al-Haqqah · Juz 29 · Qur'an Tafseer

Surah al-Haqqah – An Overview

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Period of Revelation: Makkan

Theme and Subject Matter:

The word Haqqah is from the word Haq and it means that which is to happen, the inevitable. About this Surah, ‘Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “Before embracing Islam one day I came out of my house with a view to causing trouble to the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. But he had entered the Masjid al-Haram before me. When I arrived I found him reciting Surah al-Haqqah in the prayer. I stood behind him and listened. As he recited the Qur’an I wondered at its literary charm and beauty. Then suddenly an idea came to my mind that he must be a poet as the Quraysh alleged. Just at that moment he recited the words,

إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ – وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَاعِرٍ ۚ

“That this is verily the word of an honored Messenger. It is not the word of a poet,” (69: 40-41).

I said to myself: Then he must be a soothsayer, if not a poet. Thereupon he recited the words:

وَلَا بِقَوْلِ كَاهِنٍ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ – تَنزِيلٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“Nor is it the word of a soothsayer, little is that you remember! This is the Revelation sent down from the Lord of the ‘Alameen,” (69: 42-43).

On hearing this Islam entered deep into my heart. [Musnad Ahmad]

The first section (ayaat 1-37) of this Surah carries a strong description of the Hereafter while the second section (ayaat 38-52) is about Qur’an being a revelation of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam being a true Messenger of Allah.

The first section opens with the assertion that the coming of the Resurrection and the occurrence of the Hereafter is true which will take place inevitably. Ayaat 4-12 carry a description of the past communities that denied the Hereafter and became worthy of Allah’s scourge. Ayaat 13-17 depict the occurrence of Resurrection. In ayaat 18-37, the real object for which Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has destined a second life for mankind after the present worldly life has been enunciated. In it we are told on that Day all men shall appear in the Court of their Lord, where no secret of theirs shall remain hidden each man’s record will be placed in his hand. Those who had spent lives in the world with the realization that one day they would have to render an account of their deeds before their Lord, and who had worked righteously in the world and provided beforehand for their well-being in the Hereafter, will rejoice when they see that they have been acquitted and blessed with the eternal bliss of Paradise. On the contrary, those who neither recognized the rights of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala nor discharged the rights of men will have no one to save them from the punishment of Allah, and they will be cast into Hell.

In the second section (ayaat 38-52) the disbelievers of Makkah have been addressed and told that you think this Qur’an is the word of a poet or soothsayer whereas it is a Revelation sent down by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala upon Muhammad salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Messenger by himself had no power to increase or decrease a word in it. If he forged something of his own composition into it, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala would have cut off his neck-vein. For this is the Truth absolute and pure; and those who give it a lie will ultimately regret and repent.

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