*1 Literally: "... and hears its Lord's Conmtand." However, according to Arabic usage adhina lahu dces not only mean: "He heard the Command but it means: "Hearing the Command he carried it out promptly like an obedient servant. "(84:3) and when the earth is stretched out2
*2 "When the earth is spread out": when the oceans and rivers are filled up, the mountains are crushed to pieces and scattered away, and the earth is levelled and turned into a smooth plain. In Surah Ta Ha, the same thing has been expressed, thus: "He will turn the earth into an empty level plain, wherein you will neither see any curve nor crease." (vv 106-107) Hakim in Mustadrak has related through authentic channels on the authority of Hadrat Jabir bin 'Abdullah a saying of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) to the effect: "On the Resurrection Day the earth will be flattened out and spread out like the table-cloth; then there will hardly be room on it for men to place their feet." To understand this saying one should keep in mind the fact that ou that Day aII men who will have been born from the first day of creation till Resurrection, will be resurrected simultaneously and produced in the Divine Court. For gathering together such a great multitude of the people it is inevitable that the oceans, rivers, mountains, jungles, ravines and aII high and low areas be levelled and the entire globe of the earth be turned into a vast plain so that aII individuals of human race may have room on it to stand on their feet.(84:4) and casts out what is within it and is emptied,3
*3 That is, it will throw out aII dead bodies of men and also the traces and evidences of their deeds lying within it. so that nothing remains hidden and buried in it.(84:5) and hearkens to the command of its Lord, doing what it should.4
*4 Here, it has not been expressly told what will happen when such and such an event takes place, for the subsequent theme by itself explains this, as if to say: "O man, you are moving towards your Lord and are about to meet Him; you will be given your conduct book; and rewarded or punished according to your deeds."(84:6) O man, you are striving unto your Lord5 and you will meet Him.
*5 That is, "You may if you so like think that alI your efforts and endeavours in the world are confined to worldly life and motivated by worldly desires, yet the truth is that you are moving, consciously or unconsciously, towards your Lord and you have ultimately to appear before Him in any case.."(84:7) Whoever is given the Record in his right hand
*6 That is, his reckoning will be less severe: he will not be asked why he had done such and such a thing and what excuses he had to offer for it. Though his evil deeds also will be there alongwith his good deeds in his records, his errors will be overlooked and pardoned in view of his outweighing good deeds . ln the Holy Qur'an, for the severe reckoning of the wicked people the words su-al-hisab (heavy reckoning) have been used (Ar-Ra'd: 181, and concerning the righteous it has been said: "From such people We accept the best of their deeds and overlook their evils." (AI-Ahqaf: 16). The explanation of it given by the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has been related in different words by lmam Ahmad Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Abu Da'ud, Hakim, Ibn Jarir, `Abd bin Humaid, and Ibn Marduyah on the authority of Hadrat 'A'ishah. According to one of these traditions the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) said: "Doomed will be he who is called to account for his deeds. Hadrat 'A'ishah said: O Messenger of AIIah, has not AIlah said: 'He whose record is given in his right hand shall have an easy reckoning?' The Holy Prophet replied: That is only about the presentation of the deeds, but the one who is questioned would be doomed." In another tradition Hadrat 'A'ishah has related: "I once heard the Holy Prophet supplicate during the prayer, thus: O God, call me to a light reckoning. When he brought his Prayer to conclusion, I asked what he meant by that supplication. He replied: Light reckoning means that one's conduct book will be seen and one's errors will be overlooked. O 'A'ishah, the one who is called to account for his deeds on that Day, would be doomed.(84:9) and shall return to his people joyfully.7
*7 "His kinsfolk": his family and relatives and companions who will have been pardoned even like himself.(84:10) But he who is given the Record behind his back,8
*8 In Surah Al Haaqqah: 25, it was said that his record will be given him in his left hand but here "behind his back. ! This will probably be for the reason that he would already have lost aII hope that he would be given his record in his right hand, for he would be well aware of his misdeeds and sure to receive his record in his left hand. However, in order to avoid the humiliation of receiving it iu the left hand, in front of all mankind, he will withdraw his hand behind and so would receive it 'behind his back."(84:11) shall cry for “perdition,”
*9 That is, his way of life was different from that of God's righteous men, about whom in Surah At-Tur: 26, it has been said that they lived among their kinsfolk in fear and dread of God, i.e. they fear lest they should ruin their own Hereafter on account of their absorption in the love of children and endeavours for the sake of their well-being and prosperity in the world. On the contrary, this tnan lived a life free from every care and worry and helped his children and kinsfolk also to enjoy life fully, no matter what wicked and inunoral methods he had to use to procure the means of enjoyment, how he had to usurp the rights of others and transgress the bounds set by AIIah for the sake of the worldly pleasures.(84:14) thinking he would never revert (to Us).
*10 That is, it was against God's justice and His wisdom that He should overlook the misdeeds that he was committing and should not summon him before Himself to render his account of the deeds.(84:16) Nay; I swear by the twilight;
That is, "You will not remain in one and the same state, but will have to pass through countless stages gradually, from youth to old age, from old age to death, from death to barzakh (the intermediary state between death and Resurrection), from barzakh to Resurrections from Resurrection to the Plain of Assembly, then to the Reckoning, and then to the meting out of rewards and punishments. An oath has been sworn by three things to confine this:
(1) by the twilight,
(2) by the darkness of night and the gathering together in it of aII those human beings and animals who remain scattered in the day time, and
(3) by the moon's passing through different phases to become full. These are some of those things which testify that rest and stillness is unknown in the universe in which man lives. There is a continuous and gradual change taking place everywhere. Therefore, the disbelievers are wrong in thinking that life comes to an end after man has breathed his last.
*12 "They do not fall prostrate": they do not bow down to God out of fear of Him. To perform a sajdah (prostration) here is confirmed by the practice of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace). lmam Malik, Muslim and Nasa'i have related a tradition concerning Hadrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him>, saying that he recited this Surah in the Prayer and performing a sajdah here said: "The Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) performed a sajdah at this point." Bukhari; Muslim, Abu Da'ud and Nasa'i have cited this statement of Abu Rafi`: "Hadrat Abu Huraira recited this Surah in the 'Isha' Prayer and performed a sajdah When I asked why he had done so, he replied: I prayed under the leadership of Abul Qasim (upon whom be Allah's peace) and he performed a sajdah here. Therefore, I will continue to perform this sajdah likewise as long as 1 live." Muslim, Abu Da'ud, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah and others have related another tradition saying that Hadrat Abu Huraira said: "We performed sajdah behind the Holy Messenger of Allah in this Surah and in Iqra' bi-ismi Rabbik-alladhi khalaq.(84:22) Instead, the unbelievers reject it, calling it a lie.
*13 Another meaning also can be: "Allah knows best what tilth of disbelief, malice, hostility to the Truth and evil intentions and designs they keep tilled in their breasts."(84:24) So give them the good news of a painful chastisement,