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Sura al-Waqi'a

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Waqi'a; to read its text see text:Sura al-Waqi'a.
Sura al-Waqi'a
al-Rahman← →al-Hadid
سوره واقعه.jpg
Sura Number 56
Juz' 27
Revelation Number 46
Makki/Madani Makki
Verse Count 96
Word Count 370
Letter Count 1756

Sūra al-Wāqiʿa, (Arabic: سورة الواقعه) is 56th sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in juz' 27. Al-Waqi'a is one of the names of resurrection and is mentioned in the first verse of this sura.

Sura al-Waqi'a is about the resurrection and its events. It divides people to the three groups of People of the Right Hand (Ashab al-Yamin), People of the Left Hand (Ashab al-Shimal) and the Foremost (al-Sabiqun) and speaks about the position and rewards or punishments of each group. It is mentioned in commentaries that the perfect example of the third group, the Foremost, is Imam Ali (a) who preceded others in believing in the Prophet Muhammad (s).

Many merits are mentioned for recitation of this sura, including that about whoever recites this sura, it will be written that he is not among the ignorant.


Naming This sura is called al-Waqi'a because it is among the names of the Resurrection and mentioned in its first verse.

Place and Order of Revelation Sura al-Waqi'a is a Makki sura. It was 46th sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of the Qur'an, it is 56th sura located in juz' 27.

Number of Verses and Words Sura al-Waqi'a has 96 verses, 370 words, and 1756 words and regarding volumes, it is among Mufassalat suras about half a hizb.


Sura al-Waqi'a speaks about the resurrection when people will be resurrected. First, it mentions some of its events such as the changes that will happen to the earth, earthquakes and the shattering of mountains, and then it divides people to the three groups of the Foremost (Arabic: السابقون, al-Sabiqun), People of the Right Hand (Arabic: أصحاب اليمين, Ashab al-Yamin) and People of the Left Hand (Arabic: أصحاب الشمال, Ashab al-Shimal), and finally mentions the destiny of each group. Then, it brings arguments against the People of the Left Hand who deny the Lordship of God, the hereafter and the Qur'an and finally reminds about the agonies of death and coming of death.

Content of Sura al-Waqi'a[1]
Proving the definiteness of resurrection and the difference between the destinies of human beings
First topic: verses 1-56
The destiny of the three groups of people on the day of resurrection
Second topic: verses 57-94
Arguments for the resurrection and giving rewards to humans
Conclusion: verses 95-96
There is no doubt about the truth of the resurrection
Introduction: verses 1-10
Division of people to three groups upon the resurrection
First reason: verses 57-62
Power of the Creator of humans over their revival
First group: verses 11-26
Reward of the close ones to God; the Foremost (al-Sabiqun)
Second reason: verses 63-80
Occurrence of resurrection is required by the Lordship of God in the life of humans
Second group: verses 27-40
Reward of the prosperous; People of the Right Hand (Ashab al-Yamin)
Third reason: verses 81-94
Impossibility of preventing humans' death
Third group: verses 41-56
Punishment of the wretched; People of the Left Hand (Ashab al-Shimal)

The Foremost (al-Sabiqun)

Main article: al-Sabiqun

Verses 7 to 10 of Sura al-Waqi'a are among famous verses of this sura about division of people to three groups on the day of resurrection. Verse 10 mentions the name of the third group twice: "wa l-Sabiqun al-Sabiqun" (And the Foremost Ones are the foremost ones). About this verse, many discussions are made between exegetes of the Qur'an. Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i deduced from two other verses of the Qur'an that the meaning of the first "al-Sabiqun" is "those who are the foremost in doing good" and the meaning of the second "al-Sabiqun" is "those who are the foremost in reaching the forgiveness of God", because preceding in doing good results in precedence in achieving forgiveness of God. Also, it is said that Imam Ali (a) preceded others in believing in the Prophet (s).

Merits and Benefits

For the recitation of the Sura al-Waqi'a, many merits and benefits are mentioned, including the hadith from the Prophet (s) mentioned in Majma' al-bayan that about whoever recites Sura al-Waqi'a, it will be written that he is not among the ignorants. Also, it is mentioned in hadiths that if a person recites Sura al-Waqi'a, he will never suffer from poverty. According to another hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), Sura al-Waqi'a is the sura of Imam Ali (a) and whoever recites it will be among his friends.


  1. Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.