This is post #40 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).
In the previous post, we discussed the first 16 verses of Surah Naba’. The remaining 24 verses discuss the Day of Judgment, Paradise, and Hellfire; you should read them to extract the details. Insha’Allah we’re going to touch on a few points that are interesting.
First, a recap–verse 16 talked about (a continuing discussion of) some of the blessings of Allah (‘azza wa jal) in the dunya on the people. Then–WHAM!–verse 17 says:
إِنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ كَانَ مِيقَاتًا
Translation: Indeed, the Day of Judgement is an appointed time. [Surah An-Naba', verse 17]
Suddenly, the topic shifts seamlessly into the Hereafter. Some gems to extract from this verse:
- Yawm Al-Fasl: The Day of Judgment is called Yawmul Fasli. What’s the meaning of fasl? Arabic students will say “aha! it means class!” But what does it really mean? The root verb is (I believe) fasala, which means to differentiate, to distinguish, to split apart into levels; this, class–students of different levels. And Yawmul-Fasl? The day that the people will be divided into groups and nations and successful and unsuccessful.
- An Appointment: Meeqat is a word familiar to all the hujjaaj–it means an appointed place (in the context of Hajj), i.e. the points at which Ihram must go on. It can also mean an appointed time; here, Allah (‘azza wa jal) is saying, the Day of Judgment is scheduled at an appointment. It won’t run late. It won’t surprise you early; if anything, it’s already decided when it will happen, down to the nanosecond …
Then Allah (subhannahu wa ta’ala) continues:
يَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْوَاجًا
Translation: The Day the Horn is blown and you will come forth in multitudes. [Surah Naba, verse 18]
The phrase “yunfakhu fis-soor,” might confuse you; yunfakhu is clearly a Baab I word in the passive form (it was done); but with a harf-ul-jarr? In English, we don’t really say things like “the balloon was blown into,” but this is precisely the Arabic construct.
As-Soor means, well, a trumpet; what kind of trumpet is not important. The Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said to the meaning of: “How can I enjoy myself anything, when the angel has already put the trumpet (As-Soor) into his mouth and has taken a breath and stands with his eyes fixed on the throne of Ar-Rahman, waiting for the instant that the command will be given, to blow?” So the sahaba said, “What should we say O Messenger of Allah (since the end of the world is so close)?” He said: “Say: hasbunallaha wa ni’ma al-wakeel,” Allah is sufficient for us and he is Al-Wakeel (the one who takes care of all your affairs).” [Source unknown]
After describing more of the horrors of the Day of Judgment, Allah says:
إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ كَانَتْ مِرْصَادً
Translation: Indeed, Hell has been lying in wait. [Verse 21]
Mirsaad is a word known very well by the Arabs of that time — and by anyone who plays first-person shooter games. If you’re riding down a road, and people spring out of nowhere and ambush you — that’s mirsaad. Ambush. So we see that Hellfire is a creature; it’s not just some passive flames — but rather, it will ambush those who are walking through life, unaware, that it’s just waiting around the corner.
A couple of verses later, describing the fare of the people of Hellfire, Allah says:
لَّابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا
لَّا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا بَرْدًا وَلَا شَرَابًا
إِلَّا حَمِيمًا وَغَسَّاقًا
Translation: In which they will remain for ages [unending]. They will not taste therein [any] coolness or drink, Except scalding water and [foul] purulence – An appropriate recompense. [Surah An-Naba', verses 23-26]
We already discussed the food of the people of Hellfire — long, spiky, poisonous fare; and their drink — boiling water, and the juices of the roasting people of Hellfire. And then Allah says: “Jazaa’an wifaaqaa,” an exact and perfect repayment for them.
And this shows that they are the most evil people — that Allah does not wrong them anything or give them more or less than they deserve; and this is what they deserve.
We seek Allah’s refuge in being from among those people.
If you could interview those people now and ask them, “why are you here?” Or, statistically, what trend or trait lead to these people being in Hellfire? Wouldn’t you want to know, so you could avoid that trait?
Allah (‘azza wa jal) explains:
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا لَا يَرْجُونَ حِسَابًا
Translation: Indeed, they were not expecting an account. [Verse 27]
Hisaab is the taking-to-account that every human being will go through on the Day of Judgment. It’s referred to as “reckoning,” “taking to account,” or similar phrases in translations.
One of the things we learn from studying the verses addressing ahlul-kitaab, is that the verses don’t just address them; they address anyone who has the same characteristics that they have. So if you’re Muslim, and you’re not worried about your hisaab … that’s a very dangerous place to be; Allah (‘azza wa jal) says to these people who denied the truth:
فَذُوقُوا فَلَن نَّزِيدَكُمْ إِلَّا عَذَابًا
Translation: “So taste [the penalty], and never will We increase you except in torment.” [Surah An-Naba', verse 30]
This is a very scary verse. Think about it. Punishment only gets more intense in Hellfire. The easiest part is the beginning; it gets progressively worse and worse and worse. You ask for food? You have to choke down poisonous spikes. You ask for water? You get hameem and ghassaq. You ask for a lighter punishment? You get more punishment.
May Allah protect us all from the punishment of Hellfire.
Insha’Allah we will wrap up Surah Naba’ in our next post, and then on to other suraat in this juz.
- Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.