Surah Al-Waaqia (56): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Waaqia in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah الواقعة ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Al-Waaqia

Surah Al-Waaqia in the Quran

Surah Al-Waaqia is the 56th chapter of the Quran and is composed of 96 verses. It is a Meccan surah, revealed during the early years of Prophet Muhammad's mission. The surah is named after the Arabic word "Al-Waaqia," which translates to "The Inevitable Event" or "The Event That Must Come to Pass."

The surah emphasizes the certainty of the Day of Judgment and the consequences of people's actions in this life and the next. It describes the different fates of the righteous and the wicked, and the rewards and punishments that await them in the afterlife.

Surah Al-Waaqia also highlights the signs of Allah's power and wisdom in the creation of the heavens and the earth, as well as the provision and sustenance provided to all living beings. It encourages reflection on the natural world as a means to recognize the existence and oneness of the Creator.

The surah addresses the disbelievers who mock the concept of resurrection and warns them of the consequences of their arrogance and denial. It also reassures the believers of the certainty of the Hereafter and the fulfillment of Allah's promises to them.

Surah Al-Waaqia is often recited for its spiritual and practical benefits. It is believed to bring blessings and sustenance to those who recite it regularly, especially during the night. The surah is also recommended to be recited for seeking protection from poverty and for increasing one's wealth and provisions.

Overall, Surah Al-Waaqia serves as a powerful reminder of the inevitability of the Day of Judgment and the importance of leading a righteous life in preparation for the Hereafter. It calls upon individuals to reflect on their actions and to strive for goodness and piety in order to attain success in both this world and the next.

Surah Al-Waaqia
سُورَةُ الوَاقِعَةِ
Page 534 (Verses from 1 to 16)

Listen to Surah Al-Waaqia (Arabic and English translation)

Tafsir of Surah Al-Waaqia (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

When the Occurrence occurs,

English Transliteration

Itha waqaAAati alwaqiAAatu

Special Characteristic of Surah Al-Waqi` ah: Sayyidna ` Abdullh Ibn Masuad's ؓ Didactic Story on his Deathbed

Ibn Kathir cites a story on the authority of Ibn ` Asakir from Abu Zabyah that when Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud ؓ was lying on his deathbed, Sayyidna ` Uthman ؓ paid him a visit and the following conversation ensued.

` Uthman: ؓ : مَا تَشتَکِی ؟ "What are you suffering from?"

Ibn Masud ؓ ! ذُنُوبِی ” from my sins."

` Uthman ؓ : مَا تَشتَھِی ؟ "Do you desire anything?"

Ibn Masud ؓ رَحمَۃَ رَبِّی :"Yes, Allah's mercy."

` Uthman : ؓ : اَلَاَ آمُرُلَکَ بِطَیَّبِ ؟ "Shall I call a doctor for you?"

Ibn Masud ؓ ! اَطَّبِیبُ اَمرَضَنِی "It is the doctor who has given me the ailment."

` Uthman: ؓ اَلاَ آمُرُ لَکَ بِعَطَاءِ ؟ "May I send you an allowance from the public treasury?"

Ibn Masud ؓ " ! لا حَاجَۃَ لِی فِیہ "I have no need for it."

` Uthman ؓ یَکُونُ لِبَنَاتِکَ مِن بَعدِک "Accept it, [ please ]. You are leaving daughters behind you. It will help them."

Ibn Masud ؓ أتَخشیٰ عَلٰی بَنَاتِی الفَقرَ إنِّی اَمَرتُ بَنَاتِی یَقرَأنَ کُلَّ لَیلَۃِ سُورَۃَ الوَاقِعَۃ۔ اِنِّی سَمِعتُ رَسُول اللہِ ﷺ یَقُولُ : مَن قَرأ سُورَۃَ الوَاقِعَۃ کُلَّ لَم تُصِبہُ فَاقَۃً اَبَداً ۔ (ابن کثیر 4:2 ۔ 3) "You are worried about my daughters that they must not suffer from poverty. I have no such worry, because I have instructed them to recite Surah Al-Waqi` ah every night. I have heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say, مَن قَرأ سُورَۃَ الوَاقِعَۃ کُلَّ لَم تُصِبہُ فَاقَۃً اَبَداً 'Whoever recites Surah Al-Waqi` ah every night will never suffer from poverty'."

Ibn Kathir, after citing this story from Ibn ` Asakir, has supported it with other chains of transmitters and other sources.

Horrors of the Day of Resurrection

إِذَا وَقَعَتِ الْوَاقِعَةُ (When the Imminent Event (of Doom) will occur...56:1). Ibn Kathir says Al-waqi` ah is one of the names of the Day of Resurrection, because there is no room for doubt in its occurrence. It is real and will surely come to pass.

English Translation

There is, at its occurrence, no denial.

English Transliteration

Laysa liwaqAAatiha kathibatun

لَيْسَ لِوَقْعَتِهَا كَاذِبَةٌ (...there will be no one to deny its occurrence...56:2). The word kadhibah in this context is the verbal noun, like ` afiyah and ` aqibah. The sense of the verse is that 'the news of the occurrence of this event cannot be a false news'. Some authorities have taken the word kadhibah in the sense of takdhib [ to deny ] and the meaning, in that case, is clear that 'no one can deny the fact that it will come to pass'.

English Translation

It will bring down [some] and raise up [others].

English Transliteration

Khafidatun rafiAAatun

خَافِضَةٌ رَّ‌افِعَةٌ (It will be abasing [ some ], exalting [ others ]...56:3). The verse means that the 'Inevitable Event' referred to in the previous verse will bring about a great revolution in the lives of men, as is witnessed at the time of revolution of governments. The high and the mighty will be laid low and the despised and down-trodden will be exalted; the poor become rich and the rich become poor. This is how Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ interprets this statement. The purpose is to depict the horrors of the Day of Resurrection.

English Translation

When the earth is shaken with convulsion

English Transliteration

Itha rujjati alardu rajjan

English Translation

And the mountains are broken down, crumbling

English Transliteration

Wabussati aljibalu bassan

English Translation

And become dust dispersing.

English Transliteration

Fakanat habaan munbaththan

English Translation

And you become [of] three kinds:

English Transliteration

Wakuntum azwajan thalathatan

Three Categories of People on the Day of Resurrection

وَكُنتُمْ أَزْوَاجًا ثَلَاثَةً (and you will be [ divided into ] three categories...56:7). Ibn Kathir says that people will be divided into three different categories on the Day of Resurrection. One group will be on the right side of Allah's Throne, and they are those who were brought forth from the right side of the loin of 'Adam (علیہ السلام) . These people will be given their Ledgers of Deeds in their right hands and will be taken to the right side of the Divine Throne. They are the inmates of Paradise.

The second category comprises those who will be placed to the left of Allah's Throne. These are people who were brought forth from the left side of the loin of 'Adam (علیہ السلام) . This category will be given their Ledgers of Deeds in their left hands and will be taken to the left side of the Divine Throne. They are the inhabitants of the Fire. [ We seek refuge in Allah from their behaviour pattern!]

The third category consists of As-sabiqun [ the foremost ] who are described as Al-muqarrabun [ the fortunate believers who are granted special nearness to Allah ]. They will be placed in front of the Divine Throne. They include the Messengers, the Prophets, Siddiqin, martyrs and the friends of Allah. They are fewer than those on the right side. Towards the end of the Surah, the description of the three categories will be taken up again to mention that some signs start appearing, right from the time of death of a person, to indicate in which category he or she is going to fall.

English Translation

Then the companions of the right - what are the companions of the right?

English Transliteration

Faashabu almaymanati ma ashabu almaymanati

English Translation

And the companions of the left - what are the companions of the left?

English Transliteration

Waashabu almashamati ma ashabu almashamati

English Translation

And the forerunners, the forerunners -

English Transliteration

Waalssabiqoona alssabiqoona

وَالسَّابِقُونَ السَّابِقُونَ (And the Foremost are the foremost....56:10) Imam Ahmad (رح) ، has recorded a Tradition on the authority of Sayyidah ` A'ishah Siddiqah ؓ that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ asked the noble Companions ؓ : "Do you know who will be the first to be accommodated in the Divine Shade on the Day of Resurrection?" The noble Companions ؓ replied: اللہُ وَ رَسُولُہ اَعلَم "Allah and His Messenger know best." The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "They are those who accept the truth when it is presented to them; when they are asked for the rights due from them, they fulfill them; and they judge about the matters of others as they would judge about themselves."

Mujahid says that As-sabiqun (the Foremost) refers to 'the Prophets'. Ibn Sirin says that it refers to early Muslims who performed their prayers facing the two qiblas, namely, baytul-maqdis and baitulllah. Hasan and Qatadah رحمۃ اللہ علیہما say that in every Ummah there will be As-sabiqun. Some of the commentators express the view that they are people who go first to the mosque.

Ibn-Kathir (رح) cites all these views and concludes that they are all correct and authentic in their own right. The opinions are not in conflict with one another, because As-sabiqun are those who must have been foremost in their invincible faith and righteous deeds in this world, and as such they would be the 'Foremost' in the Hereafter in terms of reward which will befit their faith and good deeds.

English Translation

Those are the ones brought near [to Allah]

English Transliteration

Olaika almuqarraboona

English Translation

In the Gardens of Pleasure,

English Transliteration

Fee jannati alnnaAAeemi

English Translation

A [large] company of the former peoples

English Transliteration

Thullatun mina alawwaleena

ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِ‌ينَ (...many from the earlier generations, and of a small number from the later ones....56:13-14) The word ثُلَّةٌ thullatun, means 'a party, group, company'. Zamakhshari says that thullatun refers to 'a throng or a large number of people '.

Who are الْأَوَّلِينَ Awwalin (earlier generations) and الْآخِرِ‌ينَ 'Akhirin (later ones)?

The words 'awwalin' (earlier generations) and ` akhirin' (later ones) are used twice: First, in connection with As-sabiqun (the Foremost) who are favoured with special Divine nearness; and secondly, in connection with Ashab-ul-yamin [ the People of the Right, or the general body of believers ]. In the case of the 'Foremost' it is mentioned that there will be 'many' from amongst the 'awwalin' (earlier generations) who will be categorized as 'the Foremost', but from amongst the later generations, the number of the 'Foremost' will be smaller. As opposed to this, in the description of the People of the Right, the word 'thullah' (many) is applied to both 'earlier' and 'later' generations in the following words: ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِ‌ينَ ( many from the first generations, and many from the later ones...56:39-40)

The question now is: Who are 'earlier generations' and 'later generations'? In this connection, two views of the commentators have been recorded: The first view is that 'earlier generations' include all the creation of Allah from the time of 'Adam to the time just prior to the advent of the 'Holy Prophet ﷺ . And 'later generations' include all the creation of Allah from the time of the advent of the Holy Prophet ﷺ to the Doomsday. This interpretation is recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim (رح) [ with a chain of transmitters ] from Mujahid and Hasan Basri رحمۃ اللہ علیہما . Ibn Jarir ؓ has preferred this interpretation. This interpretation has also been adopted in the Bayan-ul-Qur'an. This is supported by the Prophetic Tradition transmitted on the authority of Sayyidna Jabir Ibn ` Asakir reports the Tradition [ with his chain of transmitters ] thus: "When the first pair of verses regarding 'the Foremost' was revealed stating that they will comprise 'many from the first generations, and of a small number from the later ones, ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِ‌ينَ [ 56:13-14], Sayyidna ` Umar Ibn Khattab ؓ enquired: '0 Messenger of Allah, will there be a larger number of 'the Foremost' from among the earlier generations and a small number from amongst us?' For about a year, no revelation in this connection came down. A year later, verses [ 39] and [ 40] ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْآخِرِ‌ينَ "many from the first generations, and many from the later ones." were revealed. The Messenger ﷺ of Allah called Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ and said to him:

اِسمَع یَا عُمَرُ مَا قَد اَنزَلَ اللہُ ثُلَّۃُ مَّنَ الاَوَّلِین وَ ثُلَّۃُ مَّنَ الاٰخِرِینَ اَلاَوَاِنَّ مِن اٰدَمَ اَلَیَّ ثُلَّۃُ وَّاُمَّتِی ثُلَّۃُ ۔ (الحدیث) – ابن کثیر۔

"0 ` Umar, listen to what Allah has revealed many from the first generations, and many from the later ones). Behold! From 'Adam to me is one thullah (throng) and my Ummah is another thullah' (throng)."

The theme of this Tradition is supported by the Tradition recorded by Imam Ahmad and Ibn Abi Hatim رحمۃ اللہ علیہما on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ that when verses [ 13] and [ 14] were revealed, the Companions ؓ found this painful, because they understood them to mean that the foremost believers from earlier nations are more numerous than those of this Ummah. As a result, verses [ 39] and [ 40] were revealed and the Messenger ﷺ of Allah stated 'I hope that you will comprise a quarter of the inmates of Paradise, a third of the inmates of Paradise. Rather, you are a half of the inmates of Paradise, and will have a share in the other half.' (Ibn Kathir) Thus, collectively, majority of the inmates of Paradise will be the followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ . However, a question arises about both these Traditions. The question is that verse 40 relates to the People of the Right, while verse 13 was about the Foremost. Then, how can verse 40 remove the concern of the Companions ؓ about verse 13?

Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani resolves the problem thus: The noble Companions ؓ ، in general, and Sayyidna ` Umar ؓ in particular, were saddened by the verse 13 presumably because they thought that the proportion of the later generations in the 'People of the Right' will be the same as it is in the Foremost, and thus the later generations will be small in number even among the 'People of the Right'. From this point of view, they thought their number in relation to all the inmates of Paradise, put together, will be very small. But when verses [ 39] and [ 40] were revealed, the point was clarified that collectively the majority of the inmates of Paradise will be the followers of the Holy Prophet ﷺ even though the collective number of later generations in the category of the Foremost' may be smaller as compared to the previous nations, especially since a large number of the previous nations will comprise the Prophets. In relation to them, it does not matter if the followers of the Holy Prophet ﷺ are fewer.

However, Ibn Kathir, Abu Hayyan, Qurtubi, Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani, Mazhari and others prefer another interpretation: 'the earlier generations' and 'the later generations imply, according to them, the earlier and the latter followers of the Holy Prophet's ﷺ own Ummah. 'Earlier generations', in their view, are the Companions ؓ of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and their pupils, who are termed in a Hadith as 'khair-ul-qurun' (the best generation), and 'later generations' include all those who came after them.

As for the Hadith narrated by Jabir quoted above from Ibn Kathir, in support of the first interpretation, Ibn Kathir himself has expressed his reservation about its chain of transmitters. He writes وَ لٰکِن فِی اِسنَادہٖ نَظَرُ "In its chain of transmission, there is some defect." In support of his own interpretation, he quotes verses relating to Ummah of the Holy Prophet ﷺ being the best of nations, as for instance كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ‌ أُمَّةٍ You are the best of nations...". (3:110) Therefore, it is not possible that the foremost believers from earlier nations are more numerous than those of this Ummah. Thus ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الْأَوَّلِينَ 'many from the earlier generations' refers to the earlier generation of this Ummah and قَلِیلُ مِنَ الآخِرِین 'of a small number from the later generations' refers to the later generation of this Ummah from whom a small number will be included in the category of the 'Foremost'.

In support of this view, Ibn Kathir has cited the statement of Sayyidna Hasan Basri (رح) ، as recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim (رح) ، to the effect that he recited the Verse 10 about 'the Foremost' and said, 'They have predeceased, but 0 Allah! make us from amongst the People of the Right hand'. In another statement, Sayyidna Hasan Basri (رح) is reported to have said in explanation of Verse 13: ثُلَّثۃُ مِّمَّن مَّضیٰ مِن ھٰذِہِ الاُمَّۃِ ' 'Those foremost Faith are all from this Ummah'. Likewise, Muhammad Ibn Sirin said in connection with Verse 13 and 14: 'The scholars stated and hoped that they (the Foremost of earlier and later generations) will all be from amongst this Ummah.'

Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani puts forward the following Prophetic Hadith with a good chain of transmitters in support of the second interpretation:

اخرَجَ مُسَدَّدُ فِی مُسنَدِہ وَ ابن المنذِرِ وَ الطّبرَانِی وَابن مردویہ بِسنَدِ حَسَنِ عَن اَبِی بَکرَۃَ عَنِ النَّبِیِّ ؓ فِی قَولِہٖ سُبحَانَہ ثُلَّۃُ مَّنَ الاَوَّلِین وَ ثُلَّۃُ مِّنَ الاٰخرِینَ قالَ ھُمَا جَمِیعاً مِّن ھٰذِہِ الاُمَّۃِ ۔

"Musaddad in his Musnad, Ibn-ul-Mundhir, Tabarani and Ibn Marduyah report with a good chain on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Bakrah ؓ that, while interpreting verses [ 39] and [ 40] (Many from the earlier generations and of a small number from the later ones), the Holy Prophet ﷺ said: 'They are both from this Ummah.'"

Many Scholars of Hadith report another Prophetic Tradition with a weak chain on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ also. The wordings are: ھُمَا جَمِیعاً مِّن اُمَّتِی . "They [ the earlier and the later generations ] are from my Ummah." From this point of view, verse [ 7] of this Chapter وَكُنتُمْ أَزْوَاجًا ثَلَاثَةً "and you will be (divided into) three categories. [ 7] " addresses the Ummah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and all three categories will be from this Ummah.

Mazhari has held the first interpretation as improbable, because according to the clear text of the Qur'an, this Ummah is the best and most honoured of all nations. Therefore, it is inconceivable that the foremost believers from earlier nations should be more numerous than those of this Ummah. The higher rank of this Ummah vis-a-vis the other nations is proved by the express texts of the Holy Qur'an. The Qur'anic verse [ 3:110] reads: كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ‌ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِ‌جَتْ لِلنَّاسِ "You are the best Ummah raised for the good of mankind...".Verse [ 3:110] reads: لِّتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّ‌سُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا "...so that you should be witnesses over the people, and the Messenger a witness to you." Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Darimi have recorded a narration on the authority of Sayyidna Bahz Ibn Hakim ؓ in which the Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:

اَنتُم تُتِمُّونَ سَبعِینَ اُمّۃً اَنتُم اَخِیرُھا وَ اَکرَمُھَا عَلَی اللہِ تَعَلٰی

"You are complement to the seventy nations of the days of yore. You are the choicest one and the most honourable one in the sight of Allah."

Imam Bukhari (رح) narrates a Tradition on the authority of Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Mas` ud ؓ in which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said: "Will it please you if you are a quarter of the inmates of Paradise?" The Companions replied: "Yes, indeed, it would please us." The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

وَالَّذِی نَفسِی بِیَدَہٖ اِنِّی لَاَرجُو اَن تَکُونُوا نِصفَ اَھلِ الجَنَّۃِ

"By Him in Whose control is my life! I hope that you will comprise a half of the inmates of Paradise." (Mazhari)

Tirmidhi, Hakim and Baihaqi report on the authority of Sayyidna Buraidah ؓ that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

اَھلُ الجَنَّۃَ وَّ عِشرُونَ صَفِّا ثَمَانُونَ مِنھَا مِن ھٰذِہِ الاُمَّۃِ وَ اَربَعُونَ مِن سَایِٔر الاُمَم

"The inmates of Paradise will be ranged in 120 ranks: eighty of them will be from this Ummah, and forty from the rest of the nations." (Tirmidhi has rated this tradition as 'Hasan' and Hakim as 'sahih'.)

The ratio between this Ummah and other communities in Paradise is given differently at different times, ranging between one third, one quarter, a half and two-thirds. There is no conflict in the ratios mentioned on different occasions. That was based on the estimation of the Holy Prophet ﷺ which has been increasing at different times.

English Translation

And a few of the later peoples,

English Transliteration

Waqaleelun mina alakhireena

English Translation

On thrones woven [with ornament],

English Transliteration

AAala sururin mawdoonatin

The reward of As-Sabiqun

عَلَىٰ سُرُ‌رٍ‌ مَّوْضُونَةٍ ([ They will be sitting ] on thrones woven with gold...56:15) The word مَّوْضُونَةٍ mawdunah, according to Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، as recorded by Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Baihaqi and others, means 'fabric woven or inwrought with gold thread'.

وِلْدَانٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ (...by Immortal boys...56:17) meaning that the boys will never grow up, get old or change in shape. The preferred opinion is that the youths of Paradise, like the fair damsels of Paradise, will have been born in Paradise. They will be the servants of the inmates of Paradise. Hadith narratives indicate that there will be thousands of such servants for each of the inmates of Paradise.

English Translation

Reclining on them, facing each other.

English Transliteration

Muttakieena AAalayha mutaqabileena
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