English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 84: Al-Inshiqaq — The Bursting Apart (Revealed at Makkah: 25 verses)



This chapter receives its title from the bursting apart of the heaven or the cloud mentioned in the first verse. The subject-matter is similar to that of the previous chapter. It is one of the earliest revelations.



بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

اِذَا السَّمَآءُ انۡشَقَّتۡ ۙ﴿۱﴾

84:1 When the heaven bursts apart,1

وَ اَذِنَتۡ لِرَبِّہَا وَ حُقَّتۡ ۙ﴿۲﴾

84:2 and listens to its Lord and is made fit;2

وَ اِذَا الۡاَرۡضُ مُدَّتۡ ۙ﴿۳﴾

84:3 and when the earth is stretched,3

وَ اَلۡقَتۡ مَا فِیۡہَا وَ تَخَلَّتۡ ۙ﴿۴﴾

84:4 and casts forth what is in it and becomes empty,

وَ اَذِنَتۡ لِرَبِّہَا وَ حُقَّتۡ ؕ﴿۵﴾

84:5 and listens to its Lord and is made fit.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الۡاِنۡسَانُ اِنَّکَ کَادِحٌ اِلٰی رَبِّکَ کَدۡحًا فَمُلٰقِیۡہِ ۚ﴿۶﴾

84:6 O man, you must strive a hard striving (to attain) to your Lord, until you meet Him.4

فَاَمَّا مَنۡ اُوۡتِیَ کِتٰبَہٗ بِیَمِیۡنِہٖ ۙ﴿۷﴾

84:7 Then as to him who is given his book in his right hand,

فَسَوۡفَ یُحَاسَبُ حِسَابًا یَّسِیۡرًا ۙ﴿۸﴾

84:8 his account will be taken by an easy reckoning,

وَّ یَنۡقَلِبُ اِلٰۤی اَہۡلِہٖ مَسۡرُوۡرًا ؕ﴿۹﴾

84:9 and he will go back to his people rejoicing.

وَ اَمَّا مَنۡ اُوۡتِیَ کِتٰبَہٗ وَرَآءَ ظَہۡرِہٖ ﴿ۙ۱۰﴾

84:10 And as to him who is given his book behind his back,

فَسَوۡفَ یَدۡعُوۡا ثُبُوۡرًا ﴿ۙ۱۱﴾

84:11 he will call for (his own) destruction,

وَّ یَصۡلٰی سَعِیۡرًا ﴿ؕ۱۲﴾

84:12 and enter into burning Fire.

اِنَّہٗ کَانَ فِیۡۤ اَہۡلِہٖ مَسۡرُوۡرًا ﴿ؕ۱۳﴾

84:13 Surely he was (formerly) joyful among his people.

اِنَّہٗ ظَنَّ اَنۡ لَّنۡ یَّحُوۡرَ ﴿ۚۛ۱۴﴾

84:14 Surely he thought that he would never return (to Allah) —

بَلٰۤی ۚۛ اِنَّ رَبَّہٗ کَانَ بِہٖ بَصِیۡرًا ﴿ؕ۱۵﴾

84:15 Indeed! surely his Lord is ever Seer of him.

فَلَاۤ اُقۡسِمُ بِالشَّفَقِ ﴿ۙ۱۶﴾

84:16 But no, I call to witness the sunset redness,

وَ الَّیۡلِ وَ مَا وَسَقَ ﴿ۙ۱۷﴾

84:17 and the night and what it drives away,

وَ الۡقَمَرِ اِذَا اتَّسَقَ ﴿ۙ۱۸﴾

84:18 and the moon when it grows full,5

لَتَرۡکَبُنَّ طَبَقًا عَنۡ طَبَقٍ ﴿ؕ۱۹﴾

84:19 that you shall certainly ascend to one state after another.6

فَمَا لَہُمۡ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۰﴾

84:20 But what is the matter with them that they do not believe?

وَ اِذَا قُرِئَ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡقُرۡاٰنُ  لَا یَسۡجُدُوۡنَ ﴿ؕٛ۲۱﴾

84:21 And, when the Quran is recited to them, they do not adore (Him)?Prostration

بَلِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا یُکَذِّبُوۡنَ ﴿۫ۖ۲۲﴾

84:22 No, those who disbelieve reject (it) —

وَ اللّٰہُ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَا یُوۡعُوۡنَ ﴿۫ۖ۲۳﴾

84:23 and Allah knows best what they hide.

فَبَشِّرۡہُمۡ بِعَذَابٍ اَلِیۡمٍ ﴿ۙ۲۴﴾

84:24 So announce to them a painful punishment,

اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَہُمۡ اَجۡرٌ غَیۡرُ مَمۡنُوۡنٍ ﴿٪۲۵﴾

84:25 except those who believe and do good — for them is a reward never to be cut off.



  1. Verses 1–5 speak of an ordinary phenomenon of nature, namely, the coming down of rain and the growth of vegetation, as a reference to the trans­formation which was to be brought about by the Divine revelation. The bursting apart of heaven here stands for the coming down of rain; compare 25:25: “And on the day when the heaven bursts apart with clouds”.
  2. By the cloud or heaven listening to its Lord, and the earth listening to its Lord in v. 5, is meant their obedience to His commandment. In both cases it is added that they are made fit for listening to and obeying the Divine command­ments, meaning that it is their very nature to be entirely submissive to the Divine commandments.
  3. The stretching of the earth signifies the same as its stirring and swelling in 22:5 and 41:39. The meaning is the producing of vegetation, and the expression here, as in those verses, signifies metaphorically that Divine revelation gives spiritual life to man. The meaning of the earth being stretched is explained in the next verse: it casts forth what is in it and becomes empty, i.e., the treasures of life latent within it are brought to light by the coming down of rain.
  4. This is the conclusion to which a consideration of the first five verses leads. Man must strive hard to attain to his Lord. Those who do this are ultimately joyful (v. 9), but those who give themselves up to the pleasures of this life (v. 13) shall afterwards be in a sad plight (v. 11).
  5. Verses 16–18 draw attention to another phenomenon of nature, there­by indicating the departure of the power of the opponents of Truth. The sunset redness stands here for the disappearing sun of the power of the opponents, the night of adversity, which was now to overtake them, driving before it what vestige of light had remained. But they were not to remain submerged in darkness forever, for the moon (the Holy Prophet) had already made its appearance and would soon grow full, when the Arab nation was to march forth to conquer the world, the moon being a symbol of the power of the Arabs. For an alternative significance, see next note.
  6. This verse can be taken to speak of the advancement of the cause of the Prophet (Bukhari, 65.84:2). The people addressed here are thus the Muslims, who are told that they will go on making progress in the world, but it will be a gradual progress, and there may be set-backs. But the ultimate state would be one of triumph. In this case the night spoken of in the previous verse would mean the adversities which Islam itself will have to face, and the full moon would indicate its final triumph. The commentators also explain this verse as being a prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam.