Note: This is post #8 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma.
As we continue on our journey through tafseer of Juz Amma, we come across Surah Takweer. Surah Takweer begins with a description of the Day of Judgement. What we have to keep in mind as we go through the surahs in chronological order is that these first surahs were teachhing big lessons and getting across major points. In this Surah Allah t’Ala tells us to think about the bigger picture. In fact Allah t’Ala shows us what the Day of Judgement will be like. All of this to help get our minds to focus on the big picture in life. And what could be bigger than the Day of Judgement?
Let’s dive into the verses, to understand them more clearly.
“When the sun is wrapped up in darkness” (81:1)
The key word used in this ayah is “kuwirat”, translated as ‘wrapped up’. This means wrapped up the way a turban is wrapped. It is to fold something around and around until it is completely covered.
“And when the stars fall, dispersing.” (81:2)
Here, “inkadarat” is translated as, “dispersing.” This actually means something that becomes obscure, or fuzzy because it fades away. This is how they are dispersing. Imagine, all the billions of star we see on a clear night, fading into oblivion.
“And when the mountains are removed.” (81:3)
“Suyirat” means to set in motion and eventually be blown away, and hence become flattened. All the mountains, blown away! Like scattered dust! No more Everest, no more Himalayas, no more Rockies.
Not just crumbled, but turned to dust.
“And when the full term she camels are neglected.” (81:4)
Okay, so maybe you don’t herd, or even own any camels. But the weight of this statement is intense. If you tell someone their camel is pregnant, AND, about to deliver, all they hear is cha-ching!!! The moment when your bank account increases by $5000. The severity of the day will be one where people will leave even the most sound, valuable investments. Nothing will matter more.
“And when the wild beasts will be gathered.” (81:5)
Thought the Day of Judgement was only for humans? WRONG, guess again. The Day of Judgement won’t leave anyone, anything, or even any wild jungle animal out. Everything will be accounted for. They will be gathered, so that even justice amongst them can be carried out.
“And when the seas are filled with flame.” (81:6)
Sea on fire? Yup. No. More. Water.
“And when the souls are paired.” (81:7)
There are a few different interpretations here. It may mean that the souls will be paired with their bodies. It could also mean that the souls will be paired with their deeds, or that the souls will be made into groups and led to either Heaven or Hell.
“And when the girl who was burried alive is asked, for what sin was she killed.” (81:8-9)
This was a common practice at the time. This shows that Allah will be so mad with the parents, He will ask the daughter, why she was burried, not addressing the parents.
Allah talks about the end of time; and with all these enormous tasks, he brings up this girl; the little girl who had nobody to defend her, who nobody would stand up for. He will ask HER about why she was killed; so what will be asked of the killer? Do you not see the enormity of these act–something Allah puts on-par with the destruction of the world at the end of time.
“And when the pages are made public.” (81:10)
Meaning, the scrolls with all the deeds will be unrolled for all to see their deeds, good and bad.
**“And the sky is stripped away.” (81:11)
Back to the imagery of the Day of Judgement, imagine the sky being peeled away the way a sheep is skinned.
“And when Hellfire is set ablaze.” (81:12)
The burning flames of Hell will be further increased, like pouring fuel on an already raging fire. This will be there for all to see. And suyyirat, with shaddah on the ya, means lighted again and again and again and again.
“And when Paradise is brought near.” (81:13)
Meaning that Paradise will be close to those who will be allowed to enter it. You ever see those kids at the airport when their parents come from overseas–the kids run to the parents, and the parents run to the kids? Well, Jannah loves those people who are good and will enter it.
“A soul will then know what it has brought with it.” (81:14)
So this is the day where you will know for sure what baggage you’ve come with. After witnessing and experiencing the Day of Judgement, it will be clear and obvious to every person where they are going to end up.
You’ll notice that the action items, for many of these posts will be about relfection. This is because at the beginning of revelation, this was a major point being made. The people were being implored to wake up and think about life.
So after reading such a descriptive set of verses, what are you peparing for the Day of Judgement? Take sometime to listen to and visualize the scene being presented. Also, spend some time thinking about what your scrolls will look like when they’re rolled out in front of you? Are you happy with it? If not, brainstorm something to add to the scrolls and implement it right away!
- Taleem ul-Quran 2005 course – AlHuda Institute
- Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.