Qur'an / Tafsir

Tafsir of Surat al-Infitar Chapter 82

Tafsir Surat al-Infitar

Meccan Chapter

No. 82

19 verses

Commentary:

v.1: {when the sky is cleft asunder}: the word “infatarat” can mean: (1) split apart, torn apart (inshaqqat) or (2) to vanish, become abolished.

v.2: {when the stars have fallen}: the word “intatharat” – “meaning when they have scattered and collapsed. Ibn `Abbas said it means: ‘when the stars have fallen all dark and devoid of light’…”[1]

يعني تساقطت، قال ابن عباس، تسقط سوداء لا ضوء لها.

v.3: {And when the seas will burst forth}: The word “fujjirat” could mean: (1) when the seas expand and hurl; (2) when the seas merge on into another with ferocity, confusion and chaos; (3) when the salty water mixes with the sweet water; (4) when the seven seas hurl and amass into one sea and (5) when the seas tremendously overflow in uncontrollable deluge.

v.4: {when the graves turn upside down}: The word “bu`thirat” could refer to a reality where: (1) the contents of the grave are hurled out, i.e. the dead bodies in them; (2) the graves will shake and convulse ready for the Day of Judgment; (3) the graves will rattle, heave and swell; (4) the graves will be turned inside out having been searched.

v.5: {every person will know what it has sent forward and left behind}: This can mean: (1) every person will know what it did and what it did not do; (2) every person will know what acts of obedience it did and what rights of Allah it abandoned; (3) every person will know what acts of charity it advanced forward and what inheritance it has left behind. “It could also refer to what acts of disobedience a person did and what acts of obedience to Allah is abandoned and left behind because it is excluded from the point of the threat. This clause stands as a consequent to the {when the sky is cleft asunder} clause because it is grammatically its predicate (khabr). Hasan considers this to be an oath (qasm) that occurs with the verse {every person shall know….}. The most apparent view is what the majority adheres to which is that it is grammatically the predicate and not an oath clause…”[2]

ويحتمل ما قدمت من معصية وأخرت من طاعة، لأنه خارج مخرج الوعيد، وهذا جواب { إذا السماء انفطرت } لأنه خبر، وجعلها الحسن قَسَماً وقعت على قوله { علمت نفس } الآية. والأظهر ما عليه الجماعة من أنه خبر وليس بقسم

Note:

  • The ‘idha cluster clause’ is important functionally and not morphosyntactically and its construction is regarded as encoding temporal relations between events often simultaneously which is fitting here as the focus is the destruction of the cosmos.
  • The idha clauses also serve to create verse rhythm as well as mimicking motion reflecting the chaos of the cataclysmic events that herald the destruction of the world.
  • The repetition of the idha clauses further serve to reinforce these cataclysmic inevitabilities in the mind of the audience.
  • The verses are short, darting and poised in order to make them sharp and piercing so the mind does not need to make contextual inferences of the information being communicated.
  • Every person will know what it did or did not do. Hence, there will be a point of no escape. Every act of obedience (ta`a) to Allah and every act of disobedience will be made known. > Take the example of the current rulers: these rulers over the Muslim lands have violated the sanctities of Allah and failed on all accounts to protect Islam, its values, laws and thoughts instead employing brutality to repress any Islamic sentiment. They have squandered the resources of the umma and have remained only to serve the interests of external superpower nations who have political and economic designs on Islamic lands. They will be held to account most severely for their violations and transgressions by Allah along with all who have been complicit in it.

v.6: {humans…} which could refer to: (1) all non-believers; (2) Ubay ibn Khalaf; (3) Abu ’l-Ashadd b. Kalda b. Asad al-Jumahi; {made you careless}: the word “gharraka” can mean either shaytan has misled the person and made him an enemy of Allah or utter ignorance of Allah as misdirected him.

Notes:

  • We need to ask ourselves have we abandoned Allah? Have we been diverted and distracted from Allah?
  • Is our tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah or is it fixated on other objects of desire and focus? – women, gadgets, entertainments, games, work, etc.
  • Are we remembering His commands in all aspects of our life or are we being deceived away from aspects of His sacred Law? We need to reflect on how it is that we have been deceived into abandoning Allah’s commands in areas such as ruling, economics, politics and civil law to be given incomparably poor and failed human substitutes like secularism and democracy as well as capitalist economic values. This has brought nothing but division, misery, failure and subjugation.

v.7: {Who created you, fashioned you perfectly and gave you due proportion}: meaning: (1) Who proportioned you; (2) Who gave you all the necessary limbs to function correctly; (3) Who has made you honourable as opposed to vulgar like animals. “The people of deep reflection (ashab al-khawatir) have commented: ‘who created you with an intellect and has given you the gift of belief’…”[3]

قال أصحاب الخواطر: سوّاك بالعقل وعدلك بالإيمان

v.8: {In whatever form He willed, He put you together}: perhaps meaning: (1) He made you in the likeness of your parents, relatives, etc.; (2) He made you in different forms and shapes whether beautiful or not; tall or small, short or long, etc. (3) He made you in perfect proportion and not like animals.

Notes:

  • Allah created us, honoured us and made us with functionality yet how ungrateful we can be forgetting that. We only have to look to our own selves to be reminded of all His bounties and gifts.

v.9: {Nay!} is a retort and castigation for being deluded and misled from the bounty and grace of Allah; {But you deny the Recompense}: the word “din” can mean: (1) denial of the Day of reckoning (jaza’); (2) denial of the Day of accountability (hisab); (3) denial of justice and judicial decisions (al-`adal wa’l-qada’); (4) denial of the religion brought by the Prophet (saw), i.e. Islam.

Notes:

v.10: {hafizin}: referring to the protecting Angels; all individuals have guardian angels – one on the right that notes down good actions and one on the left that writes down bad actions.

v.11: {honourable and writing down all deeds}: the word “kiraman” can mean: (1) honourable to Allah; (2) honourable because of belief; (3) honoured because they do not leave human beings (except when humans enter toilets and times of sexual intercourse); (4) honoured because they fulfil their duties without fail.

v.13: {delight}: Referring to the Afterlife meaning the righteous (abrar) will be in paradise a place of bliss, perfect rest and tranquillity as a reward for their actions whereas the iniquitous will be in a blazing fire, i.e. Hellfire for their rejection and denial. Another opinion states it refers to this world: “The second opinion is that the verse refers to this world which would then give four interpretations as mentioned by the people of deep reflection: (1) the first is that na`im means satisfaction, conviction and contentment (qana`a) whereas jahim means greed (al-tam`); (2) the second is that na`im means utter reliance on Allah (tawakkul) whereas jahim means desire, avarice and covetousness; (3) the third is that na`im means being pleased with the determination of things (qada’) and jahim means anger and displeasure with everything Allah has decided and decreed and foreknows; (4) the fourth is that na`im means obedience (ta`a) and jahim means disobedience (ma`siya)…”[4]

والقول الثاني: أنه في الدنيا، فعلى هذا فيه أربعة أوجه ذكرها أصحاب الخواطر. أحدها: النعيم القناعة، والجحيم الطمع. الثاني: النعيم التوكل، والجحيم الحرص. الثالث: النعيم الرضا بالقضاء، والجحيم السخط فيما قدر وقضى. الرابع: النعيم بالطاعة، والجحيم بالمعيصية

vv.17-18: {yawm al-din}: repeated here again for emphasis and for underscoring the graveness of that day which is generally held to refer to the Day of Judgment.

v.19: {[It will be] the Day when no person shall have power [to do] anything for another and the matter that Day will be [wholly] with Allah}: “[It will be] the Day when no person shall have power [to do] anything for another} meaning no person can either harm or help another. {the matter that Day will be [wholly] with Allah} which has two views: one of them is that on that day no one can reward or punish except Allah and the second is that on that day the power to punish will be with Allah.”[5]

}يومَ لا تَمْلِك نفسٌ لنَفْسٍ شيئاً} يعني لا يملك مخلوق لمخلوق نفعاً ولا ضراً} والأمر يومئذٍ للَّهِ} فيه وجهان: أحدهما: في الجزاء بالثواب والعقاب. الثاني: في العقوبة والانتقام

Notes:

  • Only Allah has the power to harm or benefit. From this we confirm that in Allah alone we have trust, conviction and hope. So, our duty is to adhere to His commandments and fulfil the obligations required of us and have full confidence in His victory and recompense.

And with Allah alone is success.

Peace and blessings be upon our Master Muhammad,

His family and Companions.

Amin.

s.z.c.


[1] al-Mawardi, al-Nukat wa ’l-`Uyun, vol.4, p.392.

[2] al-Mawardi, al-Nukat wa ’l-`Uyun, vol.4, p.392.

[3] al-Mawardi, al-Nukat wa ’l-`Uyun, vol.4, pp.392-393.

[4] al-Mawardi, al-Nukat wa ’l-`Uyun, vol.4, p.394.

[5] al-Mawardi, al-Nukat wa ’l-`Uyun, vol.4, p.394.

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