Exposition of the Holy Quran – 78 Al-Nabaa (G A Parwez)

Surah 78: Al-Nabaa
(The Great Event)

(1) (O Rasool! Do you know) What are they asking one another about?
(2-3) They are asking about that great event, about which they have different views.
(4-5) However, their uncertainty and discord will not persist for long; and certainly they will come to know about it very soon.
(6) (Tell them that in order to understand the forthcoming revolution, they should try to comprehend the phenomena of nature and see how perfectly Our law functions therein. To start with) They should look at the earth upon which they dwell.
(The earth is spherical and rotates very fast. In spite of this) We have made the earth a resting place for them.
(7) And We have made the mountains very firm, as if they are pegged in it.
(8) (Then tell them to leave aside the outer universe and look at the human world.) See how We have created pairs, males and females, who carry forward the process of procreation, each complementing the other.
(9-11) Then ponder over the changing of day and night. During the day you go out in search of livelihood. When you become tired you rest under the dark cloak of night and have a peaceful sleep. Thus, you regain your lost energies and the next day you are refreshed and able to start your work again.
(12) And over your head, in the vast open space, We have distributed celestial bodies which are firm and stable.
(13) Amongst these, look at the brightly burning lamp (the sun) and see how We have made it a simultaneous source of light and heat.
(14) And see the water-laden clouds! We pour torrential rain from them;
(15) So that various crops of grains and vegetables can grow;
(16) As well as thick and dense gardens.

(17) (When you see how wonderfully Our laws operate in the outer universe, you should understand that Our Law of Mukafat is similarly functioning in your world. Therefore) It is absolutely certain that the revolution that will sift falsehood from truth is bound to happen. Consider it to be the day for harvesting the crop which your deeds have sown. Just as the time for the ripening of a crop is certain and determined, the time for this revolution is also fixed. It will occur when its predestined time comes.
(18) And when the trumpet (of war) is blown and you enter the battlefield, one group after the other;(1)
(19) The exaltations of the groups which had so far been enjoying great pomp and show, would be unfolded (or the celestial bodies would burst open).
(20) The chieftains of various tribes, who stood firm like mountains, shall lose their ground as if it did not exist (or the mountains will be blown up as if they were a mirage – 20:105, 56:5, 77:10, 81:3).
(21-22) And jahannam is waiting in ambush for the transgressors, for that is in fact their abode (29:54, 79:36, 81:16);
(23) Wherein they shall live for a very long time.
(24) There they will not find any peace or comfort, so much so that they will not even get to drink anything which would satisfy them.
(25) On the contrary, they will either get boiling water which, instead of quenching their thirst, would increase it; or benumbing
ice-cold water. (Both these extremes destroy the results of human expectations – 38:57.)
(26) All this will be the requital of their own deeds, a very befitting recompense!
(27) These people did not believe in Our Law of Mukafat. They never expected that one day they would have to face the consequences of their deeds.
(28) That is why they used to belie Our laws.
(29) But We kept an account of all their deeds. (And they were duly warned that eventually they would have to face the consequences of their deeds.)
(30) (They will thus be told) “Taste the fruits of your deeds. Instead of decreasing, this torment will keep on increasing”.
(31) On the contrary, there shall be every kind of success and achievement for those who guard the divine laws;
(32) Orchards to live in and vineyards to eat from;
(33) And graceful, healthy, compatible female companions who shall be the embodiment of virtue, grace and dignity, with no feelings of jealousy. All of them will have the same taste and aptitude. (In that society the relationship between husband and wife shall be one of complete harmony – 56:37);
(34) And overflowing goblets, pure and crystal clear (full of invigorating energy).
(35) There they will not hear any vain discourse, lies or disavowals.
(36) All this shall be a reward from your Rabb, the results of their deeds, which shall suffice all their needs.
(37) All this shall be from your Rabb, Who at the same time has provided means of nourishment to everything in the heavens and on the earth. He is so powerful that none in the universe dares to interfere in His work or to question Him.
(38) At that time (on the day of accountability) the divine energies (functioning in the realm of amr) and forces of the universe (functioning in the realm of creation) shall stand in ranks (to bring forth the results of human deeds). And no one will dare to utter a word except those who speak the truth according to the code laid down by Ar-Rahman.
(39) This era is an established truth and there is no doubt whatsoever in its occurrence. Therefore (there is still time to prepare for it) whoever so wishes, may make Allah’s Nizam-e-Rabubiyya an ultimate goal of his life and work for it.
(40) Thus We have warned you that (if you do not adopt this course) doom and destruction will soon overtake you. Man will then see the results of his deeds unveiled before him. And when he sees that (destruction), the one who denies the occurrence of that event, will cry out, “Alas! I should have been a heap of dust (instead of a human being endowed with life, intellect, perception and sense of responsibility.)”


(1) From here onwards the verses could imply the revolution that occurred at the time of Rasool Allah; and also that which human beings have to face after death, or when the outer universe disintegrates. For this, please refer to the explanation given at the beginning of para 29.

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