22 - Al Hajj (The pilgrimage)

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 22.1

Al-Jalalayn

O mankind, that is, the inhabitants of Mecca and others: fear your Lord, that is, of His punishment, by being obedient to Him. Surely the earthquake of the Hour [of Doom], that is, the violent quaking of the earth after which the sun will rise from the west, [something] which will be near [the time of] the Hour, is a tremendous thing, in the way it will distress people — this itself being a sort of punishment.

Ibn Al Kathir

Another Version of this Hadith

At-Tirmidhi recorded from `Imran bin Husayn that when the words,

يَـأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ

(O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord.) Until His saying,

وَلَـكِنَّ عَذَابَ اللَّهِ شَدِيدٌ

(but Allah's torment is severe.) were revealed, the Prophet was on a journey, and he said:

«أَتَدْرُونَ أَيُّ يَوْمٍ ذَلِكَ؟ قَالُوا: اللهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَعْلَمُ. قَالَ: ذَلِكَ يَوْمٌ يَقُولُ اللهُ لِآدَمَ: ابْعَثْ بَعْثَ النَّارِ، قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ وَمَا بَعْثُ النَّارِ؟ قالَ: تِسْعُمِائَةٍ وَتِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ وَوَاحِدٌ إِلَى الْجَنَّة»

(Do you know what Day that is) They said, "Allah and His Messenger know best.'' (He said: That is the Day on which Allah will say to Adam, "Send forth (those of your progeny) who are to be sent to the Fire.'' He will say, "O Lord, how many are to be sent to the Fire'' He will say, "From every thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine will be in the Fire and one will be in Paradise.'') The Muslims started to weep, then the Messenger of Allah said:

«قَارِبُوا وَسَدِّدُوا، فَإِنَّهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ نُبُوَّةٌ قَطُّ إِلَّا كَانَ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا جَاهِلِيَّةٌ، قَالَ: فَيُؤْخَذُ الْعَدَدُ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ، فَإِنْ تَمَّتْ، وَإِلَّا كُمِّلَتْ مِنَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ، وَمَا مَثَلُكُمْ وَمَثَلُ الْأُمَمِ إِلَّا كَمَثَلِ الرَّقْمَةِ فِي ذِرَاعِ الدَّابَّةِ، أَوْ كَالشَّامَةِ فِي جَنْبِ الْبَعِير»

(Be close in your rank and be straight forward, for there was never any Prophet but there was a time of ignorance just before his advent, so the number will be taken from that time of ignorance, and if that is not enough, it will be made up from the hypocrites. A parable of yours in comparison to the other nations is that, you are like a mark on the foreleg of an animal, or a mole on the flank of a camel.) Then he said,

«إِنِّي لَأَرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونُوا رُبُعَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّة»

(I hope that you will be a quarter of the people of Paradise.) They said, "Allahu Akbar!'' Then he said,

«إِنِّييَلَأرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونُوا ثُلُثَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّة»

(I hope that you will be a third of the people of Paradise.) They said, "Allahu Akbar!'' Then he said,

«إِنِّييَلَأرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونُوا نِصْفَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّة»

(I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise.) They said, "Allahu Akbar!'' Then he the narratorsaid, "I do not know if he said two-thirds or not.'' This was also recorded by Imam Ahmad. Then At-Tirmidhi also said, "This is a Hasan Sahih Hadith.'' In his Tafsir, under this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Sa`id said, "The Prophet said:

«يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ: يَا آدَمُ، فَيَقُولُ: لَبَّيْكَ رَبَّنَا وَسَعْدَيْكَ، فَيُنَادَى بِصَوْتٍ: إِنَّ اللهَ يَأْمُرُكَ أَنْ تُخْرِجَ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِكَ بَعْثًا إِلَى النَّارِ، قَالَ: يَا رَبِّ وَمَا بَعْثُ النَّارِ؟ قَالَ: مِنْ كُلِّ أَلْفٍ أُرَاهُ قَالَ تِسْعُمِائَةٍ وَتِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُونَ، فَحِينَئِذٍ تَضَعُ الْحَامِلُ حَمْلَهَا وَيَشِيبُ الْوَلِيدُ

وَتَرَى النَّاسَ سُكَـرَى وَمَا هُم بِسُكَـرَى وَلَـكِنَّ عَذَابَ اللَّهِ شَدِيدٌ

(On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will say: "O Adam.'' He will say, "At Your service, O Lord.'' Then a voice will call out: "Allah commands you to send forth from your progeny those who are destined for the Fire.'' He will say, "O Lord, who is destined for the Fire'' He will say, "From every thousand'' -- I think he said -- "nine hundred and ninety-nine.'' At that time every pregnant female will drop her load and children will turn grey. (and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state, yet they will not be drunken, but Allah's torment is severe.)) That will be so difficult for mankind to bear that their faces will change. The Prophet said:

«مِنْ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ تِسْعُمِائَةٍ وَتِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُونَ، وَمِنْكُمْ وَاحِدٌ، أَنْتُمْ فِي النَّاسِ كَالشَّعْرَةِ السَّوْدَاءِ فِي جَنْبِ الثَّوْرِ الْأَبْيَضِ، أَوْ كَالشَّعْرَةِ الْبَيْضَاءِ فِي جَنْبِ الثَّوْرِ الْأَسْوَدِ، وَإِنِّي لَأَرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونُوا رُبُعَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ ، فَكَبَّرْنَا. ثُمَّ قَالَ: ثُلُثَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ ، فَكَبَّرْنَا. ثُمَّ قَالَ: شَطْرَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ، فَكَبَّرْنا»

(Nine hundred and ninety-nine from Ya'juj and Ma'juj, and one from you. Among mankind you are like a black hair on the side of a white bull, or a white hair on the side of a black bull. I hope that you will be one quarter of the people of Paradise.) We said "Allahu Akbar!'' Then he said, (A third of the people of Paradise.) We said, "Allahu Akbar!'' Then he said, (One half of the people of Paradise.) We said: `Allahu Akbar!'' Al-Bukhari also recorded this elsewhere. It was also recorded by Muslim, and An-Nasa'i in his Tafsir. The Hadiths and reports about the terrors of the Day of Resurrection are very many, and this is not the place to quote them all.

إِنَّ زَلْزَلَةَ السَّاعَةِ شَىْءٌ عَظِيمٌ

(Verily, the earthquake of the Hour is a terrible thing.) means, a serious matter, a terrifying crisis, a horrendous event. This earthquake is what will happen to people when they are filled with terror, as Allah says:

هُنَالِكَ ابْتُلِىَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَزُلْزِلُواْ زِلْزَالاً شَدِيداً

(There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking.) 33:11. Then Allah says:

يَوْمَ تَرَوْنَهَا تَذْهَلُ كُلُّ مُرْضِعَةٍ عَمَّآ أَرْضَعَتْ

(The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling,) means, she will be distracted by the horror of what she is seeing, which will make her forget the one who is the dearest of all to her and to whom she shows the most compassion. Her shock will make her neglect her infant at the very moment of breastfeeding, Allah says,

كُلُّ مُرْضِعَةٍ

(every nursing mother), and He did not say a mother who has an infant of breastfeeding age.

عَمَّآ أَرْضَعَتْ

(her nursling) means, her nursing infant that has not yet been weaned.

وَتَضَعُ كُلُّ ذَاتِ حَمْلٍ حَمْلَهَا

(and every pregnant one will drop her load,) means, before the pre- gnancy has reached full term, because of the intensity of the horror.

وَتَرَى النَّاسَ سُكَـرَى

(and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state,) means, because of the severity of their situa- tion, when they will lose their minds, so that whoever sees them, will think, that they are drunk,

وَمَا هُم بِسُكَـرَى وَلَـكِنَّ عَذَابَ اللَّهِ شَدِيدٌ

(yet they will not be drunken, but Allah's torment is severe.)

Kashf Al-Asrar

O people, be wary of your Lord-surely the quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing.

O people is a vocative, and O you have faith is a call of generosity. The vocative is for the common people, and the call of generosity is for the elect. The vocative is for striking fear and warning, and the call of generosity is for bestowing eminence and giving good news.

Be wary of your Lord is two words, one severity, the other gentleness. Be wary is severity, which He drives home with His justice. Your Lord is gentleness, which He shows through His bounty. He keeps the servant between severity and gentleness so that he will live in fear and hope. When he is in fear, he looks at his own activity and weeps. When he is in hope, he looks at God's gentleness and is delighted.

The Pir of the Tariqah said, "O God, when I look at myself, I ask who is more miserable than

I. When I look at You, I ask who is greater than I."

When the servant looks at his own activity, he says with the tongue of contempt and in beaten- ness and brokenness,

"My two eyes full of water, my liver full of fire, my hands full of wind, my head full of dust!"

When he looks at the divine gentleness and the lordly bounty, he says with the tongue of happiness and the blessing of gratitude,

"What does the Throne do that it does not carry my saddlecloth? In my heart I carry the saddlecloth of Your ruling and decree.

The scent of the spirit comes to my lips when I speak of You,

the branch of exaltedness grows from my heart when I suffer Your trial."

Surely the quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing. The quaking of the resurrection and the harshness of the resurrection-how can this be explained and what mark can be given of it? For the Exalted Lord says it is "a tremendous thing." It is a day, and what a day! It is a work, and what a work! It is a day of the bazaar, and what a day of the bazaar! The pavilion of exaltedness will be raised in the desert of power, the carpet of tremendousness spread, the balance of justice hung, the path of straightness drawn out.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

According to the early commentators, this earthquake will be a prelude to Resurrection. This will probably take place when the earth will begin to rotate in the reverse order, and the sun will rise in the west. In a lengthy Tradition reported by Ibn Jarir, 'Tabarani and Ibn Abi Hatim from Abu Hurairah, the Holy Prophet has stated that when the first Trumpet will be blown, there will be a general confusion; at the second all people will die and at the third they will be brought back to life and presented before Allah. At the first blowing of the Trumpet, the earth will begin to rock like a boat which is beaten about by huge waves, or like a hanging lamp which is moved from side to side by a strong wind.

This condition has been depicted in the Qur'an at several other places. For instance LVI: 6; LXIX: 13-14; LXXIII: 14, 17-18; LXXIX : 6-9 and XCIX: 1-3.

According to other commentators, this earthquake will occur when the dead will be brought back to life and presented before their Lord. Though this is supported by some Traditions, we prefer the first interpretation (in spite of the fact that the Tradition reported by Abu Hurairah is "weak") because that is supported by clear verses of the Qur'an.

This is to show the intensity and honor of the earthquake. At that time there will be so much confusion acid terror that mothers will forsake their dear children at the very time they will be suckling them.

It should be noted that it is not meant to depict here the condition of the Resurrection but to impress upon the people the dreadful torment of the Hour in order to admonish them to mend their ways. This is supported by the subsequent passage.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas who said in explaining Allah's words (O mankind!): '(O mankind!) this expression could be of general applicability ('amm) as it could be of particular applicability (khass); here, it is an expression of general applicability. (Fear your Lord) and obey him. (Lo! the earthquake of the Hour (of Doom)) the advent of the Hour (is a tremendous thing) its horror is horrendous.