Surat at-Takwir (The Overthrowing)

Learn Quran - Surah at-Takwir

This surah offers a universal overturning. The sky, the seas, the mountains and the normal order of life will be one day pulled away, and the deepest secrets within it will be made bare! This surah was revealed very early in Makkah. It takes its name from the fact in the first verse that the sun will be wrapped up in darkness [kuwwirat); the term takweer is derived from it. The surah consists of twenty-nine verses and may be divided into three sections dealing with the following major themes:

  1. The first section (verses 1-14) is a graphic picture of the major, frightening events that will take place in the universe on the Last Day. The surah lists twelve events that will accompany the Resurrection. Verse eight in this section speaks of the question that will be asked to the infant girls who were buried alive, which was a heinous crime committed by Arabs in the pre-Islamic era, known as Jaahiliyyah, the days of ignorance before the coming of Islam.This refers to the barbaric custom of burying female infants alive for fear of shame or poverty. The custom was fairly widespread in pre-Islamic Arabia. Arabs used to kill their baby girls in an extremely cruel way by burying them alive.
    On the Day of Judgment the female infants who were buried alive will be asked what sin they had committed that had caused them to be murdered. This question will be a means of frightening their murderer and shows the terrible punishment awaiting them for committing such a major crime.
  2. The second section (verses 15-18) consists of the major signs by which Almighty Allah swears to establish the important facts mentioned in the next section: the stars which disappear during the day and sweep across the sky at night, the night which covers the people and the dawn as it breathes away the darkness of the night.
  3. The third and the last section (verses 1 9-29) contain the truth that the Quran was revealed by Allah through Angel Jibreel to the Prophet (pbuh) who was not a possessed man; for indeed Jibreel brought him the message from Allah, in the form in which Almighty Allah created him, with six hundred wings in the clear horizon. This was the first sighting which took place in Makkah. The surah ends with a warning of a dreadful punishment in the afterlife to those who do not believe in the Day of Resurrection, the Quran and the Prophethood of Muhammad (pbuh), clearly stating that the Quran is a reminder for all mankind for whoever seeks true guidance; but the will to be guided is not left to mankind; for whoever wishes to be guided will certainly be guided, and whoever wishes to go astray will certainly be misguided, all in according to the will of Allah the Almighty.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful

  1. When the sun is wrapped up [in darkness]
  2. And when the stars fall, dispersing,
  3. And when the mountains are removed
  4. And when full-term she-camels are neglected
  5. And when the wild beasts are gathered
  6. And when the seas are filled with flame
  7. And when the souls are paired
  8. And when the girl [who was] buried alive is asked
  9. For what sin she was killed
  10. And when the pages are made public
  11. And when the sky is stripped away
  12. And when Hellfire is set ablaze
  13. And when Paradise is brought near,
  14. A soul will [then] know what it has brought [with it].
  15. So I swear by the retreating stars –
  16. Those that run [their courses] and disappear –
  17. And by the night as it closes in
  18. And by the dawn when it breathes
  19. [That] indeed, the Quran is a word [conveyed by] a noble messenger
  20. [Who is] possessed of power and with the Owner of the Throne, secure [in position],
  21. Obeyed there [in the heavens] and trustworthy.
  22. And your companion is not [at all] mad.
  23. And he has already seen Gabriel in the clear horizon.
  24. And Muhammad is not a withholder of [knowledge of] the unseen.
  25. And the Quran is not the word of a devil, expelled [from the heavens].
  26. So where are you going?
  27. It is not except a reminder to the worlds
  28. For whoever wills among you to take a right course.
  29. And you do not will except that Allah wills – Lord of the worlds.

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