Surah al-Haqqah (The Manifest Reality) 69 : 4

كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ وَعَادٌۢ بِٱلْقَارِعَةِ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Thamūd and ‘Aad denied the Striking Calamity [i.e., the Resurrection].

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

This verse begins with an account of the terrible fates met by different communities of unbelievers. They were all dealt with in a decisive and swift manner because the issue in question is very serious and does not allow denial. Those who persist with such denial cannot escape punishment. This means that in addition to its being true and inevitable, it also strikes like two solid objects hammering against each other. The Striker inflicts hearts with terror and delivers a crushing blow upon the universe. By its very sound, it strikes loudly, crushing everything and everyone around. Both the Thamud and the 'Ad denied it, saying that it was untrue.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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This is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah. Its subject matter shows that it was sent down at the time when opposition to the Prophet had started but had not yet become tyrannical. Musnad Ahmad contains a hadith from Umar, saying: “Before embracing Islam one day I came out of my house with a view to causing trouble to the Holy Prophet, but he had entered the Masjid al-Haram before me. When I arrived, I found that he was reciting Surah Al-Haaqqah in the Prayer. I stood behind him and listened. As he recited the Qur’an I wondered at its literary charm and beauty. Then suddenly an idea came to my mind that he must be a poet as the Quraysh alleged. Just at that moment he recited the words: “This is the Word of an honourable Messenger: it is not the word of a poet.” I said to myself: Then, he must be a soothsayer, if not a poet. Thereupon be recited the words: “Nor is it the word of a soothsayer: little it is that you reflect. It is a Revelation from the Lord and Sustainer of the worlds. On hearing this Islam entered deep into my heart.” This hadith of Umar shows that this Surah had been sent down long before his acceptance of Islam, for even after this event he did not believe for a long time, and he continued to be influenced in favour of Islam by different incidents from time to time, till at last, in the house of his own sister, he came by the experience that made him surrender and submit to the Faith completely.

8. Reasons for Revelation

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9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

Overview (Verse 4 - 12)

The surah begins with an account of the terrible fates met by different communities of unbelievers. They were all dealt with in a decisive and swift manner because the issue in question is very serious and does not allow denial. Those who persist with such denial cannot escape punishment:

The people of Thamud and `Ad denied the Striker. The Thamud were destroyed by an overwhelming event, while the Ad were destroyed by a furiously howling wind which He caused to rage upon them for seven nights and eight decisive days. You could see their people lying dead like uprooted trunks of hollow palm trees. Can you see any trace of them now? (Verses 4-8)

Al-Qari’ah, or The Striker, is another name for Resurrection Day, complementing as it does al-Haqqah, the Inevitable Truth. This means that in addition to its being true and inevitable, it also strikes like two solid objects hammering against each other. The Striker inflicts hearts with terror and delivers a crushing blow upon the universe. By its very sound, it strikes loudly, crushing everything and everyone around. Both the Thamud and the 'Ad denied it, saying that it was untrue. Let us see then what the result of such denial was:

"The Thamud were destroyed by an overwhelming event." (Verse 5) As mentioned elsewhere in the Qur'an, the people of Tharnud used to live in the area of al-Hijr to the north of Hijaz, close to today's Palestine. They were destroyed by an event named elsewhere as a' stunning blast'. Here, the surah does not mention this blast but rather describes it as an overwhelming event', as this fits better with the atmosphere of catastrophe that characterizes the surah.

Moreover, the note the Arabic word taghiyah strikes is consistent with the verse endings in the present passage. This short single verse is enough to completely engulf the Thamud, leaving no trace of them.

The Thamud's fate was swift and sudden, a single blast overwhelming them all. By contrast, the surah gives us a detailed account of the 'Ad's fate, which was accomplished over seven nights and eight decisive days.
 
The 'Ad were destroyed by a howling, extremely cold wind described here as sarsar. Whilst this carries strong connotations of such howling , this is still not enough. Its howling is clearly described as furious, and fits with the fact that the 'Ad were arrogant and tyrannical in their dealings with others. They used to live at al-Ahqaf in southern Arabia, in the area between Yemen and Hadramawt. This howling wind, furious as it was, "He caused to rage upon them for seven nights and eight decisive days." (Verse 7) The surah gives the exact duration of this hurricane that hit for so long so as to draw an image of the scene after it was all over: You could see their people lying dead, like uprooted trunks of hollow palm trees." (Verse 7) The image is detailed, pressed on our minds so that we can see its every detail. The people of the 'Ad are lying dead everywhere, and they look like uprooted tree trunks', but these trunks are hollow' , eaten from inside and no longer able to stand upright. They are thrown on the ground, lifeless. The sad silence of death now reigns after the furiously howling hurricane. So, what is left of them? The answer is expressed in a question for which no one bothers to hear an answer: Can you see any trace of them now?" (Verse 8)

Such was the fates of the 'Ad and Thamud. Other communities that denied the divine faith also suffered similar fates. In two short verses, the surah sums up several of these:

Pharaoh, too, and those before him, and the ruined cities — all indulged in sin, and disobeyed their Lord's messenger; and so He took them to task with an ever-tightening grip. (Verses 9-10)

Pharaoh, in Egypt, was the one who opposed the Prophet Moses, but the surah gives no details of those before him'. The 'ruined cities' were those of Sodom and Gomorrah. The surah sums up the deeds of all these communities in a short phrase saying that they all indulged in sin' .It explains that they all disobeyed their Lord's messenger' The fact is that these communities had several messengers whom they disobeyed, yet these messengers advocated the same truth, and their messages were essentially the same. Hence, they are like one messenger, representing a single truth. This is one of the most inspiring touches of the Qur'anic style. Again the surah sums up their fates in a way that combines swiftness with strong and decisive action: "He took them to task with an ever-tightening grip." (Verse 10)

The surah then gives us an image of the great floods and the floating Ark on the surface, in reference to the fate suffered by the people of Noah when they rejected God's message. Here the surah reminds people of God's favour as He saved their forefathers. Yet they do not take heed or give thanks:

When the waters rose high, We carried you in the floating Ark, making it all a lasting reminder for you, so that attentive ears may take heed. (Verses 1 1-1 2)

The images of the floods and the floating Ark fit well with the other scenes portrayed in the surah, and share the same verse endings so as to rhyme with other verses describing these fates. The fact is that the surah gives all this as "a lasting reminder for you, so that attentive ears may take heed." This should inspire the hearts and ears of people who continue to deny the truth after all that happened before them and the warnings that were given to earlier communities. Indeed signs and lessons, as well as favours and blessings, have been given in abundance, but people need to wake up and take heed.


 


12. External Links

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