Az-Zalzalah · Juz 30 · Qur'an Tafseer

Tafseer Surah Az-Zalzalah Ayah 6 – 8

No Deed will go unnoticed

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“That Day mankind will proceed in scattered groups that they may be shown their deeds,” meaning so that they may act and be rewarded for what they did in this life of good and evil. “Proceed in scattered groups means that they will be divided into types and categories: between those who are miserable and those who are happy, and those who are commanded to go to Paradise and those who are commanded to go to the Hellfire. As-Suddi said, “Ashtat means sects.”

The ayah talks about mankind being split up into groups; this is a prophecy of the Qur’an which has already been fulfilled. People are divided on the basis of their beliefs.

Then mankind gradually deviated and was mixed into groups; believers and disbelievers, the good doers, and sinners etc. A believer might live with some disbelieving relatives or have disbelieving friends but on this Day they are broken (ashtata) into pieces, the believers will stand with believers, and the disbelievers with the disbelievers, the good are separate from the bad, and even these groups – in each category – are split into further groups according to the level of their deeds. For example, we read there will be People of the Right Hand (the good doers) and People of the Left Hand (the evil doers). Each group will see a path which leads to their Final Destination.

People will view their deeds like a record. Our choices and actions in life and the intentions behind them will be weighed.

Concluding the Surah Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “So whosoever does good equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of speck of dust shall see it.” This means that not an atom’s weight of good or evil done by a person, will be left unrecorded in his conduct book, and he will see it in any case.

Dharra is the smallest thing imaginable. To the Arabs, the smallest thing imaginable was the ant’s egg, and they called it dharra. We might describe dharra as an atom or speck in the English language.

Dharra – the light dust you see floating in the air when the sun is shining – through the window – on a sunny day. Each of these dust particles is a dharra. This signifies the smallest and the lightest imaginable thing being a dharra of good or evil which will be seen on that Day.

The smaller something is, the lighter it is in weight, and the smallest speck may seem worthless, but on that Day there will be full justice on big and the smallest of matters.

The word ‘Khayran’ means good. The weight of a speck of good will be shown. Seeing an atoms weight of good will make the believers appreciate Allah’s mercy even more because a sinning believer may see that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forgave some of his sins and multiplied a good deed of his worth only a dharra/speck by 700 or even more. And Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the Forgiving [Ghafoor], Merciful [Raheem]. He is Forgiving for our sins and Merciful for our lack of perfection in worship to Him. We also see our deed records before we see the actual reward or punishment on that Day. This can be an amazing or terrible experience based on the results we get. We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to make our record good, ameen.

The word ‘Sharran’ appearing in ayah 8 is used for evil. Similar to showing the goodness worth atom’s weight, bad deeds having weight of a speck of evil will also be shown.

Sharran in the Arabic means an evil which doesn’t even require explanation to attest to its evil. It is known to be evil in of itself without explanation, even the criminal will know that he is doing an evil [sharr] himself without anyone telling him that what he is doing is evil.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala started the Surah with something BIG; the earth. And ends it with the smallest thing imaginable; the dharra (speck of dust).

Imam Bukhari recorded from Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said,

“The horses are for three. For one man they are a reward, for another man they are a shield, and for another man they are a burden. In reference to the man for whom they are a reward, he is the man who keeps them to be used in the way of Allah. Thus, they spend their entire life grazing in the pasture or garden (waiting in preparation for Jihad). So whatever afflicts them during that lengthy period in the pasture or garden, it will be counted as good deeds for him. Then, if their lengthy period is ended and they are used for a noble battle or two, their hoof prints and their dung are counted as good deeds for him. When they passed through a stream from which they did drink, though he (their owner) does not intend to quench their thirst, yet, it would be counted as good deeds. Therefore, they are a reward for that man.

A man who keeps them to maintain himself and to be independent of others (i.e., begging, etc.), and he does not forget the right of Allah upon their necks and their backs (i.e., their Zakah), then they are a shield for him (from the Hellfire). A man who keeps them in order to boast, brag and show off, then they are a burden for him (on Judgment Day).” 

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is recorded from `Adi that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Fear (ward off) the Fire, even if by giving half a date in charity, and even by saying a single word of good.” In the Sahih as well, he (`Adi) narrated (from the Prophet ﷺ): “Do not under rate any good act, even if it is offering drinking water from your bucket to one who is seeking a drink, or meeting your brother with a cheerful face.”

Imam Ahmad recorded from `Awf bin Al-Harith bin At-Tufayl that ‘A’ishah radhiAllahu ‘anha told him that the Prophet ﷺ used to say, “O ‘A’ishah! Beware of the sins that are belittled, for indeed they will be taken account of by Allah.” This hadeeth was recorded by An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah.

Imam Ahmad recorded from ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Beware of the sins that are belittled. For verily, they are gathered in a man until they destroy him.” And indeed the Messenger of Allah ﷺ made an example of them (sins that are taken lightly) by saying that they are like a people who settle in barren land. Then their leader comes and orders the men to go out one at a time and each bring back a stick until they have gathered a large number of sticks. Then they kindled a fire and burned everything that they threw into it.”

May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala allow us to make the best of our time and use in raising our scale of good deeds. May He lead us to the deeds that are accepted, ameen.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Tafseer Surah Az-Zalzalah

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