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Interpretation of Sura Nazi'at - Verses 42-46

42. They ask you about the Hour, When will it come to pass?

43. Wherein art thou (concerned) with the declaration thereof?

44. With thy Lord is the limit fixed therefore.

45. You ore but a Warner to him who fears it.

46. It shall seem to them on the day when they behold it, as though they tarred not (in their graves) but an evening or a forenoon.


Only Allah knows the Final Hour, the Resurrection.

In the aforementioned verses the Hereafter and the destiny of the righteous and the wrongdoers, on that Day, is described and, now, in the following verses the focus is on the common question of the rejecters of the Resurrection. It says:

They ask you about the Hour, When will it come to pass?

Answering this question, to make them understand that no one knows when the final Great Event will take place, the Holy Qur'an addresses the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and says:

Wherein art thou (concerned) with the declaration thereof?

When the date of the occurrence of the Hereafter is hidden even from the Prophet, then the status of others is obvious. This is of the knowledge which is hidden and exclusively belongs to Allah It is out of reach for all.

It is mentioned, repeatedly, that one of the things that are veiled for everyone is the exact time of the Hereafter whose training effect is not possible save being secret; since, if the exact time appointed for it were revealed and it were far away, everyone would sink deeply in negligence; and if it were near, avoiding sin would be done confusingly and far from free-will and intention, both of which are worthless from the point of training.

There have been other probabilities cited, also, and among them is that: 'you were not appointed in order to tell the time of the occurrence of the Hereafter but, you are appointed to inform others of its existence and that it will certainly happen'.

Moreover, 'your appointment shows that the Day of Judgment is coming nearer'. So, the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) is reported to have said, showing his two forefingers: My appointment and the Hour are like these. (1) But the first commentary is the most appropriate.

With thy Lord is the limit fixed therefore.

It is only He Who knows the Hour. No man knows the mystery and no effort and endeavor is useful for finding the answer.

This is the same idea that Sura Luqman, No.31, verse 34 says: Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone) ....

And, again, from Sura A'raf. No. 7, verse 187: ...Say: 'the knowledge thereof is with my Lord (alone) .,.

Some have said that the objective point of the above sentence is that the actual occurrence of the Hereafter is under His control, and the (1) Tafsir-i-Fakhr-i-Razi, The Commentary, vol.29, p.29. This matter is mentioned referring to Sura 49, verse 18 in Majma'-al-Bayan, Qartabi, Fizalal and others.

sentence is a statement for the cause of what is said in the previous verse. To combine these two commentaries is possible, too.

You are but a Warner to him who fears.

'Your duty is only to warn them and you are not responsible to tell them the final Hour.'

It is worthy to note that the warning referred to, here, is only to those who fear that Day and this is similar to what Sura Bqarah, No.2, verse 2 says: This is the Book; in it is guidance without doubt, to those who fear Allah . These kind of statements refer to the fact that when there is an absence in the soul for seeking the right and the truth and a lack of the sense of responsibility in front of Allah exists, then, Man neither goes in search of the heavenly books for information about the Resurrection nor does he listen to the warnings of the Prophets and Saints.

Finally, to express that there is not a great deal of time until the Day of Judgment, it says:

It shall seem to them on the day when they behold it, as though they tarried not (in their graves) but an evening or a forenoon."

The length of the life, in this world, is so short and the period of the intermediate state (Barzakh) passes so quickly, that when they rise, again, for the Day of Judgment the whole period seems to them as if it were only a few hours.

This idea, that the life in this world is short and fleeting, is both practical and true and, in comparison with the Hereafter and the life of the whole Universe, it is like a moment.

The term /ashiyyah/ means 'evening', and /duha/ is used for 'a period when the sun has come up and its beam of light has spread'.

Some verses of the Qur'an indicate that on the Day of Judgment the sinners will talk about the length of their stay in partition (purgatory) or their life in this world, in this manner: In whispers will they consult each other: 'Ye tarried not longer than ten (days) ' (Sura Ta-Ha No. 20, verse 103) .

But those of them who think more soundly say: ...their leader most eminent in conduct will say: 'Tarred not longer than a day. (Sura No. 20, verse 104) .

In another Sura, it narrates the sinners idea: On the Day that the Hour (of reckoning) will be established, the transngressors will swear that they tarred not but an hour...(Sura Rum, No. 30, Verse 55) .

The difference between these various statements is that the sinners want to compare the shortness of this time with an approximate length of their stay, therefore, each of them states his own feelings, and they all have one thing in common which is that the shortness of life in this world is compared to the life in the Hereafter. This, of course, is a matter that shakes Man, and awakens him from the sleep of negligence.


O Lord! Gift us the calmness and tranquility on that Great Day, in partition (purgatory) and in this world.

O Lord! No one can erase the troubles of that Great Day, but by your Grace. Then, we seek your holy Grace.

O Lord! Lead us so that you put us among those who fear your presence and restrain their soul from low desires and will reside in eternal Heaven.

The End of Sura Nazia't (Those Who Tear Out)

Adapted from the book: "The Light of The Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Sura Nazi'at and Abasa and Takwir" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and A Group of Muslim Scholars"

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