Overview - Surah 75: al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection )

Surah Introduction

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This Surah takes its name from the first Ayat, لَا أُقْسِمُ بِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ "I swear by the Day of Resurrection" [75:1].

There are 40 Ayat in this Surah.


Total Ayat40
Total Words *164
Root Words *76
Unique Root Words *4
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 31st (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation*
Events during/before this Surah*
Events during/after still to occur*
Names of Prophets Mentioned
No Prophets names are mentioned in this Surah
Surah Index
Death, Embryology, Humankind (creation of) (from a drop of sperm), Judgement (Day) , Muhammad (admonished) , Prayer, Resurrection (Day) , Resurrection (of humans) , Resurrection (moon is darkened) , Resurrection (of soul) , Resurrection (sun and moon brought together (solar eclipse or solar expansion?))

Central Theme

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Most of the Surahs, from here till the end of the Qur’an, in view of their content and style, seem to have been sent down in the period when after the first seven verses of Surah 74: al-Muddathir (The Cloaked One), revelation of the Qur’an began like a shower of rain: Thus, in the successively revealed Surahs Islam and its fundamental concepts and moral teachings were presented so forcefully and effectively in concise, brief sentences and the people of Makkah warned so vehemently on their errors and deviations that the Quraysh chiefs were utterly confounded. Therefore, before the next Hajj season came they held the conference for devising schemes to defeat the Prophet as has been mentioned in the introduction to Surah 74: al-Muddathir previously.

In this Surah, addressing the deniers of the Hereafter, replies have been given to each of their doubts and objections, strong arguments have been given to prove the possibility, occurrence and necessity of the Resurrection and Hereafter, and also it has been pointed out clearly that the actual reason of the people’s denying the Hereafter is not that they regard it as impossible rationally but because their selfish motives do not allow them to affirm it. At the same time, the people have been warned, as if to say: “The event, the occurrence of which you deny, will inevitably come: all your deeds will be brought and placed before you. As a matter of fact, even before any of you sees his record, he will be knowing fully well what he has done in the world, for no man is unaware of himself, no matter what excuses and pretenses he may offer to deceive the world and deceive himself in respect of his misdeeds.”

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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From the begining to the end of the Surah, Allah speaks about the Qiyamah and matters relating to it.

Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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  • In the begining [75:4] and the end [75:40] there is a mention of the Qudra [power and ability] of Allah Almighty to resurrect a human after his death.
  • A question for the human in the beginning and the end:

    أَيَحْسَبُ الْإِنسَانُ أَلَّن نَّجْمَعَ عِظَامَهُ  "Does man think that We will not assemble his bones?" [75:3]

    أَيَحْسَبُ الْإِنسَانُ أَن يُتْرَكَ سُدًى "Does man think that he will be left neglected?" [75:36]

Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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  • Towards the end of Surah al-Mudadathir [74] we have the Ayat كَلَّا ۖ بَل لَّا يَخَافُونَ الْآخِرَةَ "No! But they do not fear the Hereafter." [74:53]. The following Surah is al-Qiyamah - about the Akhirah. 
  • 'Insan' the human being is mentioned six times in Surah al-Qiyamah [75]. The following Surah is al-Insan [76].
  • Loving this world..
    كَلَّا بَلْ تُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ  وَتَذَرُونَ الْآخِرَةَ "No! But you love the immediate. And leave the Hereafter." [75: 20-21]
    إِنَّ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ يُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ وَيَذَرُونَ وَرَاءَهُمْ يَوْمًا ثَقِيلًا "Indeed, these [disbelievers] love the immediate and leave behind them a grave Day." [76:27]

The Virtues of the Surah

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Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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  • The word أَوْلَىٰ "woe" appears 4 times. أَوْلَىٰ لَكَ فَأَوْلَىٰ  ثُمَّ أَوْلَىٰ لَكَ فَأَوْلَىٰ "Woe to you, and woe! Then woe to you, and woe!" [75:34-35].
Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat) = 4*

Unique Root Words to this Surah only

4 unique root words that do not appear in any other Surah *

Top 10 Most Frequent Root Words used in this Surah

Root Word Frequency
in Surah
in Qur'an
أ ن س 6 97
و ل ي 5 232
إِلَىٰ 4 742
ج م ع 3 129
إِذَا 3 409
ر ب ب 3 980
ق ر أ 3 88
س و ق 3 17
ق س م 2 33
ي و م 2 405

Period of Revelation

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Although there is no tradition to indicate its period of revelation, yet there is in the subject matter of this Surah an internal evidence, which shows that it is one of the earliest Surahs to be sent down at Makkah. After verse 15 the discourse is suddenly interrupted and the Prophet told: “Do not move your tongue to remember this Revelation hastily. It is Our responsibility to have it remembered and read. Therefore, when We are reciting it, listen to its recital carefully. Again, it is Our responsibility to explain its meaning.” Then, from verse 20 onward the same theme which was interrupted at verse 15, is resumed. This parenthetical passage, according to both the context and the traditions, has been interposed here for the reason that when the Angel Gabriel was reciting this Surah to the Prophet, the Prophet, lest he should forget its words later, was repeating them at the same moment. This in fact happened at the time when the coming down and receipt of Revelation was yet a new experience for him and he was not yet fully used to receiving it calmly. There are two other instances also of this in the Qur’an. First, in Surah 20: Ta Ha, the Prophet has been told: “And see that you do not hasten to recite the Qur’an before its revelation is completed to you.” (v. 114). Then, in Surah al-A’la, it has been said: “We shall enable you to recite:, then you shall never forget.” (v. 6). Later, when the Prophet became fully used to receiving the Revelation well, there remained no need to give him any such instruction. That is why except for these three, there is no other instance of this in the Qur’an.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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  • The Day of Judgement is certain, there is no escape from it.
  • Allah Himself took the responsibility of preserving the Qur'an.
  • The last moments of disbeliever's death.
  • Take Allah's warning about the Day of Judgement seriously.

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Miscellaneous Issues

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Scientific References

The Uniqueness of Fingertips

أَيَحْسَبُ الْإِنسَانُ أَلَّن نَّجْمَعَ عِظَامَهُ  بَلَىٰ قَادِرِينَ عَلَىٰ أَن نُّسَوِّيَ بَنَانَهُ “Does man think that We will not assemble his bones? Yes. [We are] Able [even] to proportion his fingertips.” (75:3-4)

The pagans of Makkah had denied that mankind would be raised on the Day of Resurrection. They wondered, ‘How is it possible for God to assemble the bones of the dead?’ God said that not only is He capable of assembling the bones of the dead but is also able to perfectly put together the tips of the fingers.The question is why did God choose to use the body part ‘fingertips’ as an example of His ability in resurrecting. A human being making the same point  may have opted to say ‘proportion his face’ – for that would apparently seem to be of a greater difficulty and more visible differentiation – fingertips not being something you would traditionally associate with difficulty or uniqueness. God knows the uniqueness He has placed in each human being.  The verse stresses that every detail of man shall be brought back to life even to the extent of the information that exists on a fingertip. Only the Creator would have said these words in this way.

  • In 1823 -  Jan Purkinje, a Czech physiologist and professor of anatomy at the University of Breslau, published a thesis discussing nine fingerprint patterns.
  •  In 1858 – William Herschel, alluded to the fact that fingerprints are different from one person to another. This makes the fingerprint an exclusive characteristic of each person.
  • Juan Vucetich, an Argentine chief police officer, created the first method of recording the fingerprints of individuals on file, associating these fingerprints to the anthropometric system of Alphonse Bertillon, who had created, in 1879, a system to identify individuals by anthropometric photographs and associated quantitative descriptions