Surah Waqiah

Surah Waqiah

Table of Contents

Surah Waqi‘ah is the 56th surah of the Noble Quran that Allah revealed to Prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him and his progeny, in the city of Mecca. Surah Waqiah speaks about a wide range of topics beginning with the events of the Day of Judgment, the reward of the righteous, and the punishment of the vicious.

Facts about Surah Waqiah

Surah Waqiah is one of the Makki surahs of the Quran that God revealed to Prophet Muhammad. It talks about the events of the Day of Judgment and how people are divided into three groups: the People of the Right Hand, the People of the Left Hand, and the Foremost ones. Then the surah talks about the rewards of the righteous and the punishments of the vicious. After mentioning the blessings he gave man, God swears that this Quran is the truth and no one save the pure ones can understand or touch it.

56 Surah no.

Juz’ 27 Place

Makki Makki/Madani

44 Order of revelation

96 No. of verses

370 No. of words

1756 No. of letters


Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Waqiah


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

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

إِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ ﴿1﴾

When the Imminent [Hour] befalls

لَيْسَ لِوَقْعَتِهَا كَاذِبَةٌ ﴿2﴾

—there is no denying that it will befall—

خَافِضَةٌ رَّافِعَةٌ ﴿3﴾

[it will be] lowering and exalting

إِذَا رُجَّتِ الْأَرْضُ رَجًّا ﴿4﴾

When the earth is shaken violently,

وَبُسَّتِ الْجِبَالُ بَسًّا ﴿5﴾

and the mountains are shattered into bits

فَكَانَتْ هَبَاءً مُّنبَثًّا ﴿6﴾

and become scattered dust,

وَكُنتُمْ أَزْوَاجًا ثَلَاثَةً ﴿7﴾

you will be three groups:

فَأَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ ﴿8﴾

The People of the Right Hand—and what are the People of the Right Hand?!

وَأَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ ﴿9﴾

And the People of the Left Hand—and what are the People of the Left Hand?!

وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ ﴿10﴾

And the Foremost Ones are the foremost ones:

أُولَـٰئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ﴿11﴾

they are the ones brought near [to Allah],

فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ ﴿12﴾

[who will reside] in the gardens of bliss.

ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿13﴾

A multitude from the former [generations]

وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِينَ ﴿14﴾

and a few from the latter ones.

عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مَّوْضُونَةٍ ﴿15﴾

On brocaded couches

مُّتَّكِئِينَ عَلَيْهَا مُتَقَابِلِينَ ﴿16﴾

reclining on them, face to face.

يَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَانٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ ﴿17﴾

They will be waited upon by immortal youths,

بِأَكْوَابٍ وَأَبَارِيقَ وَكَأْسٍ مِّن مَّعِينٍ ﴿18﴾

with goblets and ewers and a cup of a clear wine,

لَّا يُصَدَّعُونَ عَنْهَا وَلَا يُنزِفُونَ ﴿19﴾

which causes them neither headache nor stupefaction,

وَفَاكِهَةٍ مِّمَّا يَتَخَيَّرُونَ ﴿20﴾

and such fruits as they prefer

وَلَحْمِ طَيْرٍ مِّمَّا يَشْتَهُونَ ﴿21﴾

and such flesh of fowls as they desire,

وَحُورٌ عِينٌ ﴿22﴾

and big-eyed houris

كَأَمْثَالِ اللُّؤْلُؤِ الْمَكْنُونِ ﴿23﴾

like guarded pearls,

جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿24﴾

a reward for what they used to do.

لَا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا وَلَا تَأْثِيمًا ﴿25﴾

They will not hear therein any vain talk or sinful speech,

إِلَّا قِيلًا سَلَامًا سَلَامًا ﴿26﴾

but only the watchword, ‘Peace!’ ‘Peace!’

وَأَصْحَابُ الْيَمِينِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْيَمِينِ ﴿27﴾

And the People of the Right Hand—what are the People of the Right Hand?!

فِي سِدْرٍ مَّخْضُودٍ ﴿28﴾

Amid thornless lote trees

وَطَلْحٍ مَّنضُودٍ ﴿29﴾

and clustered spathes

وَظِلٍّ مَّمْدُودٍ ﴿30﴾

and extended shade,

وَمَاءٍ مَّسْكُوبٍ ﴿31﴾

and ever-flowing water

وَفَاكِهَةٍ كَثِيرَةٍ ﴿32﴾

and abundant fruits,

لَّا مَقْطُوعَةٍ وَلَا مَمْنُوعَةٍ ﴿33﴾

neither inaccessible, nor forbidden,

وَفُرُشٍ مَّرْفُوعَةٍ ﴿34﴾

and noble spouses.

إِنَّا أَنشَأْنَاهُنَّ إِنشَاءً ﴿35﴾

We have created them with a special creation,

فَجَعَلْنَاهُنَّ أَبْكَارًا ﴿36﴾

and made them virgins,

عُرُبًا أَتْرَابًا ﴿37﴾

loving, of a like age,

لِّأَصْحَابِ الْيَمِينِ ﴿38﴾

for the People of the Right Hand.

ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿39﴾

A multitude from the former [generations]

وَثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِينَ ﴿40﴾

and a multitude from the latter [ones].

وَأَصْحَابُ الشِّمَالِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الشِّمَالِ ﴿41﴾

And the People of the Left Hand—what are the People of the Left Hand?!

فِي سَمُومٍ وَحَمِيمٍ ﴿42﴾

Amid infernal miasma and boiling water

وَظِلٍّ مِّن يَحْمُومٍ ﴿43﴾

and the shadow of a dense black smoke,

لَّا بَارِدٍ وَلَا كَرِيمٍ ﴿44﴾

neither cool nor beneficial.

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَٰلِكَ مُتْرَفِينَ ﴿45﴾

Indeed they had been affluent before this,

وَكَانُوا يُصِرُّونَ عَلَى الْحِنثِ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿46﴾

and they used to persist in the great sin.

وَكَانُوا يَقُولُونَ أَئِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَعِظَامًا أَإِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ ﴿47﴾

And they used to say, ‘What! When we are dead and become dust and bones, shall we be resurrected?!

أَوَآبَاؤُنَا الْأَوَّلُونَ ﴿48﴾

And our forefathers too?!’

قُلْ إِنَّ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَالْآخِرِينَ ﴿49﴾

Say, ‘Indeed the former and latter generations

لَمَجْمُوعُونَ إِلَىٰ مِيقَاتِ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ ﴿50﴾

will all be gathered for the tryst of a known day.

ثُمَّ إِنَّكُمْ أَيُّهَا الضَّالُّونَ الْمُكَذِّبُونَ ﴿51﴾

Then indeed, you, astray deniers,

لَآكِلُونَ مِن شَجَرٍ مِّن زَقُّومٍ ﴿52﴾

will surely eat from the Zaqqum tree

فَمَالِئُونَ مِنْهَا الْبُطُونَ ﴿53﴾

and stuff your bellies with it,

فَشَارِبُونَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْحَمِيمِ ﴿54﴾

and drink boiling water on top of it,

فَشَارِبُونَ شُرْبَ الْهِيمِ ﴿55﴾

drinking like thirsty camels.’

هَـٰذَا نُزُلُهُمْ يَوْمَ الدِّينِ ﴿56﴾

Such will be the hospitality they receive on the Day of Retribution.

نَحْنُ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ فَلَوْلَا تُصَدِّقُونَ ﴿57﴾

We created you. Then why do you not acknowledge it?

أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تُمْنُونَ ﴿58﴾

Have you considered the sperm that you emit?

أَأَنتُمْ تَخْلُقُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْخَالِقُونَ ﴿59﴾

Is it you who create it, or are We the creator?

نَحْنُ قَدَّرْنَا بَيْنَكُمُ الْمَوْتَ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَسْبُوقِينَ ﴿60﴾

We have ordained death among you, and We are not to be outmaneuvered

عَلَىٰ أَن نُّبَدِّلَ أَمْثَالَكُمْ وَنُنشِئَكُمْ فِي مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿61﴾

from replacing you with your likes and recreating you in [a realm] you do not know.

وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ النَّشْأَةَ الْأُولَىٰ فَلَوْلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿62﴾

Certainly you have known the first genesis, then why do you not take admonition?

أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَحْرُثُونَ ﴿63﴾

Have you considered what you sow?

أَأَنتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَّارِعُونَ ﴿64﴾

Is it you who make it grow, or are We the grower?

لَوْ نَشَاءُ لَجَعَلْنَاهُ حُطَامًا فَظَلْتُمْ تَفَكَّهُونَ ﴿65﴾

If We wish, We turn it into chaff, whereat you are left stunned [saying to yourselves,]

إِنَّا لَمُغْرَمُونَ ﴿66﴾

‘Indeed we have suffered loss!

بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ ﴿67﴾

No, we are deprived!’

أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ الْمَاءَ الَّذِي تَشْرَبُونَ ﴿68﴾

Have you considered the water that you drink?

أَأَنتُمْ أَنزَلْتُمُوهُ مِنَ الْمُزْنِ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنزِلُونَ ﴿69﴾

Is it you who bring it down from the rain cloud, or is it We who bring [it] down?

لَوْ نَشَاءُ جَعَلْنَاهُ أُجَاجًا فَلَوْلَا تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿70﴾

If We wish We can make it bitter. Then why do you not give thanks?

أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ النَّارَ الَّتِي تُورُونَ ﴿71﴾

Have you considered the fire that you kindle?

أَأَنتُمْ أَنشَأْتُمْ شَجَرَتَهَا أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنشِئُونَ ﴿72﴾

Was it you who caused its tree to grow, or were We the grower?

نَحْنُ جَعَلْنَاهَا تَذْكِرَةً وَمَتَاعًا لِّلْمُقْوِينَ ﴿73﴾

It was We who made it a reminder and a boon for the desert-dwellers.

فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿74﴾

So celebrate the Name of your Lord, the All-supreme.

فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَاقِعِ النُّجُومِ ﴿75﴾

I swear by the places where the stars set!

وَإِنَّهُ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عَظِيمٌ ﴿76﴾

And indeed it is a great oath, should you know.

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ ﴿77﴾

This is indeed a noble Quran,

فِي كِتَابٍ مَّكْنُونٍ ﴿78﴾

in a guarded Book

لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ ﴿79﴾

—no one touches it except the pure ones—

تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿80﴾

sent down gradually from the Lord of all the worlds.

أَفَبِهَـٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَنتُم مُّدْهِنُونَ ﴿81﴾

What! Do you take lightly this discourse?

وَتَجْعَلُونَ رِزْقَكُمْ أَنَّكُمْ تُكَذِّبُونَ ﴿82﴾

And make your denial of it your vocation?

فَلَوْلَا إِذَا بَلَغَتِ الْحُلْقُومَ ﴿83﴾

So when it reaches the throat [of the dying person],

وَأَنتُمْ حِينَئِذٍ تَنظُرُونَ ﴿84﴾

and at that moment you are looking on [at his bedside]

وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تُبْصِرُونَ ﴿85﴾

—and We are nearer to him than you are, though you do not perceive—

فَلَوْلَا إِن كُنتُمْ غَيْرَ مَدِينِينَ ﴿86﴾

then why do you not restore it, if you are not subject

تَرْجِعُونَهَا إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿87﴾

[to Divine dispensation], if you are truthful?

فَأَمَّا إِن كَانَ مِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ ﴿88﴾

Then, if he be of those brought near,

فَرَوْحٌ وَرَيْحَانٌ وَجَنَّتُ نَعِيمٍ ﴿89﴾

then ease, abundance, and a garden of bliss.

وَأَمَّا إِن كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْيَمِينِ ﴿90﴾

And if he be of the People of the Right Hand,

فَسَلَامٌ لَّكَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْيَمِينِ ﴿91﴾

then [he will be told,] ‘Peace be on you, from the People of the Right Hand!’

وَأَمَّا إِن كَانَ مِنَ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ الضَّالِّينَ ﴿92﴾

But if he be of the impugners, the astray ones,

فَنُزُلٌ مِّنْ حَمِيمٍ ﴿93﴾

then a treat of boiling water

وَتَصْلِيَةُ جَحِيمٍ ﴿94﴾

and entry into hell.

إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَهُوَ حَقُّ الْيَقِينِ ﴿95﴾

Indeed this is certain truth.

فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿96﴾

So celebrate the Name of your Lord, the All-supreme!

Benefits of Reciting Surah Waqiah

Many benefits have been reported in narrations for reciting surah Waqiah. The Noble Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) has been quoted as saying, “Whoever recites surah Waqiah, God will place him/her among those who are not neglectful. Another narration states that whoever recites surah Waqiah shall never suffer poverty.

Naming of Surah Waqiah

إِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ ﴿1﴾

لَيْسَ لِوَقْعَتِهَا كَاذِبَةٌ ﴿2﴾

Waqi‘ah (واقعة) means event or happening. It refers to the Day of Judgment. The first verse of surah Waqiah contains this word as the last word of the verse.  In fact, one of the names of the Day of Judgment is Waqi‘ah. The second verse asserts that there is no denying the Day of Judgment and it will definitely happen.

The Day of Judgment Relegates Some and Raises Some

The third verse of this surah reads:

خَافِضَةٌ رَّافِعَةٌ ﴿3﴾

Abasing (some), exalting (others);

This is the nature of God’s judgment and administration of His justice. Those who did good deeds in the world and were righteous will be raised to high positions and will be rewarded with gardens of bliss such as that of paradise. On the other hand, those who did wrong and denied God and His prophets and disbelieved will be relegated to hell.

The Signs of the Day of Judgment in Surah Waqiah

God says in surah Waqiah:

إِذَا رُجَّتِ الْأَرْضُ رَجًّا ﴿4﴾

When the earth is shaken violently,

وَبُسَّتِ الْجِبَالُ بَسًّا ﴿5﴾

and the mountains are shattered into bits

فَكَانَتْ هَبَاءً مُّنبَثًّا ﴿6﴾

and become scattered dust,

One of the major signs of the Day of Judgment is a great earthquake that will shake the whole world. This earthquake has been mentioned in other surahs as well, specifically surah zalzalah (سورة الزلزلة). Surah Hajj explains the state of people during that earthquake:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ زَلْزَلَةَ السَّاعَةِ شَيْءٌ عَظِيمٌ ﴿1﴾

O mankind! Be wary of your Lord! Indeed the quake of the Hour is a terrible thing.

يَوْمَ تَرَوْنَهَا تَذْهَلُ كُلُّ مُرْضِعَةٍ عَمَّا أَرْضَعَتْ وَتَضَعُ كُلُّ ذَاتِ حَمْلٍ حَمْلَهَا وَتَرَى النَّاسَ سُكَارَىٰ وَمَا هُم بِسُكَارَىٰ وَلَـٰكِنَّ عَذَابَ اللَّـهِ شَدِيدٌ ﴿2﴾

The day that you will see it, every suckling female will be unmindful what she suckled, and every pregnant female will deliver her burden, and you will see the people drunk, yet they will not be drunken, but Allah’s punishment is severe. 1

Indeed, this earthquake is very destructive such that the hills and mountains are ground to powder.

Surah Waqiah: The Three Groups

Surah Waqiah speaks of three groups of people on the Day of Judgment:

وَكُنتُمْ أَزْوَاجًا ثَلَاثَةً ﴿7﴾

you will be three groups:

فَأَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَيْمَنَةِ ﴿8﴾

The People of the Right Hand—and what are the People of the Right Hand?!

وَأَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الْمَشْأَمَةِ ﴿9﴾

And the People of the Left Hand—and what are the People of the Left Hand?!

وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ ﴿10﴾

And the Foremost Ones are the foremost ones:

The People of the Right Hand

The People of the Right Hand are the believers and righteous individuals who obeyed God and His apostle. They were not perfect, but their book of deeds will be given to their right hand because they were good for the most part. They are the ones who refrained from major sins and indecencies, though they might have committed small sins. However, God forgives them of their small sins.

The People of the Left Hand

The People of the Left Hand are the disbelievers, hypocrites, and the vicious who disobeyed God and did not perform their religious duties. They are given their book of deeds to their left hand and a great punishment awaits them.

The Foremost Ones

These people are the saints of God who never sinned in their life and were obedient to God in totality. God says that they are the ones who are brought near to God:

أُولَـٰئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ ﴿11﴾

they are the ones brought near [to Allah],

فِي جَنَّاتِ النَّعِيمِ ﴿12﴾

[who will reside] in the gardens of bliss.

Then the Quran says:

ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿13﴾

A multitude from the former [generations]

وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِينَ ﴿14﴾

and a few from the latter ones.

According to exegetes, the multitude from the former generations are the nations of the prophets before Islam and the few from the latter generation are the Islamic ummah. After mentioning the three groups, God first begins by enumerating the rewards and blessings that the Foremost ones enjoy:

عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مَّوْضُونَةٍ ﴿15﴾

On brocaded couches

مُّتَّكِئِينَ عَلَيْهَا مُتَقَابِلِينَ ﴿16﴾

reclining on them, face to face.

يَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَانٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ ﴿17﴾

They will be waited upon by immortal youths,

بِأَكْوَابٍ وَأَبَارِيقَ وَكَأْسٍ مِّن مَّعِينٍ ﴿18﴾

with goblets and ewers and a cup of a clear wine,

لَّا يُصَدَّعُونَ عَنْهَا وَلَا يُنزِفُونَ ﴿19﴾

which causes them neither headache nor stupefaction,

The immortal youths are the servants of paradise who will receive the inhabitants of paradise with heavenly wine. They are called immortal youths because passage of time does not affect their appearance and they stay as youths forever. Heavenly wine is different from earthly wine in that it does not cause intoxication, but rather gives those who drink it an indescribable pleasure:

وَأَنْهَارٌ مِّنْ خَمْرٍ لَّذَّةٍ لِّلشَّارِبِينَ

And streams of wine delicious [or pleasurable] to the drinkers. 2

More Rewards for the Foremost

The surah continues:

وَفَاكِهَةٍ مِّمَّا يَتَخَيَّرُونَ ﴿20﴾

and such fruits as they prefer

وَلَحْمِ طَيْرٍ مِّمَّا يَشْتَهُونَ ﴿21﴾

and such flesh of fowls as they desire,

وَحُورٌ عِينٌ ﴿22﴾

and big-eyed houris

كَأَمْثَالِ اللُّؤْلُؤِ الْمَكْنُونِ ﴿23﴾

like guarded pearls,

جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿24﴾

a reward for what they used to do.

In paradise, there will be every kind of fruit available for the Foremost ones. Based on narrations, the fruits will be easily accessible in that they do not need to climb the trees, rather the branches are lowered by the tree itself and they can easily pick the fruits. Moreover, they can eat the flesh of heavenly birds. According to narrations, the birds descend themselves, are roasted, and after being eaten, their bones will be clothed with flesh once again and they will come back to life and fly away. As for the houris, they are beautiful heavenly women whom God will marry them to the righteous as He has said in another verse:

كَذَٰلِكَ وَزَوَّجْنَاهُم بِحُورٍ عِينٍ ﴿54﴾

So shall it be, and We shall wed them to black-eyed houris. 3

They are chaste and only attend to their own husbands and restrain their glances from others:

وَعِندَهُمْ قَاصِرَاتُ الطَّرْفِ عِينٌ ﴿48﴾

And with them will be maidens, of restrained glances with big [beautiful] eyes, 4

They are protected and guarded in pavilions, away from the eyes of others:

حُورٌ مَّقْصُورَاتٌ فِي الْخِيَامِ ﴿72﴾

Houris secluded in pavilions. 5

Rewards of the People of the Right Hand

After mentioning the rewards and blessings of the Foremost ones, God attends to the rewards of the People of the Right Hand. Even though the rewards are similar, they are not the same. The rewards given to the Foremost ones are of higher value.

فِي سِدْرٍ مَّخْضُودٍ ﴿28﴾

Amid thornless lote trees

وَطَلْحٍ مَّنضُودٍ ﴿29﴾

and clustered spathes

وَظِلٍّ مَّمْدُودٍ ﴿30﴾

and extended shade,

وَمَاءٍ مَّسْكُوبٍ ﴿31﴾

and ever-flowing water

وَفَاكِهَةٍ كَثِيرَةٍ ﴿32﴾

and abundant fruits,

لَّا مَقْطُوعَةٍ وَلَا مَمْنُوعَةٍ ﴿33﴾

neither inaccessible, nor forbidden,

وَفُرُشٍ مَّرْفُوعَةٍ ﴿34﴾

and noble spouses.

إِنَّا أَنشَأْنَاهُنَّ إِنشَاءً ﴿35﴾

We have created them with a special creation,

فَجَعَلْنَاهُنَّ أَبْكَارًا ﴿36﴾

and made them virgins,

عُرُبًا أَتْرَابًا ﴿37﴾

loving, of a like age,

لِّأَصْحَابِ الْيَمِينِ ﴿38﴾

for the People of the Right Hand.

Then God says:

ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ ﴿39﴾

A multitude from the former [generations]

وَثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِينَ ﴿40﴾

and a multitude from the latter [ones].

This means that unlike the Foremost ones who were many in number in the former generations and little in number in the latter generations, the population of the People of the Right Hand is large whether they are from the former or latter generations.

The Punishments of the People of the Left Hand

وَأَصْحَابُ الشِّمَالِ مَا أَصْحَابُ الشِّمَالِ ﴿41﴾

And the People of the Left Hand—what are the People of the Left Hand?!

فِي سَمُومٍ وَحَمِيمٍ ﴿42﴾

Amid infernal miasma and boiling water

وَظِلٍّ مِّن يَحْمُومٍ ﴿43﴾

and the shadow of a dense black smoke,

لَّا بَارِدٍ وَلَا كَرِيمٍ ﴿44﴾

neither cool nor beneficial.

The People of the Left Hand were corrupt and sinful individuals. It is only fair that they are punished for their wrong conduct in the world.

Then God says:

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَٰلِكَ مُتْرَفِينَ ﴿45﴾

Indeed they had been affluent before this,

وَكَانُوا يُصِرُّونَ عَلَى الْحِنثِ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿46﴾

and they used to persist in the great sin.

وَكَانُوا يَقُولُونَ أَئِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَعِظَامًا أَإِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ ﴿47﴾

And they used to say, ‘What! When we are dead and become dust and bones, shall we be resurrected?!

أَوَآبَاؤُنَا الْأَوَّلُونَ ﴿48﴾

And our forefathers too?!’

قُلْ إِنَّ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَالْآخِرِينَ ﴿49﴾

Say, ‘Indeed the former and latter generations

لَمَجْمُوعُونَ إِلَىٰ مِيقَاتِ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ ﴿50﴾

will all be gathered for the tryst of a known day.

The people of the Left Hand were affluent in the world. That is to say, they enjoyed all kinds of blessings. However, those blessings deprived them of God’s remembrance and caused their amusement. They also disbelieved in the Resurrection Day and wondered if it is even possible for decayed bones to be clothed with flesh and brought back to life. On the Day of Judgment, they shall know that it is the truth.

Punishment of Denying the Day of Judgment

In the next verses, God addresses the astray ones who denied the Day of Judgment and says they will surely eat of the tree of Zaqqum:

ثُمَّ إِنَّكُمْ أَيُّهَا الضَّالُّونَ الْمُكَذِّبُونَ ﴿51﴾

Then indeed, you, astray deniers,

لَآكِلُونَ مِن شَجَرٍ مِّن زَقُّومٍ ﴿52﴾

will surely eat from the Zaqqum tree

فَمَالِئُونَ مِنْهَا الْبُطُونَ ﴿53﴾

and stuff your bellies with it,

فَشَارِبُونَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْحَمِيمِ ﴿54﴾

and drink boiling water on top of it,

فَشَارِبُونَ شُرْبَ الْهِيمِ ﴿55﴾

drinking like thirsty camels.’

هَـٰذَا نُزُلُهُمْ يَوْمَ الدِّينِ ﴿56﴾

Such will be the hospitality they receive on the Day of Retribution.

Had these people believed in the Day of Judgment, they would have been mindful of their conduct and would not have to suffer such disgraceful punishments.

Surah Waqiah: Creation of Man

God says in the following verses of surah Waqiah:

نَحْنُ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ فَلَوْلَا تُصَدِّقُونَ ﴿57﴾

We created you. Then why do you not acknowledge it?

أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تُمْنُونَ ﴿58﴾

Have you considered the sperm that you emit?

أَأَنتُمْ تَخْلُقُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْخَالِقُونَ ﴿59﴾

Is it you who create it, or are We the creator?

نَحْنُ قَدَّرْنَا بَيْنَكُمُ الْمَوْتَ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمَسْبُوقِينَ ﴿60﴾

We have ordained death among you, and We are not to be outmaneuvered

عَلَىٰ أَن نُّبَدِّلَ أَمْثَالَكُمْ وَنُنشِئَكُمْ فِي مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿61﴾

from replacing you with your likes and recreating you in [a realm] you do not know.

وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ النَّشْأَةَ الْأُولَىٰ فَلَوْلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿62﴾

Certainly you have known the first genesis, then why do you not take admonition?

In these verses, God addresses the deniers of the Day of Judgment by emphasizing the fact that He was the one who created man, why is it that they do not acknowledge it? Even the sperm that is released by the human being has been created by God, not by man himself. Then God causes man to die and it is outside his control. Then, the same God causes us to be resurrected and live a new life on the Day of Resurrection. Verse 62 says you knew of the first creation, then why do you deny the revival of human beings on the Day of Judgment?!

Surah Waqiah: God Recounts His Blessings on Man

In the next verses of surah Waqiah, God one by one asks man whether or not He has given him such and such a blessing.

God says:

أَفَرَأَيْتُم مَّا تَحْرُثُونَ ﴿63﴾

Have you considered what you sow?

أَأَنتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَّارِعُونَ ﴿64﴾

Is it you who make it grow, or are We the grower?

لَوْ نَشَاءُ لَجَعَلْنَاهُ حُطَامًا فَظَلْتُمْ تَفَكَّهُونَ ﴿65﴾

If We wish, We turn it into chaff, whereat you are left stunned [saying to yourselves,]

إِنَّا لَمُغْرَمُونَ ﴿66﴾

‘Indeed we have suffered loss!

بَلْ نَحْنُ مَحْرُومُونَ ﴿67﴾

No, we are deprived!’

In these and the next verses, God is saying that He is the real cause of things that happen in the world. When we sow something and it grows, it is actually God who causes it to grow. Therefore, we should remember Him and give Him thanks for this blessing.

Surah Waqiah: The Blessing of Drinking Water

In the next verses, God reminds us of the great blessing of drinking water:

أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ الْمَاءَ الَّذِي تَشْرَبُونَ ﴿68﴾

Have you considered the water that you drink?

أَأَنتُمْ أَنزَلْتُمُوهُ مِنَ الْمُزْنِ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنزِلُونَ ﴿69﴾

Is it you who bring it down from the rain cloud, or is it We who bring [it] down?

لَوْ نَشَاءُ جَعَلْنَاهُ أُجَاجًا فَلَوْلَا تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿70﴾

If We wish We can make it bitter. Then why do you not give thanks?

God once again emphasizes that every action that takes place in this world is God’s act. A concept known as practical monotheism or tawḥīd al-af‘āl (توحيدُ الافعال). So, it is God who causes rain to fall from the clouds and for the rivers to be filled up with water for us to drink. If God wants, He can make the water bitter. That is why we must give thanks.

Surah Waqiah: The Blessing of Fire

God says in the next verses of surah Waqiah:

أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ النَّارَ الَّتِي تُورُونَ ﴿71﴾

Have you considered the fire that you kindle?

أَأَنتُمْ أَنشَأْتُمْ شَجَرَتَهَا أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنشِئُونَ ﴿72﴾

Was it you who caused its tree to grow, or were We the grower?

نَحْنُ جَعَلْنَاهَا تَذْكِرَةً وَمَتَاعًا لِّلْمُقْوِينَ ﴿73﴾

It was We who made it a reminder and a boon for the desert-dwellers.

Fire is a great blessing that is usually kindled from the wood of trees. God reminds us of this blessing that provides us with warmth during the cold season by saying: Did you make the tree to grow or were We the grower? This is the last blessing that God reminds us of in this surah.

Then God says:

فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿74﴾

So celebrate the Name of your Lord, the All-supreme.

فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِمَوَاقِعِ النُّجُومِ ﴿75﴾

I swear by the places where the stars set!

وَإِنَّهُ لَقَسَمٌ لَّوْ تَعْلَمُونَ عَظِيمٌ ﴿76﴾

And indeed it is a great oath, should you know.

Due to all of these and the blessings God has given us, we must celebrate the Name of our Lord, the All-supreme. Then God swears by the places where the stars set and says it is a great oath if we only knew. However, why is God swearing such an oath? He wants to make mention of the Quran. That is why.

Surah Waqiah: The Noble Quran

God starts talking about the Quran in the next verses and its high station:

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ ﴿77﴾

This is indeed a noble Quran,

فِي كِتَابٍ مَّكْنُونٍ ﴿78﴾

in a guarded Book

لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ ﴿79﴾

—no one touches it except the pure ones—

تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿80﴾

sent down gradually from the Lord of all the worlds.

The Quran is indeed a noble book. It only contains the truth and it is void of any lies or vain talk. God gradually sent down the Quran to the heart of the Noble Prophet on different occasions. No one can understand the deep meanings of it except those who are pure. Likewise, we must not touch the text of the Quran without having ablution (wudu). In other words, touching the text of the Quran without wudu is a sin.

Surah Waqiah: A Recap of the Surah

In the next verses of surah Waqiah, God says:

أَفَبِهَـٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَنتُم مُّدْهِنُونَ ﴿81﴾

What! Do you take lightly this discourse?

وَتَجْعَلُونَ رِزْقَكُمْ أَنَّكُمْ تُكَذِّبُونَ ﴿82﴾

And make your denial of it your vocation?

فَلَوْلَا إِذَا بَلَغَتِ الْحُلْقُومَ ﴿83﴾

So when it reaches the throat [of the dying person],

وَأَنتُمْ حِينَئِذٍ تَنظُرُونَ ﴿84﴾

and at that moment you are looking on [at his bedside]

وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنكُمْ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تُبْصِرُونَ ﴿85﴾

—and We are nearer to him than you are, though you do not perceive—

فَلَوْلَا إِن كُنتُمْ غَيْرَ مَدِينِينَ ﴿86﴾

then why do you not restore it, if you are not subject

تَرْجِعُونَهَا إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿87﴾

[to Divine dispensation], if you are truthful?

فَأَمَّا إِن كَانَ مِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ ﴿88﴾

Then, if he be of those brought near,

فَرَوْحٌ وَرَيْحَانٌ وَجَنَّتُ نَعِيمٍ ﴿89﴾

then ease, abundance, and a garden of bliss.

وَأَمَّا إِن كَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْيَمِينِ ﴿90﴾

And if he be of the People of the Right Hand,

فَسَلَامٌ لَّكَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْيَمِينِ ﴿91﴾

then [he will be told,] ‘Peace be on you, from the People of the Right Hand!’

وَأَمَّا إِن كَانَ مِنَ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ الضَّالِّينَ ﴿92﴾

But if he be of the impugners, the astray ones,

فَنُزُلٌ مِّنْ حَمِيمٍ ﴿93﴾

then a treat of boiling water

وَتَصْلِيَةُ جَحِيمٍ ﴿94﴾

and entry into hell.

إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَهُوَ حَقُّ الْيَقِينِ ﴿95﴾

Indeed this is certain truth.

فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿96﴾

So celebrate the Name of your Lord, the All-supreme!

These final verses are basically a recap of the previous verses of surah Waqiah. God says: Are you still in doubt about the things that I said? Then, God says when death approaches a person, He is very near to that individual even though he does not see God.

If a person is among those brought near, they will be granted paradise, ease, and comfort. If they are of the People of the Right Hand, they will be in peace and security. And, if they are of the people of the Left Hand, hell is their abode. In the end, God says that whatever that He mentioned in this surah is the truth, and once again commands the Prophet and believers to celebrate His Name.


References

  1. Quran 22:1-2 (Qara’i).
  2. Quran 47:15 (Qara’i).
  3. Quran 44:54 (Qara’i).
  4. Quran 37:48 (Qara’i).
  5. Quran 55:72 (Qara’i).
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Abu Mahdi
Abu Mahdi
I'm Abu Mahdi, one of the writers of this blog. I have a BA in English literature and an MA in English language teaching. I am also a teacher and reciter of the Quran in the field of reading the Quran, tajweed, and maqamat. Currently, we are working on a course for learning tajweed of the Quran here on Islam4u.

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