Word by Word
(It is) a Day whereon men will be like moths scattered about,
The day (yawma: that which renders it accusative is [the verb] indicated by al-qaari'a, in other words, [by the implied] taqra'u, 'it clatters') mankind will be like scattered moths, like a throng of scattered locusts surging into each other in confusion, until they are summoned to the Reckoning,
Tafsir of Surah Al-Qariah
What is Al-Qari`ah?
Al-Qari`ah is one of the names of the Day of Judgement, like Al-Haqqah, At-Tammah, As-Sakhkhah, Al-Ghashiyah and other names.
Then Allah intensifies concern and fright for it by saying,
وَمَا أَدۡرَاكَ مَا الۡقَارِعَةُ
And what will make you know what Al-Qariah is?
Then He explains this by saying,
يَوۡمَ يَكُونُ النَّاسُ كَالۡفَرَاشِ الۡمَبۡثُوثِ
It is a Day whereon mankind will be like moths scattered about.
meaning, in their scattering, their dividing, their coming and their going, all due to being bewildered at what is happening to them, they will be like scattered moths.
This is like Allah's statement,
كَأَنَّهُمۡ جَرَادٌ مُّنتَشِرٌ
As if they were locusts spread abroad. (54:7)
وَتَكُونُ الۡجِبَالُ كَالۡعِهۡنِ الۡمَنفُوشِ
And the mountains will be like wool, carded.
meaning, they will become like carded wool that has began to wear out (fade away) and be torn apart.
Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ata' Al-Khurasani, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi have all said,
(like wool (`Ihn). Woolen.
Then Allah informs about the results received by those who performed the deeds, and the honor and disgrace they will experience based upon their deeds. He says,
فَأَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتۡ مَوَازِينُهُ
Then as for him whose Balance will be heavy.
meaning, his good deeds are more than his bad deeds.
فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ
He will live a pleasant life.
meaning, in Paradise.
وَأَمَّا مَنۡ خَفَّتۡ مَوَازِينُهُ
But as for him whose Balance will be light.
meaning, his bad deeds are more than his good deeds.
Then Allah says,
His mother will be Hawiyah.
It has been said that this means he will be falling and tumbling headfirst into the fire of Hell, and the expression `his mother' has been used to refer to his brain (as it is the mother of his head).
A statement similar to this has been reported from Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah, Abu Salih and Qatadah.
He will fall into the Hellfire on his head.
Abu Salih made a similar statement when he said,
They will fall into the Fire on their heads.
It has also been said that it means his mother that he will return to and end up with in the Hereafter will be Hawiyah, which is one of the names of the Hellfire.
Ibn Jarir said,
Al-Hawiyah is only called his mother because he will have no other abode except for it.
Ibn Zayd said,
Al-Hawiyah is the Fire, and it will be his mother and his abode to which he will return, and where he will be settled.
Then he recited the Ayah,
(Their abode will be the Fire.) (3:151)
Ibn Abi Hatim said that it has been narrated from Qatadah that he said,
It is the Fire, and it is their abode.
Thus, Allah says in explaining the meaning of Al-Hawiyah,
وَمَا أَدۡرَاكَ مَا هِيَهۡ
And what will make you know what it is.
A fire Hamiyah!
meaning, extreme heat. It is a heat that is accompanied by a strong flame and fire.
It is narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,
نَارُ بَنِي ادَمَ الَّتِي تُوقِدُونَ جُزۡءٌ مِنۡ سَبۡعِينَ جُزۡءًا مِنۡ نَارِ جَهَنَّم
The fire of the Children of Adam that you all kindle is one part of the seventy parts of the fire of Hell.
They (the Companions) said, O Messenger of Allah! Isn't it sufficient
إِنَّهَا فُضِّلَتۡ عَلَيۡهَا بِتِسۡعَةٍ وَسِتِّينَ جُزۡءًا
It is more than it by sixty-nine times.
This has been recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. In some of the wordings he stated,
إِنَّهَا فُضِّلَتۡ عَلَيۡهَا بِتِسۡعَةٍ وَسِتِّينَ جُزۡءًا كُلُّهُنَّ مِثۡلُ حَرِّهَا
It is more than it by sixty-nine times, each of them is like the heat of it.
It has been narrated in a Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,
إِنَّ أَهۡوَنَ أَهۡلِ النَّارِ عَذَابًا مَنۡ لَهُ نَعۡلَنِ يَغۡلِي مِنۡهُمَا دِمَاغُه
Verily, the person who will receive the lightest torment of the people of the Hellfire will be a man who will have two sandals that will cause his brain to boil.'
It has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said,
اشۡتَكَتِ النَّارُ إِلَى رَبِّهَا فَقَالَتۡ
يَا رَبِّ أَكَلَ بَعۡضِي بَعۡضًا
فَأَذِنَ لَهَا بِنَفَسَيۡنِ
نَفَسٍ فِي الشِّتَاءِ وَنَفَسٍ فِي الصَّيۡفِ
فَأَشَدُّ مَا تَجِدُونَ فِي الشِّتَاءِ مِنۡ بَرۡدِهَا وَأَشَدُّ مَا تَجِدُونَ فِي الصَّيۡفِ مِنۡ حَرِّهَا
The Hellfire complained to its Lord and said,
O Lord! Some parts of me devour other parts of me.
So He (Allah) permitted it to take two breaths:
- one breath in the winter and
- one breath in the summer.
Thus, the most severe cold that you experience in the winter is from its cold, and the most severe heat that you experience in the summer is from its heat.
In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that he said,
إِذَا اشۡتَدَّ الۡحَرُّ فَأَبۡرِدُوا عَنِ الصَّلَةِ فَإِنَّ شِدَّةَ الۡحَرِّ مِنۡ فَيۡحِ جَهَنَّم
When the heat becomes intense pray the prayer when it cools down, for indeed the intense heat is from the breath of Hell.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Al-Qari`ah, and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.
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