Meal Seç / Sure Seç




In the name of god, the most gracious, The dispenser of grace: (1)

1 - According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of every surah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of "The Opening" and is, therefore, numbered as verse I. In all other instances, the invocation "in the name of God" precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. - Both the divine epithets rahman and rahrm are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies "mercy", "compassion", "loving tenderness" and, more comprehensively, "grace". From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibn al-Qayyim (as quoted in Mandr I, 48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God's Being, whereas rahrm expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation-in other words, an aspect of His activity.

AN early Meccan surah, most probably revealed after surah 95 (At-Tin).
1. OH, the sudden calamity! (1)

1 - I.e., the coming of the Last Hour, which will involve a terrifying transformation of the world (see note 63 on 14:48 and note 90 on 20:105-107).

2. How awesome the sudden calamity!
3. And what could make thee conceive what that sudden calamity will be?
4. [It will occur] on the Day when men will be like moths swarming in confusion,
5. and the mountains will be like fluffy tufts of wool. . . .
6. And then, he whose weight [of good deeds] is heavy in the balance
7. shall find himself in a happy' state of life;
8. whereas he whose weight is light in the balance
9. shall be engulfed by an abyss. (2)

2 - Lit., "his mother [i.e., goal] will be an abyss", sc., of suffering and despair. The term "mother" (umm) is used idiomatically to denote something that embraces or enfolds.

10. And what could make thee conceive what that [abyss] will be?
11. A fire hotly burning! (3)

3 - Lit., "hot fire", the adjective meant to stress the essential quality of fire. It should be borne in mind that all Qur'anic descriptions of the sinner's suffering in the hereafter are metaphors or allegories relating to situations and conditions which can be understood only by means of comparisons with physical phenomena lying within the range of human experience (see Appendix I).

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