Ayaat 13-17 ― A Mention of the Horrors of the Day of Judgment
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala informs us of the horrors that will take place on the Day of Judgment. The first of these events is the blowing of fright into the Trumpet followed by the blowing of destruction when everything in the heavens and the earth will be struck down except whoever Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wills. Then will be the blowing of standing before the Lord of all that exists, and the Resurrection, and the gathering. And this is that blowing. It is emphasized here that it is one blowing because the command of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala cannot be opposed or prevented, and it does not need to be repeated or stressed.
Nufika [نَفْخَةٌ] is from the root noon-fa-kaf [nafkh] and it means ‘to blow air into something’. In the olden days, people used the horn of an animal such as an ox to blow into it and seek people’s attention and make announcements. It was also used to start and end the warfare. Similarly, a horn will be blown on the Judgment Day and it will change everything in the heavens and the earth. This indicates the fragility of human life and the universe; how all around us is impermanent and unstable, while the might of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is great. It only requires Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to command one of His creations to blow into a Horn, and all the world order comes to an end.
Thus, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala goes on to say, “And the earth and the mountains shall be removed from their places, and crushed with a single crushing,” (69: 14). The most familiar thing to us in this world is the ground that we walk upon and it will be lifted and changed into something else. The word dhukka is from the root dal-kaf-kaf which means ‘to crush, break, beat, crumble to pieces, to push or thrust’. It is severe smashing that breaks something and levels it to the ground. On the Judgment Day, both the earth and the mountains will be smashed into each other, and they will turn into dust. One smashing and everything will turn into small particles. This again shows us the power of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
“Then on that Day shall the Event befall,” (69: 15) meaning, the Day of Judgment. “And the heaven will split asunder, for that Day it is infirm,” (69: 16), another familiar thing for us is the sky that we see every day. Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu commented that the sky will be torn apart and the Throne will be near it. Inshiqaaq is from the root sheen-qaf-qaf and it means ‘to cut, split, divide, rip or tear’. The sky which is above our heads like a strong canopy shading us from harmful rays and other substances will be completely ripped up. It will be as frail as an old and tattered piece of cloth.
“And the angels will be on its sides, and eight angels will, that Day, bear the Throne of your Lord above them,” (69: 17). The angels are like soldiers waiting for Allah’s instructions to act out a command. They are firm in their obedience. The entire world will be upside down but they will be standing still at their positions.