَاذِيرَهُ ﴿15﴾

though he should offer excuses [to justify his failings].

لَا تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ ﴿16﴾

Do not move your tongue with it to hasten it.

إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ ﴿17﴾

Indeed it is up to Us to put it together and to recite it.

فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ ﴿18﴾

And when We have recited it, follow its recitation.

ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ ﴿19﴾

Then, its exposition [also] lies with Us.

كَلَّا بَلْ تُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ ﴿20﴾

No! Indeed, you love this transitory life

وَتَذَرُونَ الْآخِرَةَ ﴿21﴾

and forsake the Hereafter.

وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَّاضِرَةٌ ﴿22﴾

Some faces will be fresh on that day,

إِلَىٰ رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌ ﴿23﴾

looking to their Lord,

وَوُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَاسِرَةٌ ﴿24﴾

and some faces will be scowling on that day,

تَظُنُّ أَن يُفْعَلَ بِهَا فَاقِرَةٌ ﴿25﴾

knowing that they will be dealt out a punishment breaking the spine.

كَلَّا إِذَا بَلَغَتِ التَّرَاقِيَ ﴿26﴾

No indeed! When it reaches up to the collar bones

وَقِيلَ مَنْ ۜ رَاقٍ ﴿27﴾

and it is said, ‘Who will take him up?’

وَظَنَّ أَنَّهُ الْفِرَاقُ ﴿28﴾

and he knows that it is the [time of] parting,

وَالْتَفَّتِ السَّاقُ بِالسَّاقِ ﴿29﴾

and each shank clasps the other shank,

إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْمَسَاقُ ﴿30﴾

that day he shall be driven toward your Lord.

فَلَا صَدَّقَ وَلَا صَلَّىٰ ﴿31﴾

He neither confirmed [the messages of Allah], nor did he pray,

وَلَـٰكِن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ ﴿32﴾

but denied [them] and turned away,

ثُمَّ ذَهَبَ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِ يَتَمَطَّىٰ ﴿33﴾

and went back swaggering to his family.

أَوْلَىٰ لَكَ فَأَوْلَىٰ ﴿34﴾

So, woe to you! Woe to you!

ثُمَّ أَوْلَىٰ لَكَ فَأَوْلَىٰ ﴿35﴾

Again, woe to you! Woe to you!

أَيَحْسَبُ الْإِنسَانُ أَن يُتْرَكَ سُدًى ﴿36﴾

Does man suppose that he has been abandoned to futility?

أَلَمْ يَكُ نُطْفَةً مِّن مَّنِيٍّ يُمْنَىٰ ﴿37﴾

Was he not a drop of emitted semen,

ثُمَّ كَانَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقَ فَسَوَّىٰ ﴿38﴾

Worth to read!  Forgiveness in the Quran

and then a clinging mass? Whereat He created and proportioned [him],

فَجَعَلَ مِنْهُ الزَّوْجَيْنِ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنثَىٰ ﴿39﴾

and made of him the two sexes, male and female.

أَلَيْسَ ذَٰلِكَ بِقَادِرٍ عَلَىٰ أَن يُحْيِيَ الْمَوْتَىٰ ﴿40﴾

Is not [someone like] that able to revive the dead?

Surah Qiyamah’s chart

TopicVerses
Possibility of the Last Day, displaying the Divine power1-4, 7-13, 22-25, 36-40
Man’s carnal & divine desires5, 6, 14, 15, 20, 21,
Revelation of the Quran to the prophet (S)16-19
Man’s state at death time26-35

Surah Qiyamah at a glimpse

Surah Qiyamah is the 75th surah of the Quran with 40 verses in Juz’ 29. It has an amazing sequence. It is as though one is watching a movie which initially starts with an idea no one has experienced so far: Qiyamah. Will it happen? If yes, how can God bring people back to life? What will happen on that day? How is the material life connected to that life?

In this article you will read the following:

Benefits and blessings of reciting surah Qiyamah

Regarding the reward of reciting surah Qiyamah, the messenger of God (S) says,

Gabriel and I will testify for one who recites surah Qiyamah that he had faith in the Day of Judgment. He will enter the scene of gathering on the Last Day whilst his face is brighter than all other creatures. 1

In another Islamic tradition we read,

One who frequents in reciting surah Qiyamah and acts according to the verses, God the Almighty will resurrect him alongside the holy prophet (S) in the best of manners while his face is joyful until he crosses the Sirat Bridge. 2

Strengthening one’s chastity

The recitation of surah Qiyamah creates humility towards the Almighty and strengthens one’s modesty and chastity. One who recites this surah shall not fear any ruler and shall remain safe and secure with the will of God (SWT). 3

Increasing one’s popularity

With regards to the blessings of reciting surah Qiyamah, the noble prophet (S) says in a hadith that frequent recitation of this surah increases one’s sustenance, security and popularity among people. 4

Three kinds of souls according to Surah Qiyamah

The glorious Quran mentions three types of soul for man:

Surah Qiyamah and Three kinds of souls

The carnal soul

إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ

for the [carnal] soul indeed prompts [men] to evil 5

The carnal soul continuously prompts man to evil unless it becomes restrained through the intellect and belief in God. The Quran stipulates one condition impeding the evil desires of the carnal desire saying,

إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي

except inasmuch as my Lord has mercy 6

In the unparalleled supplication of Imam Sajjad (AS) called “the whispered prayers  of the complainers” the carnal soul is described as such:

It has many excuses and extended fantasies; it is anxious to lead me towards evil, and it is reluctant to take me to all that is good. It is prone to push me towards idleness and diversion, full of neglect and daydreaming…it makes me to delay in asking for repentance.

The self-critical soul

وَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِالنَّفْسِ اللَّوَّامَةِ ﴿2﴾

And I swear by the self-critical soul! 7

The first two verses of surah Qiyamah include two oaths, one being Qiyamah and the second, the self-critical soul. Qiyamah is the great court which assembles attending to the book of record of all humans from all times.

On a smaller scale, in this material world, every individual has a small court within oneself, called the self-critical soul which stimulates one towards remorse, repentance and return to the Almighty God.

Based on a beautiful narration from the noble prophet (S), on the Last Day, the righteous and sinners are both remorseful; the first group regret why they had not done more good acts while the second are shameful of their indecent acts. This is what the verse «وَ لا أُقْسِمُ بِالنَّفْسِ اللَّوّامَهِ» signifies. 8

The soul at peace

يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ﴿27﴾

O soul at peace!

ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً ﴿28﴾

Return to your Lord, pleased and pleasing! 9

This is the most beautiful and serene state of the soul where it is pleased with the Lord and pleasing the Lord. One who has reached this elevated spiritual state is not fearful of death and is impatient to meet one’s Lord.

Note that the means of attaining the soul at peace is prayers . The glorious Quran says,

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي

maintain the prayer for My remembrance. 10

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ ﴿28﴾

those who have faith and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah.’ Behold! The hearts find rest in Allah’s remembrance! 11

Surah Qiyamah and how Man justifies his faulty actions

Because of the existence of the carnal soul, there are certain inclination in man which attract him to evil; in the meantime, God has blown into man from His own soul, so there are divine inclinations within him. The beauty of man’s salvation and movement towards perfection lies in him overcoming the carnal soul.

Note that the carnal soul is empowered in those who have killed their self-critical soul. They commit all kinds of vices and bring forth different excuses.

Man’s excuses

The noble Quran, including surah Qiyamah, quote the sayings of the sinners in this world and in the Hereafter:

  • We were unaware

إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَـٰذَا غَافِلِينَ 12

  • Others have misled us

هَـٰؤُلَاءِ أَضَلُّونَا 13

  • How can God bring us back to life?

قَالَ مَن يُحْيِي الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَمِيمٌ

‘Who shall revive the bones when they have decayed?’ 14

  • When will this day come?

يَسْأَلُ أَيَّانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ ﴿6﴾

He asks, ‘When will be this “day of resurrection”?!

  • This day will never come.

إِنْ هِيَ إِلَّا حَيَاتُنَا الدُّنْيَا نَمُوتُ وَنَحْيَا وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَبْعُوثِينَ

There is nothing but the life of this world: we live and die, and we will not be resurrected. 15

Man is a witness to himself

Man does bring numerous excuses to validate his wrong actions, nevertheless, deep inside, he knows that they are mere justifications and that he is not going the right path.

بَلِ الْإِنسَانُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ بَصِيرَةٌ ﴿14﴾

Indeed, man is a witness to himself,

وَلَوْ أَلْقَىٰ مَعَاذِيرَهُ ﴿15﴾

though he should offer excuses [to justify his failings].

Surah Qiyamah and the possibility of Resurrection

As mentioned in the previous part, throughout history there have always been those who questioned the possibility of the occurrence of the Day of Resurrection and those unbelievers who totally rejected the Resurrection.

In a way, these unbelievers question the divine power and wisdom. Hence, in response to them, the noble Quran reminds them that this God who shall revive the dead is the same creator of the heavens and the earth. Reviving the dead is not more difficult than creating the heavens and the earth.

God response in the verses of the Quran

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَلَمْ يَعْيَ بِخَلْقِهِنَّ بِقَادِرٍ عَلَىٰ أَن يُحْيِيَ الْمَوْتَىٰ ۚ بَلَىٰ إِنَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Do they not see that Allah, who created the heavens and the earth and [who] was not exhausted by their creation, is able to revive the dead? Yes, indeed He has power over all things. 16

In surah Qiyamah, God (SWT) provides a logical explanation saying, were you not a drop of emitted semen, then a clinging mass? I was the one who proportioned you and made you into male and female. Now such a powerful creator is not able to revive the dead? 17

أَيَحْسَبُ الْإِنسَانُ أَلَّن نَّجْمَعَ عِظَامَهُ

Does man suppose that We will not put together his bones [at resurrection]? 18

The divine power does not end here. Surah Qiyamah states that God is even able to reshape man’s fingerprints which is unique in every individual.

بَلَىٰ قَادِرِينَ عَلَىٰ أَن نُّسَوِّيَ بَنَانَهُ ﴿4﴾

Yes indeed, We are able to [re]shape [even] his fingertips!

Surah Qiyamah and occurrences on Qiyamah

There are many chapters of the Quran which describe the events signaling the end of the material world and a new beginning to an everlasting life.

Surah Qiyamah is among the chapters mentioning some of the occurrences at the end of time:   

  • The eyes are dazzled out of fright

فَإِذَا بَرِقَ الْبَصَرُ ﴿7﴾

But when the eyes are dazzled

  • the moon is eclipsed,

وَخَسَفَ الْقَمَرُ ﴿8﴾

the moon is eclipsed,

  • the sun and the moon are brought together

وَجُمِعَ الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ ﴿9﴾

and the sun and the moon are brought together,

  • Man searches for an escape

يَقُولُ الْإِنسَانُ يَوْمَئِذٍ أَيْنَ الْمَفَرُّ ﴿10﴾

that day man will say, ‘Where is the escape [from this day]?’

  • But there is no refuge,

كَلَّا لَا وَزَرَ ﴿11﴾

No indeed! There will be no refuge!

  • Man is informed of what he has sent ahead and left behind.

إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْمُسْتَقَرُّ ﴿12﴾

That day the [final] goal will be toward your Lord.

Will my book of deeds close when I die?

As long as we are living in the realm of matter, our thoughts and actions are being recorded in our book of deeds. When we take the last breath and close our eyes to this world, a part of this record will remain intact, however, at times there will be cases where changes will be made to it.  

Surah Qiyamah states the general principle:

يُنَبَّأُ الْإِنسَانُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بِمَا قَدَّمَ وَأَخَّرَ ﴿13﴾

That day man will be informed about what [works] he had sent ahead [to the scene of judgment] and [the legacy that he had] left behind.

The offspring that we leave behind or a property that we donate for charitable reasons or the customs and traditions that we initiate in our lifetime will remain even after we die.

In a beautiful narration we read,

One who pioneers in establishing a good or bad tradition, will receive the reward or punishment the like of the individual who acts according to his way. If the tradition has been bad, the deceased will receive a punishment equal to the wrong action done by the sinner and if it has been good, a similar reward recorded for the doer of the tradition will be recorded for the pioneer of that tradition.

The Quran remains secure by the divine power

The noble Quran was revealed to the messenger of Allah (S) once in its entirety on the night of decree (Lailatul Qadr) and then gradually revealed to Prophet Muhammad (S) through the 23 years of his mission as the prophet of God.  

In Surah Qiyamah, Muhammad (S) is told not to be hasty in moving his tongue to recite the verses of the Quran 19 , as God takes it upon Himself to put the Quran together and to recite it.

إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ ﴿17﴾

Indeed it is up to Us to put it together and to recite it.

Elsewhere in the Quran, a similar concept is relayed as thus:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

Indeed We have sent down the Reminder, and indeed We will preserve it. 20

Two kinds of faces on the Last Day

The glorious Quran has many beautiful descriptions about the state of people on the Last Day. There are those who are given their book of deeds in their right hand 21 and who will lead a pleasant life and others who are given this book in their left hand 22 and are led to hellfire.

Based on surah Qiyamah, the first group are those whose faces are happy and fresh, looking at their Lord 23 and the second group are those whose faces are dark and gloomy.   

وَوُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَاسِرَةٌ ﴿24﴾

and some faces will be scowling on that day,

تَظُنُّ أَن يُفْعَلَ بِهَا فَاقِرَةٌ ﴿25﴾

knowing that they will be dealt out a punishment breaking the spine.

As surah Qiyamah states, the second group are those who were immersed in the material world and had forgotten all about the final abode.

كَلَّا بَلْ تُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ ﴿20﴾

No! Indeed, you love this transitory life

A happy or sad ending?

How will our life end? With a good or bad ending? What would determine the result? Surah Qiyamah has the answer.

In the very beginning of surah Qiyamah, we see a vivid description of Qiyamah. Towards the end of the surah, we come across an amazing part where the moment of a person’s death has been depicted linking it to his beliefs and worldview in the world. In other words, the world of matter finds its connection with the perpetual realm, where one would either live in gardens under which rivers flow or has to abide in hellfire.

As the moment of death approaches

When the soul is about to leave the body, the person realizes that it is time to depart. But to where?

إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْمَسَاقُ ﴿30﴾

that day he shall be driven toward your Lord.

How would your moment of death be? Sweet like honey or as bitter as poison?

In a beautiful narration from Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (A) we read,

Death is like fragrant breeze for a believer which revives him when smelling it and removes every trouble and sorrow from him. However, to an unbeliever, death is like a snake-bite and sting of the scorpions, and even worse.

Based on surah Qiyamah, the secret to a pleasant death lies in two factors:

  1. Faith in God and
  2. Righteous deeds the most important of which is salat.

فَلَا صَدَّقَ وَلَا صَلَّىٰ ﴿31﴾

He neither confirmed [the messages of Allah], nor did he pray,

Surah Qiyamah

References

  1. Majma’ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 190.
  2. Thawab al-A’mal, p. 121.
  3. Tafsir al-Burhan, vol. 5, p. 533.
  4. Tafsir al-Burhan, vol. 5, p. 533.
  5. [12:53] Qarai translation.
  6. [12:53] Qarai translation.
  7. [75:2] Qarai translation.
  8. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 74, p. 104.
  9. [89:27-28] Qarai translation.
  10. [20:14] Qarai translation.
  11. [13:28] Qarai translation.
  12. [7:171] Qarai translation.
  13. [7:38] Qarai translation.
  14. [36:78] Qarai translation.
  15. [23:37] Qarai translation.
  16. [46:33] Qarai translation.
  17. [75:37-40]
  18. [75:3] Qarai translation.
  19. [75:16]
  20. [15:9] Qarai translation.
  21. [69:19]
  22. [69:25]
  23. [75:23-24]

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Radiyah Shameli
Radiyah Shameli
I am Radiyah Shameil. I write for the blog and am a team member in providing content for courses on “Family in the Quran”. I have a Ph.D. in Islamic studies and am a researcher in the field of women and family in Islam. I teach and research mostly in this area. Currently, I am working on the course “Family in the Quran” and “Parenting”

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