These surahs form a pair with regard to
their subject matter. The surahs address the Prophet (sws) as
well as the leadership of the Quraysh, and it is evident from
their content that like the previous surahs they were revealed
in Makkah in the phase of Indhar-i ‘am of the Prophet’s
The theme of both surahs is to warn
their addressees about the Day of Judgement. However, besides
this, assurance is also sounded to Muhammad (sws) and sorrow
is expressed on the attitude of the addressees. The Prophet (sws)
is assured that he has no responsibility beyond reminding and
cautioning the disbelievers. It is up to them to take heed,
and it is then up to God to seize them for their arrogance if
He so intends. The Prophet (sws) should not fret over this.
In these surahs, though the assurance
given to the Prophet (sws) and an expression of sorrow and
regret on the attitude of his addressees are very distinct,
yet a little deliberation shows that their central themes,
like the previous surahs, is basically to warn the Quraysh of
the Day of Judgement.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الْأَعْلَى الَّذِي
خَلَقَ فَسَوَّى وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَى وَالَّذِي أَخْرَجَ
الْمَرْعَى فَجَعَلَهُ غُثَاء أَحْوَى (١-٥)
In the name of God, the Most Gracious,
the Ever Merciful.
the name of your Lord, most high [O Prophet], Who
created, then perfected; Who set measure [for everything];
then showed them the way [in accordance with it]; Who brought
forth vegetation, then made it lush green.
سَنُقْرِؤُكَ فَلَا تَنسَى إِلَّا مَا شَاء
اللَّهُ إِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْجَهْرَ وَمَا يَخْفَى
وَنُيَسِّرُكَ لِلْيُسْرَى (٦-٨)
In a similar
this Qur’an will also gradually
reach its culmination, then] soon We shall completely recite
[it] to you so that you will not forget it except what Allah
He knows what is manifest before you [at this time] and also
what is hidden [from you]. [In a similar way], We shall
gradually lead you [from these difficulties] towards ease.<
فَذَكِّرْ إِن نَّفَعَتِ الذِّكْرَى
سَيَذَّكَّرُ مَن يَخْشَى وَيَتَجَنَّبُهَا الْأَشْقَى الَّذِي
يَصْلَى النَّارَ الْكُبْرَى ثُمَّ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلَا
So, remind them, if reminding is
beneficial. Soon he who fears God will take heed, and only
that most wretched person will evade it,
who will enter the Great Fire.
Then he will neither die
nor live in it. (9-13)
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّى وَذَكَرَ اسْمَ
رَبِّهِ فَصَلَّى (١٤-١٥)
بَلْ تُؤْثِرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا
وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى إِنَّ هَذَا لَفِي الصُّحُفِ
الْأُولَى صُحُفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى (١٦-١٩)
However, successful shall be he who
purified [himself], and [for this] he remembered his Lord’s
name, then prayed.
People! you do not have any argument
against it] but give preference to this worldly life
in spite of the fact that the life to come is better and more
lasting, [and then this is not something new]: it is written
in the earlier scriptures as well – the scriptures of Abraham
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ الْغَاشِيَةِ وُجُوهٌ
يَوْمَئِذٍ خَاشِعَةٌ عَامِلَةٌ نَّاصِبَةٌ تَصْلَى نَارًا
حَامِيَةً تُسْقَى مِنْ عَيْنٍ آنِيَةٍ لَّيْسَ لَهُمْ طَعَامٌ
إِلَّا مِن ضَرِيعٍ لَا يُسْمِنُ وَلَا يُغْنِي مِن جُوعٍ (١-٧)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious,
the Ever Merciful.
Has the news of the great calamity
which will over spread [the whole world]? Many a face
on that day will be downcast, worn out, exhausted. They will
enter the blazing fire. They will be given to drink from a
Their only food will be thorny dry grass,
which will neither nourish them nor satisfy their hunger.
وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَّاعِمَةٌ لِسَعْيِهَا
رَاضِيَةٌ فِي جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ لَّا تَسْمَعُ فِيهَا
لَاغِيَةً فِيهَا عَيْنٌ جَارِيَةٌ فِيهَا سُرُرٌ
مَّرْفُوعَةٌ وَأَكْوَابٌ مَّوْضُوعَةٌ وَنَمَارِقُ
مَصْفُوفَةٌ وَزَرَابِيُّ مَبْثُوثَةٌ (٨-١٦)
On the other hand], many a face on that
day will be radiant, pleased with their endeavours in a lofty
They will not hear any absurd talk there.
will be a running spring. In it there will be high thrones,
and goblets set forth, and carpets arranged, and cushions
spread all over. (8-16)
أَفَلَا يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى الْإِبِلِ كَيْفَ
خُلِقَتْ وَإِلَى السَّمَاء كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ وَإِلَى
الْجِبَالِ كَيْفَ نُصِبَتْ وَإِلَى الْأَرْضِ كَيْفَ سُطِحَتْ
If they do not believe], then do they
not see the camels how they have been made? And do they not
behold the sky how it has been raised high? And do they not
look at the mountains how they have been set firm? And do they
not see the earth how it has been spread out.
فَذَكِّرْ إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُذَكِّرٌ لَّسْتَ
عَلَيْهِم بِمُصَيْطِرٍ إِلَّا مَن تَوَلَّى وَكَفَرَ
فَيُعَذِّبُهُ اللَّهُ الْعَذَابَ الْأَكْبَرَ إِنَّ إِلَيْنَا
إِيَابَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا حِسَابَهُمْ (٢١-٢٦)
If they do not believe in spite of
this], then just go on reminding them [O Prophet!]. Your duty
is only to remind them; you are not to force them.
[Those who take heed will definitely believe in it]. As for
those who turn away and reject [it], Allah will inflict on
them the great punishment.
Indeed, to Us they have to return. Then it is upon Us to call
them to account.
02nd March 2010
(Translated by Dr Shehzad Saleem)