Day of Separation
|From Death to Resurection|
Yawm al-Faṣl (Arabic: یَوْم الفَصْل, literally: Day of Separation) is a term in the Qur'an referring to the Day of Judgement. Exegetes of the Qur'an maintain that the Day of Judgement is referred to as such because it is on this day that the truth and falsehood will be separated.
"Al-Fasl" literally means to cut off or separate in a way that a distance is created therebetween.
In the Qur'an
The term, "Yawm al-Fasl", is used in the Qur'an to refer to the Day of Judgement mainly for the purpose of reprehending and threatening polytheists or deniers. According to the verse 21 of Quran 37, [Note 1] and in verse 40 of Qur'an 44[Note 2], it is used to threaten the polytheists, and in its subsequent verses, the meaning of separation (al-fasl) is explained as follows:
|“||The day when a friend will not avail a friend in any way, nor will they be helped, (41) except for him on whom Allah has mercy. Indeed He is the All-mighty, the All-merciful.||”|
|— Qur'an 44:41-42|
In Qur'an 77, the term, Yawm al-Fasl, has been used three times to refer to the Day of Judgement. In verses 13 and 14, the greatness of the Day is characterized as follows:
|“||For what day has [all] that been set [to occur]? (12) For the Yawm al-Fasl! (13) And what will show you what is the Yawm al-Fasl!? (14) Woe to the deniers on that day! (Qur'an 77:12-14)||”|
'Allama Tabataba'i holds that Yawm al-Fasl refers to the Day of Judgement because, according to the verse 17 of Qur'an 22[Note 4], it separates people. And the Day of Judgement is called Yawm al-Fasl because it is on this day that the truth is separated from the falsehood and pious people are separated from sinners. He takes the verse 59 of Quran 36, "And Get apart today, you guilty ones!", to be evidence for his interpretation.
According to Tafsir-i nimuna, Yawm al-Fasl means the Day of Judgment in which God will adjudicate His servants. In this world, truths and falsehoods are intertwined, but on the Day of Judgement, they will be separated and the secrets will be revealed.
Morteza Motahhari interprets Yawm al-Fasl as follows:
- "Human beings form communities in this world on the basis of their appearances, but in the Day of Judgement, the reign is grounded in people's interiors and internal habits. In the afterlife, an angel-like person will not be able to communicate with evil people. Thus, there will be a separation between them. People will be resurrected with their leaders in flocks, with some of them having a leader in the Hell and some others having a leader in the Heaven.
- Qarashī, Qāmūs-i Qurʾān, vol. 5, p. 180.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, Tarjuma-yi al-Mīzān, vol. 20, p. 237.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 17, p. 130.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 19, p. 32.
- Motahhari, Majmūʿa-yi āthār, vol. 28, p. 283.
- This is the Yawm al-Fasl that you used to deny! (Qur'an 37:21)
- Indeed the Yawm al-Fasl is the tryst for them all (Quran 44:40)
- Indeed the Day of Judgement is the tryst, (Quran 78:18)
- Indeed the faithful, the Jews, the Sabaeans, the Christians, the Magians and the polytheists —Allah will indeed separate them on the Day of Resurrection. Indeed Allah is witness to all things. (Quran 22:17)
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1354 Sh.
- Motahhari, Morteza. Majmūʿa-yi āthār. Tehran: Ṣadrā, [n.d].
- Qarashī, ʿAlī Akbar. Qāmūs-i Qurʾān. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1371 Sh.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, Muḥammad Ḥusayn. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1390 AH.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, Muḥammad Ḥusayn. Tarjuma-yi al-Mīzān. Translated to Farsi by Mūsawī Hamidānī. Qom: Daftar-i Nashr-i Islamī, 1417 AH.