REFLECTIONS ON THE CHAPTER OF THE STRIKING [101]

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REFLECTIONS ON THE CHAPTER OF THE STRIKING [101]


In the Name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.


الْقَارِعَةُ

 

“The Striking” [101:1]


مَا الْقَارِعَةُ

 

“What is the Striking?” [101:2]


وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْقَارِعَةُ

 

“And what makes you aware of what the Striking is?” [101:3]


يَوْمَ يَكُونُ النَّاسُ كَالْفَرَاشِ الْمَبْثُوثِ

 

“(It is) a Day whereon men will be like moths scattered about,” [101:4]


وَتَكُونُ الْجِبَالُ كَالْعِهْنِ الْمَنفُوشِ

 

“And the mountains will be like carded wool.” [101:5]


فَأَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ

 

“So, he whose scales are heavy,” [101:6]


فَهُوَ فِي عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ

 

“He will be in a life well-pleasing.” [101:7]


وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ

 

“And he whose scales are light,” [101:8]


فَأُمُّهُ هَاوِيَةٌ

 

“Then his abode will be Hawiyah’ (the abyss).” [101:9]


وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا هِيَهْ

 

“And what makes you know what that (abyss) is?” [101:10]


نَارٌ حَامِيَةٌ

 

“(It is) a Raging Fire.” [101:11]


Contents of Surah Qari’ah

This Surah is the 30th Surah in the chronological order of the Holy Qur’an and the 101st Surah in the traditional Qur’an with 11 verses. This Surah is a Meccan Surah.

 

This Surah, on the whole, describes the Resurrection Day and its preliminary events. The style is alarming and awakening with some clear warnings. According to this Surah, people are divided into two definite groups: Those whose good deeds weigh heavy by the Divine Scales will rejoice in a pleasant life; and those whose good deeds weigh light will have the abyss as their abode.

 

The name of the Surah, Al-Qariah, is taken from the first verse.


The Virtue of Studying this Surah

On the virtue of reciting the Surah, a tradition from Imam Baqir (as) says:

 

“He who recites Al-Qari’ah, God secures him from the calamity of (believing in) Dajjal (the deceiver) and also from the hideousness of Hell on the Day of Judgement, God willing,” [1]


Surah Qari’ah, Verses 1-11

  1. “The Striking”
  2. “What is the Striking?”
  3. “And what makes you aware of what the Striking is?”
  4. “(It is) a Day whereon men will be like moths scattered about,”
  5. “And the mountains will be like carded wool.”
  6. “So, he whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy,”
  7. “He will be in a life well-pleasing.”
  8. “And he whose scales (of good deeds) are light,”
  9. “Then his abode will be Hawiyah’ (the abyss).”
  10. “And what makes you know what that (abyss) is?”
  11. “(It is) a Raging Fire.”

The Striking

In these verses, which are about the circumstances of the Judgement Day, first it says:“The Striking, What is the Striking?”

 

The term “qari’ah” (قارعة) is based on “qar’” (قرع) which means ‘to beat or strike something on something else so that a sound is heard’, hence lash, scourge and whip are termed “miqra’ah” (مقرعة), and further, any important, grievous event is called “qari’ah”.

 

Regarding the senses put in verses 2 and 3 that even the Holy Prophet (S) is told:“And what makes you aware of what the Calamity is”,clarifies the fact that this event is so great that no imagination can comprehend it.

 

In any event, many commentators have said that “qari’ah” is one of the names of the Day of Judgement. They have not clarified that this sense refers to the events before the Hereafter when this world will be destroyed, the Sun and the Moon will become dark, and the seas will overflow. If it is so, the name selected for the event, Qari’ah, has a clear reason.

 

Or, if the purpose is the second stage, i.e., the resurrection of the dead and the new design in the world of being, the use of the word ‘qari’ah’ is for the reason that fear and terror of that Day will strike the hearts.

 

The verses following that verse partly agree with the incident of the world destruction, and partly refer to the resurrection of the dead, but, on the whole, the first probability seems more appropriate, though both incidents, in these verses, are mentioned one after another; (like many other verses of the Qur’an which inform about the Hereafter).


Then, to describe that amazing Day, it says: “(It is) a Day whereon men will be like moths (Night flies) scattered about.”

 

The term “farash” (فراش) is the plural form of “farashah” (فراشة). Many commentators have considered it as meaning ‘moths’ while some others have rendered it to mean ‘locusts’.

 

The meaning of the word, itself, is the former one, of course, so they may have adapted it to the meaning in Surah Qamar, No. 54, verse 7 in which people, on That Day, are likened to ‘scattered locusts’:

 

 

“They will come forth – their eyes humbled – from their graves, (torpid) like locusts scattered abroad.”

 

 

It is probable that likening people to ‘moths’ is for the reason that the state of moths in a violent storm gives some idea of the confusion, distress, and helplessness of which men are overwhelmed with on the Day of Judgement.

 

Again, the question arises, here thus: is this confusion, distress and horrible helplessness because of the end of this physical world, or, is it because of the beginning of the spiritual world, the Hereafter?


The answer to the question is clearly found in what is said above. Then, referring to another speciality of that Day, it says: “And the mountains will be like carded wool.”

 

The term “ihn” (عهن) means ‘colored wool’, and the term “manfush” (منفوش), based on “nafs” (نفش) means ‘teased, carded (wool)’ which is usually done by special means on a wool-carder.

 

It was mentioned before that according to the different verses of Qur’an, at the threshold of the Hereafter, first, mountains will move, then, they will cleave asunder and break into pieces, and finally they will turn into dust and scatter in the air, which, in this verse, is likened to colored-carded wool; the wool which travels with storms and will be seen only by its color. This is the last stage in the destruction of the mountains.

 

This idea may also refer to the various colors of the mountains, because the mountains, on the earth, range in color and each has a special color.In any case, this meaning shows that the above verses speak about the first stage of the Hereafter; that is, the stage of destruction and the end of the world.


Then, reference is made to the Resurrection stage and the reviving of the dead and their division into two groups.

 

It says: “So, he whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy, He will be in a life well-pleasing.”

 

“And he whose scales (of good deeds) are light,Then his abode will be ‘Hawiyah’ (the abyss). And what makes you know what that (abyss) is? (It is) a Raging Fire.”


Cf. 7:8; 23:102. Scales are heavy with good deeds. Mawāzīn, here translated scales is the plural of mīzān, which elsewhere is translated balance (6:152; 7:85; 11:84–85; 42:17; 55:7–9; 57:25). Balance (mīzān) is employed in the Quran to indicate revelation itself and the establishment of a just order that accords with what has been revealed (see 57:25c), whereas scales (mawāzīn) is employed in relation to the measuring of one’s deeds on the Day of Resurrection (see 21:47).

 

The plural, scales, speaks to how each individual will experience the weighing of his or her deeds, but according to most, it is in fact one scale, hence one balance, in which all deeds are weighed. From a Quranic perspective, the good deed and the evil deed are not equal (41:34), and good deeds remove those that are evil (11:114). Good deeds thus significantly outweigh evil deeds, as in 6:160: Whosoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof; but whosoever brings an evil deed shall be recompensed only with the like thereof.

 

But it is the character and intention behind deeds that establish their true weight. Regarding character, a ḥadīth states, “There is nothing placed in the Balance that is heavier than goodness of character (ḥusn al-khuluq).” Regarding intention, another ḥadīth states, “Deeds are only in accord with their intentions. And every person has only what he intended.” From one perspective, although all deeds will be weighed, it is nonetheless through God’s Mercy that salvation occurs, for God is not bound by human actions. As a ḥadīth states, “None of you will enter Paradise by his deeds.” Someone asked, “Not even you, O Messenger of God?” He said, “Not even me, save that God shelter me with His Mercy.” For he shall enjoy a life contenting, cf. 69:21. For one whose scales are light, cf. 7:9; 23:103.

 

The term “mawazin” (موازين) is the plural form of “mizan” (ميزان) which means ‘scales, balance’; an instrument which was used for weighing material things, at first, and then, figuratively, was used for measuring spiritual things, too.

 

Some believe that, on That Day, the deeds of Man will appear in the form of corporeal beings which can be weighed, and they will actually be weighed by deed-scales.

 

It is also considered that the record, itself, may be weighed and if it contains good deeds recorded, it weighs heavy, otherwise, it is light or weightless. But, apparently, it does not need these explanations.


The instrument for measuring deeds is not necessarily the ordinary weighing which is done with two scales, but it can be by any means of weighing, as a tradition says:

 

“Amir-al-Mo’mineen and other Imams from his descendents (as) are the scales by which our deeds are measured.” [2]


A tradition from Imam Sadiq (as) denotes that when he was asked about the meaning of “mizan” he answered: “The scales and Justice are the same.” [3]


Thus, with the existence of God’s saints and /or the divine laws of justice by which the deeds of Man are compared, will be weighed and valued due to their similarity and adaptability to them.

 

By the way, the term “mawazin”, in its plural form, shows that the saints of God and the divine laws are individually separate scales of measurement, otherwise, the variety of the form and kind of Man’s attributes and deeds demand different means of measurement.


Raqib cites in Mufradat: “In the Holy Qur’an “mizan” is sometimes used in the singular and sometimes in the plural form; the former refers to the One Who reckons, the Lord, and the latter refers to those who are reckoned with.”

 

The term ‘Ishat-Ar-Radhiyah‘ (عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ) (a life well-pleasing’) used in the verse, is a very interesting sense about the favourable life of the good-doers in Heaven which is thoroughly calm and peasant.

 

It is so pleasant that the life, itself, is ‘well-pleasing’, which is the subjective case, instead of being ‘well-pleased’, which is the objective case.

 

This great privilege is only for the next life, because however much happy, favourable, safe, and pleasant the life of this world may be, it is still not free from many unpleasant factors. It is only the next-world-life that is thoroughly favourable, happy, and pleasant with full safety, tranquility and bounty.


The word“Umm” ( أُمّ)‘mother’, mentioned in the verse, is for the reason that mother is generally a shelter for the child when. There is trouble and here it indicates that the sinner whose scale of good actions is light has no shelter, but Hell, and woe unto the one whose shelter is ‘Hell’.

 

The term “hawiyah” (هَاوِيَةٌ) is based on “Hawa” (هَوَى) ( in the sense of ‘to fall’ and it is one of the names of Hell, because sinners fall into it and also, it denotes to the depth of the blazing fire of Hell.

 

The term “hamiyah” (حَامِيَةٌ) is based on “hamy” (حمي) with the meaning of ‘violent heat’, and “hamiyah”, here refers to the extraordinary burning, hot fire of Hell.

 

In any case, the phrase : “And what makes you know what that (abyss) is? (It is) a Raging Fire” : is an emphasis on the idea that chastisement of the Hereafter and the fire of Hell is beyond the consideration of all men.


Weighing the Good Deeds; the Deciding Factors

No doubt, the values of the deeds of good-doers are not the same. They are very different from each other. So, some good actions, which are the cause of the scales of deeds being heavier on the Day of Judgement, are emphasized more than others.

 

According to a tradition, commenting on the phrase ‘there is no god, but Allah’, The Holy Prophet (S) said: “It points to the Oneness of God and no action is accepted by God without it. It is the word of virtue by which the scales of deeds will be weighed heavy on the Day of judgement.” [4]


In another tradition, from Hazrat Ali (as) about the attestation to the Oneness of God and the Prophecy of the Holy Prophet (S) he has said:

 

“The scales by which deeds are measured without these two are light and they are heavy with them.” [5]


Another tradition from Imam Baqir or Imam Sadiq (as) says: “There is nothing on the scales heavier than the benediction upon Prophet Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad”.

 

Then, he continues saying: “On the Day of Judgement some people will come for their account whose scale of (good) deeds are light, but, these will become heavy when the ‘benediction upon Prophet Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad is added to it.” [6]


Reflection #2 : The Striking and The Weight


This chapter is an awakening for the deniers and the evil doers who are in a state of heedlessness. This chapter is directed to the ones who needs a thunderbolt in front of them in order for them to wake up.

 

The whole world is in a state of unconsciousness where we are unaware of the reality of Justice. Just look at the Axis of Evil (USA, Israel and Saudi Arabia) and how they are trying to manipulate the world with their evil ideology of Satan.

 

Remember that God’s wake up call will strike such people. Unfortunately, there are some Muslims today who attribute such Surahs to Muslims and make them feel like disbelievers. They have not understood that such verses and Surahs with such tones are directed against the people belonging to what we call today: “The Axis of Evil” and the people who love this axis and follow it.

 

General people will live as the average human being: wake up, eat and sleep. No difference between them and a group of moths flying around. People who love materialism too much must understand that God will crush that which we see in front of us, such as the mountains, and extract something better for the believers and the deniers will end up in a state of more degradation in the cycle of destruction. Remember that you can never get the juice of a coconut unless you crush it with something hard. Some people live in the sweetness of reality while others deny it and will be awakened by it.


When it comes to the balance (Al-Mizan), many Muslims have forgotten the last testament of the Prophet (saw) who explained the Mizan of Thiql (The Balance of a heavy weight) :

 

 

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ إِنِّي تَارِكٌ فِيكُمْ مَا إِنْ تَمَسَّكْتُمْ بِهِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعْدِي أَحَدُهُمَا أَعْظَمُ مِنَ الآخَرِ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ حَبْلٌ مَمْدُودٌ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ إِلَى الأَرْضِ وَعِتْرَتِي أَهْلُ بَيْتِي وَلَنْ يَتَفَرَّقَا حَتَّى يَرِدَا عَلَىَّ الْحَوْضَ فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ تَخْلُفُونِي فِيهِمَا ‏”‏

The Prophet (S) said before leaving the world: “I leave behind me two weighty things: hold on to them, and you will never ever go astray, one is greater than the other (the word of God comes over all) : The Book of God and my Ahlulbayt and its lineage (to the twelfth Imam) (عِتْرَتِي). These two will never separate until the day of judgment when they meet me at the pool (of Kawthar) ” [Sahih Muslim 2408 d, Book 44, Hadith 58, Eng reference : Book 31, Hadith 5923, Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, pp 662-663,328 och 1000+ other Sunni references]


 Some Sunni references 


  1. Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, pp 662-663,328, report of 30+ companions, with reference to several chains of transmitters and Sahih Muslim 2408 d, Book 44, Hadith 58, Eng reference : Book 31, Hadith 5923
  2. Al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, Chapter of “Understanding (the virtues) of Companions, v3, pp 109,110,148,533 who wrote this tradition is authentic (Sahih) based on the criteria of the two Shaikhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim).
  3. Sunan, by Daarami, v2, p432
  4. Musnad, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v3, pp 14,17,26,59, v4, pp 366,370-372, v5, pp 182,189,350,366,419
  5. Fadha’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p585, Tradition #990
  6. al-Khasa’is, by al-Nisa’i, pp 21,30
  7. al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, p230
  8. al-Kabir, by al-Tabarani, v3, pp 62-63,137
  9. Kanz al-Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Chapter al-Iti’sam bi Habl Allah, v1, p44.
  10. Tafsir Ibn Kathir (complete version), v4, p113, under commentary of verse 42:23 of Qur’an (four traditions)
  11. al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, by Ibn Sa’d, v2, p194, Pub. by Dar Isadder, Lebanon.
  12. al-Jami’ al-Saghir, by al-Suyuti, v1, p353, and also in v2
  13. Majma’ al-Zawa’id, al-Haythami, v9, p163
  14. al-Fateh al-Kabir, al-Binhani, v1, p451
  15. Usdul Ghabah fi Ma’rifat al-Sahaba, Ibn al-Athir, v2, p12
  16. Jami’ al-Usul, Ibn al-Athir, v1, p187
  17. History of Ibn Asakir, v5, p436
  18. al-Taj al-Jami’ Lil Usul, v3, p308
  19. al-Durr al-Manthoor, al-Hafidh al-Suyuti, v2, p60
  20. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi, pp 38,183
  21. Abaqat al-Anwar, v1, p16
  22. And 1000+ more

The weight on the day of judgment lies in these two weighty things. Unfortunately, Muslims today have neglected both of them..


Supplication

O Lord! Change the scales of our good deeds to heavy from our love for Muhammad (S) and the progeny of Muhammad (as).

 

O Lord! It is impossible for us to approach the state of ‘being in a life well-pleasing’, but by Your Favor. Might You, Yourself, help us to reach it.

 

O Lord! The Fire of Justice is a blazing inferno and we cannot bear it. By Your Grace keep us far from it.


| Amir Zabidi and Imam Ali Center <3


Further reading


  1. Majma’ Al-Bayan By Shaykh At-Tabrasi
  2. Tafsir Namuneh By Ayatollah Naser Makarem As-Shirazi
  3. Tafsir Al-Mizan By At-Tabatabaei
  4. Tafsir Nur Ath-Thaqalayn By Al-Huwayzi
  5. Tafsir As-Safi By Al-Kashaani
  6. Tafsir At-Tibyan By Shaykh At-Tusi
  7. Tafsir Jami’ Al-Jawami’ By Shaykh At-Tabrasi
  8. Tafsir Al-Qummi by Shaykh Ali Ibrahim Al-Qummi
  9. Tafsir As-Shubr
  10. Tafsir Min Wahy Al-Qur’an By Sayyed Muhammed Hussain Fadlallah
  11. Tafsir Al-Mubin by Sayyed Muhammed Jawad Al-Mughniyah
  12. Tafsir Furat Al-Kufi
  13. The Study Qur’an by Hossein An-Nasr
  14. Tafsir Al-Kabir by Fakhr Ad-Din Ar-Razi
  15. Tafsir Al-Kashaaf By Zamakshari

References


[1] Majma’-al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 530.

[2] Bihar-al-Anwar, vol. 7, p. 251.

[3] Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, vol. 2, p. 5.

[4] Nuruth Thaqalayn. vol. 5, p. 659, tradition 12.

[5] Nur-uth- Thaqalayn, vol. 5, p. 659, tradition 8.

[6] Nur-uth- Thaqalayn, vol. 5, p. 659, tradition 7.


| REFLECTIONS ON THE CHAPTER OF THE STRIKING [101]

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