al-Haqqah · Juz 29 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah al-Haqqah Ayaat 25-37

Ayaat 25-37 – the Children of Adam being Presented before Allah

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From ayah 25 begins the description of what will happen to a wretched person when he is given his record. At this time he will be remorseful. He will say, “I wish that I had not been given my Record!” (69: 25) this is because he is fully-aware of what deeds he has done and what records his Book carries. He sees his eternal punishment and does not want to face it. He would wish his death was the end of his existence and there was no life after it.

He will have no lawyer to defend his case nor could his wealth save him, “My wealth has not availed me. My power and arguments have gone from me!”  (69: 28-29). People collect and hoard wealth for the rainy days. But on the Judgment Day no such accumulation will help a person. The word Sultania [سُلْطَـنِيَهْ] is used both for an argument and for power and authority. If it is taken as argument it would mean: the arguments that I used to give would not work here. Here, I have no argument which I can present in self-defense. And if it is taken in the sense of power, it would imply: the power which I enjoyed in the world is no more. I ruled over people and they carried out my commands. But here I have no authority or army to obey me. I stand here as a miserable, helpless creature who has nothing to defend himself with.

At this point, it will be said, “Seize him and fetter him. Then throw him in the blazing Fire,” (69:30-31). The guardians of Hell will forcibly remove him from the gathering place. Fetter him. Put iron collars on his neck and carry him off to Hell and cast him into it. “Then fasten him with a chain whereof the length is seventy cubits!” (69: 32). The word al-jaheem [الْجَحِيمَ] refers to the Hellfire which is staring and about to pounce on its victim. Ka’ab al-Ahbar said, “Every ring of it will be equal to the entire amount of iron found in this world.” Ibn ‘Abbas and Ibn Jurayj both said, “Each cubit will be the forearm’s length of an angel.”

“Then fasten him,” (69: 32) meaning the chain will be entered into his buttocks and pulled out of his mouth. Then they will be arranged on this (chain) just like locusts are arranged on a stick that is being roasted, as explained by ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu.

Next, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala narrates the reasons because of which this will happen to him. “Verily, He used not to believe in Allah, the Most Great,” (69: 33) meaning, he did not establish the right of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala upon him, of obedience to Him and performing His worship. He was heedless and did not worry about his standing before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala on the Judgment Day. “And urged not on the feeding of poor,” (69: 34), he also did not benefit Allah’s creation nor did he give them their rights. For verily, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has a right upon the servants that they worship Him alone and not associate anything with Him. The servants of Allah also have a right upon each other to good treatment and assistance in righteousness and piety. Therefore, we see a repeated reminder of performance of Salah and payment of Zakah throughout the Qur’an.

According to Mufti Menk, any person who owns a bank account is rich. Therefore, we must check how much we are spending on ourselves and how much is there a share of others in our wealth. We also see a repeated reminder to feed the miskeen [needy]. It can be our means to enter Jannah, in sha Allah.

“So no friend has he here this Day. Nor any food except filth from the washing of wounds,” (69: 3), because he did not help anyone in the dunya (the weaker ones in particular) therefore he will have no one to save him from the punishment of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. No close friend or an intercessor to make a request on his behalf. He did not feed the miskeen therefore his food will be nothing but the filthy washing of wounds. Some scholars said that ghisleen is a tree in Hell while others said that it will be the blood and fluid flowing from the flesh of the one being punished. Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, Ghisleen is the pus of the people of the Hellfire.” We seek refuge with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from such an ending, aameen.

“Do a balance of good deeds for pleasing Allah, and benefit the creation too. If you complete your obligations to Allah and help society, you might have a chance to be the person who receives the Book in his right hand.” __Abdul Nasir Jangda

“None will eat except the Khati’oon,” (69: 37), the word khati’oon [الْخَـطِئُون] is from the root kha-tay-hamza which means ‘to do wrong, commit a mistake or error, commit a sin or crime, commit an offense’. This will be the punishment for anyone who is sinful and does not repent while he has a chance to do so in this worldly life.

These ayaat show us the concept of retribution. Past civilizations were destroyed leaving nothing behind except some buildings for later generations to see and take heed, such as the pyramids and the carved mountains of Thamud. These buildings tell us what intelligent minds those people must have possessed but they were destroyed. Arrogance, corruption, oppression and sins had taken over them.

We have been presented a preview of the Day of Judgment to convey that reward is in accordance with one’s actions. The good-doers will be in a lofty Paradise eating and drinking the choicest food to their fill while the evil-doers will be in chains feeding on their own pus.

We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for His mercy and forgiveness. May we not become of those who live their lives heedlessly and will eventually end up in the Hellfire, aameen.

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