An Explanation of Surah Az-Zalzalah


Description: A Medinan surah, one of a series of surahs that deal with scenes from the Day of Judgement.

By Imam Mufti (© 2016 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 18 Jul 2016 - Last modified on 25 Jun 2019

Printed: 290 - Emailed: 0 - Viewed: 31,936 (daily average: 11)


·To serve as a reminder of the purpose of life.

·To recognizing the reality of the Day of Judgement.

Arabic Words

·Zalzalah - Earthquake

·Dajjal - Anti-Christ

·Qiyamah - Day of Judgement

·Jahannum - Hell-Fire

·Surah - chapter of the Quran

An-Explanation-of-Surah-Az-Zalzalah.jpgAllah describes some of the events of the Last Day in this chapter to warn us of the coming end of the world. Allah tells us that all deeds will be judged and all secrets exposed. We are advised to do as much good as we can to fill our scale of righteous deeds at the time of judgment.

1. ‘When the earth shall shake most violently.’

Allah paints a picture in this surah of the Last Hour so we might reflect on the passing nature of this world and concentrate on what really counts. He paints the picture with the mighty shuddering of the earth’s crust as it slows down and approaches the final end. Earth is devastated with earthquakes in all its corners, causing everything to crack and splinter into pieces, leaving nothing as it was. Sinking of large portions of earth is one of the major signs prophesized to take place before Qiyamah. Prophet Muhammad said,

‘It will not come till you see ten signs: the smoke, Dajjal, the beast, the rising of the sun from the West, the descent of Jesus, the Gog and Magog, the sinking of land in three locations, the East, the West, and in Arabia, followed by a huge fire which would begin in Yemen and drive people to their place of assembly.’[1]

2. ‘When the earth will throw up loads of dead bodies and treasures.’

Allah continues to describe the awesome events that will happen to earth, one after another, while the surface of earth crumbles and cracks. Dead bodies and remains of corpses will pour out of their graves onto the earth’s surface. Wherever anyone died, he will be recovered whether it is from the depths of the ocean, amidst the towering mountains, or even if the body was burned and reduced to ashes. In other surahs of the Quran, Allah describes some of the other events that will take place in the heavens and earth:

“When the sky splits, the stars fall, the oceans boil, when graves are overturned.” (Quran 82: 1-4)

“Do not forget the Day of Qiyamah when the sun is folded and will lose its light. When the stars fall down and cease to exist. When the mountains are made to fly about. When the pregnant camels are abandoned by their owners (people will have no interest in their valuables). When even the wild beasts are gathered. When the oceans are set alight to boil. When souls are joined.” (Quran 81:1-7)

The stage is now set for final judgment and all that was hidden in the world will be exposed. This refers to our hidden deeds and intentions which Allah may have covered in this life, but will expose and judge on the Last Day. Everyone’s faults will not be exposed on that Day; Allah’s mercy will cover true believers. Prophet Muhammad said, ‘The righteous servant whose faults Allah concealed in this world, will also have his faults concealed by Allah on the Day of Resurrection.’[2]

3. ‘And man will ask, “What is the matter with her, why is she doing this?’

The human beings left after the earthquakes and eruptions will cry in horror as they see before their eyes graves upturned and their contents poured out. Madly they will ask themselves and those around them,

‘What in the world is going on?’ Those who will remain towards the end of the world will be the most corrupt and degenerate of humanity as the Prophet said,

‘The Last Hour will not come except upon the most evil of mankind.’[3]

‘Allah will send a fragrant wind by which everyone who has even a mustard seed’s weight of faith will die, and only those who have no goodness will survive. They will revert to the pagan religions of their forefathers.’[4]

People will go back to worshipping idols like their ancestors.

4. ‘On that day earth will narrate her stories.’

Earth will inform them of the secret behind all this destruction. The earth will tell them in its own way that the final judgment has arrived and the time for answering all that was done before in this life has come.

5. ‘The earth will do this because your Lord will command her to do so.’

It is by Allah’s permission that earth will inform the last of mankind of the cause of all devastation and the expulsion of the dead shortly before earth is destroyed itself. Earth will speak, that is strange! But, Allah is able to make all of His creation speak as He has informed us in the Quran,

“Until when they arrive there (to Jahannum), their ears, eyes, and skins will testify against them about what they did in the world. They will say to their skins, ‘Why do you testify against us?’ They will reply, ‘Allah, Who gives speech to everything has enabled us to speak. It was He who created you the first time and to Him is your return.’” (Quran 47:20-21)

6. ‘On that day people will return to the Plain of Resurrection in different groups to witness the consequences of their actions.’

When all these events will take place, all mankind will return from dead, no one recognizing the other. All earthly ties will be broken and each will be concerned with himself. Allah describes it as:

“On the Day man will run from his brother, his mother, his father, his wife, and his sons. On that Day every one of them will be preoccupies with concern for his own plight that will make him forget another.” (Quran 80:34-37)

7-8. ‘Then whoever has sincerely done an atom’s weight of good will see it and whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil (without securing Allah’s forgiveness for it) will see it.’

No matter how insignificant and small an act of good or evil may be, it has to be recorded by the angels of the right and left. On that Day, complete records will be presented before us. That’s why we should not consider any deed to be of no value, but we should strive to accomplish all good we can do as it won’t be lost or forgotten. Prophet Muhammad said,

‘Don’t scorn any form of good, do it even if it is only meeting your brother with a smiling face.’[5]

You can memorize this surah from here:



[1] Saheeh Muslim

[2] Saheeh Muslim

[3] Saheeh Muslim

[4] Saheeh Muslim

[5] Saheeh Muslim

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