Tafseer of Surah Qaari’ah

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

الْقَارِعَةُ ‎﴿١﴾‏ مَا الْقَارِعَةُ ‎﴿٢﴾‏ وَمَآ اَدْرٰىكَ مَا الْقَارِعَةُ ‎﴿٣﴾‏ يَوْمَ يَكُونُ النَّاسُ كَالْفَرَاشِ الْمَبْثُوثِ ‎﴿٤﴾‏ وَتَكُونُ الْجِبَالُ كَالْعِهْنِ الْمَنفُوشِ ‎﴿٥﴾ فَاَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِيْنُهُۥ ‎﴿٦﴾‏ فَهُوَ فِى عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ ‎﴿٧﴾‏ وَاَمَّا مَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُۥ ‎﴿٨﴾‏ فَاُمُّهُۥ هَاوِيَةٌ ‎﴿٩﴾‏ وَمَآ اَدْرٰىكَ مَا هِيَهْ ‎﴿١٠﴾‏ نَارٌ حَامِيَةٌ ‎﴿١١﴾‏

The day of the striking event; and what is the day of the striking event? And what will inform you regarding the striking event? (The striking event will occur on) a day when people will be like scattered moths; and the mountains will be like carded wool. Then as for him whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy, he will be in a life of happiness (and joy). And as for him whose scales are light, his abode will be “haawiyah”(the pit of Jahannum). And what will inform you regarding that (pit)? (It is) a fierce blazing fire.

يَوْمَ يَكُونُ النَّاسُ كَالْفَرَاشِ الْمَبْثُوثِ ‎﴿٤﴾

(The striking event will occur on) a day when people will be like scattered moths

In this surah, Allah Ta’ala describes the pitiful state of people on the day of Qiyaamah. On that day, people will run about helter-skelter in confusion and dismay due to being overwhelmed with the fear of accountability and reckoning. Allah Ta’ala describes the scene in another verse of the Quraan Majeed saying: That Day shall a man flee from his own brother, and from his mother and his father, and from his wife and his children. Each one of them, on that Day, will have enough concern (of his own) to make him indifferent to the others. (Surah Abas: 34-37)

In this verse, Allah Ta’ala describes the state of confusion and bewilderment among people on the Day of Qiyaamah, and the manner in which they will disperse and scatter from each other. Allah Ta‘ala says, “a day when people will be like scattered moths.” In other words, people will scatter from each other in the state of helplessness and distress, just as moths are scattered about.

وَتَكُونُ الْجِبَالُ كَالْعِهْنِ الْمَنفُوشِ ‎﴿٥﴾

And the mountains will be like carded wool.

Presently, the mountains in the world stand with such stability and firmness that it is as though nothing can move them. But, on that day, when the mountains will be crushed, they will be scattered about, moving like flakes and pieces of carded wool.

فَاَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِيْنُهُۥ ‎﴿٦﴾‏ فَهُوَ فِى عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ ‎﴿٧﴾‏

Then as for him whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy, he will be in a life of happiness (and joy).

On the Day of Qiyaamah, the good and bad deeds of people will be weighed on scales. From the various Aayaat and Ahaadith we understand that the weighing of deeds will take place twice on the Day of Qiyaamah.

The first weighing will take place to weigh the Imaan of those who had brought Imaan. In this weighing, separation between the believers and disbelievers will take place.

The second weighing will take place to distinguish between the good and evil deeds of the believers.

In this surah, the weighing mentioned apparently refers to the first weighing in which the scale of every believer will be heavy, regardless of his other deeds, while the scale of the disbelievers will be light.

In the Mubaarak Ahaadith, there are certain virtuous actions mentioned which will cause the scale of deeds to become weighty on the Day of Qiyaamah, thereby earning greater reward. Among these virtuous actions are five actions:

1) Carrying out actions with sincerity. The quality of ikhlaas (sincerity) causes the action to rise in quality and value. The greater the level of sincerity in our actions, the weightier the action will be on the scale of deeds and the more reward it will earn on the Day of Qiyaamah.

2) Carrying out actions conforming to the sunnah. The beauty and quality of the action is the ingredient and aspect that brings about the weight on the scale of deeds and causes greater rewards to be earned. It is not the abundance of the action that brings about the weight. If the action conforms to the Mubaarak sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), it gains beauty and quality.

3) Remaining silent and not speaking unnecessarily. This quality, of remaining silent in the remembrance of Allah Ta‘ala, is regarded among the virtuous actions which will prove weighty on the scales on the Day of Qiyaamah.

4) Adopting good character. Dealing with people with respect and displaying good character before them is among the greatest and weightiest of actions on the scales on the Day of Qiyaamah.

5) The recitation of the kalimah “Laa ilaaha illallah”. It is reported in the Hadith that the recitation of the kalimah will prove extremely weighty on the Day of Qiyaamah, on condition it is done with sincerity.

These actions are so valuable that every believer should investing in them, as they will bring about goodness in our books of deeds and will give weight to our scales on the Day of Qiyaamah.

Similarly, a believer should refrain from those actions and deeds which will cause our actions to lose their lustre and weight on the scales on the Day of Qiyaamah. The hadith explains that there are several deeds that cause actions to lose their value and weight. Among these actions are the following:

1) To cause pain to people or oppress them in any way.[1] The hadith explains that a person will come on the Day of Qiyaamah with mountains of good deeds. However, he was a person who swore people, abused people, slandered people, usurped the wealth of people, etc.  Due to these evil deeds, all the good that he had acquired will be given to those whom he had oppressed.

2) Carrying out actions without sincerity, for show and ostentation. It is reported in the Hadith that on the Day of Qiyaamah, the first three people that will enter Jahannum will be an aalim who propagated deen throughout his life, a wealthy person who gave abundant wealth in charity, and a mujaahid who strove in jihaad. All these people will be thrown headlong into the fire of Jahannum due to not possessing ikhlaas and carrying out actions for show.[2]

In one Hadith, it is mentioned that the one who performs salaah or fasts with the intention of showing off has committed a type of shirk (ascribing partners with Allah Ta‘ala) in the good deeds he has carried out, and such a person will not receive any reward for the good deed he carried out.

In another Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned that any person who carried out a good deed for show, on the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah Ta‘ala will say to him, “I have no partners. Hence, since you had ascribed partners with Me in the good deed, you will not receive any reward from Me. You may go and seek your reward from all those for whom you had carried out that action.”

3) Consuming intoxicants or consuming any haraam. It is reported in the Hadith that the one who consumes haraam or indulges in intoxicants, his du‘aas and ibaadaat are not accepted. Hence, on the Day of Qiyaamah, a person will not receive the reward on the scales for the good deeds he carries out, unless he repents from the sins and reforms his life.

4) Forgoing Salaah. Forgoing salaah is the cause for the lustre of one’s good deeds being lost. Hence, on the Day of Qiyaamah, on account of one forgoing his salaah, he will not find the great rewards he anticipated on the scales for his good deeds.

5) Not discharging zakaat. It is reported in the Hadith that the one who does not discharge his zakaat, then apart from the sin he receives for not paying zakaat, he will be deprived of the reward of the salaah he performs. In other words, even though he will be absolved of the obligation through performing the salaah, he will not receive the reward for the salaah.

Therefore, at all times, a person should be concerned regarding the deeds he carries out. Every good or bad deed, no matter how small it may seem – one should not consider it to be insignificant. It is possible that the deed which one may consider to be small, but carried out with ikhlaas and in conformity with the sunnah, may be the cause for his scales being weighty, and the reason for his salvation, forgiveness and entry into Jannah.


[1]  عن أبي هريرة أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال أتدرون ما المفلس قالوا المفلس فينا من لا درهم له ولا متاع فقال إن المفلس من أمتي يأتي يوم القيامة بصلاة وصيام وزكاة ويأتي قد شتم هذا وقذف هذا وأكل مال هذا وسفك دم هذا وضرب هذا فيعطى هذا من حسناته وهذا من حسناته فإن فنيت حسناته قبل أن يقضى ما عليه أخذ من خطاياهم فطرحت عليه ثم طرح في النار (صحيح مسلم، الرقم: ٢٥٨١)

[2]  عن أبي هريرة قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول إن أول الناس يقضى يوم القيامة عليه رجل استشهد فأتي به فعرفه نعمه فعرفها قال فما عملت فيها قال قاتلت فيك حتى استشهدت قال كذبت ولكنك قاتلت لأن يقال جريء فقد قيل ثم أمر به فسحب على وجهه حتى ألقي في النار ورجل تعلم العلم وعلمه وقرأ القرآن فأتي به فعرفه نعمه فعرفها قال فما عملت فيها قال تعلمت العلم وعلمته وقرأت فيك القرآن قال كذبت ولكنك تعلمت العلم ليقال عالم وقرأت القرآن ليقال هو قارئ فقد قيل ثم أمر به فسحب على وجهه حتى ألقي في النار ورجل وسع الله عليه وأعطاه من أصناف المال كله فأتي به فعرفه نعمه فعرفها قال فما عملت فيها قال ما تركت من سبيل تحب أن ينفق فيها إلا أنفقت فيها لك قال كذبت ولكنك فعلت ليقال هو جواد فقد قيل ثم أمر به فسحب على وجهه ثم ألقي في النار (صحيح مسلم، الرقم: ١٩٠٥)

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