Surat Al-Ghaashiyah (The Overwhelming Event)

Quran - Surat  al-Ghaashiyah

In the Name of Allah, Most Kind, Most Merciful

  1. Has the news of the overwhelming event reached you?
  2. Some faces will on that day be humbled.
  3. Labouring, toiling endlessly:
  4. They will enter an intensely hot Fire:
  5. They will be given to drink from a boiling spring.
  6. For them there will be no food except from a poisonous, thorny plant
  7. Which will neither nourish them, nor avail them against hunger.
  8. Other faces on that day will radiate with bliss,
  9. Well pleased with the fruit of their striving
  10. In a sublime garden,
  11. Where they will hear no empty talk.
  12. Therein there is a flowing spring.
  13. Therein will be couches raised high.
  14. And cups set at hand,
  15. And cushions arranged.
  16. And rich carpets spread around.
  17. Do they not then look at the camels how they are created?
  18. And the sky, how it is raised high?
  19. And at the mountains how they are fixed firm?
  20. And the earth how it is spread out?
  21. So remind [O Muhammad]; for you are only one who reminds;
  22. You are not set in authority over them;
  23. As for him who turns away and rejects the Truth.
  24. Allah will punish him with the most terrible punishment.
  25. Indeed, to Us will be their return.
  26. Then indeed, upon us will be the account.

This surah was revealed in Makkah. It takes its title from the word al-Ghaashiyah, which occurs in the first verse. This surah consists of twenty-six verses and may be divided into four sections:

  1. The surah begins with a question concerning the Day of Judgement, which is here called al-Ghaashiyah, the overwhelming catastrophe, which will overwhelm all creatures. It offers a glimpse of the Day of Reckoning which will overwhelm people so that they would feel surrounded by a catastrophe from which they cannot escape. This day will be an extremely hard day for the rejecters of the Truth.

The faces of the disbelieves on that Day will be gloomy and humble; weary and labouring. They will be cast into the burning Fire of Hell, where they will drink only boiling water and eat only Dharee. Dharee is said to be a bitter, thorny plant in its dried state, which will give them neither strength nor will it avail them against hunger. (Verses 1-7)

  1. The surah then goes on to mention the situation of the righteous believers who will be pleased with their good actions. Pleasure will be noticeable on their faces, and they will be secure in their dwellings in Paradise where they will be in total happiness. (Verses 8-16)
  2. The surah then draws our attention to some of Allah’s wonderful creations. It calls us to reflect on the wonderful creation of the camels. the amazing heaven over us and how it is raised in such magnificence, the mountains and how they are firmly affixed so the earth does not sway with its dwellers, and the earth and how it is spread out, extended and made smooth for us. (Verses 17-20)
  3. Finally, the surah ends with Allah’s Command to the Prophet (pbuh) to remind people of this day and of their ultimate return to Allah.

Man is by nature forgetful. By habit and preoccupation, he is caught up in the concerns of the world, which makes him misery and unjust. One form of purification is the performance of the five daily prayers which break the preoccupation of the day and help orient us towards the message of the Quran. Another form of reminder is the regular recitation of the Quran. (Verses 21-26)

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