In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
بِسۡمِ اللهِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِيۡمِ
(83:1) Woe to the stinters; 1 وَيۡلٌ لِّلۡمُطَفِّفِيۡنَۙ
(83:2) those who, when they take from others by measure, take their full
share; 2 الَّذِيۡنَ اِذَا اكۡتَالُوۡا عَلَى النَّاسِ يَسۡتَوۡفُوۡنَۖ
(83:3) but who, when they measure or weigh for others, give less than their
وَاِذَا كَالُوۡهُمۡ اَوْ وَّزَنُوۡهُمۡ يُخۡسِرُوۡنَؕ
(83:4) Do they not realise that they will be raised to life
اَلَا يَظُنُّ اُولٰٓٮِٕكَ اَنَّهُمۡ مَّبۡعُوۡثُوۡنَۙ
(83:5) on a Great Day, 3 لِيَوۡمٍ عَظِيۡمٍۙ
(83:6) a Day when mankind will stand before the Lord of the Universe?
يَّوۡمَ يَقُوۡمُ النَّاسُ لِرَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَؕ
(83:7) No indeed!4 Verily the deeds of the wicked are in the Record
locked up in the prison-house!5 كَلَّاۤ اِنَّ كِتٰبَ الۡفُجَّارِ لَفِىۡ سِجِّيۡنٍؕ
(83:8) And how would you know what the Record of the prison-house is?
وَمَاۤ اَدۡرٰٮكَ مَا سِجِّيۡنٌؕ
(83:9) It is a Book inscribed.
(83:10) Woe, then, to those that give the lie,
وَيۡلٌ يَّوۡمَٮِٕذٍ لِّلۡمُكَذِّبِيۡنَۙ
(83:11) those that give the lie to the Day of Recompense.
الَّذِيۡنَ يُكَذِّبُوۡنَ بِيَوۡمِ الدِّيۡنِؕ
(83:12) Yet none gives the lie to it except the transgressor immersed in
وَمَا يُكَذِّبُ بِهٖۤ اِلَّا كُلُّ مُعۡتَدٍ اَثِيۡمٍۙ
(83:13) who, when Our verses are recited to him,6 says: “Mere
tales of olden times!”
اِذَا تُتۡلٰى عَلَيۡهِ اٰيٰتُنَا قَالَ اَسَاطِيۡرُ الۡاَوَّلِيۡنَؕ
(83:14) No indeed! The truth is that their hearts have become rusted on account
of their evil deeds.7 كَلَّا بَلۡ رَانَ عَلٰى قُلُوۡبِهِمۡ مَّا كَانُوۡا يَكۡسِبُوۡنَ
(83:15) No indeed! On that Day they will be screened off from seeing their
Lord,8 كَلَّاۤ اِنَّهُمۡ عَنۡ رَّبِّهِمۡ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ لَّمَحۡجُوۡبُوۡنَؕ
(83:16) and then they shall enter Hell,
ثُمَّ اِنَّهُمۡ لَصَالُوا الۡجَحِيۡمِؕ
(83:17) whereafter they will be told: “This is what you used to give the
ثُمَّ يُقَالُ هٰذَا الَّذِىۡ كُنۡتُمۡ بِهٖ تُكَذِّبُوۡنَؕ
(83:18) No indeed!9 Verily, the deeds of the virtuous shall be
in the record of the exalted ones.
كَلَّاۤ اِنَّ كِتٰبَ الۡاَبۡرَارِ لَفِىۡ عِلِّيِّيۡنَؕ
(83:19) And what do you know what the Record of the exalted ones is?
وَمَاۤ اَدۡرٰٮكَ مَا عِلِّيُّوۡنَؕ
(83:20) It is a Book inscribed,
(83:21) which the angels placed near Allah to safeguard.
(83:22) Verily the virtuous shall be in Bliss;
اِنَّ الۡاَبۡرَارَ لَفِىۡ نَعِيۡمٍۙ
(83:23) resting on couches, looking around.
عَلَى الۡاَرَآٮِٕكِ يَنۡظُرُوۡنَۙ
(83:24) You shall see upon their faces the glow of bliss.
تَعۡرِفُ فِىۡ وُجُوۡهِهِمۡ نَضۡرَةَ النَّعِيۡمِۚ
(83:25) They will be served a drink of the finest sealed wine,10 يُسۡقَوۡنَ مِنۡ رَّحِيۡقٍ مَّخۡتُوۡمٍۙ
(83:26) whose seal is musk – so let all aspirants aspire after that –
خِتٰمُهٗ مِسۡكٌ ؕ وَفِىۡ ذٰلِكَ فَلۡيَتَنَافَسِ الۡمُتَنــَافِسُوۡنَؕ
(83:27) a wine whose mixture is Tasnim,11 وَ مِزَاجُهٗ مِنۡ تَسۡنِيۡمٍۙ
(83:28) a fountain at which the chosen ones shall drink.
عَيۡنًا يَّشۡرَبُ بِهَا الۡمُقَرَّبُوۡنَؕ
(83:29) Behold, the wicked were wont to laugh at the believers:
اِنَّ الَّذِيۡنَ اَجۡرَمُوۡا كَانُوۡا مِنَ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا يَضۡحَكُوۡنَ
(83:30) when they passed by them they winked,
وَاِذَا مَرُّوۡا بِهِمۡ يَتَغَامَزُوۡنَ ۖ
(83:31) and when they went back to their families, they went back jesting,12 وَاِذَا انۡقَلَبُوۡۤا اِلٰٓى اَهۡلِهِمُ انْقَلَبُوۡا فَكِهِيۡنَ ۖ
(83:32) and when they saw the believers, they said: “Lo! These are the erring
ones”;13 وَاِذَا رَاَوۡهُمۡ قَالُوۡۤا اِنَّ هٰٓؤُلَاۤءِ لَـضَآلُّوۡنَۙ
(83:33) (they said so although) they had not been appointed watchers over
them.14 وَمَاۤ اُرۡسِلُوۡا عَلَيۡهِمۡ حٰفِظِيۡنَۙ
(83:34) But today the believers are laughing at the unbelievers;
فَالۡيَوۡمَ الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مِنَ الۡكُفَّارِ يَضۡحَكُوۡنَۙ
(83:35) seated upon their couches, they are looking around.
عَلَى الۡاَرَآٮِٕكِۙ يَنۡظُرُوۡنَؕ
(83:36) Have the unbelievers been duly rewarded for their deeds?15 هَلۡ ثُوِّبَ الۡكُفَّارُ مَا كَانُوۡا يَفۡعَلُوۡنَ
1. In the original the word mutaffifin has been used, which is derived from
tatfif, a word used for an inferior and base thing in Arabic. Terminologically,
tatfif is used for giving short weight and short measure fraudulently, for the
person who acts thus while measuring or weighing, does not defraud another by
any substantial amount, but skimps small amounts from what is due to every customer
cleverly, and the poor customer does not know of what and of how much he is
being deprived by the seller.
2. At several places in the Quran, giving of short measure and weight has
been condemned and measuring fully and weighing rightly has been stressed. In
Surah Al-Anaam, it has been enjoined: You should use a full measure and a just
balance. We charge one only with that much responsibility that one can bear.
(verse 152). In Surah Bani Israil, it has been said: Give full measure when
you measure and weigh with even scales. (verse 35). In Surah Ar-Rehman, it has
been stressed: Do not upset the balance: weigh with equity and do not give short
weight. (verses 8-9). The people of the Prophet Shuaib (peace be upon him) were
punished for the reason that the evil of giving short measure and weight had
become widespread among them and in spite of his counsel and advice they did
not refrain from it.
3. A Great Day: the Day of Resurrection when all men and jinn will be called
to account together in the divine court and decisions of vital importance will
be made pertaining to rewards and punishments.
4. That is, these people are wrong in thinking that they will be let off without
being called to account when they have committed such and such crimes in the
5. The word sijjin in the original is derived from sijn (a prison) and the
explanation of it that follows shows that it implies the general register in
which the actions and deeds of the people worthy of punishment are being recorded.
6. Our verses: Those verses in which news of the Day of Recompense has been
7. That is, they have no good reason for regarding the meting out of rewards
and punishments as unreal. What has made them say is this: Is it that their
hearts have become rusty because of their sins; therefore, a thing which is
thoroughly reasonable appears unreal and unreasonable to them. The explanation
of this rust as given by the Prophet (peace be upon him) is as follows: When
a servant commits a sin, it marks a black stain on his heart. If he offers repentance,
the stain is washed off, but if he persists in wrongdoing, it spreads over the
entire heart. (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Ibn Jarir, Hakim, Ibn
Abi Hatim, Ibn Hibban and others).
8. That is, these people will remain deprived of the vision of Allah with
which the righteous will be blessed. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 17 of
Surah Al -Qiyamah).
9. That is, they are wrong in thinking that there is going to be no meting
out of rewards and punishments.
10. One meaning of the words khtamu-hu-misk is that the vessels containing
the wine will carry the seal of musk instead of clay or wax. Accordingly the
verse means: This will be the choicest kind of wine, which will be superior
to the wine flowing in the canals, and it will be served by the attendants of
Paradise in vessels sealed with musk to the dwellers of Paradise. Another meaning
can also be: When that wine will pass down the throat, its final effect will
be of the flavor of musk. This state is contrary to the wines of the world which
give out an offensive smell as soon as the bottle opens and one feels its horrid
smell even while drinking and also when it passes down the throat.
11. Tasneem means height. Thus, Tasnim will be a fountain flowing down from
12. That is, they returned home rejoicing, thinking that they had made fun
of such and such a Muslim, had passed evil remarks against him and subjected
him to ridicule among the people.
13. That is, they have lost their reason. They have deprived themselves of
the gains and enjoyments of the world and have experienced dangers and undergone
hardships only for the reason that Muhammad (peace be upon him) has deluded
them with the Hereafter, Heaven and Hell. They are giving up whatever is present
here on the false hope that the promise of some Paradise has been held out to
them after death, and they are enduring the hardships in the present life only
for the reason that they have been threatened with some Hell in the next world.
14. In this brief sentence the mockers and jesters have been given an instructive
warning to the effect: Even if what the Muslims have believed in, is false,
they are not harming you at all. They regard something as true, and are accordingly
adopting a certain moral attitude for themselves, for their own good. Allah
has not appointed you to be keepers over them so that you may be free to criticize
and persecute those who are not harming you in any way.
15. There is a subtle satire in this sentence. In the world, the disbelievers
used to persecute the believers, thinking it was an act of virtue. In the Hereafter,
the believers will be enjoying life in Paradise, and watching the disbelievers
being punished in Hell. They will say to themselves: What a reward they have
earned for their acts of virtue.