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Surat Al-Qari’ah

by Muhammad Alshareef

We often say Yawm Al-Qiyaamah to refer to the Day of Resurrection. Al-Qari’ah is also a name for this horrific day. Qari’ah means to strike something with an intense pounding. For this reason, many translators have chosen to define Al-Qari’ah in English as ‘The Striking Day’.

The theme of this surah is only one – the end of the world as we know it. As we read this surah, Allah subhaanahu wa ta 'aala gives us a small peek at what horror awaits humanity on this day. When one sincerely recites this surah, the question that will repeat itself again and again shall be, how distracted have we let ourselves become?

Just look out the window and you will see oceans of people letting their life pass by, oblivious to the nearing apocalypse. If someone comes to our door and starts pounding aggressively on it, most likely we will be taken by surprise and jump out of our seats in preparation of what lies ahead. In fact, in Arabic qara’ al-baab means ‘he pounded on the door’; qara’ being from the same root as qari’ah. May Allah protect us from being taken by surprise with no deeds ready for this striking day.

In verse three of this surah, Allah subhaanahu wa ta 'aala says:

And what will make you know what the striking hour is (Al-Qari’ah 101/3)?

There is nothing, absolutely nothing, which will make us understand the horror we will taste on this day. The glance that we are getting in the following verses is simply a warning. Let us take heed, dear brothers and sisters, for the warning has been given.

It is a Day whereon mankind will be like moths scattered about / And the mountains will be like carded wool (Al-Qari’ah 101/4-5).

So, if one’s scale is heavy on the striking day, where will one end up – Heaven or Hell? Most people will answer that that person will be in Hell. It seems that we are programmed to just think about abstaining from bad deeds, but the message of striving to do good deeds is not as engrained within ourselves.

Allah subhaanahu wa ta 'aala says:

Then as for him whose balance will be heavy / He will live a pleasant life [in Paradise] (Al-Qari’ah 101/6-7).

Abu Hurayrah radi Allahu anhu narrated that the Prophet sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam said:

“[There are] two words which are dear to Ar-Rahmaan, easy upon the tongue to pronounce, and [which shall weigh] heavy on the scale. They are subhan Allah wa bihamdihi, subhan Allaahi al-adheem” (Bukhari).

Subhaan Allah wa bihamdihi means ‘exalted be Allah over all that is falsely ascribed to Him, and all thanks and praise belongs to Allah.’ Subhan Allaahi al-adheem means ‘exalted be Allah over all that is falsely ascribed to Him; (Allah) the Greatest.’

From today, let us make it a part of our daily habit to frequently say, subhan Allah wa bihamdihi, subhan Allaahi al-adheem. Allah subhaanahu wa ta 'aala loves it, it is easy to say, and because of it, perhaps on the striking day our scales will weigh down in our favor.