In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ
(88:1) Has the news of the overwhelming event reached you?1 هَلۡ اَتٰٮكَ حَدِيۡثُ الۡغَاشِيَةِؕ
(88:2) Some faces2 that Day shall be downcast with fear,
وُجُوۡهٌ يَّوۡمَٮِٕذٍ خَاشِعَةٌ ۙ
(88:3) be toiling and worn-out;
عَامِلَةٌ نَّاصِبَةٌ ۙ
(88:4) they shall burn in a Scorching Fire;
تَصۡلٰى نَارًا حَامِيَةً ۙ
(88:5) their drink shall be from a boiling spring.
تُسۡقٰى مِنۡ عَيۡنٍ اٰنِيَةٍؕ
(88:6) They shall have no food except bitter dry thorns3 لَـيۡسَ لَهُمۡ طَعَامٌ اِلَّا مِنۡ ضَرِيۡعٍۙ
(88:7) that will neither nourish nor satisfy their hunger.
لَّا يُسۡمِنُ وَلَا يُغۡنِىۡ مِنۡ جُوۡعٍؕ
(88:8) On that very Day some faces shall be radiant with joy,
وُجُوۡهٌ يَّوۡمَٮِٕذٍ نَّاعِمَةٌ ۙ
(88:9) well-pleased with their striving.4 لِّسَعۡيِهَا رَاضِيَةٌ ۙ
(88:10) They will be in a lofty Garden
فِىۡ جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍۙ
(88:11) wherein they shall hear no vain talk.5 لَّا تَسۡمَعُ فِيۡهَا لَاغِيَةً ؕ
(88:12) In it there shall be a flowing spring,
فِيۡهَا عَيۡنٌ جَارِيَةٌ ۘ
(88:13) and couches raised high,
فِيۡهَا سُرُرٌ مَّرۡفُوۡعَةٌ ۙ
(88:14) and goblets laid out,6 وَّاَكۡوَابٌ مَّوۡضُوۡعَةٌ ۙ
(88:15) and cushions arrayed in rows,
وَّنَمَارِقُ مَصۡفُوۡفَةٌ ۙ
(88:16) and rich carpets levelled out.
وَّزَرَابِىُّ مَبۡثُوۡثَةٌ ؕ
(88:17) Do (these unbelievers) not observe the camels: how they were created?
اَفَلَا يَنۡظُرُوۡنَ اِلَى الۡاِ بِلِ كَيۡفَ خُلِقَتۡ
(88:18) And the sky: how it was raised high?
وَاِلَى السَّمَآءِ كَيۡفَ رُفِعَتۡ
(88:19) And the mountains: how they were fixed?
وَاِلَى الۡجِبَالِ كَيۡفَ نُصِبَتۡ
(88:20) And the earth: how it was spread out?7 وَاِلَى الۡاَرۡضِ كَيۡفَ سُطِحَتۡ
(88:21) So render good counsel, for you are simply required to counsel,
فَذَكِّرۡ ؕ اِنَّمَاۤ اَنۡتَ مُذَكِّرٌ ؕ
(88:22) and are not invested with the authority to compel them.8 لَـسۡتَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ بِمُصَۜيۡطِرٍۙ
(88:23) But whoever will turn away (from the Truth),
اِلَّا مَنۡ تَوَلّٰى وَكَفَرَۙ
(88:24) Allah will chastise him with the most terrible chastisement.
فَيُعَذِّبُهُ اللّٰهُ الۡعَذَابَ الۡاَكۡبَرَؕ
(88:25) Surely to Us is their return;
اِنَّ اِلَيۡنَاۤ اِيَابَهُمۡۙ
(88:26) and then it is for Us to call them to account.
ثُمَّ اِنَّ عَلَيۡنَا حِسَابَهُمْ
1. The overwhelming: the Resurrection which will overshadow the whole world.
One should know that here the Hereafter as a whole is being depicted, which
comprehends all the stages from the upsetting of the present system to the resurrection
of all human beings and the dispensation of rewards and punishments from the
2. Some faces: some persons, for the face is the most conspicuous part of
the human body by which man’s personality is judged and which reflects the good
or bad states through which man passes.
3. At some places in the Quran, it has been stated that the dwellers of Hell
will be given zaqqum to eat; at another place it has been said that they will
have no other food but ghislin (washing from wounds), and here that their only
food will be thorny dry grass. There is, in fact, no contradiction between these
statements. This may as well mean that Hell will have many different compartments
in which different categories of the criminals will be lodged according to their
crimes, and subjected to different punishments. This may also mean that if they
try to avoid zaqqum they will be given ghislin, and if they try to avoid even
that, they will only get thorny grass. In short, they would get nothing to suit
4. That is: they will be overjoyed to see the best results in the Hereafter
of their endeavors and deeds in the world; they will be satisfied to see that
they had, in fact, made a profitable bargain in that they had adopted a life
of faith, virtue and piety, by sacrificing the desires of the flesh, undergone
hardships in carrying out their obligations, endured afflictions in obeying
the divine commands, incurred losses and suffered deprivation of benefits and
pleasures while trying to avoid sins and acts of disobedience.
6. That is, filled goblets already supplied so that they do not have to ask
7. That is, if they deny the possibility of the Hereafter, have they never
looked around themselves and considered how the camels were created, how the
heaven was raised high, how the mountains were firmly set and how the earth
was spread out? When all these things could be created, and exist before them
in their finished form, why can the Resurrection not take place? Why cannot
a new world come about, and why cannot Hell and Heaven be possible? Only a foolish
and thoughtless person would think that the coming into existence of only those
things which he has found existing, on opening his eyes in the world, is possible,
because they already exist. As for the things, which he has not yet observed
and experienced, he should thoughtlessly pass the judgment that their coming
into being is impossible. If he has any common sense, he should think as to
how the things, which already exist, came into being? How did the camel possessing
precisely the same characteristics as needed for the beast required by the desert
dwellers of Arabia come into being? How did the sky whose atmosphere is filled
with air to breathe in, whose clouds bring rain, whose sun provides light and
warmth in the day, whose moon and stars shine at night, come into being? How
did the earth spread out on which man lives and passes his life, whose products
fulfill all his needs and requirements on whose springs and wells his life depends?
How did the mountains rise up from the surface of the earth, which stand fixed
with earth and stones of different colors and a variety of minerals in them?
Has all this happened without the artistic skill of an All-Powerful, All- Wise
Designer. No thinking and intelligent mind can answer this question in the negative.
Unless it is stubborn and obstinate, it will have to acknowledge that each one
of these things was impossible, had not an Omnipotent, Wise Being made it possible.
And when an All-Powerful, Wise Being created these things, there is no reason
why the Hereafter should be regarded as remote from reason and impossible.
8. That is, if a person does not listen to reason, he may not. You have not
been appointed to force the will of the deniers: your only task is to distinguish
the right from the wrong for the people and warn them of the consequences of
following the wrong way; so this is the task you should continue to perform.