Sūra al-Zalzala (Arabic: سورة الزلزلة, the earthquake) or al-Zilzal (Arabic: الزلزال) is the 99th sura of the Qur'an and is among the short suras located in juz' 30. Most exegetes have said that this sura is Madani. The name of the sura is adopted from its first verse.
Sura al-Zalzala speaks about the signs of the Judgment Day and that the righteous and wrong-doers will see the consequences of their deeds. It is mentioned in hadiths that the Sura al-Zalzala is equal to one fourth of the Qur'an and for anyone who recites it, it would be counted as if he has recited the Qur'an 2 (Sura al-Baqara) (the longest sura of Qur'an).
Names and Cause of Naming
This sura is called al-Zalzala because it speaks about the last earthquake and unbalance of the cosmic order at the beginning of the Judgment Day. Its other name is al-Zilzal, because it is mentioned in the first verse.
Place and Order of Revelation
There is a disagreement on whether the Sura al-Zalzala is Makki or Madani, but the latter is more famous and closer to the truth. This sura is the 93rd sura in the order of revelation and the 99th in the order of the compilation of the Qur'an and is located in juz' 30.
Number of Verses and Words
Sura al-Zalzala has 8 verses, 36 words and 158 letters. This sura is among mufassalat suras (having several short verses) and among short suras of the Qur'an.
Messages of the Sura al-Zalzala are about three issues:
- Signs of the occurrence of the Judgment Day (Indications of the Hour)
- The earth's testimony about human's deeds on the Judgment Day.
- Separation of people to the righteous and wrongdoers and seeing the rewards or punishments of everyone's deeds.
In this sura, God emphasizes on the accuracy, strictness, and justice of the judgment on the Judgment Day.
In verse 2, it is mentioned that on the Judgment Day, the earth will throw out its burdens (athqal, Arabic: أثقال). 'Allama Tabataba'i wrote, "according to the more correct opinion, by "athqal", the dead are meant. It is said that from the last three verses of this sura, embodiment of actions on the Judgment Day is learned; which means that human's deeds will be presented before him in certain forms and their company will become a cause of happiness or pain for him.
Seeing the Deeds:
|“||"So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it, (7) and whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it".||”|
|— Qur'an 99:7-8|
In these two verses, it is mentioned that whoever does an atom's weight of good or evil will see it. It is mentioned in the interpretations the two verses that by "will see it", it means that he will see the "consequence of his action" or "deeds report" or the "action itself". According to the third opinion, which says that a person will see the action itself, the two verses imply the embodiment of actions.
Occasion of Revelation
It is cited from Muqatil b. Sulayman that the 7th and 8th verses of Sura al-Zalzala (which say that whoever does an atom's weight of good or evil will see it) were revealed about two people. One of them was a person who said that the verse "They give food, for the love of Him," (Qur'an 76:8) keeps him from giving; because, what he had was little and was not beloved to him, and the other said that his minor sins would not harm him.
Merits and Benefits
In tafsir Majma' al-bayan, it is narrated from the Prophet (s) that for anyone who recites it, it would be counted as if he has recited the Qur'an 2 (Sura al-Baqara, which is the longest sura) and the reward he receives will be equal to the rewards given to someone who has recited one fourth of the Qur'an. It is also narrated from him saying that the Sura al-Zalzala is equal to one fourth of the Qur'an.
It is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that he advised people not to be tired of reciting the sura; and said that whoever recites this sura in his Daily Nawafil, God will not inflict him with earthquake and will not die by the earthquake, lighting or any worldly infliction and when he dies, God will send him to Paradise. Then God, the Glorious will address him, 'O My servant! I gave you permission over My paradise, to whichever part of it you wish, you may enter, for there is no restriction for you.'"
|For the full text, see text:Sura al-Zalzala.|
- 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.
- The material for this article is mainly taken form سوره زلزله in Farsi WikiShia.