This article is a brief, informative illustration of Surah Al-Waqiah from aspects. It discusses Surah Al-Waqiah order in the Quran, whether it is Makki or Madani, and its time of revelation. It also discusses Surah Al-Waqiah Asbab al-nuzul, Surah Al-Waqiah Maksud, and Surah Al-Waqiah Tafseer in a comprehensive way. Surah Al-Waqiah has many beneficial lessons and benefits.
Here we will learn the following:
What is Surah Al-Waqiah?
Surah Al-Waqiah is one of the greatest Surahs of the Quran. This is due to its speech about one of the pillars of Iman (faith); the day of Judgment. Although it is one of the Surahs revealed at the beginning of dawah, it is present in the 27th Juz’ and considered the 56th Surah in The Quran book (Mushaf).
Surah Al-Waqiah is a Makki Surah revealed in Makkah before Hijra as most Muslim scholars suggest. Yet, some scholars suggest it was partially revealed in Makkah and partially in Madinah.
Surah Al-Waqiah has great benefits, regarded as being one of the Surahs of the Quran. It has great meanings that are worth proper understanding and application. Unfortunately, there are many falsely claimed benefits of Surah Al-Waqiah widespread online. In this article, we will clarify what Surah Al-Waqiah is good for and illustrate its benefits and lessons.
What Does Al-Waqiah Mean in Arabic?
Al-Waqiah is an Arabic noun that linguistically means the inevitable event. It is the event that will no doubt happen. However, It contextually refers to the day of Judgement.
This Surah was named by Al-Waqiah as the Prophet (PBUH) named it. Besides, the word ‘Al-Waqiah’ was mentioned in its first verse referring to the day of resurrection.
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Why Was Surah Al-Waqiah Revealed (Asbab al-n-Nuzul)?
Surah Al-Waqiah was revealed as a commentary of several, separate events. It is a relatively long Surah that was revealed on several, separate occasions to practically teach Muslims the religion of Allah (SWT). Besides, it supports and reassures The Prophet’s (PBUH) heart.
Allah says in the Quran: “We have sent it˺ as such ˹in stages˺ so We may reassure your heart with it. And We have revealed it at a deliberate pace.” (Quran 25:32)
In the following paragraphs, we will discuss Asbab al-Nuzul and some verses of Surah Al-Waqiah.
1. Sustenance Is from Allah
There is a verse in Surah Al-Waqiah that was revealed when the prophet (PBUH) and his companions were on a trip and felt thirsty. They asked The Prophet (PBUH) to pray to Allah to send them rains. The Prophet (PBUH) then asked if they would claim the sustenance of the rain to other than Allah when the rain falls, and they replied they wouldn’t. Soon after, rain fell and the Prophet (PBUH) found a man who was filling water and saying that they were given rain by someone other than Allah. (Sahih Muslim 73)
Allah (SWT) revealed that verse: “And make [the thanks for] your provision that you deny [the Provider]?” (Surah Al-Waqiah, verse 82)
2. The Cry of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab
“A [large] company of the former peoples, And a few of the later peoples” (Al-Waqiah 13-14)
This verse was revealed in the beginning of Surah Al-Waqiah. It stated that a great number of the forerunners believers who will enter paradise are from the former populations, while a small number will be of the late ones.
After this verse was revealed, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab (one of the greatest companions of The Prophet (PBUH) cried, fearing that he wouldn’t be among them.
Allah (SWT) then revealed later on in Surah Al-Waqiah: “A company of the former peoples and a company of the later peoples” (Surah Al-Waqiah 39-40)
3. The ‘Sidr’ of Paradise
The Muslims once saw a valley in AL-Ta’if city where they liked a type of trees called lote trees ‘Sidr’. Allah (SWT) revealed a verse saying that there will be a more beautiful sidr in Paradise for believers. He (SWT) said: “[They will be] among lote trees with thorns removed.” (Surah Al-Waqiah 56:28)
What is The Maksud of Surah Al-Waqiah?
The Maksud of Surah Al-Waqiah is the demonstration, confirmation, and providing clear proof of the truth of the day of judgment.
Surah Al-Waqiah starts by demonstrating the terrifying events that will be encountered on the day of judgment. For example, the shake of the Earth and the fall of the mountains. Then, it classifies people into three different groups: The believers (people of the right), The forerunners believers, the disbelievers (the people of the left). It shows the destiny of each of them based on their faith and deeds.
Surah Al-Waqiah also provides clear, undoubtful proof that the day of Judgment is true. It says that Allah (SWT) is able to raise people from death as he created them in the first place. It illustrates the proof by several examples encountered in our daily life. For example, the creation of ourselves, the creation of plants, the downpour of rain, and the creation of fire.
At the end of Surah Al-Waqiah, Allah (SWT) raises people’s awareness of the truthfulness of the Quran and its speech about the day of judgment. He (SWT) reminded people of the fact that they will eventually die by describing what happens at the time of death for each of the previously described groups.
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What is The Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah?
The Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah is so beautiful and heart-touching. It mainly describes the day of judgment and raises awareness of it.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that Surah Al-Waqiah had made his hair grey. This refers to the fact it contains several verses talking about the destiny of people on the day of judgment based on their deeds.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “I have been made gray-haired by Surah Hud (Al-Quran: 11), Surah Al-Waqiah (Al-Quran: 56), Surah Al-Mursalat (Al-Quran: 77), Surah Al-Naba’ (Al-Quran: 74), and Surah Al-Takweer (Al-Quran: 81).” (Ash-Shama’il Al-Muhammadiyah 41)
In the following paragraphs, we will divide Surah Al-Waqiah into several parts based on the relevance of its verses. Also, we will discuss their Tafseer in brief.
No doubt, the Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah is much easier if you memorize it by heart. In Quran House, we provide online Quran memorization courses with professional Azhari teachers. Enroll in your free trial now.
Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah Verses:1-6
Allah (SWT) starts Surah Al-Waqiah with a strong and heart-touching beginning. It starts with a statement that Al-Waqiah (The day of judgment) will no doubt occur and that there is nothing that will prevent its occurrence. That’s why it was named Al-Waqiah as we previously discussed.
Allah (SWT) states that Al-Waqiah will raise the position of some people (the believers). At the same time, it will lower the position of others (the disbelievers).
Allah (SWT) also describes the terrifying events that would happen on the day of judgment. He states that the earth would shake heavily below our feet. These huge mountains would be crushed and become like soft dust spreading everywhere.
Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah Verses:7-14
These verses classify people on the day of Judgment into three categories. They are the people of the right, the believers, the people of the left, the disbelievers, and the forerunners who are the best of believers. The forerunners were described in Surah Al-Waqiah as the ones who are the closest to Allah (PBUH) in Paradise. Their attributes were further described in Surah Al-Furqan verses 57-71.
Allah (SWT) firstly stated that the people of paradise would be a small number of the recent ages and a greater number of the older ones. Then, later on, another verse was revealed as we previously clarified.
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Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah Verses: 15-26
In these verses, Allah (SWT) describes the reward of the forerunners in Paradise. They will sit facing each other and leaning against their comfy beds which are woven of gold and silver.
There will be eternal boys passing by with cups and drinks of wine which will neither make them ill nor insane unlike the wine of dunia. They will have the best fruits of their choice, the best of birds’ meat which they desire.
The men will also be married to ‘Al-Hur’ who are very beautiful and purified women. Allah (SWT) describes ’Al-Hur’ as protected pearls.
The people of paradise will never hear bad or shameful words, it is only the words of ‘salam’; peace.
Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah Verses: 27-40
These verses describe the reward of the people of the right; the believers. They are called the people of right as they will be handed their book of deeds with their right hands on the day of judgment. This was mentioned in Surah Al-Inshiqaq. Allah (SWT) said: “Then as for he who is given his record in his right hand, He will be judged with an easy account” (Quran 84:7-8).
They will have the trees of Sidr without thrones, trees of bananas, shade away from the burning sun, and pure water. In addition, they will have numerous fruits which are not restricted to a certain time and raised comfy beds.
Allah (SWT) mentioned the wives of this category. They will be recreated in a more beautiful version, they will become virgins once more, beloved to their husbands, and all at a similar young age.
Allah (SWT) says here that the people of Paradise will be a great number of the recent ages as well as the older ages.
Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah Verses: 41- 56
These verses describe the people of the worst destiny; the people of the left who will be handed their record books in their left hands.
Unlike the people of the right, these people would live in ‘Samum’ which is a very hot wind, and ‘Hamim’ which is extremely hot water. The available shade will be a shade of black smoke which is neither cool nor good.
Allah (SWT) described the bad deeds of these people. Although they were living in luxury in dunia, they insisted on polytheism and denied the day of judgment. They questioned in denial if it is possible for Allah to resurrect people after they become dust and bones! Allah (SWT) replied that all people whether in the first ages or the late ages will be resurrected on a certain day known only by Allah (SWT).
The verses then described their severe punishment directing the speech toward them. He (SWT) said they will eat the trees of ‘Zaqoom’ which are very harsh and bad trees. They will drink the extremely hot water ‘Hamim’ in which they will fill their stomach out of extreme thirst.
Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah Verses: 57-76
In these verses, Allah (SWT) intellectually proves the inevitability of the day of judgment. Allah (SWT) shows by giving examples that He (SWT) was able to create the creation in the first place. Likewise, He is able to recreate them on the day of resurrection.
He gave us examples such as: the creation of a baby in the womb of the mother from simple watery semen and the creation of plants out of a dead seed. Moreover, the bringing down of water from the far away clouds and the creation of the fire. Allah (SWT) then swears by the vast spaces between the stars, showing his power and the greatness of His creation.
Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah Verses: 77-80
Through these verses, Allah (SWT) states that The Quran is honorable and noble, where only the purified people could touch it. Allah (SWT) states clearly that the Quran is a revelation from Allah (SWT) and no other.
Tafseer of Surah Al-Waqiah Verses: 81: 96 (End)
These verses are a commentary on all the previous verses. Allah (SWT) asks the disbelievers in exclamation: ‘Do you deny this speech (The Quran, and Verses of Surah Al-Waqiah)? And you make the thanks for your provision that you deny? (We previously discussed this verse in Surah Al-Waqiah Asbab al-Nuzul).
He (SWT) again provides clear proof of the inevitability of the day of Judgement. He (SWT) amazingly narrates what happens at the time of death in several heart-touching verses.
He says that when someone is dying, the soul is ascending up to the thorax and you can see him in such stage while Allah is the nearest to him. This soul cannot be returned to the body by any means. He (SWT) asks: ‘If you were not belonging and returning to Allah -as you claim, could you ever return this soul?’
Allah (SWT) then reminds us of the classification of people in the beginning of the Surah and states the state of each group at the time of death. The forerunners will have relief, comfort, rest, great sustenance, and paradise. The people of the right side would have the peace ‘salam’ from Allah. As for the misguided people who deny they will be hosted in ‘Gaheem’ Hell fire by ‘Hamim’ which is extremely hot water.
Allah (SWT) ends up Surah Al-Waqiah by saying that this is the non-doubted, certain truth so glorify your Great Lord (Allah).
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Conclusion| What does Surah Waqiah talk about?
Surah Al-Waqiah is a Makki Surah which is a great, heart-touching Surah of the Quran. It means the inevitable as it talks mainly about the day of judgment. It describes its events, states the types of people during it, and provides clear proof of its certainty.
Surah Al-Waqiah generally speaks to the heart and mind altogether. It warns disbelievers and convinces them to believe in the day of judgment with a strong, heart-touching speech. It also gives great tidings to believers of their great reward.
Surah Al-Waqiah has many great lessons and benefits that are worth proper understanding and practice.
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