Tafsir of Surah al Infitar - The Fracturing (Surah 82)
Translated by Abű Rumaysah
“When the sky fractures, when the stars scatter and fall,” losing their radiance, and the mountains vanish, “when the seas are made to rage and erupt,” becoming one mass of water “when the graves are overturned and emptied,” throwing out their dead who are then resurrected for the final Standing before Allah that they may be recompensed for their deeds. “Each soul will know what it has sent ahead and left behind,” on that Day the veil will be lifted: what was hidden shall become apparent, and every soul shall realise what it has reaped leading to its success or anguish.
It is on this occasion that the wrong-doer will “gnaw at his hands” when he sees “what his hands have sent forth” and the certainty of eternal punishment and everlasting misery will dawn on him. It is on this occasion that those mindful of Allah, those who sent forth righteous deeds, will be victorious attaining eternal bliss and deliverance from the punishment of Hell.
Allah, Most High, proceeds to censure man for his deficiency in fulfilling the rights due to Him and his ever-falling into disobedience, “O mankind, what has enticed you from your Noble Lord,” is it that you are care-free of His rights, or is it that you think little of His punishment, or is it that you do not believe in His recompense? Is He not “He who created you, shaped you,” “in the finest moulds” “proportioned you,” into a well-balanced creation bearing the finest shape and stature? Is it then befitting that you be an ingrate or obstinately refuse to recognise His beneficence? To do so can only arise from ignorance, obstinacy and tyranny on your part. Instead, praise Allah for not making your features like that of a dog or donkey or the likes! This is why Allah proceeds to say, “and assembled you in whatever form He willed.” Then He says, “No! But you deny the Judgement,” despite this exhortation, despite this admonition, you persist in your denial of the Judgement! Yet you will, without a shadow of doubt, be judged for all that you did, “[Yet] guardians are standing over you,” whom Allah has appointed “noble, recording, who know all that you do,” of speech and deed: deed of the limb and deed of the heart. It is only befitting that you honour and respect them.
“The righteous” those who establish the rights of Allah and the rights of His servants. They adhere firmly to righteousness in the deeds of their hearts and the deeds of their limbs. These “will be in bliss,” experiencing this delight in their hearts, souls and bodies; in this life, in the life of the grave and in the Hereafter. “The dissolute” those who were deficient in fulfilling the rights of Allah and the rights of His servants, those whose hearts were filled with iniquity and so there deeds were wicked “will be in a Blazing Furnace,” in torment in this world, in the life of the grave, and in the Hereafter. “In it will they roast on the Day of Judgement,” the Day of recompense for one's deeds. “Never will they be absent from it,” remaining therein forever, never to leave it. “[But] what will make you realise what the Day of Judgement is? Again, what will make you realise what the Day of Judgement is?” This is said in order to drive home the terror of that Day, a terror that leaves one's mind in disconcerted perplexity! “It is a Day when no soul will be able to do anything for another soul,” even if it be of close kin or a loved one. Every person, on that Day, will be concerned with himself and have no care for any other, nor will he ask for the deliverance of any other. “That Day, the command is [entirely] Allah’s,” He will judge between His servants and take the right of the oppressed from the oppressor.
Allah knows best.
* i.e. what it has done and what it has failed to do.
1. al-Furqan (25): 27
4. As Allah says, “So on that Day no power shall they have over each other, for profit or harm.” [34: 42]
5. Qatadah said, ‘Similarly, the command is Allah's alone today, however on that Day none will contend with this truth.’ [Abu Hayyan] Allah says, “The Day when they come forth, nothing of them being hidden from Allah. Whose is the Sovereignty this Day? It is Allah's, the One, the Almighty. This Day is each soul requited for that which it has earned; no wrong (is done) this Day.” [40: 16-17]