84 - Al Isnhiqaq (Splitting open)

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 84.1

Al-Jalalayn

When the heaven is rent asunder,

Ibn Al Kathir

Splitting the Heavens asunder and stretching the Earth forth on the Day of Resurrection

Allah says,

إِذَا السَّمَآءُ انشَقَّتْ

(When the heaven is split asunder,) This refers to the Day of Judgement.

وَأَذِنَتْ لِرَبِّهَا

(And listens to and obeys its Lord) meaning, it listens to its Lord and obeys His command to split apart. This will occur on the Day of Judgement.

وَحُقَّتْ

(and it must do so.) meaning, it is right for it to obey the command of its Lord, because it is great and cannot be rejected, nor overcome. Rather it overpowers everything and everything is submissive to it. Then Allah says,

وَإِذَا الاٌّرْضُ مُدَّتْ

(And when the earth is stretched forth,) meaning, when the earth is expanded, spread out and extended. Then He says,

وَأَلْقَتْ مَا فِيهَا وَتَخَلَّتْ

(And has cast out all that was in it and became empty.) meaning, it throws out the dead inside of it, and it empties itself of them. This was said by Mujahid, Sa`id, and Qatadah.

وَأَذِنَتْ لِرَبِّهَا وَحُقَّتْ

(And listens to and obeys its Lord, and it must do so.) The explanation of this is the same as what has preceded.

The Recompense for Deeds is True

Allah says,

يأَيُّهَا الإِنسَـنُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَدْحاً

(O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions, a sure returning,) meaning, `verily you are hastening to your Lord and working deeds.'

فَمُلَـقِيهِ

(and you will meet.) `Then you will meet that which you did of good or evil.' A proof for this is what Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded from Jabir, that the Messenger of Allah said,

«قَالَ جِبْرِيلُ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ، عِشْ مَا شِئْتَ فَإِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ، وَأَحْبِبْ (مَنْ) شِئْتَ فَإِنَّكَ مُفَارِقُهُ، وَاعْمَلْ مَا شِئْتَ فَإِنَّكَ مُلَاقِيه»

(Jibril said, "O Muhammad! Live how you wish, for verily you will die; love what you wish, for verily you will part with it; and do what you wish, for verily you will meet it (your deed).) There are some people who refer the pronoun back to the statement "your Lord.'' Thus, they hold the Ayah to mean, "and you will meet your Lord.'' This means that He will reward you for your work, and pay you for your efforts. Therefore, both of these two views are connected. Al-`Awfi recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said explaining,

يأَيُّهَا الإِنسَـنُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَى رَبِّكَ كَدْحاً

(O man! Verily, you are returning towards your Lord with your deeds and actions, a sure returning,) "Whatever deed you do, you will meet Allah with it, whether it is good or bad.''

The Presentation and the Discussion that will take place during the Reckoning

Then Allah says,

فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِىَ كِتَـبَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ - فَسَوْفَ يُحَاسَبُ حِسَاباً يَسِيراً

(Then as for him who will be given his Record in his right hand, he surely, will receive an easy reckoning,) (84:7-8) meaning, easy without any difficulty. This means that he will not be investigated for all the minute details of his deeds. For verily, whoever is reckoned like that, he will certainly be destroyed. Imam Ahmad recorded from `A'ishah that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ نُوقِشَ الْحِسَابَ عُذِّب»

(Whoever is interrogated during the reckoning, then he will be punished.) `A'ishah then said, "But didn't Allah say,

فَسَوْفَ يُحَاسَبُ حِسَاباً يَسِيراً

(He surely will receive an easy reckoning,)'' The Prophet replied,

«لَيْسَ ذَاكِ بِالْحِسَابِ، وَلَــكِنْ ذلِكِ الْعَرْضُ، مَنْ نُوقِشَ الْحِسَابَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عُذِّب»

(That is not during to the Reckoning, rather it is referring to the presentation. Whoever is interrogated during the Reckoning on the Day of Judgement, then he will be punished.) This Hadith has also been recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Jarir. In reference to Allah's statement,

وَيَنقَلِبُ إِلَى أَهْلِهِ مَسْرُوراً

(And will return to his family Masrur!) This means that he will return to his family in Paradise. This was said by Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak. They also said, "Masrur means happy and delighted by what Allah has given him.'' Allah said;

وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِىَ كِتَـبَهُ وَرَآءَ ظَهْرِهِ

(But whosoever is given his Record behind his back,) meaning, he will be given his Book in his left hand, behind his back, while his hand is bent behind him.

فَسَوْفَ يَدْعُو ثُبُوراً

(He will invoke destruction,) meaning, loss and destruction.

وَيَصْلَى سَعِيراً - إِنَّهُ كَانَ فِى أَهْلِهِ مَسْرُوراً

(And he shall enter a blazing Fire, and made to taste its burning. Verily, he was among his people in joy!) meaning, happy. He did not think about the consequences, nor feared what (future) was in front of him. His light happiness will be followed by long grief.

إِنَّهُ ظَنَّ أَن لَّن يَحُورَ

(Verily, he thought that he would never return!) meaning, he used to believe that he would not return to Allah, nor would Allah bring him back (to life) after his death. This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and others. Allah then says,

بَلَى إِنَّ رَبَّهُ كَانَ بِهِ بَصِيراً

(Yes! Verily, his Lord has been ever beholding him!) meaning, certainly Allah will repeat his creation just as he began his creation, and He will reward him based upon his deeds, whether they were good or bad. He was ever watchful of him, meaning All-Knowing and All-Aware.

Kashf Al-Asrar

When heaven is split open.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

Literally: "... and hears its Lord's Command." However, according to Arabic usage adhina lahu does not only mean: "He heard the Command but it means: "Hearing the Command he carried it out promptly like an obedient servant. "

"When the earth is spread out": when the oceans and rivers are filled up, the mountains are crushed to pieces and scattered away, and the earth is leveled and turned into a smooth plain. In Surah Ta Ha, the same thing has been expressed, thus: "He will turn the earth into an empty level plain, wherein you will neither see any curve nor crease." (vv 106-107) Hakim in Mustadrak has related through authentic channels on the authority of Hadrat Jabir bin 'Abdullah a saying of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to the effect: "On the Resurrection Day the earth will be flattened out and spread out like the table-cloth; then there will hardly be room on it for men to place their feet." To understand this saying one should keep in mind the fact that out that Day all men who will have been born from the first day of creation till Resurrection, will be resurrected simultaneously and produced in the Divine Court. For gathering together such a great multitude of the people it is inevitable that the oceans, rivers, mountains, jungles, ravines and all high and low areas be leveled and the entire globe of the earth be turned into a vast plain so that all individuals of human race may have room on it to stand on their feet.

That is, it will throw out all dead bodies of men and also the traces and evidences of their deeds lying within it. so that nothing remains hidden and buried in it.

Here, it has not been expressly told what will happen when such and such an event takes place, for the subsequent theme by itself explains this, as if to say: "O man, you are moving towards your Lord and are about to meet Him; you will be given your conduct book; and rewarded or punished according to your deeds."

That is, "You may if you so like think that all your efforts and endeavors in the world are confined to worldly life and motivated by worldly desires, yet the truth is that you are moving, consciously or unconsciously, towards your Lord and you have ultimately to appear before Him in any case.."

That is, his reckoning will be less severe: he will not be asked why he had done such and such a thing and what excuses he had to offer for it. Though his evil deeds also will be there along with his good deeds in his records, his errors will be overlooked and pardoned in view of his outweighing good deeds. In the Holy Qur'an, for the severe reckoning of the wicked people the words su-al-hisab (heavy reckoning) have been used (Ar-Ra'd: 18), and concerning the righteous it has been said: "From such people We accept the best of their deeds and overlook their evils." (Al-Ahqaf: 16). The explanation of it given by the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has been related in different words by Imam Ahmad Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Abu Da'ud, Hakim, Ibn Jarir, `Abd bin Humaid, and Ibn Marduyah on the authority of Hadrat 'A'ishah. According to one of these traditions the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) said: "Doomed will be he who is called to account for his deeds. Hadrat 'A'ishah said: O Messenger of Allah, has not Allah said: 'He whose record is given in his right hand shall have an easy reckoning?' The Holy Prophet replied: That is only about the presentation of the deeds, but the one who is questioned would be doomed." In another tradition Hadrat 'A'ishah has related: "I once heard the Holy Prophet supplicate during the prayer, thus: O God, call me to a light reckoning. When he brought his Prayer to conclusion, I asked what he meant by that supplication. He replied: Light reckoning means that one's conduct book will be seen and one's errors will be overlooked. O 'A'ishah, the one who is called to account for his deeds on that Day, would be doomed.

"His kinsfolk": his family and relatives and companions who will have been pardoned even like himself.

In Surah Al Haaqqah: 25, it was said that his record will be given him in his left hand but here "behind his back. ! This will probably be for the reason that he would already have lost all hope that he would be given his record in his right hand, for he would be well aware of his misdeeds and sure to receive his record in his left hand. However, in order to avoid the humiliation of receiving it in the left hand, in front of all mankind, he will withdraw his hand behind and so would receive it 'behind his back."

That is, his way of life was different from that of God's righteous men, about whom in Surah At-Tur: 26, it has been said that they lived among their kinsfolk in fear and dread of God, i.e. they fear lest they should ruin their own Hereafter on account of their absorption in the love of children and endeavors for the sake of their well-being and prosperity in the world. On the contrary, this man lived a life free from every care and worry and helped his children and kinsfolk also to enjoy life fully, no matter what wicked and immoral methods he had to use to procure the means of enjoyment, how he had to usurp the rights of others and transgress the bounds set by Allah for the sake of the worldly pleasures.

That is, it was against God's justice and His wisdom that He should overlook the misdeeds that he was committing and should not summon him before Himself to render his account of the deeds.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah's saying (When the heaven is split asunder): '(When the heaven is split asunder) by the clouds because of the descent of the Lord-a descent without any modality-and the angels and whatever Allah wills of His command.