Sunday, November 25, 2007


The name of this Chapter is derived from the word kuwwirat in the first verse. Kuwwirat is passive voice from takwir in the past tense, and means "that which is folded up", thereby implying that it is a Surah in which the "folding up" has been mentioned.

The subject matter and the style clearly show that it is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah.

It has two themes: the Hereafter and the institution of Apostleship.

In the first six verses, the first stage of the Resurrection has been mentioned when the sun will lose its light, the stars will scatter, the mountains will be uprooted and will disperse, the people will become heedless of their dearest possessions, the beasts of the jungle will be stupefied and will gather together, and the seas will boil up. Then in the next seven verses, the second stage has been described when the souls will be reunited with the bodies, the records will be laid open, the people will be called to account for their crimes, the heavens will be unveiled, and Hell and Heaven will be brought into full view. After depicting the Hereafter thus, man has been left to ponder his own self and deeds, saying: "Then each man shall himself know what he has brought with him."

After this, the theme of Apostleship has been taken up. In this the people of Makkah have been addressed, as if to say "Whatever Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) is presenting before you, is not the bragging of a madman, nor an evil suggestion inspired by Satan, but the word of a noble, exalted and trustworthy messenger sent by God, whom Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) has seen with his own eyes in the bright horizon of the clear sky in broad day light. Whither then are you going having turned away from this teaching?"

When the sun is overthrown,
And when the stars fall,
And when the mountains are made to pass away,
When the she-camels, ten months with young, are left untended;
And when the wild beasts are herded together,
When the oceans boil over with a swell;
When the souls are sorted out;
And when the female infant buried alive is asked
For what sin was she slain,
When the scrolls are laid open;
When the world on High is unveiled;
When the Blazing Fire is kindled to fierce heat;
And when the Garden is brought near;-
(Then) shall each soul know what it has put forward.
So verily I call to witness the planets - that recede,
Go straight, or hide;
And the Night as it dissipates;
And the Dawn as it breathes away the darkness;-
Verily this is the word of a most honourable Messenger,
Endued with Power, with rank before the Lord of the Throne,
(One) to be obeyed, and trustworthy;
And (O people!) your companion is not one possessed;
Surely he beheld Him on the clear horizon.
Neither doth he withhold grudgingly a knowledge of the Unseen.
Nor is it the word of an evil spirit accursed.
Whither then will you go?
Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds:
(With profit) to whoever among you wills to go straight:
But ye shall not will except as Allah wills,- the Cherisher of the Worlds.

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