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Sūrah Hāqqah
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)


Sūrah Hāqqah forms a pair with Sūrah Ma‘ārij the succeeding sūrah with regard to the subject discussed in both the sūrahs. The first sūrah cautions the Quraysh about the punishment of the Herein and the Hereafter and the second sūrah warns such people from among the Quraysh of their fate as made fun of this very punishment and asked to hasten its arrival.

The sūrah is directed at the leadership of the Quraysh, and it is evident from its contents that, like the previous sūrahs of this group, it was revealed in Makkah in the phase of Inzār in the Prophet's mission (sws).

Central Theme

The central theme of Sūrah Hāqqah is to substantiate the Day of Judgement, to mention what will happen on that Day and to warn those among its addressees of the consequences of denying the warnings sounded by the Qur’ān about it.


الْحَاقَّةُ  مَا الْحَاقَّةُ  وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحَاقَّةُ (١-٣)

كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ وَعَادٌ بِالْقَارِعَةِ  فَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِالطَّاغِيَةِ  وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ  سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَانِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُومًا فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ  فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُم مِّن بَاقِيَةٍ (٤-٨)

وَجَاء فِرْعَوْنُ وَمَن قَبْلَهُ وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَاتُ بِالْخَاطِئَةِ  فَعَصَوْا رَسُولَ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَخَذَهُمْ أَخْذَةً رَّابِيَةً (٩-١٠)

إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَى الْمَاء حَمَلْنَاكُمْ فِي الْجَارِيَةِ  لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً وَتَعِيَهَا أُذُنٌ وَاعِيَةٌ (١١-١٢)

فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ نَفْخَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ  وَحُمِلَتِ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ فَدُكَّتَا دَكَّةً وَاحِدَةً  فَيَوْمَئِذٍ وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ  وَانشَقَّتِ السَّمَاء فَهِيَ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَاهِيَةٌ  وَالْمَلَكُ عَلَى أَرْجَائِهَا وَيَحْمِلُ عَرْشَ رَبِّكَ فَوْقَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ ثَمَانِيَةٌ  يَوْمَئِذٍ تُعْرَضُونَ لَا تَخْفَى مِنكُمْ خَافِيَةٌ (١٣-١٨)

فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَيَقُولُ هَاؤُمُ اقْرَؤُوا كِتَابِيهْ  إِنِّي ظَنَنتُ أَنِّي مُلَاقٍ حِسَابِيهْ  فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ  فِي جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ  قُطُوفُهَا دَانِيَةٌ  كُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا هَنِيئًا بِمَا أَسْلَفْتُمْ فِي الْأَيَّامِ الْخَالِيَةِ (١٩-٢٤)

وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِشِمَالِهِ فَيَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أُوتَ كِتَابِيهْ  وَلَمْ أَدْرِ مَا حِسَابِيهْ  يَا لَيْتَهَا كَانَتِ الْقَاضِيَةَ  مَا أَغْنَى عَنِّي مَالِيهْ  هَلَكَ عَنِّي سُلْطَانِيهْ  خُذُوهُ فَغُلُّوهُ  ثُمَّ الْجَحِيمَ صَلُّوهُ  ثُمَّ فِي سِلْسِلَةٍ ذَرْعُهَا سَبْعُونَ ذِرَاعًا فَاسْلُكُوهُ  إِنَّهُ كَانَ لَا يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ الْعَظِيمِ  وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَى طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ  فَلَيْسَ لَهُ الْيَوْمَ هَاهُنَا حَمِيمٌ  وَلَا طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِنْ غِسْلِينٍ  لَا يَأْكُلُهُ إِلَّا الْخَاطِؤُونَ (٢٥-٣٧)

فَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِمَا تُبْصِرُونَ  وَمَا لَا تُبْصِرُونَ  إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ  وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَاعِرٍ قَلِيلًا مَا تُؤْمِنُونَ  وَلَا بِقَوْلِ كَاهِنٍ قَلِيلًا مَا تَذَكَّرُونَ  تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ  وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِيلِ  لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ  ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ  فَمَا مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ عَنْهُ حَاجِزِينَ  وَإِنَّهُ لَتَذْكِرَةٌ لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ  وَإِنَّا لَنَعْلَمُ أَنَّ مِنكُم مُّكَذِّبِينَ  وَإِنَّهُ لَحَسْرَةٌ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ  وَإِنَّهُ لَحَقُّ الْيَقِينِ  فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ (٣٨-٥٢)

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful

The Inevitable!1 What is the Inevitable? What do you know what the Inevitable is? (1-3)

It is the Pounding One2  which the ‘Ād and the Thamūd denied.3 As for the Thamūd, they were destroyed by a calamity that exceeded all bounds and the Ād by a storm, fierce and violent. He let loose this [storm] on them for seven nights and eight days to ravage them. You would have seen them lying overthrown as though they were hollow trunks of palm-trees. So do you now see any of them?4 (4-8)

And the same crime was committed by Pharaoh and those before him and by the overturned settlements5 also such that they disobeyed the Prophet of their Lord [sws]6. So He gripped them with an intensifying grip. (9-10)

 [Similarly, as a consequence of denying Noah (sws)] when [the storm blew over and] the flood rose high it was We who carried you upon the ark to make this [account of your ancestors] a reminder for you and that retaining ears may retain it7 . (11-12) 

Consequently, [in a similar manner]8 when the trumpet shall be sounded once only and the earth and the mountains shall be shattered to pieces with one crash. So on that day will happen which is to happen9. And the sky will be rent asunder; frail will it be on that day and the angels will be [gathered near] its borders10 and eight of them will on that Day bear the throne of your Lord over them11. On that Day shall you be presented [before Him] such that no secret will remain a secret. (13-18)  

Then he who is given his record in his right hand will say ‘Take this and read it. I always thought that [one day] I shall have to face my reckoning’. Consequently, he will be in a life of bliss in a lofty garden whose fruits will be hanging low -- Eat and drink to your heart’s content as reward for what you did in the days gone by.12(19-24)

And he who is given his record in his left hand will say ‘Would that I were not given my record or were aware of my account. Would that [my] death were final. Of what use has been my wealth to me? And I am robbed of all my authority’ -- Seize him and chain him by the neck. Then into Hell cast him. Then with a chain whose measure in yards is seventy bind him -- For he used not to believe in Allah13, the Most High, nor urged the feeding of the poor. So, today he has no friend [who can sympathise with him] nor any food except the fluid in which wounds are washed14. Only these sinners will eat it.(25-37)

[You think that this Qur’ān has been inspired by some Satan?] No [certainly not. This is what you say]. So, I present before you the testimony of that which you see15 and also of that which you do not16. This Message has been brought by a noble messenger [an honoured angel]. It is no poet's word. Little do you believe17. Nor is it the word of some soothsayer. Little do you understand. It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds18. And if [this Prophet of Ours (sws)] had concocted some false discourses in Our name, We would have surely seized him by Our strong hand and then severed his life-vein. Then no one among you could have withheld Us from this19. And [O People! you did not give it due regard and this is certainly your own deprivation]. And surely this is a reminder for the God-fearing. And We very well know that there are those among you who deny it. [They will keep on denying it and [on the Day of Judgement] this [Qur’ān] will indeed become a regret for these disbelievers. And [this Day of Judgement] surely is a certain reality. So [O Prophet (sws)! bear with patience what they say] and glorify the name of your Lord, Most High20. (38-52)






1. The Arabic word al-Hāqqah (The Inevitable) is one of the names of the Day of Judgement used by the Qur’ān. The name signifies that this Day is a certain reality and that both morally and rationally it must come. The particular style adopted by the Qur’ān in these first three verses is meant to startle the addressees and alarm them of their indifferent attitude. No answer is given to the rhetorical questions implying that the tremendous upheaval which will take place on that day is beyond imagination.

2. Al-Qāri‘ah is another name of the Day of Judgement. The name alludes to the fact that this Day would come as suddenly and abruptly as an unexpected rap at the door. Like a bolt from the blue it will alight and catch everyone unawares.

3. With this verse begins the mention of the fate of the nations which were destroyed as a result of denying the Day of Judgement, the Day about which all the Prophets of Allah (sws) vehemently warned their respective nations. The Quraysh were well-aware of what happened to these nations.

4. That is the intensity of the punishment was such that all the people perished.

5. A reference to the subverted cities of Sodom and Gomorrah inhabited by the people of Lot (sws).

6. This shows the intensity of their crime: denying the Prophet of Allah (sws) is tantamount to rebelling against Allah.

7. The account of the people of Noah (sws) saved in the Ark, in contrast with the dire fate met by the nations mentioned earlier, shows how the Almighty takes care of people who adopt the right path. The Arabs, it is known, are from the descendants of the people saved in the Ark. As such the Quraysh are reminded of this favour of the Almighty.

8. The anecdotes of punishment mentioned above are now made a premise to substantiate the Day of Judgement: Just as the nations of Ād and Thamūd, Pharaoh and Noah (sws) were called to account by the Almighty for their deeds without taking any pains, similarly the Day of Judgement shall be brought forth by Him without undertaking any effort for it to bring everyone to his account.

9. Here the Day of Judgement is referred to by a third name al-Wāqi‘ah implying that what the disbelievers are regarding as far-fetched is a certain reality which is bound to happen.

10. An eye-opener for the polytheists: the angels whom they are regarding as deities today shall themselves be in a state of anxiety when the great cataclysm takes place.

11.These details cannot be comprehended in this world.

12. This mention of fate of the believers highlights three very important things: first, a righteous person spontaneously believes that he shall one day be held accountable for his deeds; second, the reward in the Hereafter shall be in accordance with the deeds and third, while one needs to be careful in this world in benefiting from the favours of the Almighty, he shall have no restriction of any sort in availing himself of the favours of the Almighty in the next world.

13. That is while claiming to believe in the Almighty, he actually did not believe in Him because he did not feed the poor and the needy in spite of being affluent.

14. That is while not spending in the way of Allah, he has made his wealth a stack of filth, which he shall encounter in the form of dirty water in which wounds are treated and washed.

15. This is an allusion to the fate of transgressing nations which the Quraysh very well knew. One such example is that of the people of Noah (sws) as narrated in detail by Sūrah Nūh ahead.

16. This refers to the great system of protection when the Qur’ān was being revealed as testified by the jinn folk in a subsequent sūrah, Sūrah Jinn. No jinn could interfere in this divine scheme in any manner.

17. The words bring to light the real cause of their disbelief: they do not want to believe in spite of these testimonies of the seen and the unseen.

18. In other words, the law of retribution mentioned in the Qur’ān which was enforced on transgressing nations and the observations of the jinn folk in the heavens during the revelation of the Qur’ān bear witness that this Qur’ān is not the work of a poet or soothsayer. It has been revealed by Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

19. The words in no way at all imply that the Prophet (sws) could make up something on his behalf thereby being punished in this manner. In fact, these stern and firm words are actually directed at the leaders of the Quraysh who were asking the Prophet (sws) to change some of the directives of the Qur’ān. This style effectively warns them while not actually addressing them because of their utter arrogance.

20. The Prophet (sws) is comforted that if his opponents are not paying any heed to his calls he should not get desperate or frustrated; he should only further strengthen his relationship with the Almighty by glorifying Him.

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