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This article is an exposition of Surah al-Naba' (Ayats 1-30).
عَمَّ يتسآءَلُونَ1 عَنِ النَّبَإِ العَظِيمِ2 الَّذِى هُمۡ فِيهِ مُخْتَلِفُونَ3 كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ4 ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ5
Regarding what do they question each other and the believers in disdain. They question regarding the great message of the Quran namely relating to the hereafter. They ask pointless questions regarding that which they are disputed against the righteous. They ask about its timing and quality whilst they believe the actual event to be outlandish. No indeed (they are wrong)! Soon they will know of the falsity of their thoughts upon their death. And no indeed (they are wrong)! Soon they will know with greater certainty of the truth of the believers when the final day arrives.
Allah almighty has created the skies, the earth, all that which is between them and deep below it. On what grounds do they question the ability of Allah Almighty? They doubt restoration when he has already created it once from nothing. It is their thought that is outlandish. The control of Allah is absolute; he has ability over all things. It is Allah who keeps things constant and brings about change.
ألم نجعل الأرض مهادا6 والجبال أوتادا7 وخلقناكم أزواجا8 وجعلنا نومكم سباتاً9 وجعلنا الليل لباسا10 وجعلنا النهار معاشا11
Did we not make the earth a cot. It is Allah who has created the Earth and made it a level field for us to reside just as a child is given a cradle as stable ground. and (did we not make) the mountains [as] wedges. It is Allah who has rooted the mountain deep into the ground and made the ground below us steady just as a tent is made steady with wedges.
And we created you in pairs, male and female even though you were one uniform cell and spread offspring from you thereof1. And we made your sleep relaxing, a release from the hubbub of your life and the strains of your body2. And we made the night a curtain and so all that which was visible became hidden And we made the day a (a time for) commune and so all that which seemed invisible came to life.
You were in one state and Allah almighty changed your state to another. On what grounds do they question the ability of Allah almighty? On what ground do they doubt the hereafter and his ability to recreate? It is their thought that is outlandish. The control of Allah almighty is absolute; he has ability over all things. It is Allah who keeps things constant and brings about change.
وبنينا فوقكم سبعاً شداداً12 وجعلنا سراجاً وهاجا13 وأنزلنا من المعصرات ماء ثجاجا14 لنخرج به حباً ونباتاً وجنات ألفافاً15
And we built above you seven skies, apparent in all it grandeur, constantly available and undeniable by even the meek. And we made a shining beacon, in the form of the sun that never ceases to rise and is oft reliable.
And we brought down from the rain-laden clouds abundant water. It is Allah who formed the clouds with wind and heat3. Thereafter, opened it and made the sky descend upon us freely. So that we may bring forth therewith grain and plant. It is Allah who cracked open the solid earth and brought to life the buried seed. He, from a single source, brought forth diverse and thick gardens in adjoining spaces4 such as dates and grapes5 despite their differing temperate requirements. These are signs for what is to come for those who have intellect.
The earth was in one state and Allah almighty changed it to another. On what grounds do they doubt the hereafter and the ability of Allah? They cast doubt upon you yet it is their thought that is outlandish. The control of Allah is absolute. He is the creator of the skies, earth and all that is within it. He is the creator of plants and he is the creator of men and women.
إِنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ كَانَ مِيقَاتًا17 يَوْمَ يُنْفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْوَاجًا18 وَفُتِحَتِ السَّمَاءُ فَكَانَتْ أَبْوَابًا19 وَسُيِّرَتِ الْجِبَالُ فَكَانَتْ سَرَابًا20
They ask question regarding the great message namely the hereafter; no indeed they will soon know. Indeed the Day of Judgment is preordained. Allah almighty has set the time and it will come with his command for the horn not a moment before or after6. None will survive, only Allah will remain - the supreme and powerful. Then he will command the second horn. The day the horn is blown, you will come in hoards just as the dead seeds emerged from the earth and like the gardens you will be diverse reaping what you have sown – each with their own kind along with their leaders7. The day the horn is blown the skies will be opened, so they will be doors for the angels will cleave the skies8 as they descend from the heavens just as rain descends from the sky. The day the horn is blown the mountains will be moved, they will be spectres like the extinct cloud9 all that will remain is flat barren land.
It is Allah who keeps things constant and brings about change. It is Allah who has kept the earth, the mountains, the skies and the star constant and it is he who will command it to change. On what grounds do they question the ability of Allah Almighty? They believe it to be outlandish but Allah has shown that it is their thought that is outlandish. The hereafter is a fact. The day of reckoning is a fact. Heaven and Hell is fact. The control of Allah is absolute and he has power over everything. There is none worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad (صلي الله عليه و سلم) is his messenger; only the most wretched despot will deny that.
وَسُيِّرَتِ الْجِبَالُ فَكَانَتْ سَرَابًا20 إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ كَانَتْ مِرْصَادًا21 لِلطَّاغِينَ مَآبًا22 لَابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا23 لَا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا بَرْدًا وَلَا شَرَابًا24 إِلَّا حَمِيمًا وَغَسَّاقًا25
Indeed hell is a place in waiting prepared to punish at the instance one falls - the angels are ever ready at the bridge and within, lurking in ambush and brutal in their approach. Indeed hell is a place for the despot, it is a resort for those who denied Allah and acted on their own accord; it is their final destination in which they shall linger - never to return. They will reside within nonstop with no end in sight – each moment will seem many lifetimes. The punishments will follow time after time and forevermore. They will not taste within cold or drink to cool their heart or comfort their body. Other than sweltering water and pus that will sizzle down their body, scorch their inside and the resulting pus will be their ration.
جَزَاءً وِفَاقًا26 إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا لَا يَرْجُونَ حِسَابًا27 وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا كِذَّابًا28 وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَاهُ كِتَابًا29 فَذُوقُوا فَلَنْ نَزِيدَكُمْ إِلَّا عَذَابًا30
This is appropriate recompense for their misdeeds in the world. They committed Kufr, the most heinous of crimes and in return, they gained the fire, the harshest of punishments. They did not expect an accounting and showed indifference to resurrection. Moreover, they did not fear reckoning and they denied our signs wholly despite being forewarned and ever so apparent. And for all things, we have made records, so you will not be able to deny for you would not have done a single deed except that you would see it on that day10. The books, angels, people, place and even your body shall testify. So savour, we will not add but pain, like for like and renewed with vigour11 - your skin will be replaced afresh so that you taste each torment same as the last but even worse. So savour the taste of your disbelief and denial - it is your own doing and just recompense.
Originally published in ijtima.org, issue 103, art. 35 (25 Muharram 1433)