Surah Inshiqaq– the Sundering
Miracle Dream Tafseer – Nouman Ali Khan
This surah is a combination of a small cluster of surahs because of a similar style and content.
This surah is similar to these surahs';
Surah Takweer [surah number: 81]
Surah Infitar 
Surah Mutafiffeen. 
Surah Inshiqaq  has a Theme of: Inevitability.
Alot of the things in this surah seem going through stages and reaching a final conclusion.
Allah expects us to fill in the blanks ourselves, so He will give some description and then expect us to know what was not mentioned. This keeps the hearer of the Qur’an alert and affirm the reality.
This Surah is split up into 4 parts:
1st part – The first 5 ayaat like the surahs before describe the events of the Last (Judgment) Day. This is done by the phrase; Idhaa (When.. [future tense])
2nd part – 6th – 15th ayah – the journey of the human being.
3rd part – 16th – 25th ayah – for man to reflect on nature, and how nature gradually changes (tadreej).
4th part – The remaining ayaat are a Warning. Now that you’ve heard these arguments presented – take warning.
idhas-smaa’u an shaqqat
When the sky has split [open]
Idhaa – when (future tense).
as-smaa’ = the sky
inshaqat - to be torn completely.
Shaq – something cut/ripping that you don’t usually imagine being torn/cut. i.e. rocks, sky, the earth, etc.
shaq – is irreversible. Once the sky is torn/ripped – it cannot be back to normal again like before its tearing.
The inevitable – the point of no return – the conclusion of the sky we have above us is that it will be torn and will never return to its normal state after that.
wa adhinatli rabihaa wa huqqat
And has respondedto its Lord and was obligated [to do so]
verbs associated with nouns.
can come from idhn – permission.
or Adhn – listen carefully.
The sky has been given permission by its Lord.. / The sky has listened carefully to its Lord..
Just like Allah ordered the skies/heavens when making them;
ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَهِيَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ
Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, “Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion.” They said, “We have come willingly.”[Fussilat 41:11]
Allah is calling to attention the rebel. When the sky is waiting to tear itself, it listens. So why then aren’t you – the sinner not submitting to His command?
The sky and earth responded to Allah – in their own language which He understands – and they obeyed Him in their forming and creation. And they will obey Him when He tells them to cause destruction to themselves.
The sky will fulfill its purpose of being torn:
huqqat – it is its duty to do so. It is only becoming of it to do so. It has to do it, because its Lord has commanded it to.
So when Allah criticises the human being, He compares us to the rest of the Universe.
Everything obeys and praises Allah in the universe;
يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ الْمَلِكِ الْقُدُّوسِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ
Whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth glorifies Allah, the King (of everything), the Holy, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.[Jumu’ah 62:1]
تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [ Allah ] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving. [Israa’ 17:44]
Except us humans and the jinn, who have the freedom to obey or reject praising Him. But with that power comes responsibility.
Human beings should intently listen to their Master and – like the rest of the creation – when Allah orders them to do something – they should listen straightaway. But instead there are some who do the total opposite;
Now we’re being shown a contrast between us and the sky, with the sky being much more greater than us, yet that obeys Allah more than humans do. And what is the human?
أَأَنتُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقًا أَمِ السَّمَاءُ ۚ بَنَاهَا
Are you more difficult to create, or is the heaven that He constructed? [Nazi’at 79:27]
wa idhaa al arddumudat
And when the earth is stretched forth,
madda – stretch something across its length.
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ كَيْفَ مَدَّ الظِّلَّوَلَوْ شَاءَ لَجَعَلَهُ سَاكِنًا ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا الشَّمْسَ عَلَيْهِ دَلِيلًا
Have you not considered your Lord – how He extends [madda]the shadow, and if He willed, He could have made it stationary? Then We made the sun for it an indication. [Furqan 25:45]
Allah makes us reflect on our shadows and how they become longer (madda) as time passes by quickly.
Ibn Katheer quotes a Hasan [good/fair] hadith describing the word Madda;
قال ابنجريررحمه الله: حدثناابن عبد الأعلى حدثنا ابن ثور عنمعمرعن الزهري عن عليبنالحسينأن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال :إذا كان يوم القيامة مد الله الأرض مد الأديمحتىلايكونلبشرمنالناسإلاموضعقدميهفأكونأولمن يدعى وجبريل عن يمين الرحمن والله ما رآه قبلها فأقول يا رب إن هذا أخبرني أنك أرسلته إلي فيقول الله عز وجل - صدق ثم أشفع فأقول يا رب عبادك عبدوك في أطراف الأرض قال وهو المقام المحمود “
Abu Huraira reported, Allah’s Messenger said; “When the Day of Ressurection happens, Allah will stretch the Earth like leather الأديم(flat).Until the point where there will be no place to move except the place where a persons 2 feet are. And I (Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah) will be the first to be called. And Jibreel will be on the right side of the Most Merciful (Allah). By Allah, this will be the first time Jibreel will see his Lord.[Allah’s Messenger will say to Allah]”This is the one (Angel Jibreel) that informed me that You (Allah) have sent him to me.”
So Allah will reply; Sadaqt – You have said the truth…
This stretching of the Earth has been described in this Surah. And the One who can stretch the Earth has full power over it.
Agnostics of the Past and the Present are the Same:
The people who believed in a god at the time of Allah’s Messenger believed he was a distant god who created the Earth and left it to be (like some agnostics think today). Or He is above the sky and we are in charge of the Earth (like the Egyptian Pharoah’s would think). That Allah is not concerned with this tiny small Earth, when we consider all the different galaxies and the vastness of the entire Universe.
This was their perception of God before too. And many in ignorance without Islam think that now aswell.
But the One who created and designed it first – then why can’t He send guidance for what is within it? Why can’t He take control of it – if He is its Original Maker?
وَأَلْقَتْمَا فِيهَا وَتَخَلَّتْ
Wa alqat maa feeha wa takhallat
And has cast out all that was in it and became empty,
alqat – laqiyat - when 2 things come together – face to face.
alqa – from ilqa – to cast something and throw infront of everyone.
Just like when Moses threw his stick against Pharoah and his magicians;
فَأَلْقَىٰ عَصَاهُ فَإِذَا هِيَ ثُعْبَانٌ مُّبِينٌ
So [Musa (Moses)] threw his stick, and behold, it was a serpent, manifest. [Shu’ara’ 26:32]
The Day the earth is stretched, it will be throwing out everything that is within it (maa fee ha) – all that is within it. Including the dead bodies of the people.
Imagine a sheet of paper that is crumpled up and you stretch it. All the curves. All the heights become straight and level.
وَإِنَّا لَجَاعِلُونَ مَا عَلَيْهَا صَعِيدًا جُرُزًا
And indeed, We will make that which is upon it [into] a barren ground.[Kahf 18:8]
The whole earth will be a flat earth on that Day.
khalat – khalwa - seclusion. Khala – empty something out.
takhliyah – Leave them alone.
at-takhali – to empty out entirely. I.e. This word is used for A mother who gives birth to her child. – she empties her womb out entirely by letting the child out.
This is being used for the Earth that contains the bodies of the sinners and the righteous, knowing that it needs to remove its burden so these humans can be punished or rewarded for their deeds.
Finally unleashing the burden of what was inside of it for so long.
Also see Surah Zilzalah.
wa adhinatli rabihaa wa huqqat
And has respondedto its Lord and was obligated [to do so]
Just like the sky (see tafseer of Ayah 2), the earth can’t wait to get permission to release its burden.The earth is waiting attentively to and is pleased to do that. This is what is being implied. (this is because people do so much sin on it, that it can’t wait for the Day when it will be able to release its burden).
And its only rightful for it to do so.
What will happen when all this occurs?
Their is no answer in this surah…
Our knowledge of the previous surahs’ should give us the answer;
عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ وَأَخَّرَتْ
Every soul will know what it has brought forward and left behind (of deeds). (Infitar 82:5)
When you see the sky torn across without repair, when you see the earth flattened out - you will remember what deeds you had done in this temporary worldly life.
يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَكَدْحًا فَمُلَاقِيهِ
Ya ayyuha al-insanu innakakadihun ila rabbikakadhan fa mulaqeeh
O man!Verily, youare strugglingtowards your Lordwith your deeds and actions (good or bad), a sure returning, so you will meet Him (and the results of your deeds which you did).
This is the central message of this Surah;
ya ayuhal insaan – oh forgetful human being!
insan – nisyan – forgetfulness.
inaka kaadihun – you areactively engaged in toiling labour;
لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي كَبَدٍ
We have certainly created man into hardship [harsh work]
You are trying to reach certain milestones, working hard for every next step in life.
يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُإِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ- to every human being. Oh human beings – you are actively toiling in labour.
kadh – struggle towards something, whether good or bad – you strive for it and you are immersed within it so it exhausts you.
you are struggling continuously through your efforts in life, whether you’re struggling in good or bad, for business or projects.. You are continuosly strivingly – knowingly or unknowingly:
ilaa rabika- towards your Lord.
fa mulaqeeh. – then you will meet Him for sure – (on Judgment Day) to stand infront of Him and be judged for your deeds.
As-Sabooni said: you’re going to meet your own labour. The fruits of your efforts of this life (whether good or bad), you will meet them with your Lord.
There isn’t a moment that goes by – except that it is taking you closer towards your Lord – approaching to Judgment Day.
وَوَجَدُوا مَا عَمِلُوا حَاضِرًا ۗ وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا
And they will find all that they did, placed before them, and your Lord treats no one with injustice. [Kahf 18:49]
When you meet your Lord, what will happen then?
فَأَمَّا مَنْأُوتِيَكِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ
Fa ama man ootiya kitabahu bi yameenih
Then, as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand,
oowtiya is different to yu’ta (present tense).
Oowtiya (past tense) – has been given.
Past tense is used for Certainty.
The one who has been given the book in his right hand.
The book of Illiyeen will fall into his right hand. (see Mutafiffeen 83:18).
Yameen = right hand. Also an expression of power, and an agreement (done deal). Also an expression of honour.
This person is in power of joy and ease, while others are weak. He also knows that Allah has made an agreement and given him honour by placing the book in his right hand – a Promise of Jannah/Paradise.
The one who recieves the book in his right hand – he will be overjoyed, running around, telling the people he has passed, he has won!
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَيَقُولُ هَاؤُمُ اقْرَءُوا كِتَابِيَهْ. إِنِّي ظَنَنتُ أَنِّي مُلَاقٍ حِسَابِيَهْ.فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ. فِي جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ
So as for he who is given his record in his right hand, he will say, “Here, read my record! Indeed, I was certain that I would be meeting my account.” So he will be in a pleasant life – In an elevated garden,
[al Haaqah 69: 19-22]
He surely will receive an easy reckoning,
hisaaban – thorough and detailed accounting and checking.
yaseera – easy.
Before even entering Paradise, these people are in ease because of an easy accounting.
إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ.surely the righteous are in ease. [Infitar 82:13]
تَعْرِفُ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ نَضْرَةَ النَّعِيمِ- you will see from their faces pleasure and ease. (Mutafiffeen 83:24).
the T in Ta’rifu = You(O Muhammad)will recognise from their faces ease. You can only recognise someone if you are amongst them. And Allah’s Messenger will be with those who get the book in their right hand.
Their faces lit up when they get the book in their right hand. Because before this, they didn’t know which hand their book (record containing their deeds) would land in.
The nervousness of the people before us of the Salaf.
Us people think we will go to Paradise with an easy reckoning, the Salaf before us would fear, even though Allah was pleased with the companions of Allah’s Messenger (see al Fath, last ayah.)
Abu Bakr; if one of my feet was in Paradise, and the other was outside of it, i would not feel safe from Allah’s planning.
Umar; walahi law naada munaadin yawmal qiyamah, an qulu naasin fil jannah, il-laa rajulun waahid, la dhanantu ana hu (Umar) ibn al Khattab.
I swear By Allah, if a caller was to call on the Day of Ressurection that every person from mankind will go to Paradise except 1 person, I would think/be convinced that he is (Umar) ibn al Khattab.
This is the nervousness of the companions of Allah’s Messenger who were promised Paradise!
يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ كَدْحًا فَمُلَاقِيهِ
O mankind, indeed you are laboring toward your Lord with [great] exertion and will meet Him. [Inshiqaq 84:6]
This struggling has to be focused for the sake of Allah to gain such a reward of paradise.
2 words used to mean Easy;
- yaseer – easy, lightweight, comfortable, effortless.
(Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand, he surely, will receive an easy reckoning,) (84:7-8) meaning, easy without any difficulty. This means that he will not be investigated for all the minute details of his deeds. For verily, whoever is reckoned like that, he will certainly be destroyed.
Imam Ahmad recorded from `A’ishah that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَنْ نُوقِشَ الْحِسَابَ عُذِّب»
(Whoever is interrogated during the reckoning, then he will be punished.)
`A’ishah then said, “But didn’t Allah say; (He surely will receive an easy reckoning,)”
The Prophet replied,
(That is not during to the Reckoning, rather it is referring to the presentation. Whoever is interrogated during the Reckoning on the Day of Judgement, then he will be punished.)
This Hadith has also been recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Jarir.
All the above ahadith are narrated by Aa’isha, radhiy Allahu ‘anha. [also see the book al Tadhkirah by al Qurtubi]
This means that those whose books Allah overlooks will go to Jannah/Paradise without punishment.
When Allah is Merciful to him, and does not punish him – He joyously goes back and says Iqra’u kitabiyah! [Surah Haaqah] “look at my book!” He’s passed!
We ask Allah to make us of them, ameen.
Because even when you have good marks, you’re afraid that the mistakes and errors may be picked on. I.e. Why did you this?
So a person is relieved when Allah overlooks his mistakes.
Brother Nouman reminds us of getting our work being marked by the teacher – hoping that you don’t have anything wrong. Whilst the teacher is marking, you be anxious, hoping, praying you pass without anything wrong. Imagine Allah going through your account and overlooking the mistakes, and finally handing your book back to you without asking you why you did something wrong.
Imagine that feeling… Aren’t you overjoyed? Don’t you want to tell everyone you’ve passed?
You tell your family. You tell your friends. You tell those you love.
وَيَنقَلِبُ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِمَسْرُورًا
Wayanqalibu ila ahlihi masroora
And will return to his familyin joy!
How is this explained when we know people will run away from their family members on that Day?
The scholars of Tafseer/Qur’an Exegesis – explain that Ahl = your people. This would then include the believing people who believed with you.
Ahl - relatives, close and far who are believers. And even the group of the believers (since they are like family too.) And the hoor-al-ayn in Jannah.
Masroora – delighted – suroor - sirr – secret joy inside you.
Allah will take the lower people of Jannah to the top , instead of you going to the bottom levels to visit them.
وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَاتَّبَعَتْهُمْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُم بِإِيمَانٍ أَلْحَقْنَا بِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَمَا أَلَتْنَاهُم مِّنْ عَمَلِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ ۚ كُلُّ امْرِئٍ بِمَا كَسَبَ رَهِينٌ
And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in Faith, to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything. Every person is a pledge for that which he has earned.
So if you have family who does good Islamic work, encourage them instead of preventing them. Because if you’re in a low rank of Jannah/paradise – they can help you come to the top.
You’ll have connections to give you higher ranks in Jannah, just by encouraging the ones who do the best good deeds.
قَالُوا إِنَّا كُنَّا قَبْلُ فِي أَهْلِنَا مُشْفِقِينَ
They will say, “Indeed, we were previously among our people fearful [of displeasing Allah ].
Always worrying about their family in this life, will they go astray? How can we prevent that. Just like Prophet Ya’qub on his deathbed;
أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَاءَ إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن بَعْدِي قَالُوا نَعْبُدُ إِلَٰهَكَ وَإِلَٰهَ آبَائِكَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ إِلَٰهًا وَاحِدًا وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya’qub (Jacob)? When he said unto his sons, “What will you worship after me?” They said, “We shall worship your Ilah (God – Allah), the Ilah (God) of your fathers, Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaque (Isaac), One Ilah (God), and to Him we submit (in Islam).”
[al Baqarah 2:133]
This world is the time for concern, the next life is the time for joy.
In comparison – in previous mutafifeen [83:31] – the disbelievers came to their families, joyous, without fear of Judgment Day.
وَإِذَا انقَلَبُوا إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِمُ انقَلَبُوا فَكِهِينَ
And when they returned to their people [ahl – families/people], they would return jesting.[Mutafiffeen 83:31]
This is why we pray;
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا
rabbana hablana min azwajina wazurriyyatina qurrata a’yunin waja’alna lil muttaqeena imama
And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.”
Real happiness with the family is only achieved through obedience to Allah:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّ مِنْ أَزْوَاجِكُمْ وَأَوْلَادِكُمْ عَدُوًّا لَّكُمْ فَاحْذَرُوهُمْ ۚ وَإِن تَعْفُوا وَتَصْفَحُوا وَتَغْفِرُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
O you who have believed, indeed, among your wives and your children are enemies to you, so beware of them. But if you pardon and overlook and forgive – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.[Taghabun 64:14]
Since your family might do things which are pleasing, but they earn the wrath and punishment of Allah. So they can be your enemies unknowingly.
So to achieve the best happiness – we need to get closer to Allah with our families – so we can all celebrate together on that Day truly.
وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا ۖ لَا نَسْأَلُكَ رِزْقًا ۖ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكَ ۗ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ
And enjoin prayer upon your family [and people] and be steadfast therein. We ask you not for provision; We provide for you, and the [best] outcome is for [those of] righteousness. [Taha 20:132]
Umar would do that and make his family pray Tahajjud, whilst reciting that.
So make the religion of Allah beautiful for them. So they find joy in obedience to Allah. If they don’t listen – be patient and try different methos to attract them.
وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَكِتَابَهُوَرَاءَظَهْرِهِ
Wa ammaa man ootiya kitabahu waraa’azahrih
But as for he who is givenhis record behind his back,
kitab al abraar/kitab al fujaar. The book of the righteous and the book of the rebellious. This was known from the previous surahs’.
wara’ – behind
Dhahri hi – his Back
وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِشِمَالِهِ فَيَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَابِيَهْ
But as for he who is given his record in his left hand, he will say, “Oh, I wish I had not been given my record.[al Haaqah 69:25]
We study the Qur’an with different surahs to understand its meaning in its totality.
the salaf had the view that the criminals right hand is tied to their neck in chains, and their left hand is tied behind their backs. Their chained like this.
So they get the book in their left hand, but behind their back. Others said they would hide it behind their backs out of shame.
He will cry out fordestruction
sawfa - soon
thuboor – death. Similar to halak – destruction.
nida’ is different to da’wa. Da’wa is specific to someone specific. Nida’ is to anyone.
ya wayla, ya thuboora! [o angels, o someone destroy me!]
He will call out for help from the angels to destroy him. They cannot ask Allah because they cannot see him.
كَلَّا إِنَّهُمْ عَن رَّبِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّمَحْجُوبُونَ
Nay!, verily, they, on that day, the Day of Resurrection, will be screened off from their Lord, and so they will not see Him. [Mutafiffeen 83:15]
They lied against the hour deliberately -
بَلْ كَذَّبُوا بِالسَّاعَةِ ۖ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِمَن كَذَّبَ بِالسَّاعَةِ سَعِيرًا
Nay, but they deny the [coming of the] Hour, the Resurrection, and We have prepared for those who deny the Hour a blaze (sa‘īr), a fire that has been set ablaze (musa‘‘ara), in other words, an intense [fire].[Furqan 25:11]
Jaheem has always been used before, but now sa’eer is mentioned. Whenever sa’eer is mentioned, thaboor [destruction] is mentioned next to it. (part of the consistency of the Qur’an).
In the previous surah – these criminals would laugh at the believers, and when they would pass by them – they would wink at each other in mockery. And when they would return to their families – they would say, these are the ones who are lost. (see Mutafiffeen 83: 29-32).
Look at the change of tone now, these same people will cry for their own destruction.
So anyone with even abit of decency will think to himself, asking himself whether what he is doing is correct, and if he should mend his ways for the better. But the one who doesn’t even benefit from this, but instead persists in harming Muslims – then what good have they got left inside of them?
And shall enter a blazing Fire, and made to taste its burning.
saal ul sa’eera - they will cast themselves intothe fire.
sa’ara – enraged flame so it reaches a towering height – they will throw themselves into it.
their bodies will speak against them. Their own bodies will also give up of rebellion to Allah, but instead – it will obey Him and throw themselves into the sa’eer (enraged towering flames).
إِنَّهُ كَانَ فِي أَهْلِهِمَسْرُورًا
Innahu kana fee ahlihi masroora
Indeed, he had [once] been among his family/peoplein happiness;
no doubt – he used to be full of joy when it came to his family.
The believer did not have full suroor in this life, because the joys he did have had concern for Judgment Day with them. The disbeliever however thought “we only have this life, make the most joy out of it as possible”.
Ibn Katheer: he was always happy with his family, not thinking about the consequences of his actions or what will come of him for Judgment, so Allah payed his careless joy with a lasting grief.
إِنَّهُ ظَنَّ أَن لَّن يَحُورَ
Innahu dhanna an lan yahoor
Verily, he thought that he would never come back (to Us)!
It is him who was certainly convinced/assumed all along, that he will not be brought back.
yahoor - haara/yahooru/hawran/hooran.
haara - stroll around somewhere and return to where you started.
the poet Lubayd said; the coal returned back to dust (its original state) after it had been burnt.
Raghib al Isfahani: al hawr al taraddud fil ‘amr – to have uncertainty of a matter.
i.e. Someone might do a deed and is certain that I won’t be responsible or be brought to account because of it.
“this thing will never come back to haunt me” – that type of mindset.
He never felt doubt about what wrong he is doing (taraddud), no regret, no fear of consequence or Judgment.
The disbeliever had Joy, and used to think that he wouldn’t return to Allah – dhan (thinking).
The surah before [Mutaffifeen] – the books contained the peoples records – the Sijjin [book of the evil] and Illiyeen [book of the righteous].
The surah before that [Infitar] – the angels write the peoples deeds.
In this surah [Inshiqaq] – even the thoughts and emotions, Allah was constantly watching them. The joys and dhan (thoughts).
The angels are mentioned in nearly all the previous surahs;
In Naba’ – all angels are mentioned standing in rows [saffah] on Judgment Day.
Nazi’at – the angels who take the souls in death.
Abasa - the angels who guard revelation.
Takweer - inahu la qawlu rasoolin kareem. (the guarding of the message angels).
Infitar – kiraman katibeen – honorable scribes.
Mutafiffeen - kitabal abrar/fujar – Illiyeen and Sijjeen.
Inshiqaq - knowledge of Allah, what is in the hearts and minds. If all of that angels scribing what you do doesn’t affect you – then you should know that your Lord had full view of what you did externally and internally.
Return (hoowr) – to who?
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ ۛ شَهِدْنَا ۛ أَن تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَٰذَا غَافِلِينَ
And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.”
So we would return to Allah after having been with Him before we came into this world.
الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Who, when disaster strikes them, say, Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.” [al Baqarah 2:156]
بَلَىٰإِنَّ رَبَّهُ كَانَ بِهِ بَصِيرًا
Bala inna rabbahu kana bihi baseera
But no! Indeed, his Lordwas ever of him, Seeing.
baseer – he saw.
The Qur’an is not trying to prove to you that it’s a miracle:
Rather the Qur’an is psychological, look into yourself, look outside of yourself. The Qur’an guides a person through different forms of reflection.
Use your sense of balance and justice (universally recognised principles) – but ask yourself where did you get your balance from? How can that balance make you become even better, by not just believing its right, but implementing and spreading balance and justice among mankind too.
It goes beyond philosophy, it actually guides to what is higher than human thought. This is Qur’anic logic.
Fala oqsimu bishshafaq
So I swearby the afterglow [of sunset;]
fa – so [as a result],
laa = a negation for all the false ideas that they portray and think about.
uqsimu bish-shafaqq – I swear by the redness of the evening (at maghrib time when the sun is setting).
fa laa uqsimu – so i swear.. (everytime this oath is mentioned, it is related to the Qur’an. Except in ma’arij because Allah is swearing by Himself).
in this surah, the Qur’an is also mentioned (ayah 21).. but it is mentioned gradually. Just like the Day of Ressurection will happen, even if that will be after a little while.
وَاللَّيْلِ وَمَا وَسَقَ
Wal-layli wama wasaq
And by the night and whatever it gathers in its darkness;
and i swear by the night as it envelops. What gathers and envelops inside of it everything (the darkness gradually covers everything so its as if the darkness has swallowed everything.)
the red sky gradually turns intodarkness - gradual progression.
وَالْقَمَرِ إِذَا اتَّسَقَ
Walqamari idha ittasaq
And [by] the moon when it becomes full
and i swear by the moon as it tasaqq.
tasaqq = to become full and complete. Coming together till gradual fullness.
Nature around you is going around you in these gradual stages. Just like the clock is ticking, just like the moon gradually grows into a full moon in the month, and then becomes small again.
Just like we are heading towards our Lord gradually(fa mulaqeeh) (ayah 6).
لَتَرْكَبُنَّ طَبَقًا عَن طَبَقٍ
Latarkabunna tabaqan AAan tabaq
You shall certainly travel from stage to stage
tarqaban – you’re going to ride from one stage to another.
raqab = to ride, i.e. A horse.
tabaqan ‘an tabaq – from stage to stage.
The Different Stages:
- You are first riding in one stage in the womb of your mother, then you are born.
– a little older to walk.
– more powerful than your parents.
– you can’t even walk.
– you will face the journey of death.
– you will return to your Lord.
Your LifeSummarised in 1 Aayah/verse!
اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌوَزِينَةٌوَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌفِيالْأَمْوَالِوَالْأَوْلَادِ ۖكَمَثَلِغَيْثٍأَعْجَبَالْكُفَّارَنَبَاتُهُثُمَّيَهِيجُفَتَرَاهُمُصْفَرًّاثُمَّيَكُونُحُطَامًا ۖ وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ ۚوَمَاالْحَيَاةُالدُّنْيَاإِلَّامَتَاعُالْغُرُورِ
Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children.
(It is) as the likeness of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tillers; afterwards it dries up and you see it turning yellow; then it becomes straw.
But in the Hereafter (there is) a severe torment (for the disbelievers – evildoers), and (there is) forgiveness from Allâh and (His) Good Pleasure (for the believers – good-doers). And the life of this world is only a deceiving enjoyment.
[Quran Surah Hadeed 57:20]
This one verse concisely summarizes and sums up our entire lives. And it’s not a pretty picture. Consider our lives:
1) We start as toddlers. This verse starts with play (la`ibun), which is what toddlers are engrossed in, it’s most important to them.
2) Then when we get a little older we need entertainment to keep us busy – amusement (lahwun).
3) A little later in our teens we are obsessed with pomp, or appearance and how things look (zeenatun).
4) Then as we get independent and make money we deal with urges to show off (boasting – tafaakhur).
5) Then we get married and have kids (rivalry in wealth and children – takaathur fi al-amwaal wa al-aulaad).
In just a few words, Allah (SWT) has compressed our entire thought process throughout our lives!
And the verse finishes – And what is this life except a deceptive enjoyment?
فَمَا لَهُمْ لَايُؤْمِنُونَ
So what is [the matter] with them [that] they do not believe,
la yu’minoon? [why do they not believe?] Eman is within the heart [Hujurat 49:7] and is affected by our actions.
Allah answers this question in the previous surah.
كَلَّا ۖ بَلْ ۜ رَانَعَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِم مَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ
No! Rather, the stain[from sins] has covered their hearts of that which they were earning.
وَإِذَا قُرِئَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقُرْآنُلَايَسْجُدُونَ ۩
Wa-itha quri-a AAalayhimu alqur-anu layasjudoon
And when the Qur’an is recited to them, they do not prostrate [to Allah ]?
This is an ayah of sajdah.
Ancient arabs and egyptians did prostration when in awe of someone.
وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ وَخَرُّوا لَهُ سُجَّدًا
And he [Yusuf] raised his parents upon the throne, and they bowed to him in prostration. [Yusuf 12:100]
فَأُلْقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ
So the magicians fell down in prostration [to Allah ]. [Shu’ara’ 26:46]
Lubayd was a talented poet of the ancient arabs – he made a qaseedah (poem) which was so powerful, that it became of the Mu’allaqat (the poems hung on the Ka’ba) – the other poets prostrated to him.
The Arabs recognised the greatness of the Qur’an, since they had never heard anything like or similar to it. So why don’t they then prostrate to Allah, why do they then not humble themselves to Allah? Rather they hold themselves back from doing sajdah/prostration to Him.
(And those who disbelieve say: “Listen not to this Qur’an, and make noise in the midst of its (recitation) that you may overcome.”) (Fussilat 41:26)
So Allah will veil Himself from them on the Day of Ressurection;
كَلَّا إِنَّهُمْ عَن رَّبِّهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّمَحْجُوبُونَ
Nay!, verily, they, on that day, the Day of Resurrection, will be screened off from their Lord, and so they will not see Him. [Mutafiffeen 83:15]
بَلِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوايُكَذِّبُونَ
Bali alladheena kafarooyukadhdhiboon
Nay, (on the contrary), those who disbelieve, belie (Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and whatever he brought, i.e. this Quran and Islamic Monotheism, etc.).
no, ratherthey lie viciously against the message – by calling it a lie.
Wallahu a’lamu bimayoo’oon
And Allahknows best what they gather (of good and bad deeds),
Allahknows bestbi mayoo’oon (what they gather/amass and bag/collect)
They conceal what they amass of evil.
Fa bashirhum biAAazaabin aleem
So give them good news of a painful punishment,
Previous surah ended with the disbelievers being sarcasting against the believers [their winking against the believers etc].
This one does too;
Congratulatethem with painful punishment. Just like you’ve been sarcastic about the next life – Allah is giving you good news of a painful punishment.
If they havn’t benefitted from all these reflections – then punishment is the only suitable reward for them.
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَهُمْ أَجْرٌغَيْرُمَمْنُونٍ
Illa alladheena amanoo wa ‘amilus-saalihaati lahum ajrun ghayru mamnoon
Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds. For them is a rewarduninterrupted.
except those who believed
il-laa – Except.there is still hope.. To correct yourself.
ajrun – pay.
ghayru mamnoon – withoutdiscontinuation.
mann – Cut. manantu (that which is cut).
ghayruMamnoon – that which will not be cut off.
maneen - in dictionary of lisan al ‘arab – dust – that separates itself from the ground.
Ghayru mamnoon - reward which doesnotbe separated from.
mann = a favour.
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error. [aal Imraan 3:164]
Allah will give them a favour of Paradise, and the believers will not credit it to anyone except Allah.
Beginning of the Surah’s Relation to its End:
The surah began with – when the sky is completely cracked open out of obedience to Allah. (ayah 1)
Consequence: So the disbelievers bodies [on Judgment Day] will also throw themselves into destruction, out of obedience of Allah.
Central ayah [ayah 6] – kadhan fa mulaqeeh – you are struggling towards your Lord, and you will meet your Lord and the fruits of your deeds.
Consequence: The surah concludes; You will then either have painful punishment, or a reward which does not end.
So the beginning aayaat tie upto the final aayaat of the surah.