84. Al-Inshiqaq (The Rending Asunder)

Revealed in Makkah, this sūrah of 25 verses warns people concerning God’s supreme Power and emphasizes the point that it is extremely easy for Him to resurrect them. It derives its name from the infinitive form, inshiqāq, of the verb, inshaqqa in the first verse. Al-Inshiqaq means The Spitting Asunder, The Rending Asunder, The Sundering, and Splitting Open.

In the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.

1. When the heaven is split asunder,

2. Obeying its Lord, as is expected indeed, and it always does;

3. And when the earth is flattened out,

4. And casts forth whatever is in it and becomes empty,

5. Obeying its Lordas is expected indeed, and it always does—

6. O human! You are ever toiling toward your Lord in a labor to be re-encountered (before His judgment).

7. Then, as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand,

8. Surely he will be reckoned with by an easy reckoning,

9. And will return in joy to his household (prepared for him in Paradise).1

10. But as for him who will be given his Record (in his left hand) from behind his back,

11. He will surely pray for destruction,

12. And enter the Flame to roast.

13. For, indeed, he used to be in joyous conceit among his household (in his earthly life).2

14. He thought that he would never return (to God for judgment).

15. No indeed! Rather, his Lord was ever seeing him.

16. So I swear by the afterglow of sunset;

17. And the night, and all that it enshrouds (by degrees);

18. And the moon, as it grows full—

19. You will most certainly move on from one state to another (congruous with it).3

20. What, then, is the matter with them that they do not believe—

21. And when the Qur’ān is recited to them, they do not prostrate in submission (to its Message)?

22. Rather, those who disbelieve deny (it and its Message).

23. And God has full knowledge of what they harbor (in their hearts).4

24. So give them the glad tidings of a painful punishment.

25. But for those who believe and do good, righteous deeds: for them there is a reward constant and beyond measure.

The Qur'an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English

The Qur’an with Annotated Interpretation in Modern English

1. If the good deeds of the believers outweigh their evil acts, their evil acts will be forgiven and they will receive an easy reckoning. If somebody is called to a severe account, as stated in a Prophetic Tradition, it will mean his doom (al-Bukhārī, “‘Ilm,” 35; Muslim, “Jannah,” 80).

2. The contrast between the state of a believer and an unbeliever is highly significant. An unbeliever condemned to eternal punishment is one who is conceited and joyful among his household in the world. He rejoices in his worldly possessions, of which he is proud, and is indifferent to his Creator and His commands. When he sees the punishment in the Hereafter, he will pray for eternal destruction. However, a believer who is to be rewarded with eternal bliss in the other world is one who, as is stated in 52: 26, is very careful and alert among his family for his own and their guidance and eternal life. So he will rejoice in the Hereafter in the reward he has been given.

3. This verse, which, in the Arabic original, consists of only three words, has a very wide range of meanings. As the things by which God swears (the sunset’s afterglow, the night and what it enshrouds by degrees, and the full moon) denote a transition from one state and stage to another, this verse expresses the states or stages that every individual and community, and all of humanity, move through. This is so in both this world and the next one. The world is in such a continuous movement and change. When Islam begins to be conveyed in a community in the footsteps of God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, the believers start to rise toward higher and higher stages, and better and better states, though some setbacks may be suffered; and the movement of their opponents becomes downward. This verse implies both. The stages and states traveled though are each a result of the former and a cause of the latter, so there is congruity between them. This same upward or downward movement is also true for individuals. There is congruity or interrelation between the states or stages through which an individual moves.

4. That is, their denial of the Qur’ān and its Message is not because that there is a fault in the Qur’ān, or that its Message lacks sufficient proof to affirm it. Rather, they persist in unbelief because of their evil intentions and worldly ambitions, or some other selfish motives, therefore denying the Qur’ān and its Message.