Overview - Surah 81: at-Takwir (The Wrapping )

Naming Convention of the Surah

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The Surah takes it name from the first Ayat,  إِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ "When the sun is wrapped up [in darkness]" [81:1]

There are 29 Ayat in this Surah.


Total Ayat29
Total Words104
Root Words61
Unique Root Words7
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 7th (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 1st-3rd year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam ,
Events during/after still to occur*
Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Public Invitation to Islam - Persecution of Muslims; antagonism - ridicule - derision - accusation - abuse and false propaganda., Physical beating and torture of some Muslims - 1st Migration of Muslims to Abyssinia, 2nd Migration to Abyssinia, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 1, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 2, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 3, Death of Abu Talib - Death of Khadijah - Stoning at Ta'if - al-Isra wal Mi'raj - Night Journey, 1st Pledge of Aqabah, 2nd Pledge of Aqabah, , Migration from Makkah to Madinah - Building of Masjid Nabi in Madinah - Treaty with Jews of Madinah - Marriage of Prophet to Aishah, Change of Qiblah from Jerusalem to Makkah - Battle of Badr, Battle of Uhud, , Battle of Ahzab - Expedition of Banu Quraydhah, Treaty of Hudaiybiyah - Letters to Kings and Rulers, , Conquest of Makkah - Battle of Hunain, Hajj led by Abu Bakr - Expedition of Tabuk, Farewell Hajj by Prophet - Death of Prophet - End of Divine Revelation,
Names of Prophets Mentioned
No Prophets names are mentioned in this Surah
Surah Index
Astronomy (celestial mechanics) (sun), Astronomy (planets) , Astronomy (stars) , Astronomy (stars) (revolving), Children (female offspring buried alive will ask for what crime she’d been slain) , Gabriel, Hell, Judgement (Day) , Killing (female children buried alive will ask for what crime she’d been killed) , Mountains, Muhammad (not a madman) , Qur’an (not from a satanic force) , Record of personal deeds, Resurrection (of soul) , Sea, Sin,

Central Theme

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It has two themes: the Hereafter and the institution of Apostleship. In the first six verses the first stage of the Resurrection has been mentioned when the sun will lose its light, the stars will scatter, the mountains will be uprooted and will disperse, the people will become heedless of their dearest possessions, the beasts of the jungle will be dazed and will gather together, and the seas will boil up. Then in the next seven verses, the second stage has been described when the souls will be reunited with the bodies, the records will be laid open, the people will be called to account for their crimes, Heaven and Hell will be brought into full view. After depicting the Hereafter thus, man has been left to ponder his own self and deeds, saying: “Then each man shall himself know what he has brought with him.” 

After this the theme of Apostleship has been taken up. In this the people of Makkah have been addressed, as if to say “Whatever Muhammad is presenting before you, is not the bragging of a madman, nor an evil suggestion inspired by Satan, but the word of a noble, exalted and trustworthy messenger sent by God, whom Muhammad has seen with his own eyes in the bright horizon of the clear sky in broad day light. Where then are you going, having turned away from this teaching?”

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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The Virtues of the Surah

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  • Ibn Umar narrated that: "The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever wishes to look at the Day of Resurrection, as if he is seeing it with this eye, then let him recite: ‘When the sun Kuwwirat’ and ‘When the heaven is cleft sunder (Infatarat) and ‘When the heaven is split asunder.’” [SurahTakwir 81]. Tirmidhee no. 3333
  • Surah at-Takwir [81] is one of the Surahs that aged the Prophet due to inensity/pressure/repurcussions of the implications of the words.  

     قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ‏:‏ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، قَدْ شِبْتَ، قَالَ‏:‏ شَيَّبَتْنِي هُودٌ، وَالْوَاقِعَةُ، وَالْمُرْسَلاتُ، وَعَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ، وَإِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ

    It has been reported that once Abu Bakr  said to the Prophet, ‘O Messenger of Allah, you have become old.’ The Prophet said, ‘I have become old [due to] [Surah] Hud, al-Waqiah [56], al-Murasalat [77], Amma yatasailoon [an-Naba 78] and Waidha ash-Shamsu kuwirat [at-Takweer 81].” Tirmidhee no. 3297

Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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The first 13 Ayat, all have 3 words with the 14th Ayat stating, عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا أَحْضَرَتْ "A soul will [then] know what it has brought [with it]." (81:14)

Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat)

Unique Root Words to this Surah only

7 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
إِذَا 14 409
ن ف س 3 298
ش ي أ 3 519
ع ل م 3 854
ج ن ن 2 201
ق و ل 2 1722
إِلَّا 2 663
ض ن ن 1 1
ك و ر 1 3
ق ت ل 1 170

Period of Revelation

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Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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  • A scene from the scenes of the Doomsday.
  • The Qur'an is conveyed to the Prophet through angel Gabriel.
  • This message of The Qur'an is for all the people of the world.

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Miscellaneous Issues

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