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Surah Al-Zalzalah

Ayat/pg: 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | All

Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah Al-Zalzalah

Madina Madina (93)
8Total Ayat: 8
1Total Ruku: 1


It is derived from the word zilzal in the first verse.

Period of Revelation

Whether or not it was revealed, at Makkah or Madinah, is disputed.Ibn Masud, Ata, Jabir, and Mjahid say that it is a Makki Surah and astatement of Ibn Abbas also supports this view. On the contrary,Qatadah and Muqatil say that it is Madani and another statement of IbnAbbas also has been cited in support of this view. That it is a MadaniSurah is reasoned from a tradition from Hadrat Abu Said Khudri, whichIbn Abi Hatim has related from him. He says: "When the verse Fa-man yamal mithqala dharratin khairan yarah, wa man ya mal mithqala dharratinsharran yarah, was revealed, I said: "O Messenger of Allah, shall Ireally see my deeds? The Holy Messenger replied in the affirmative. Isubmitted: And every major sin?He replied yes. I said: And the minorsins too? He replied yes. Thereupon I exclaimed that I would then beruined. The Holy Prophet said: Rejoice, O Abu Sa'id, for each good actwill be equal to ten good acts like it." The basis of the argument forthis Surah's being Madani is that Hadrat Abu Sa'ld Khudri was aninhabitant of Madinah and reached maturity after the Battle of Uhud.Therefore, if this Surah was revealed in his presence, as is apparentfrom his statement, it must be a Madani Surah. However, the practicethat the Companions and their immediate successors followed in respectof the occasion of the revelation of the verses and Surahs, has alreadybeen explained in the Introduction to Surah Ad-Dahr above. Therefore, aCompanion's saying that a verse was sent down on this or thatparticular occasion is no proof that it was sent down on that veryoccasion. It may well be that after coming of age when Hadrat AbuSa'id heard this Surah for the first time from the Holy Prophet,terrified by its last portion he might have asked the Holy Prophet thequestions which we have cited above, and he might have narrated theincident saying that when this verse was revealed he put this and thisquestion to the Holy Prophet. In the absence of this tradition everyreader who reads the Qur'an with understandings will feel that it is aMakki Surah. More than that: from its theme and style he would feelthat it must have been sent down in the earliest stage at Makkah whenthe fundamental principles and beliefs of Islam were being presentedbefore the people in a concise but highly effective way.

Theme and Subject Matter

Its theme is the second life after death and presentation in it beforeman of the full record of the deeds done by him in the world. In thefirst three sentences it has been told briefly how the second lifeafter death will take place and how confounding it will be for man. Inthe next two sentences it has been said that this very earth on whichman has lived and performed all kinds of deeds thoughtlessly, andabout which he never could fancy that this lifeless thing would atsome time in the future bear witness to his deeds, will speak out onthat Day by Allah's command and will state in respect of eachindividual person what act he had committed at a particular time andplace. Then, it has been said that men on that Day, rising from theirgraves, will come out in their varied groups from all corners of theearth, to be shown their deeds and works, and their presentation ofthe deeds will be so complete and detailed that not an atom's weightof any good or evil act will be left unnoticed or hidden from his eyes.

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