Sura/Chapter:

Verse:    Count: 40
Tafseer/Commentary:
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Translations:
78: An-Naba - النبا

78:1
[ Original ]
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ عَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Concerning what are they disputing?
[ Saheeh International ]
About what are they asking one another?

78:2
[ Original ]
عَنِ النَّبَإِ الْعَظِيمِ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Concerning the Great News,
[ Saheeh International ]
About the great news -
Tafseer Commentary

5889 Great News; usually understood to mean the News or Message of the Resurrection or the Hereafter, about which there are various schools of thought among the Jews and Christians and other nations. There is practically nothing about the Resurrection in the Old Testament, and the Jewish sect of Sadducees even in the time of Christ denied the Resurrection altogether. The Pagan ideas of a future life-if any-varied from place to place and from time to time. Even in the early Christian Church, as we learn from Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, there were contentions in that little community (I. Corinthians,1:11), and some definitely denied the resurrection of the dead (ib.,15:12). Great News may also be translated Great Message or a Message Supreme as I have translated at 38:67. In that case it would refer to the Qur'an, or the Message of Revelation, or the Message of the Prophet, about which there was great contention in those days. As this Message also lays great stress on the Day of Judgement and the Resurrection, the practical result by either mode of interpretation amounts to the same.


78:3
[ Original ]
الَّذِي هُمْ فِيهِ مُخْتَلِفُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
About which they cannot agree.
[ Saheeh International ]
That over which they are in disagreement.

78:4
[ Original ]
كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily, they shall soon (come to) know!
[ Saheeh International ]
No! They are going to know.

78:5
[ Original ]
ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily, verily they shall soon (come to) know!
[ Saheeh International ]
Then, no! They are going to know.

78:6
[ Original ]
أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الْأَرْضَ مِهَادًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Have We not made the earth as a wide expanse,
[ Saheeh International ]
Have We not made the earth a resting place?
Tafseer Commentary

5890 See n. 2038 to 16:15. Cf. also 13:3 and 15:19. The spacious expanse of the earth may be compared to a carpet, to which the mountains act as pegs. The Signs of Allah are thus enumerated: the great panorama of outer nature (verses 6-7); the creation of Man in pairs, with the succession of rest and work fitting in with the succession of night and day (verses 8-11); the firmaments above, with their splendid lights (verses 12-13); and the clouds and rain and abundant harvests, which knit sky and earth and man together (verses 14-16). These point to Allah, and Allah's Message points to the Future Life.


78:7
[ Original ]
وَالْجِبَالَ أَوْتَادًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And the mountains as pegs?
[ Saheeh International ]
And the mountains as stakes?

78:8
[ Original ]
وَخَلَقْنَاكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And (have We not) created you in pairs,
[ Saheeh International ]
And We created you in pairs

78:9
[ Original ]
وَجَعَلْنَا نَوْمَكُمْ سُبَاتًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And made your sleep for rest,
[ Saheeh International ]
And made your sleep [a means for] rest

78:10
[ Original ]
وَجَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ لِبَاسًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And made the night as a covering,
[ Saheeh International ]
And made the night as clothing
Tafseer Commentary

5891 The darkness of the night is as a covering. Just as a covering protects us from exposure to cold or heat, so this covering gives us spiritual respite from the buffets of the material world, and from the tiring activities of our own inner exertions. The rest in sleep (in verse 9) is supplemented by the covering of the night with which we are provided by Allah.


78:11
[ Original ]
وَجَعَلْنَا النَّهَارَ مَعَاشًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And made the day as a means of subsistence?
[ Saheeh International ]
And made the day for livelihood
Tafseer Commentary

5892 Subsistence in English only partly covers the idea of ma' ash, which includes every kind of life activity. The Day is specially illuminated, so runs the figure of speech, in order that these life activities of all kinds may be fully exercised.


78:12
[ Original ]
وَبَنَيْنَا فَوْقَكُمْ سَبْعًا شِدَادًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And (have We not) built over you the seven firmaments,
[ Saheeh International ]
And constructed above you seven strong [heavens]
Tafseer Commentary

5893 See n. 5526 to 65:12 and n. 2876 to 23:17, also 37:6 and notes there.


78:13
[ Original ]
وَجَعَلْنَا سِرَاجًا وَهَّاجًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And placed (therein) a Light of Splendour?
[ Saheeh International ]
And made [therein] a burning lamp
Tafseer Commentary

5894 That is, the sun. Cf. 25:61; 33:46 (where it is used metaphorically for the Prophet); and 71:16.


78:14
[ Original ]
وَأَنْزَلْنَا مِنَ الْمُعْصِرَاتِ مَاءً ثَجَّاجًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And do We not send down from the clouds water in abundance,
[ Saheeh International ]
And sent down, from the rain clouds, pouring water
Tafseer Commentary

5895 Note how the evidences of Allah and His beneficence are set out in four groups. (1) Look to external nature on the earth around you (verses 6-7); (2) your own nature, physical, mental and spiritual (verses 8-11); (3) the starry heavens, and the glory of the sun (verses 12-13); and (4) the interdependence of earth, air, and sky in the cycle of water, clouds, rain, corn and gardens, all serving in their several ways to further the whole plan of the World as it affects us. Can you not then believe that a Creator who does this will sort out Good and Evil on an appointed Day with real justice and power?


78:15
[ Original ]
لِنُخْرِجَ بِهِ حَبًّا وَنَبَاتًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
That We may produce therewith corn and vegetables,
[ Saheeh International ]
That We may bring forth thereby grain and vegetation

78:16
[ Original ]
وَجَنَّاتٍ أَلْفَافًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And gardens of luxurious growth?
[ Saheeh International ]
And gardens of entwined growth.

78:17
[ Original ]
إِنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ كَانَ مِيقَاتًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily the Day of Sorting Out is a thing appointed,
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, the Day of Judgement is an appointed time -
Tafseer Commentary

5896 Cf. 37:21, n. 4047, and 36:59, n. 4005 (end). The Day of J udgement is the Day of Sorting Out, as between Good and Evil.


78:18
[ Original ]
يَوْمَ يُنْفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْوَاجًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The Day that the Trumpet shall be sounded, and ye shall come forth in crowds;
[ Saheeh International ]
The Day the Horn is blown and you will come forth in multitudes
Tafseer Commentary

5897 The angel charged with the sounding of the Trumpet is Israfil. It will herald Judgement, Cf. 50:20: also 39:68, and n. 4343; and 69:13, n. 5648.


78:19
[ Original ]
وَفُتِحَتِ السَّمَاءُ فَكَانَتْ أَبْوَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And the heavens shall be opened as if there were doors,
[ Saheeh International ]
And the heaven is opened and will become gateways
Tafseer Commentary

5898 A sign that the present order of things will have ceased to exist, and a new world will have come into being. Such a figure applies to the heavens in this verse and to the earth in the next verse. The mystery of what is beyond the heavens will have vanished through the doors which will then be opened. The solid mountains, as we suppose them to be, will have vanished like an unsubstantial mirage.


78:20
[ Original ]
وَسُيِّرَتِ الْجِبَالُ فَكَانَتْ سَرَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And the mountains shall vanish, as if they were a mirage.
[ Saheeh International ]
And the mountains are removed and will be [but] a mirage.

78:21
[ Original ]
إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ كَانَتْ مِرْصَادًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Truly Hell is as a place of ambush-
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, Hell has been lying in wait
Tafseer Commentary

5899 Hell, the embodiment of evil, is lying in wait like an ambush for everyone. We should be on our guard. For the transgressors, those who have wilfully rebelled against Allah, it will be a definite destination, from which there is no return, except, it may be, after ages i.e., unless Allah so wills: Cf. 6:128, and n. 951.


78:22
[ Original ]
لِلطَّاغِينَ مَآبًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For the transgressors a place of destination:
[ Saheeh International ]
For the transgressors, a place of return,

78:23
[ Original ]
لَابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
They will dwell therein for ages.
[ Saheeh International ]
In which they will remain for ages [unending].

78:24
[ Original ]
لَا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا بَرْدًا وَلَا شَرَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink,
[ Saheeh International ]
They will not taste therein [any] coolness or drink

78:25
[ Original ]
إِلَّا حَمِيمًا وَغَسَّاقًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Save a boiling fluid and a fluid, dark, murky, intensely cold-
[ Saheeh International ]
Except scalding water and [foul] purulence -
Tafseer Commentary

5900 Cf. 10:4, and n. 1390; also 38:57, and n. 4213.


78:26
[ Original ]
جَزَاءً وِفَاقًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
A fitting recompense (for them).
[ Saheeh International ]
An appropriate recompense.
Tafseer Commentary

5901 Their transgressions go on progressively as they refuse to repent and turn to Allah. The fire of misery begins to blaze forth more and more fiercely, and there is nothing to cool that blaze; their food and drink themselves are tainted with the disorder of contradictory elements-boiling hot drink, with intensely cold, murky, and disgusting fluids. These are fitting punishments for their crimes, which are inconsistent with the pure and gentle mould in which Allah had originally cast their nature.


78:27
[ Original ]
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا لَا يَرْجُونَ حِسَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
For that they used not to fear any account (for their deeds),
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, they were not expecting an account
Tafseer Commentary

5902 It was not isolated acts, but a continued course of evil conduct; they repudiated the moral and spiritual responsibility for their lives; and they impudently called Truth itself by false names and disdained Allah's Signs, which were vouchsafed for their instruction. These are not mere impressions; these are hard facts "preserved on record", so that every deed can have its due weight in making up the account.


78:28
[ Original ]
وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا كِذَّابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
But they (impudently) treated Our Signs as false.
[ Saheeh International ]
And denied Our verses with [emphatic] denial.

78:29
[ Original ]
وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَاهُ كِتَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And all things have We preserved on record.
[ Saheeh International ]
But all things We have enumerated in writing.

78:30
[ Original ]
فَذُوقُوا فَلَنْ نَزِيدَكُمْ إِلَّا عَذَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
"So taste ye (the fruits of your deeds); for no increase shall We grant you, except in Punishment."
[ Saheeh International ]
"So taste [the penalty], and never will We increase you except in torment."
Tafseer Commentary

5903 Just as there is a progressive deterioration in the sinner's soul when he surrenders himself to evil, so there is a progressive increase in the Penalty which he suffers.


78:31
[ Original ]
إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ مَفَازًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily for the Righteous there will be a fulfilment of (the heart's) desires;
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, for the righteous is attainment -
Tafseer Commentary

5904 This is true Salvation. It is not only safety and felicity, but the attainment of the final Goal, the supreme Achievement, the Fulfilment of the highest in human nature, the satisfaction of the true and pure desires of the heart-seeing the "Face of Allah". See n. 4733 to 44:57.


78:32
[ Original ]
حَدَائِقَ وَأَعْنَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Gardens enclosed, and Grapevines;
[ Saheeh International ]
Gardens and grapevines
Tafseer Commentary

5905 The supreme Achievement, or the Fulfilment of the Heart's Desires, spoken of in the last verse, is now described in three symbols (verses 32-34), as further explained by two negatives (verse 35). The first symbol is the enclosed Fruit Garden , and the symbol taken for the fruit is the Grape. The Garden in its many aspects is the most frequent symbol adopted for Bliss. Here the symbolism is further particularised. The most carefully-tended Garden is a Fruit Garden , with walls all round to protect it, and the most characteristic fruit mentioned here is the luscious Grape. (R).


78:33
[ Original ]
وَكَوَاعِبَ أَتْرَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Companions of Equal Age;
[ Saheeh International ]
And full-breasted [companions] of equal age
Tafseer Commentary

5906 The second symbol is Companions of Equal Age. Maidens or Virgins, symbols of purity, grace, beauty, innocence, truth, and sympathy. (R).


78:34
[ Original ]
وَكَأْسًا دِهَاقًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
And a cup full (To the Brim).
[ Saheeh International ]
And a full cup.
Tafseer Commentary

5907 The third symbol, the Cup, takes us pardy to the Grapes mentioned in verse 32 and partly to the Springs or Rivers mentioned with the Garden in so many places. Full to the brim brings to our mind the unbounded Bounty of Allah.


78:35
[ Original ]
لَا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا وَلَا كِذَّابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
No vanity shall they hear therein, nor Untruth:-
[ Saheeh International ]
No ill speech will they hear therein or any falsehood -
Tafseer Commentary

5908 The explanation of the three symbols is made further clear by the two negatives. (1) There will be no talk of vanities, such as are usually associated on this earth with pleasant Gardens, Companions of equal age, or generous Cups flowing in Assemblies. (2) There will be no Untruth or Falsehood. Insincerity or Hollowness there. Everything will be on a plane of absolute Truth and Realty.


78:36
[ Original ]
جَزَاءً مِنْ رَبِّكَ عَطَاءً حِسَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Recompense from thy Lord, a gift, (amply) sufficient-
[ Saheeh International ]
[As] reward from your Lord, [a generous] gift [made due by] account,
Tafseer Commentary

5909 The Recompense is not exactly a Reward in proportion to merit, but is rather a Gift or a Bounty from the Merciful | a Gift most amply sufficient to satisfy all desire on that plane of purity. A Gift (amply) sufficient might almost be translated: a liberal and bountiful gift. Cf. the phrase, A'ta fa ahsana=he gave generously, or bountifully. (R).


78:37
[ Original ]
رَبِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا الرَّحْمَٰنِ ۖ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِنْهُ خِطَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
(From) the Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all between, (Allah) Most Gracious: None shall have power to argue with Him.
[ Saheeh International ]
[From] the Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them, the Most Merciful. They possess not from Him [authority for] speech.
Tafseer Commentary

5910 No one has the right or the power to argue with Allah about the Gifts which He may bestow on His devotees beyond their deserts, (verse 36 above) or about the Penalty which His justice may inflict for sin or wrongdoing. He is high above all Creation. But He is also Most Gracious. Therefore He may permit special Dignitaries, of honour in His eyes, to plead for sinners, but they will only plead in truth and righteousness: see verse 38 below.


78:38
[ Original ]
يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
The Day that the Spirit and the angels will stand forth in ranks, none shall speak except any who is permitted by ((Allah)) Most Gracious, and He will say what is right.
[ Saheeh International ]
The Day that the Spirit and the angels will stand in rows, they will not speak except for one whom the Most Merciful permits, and he will say what is correct.
Tafseer Commentary

5911 The Spirit: see n. 5677 to 70:4. Some Commentators understand by "the Spirit" the angel Gabriel as he is charged specially with bringing Messages to human prophets: see 26:193. n. 3224. (R).

5912 See n. 5910 above. No one has the right to speak before the Judgement Seat; but certain great Dignitaries may be given permission to plead for mercy for sinners, and they will only so plead if the mercy is not negatory of Allah's universal justice.


78:39
[ Original ]
ذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ فَمَنْ شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ مَآبًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
That Day will be the sure Reality: Therefore, whoso will, let him take a (straight) return to his Lord!
[ Saheeh International ]
That is the True Day; so he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return.
Tafseer Commentary

5913 Cf. 69:1 and n. 5635. Judgement is sure to come, and Truth will then be free from all veils. Why should not man, therefore, now in this life of probation, turn back to Allah, and understand and do His Will?


78:40
[ Original ]
إِنَّا أَنْذَرْنَاكُمْ عَذَابًا قَرِيبًا يَوْمَ يَنْظُرُ الْمَرْءُ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ وَيَقُولُ الْكَافِرُ يَا لَيْتَنِي كُنْتُ تُرَابًا
[ Abdullah Yusuf Ali ]
Verily, We have warned you of a Penalty near- the Day when man will see (the deeds) which his hands have sent forth, and the Unbeliever will say, "Woe unto me! Would that I were (metre) dust!"
[ Saheeh International ]
Indeed, We have warned you of a near punishment on the Day when a man will observe what his hands have put forth and the disbeliever will say, "Oh, I wish that I were dust!"
Tafseer Commentary

5914 Is Judgement very near? Yes. There are three stages of Judgement (1) Many of our sins and wrongdoings find their penalty in this very life. It may not be an open or striking event, but it corrodes the soul and conscience all the time. Let us therefore turn back to Allah in repentance and ask for forgiveness (2) Where the Penalty is not actually perceived or is not visible in this life, Death is considered the Lesser Judgement for each individual soul: see n. 5822 to 75:22. Death may come to anyone at any time, and we must all be ready for it. (3) Then there is the final Judgement, when the whole of the present order passes away, and there is a New World . Time as we know it will not exist. Fifty thousand years as we reckon now will be but as a Day; 70:4. According to those standards even this Final Judgement is quite near, and we must prepare for it. For it will be too late then for repentance.

5915 The Unbeliever, the Rejecter of Allah, will then find himself in a world of absolute Reality, in which there will be no place for him. He will neither live nor die: 20:74. He will wish that he could be reduced to nothingness, but even that would not be possible.


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