Surah al-Infitar – the Splitting Open (82)

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Surat al-Infitar

Dream Tafseer Notes – Nouman Ali Khan
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[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Introduction:[/callout]

In the previous Surah Takweer, Allah says:

وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا عَسْعَسَ

وَالصُّبْحِ إِذَا تَنَفَّسَ

إِنَّهُ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ

And by the night when it darkens

And by the dawn as it brightens;

Surely it is indeed the Saying of an honorable Messenger
(The Angel Jibril “Gabriel”)
[at-Takweer 81: 17-19]



How do these Aayaat have relation to the Ayah after it?

The Polytheists thought the Jinn get revelation from the stars, and these Jinn tell fortune tellers (kaahin).

They claimed that there is no difference between a fortune teller and Allah’s Messenger. Or they thought that the Jinn actually possess Allah’s Messenger, through which he speaks his message.

So Allah swore by the night as it darkens – comparing it to the bluriness and confusion of the ways of the fortune tellers.

Then He swore by the brightening of the dawn and the clear guidance it brings for the people – comparing it to the true revelation and guidance of Allah

Then refuting the claim of the polytheists who say that lying Jinn [devils] inspire Allah’s Messenger, rather the honorable Angel Jibreel reveals this Qur’an to Allah’s Messenger.

The conclusion and unanswered question of Surah Takweer is;

فَأَيْنَ تَذْهَبُونَ

So where are you going/heading? [at-Takweer 81:26]

The beginning of this surah rhetorically answers that by answering that – we are all headed towards Judgment Day.

In surah Takweer, Allah start with a description of the sun and sky.

إِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ

When the sun Kuwwirat (wound round and lost its light and is overthrown). [Takweer 81:1]

 

The 2 dominant themes in Surah Takweer are; Darkness and Light (ayah 81:1), Stars losing their light (ayah 81:2), Girl being buried in darkness (ayah 81:8).

The words in Surah Takweer include; takweer, inkidaar, maw’oodah, kasht, tas’eer, hunnas, kunnas, ‘ass-‘ass.

All relate to darkness or flames ( when hell is lit up [Takweer 81:12]). 2 dominant negative themes.

 

Dominant Themes in this Surah Infitar:

In this surah [infitar] – the following violent descriptions are focused on;

Ripping, tearing, motion, rattling.

They are all connected to each other.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 1:[/callout]

إِذَا السَّمَاءُ انفَطَرَتْ

idha al-smaa’u infaTarat.

When the sky/heaven is split open.

 

idhaa – means of calling attention. When (future tense). Also means; all of a sudden.

Infitar – tafatara, anfatara, fatara, faatir as-samawati wal ard.

to tear something – along its length. Hal taraa min futoor [mulk] – do you see any tears in it. The sky being heavily damaged with tear across it in the sky.

The sky is like a tent over us. The Qur’an is not speaking to us in scientific explanations, but through human experience – what the eye sees. So if we stay true to the language and how the Arabs would comunciate to each other – then we may be closer to the intended meaning of the Qur’ans understanding.

Now imagine this canopy/tent has alot of lights/lamps on the top – if the tent is pulled – the lights fall off.


[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 2:[/callout]

وَإِذَا الْكَوَاكِبُ انتَثَرَتْ

And when the stars/planets have fallen and scattered apart – dispersing.

 

Dispersion words in the Qur’an to mean dispersion: intathara, istatara, infada, intashara, inbatha/imbatha.

Antatharat
: fall off due to a sudden jerk.

Imagine a cloth with pearls on it, if it is suddenly jerked – the pearls fall off it suddenly. This is the image Allah is giving us of the sky being ripped open across, and the stars falling off suddenly.

Kawaakib – kawkab is mentioned in this surah Infitar [82:2], meaning: A large brilliant fixed star or planet, which is used for locating your direction.

Najm is mentioned in at-Takweer. Najm is a star which shines – twinkling with a brightness of on and off.

وَإِذَا النُّجُومُ انكَدَرَتْ

When the stars fall, losing their lustre; [Takweer 81:2]

Both surahs’ are similar and complimentary – so why is kawaakib used now instead of najm?

najm – that which shines and twinkles – brightness on and off.
That surah was referring to the theme of darkness so it was more suitable.

When kawakib is used = even the biggest, most fixed and firmly placed stars will fall off from their place on that Day.

Kawakib will fall – those means of guidance and navigation for the people will be lost – so a person will seem lost on that Day.

 


[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 3:[/callout]

And when the seas are erupted

 

Fujjirat – explode intensively/repeatedly [pattern of taf’eel (fa33ala/yufa33ilu – repetition and intensity).

 

Sujjirat (Takweer 81:6] – boil over with heat and set alight. Falling into the theme of Heat and darkness.

Fujirat – fajr – tearing – the Movement theme.

Faajir = someone who violates the commandment of Allah in the most worst and obscene way.
fujirat – the sea – in the most violent way explodes. The ocean rips out of its place – not staying where it originally should (within its boundaries). It goes further than its boundaries in a violent way, just like the evil oppressive violent sinner transgresses the boundaries of sacredness set for it.

وَقَالُوا لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّىٰ تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَرْضِ يَنبُوعًا

And they say, “We will not believe you until you break open [tafjur] for us from the ground a spring. [Israa’ 17:90]

tafjeerrip up the earth to make waterways for irrogation.

fajr – to rip.

Fulfilling the Theme of – ripping, tearing open.
fuj-jirat – the oceans on this Day are ripping open repeatedly/intensively, like tsunami style.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 4:[/callout]

وَإِذَا الْقُبُورُبُعْثِرَتْ

And when the [contents of] graves are scattered,

Qubooru – qabr – grave.

3 Words used for Grave in Qur’an:

Qabr – dug with the intent of burying someone. (again – notice the theme of ripping [the ground].)

Marqad مَّرْقَدِ ruqood – uncomfortable type of sleep. (see Surah Yaseen 36:52) when you’re not in deep sleep and you’re annoyed. The things people will see on Judgment Day will be so bad, that the punishments they experienced in the graves will just seem like bad sleep.

Ajdaathah أَجْدَاثِjadath [see Yaseen 36:51] – even the signs of the grave are gone i.e. Cremation, mass graves, they’re not marked to be known as graves.

Bu’thirat: ba’thara – made of 2 words ba’atha and a’thara.

ba’thara – to dig into something and then pull out what you wanted from a collection of other things.

Graves will be turned upside down – so out of everything – we are pulled out.

 

وَإِذَا النُّفُوسُ زُوِّجَتْ

And when the souls shall be joined with their bodies; [Takweer 81:7]

What is mentioned in Takweer is one step ahead of what’s been mentioned in the present surah Infitar. In Infitar – people are just being pulled out of the graves, and later they are paired with their bodies (as mentioned in Takweer).

عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا أَحْضَرَتْ

(Then) every person will know what he has brought (of good and evil). [Takweer 81:14]


[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 5:[/callout]

عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ وَأَخَّرَتْ

alimat nafsun maa qadamat wa akharat

A soul will [then] know what it has put forth and kept back.

 

This is an explanation of what man reluctantly had to bring forth.

Whatever this person brought forward and left behind.

Qad-dama – good deeds or bad deeds you do. Send them forward. I.e. If you speak something, once you’ve said it – its gone forward. You can’t take it back.

The angels who write send this forward (as will be discussed later in the surah insha’ Allah).

Akh-kharat – what was left behind. Opportunities you left behind. I.e. Charity you could have given, good you could have done, or bad deeds which you left behind.

عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا أَحْضَرَتْ

(Then) every person will know what he has brought (of good and evil). [Takweer 81:14]

We will regret some things we left behind, others we will be happy about leaving. This includes actions, and even friends;

قَالَ قَائِلٌ مِّنْهُمْ إِنِّي كَانَ لِي قَرِينٌ. يَقُولُ أَإِنَّكَ لَمِنَ الْمُصَدِّقِينَ. أَإِذَا مِتْنَا وَكُنَّا تُرَابًا وَعِظَامًا أَإِنَّا

لَمَدِينُونَ. قَالَ هَلْ أَنتُم مُّطَّلِعُونَفَاطَّلَعَ فَرَآهُ فِي سَوَاءِ الْجَحِيمِ..قَالَ تَاللَّهِ إِن كِدتَّ لَتُرْدِينِ.وَلَوْلَا نِعْمَةُ

رَبِّي لَكُنتُ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِينَ

A speaker among them [the people of Paradise] will say, “Indeed, I had a companion [on earth]
Who used to say: “Are you among those who believe (in resurrection after death).
“(That) when we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed (be raised up) to receive reward or punishment (according to our deeds)?”

(A voice) said: “Would ye like to look down?”
So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire.
He said: “By Allah! You have nearly ruined me.
“Had it not been for the Grace of my Lord, I should certainly have been among those brought (there)!
[as-Saffat 37: 50-57]

Read their amazing story here:


(Verily, I had a companion) “There were two men who were partners and had collected eight thousand Dinars. One of them had a craft and the other did not. The one who had a craft said to the other, `You do not have a craft, so I think I will divide the money with you and leave you.’ So he left him. Then the man bought a house, belonging to a king who had died, for the price of one thousand Dinars. He called his companion and showed him the house, saying, `What do you think of this house I bought it for one thousand Dinars.’ He said, `How beautiful it is.’ When he went out he said, `O Allah, this companion of mine has bought this house for one thousand Dinars; I ask You for one of the houses of Paradise — and he gave one thousand Dinars in charity.’ Then as much time passed as Allah willed should pass. The first man married a woman with a dowry of one thousand Dinars, and invited his companion and made food for him. When he came, he said, `I have married this woman with a dowry of one thousand Dinars.’ He replied; `How beautiful this is.’ And when he left, he said, `O Lord, my companion has married a woman with a dowry of one thousand Dinars; I ask you for a wife from among Al-Hur Al-`Iyn’ — and he gave one thousand Dinars in charity. Then as much time passed as Allah willed should pass. Then the first man bought two gardens for two thousand Dinars, then he called his companion and showed them to him. He said, `I have bought these two gardens for two thousand Dinars.’ He replied, `How beautiful this is.’ When he came out, he said, `O Lord, my companion has bought two gardens for two thousand Dinars; I ask you for two gardens in Paradise’ — and he gave two thousand Dinars in charity. Then the angel came to them and took their souls in death. He took the one who had given his money in charity and put him in a house that he liked. There, there was a woman who was so beautiful that the ground shinned under her, then he (the angel) took him to two gardens and gave him other things which are known only to Allah. The man said, `This is like a man who has such and such.’ The angel said, `That is exactly what it is; this house, these gardens and this wife are all for you.’ The man said, `I had a companion who used to say: Are you among those who believe’ It was said to him, `He is in Hell.’ He said, `Will you look down’ So he looked down and saw him in the midst of Hell. At this, he said:  (By Allah! You have nearly ruined me. Had it not been for the grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell).)”

[Tafsir Ibn Kathir surah al Saaffaat 37:50]

The sins are mentioned in the previous surah – like the killing of the baby girl etc. And this surah explains that you have brought them forward as your evil on this Day.

Now its coming back to haunt you.

The first things you did (taqdeem) in life and thelast things you did in life (ta’kheer).

A complete history/biogrophical analysis. Maybe you were good first and then your end became bad? This is scary for those who might have turned to Allah only in old age but they were not righteous in the earlier part.

The impact of what you did (Sadaqah jaariya [continuous charity]) the effects of your sins or good deeds even after you died – their consequences may continue and you will acknowledge all this on that Day – when you have been thrown out of your grave – when the sky has been torn fully across, when the stars are falling, when the oceans are exploding – then you will question what you put forward and left behind.

A Reminder of the Future:

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَالَمِينَ

It is only a reminder for the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns).” [An’am 6:90]

When you remind someone – you remind them of the past. We are being reminded of the future as though it is a memory for you which you should prepare for, hoping that this preparation will save you from the harms of that Day(its almost like getting the clues to an exam paper, you now just need to prepare for it!).

Whenever you see an ayah (from ayah [82:]1-4), connect it to ayah 5 – since that is the jawab ash-shart (a reply to the thing mentioned earlier) – everytime such an event occurs – man will remember what he did in this life.

I.e.

إِذَا السَّمَاءُ انفَطَرَتْ

When the sky/heaven is split open. [Infitar 82:1]

عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ وَأَخَّرَتْ

A soul will [then] know what it has put forth and kept back. [82:5]

وَإِذَا الْكَوَاكِبُ انتَثَرَتْ

And when the stars/planets have fallen and scattered apart – dispersing. [82:2]

عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ وَأَخَّرَتْ

A soul will [then] know what it has put forth and kept back. [82:5]

وَإِذَا الْبِحَارُ فُجِّرَتْ

And when the seas are erupted. [82:3]

عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ وَأَخَّرَتْ

A soul will [then] know what it has put forth and kept back. [82:5]

وَإِذَا الْقُبُورُ بُعْثِرَتْ

And when the [contents of] graves are scattered, [82:4]

عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ وَأَخَّرَتْ

A soul will [then] know what it has put forth and kept back. [82:5]

Each of these signs on that Day will make man question what he sent forward and left behind.

 

فَأَيْنَ تَذْهَبُونَ

So where are you going/heading? [at-Takweer 81:26]

We also have a question in this surah – more graphic, more embarrassing, more emotive;

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 6:[/callout]

يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ

yaa ayyuhal insaanu maa gharaka bi rabikal kareem

O man! What has made you careless concerning your Lord, the Most Generous?

 

So much emotion, warning, sympathy…

sympathetic to someone who just doesn’t know, whose not going the right way. He thinks he knows, but he isn’t aware of his own ignorance.

Similarly, Allah says;

يَا حَسْرَةً عَلَى الْعِبَادِ

(oh what a calamity, what a loss for My slaves) (Yasin 36:30)