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Sura al-Zalzala

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Zalzala; to read its text see text:Sura al-Zalzala.
Sura al-Zalzala
al-Bayyina← →al-'Adiyat
سوره زلزال.jpg
Sura Number 99
Juz' 30
Revelation
Revelation Number 93
Makki/Madani Madani
Information
Verse Count 8
Word Count 36
Letter Count 158

Sūra al-Zalzala (Arabic: سورة الزلزلة, the earthquake) or al-Zilzal (Arabic: الزلزال) is the ninety ninth sura of the Qur'an and is among the short suras located in juz' thirty. 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 Day of Judgment 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).

Introduction

  • 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 Day of Judgment. 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 ninety third sura in the order of revelation and the ninety ninth in the order of the compilation of the Qur'an and is located in juz' thirty.

  • Number of Verses and Words

Sura al-Zalzala has eight verses, thirty six words and 158 letters. This sura is among mufassalat suras (having several short verses) and among short suras of the Qur'an.

Content

Messages of the Sura al-Zalzala are about three issues:

  1. Signs of the occurrence of the Day of Judgment (Indications of the Hour)
  2. The earth's testimony about human's deeds on the Day of Judgment.
  3. 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 Day of Judgment.

In verse two, it is mentioned that on the Day of Judgment, 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 Day of Judgment 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.

Content of Sura al-Zalzala[1]
 
 
Two methods of accurate reckoning of human deeds in the hereafter
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First method: Verses 1-5
The earth's testimony about human deeds
 
Second method: Verses 6-8
Seeing the truth of deeds
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First point: verse 1
The great earthquake and loss of the earth's current balance
 
First point: verse 6
Separation of the dwellers of paradise from the dwellers
of the hell from each other in order to see their deeds
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second point: verses 2-3
Conversion of the earth to another form
 
Second point: verse 7
Seeing the truth of good deeds in the paradise
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Third point: verses 4-5
The earth's report about human deeds on the Judgement Day
 
Third point: verse 8
Seeing the truth of good deeds in the paradise

Famous Verses

Seeing the Deeds:

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 seventh and eighth 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.'"

In the instruction of prayer of Ja'far al-Tayyar, it is mentioned that in the second rak'a after reciting sura al-Fatiha (Qur'an 2), Sura al-Zalzala should be recited.

Notes

  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.

References