Surah Ma’arij – (70) – the Ascension Stairways

Surah Ma’arij – (70) – the Ascension Stairways

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Ma’arij 1 [Ayah 1-3] (Download MP3)

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


1 – Similarity: This surah starts with  a discussion of the the Day of Judgment (similar to how surah Haqqah mentions Judgment Day in detail.)

2 – Difference: this surah is not as specific in mentioning destroyed nations (whereas surah Haqqah was.)


Surah Ma’arij has a more Reflective and Philosophical approach.

Surah Ma’arij is slightly lighter in tone than other surahs, although it still has a Makkan theme of encouraging the people to believe.

Surah Ma’arij is from the middle period of Makkah (i.e. Around 5 or 6 years after Prophethood.)
[unlike surahs; Mulk, Qalam, and Haqqah which were early Makkan surahs.]

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

سَأَلَ سَائِلٌ بِعَذَابٍ وَاقِعٍ

Sa’ala saa’ilun bi‘adhaabinwaaqi

A Questioner asked
rushinglyabout the Inevitably Landing Punishment

This is one of the most Unique beginnings of a surah in the Qur’an.

Sa’ala – he Asked
Saa’il – asker

= a Questioner Asked

It is not identifying who asked the Question.

A Passive voice could be used (Su’ila – it was Asked [without mentioning who the Doer was.])

So why was Active voice used? [telling that the Doer did it].

Active Voice: “sA‘Ala” this was used to show that someone did actually ask a Question.
Passive Voice: “sU‘Ila” if this was used, it could imply that it was only Hypothetical, and that someone did not really ask the Question.

1 – “Sa’ala” implies that someone did ask the Question.
2 – It also implies that someone did ask this question, and it will throughout history be asked by the people (due to Curiousity.)

..Bi ‘adhaabin – about Punishment

The word “‘An” (About) is normally used, but ‘Bi’ has been used in this ayah.

[Another example: In Salaah, we say “Sami’Allahu LI man hamidah” (Allah hears For who praises Him.)
LI is not usually used in such a sentence.

The letter Laam is used next to Istijaabah(to accept/answer/respond). So it has been used in Sami’Allahu LI man Hamidah to signify that ‘O Allah, accept my praise that I say for you’ (hopefully Allah will accept it and answer/respond to the praiser.]

When we look around the Quran, we usually see that the letter ‘Ba’ (Bi) is used to imply; RUSHING and Mocking.

وَيَسْتَعْجِلُونَكَ بِالْعَذَابِ – Wa yasta’jiloonaka BI al-Adhaab – they are seeking you RUSH WITH the punishment. (Surah Ankaboot 29:53)

So it is possible that in this surah also, the disbeliever asking is being harsh and evil and sarcastic when asking Allah’s Messenger about the Punishment and when it will happen.

– literally for something to come down/land down on top of something else [this word is usually used in a figurative/metaphorical sense]. And it cannot be stopped.

= that which will Inevitably land/fall/take place, and it cannot be stopped/prevented.

“The Questioner asked about a Punishment which is Inevitable”

So Allah quotes the questioner and directly and straightaway refutes his sarcasm and doubt.  It will inevitably happen.

Allah uses the word Waaqi’ – in noun form. Showing that it is an Object which will eventually come with Adhaab (punishment) and attack such a character.

But you do not know when it will come – causing anxiety for the one who knows Islam is the truth, yet he still lies against it. So this punishment could land tomorrow, or even a few minutes later. But it will inevitably land and occur.

– Another useage of the Baa‘ (‘With): Iltisaaq (latch/glue/attach onto something.)

So Allah uses this word to imply that this punishment will inevitably occur, and when it does land – it will attach to you – the sarcastic disbeliever – tightly, not letting you go, and it will totally destroy you.

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

لِّلْكَافِرِينَ لَيْسَ لَهُ دَافِعٌ

Li al Kaafireena laysa lahu daafi’

For the Ungrateful Disbelievers, none can -especially for him- that can divert it

Li – for
Al – the

(plural) / Kaafir (singular) – kafara– Covers. the disbeliever Covers the favours of Allah with his ungratefulness and disbelief.

“(the Punishment is landing inevitably on and attaching) for the ungrateful Disbelievers.”

Li =
[Ibn Hishaam has a book called Ma’aani al Huroof (Meanings of the PreDispositions / Letters) which discusses the definitions in depth. The letter ‘Laam’ has 6 useages, and 2 of these useages can be found in the Quran.]

LI :-

1 – Milkiyyah (Ownership). Li al Kaafireen – FOR the Ungrateful Disbelievers.
= this inevitable Punishment belongs FOR them, it was made especially for them (the sarcastic disbelievers).

2 –
‘Intihaa ul Ghaaya – where something ends.’

كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى – Kullun yaJree LI ajalin musamman – everything is in motion TILL a set time. (surah Fatir 35:13)

So ‘Li’ may also imply: ‘Till’.
= “a questioner asks about the Inevitable landing punishment, TILL it reaches the ungrateful disbeliever.”

punishment will keep coming down TILL it reaches/targets/attacks the ungrateful disbeliever(s).

“..Laysa lahu daafi'” – there is nothing Especially for him that can repel (it – the punishment.)

daafi’ – daf’ – to Avert / repel something.

Allah tells us in;

مَّا لَهُ مِن دَافِعٍ –  Maa lahu min daafi’ – There is none especially for it who can avert it. [Surah Tur 52:8]

MAA strong negation. (used in a nominal sentence.) (‘min’ when associated in the same sentence with ‘Maa’ implies STRONG NEGATION – there is absolutely NO thing that can avert it.)

LAYSANegation (used in a verb sentence.)

We see that surah Tur has a strong tone (see its powerful oaths at the beginning).

In comparison – surah Ma’arij has a less stronger tone, so ‘Laysa’ is used.

“Laysa lahu* daafi’ ” – there is especially* for him [the disbeliever] None (who can) avert it.

* ‘especially’ is said because it is mentioned earlier in the sentence structure to imply; exclusivity/especially.

Emphasis of these Aayaat

1 – People/disbelievers are mocking and ridiculing and making fun of the punishment.
2 – the people are foolish into thinking the punishment isn’t real, but it is inevitable and will no doubt fall on them. Which makes them even more foolish/less intelligent.
3 – It is meant for those who are ungrateful to Allah.
4 – The punishment will land, and it can happen at anytime unexpectedly.

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

مِّنَ اللَّهِ ذِي الْمَعَارِجِ

Min Allahi dhee al Ma’aarij

From Allah, Possessor of Great Heights

The Punishment is going to inevitably come, soon, unexpectedly, and this punishment is from Allah the Master of everything.

Dhee-al Ma’aarij –

Dhee – Possessor.
Dhee al Ma’aarij – Possessor of means to Ascend Extremely High to great Heights.

Ma’aarij – ‘aarij – to Rise / ascend.
Ascend slowly in stages (where there are places of stop.)
Mi’raj – a Tool used to ascend gradually.

Similar word:
Sullam – a Ladder.

But Mi’raj helps you ascend extremely high to great heights (higher than a ceiling.)

Ma’aarij is plural of Mi’raj


1 – could refer to Punishments which Ascend. But this does not make much sense because the context is of punishment coming down.

2 – Becoming closer to Allah. Because the next ayah talks about the Angels (Jibreel/Gabriel) ascending closer to Allah. But again, this does not make sense in the context of discussion.

3 – Dheeal Ma’aarij – Possessor of Great Heights. This word is used to honor someone of a high rank, and in this context is a praise of Allah. So Allah is being described as the Possessor of Great Heights, the Lofty, the All High.

So Allah the One who will send a Punishment to these sarcastic disbelievers is the Possessor of Great Heights, the Lofty, the Most High. He is below no-one in any way and has power to do whatever He wants.

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Ma’arij 2 [Download MP3]

Summary of Aayaat 1 – 3:

This surah was revealed in the middle of the Makkan period, when the disbelievers had heard the message over and over again. But their rejection of the message had made them become arrogant, and sarcastic. So they would sarcastically ask when the punishment of Allah would come down on them.

1 – So the 1st ayah could refer to either;
a) Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) asking Allah to send the inevitable punishment on the disbelievers due to their stubbornness, arrogance and mocking the warnings and signs of Allah.

b) – The disbelievers sarcastically asking Allah to send the punishment (of raining stones [mentioned in surah al-Anfal 8:32]) soon if what Prophet Muhammad came with is the truth. They are doing this to make fun of the warnings of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam).

2 – Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) is warning the disbelievers to believe in this Inevitable Punishment which will no doubt land on the disbelievers (waaqi’). They should believe now before Allah sends it down and it lands on top of them, then they will not be helped and it will be too late to turn back and believe.

3 – Li-al Kaafireena laysa lahu daafi’ = (the punishment has been sent down especially) for the Disbelievers, and nothing can repel or avert it (the punishment.)

[Huroof al Jaarra – Prepositions]:- 3 Huroof al Jarr (Prepositions) are in these 3 aayaat:

Bi – signifying; punishment will come – no doubt. And hinting at the Mocking the disbelievers are doing.

Li – (Li-al ghaaya = where something fits and belongs) = this punishment is specifically fitting and belonging for them and their destruction.
It’s a force to be reckoned with.

Min Allahi dhi-al Ma’aarij
– from Allah of Great Heights.

Min = From.
So Allah who is of great Heights will send a punishment down FROM Himself.

This ‘Min’ emphasises that Allah will directly send this Punishment down FROM Himself. So no doubt, His punishment will be severe and also reach its target (the arrogant disbelievers) accurately.

The disbelievers even sarcastically prayed to Allah to rain down stones on them if what Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) came with is the truth. (see surah al Anfal 8: 32)

So Allah is telling them that your mocking and making fun of the Quran and Messenger will in reality cause Allah to send down an inevitable punishment from above the skies onto the disbelievers.

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Grammar – Sentence Structure:

If you broke down these 3 Aayaat according to Grammar, it would be 2 sentences and not 3 Aayaat.

1st sentence: Sa’ala saa’ilun bi ‘adhaabin waaqi’un li-al kaafireen – an Asker asks about the inevitable landing punishment for the Disbelievers.

2nd sentence: Laysa lahu daafi’un, min Allahi dhi-al Ma’aarij – None can avert it, [it is] from Allah the Possessor of Great Heights.

But it is not broken down like that, rather it is broken down into 3 Aayaat instead.

Why could this be?

We see that 2 normal sentences have been broken down into 3 Aayaat to produce and enhance a Powerful Rhyming scheme/pattern.

This field of knowledge is called: al FaSl al Qur’an (the Separating of the Qur’an [aayaat]); I.e. Where does the Qur’an pause, where do the aayaat break down? Etc.

When we hear the Qur’an, it may seem like its Rhyming, but sometimes this rhyming is due to the FaSl al Qur’an.

The amazing thing is that Allah does not break down the aayaat merely to fit a Rhyming scheme. But it is due to other great Literary/Linguistic benefits aswell, to get the point/meaning across better.

Poetry: might lose some grammar or shorten words (qawaafiyyah?) etc. so the Rhyming scheme stays perfect.

But with the Qur’an; we see that;
1-The Grammar remains intact
2-The Word Meaning is very Powerful
3-The Pauses (FaSl) are at the right places to cause a perfect Rhyming scheme.

This shows us that the Qur’an is extremely powerful that it does not have to give up its perfect Linguistic standards and tools while keeping a Rhyming scheme – which enhances the Theme of what is being said.

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

Ayah 4

تَعْرُجُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ

ta’ruju al malaa’ikatu wa al-Roohu ilayhi fee yawmin kaana miQdaaruhu khamseena alfa sanah

The Angels and the Ruh (Angel Jibreel) climb up it, in a day which measures 50,000 years.

ta’ruju – climb up, to ascend, to go upwards. Climbing up something step by step, little by little, part by part.

Ta’ruju al-Malaa’ikah – the Angels Climb up little by little.

Malaa’ikah (plural) Angels.
Malak (single) – Angel.

The origin root of Malak is; (letter Hamza) Alak, so placing the letter Meem [M] before it = Ma’lakun.

Alak = when a horse bites down on its reins (the rope which goes in its mouth.).
(It does this when someone riding the horse hits it to run faster, and out of the effort and stress – it bites the rope/reins in its mouth. [Alak al Farasu Li-jaama?])

This is what the root ‘Alak’ means.

Allah tells us that He has made the Angels carry the message from Him. They are so sincere and dedicated to their task – its like they are rushing (like the fast horse) gripping (the message) tightly with their mouths.

This shows us that the Angels are; Quick, Efficient, Obedient, and do what they are told to do Straightaway.

[Ma’lakun is hard to say often and repeatedly, so the ‘Arabs dropped the Hamza and pronounced it as; ‘Malak’ (Angel) instead.]

Wa al – And the

Rooh (commonly translated as ‘soul’) – Raaha = Comfort.

similar words from the same Root
-miRwaha = Fan (because it gives comfort in the heat).
-IstiRaah – to go and seek some Rest.
-taRaaweeh (plural) – taRweeha (singular) = the rests you take after each set of night voluntary prayers.

Rooh = that which brings comfort.

The Soul is called the Rooh because it brings comfort to the body.

When the Soul leaves the body (at death), the body stiffens up. Yet when the Soul is in the body, the body remains comfortable and flexible.

In the Qur’an and the Sunnah, whenever the word ‘Rooh’ is used along with the Malaa’ikah (Angels) – it is specifically referring to Angel Jibreel (Gabriel).

One of the titles of Angel Jibreel is Rooh.

Why is Angel Jibreel called al-Rooh
Because his main role has always been to bring down the Revelation from Allah to the human Messengers who have guided the people to the truth. And it is this truth which gives Comfort, peace and tranquility (sukoon) to the hearts of the people.

ya’ruju al Malaa’ikatu wa al-Roohu ilayHi
Ascend; the Angels and the Angel Jibreel, little by little to Him (Allah)..

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Why is Angel Jibreel separated When he could be mentioned within the category of al Malaa’ikah (the Angels?)

This is; ‘Atf ul khaas ‘ala al-‘Aam – Placing the Specific over the general masses.

There is always a special reason why the specific one is mentioned separately. In this case, Angel Jibreel is mentioned separately to the other Angels because:

1 – This whole dialogue is talking about the Divine Revelation. And it is especially Angel Jibreel who delivers this message to Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam). So extra focus is given to Angel Jibreel in separation to the other Angels.

2 – Angel Jibreel is the leader of the Angels and of the most magnificent creations of Allah.
A hadeeth in Sahih al Bukhari quotes Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) telling us how he saw Angel Jibreel twice in his original form.

Allah’s Messenger described Angel Jibreel:
His feet were on the Earth, his head was in the skies. He had 600 wings, he opened just 2 of his wings, which were so vast and so great, that they covered the entire distance from the East to the West.

So if Angel Jibreel goes upto Allah step by step, little by little. Yet he is so big and magnificent of a creation, then how amazing and powerful his Creator is (Allah Almighty Himself!)

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When is Angel Jibreel behind the Angels, and When is he at their Front Ranks

The Malaa’ikah (Angels) and Angel Jibreel (Rooh) ascend [ya’rujju] to Allah. (surah Ma’aarij 70:4)

The Malaa’ikah and the Rooh continuously descend [taNazzala] (surah Qadr 97:4)

Yawma yaqoomu ar-Roohu wa-al Malaa’ikatu saffa – the Day the Rooh (Angel Jibreel) and the Angels will stand in straight rows.
(surah Naba 78:38)

We see that whenever the Angels are Ascending and Descending from the skies, Angel Jibreel is mentioned after the Malaa’ikah, signifying he is at the back and behind the other Angels.

Similarly: Allah’s Messenger Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) would be behind his group of people in travel and not at the front.
Staying at the back showed that he did not want to show off by being at the front, rather – he wanted to lookafter them all by staying at the back and keeping an eye on all of them including the weak ones.

On Judgment Day, Allah mentions Angel Jibreel as standing and leading the Angels, since he is the leader of the Angels. And in this type of situation, the leader needs to stand forward to represent those under him.

Similarly an Imam [leader] (i.e. Prophet Muhammad) stands infront of his people in Prayer, and on Judgment Day he will be standing forward to represent his people.

Fee yawmin – in a Day

Kaana miQdaaru khamseena alfa sanah – whose measure was 50,000 (fifty thousand) years.

The majority of scholars said this is referring to Judgment Day.

A minority opinion is that this is referring to the end of ayah 3. (meaning; if the Angels including Angel Jibreel went up the skies, it would take them 50,000 years to reach Allah.)

But the majority interpretation is that this is referring to Judgment Day being 50,000 years long.

What is meant by Judgment Day being 50,000 years

وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ فَصَعِقَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا مَن شَاءَ اللَّهُ ? ثُمَّ نُفِخَ فِيهِ أُخْرَى? فَإِذَا هُمْ قِيَامٌ يَنظُرُونَ

And the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will fall dead except whom Allah wills. Then it will be blown again, and at once they will be standing, looking on closely. [al-Zumar 39:68]


Why is Judgment Day so long?

It will be that long to test peoples limit, people will be anxious and waiting for any new thing to happen, looking around (because most will not know what is going to happen next.)

So the people will run to different Prophets’ and Messengers’ of Allah and ask them to ask Allah to start the Judgment. But the Messengers’ will decline and say that Allah is angry like He has never been angry before, so they will ask them to go to another Messenger, until finally the people will run to Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) and he will pray to Allah to start the Judgment, and Allah will accept his request, and this is when Judgment starts.

Some righteous people will be under the Shade of Allah’s throne and be safe on that Day. (see the hadith Qudsi of the 7 types of people Under the Shade of Allah.)

To make the believers feel better;

Hadith 1:

Al Haakim and al Bayhaqi: Abu Hurairah said that Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) said;

“yaKoonu ‘ala al mu’mineena ka miQdaari maa bayna dhuhri wa al ‘asr.
It (Judgment Day) is upon the believers like the measurement (of) what is between Dhuhr (Afternoon prayer) and ‘Asr (Sunset prayer.)”

People who are obedient to Allah, Judgment Day will literally feel like just a few hours.

Hadith 2:
“Innahu la yuKhafafu ‘an-il mu’min hat-taa yaKoona aKhaffa ‘alayhi min Salaatin maktooba yuSallee haa fi al-dunya –
Surely it [Judgment Day] will be light in regards to the believer, until it is lighter upon him than a Obligatory/Prescribed (Fardh) Prayer (salaah) he prayed in the world.”

This is how long Judgment Day will feel for the true believer.

But the person who is not in the favour of Allah, they will face 50,000years length of Judgment Day.

There is a hadeeth that mentions there are 999 out of every 1000 people who will go to hell.
But this does not have to be literal, since the Arabic language uses large numbers to intimidate and emphasise.

So the people who are under the shade of Allah’s throne, they are joyous and having fun celebrating. So the time is going fast for them.

But the evildoers are under the heat of the sun and scorching heat. To them it seems like thousands of years and time is not passing for them.

We ask Allah to place us under His shade on Judgment Day, when there is no shade except His shade.

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


Fa aSbir Sabran Jameela

So tie yourself to a beautiful Patience

Sabr –
(common translation; Patience).
Literal meaning: ‘to tie something down/to restrain something.’
I.e. To control yourself patiently.

Sabran Jameela – a Beautiful Patience.

So the Questioner asked;
– Allah told that it would come inevitably (no doubt/, and it would last for 50,000 years
– Then Allah told His Messenger to be Patient, a Beautiful and Noble patience. Stay firm on this message and conveying it.

You need to be patient how it befits you. The worser they get, the more noblility you show.
Why? Because you are the best standard and example for these people.

This is why many people who opposed Islam became Muslims after 20years of opposition and war against the Muslims. Like; Abu Sufyan, Khalid ibn al Waleed, Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl, Wahshee – who killed Hamzah the beloved Uncle of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) etc. They all became Muslim due to the great character and beautiful patience of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam.)

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

إِنَّهُمْ يَرَوْنَهُ بَعِيدًا

InnaHum yaRawnaHu ba’eedan
Surely They are seeing It (Judgment Day, punishment etc.) as Very Far.

yaRaw – Ru’ya – to See, Assume, Percieve etc.

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[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 7:[/callout]

Ayah 7

وَنَرَاهُ قَرِيبًا

Wa NaRaahu Qareeba
And We See it as very Close

yaRaw – Ru’ya – to See, Assume, Percieve etc.

Qareeb – very Close.

Another related ayah in the Quran on the approaching of Judgment Day:

اقْتَرَبَ لِلنَّاسِ حِسَابُهُمْ وَهُمْ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مُّعْرِضُونَ

[The time of] their account/judgment has come extremely close [iQtaraba] for the people, while they are in heedlessness turning away.
[Anbiya 21:1]

iQtaRaBa – iQtiRaab – to be extremely close like it is under your nose.

(the more letters in a word – the more complete/full the meaning)

..wa hum fee ghaflatin mu’riDoon – and they are (immersed) in unawareness, ignoring/turning away.

Allah is telling us that the disbelievers think it (Judgment Day) is far away, but Allah sees/knows it as close.

Allah’s Messenger, Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam) told us that he and the Final Hour had come together, and he joined his index and middle finger together (showing the closeness of Prophet Muhammad’s arrival and Judgment Day’s coming.)

Another way of understanding these aayaat

In terms of Probability of a Judgment Day: The disbelievers reject a Life after Death, and they say it is like old stories.

Allah is telling that they think it is ba’eed (Far-fetched), and We (Allah) know it as Near (and true reality.)

Main Ma’aarij3

Ma’aarij part 3 – Download MP3

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 8:[/callout]
Ayah 8:

يَوْمَ تَكُونُ السَّمَاءُ كَالْمُهْلِ

The Day that the sky will be like the boiling filth of oil, (or molten copper or silver or lead, etc.).

Allah describes Judgment Day graphically and visually so we can imagine it right now.
This imagery will strengthen the believers and their faith in it, and it will be a strong reminder and warning to the disbelievers.

The Day the sky will be like

Yawma – a Day when
yaKuwn – is
al samaa’ – the sky
Ka – like
al – the

Muhl – has many meanings in Classical Arabic;

1 – Dirty oil
(i.e. oil which has been used to fry food, and after cooking – the oil has pieces in it and is even greasier than it was before.)
Allah is describing the sky being like this dirty oil on Judgment Day.

2nd meaning:- Molten Copper (when you melt copper and it stays in liquid form).

To Conclude: The Root meaning is; a deep Reddish black colour which is oily.

Another ayah which explains this colour is;
When the sky is KushiTat [when the skin of an animal is peeled = a red colour of meat and blood]
(surah Takweer 81:11)

If we look at the sky now, it is blue and calm and serene. But on Judgment Day, the sky will be deep red and frightening. We ask Allah to protect us, ameen ya Rabb.

Ayah [70:]15 of this surah also elaborates on why the sky is red on this (Judgment) Day;

Innahu La Dhaa = surely it is a fire which is very fierce and has severely huge intense flames which are spiralling out of control, and this fire has scorched/burnt the sky (or enflamed towards the sky). This is why the sky has gone dark red, oily, like there is lava and copper in the sky.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 9:[/callout]
Ayah 9:

وَتَكُونُ الْجِبَالُ كَالْعِهْنِ

And the Mountains (on that Day) will be like ‘Ihn

‘Ihn – Wool (al sooff) which has been coloured/dyed in different colours.

What does it mean ‘like wool’?
If we look at the Mountains in nature, they represent stability.

He put the mountains on the Earth, so that it would keep the Earth stable i.e. during Earthquakes etc.

Allah says (meaning);
Have We not made the mountains as pegs? (Naba’ 78:7)

Based on this, the mountains don’t just represent stability, but they are the source of Stability on planet Earth!

Allah (azza wa jal) is telling us that on this Day, even the firmest mountains have become softened like wool (the softest material we can imagine) and these pieces are flying everywhere. So us humans who think we’re great are nothing on that Day if the mountains have become like wool.
This shows the severe conditions on Judgment Day.

The reason why ‘Ihn (dyed/coloured wool) is said is because Allah tells us in surah Faatir about the different colours of mountains;

And from the mountains are Juddadun (different types); white mountains, red mountains and differing colours of mountains, and extremely black mountains.
(Surah FaaTir 35:27)

Surah al Qaari’ah also mentioned;
Wa taKuwnu al Jibaalu Ka-al ‘Ihni al maNfuwsh – (and the mountains are like coloured wool beaten up [on Judgment Day].)

maNfuwsh = wool which is beaten with a stick or bat to remove its dirt.

maNfuwsh (beaten up) was emphasised in surah al Qari’ah because of the theme of surah al Qari’ah – (qari’ah which means a loud bang hit harshly [maQra’a = a tool (i.e.stick) which you hit hard with].)

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 10:[/callout]
Ayah 10:

وَلَا يَسْأَلُ حَمِيمٌ حَمِيمًا

‘And a best friend (Hameem) will not ask about his friend.’

Hameem – a very, very loyal friend. A friend you are attached to emotionally and who you can ask for advice because of your closeness to each other.

On this Day, even this best friend will not ask about his friend. Because this person is too busy in fear for his own fate and where he will end up (Hellfire or Paradise etc.) that he cannot give any time for his ‘best friend’.

Different Recital to this Ayah (ayah 10): Qiraa’ah Abu Ja’far an? Bazi:-
Wa laa yUs’alu [passive voice] Hameemun Hameema –
‘And a friend will not be asked about his best friend.’

So Allah tells us through this recitation style that you will not be asked about what your best friend did, rather – you will only be asked about yourself on this Day.

Every person will be scared on this Day – thinking about only themself and their own safety [Nafsee, ‘Nafsee’ – Myself, every person will say]. And the first person who will plead on behalf of his people will be the leader of mankind, the most caring of people – the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasalam). He will prostrate (do Sajdah) to Allah and beg Allah for his followers to be saved.

So Allah is telling us the intensity of this Day, that not even the caring and loving friend who listened to all your problems in this life will ask about you on this Day.


[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 11:[/callout]
Ayah 11:

يُبَصَّرُونَهُمْ ۚ يَوَدُّ الْمُجْرِمُ لَوْ يَفْتَدِي مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِئِذٍ بِبَنِيهِ

They will be shown each other. The criminal will wish that he could be ransomed from the punishment of that Day by his children

yu-BaSSaroona-hum –

They will be shown to them (best friends to other friends, relatives will see their relatives) etc.
Every person will be forced to see who they were associated with in this life. Yet they will be scared of them and want to run away from them out of fear that this other person want’s to complain about something wrong you did to them in the worldly life.

yaWaddu – he will intensely love/desire..

Wudd – intense love / desire from the depth of your heart.
(Allah’s Name ‘al Wudood’ means that He is excessively intensely Loving.)
Similar word:
Hubb – love. To be attached to something and follow it as much as you can to get it.
[Wudd is a stronger love than Hubb]

The Mujrim [convicted Criminal] on Judgment Day will wish/desire..

Mujrim – a Criminal who has been proven to have been guilty = a Convicted Criminal.

Allah did not say that it was a disbeliever, rather – even sinful Muslims could be Mujrim/criminal on that Day. We ask Allah for protection from that.

Law – If only

yaFtadee – Fida = to give something in exchange to save yourself (Ransom.)

Min – from

‘adhaabi – punishment

Yawma idhin – on that Day

Bi banee-hi = with his children

So this person who would lookafter his children and take care of them in this world, and would not want them to get hurt in any way, and when they got older – he would call them for support and help, on this Day – he is willing to throw them in Hellfire so that he does not enter it.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 12:[/callout]
Ayah 12:

وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَأَخِيهِ

And his female companion and his  brother

wa Saahibati-hee – and his Female Companion

The one who he spent his life with, who he loved and was the closest to. The one who he protected and kept close to himself.

On this stressful Day, he is willing to throw her in a fire – so he can save himself.

Other words for wife/woman;
Zawjah = wife
Mar’ah = woman

Allah out of these words  used the word Saahibah = female companion. Which emphasises that he loved this woman companion, who he was always with (Suhbah = close companionship).

wa akhee-hi = and his brother

The brother who he helped, or called for support in the worldly life.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 13:[/callout]
Ayah 13:

وَفَصِيلَتِهِ الَّتِي تُؤْوِيهِ

and his distant family who he found protection in.

wa FaSeelah = and FaSeelah

FaSeelah – FaSl – gap/break/distance = distant family (in classical arabic).

Minority Opinion: Ibn al ‘Araby asked imam Malik what FaSeelah means, he replied;  ‘the Mother’.

Because Allah says (meaning);
(and his weaning [FiSaal – breaking/distancing off breastfeeding] is after 2years – surah Luqman 31:14)]

And that extended family/mother who gave him protection/refuge.

tu’wee – aawaa = a refuge/place for safety and protection.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 14:[/callout]
Ayah 14:

وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ يُنجِيهِ

And whoever is on earth entirely [so] then it could save him.

Man – whoever

Fee – in

al ‘ArD – the Earth

Jamee’an – Altogether collectively

This person is willing to throw and ransom every person – loved or not loved – into the fire collectively, just for one thing..

thumma yuNjee-hi – so then he is Protected/saved.

Thumma usually means ‘then after some time’

But this ayah doesn’t imply that. There is a [‘Thumma li al-taraakhi’]
which is used – to show the ‘impossibility’ of something occurring.

= Even if he threw them all into the Fire, he still Then (thumma) would not be able to save himself from the Punishment on that Day.
He did the crime, so only he can pay for it.

O Allah we ask you for your protection from the terrors of this Day.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 15:[/callout]

Ayah 15

كَلَّا ۖ إِنَّهَا لَظَىٰ

No! Indeed, it is the Flame [of Hell],

Kal-laa = No way at all!

Similar word:
Laa = No (weaker than Kal-laa)

Allah is negating any form of hope the disbeliever has.

Allah mentioned those who were closest to you, and a gradual movement further away.

I.e. You are closest to your children, then your wife, then your brother. in order of closeness in this worldly life. And in order of importance to you. So you will ransom with the most valuable relatives first, so they are mentioned first here.

[In Surah Abasa however – Allah describes a similar description of you Running away from relatives. However, there Allah describes you running away from the ones who you were more distant from, and a gradual running away from the more closer ones  (the order given is; brother, then mother, father, wife, and children).]

The Scholars mention and ask why this person does not try to Ransom his Parents?

Because this person will know on this Day that if he even tries to ransom his parents, Allah will get angry at him due to the human knowing that he cannot be bad to his parents. So only children, female, and brother/sister and everyone else on Earth are mentioned.

Ma’aarij 4/d

Ma’aarij part 4 – Download MP3

Ayah 15:

كَلَّا ۖ إِنَّهَا لَظَىٰ

No! Indeed, it is the Flame [of Hell],

Kal-laa – absolutely No!
(refusing someone absolutely without any doubt.)

Now Allah has shattered the disbelievers hopes that he can be saved on that Day, Allah tells about more of the punishment.

Inna hu – surely it

LaDhaa –

2 opinions on its meaning classically [both can be applied];

1 – a name of a place in the fire of Hell. [This is a minority opinion.]
2 – al-Zamakhshari says; this word has a Root meaning of; a Very Big and Severe flame which does not have smoke to it. (i.e. Imagine big, sharp, red flames without smoke.)
The different meanings of one word is part of –
TaWassu’ fee al Ma’na (Vastness in Meaning) of the words Allah uses in His Speech.

Now these intense, large flames would be terrifying just to see, but to know that these large flames have scorched (burnt) the sky on this Day [see ayah 8’s explanation for more info.], and they have been prepared especially for you to burn in, forever. This is extremely terrifying, but it is the reality of the horrors of this Day.

This powerful fire would devour everything that comes in its presence. And if death could come a 2nd time, the people would die out of fear of it.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 16:[/callout]

Ayah 16:

نَزَّاعَةً لِّلشَّوَىٰ

Taking away (burning completely) the head skin/extremities!

Nazzaa’atan [from – Naz’a] – to pull/rip something off out of its place – violently.

(this ayah has it in its hyperbole/intense/mubalaghah form.)

2 meanings of Shawaa in classical Arabic;
1 – Scalp (of the Head).
2 – the Extremities of the body (i.e. Outer Limbs; arms, legs, fingers etc.)

So this fire is so intense – that it violently, intensely pulls/rips off the scalp of the head and the limbs off the body.

These kind of Warnings are always required so a person stays on the right track. Yet these Warnings are always followed by Reflections.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 17:[/callout]
Ayah 17:

تَدْعُو مَنْ أَدْبَرَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ

Calling: “[O Kafir (O disbeliever in Allah, His angels, His Book, His Messengers, Day of Resurrection and in Al-Qadar (Divine Preordainments), O Mushrik (O polytheist, disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah)] (all) such as turn their backs and turn away their faces (from Faith) [picking and swallowing them up from that great gathering of mankind (on the Day of Resurrection) just as a bird picks up a food-grain from the earth with its beak and swallows it up] [Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, Vol. 18, Page 289] (Muhsin Khan translation)

It will call out (tad’uw)

What will the Fire call out
3 opinions through sayings of the Sahabah;

1st view
– ilayya ilayya ya Kaafir, ya Munaafiq! – (come) to me! To me! O Disbeliever, O Hypocrite!

2nd view – Zafeerun [exhale loudly sound; Ibn Abbas says; the sound of a wild hungry animal which corners its prey and snorts out loud, exhale and inhale and growl]  wa Shaheeq (surah Hud)

Yu’Daroona alayhaa (Ghafir 40:46,Shura 42:45) – they are brought above it (hell) and told that this is where they will enter on Judgment Day. And the fire will be growling at them when they are there.

3rd view: Figurative [majaaz] meaning – to inspire reflection. You were called by some people in your previous life (the Messengers’, the believers’ to do good) but you rejected the message. So on this Day, you will be called to the Hellfire, and you cannot reject the invitation. You will HAVE to go to it, and you have no choice. Because you are a convicted Criminal for rejecting the offer to Jannah (Paradise.)

tad’uw man adbara wa tawal-laa

tad’uw – It calls

man – whoever

adbara – dubr – the back of something.
adbara = he turned his back.(verb Sarf scale 4 [af3ala/yuf3ilu/if3aal])

tawal-laa – wali – someone Close
(i.e. Friend/ally.) So tawal-laa implies turning towards someone who you are close to.
So what did they turn towards
Since they had turned their backs (adbara) towards the truth and the Messengers’ of Allah, then they turned closer (tawal-laa) towards falsehood and evil ideas.
There are many examples of this in the lives of many Prophets’, where the disbelievers turned away and never just stopped their, but they became corrupt and began to get closer to become Shayaateen (devils) – by opposing the Messengers’ and harming the believers.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 18:[/callout]
Ayah 18:

وَجَمَعَ فَأَوْعَىٰ

And collected [wealth] and hoarded.

wa jama’a fa aw’aa –

wa = and
Jama’a = he Jam’ (gathered/collected/hoarded)

Why do these people hoard wealth

Because they’ve turned away from the Guidance, so they want to do something to fill the emptiness in their life. So they use all their energies and talents in collecting as much wealth as they can to distract themself from the truth.

Hadeeth: If the son of Adam was given one valley of Gold, he would want another valley of Gold. And nothing fills the stomach of the children of Adam except dust (i.e. when he is buried.)

Fa = then

Aw’aa (verb form of) – Wi’aa = a Container (like a Jar) which you can seal/close up/put a lid on.

So this person never just hoarded wealth, but he became stingy and paranoid in trying to protect his wealth.
So he starts to feel that other people are trying to steal their wealth. ‘Everybody is trying to steal my money’.

So these people hide and stash their money so nobody can get it, not even themselves! Out of extreme paranoia of fear of losing that wealth.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 19:[/callout]
Ayah 19:

إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعًا

Verily, man (disbeliever) was created very impatient;

This ayah is the Pinnacle ayah inbetween all that which has been discussed and what will follow in the upcoming aayaat.

Inna – surely

al Insaan – the human
(this could refer to all humans generally, or some evil characters like Abu Jahl etc. who opposed the Messenger [saws]).

Khuliqa – created

haluw’an – hala’a: root meaning is; being Impatient.
[i.e. surr’a = being quick – rushing.] Quickly losing one’s patience, and becomes Anxious/worried/annoyed really quick.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 20:[/callout]
Ayah 20:

إِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ جَزُوعًا

Irritable (discontented) when evil touches him;

Idha – When [future tense]

Massa – touches/wipes

Hu – him
Sharru – (something) Unfortunate/bad. Anything which a person does not like.

Jazuw’a – Jaza’a – Impatient [opposite of Sabr (Patient).]

This ayah explains the characteristics of the word haluw’a.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 21:[/callout]
Ayah 21:

وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الْخَيْرُ مَنُوعًا

And when good touches him, withholding [of it],

wa – and
Idha – When
Massa – touches/wipes
Hu – him

Khayr = anything Good (opposite of Sharr = Evil).

From an Islamic perspective, everything that happens is Good for the believer.

Manuw’an – Man’ [miim,nun,ayn] = to refuse/prevent/hold back.

(this person might hold back from praising Allah for the favour Allah gave him.)

Khayr in the Qur’an also refers to ‘Wealth’. So this person when Allah gives him Khayr (good wealth) – he holds his money back – holds back his wealth in giving in charity etc.

Al-Zamakhshari in his tafseer al Kashshaaf quotes: Ahmad ibn Yahya aka Tha’labi (meaning: Fox), said Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Taahir asked me;

What is Hal’a? 

I replied;
‘Allah has given us the explanation [tafseer] of this and there is no better explanation than Allah’s tafseer.

Hal’a = when something small of percieved evil just touches him, he expresses the highest level of Jaz’ (anxiety/stress/loses his cool). And when a little bit of good comes his way, he becomes extremely stingy (bakhl) and holds it away from the people and sharing with them.’

Some scholars explained that Haluw’a refers to such a person with such qualities.

So the fire will call out to a person who turned his back to the Guidance, and he went closer to evil, and gathered wealth and became stingy and paranoid that someone might use his wealth, and whenever some small percieved evil touched him – he became extremely stressed, yet when even a little good came to him – he became stingy and arrogant and did not praise Allah.


Why does the person do this though? Because he has been created this way (ayah 19).

This ayah (ayah 19) has been said in the Passive voice. Meaning Allah is not to blame for these characteristics, but the human is.

Which shows that the human has these desires and feelings, and it is part of his test to overcome these and become a character of a much higher moral level. And if he overcomes this negative animal-type traits – this is what will make him of the best of creation.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 22:[/callout]
Ma’aarij 5/e

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Ayah 22

إِلَّا الْمُصَلِّينَ

Except those devoted to Salat (prayers)

Il-laa al MuSal-leen –

Il-laa – except
Al – the
MuSal-leen – people who constantly Pray.

This is the 2nd section of the surah.
[the surahs are sometimes divided into separate Rukoo’ according to sub-themes in a surah.]

Allah is now telling us that not all of humanity is doomed with the characteristics given (in ayah 17, 18, 19 and 20). Rather, there are some people who are above that.

Now from aayaat [70]:22-35 in this surah, there are numerous attributes a believer is required to have to be a good person/slave to Allah – the ideal Muslim personality.

The first 11 aayaat of surah Mu’minoon (23) are similar to these aayaat in surah Ma’aarij (70) too.

These are 8 qualities which Muslims need to work hard in so that their other good deeds don’t be wasted on Judgment Day.

Another thing we notice is that Allah is saying that the people who have these characteristics are the people of Jannah (Gardens of Paradise.) That means that these people are actually doing all this good and not just thinking/agreeing that these characteristics are good.

So Allah is telling us that we can overcome all the previously mentioned bad characteristics, by finding strength through prayer (Salaah).

In surah Mu’minoon (23:1), Allah is saying that the believers have attained success.

But why are they successful? Because they ‘Pray’ and are humble to Allah in their prayers.

[Note: the description of the believers in surah Mu’minoon is of a higher rank of believers than the minimal required for Muslims, which is mentioned here in surah Ma’aarij.]

Constancy in Prayer keeps you in Imaan (true Belief). Because Salaah is your treasure and connection with Allah. When someone leaves their Salaah, they gradually left the remembrance of Allah and soon rejecting the Afterlife.

MuSSaleen [Noun/nominal form] = a Person who has a Consistent character of Praying.

I.e. Someone who always prays on time, and whenever you remember that person – you always remember Salaah (prayer.)

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 23:[/callout]
Ayah 23:

الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ

Those who remain constant in their Salat (prayers);

Al-ladheena – the ones who
Hum = they
‘alaa – upon
Salaati-him – their Prayer

daa’imoon – dawaam = Continuous/consistent/no gap/lapse/interference in between.

Allah repeated ‘their’ (hum) 3x in this ayah, which emphasises that especially these people have such characteristics (of being constant in their Salaah/prayer.)

The word “‘Alaa” = up ON. Refers to them being constantly On Top of something, i.e. these people are constantly watching over their Salaah.

[When misguidance is mentioned, the misguided are described as ‘Fee’ (immersed ‘IN’ misguidance)].

Salaati-him – their Prayers.
Allah said that these are THEIR Prayers, and they are continuously guarding them, because they are so important to them. It is like they are guarding their own child or something important to them throughout the Day.

daa’imoon [noun/ism/consistent form] – they are Always praying consistently and do not miss prayers.


Normal Sentence
Al-ladheena daa’imoona ‘alaa Salaati-him –  Those who consistent on their Prayers.

Unique Ayah for Exclusivity
Al-ladheena hum ‘alaa Salaati-him daa’imoon – These are consistent ESPECIALLY upon their Salaah/prayer.

This consistency is in terms of Quality/dedication/sincerety/khushoo’/humility.

Once they have gained Consistency in their Prayer, they need to guard it through other good characteristics which are in the upcoming aayaat.

Salaah/prayer is the foundation of our religion.

Hadeeth: the Salaah in the religion is like the head on the body.

The Daily Prayers are extremely Manageable

For people who find it really hard to pray or even start to pray, and have not started the Sunan and Nawaafil (optional prayers) – then atleast the Faraa’iD (FarD – Compulsory Prayers).

So atleast start them, it probably takes around 5mins for each prayer. This isn’t even hard, even if you go College or University.

After that we should work on increasing our Consistency on the
Sunan (Sunnah prayers) and the Nawaafil (optional prayers.)

The Prophet (saws) said (meaning);
‘the most beloved acts to Allah are the constant actions, even if they are small’
  (in time or quantity – so long as the quality is good.)

We need to continue giving our Imaan constant small doses of small good actions, and we need to continue pushing ourselves slightly, so that it becomes our habit, and we ask Allah to give us Tawfeeq (ability) to practise what we have read/heard. Ameen ya Rabb.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 24:[/callout]
Ma’aarij 6/f

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Ayah 24:

وَالَّذِينَ فِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ

And those within whose wealth is a known right

Wa – and
Al-ladheena – those who
Fee – in
aMwaal-him (plural of Maal) = their Wealth
Haqqun – a Right (to be claimed)
ma’loom – known

The 1st quality Allah gave of these people who do not stress on small bad matters are those who pray and have a good focus on their prayers – desiring a good quality relationship with their Master. This is something which both the poor and rich, weak and strong can do – it is Universal.

The 2nd good quality these people have is mentioned in this ayah.
These people spend their wealth to help others, to please their Master – Allah. So if you want to prove your commitment to something (in this case – commitment to Allah) we need to give our Time and Money – to show that we are dedicated.

These people have a part of their wealth kept separate as a Right (haqqun) for those who are in need of it.

There is an abnormal sentence structure in this ayah. This can cause Exclusivity or Emphasis.
= ‘There is no doubt that in their wealth there is wealth for those who have a right for it.’

This ayah is a Nominal/Noun/Ism (=constant) based sentence, not a Verb (=temporary) based:

So these people have a Constant characteristicof reserving wealth for others who have a right on their wealth (i.e. the Needy etc.)

In surah Mu’minoon (23:4), Allah tells us; ‘those who constantly implement Zakaah (charity/purification).’

It was the practise of all the Prophets’ to pray and give in charity.

Haqqun ma’loom – a right deserving for others, which is known.

1 – they understand that this Charity giving is an obligation known.

2a – when Zakah (purification charity) was legislated in the Madani period, the believers are obligated to keep separate a share of 2.5% of your wealth per lunar year, knowing well that it has to be given to the poor and needy.

2b – Sadaqah (optional charity) would also be part of this giving to the needy out of thankfulness to Allah, and Allah will give you more.

Hadeeth Qudsi: ‘Spend on me O son of Adam, and I [Allah] will spend on you.’

3 – Give Sadaqah to your family dependants, to the Islamic institutions for da’wah and the Masaajid, because it is your duty as a decent Muslim.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 25:[/callout]

Ayah 25:

لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ

For the beggar who asks, and for the unlucky who has lost his property and wealth, (and his means of living has been straitened);

Li – for
Al – the
saa’il – asker (these people whose situation is dire/desperate, and asking for help)
Wa – and
Al – the
maHroom – haraam (forbidden/held back) – someone/thing who has been Forbidden/held back in fulfilling their needs.
Why is this person called maHroom?
This person is deprived from wealth and assistance by people.

The ignorant person would they are rich due to their abstinence (of not asking/begging people), you will recognise them by their faces..
(al Baqarah 2:273)

These maHroom people were not always poor, but they suddenly became poor and they feel shy to ask others for help and assistance.

So there are 2 types of people who have the right to charity;

1 – the Asker (saa’il) – Allah has purposelly used this word ‘asker’ to show us that someone who you think is genuinely poor and asking you – then you should give them with the intention of pleasing Allah.

[If there are people who do tricks by begging, or if they are alcoholics/drug users, use your common sense in deciding whether you should give it or not.]

Surah Duha 93:10  – Especially for the Beggar, don’t rebuke him/shout at him. (because you really don’t know their situation.)

2 – the maHroom (the one who has been forbidden the basic needs) – this type of person, you need to find in your society. These people have had their house lost i.e. In an Earthquake, or flood etc.

This type of person will even be resistant to your help, out of shyness and shame. So you will have to be clever by giving it as a gift, or maybe anonymously through the post.

Allah uses the word;
Haqqun – (their) Right to claim [that money].

This money which we have is their Right, it is their money in our pockets – we Have to give it to them, and we are not doing them a favour by passing it to them. And if we do give, Allah will increase our reward.

The 1st quality was Salaah (Prayer) – so when we get closer to Allah, we spiritually mature and realise that our fellow humans are in need of us.

The Context of this surah
– We know there is a modern day anti-religious trend of the idea that ultimate goodness can be achieved without religion. However, in ayah 18, Allah tells us that the denier of the Day of Judgment – hoards wealth and does not let his family or even himself to benefit from it. And when something good happens – he ascribes it to himself.

Whereas the one who believes in Judgment Day, he gives his wealth to everyone and those who are not even related to him – to the asker and the one who is held back from wealth (maHroom). Yet he doesn’t even boast about it because he knows it is his duty to do so, and he praises Allah.

Look at the massive difference!

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 26:[/callout]

Ayah 26:

وَالَّذِينَ يُصَدِّقُونَ بِيَوْمِ الدِّينِ

And those who believe in the Day of Recompense

Wa – and
Al-ladheena – those who

yuSaddiqoon – taSdeeq = Full Conviction in, stand by and speak for the Truth [Sidq = truth]

Bi – with
Yawm – day
Al – the
Deen = Payback/share.

‘those who have Full Conviction with the Day of Payback’

The Day of Payback/consequences of your Choices and Actions – these people have certain belief of that Day, and they stand by that belief and speak for it.

The Qualities which are mentioned of the believer are
1 – they are consistent in their Prayers.
2 – they have a share of their wealth saved for the asker and the one held back (maHroom).
3 – they have certainty of belief on the Day of Payback.

This person is continuously living this reality of preparing for that Day. So the more he fulfills his duties – the more Certainty of belief he has of this Day.

[Surah Ma’un (107:1-4), the beginning aayaat discuss the person who lies against Judgment Day.

Surah Muddathir [74] mentions the people of Hellfire –
They wouldn’t pray, they wouldn’t give charity, and they were Khaa’iDeen – those who waste their time in useless things.
So their useless activities made them begin to lie against and gradually deny Judgment Day.
(see Muddathir 74:42-46)]


yuSaddiqoona – they affirm[Verb form/jumlah fi’liyyah – this Truthfulness is an action they have to try to sustain and will continuously fluctuate, and they have to keep developing this affirmation of truth in thesmelves.]

[MuDaari’ (present-future tense) = (Balaaghah of MuDaari’ implies: Continuation & Renewal: This person now, and in the future will continue in the future to have belief/truthfulness for the Day of Payback, and his belief in it will be Renewed in new ways and from new perspectives throughout his lifetime.]

Previously Allah told us about the disbelievers;

: They [the disbelievers] think it (Judgment Day) is ba’eed (a very distant reality or a far off fairytale story). (ayah 6).

The believer however has a strong belief in the reality of this Day.

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

Ayah 27:

وَالَّذِينَ هُم مِّنْ عَذَابِ رَبِّهِم مُّشْفِقُونَ

It is those people, from the Punishment (adhaab) from their Master, mushfiqoon.

muShfiqoon – fearful/mindful.
– Ishfaaq – root meaning: being merciful/kind/concerned/compassionate for someone.
Afraid of something out of the repercussion it will have on that person.
Scaring someone out of a danger that the carer fears for that person. (i.e. a parent – out of love – scares his child not to go near the fierce dog.)

So why are these people scared so much? Because Allah has given them the compassionate/caring warning of a severe and painful punishment, and they are afraid that they will fall into it. This is why they are scared (muShfiqoon).

Similar word:

Khaa’ifoon – khawf – fear.

Allah did not use the word Khawf, but the root Shafqah, which is emphasising that Allah cares for them that they do not enter a Fire.
So this fear is based on compassion and mercy and a warning from danger.

This is a Nominal/Constant/Ism sentence – MUshfiq.

These people are constantly Fearful of Allah’s punishment in all parts of their life. So when they are going to sin, they remember the Hellfire and become scared and stop.

These people have a fear of Allah, but they love Him too and are shy of disobeying Him. So they are muShfiqoon.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 28:[/callout]

Ayah 28:

إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّهِمْ غَيْرُ مَأْمُونٍ

Verily! The torment of their Lord is that before which none can feel secure,

Inna – surely
Adhaab – punishment (of)
Rabbi – Master
Him – their

Ghayr – not

Ma’moon – ‘aman = to feel Safe/Secure about something.
Ma‘moon – some Place/Time you feel Secure/Safe about.

‘Surely the punishment of their Master cannot be felt secured from’

We learn that the Punishment (Adhaab) of Allah can hit at any time; in this World and the Next.

We know that Allah hates injustice/oppression, and we know that we all commit some type of injustice in our lives. So the Punishment of Allah can hit us at anytime. And we have to always try our best to be in Allah’s good books. Doing good actions to be in the Mercy of Allah.


In the previous ayah – ‘more than anything else, they fear the punishment of their Master.’

This ayah;
‘more than anything else, surely their Masters punishment is without safety’.

So the way to try to be in Allah’s good books is especially to give in Charity, especially giving what you love.

Hadeeth: ‘Sadaqah (charity) is a shield from the Punishment of Allah.’

Surah Insaan 76: 8-11
‘They fulfill their vows, and they fear that Day that the evil of that Day will be extremely widespread. And they feed Food, on their love for it, to the poor, orphan, prisoner. We have only fed you for the pleasure of Allah, we do not want any reward from you, and no gratitude/thanks from you. Surely we fear a Day which will make the faces ugly (from extreme dislike to it.) So Allah saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them a Bright face and Happiness.’

Once we get a habit of giving Sadaqah (optional charity) – it will become part of our nature. Being merciful to the creation causes Allah to be Merciful to you in this life and when you meet Him on the Day of Payback.

Why did Allah just mention the ‘Day of Payback’ as their article of belief and not mention the other articles of Faith?

Simply because the main Theme of the Surah Ma’aarij is Judgment Day. (see ayah; 4, 8 onwards, 26, 43).
The beginning, middle and end of this surah talks about Judgment Day.

We ask Allah to give us Tawfeeq (ability) to practise what we have read/heard). Ameen ya Rabb.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 29:[/callout]
Ma’aarij 7/g

Ma’aarij 7/g – MP3 Download

Ayah 29:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَافِظُونَ

And those who guard their private parts (from illegal sexual acts).

Wa – and
Al-ladheena hum – those who, they
Li – for

Furooj (plural) – Farj (singular) = the Private parts.
Root meaning:- space in between two things. (i.e. between two legs are the private parts.)
Classical Ancient Arabic useage of Farj
: if a war was fought, and someone entered a Fort/castle in battle for safety. If a defensive wall got damaged and became Vulnerable, it would be called ‘Farj’.

Because danger could approach to that spot, that spot leaves the people weak and vulnerable. So they would have to re-inforce protection in that area so they are protected from harm.

Ustadh Abdul Nasir continues: this is the idea behind Allah using the word ‘Farj’ to refer to the private parts and the Lusts/desires (shaHwah). Because if they are not protected, they are the humans weak spot.

All people have desire, and they always have to be on guard to protect themselves, just like the army has to protect its weak parts when they are exposed.

HaafiDhoon (Guarders) – HifDh = Guard/protect.
[Nominal/Ism/Constant form – they are Always on guard from false desires.]

The 4th aspect: these people Purify their behaviour and self-respect.

Allah is linking Spirituality with Social conduct. So your spiritual rituals are internalised in your Character as a person and your dealings with others.

1st – Allah spoke about pure spirituality – the Prayer.
2nd – Allah spoke about giving in charity – which is spiritual and social.
3rd – Now Allah is speaking about a purely social issue (which has spirituality aspect to it because you have to protect yourself).


Abnormal sentence structure is in this ayah for Emphasis.

Normal sentence structure
Wa al-ladheena HaafiDhoona li furooji-him – and those who are guarders for their private parts.

But by Allah placing the words ‘furooji-him’ earlier in the ayah, it implies that they especially guard their private parts/their weakness.

Allah in surah Israa’ 17:32, tells us –
Don’t you come close to Zina (fornication/adultery), surely it is a Fahishah (anything which goes past the limits) and an evil way (leading to more evils.)

I.e. think about all the lies, abortions, and guilt someone feels through one crime of approaching Zina [adultery].

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 30:[/callout]
Ayah 30:

إِلَّا عَلَىٰ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ

Except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they are not to be blamed –

Il-laa – except
‘alaa – upon

Azwaaji him (plural) – their Zawj (singular) – marriage partner.
[Zawj – linguistically refers to: a pair of the opposite type, i.e. a man husband to a woman wife.]
Therefore no room for homosexuality is allowed in Islam.

Some people mistakenly think that marriage life is not good, but Allah tells us;

This monk lifestyle, We did not legislate that for them, but they innovated it.(Hadeed 57:27)

Malakat aYmaani-him – Right hand women.



When wars occur throughout history; – the  people who are defeated lose their men and land in the battle to the opposition. The women and children now have no-one to lookafter them, and have to find money through some way.  Many turn to prostitution in desperation of needing to feed themselves and their children because they now have no men to protect them (the enemy is not their best friend.)

[This is even occurring today in Iraq and other Muslim lands where many Muslim sisters have had to turn to prostitution (some even for the invading armies!) because our brothers who defend them have been killed, jailed or suppressed/labelled falsely as terrorists and accused as terrorists by the Muslims themselves! But this situation is not told on the News. O Allah, help our sisters and brothers in these difficult/strange times, Ameen ya Hayyu ya Qayyoom!]

Islam’s Solution

Islam provides the best solution by looking after these ‘Right hand possessed’ people.

– So after the battle, the ‘right hand possessed’ woman will be given to a Muslim by the Ameer (Islamic leader), the Muslim will lookafter her, give her almost similar rights as he does to a wife.
– So she gives him the right to intercourse, and he gives her the rights of looking after her well and providing for her.
– Then when she has a child from him – she gets a respectable title of ‘Um al Walad’ (mother of his child),- and when he dies, she is automatically freed.
– Or she can work and pay her owner an agreed price to buy her own freedom within his life.
– And if she does not want intercourse with him, then he can sell her to another person who will be willing to lookafter her. (this might seem harsh to some people, but a life of prostitution [the other alternative] is a much harder lifestyle.

NOTE: Muslim women do not have male slaves for intercourse, it is not part of her dignity for her to have such.

(see for more info.)


Just as Allah has forbidden some things, He has made others allowed.

He has made meat of some animals allowed if they are sacrificed the right way, and He has made the meat of fish allowed – without us even having to sacrifice them.
(similarly; Allah has allowed a man to marry a woman through Nikah [marriage contract], and allowed a man to have intercourse with the female slave he owns without a marriage contract.)

Finally; we see that Allah actually encourages the believers to free their slaves and to marry the righteous ones of them.

This is mentioned in;

وَأَنكِحُوا الْأَيَامَىٰ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّالِحِينَ مِنْ عِبَادِكُمْ وَإِمَائِكُمْ ۚ إِن يَكُونُوا فُقَرَاءَ يُغْنِهِمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ

And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing. (surah Nur 24:32)

Aymaan (plural) – Yameen (singular) – Right hand.
from a Balaaghah/eloquence perspective – Yameen/Right has a Majaaz/metaphorical meaning of; ‘Blessed/Good.’

Just like in english people say; ‘right hand man’ to someone who is your support.

So these slaves are people who are not to be looked down upon or humiliated;


Narrated Al-Ma’rur:
At Ar-Rabadha I met Abu Dhar who was wearing a cloak, and his slave, too, was wearing a similar one. I asked about the reason for it. He replied, “I abused a person by calling his mother with bad names.”
The Prophet said to me, ‘O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names You still have some characteristics of ignorance. Your slaves are your brothers and Allah has put them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed him of what he eats and dress him of what he wears. Do not ask them (slaves) to do things beyond their capacity (power) and if you do so, then help them.’ ”

Sahih al Bukhari Volume 1, Book 2, Number 30.

‘except on their marriage partners, or their right hand possessed..’

Fa – then

Inna – surely
Hum – they

Ghayru – not

Maloomeen (plural) – maloom (singular) – malaama [Lawm – to blame someone on the bases of their Actions.]

These people who have intimacy with their spouse, they are not to be blamed.


 It was narrated from Abu Dharr that some people from among the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “O Messenger of Allaah, the rich people will get more reward. They pray as we pray, and they fast as we fast, but they give in charity from their excess wealth.” He said, “Has not Allaah given you things with which you can give charity? Every tasbeehah (saying ‘Subhaan Allaah (Glory be to Allaah)’) is a charity. Every Takbeerah (saying ‘Allaahu akbar (Allaah is Most Great)’) is a charity. Every Tahmeedah (saying ‘al-hamdu-Lillaah (praise be to Allaah)’ is a charity. Every Tahleelah (saying ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (there is no god but Allaah)’) is a charity. Enjoining what is good is a charity. Forbidding what is evil is a charity. Having intercourse (with one’s wife) is a charity.” They said, “O Messenger of Allaah, if one of us fulfils his desire, is there reward in that?” He said, “Do you not see that if he does it in a haraam way he will have the burden of sin? So if he does it in a halaal way, he will have a reward for that.”
(Narrated by Muslim, 1674)

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 31:[/callout]

Ayah 31:

فَمَنِ ابْتَغَىٰ وَرَاءَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ

But whoever seeks beyond that, then they are the transgressors –

Fa – So / then
Man – whosoever

Ibtighaa – seeks out
– baghiy – cross limits and boundaries for the fulfilling of your desires.

Waraa’ – beyond (infront or behind)
dhaalik – that

Fa – then
Ulaa’ika – they
Hum-ul – They (are) the

‘aaduwn – cross the boundaries and limits set by Allah.
[the word ‘aduw = enemy’ (or ta’adiy) comes from this because the enemy crosses the boundaries set by Allah.]

So this person who seeks to go beyond these limits is going past the boundaries/limits of Allah like an enemy.

This was the 4th moral character this Islamic person has.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 32:[/callout]

Ayah 32:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِأَمَانَاتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَاعُونَ

And those who keep their trusts and covenants;

Wa – and
Al-ladheena – those who
Hum – they

Li – for

Amaanaat (plural) – Aman (safety/security) – Amaanah – to trust someone and feel safe/secure about trusting someone.
Amaanaati-him = their TrustS. So there are many types of Trusts these people fill;

1 – a Trust with Allah
2 – your Trusts/promises with other people.
3 – hadeeth: ‘al Mustashaaru mu’tamanun’ – when someone asks you for advice, now you have been Trusted (so give them good and sincere advice.)

Wa – and
‘Ahdi-him – their Covenant

This is used in the Singular. But this is referring to the 1 Big ‘Ahd we have with Allah (covenant with Allah mentioned in surah al A’raf 7:172 – when Allah said ‘am I not your Master, and we all said ‘Indeed’ we bear witness.).

‘those people who with their Trusts and covenant – Raa’oon’

Raa’oon – Ri’aayah [Raa’ey] = to watch something and protect from harm.

I.e. A Raa’ey would be a Shepherd who watches over the sheep, cows etc.

So these people act like Shepherds about their trusts and covenants. They lookafter their covenant and trusts with Allah and the people throughout their days and nights.

Anas ibn Malik who was the servant of the Prophet (saws) for 10years said;

Qallamaa khaTaba Rasool Allah (saws) il-laa qaal – laa emaana li man laa amaanata lahu – it was rarely that the Prophet (saws) gave a speech except he said; there is no Belief/faith (emaan) for the one who has no trusts (fulfilled)

Wa laa deena li man laa ‘ahda lahu – and there is no religion for the one who has no covenants (fulfilled).

We need to try to change ourselves so we can have these characteristics as part of our personality and relationship with others. Because a person who is not trustworthy to the people might not be fully trustworthy to Allah. So we need to try to be trustworthy to ourselves, Allah, and the people.

Abnormal sentence structure for Emphasis;

More than anything else – they constantly watch over their trusts and covenant.

Raa’oon is in Nominal/noun (ism faa’il) form which shows they are constantly upon these characteristics. And if they make a mistake, they repent and mend their ways back to good again.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 33:[/callout]
Ayah 33:

وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِشَهَادَاتِهِمْ قَائِمُونَ

And those who stand firm in their testimonies;

Wa – and
Al-ladheena – those who
Hum – they
Bi – with

Shahaadaat – Testimonies
(Shaahid = to be Present, and therefore Witness. A Shaheed/martyr is someone who made himself Present for the ultimate sacrifice of his ownself.)

Him – their

Qaa’imoon – stand Upright

1 – They stand upright by their Testimony of ‘Laa ilaaha il-laa Allah’ – there is no god but Allah’ throughout their life.
2 – Witness to events in life, and they stay true to them.

Abnormal sentence structure; The word ‘Shahaadaat’ is mentioned earlier than ‘Qaa’imoon’, which implies they are Especially upright in matters of their bearing true Testimonies.

This is what they stand by for their entire lives, they never let this go.

We see the aayaat of this surah [70]:29-33 are identical to the ones in surah Mu’minoon [23:]

3 – You could be witnesses upon the People (on Judgment Day)
(al Baqarah 2:143)

So we need to live upto these high standards so that on Judgment Day we can be worthy of bearing witness against or for previous nations.

The Prophet (saws) once was sitting down, leaning against a wall and giving general advice to his Companions, but then he stopped leaning and said 3times;
ALaa wa shahaadati al-zuwr – do not give false testimony.

Because false testimony can harm other believers, and can cause even escalating and bigger problems in society.

This is why Allah tells us that there will be a time in the future (idha = when [future tense]) you will have to give testimony. So when you are called, you should be truthful in your testimony;

And witnesses should not refuse when (idha) they are called upon.
(al Baqarah 2:282)

Because Allah knows that people are reluctant. But truthful witnesses are important in court to settle justice for the believers.

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 34:[/callout]
Ayah 34:

وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ

And those who guard their Salat (prayers) well.

And it is those who;

‘ala – upon
Salaati-him – their Prayer
yuHaafiDhoon (present-future tense) HifDh – Guard – they are continuously into the Future Guarding their Prayers.

Allah mentions that to maintain these Qualities in life, you will have to maintain your prayer throughout your life.
This is why the description of all the good qualities are sandwiched between these 2 descriptions of guarding the prayer.

These people protect the Salaah’s Quality, its Constancy and Protect it by not doing bad things to others (i.e. they don’t break the other principles.) Otherwise your prayers reward might be given to someone else on Judgment Day because you had hurt them. So ask them for forgiveness or do good to them.


Abnormal sentence structure
: the word Salaat (prayers) is mentioned earlier than HaafiDhoon (guard) to show that they Especially the Prayer – that’s what they are continuously guarding.


Surah Mu’minoon [23:3] – they guard their PrayerS (Salawaat)

1 –
Because this ayah of Surah Ma’aarij was revealed in a time when there was only 1 prayer (Qiyaam ul Layl/taHajjud). Surah Mu’minoon was revealed when the 5 daily prayers had been legislated.

2 – The people of Surah Mu’minoon are of a higher calibre in the sight of Allah, so they guard more prayers because they pray more than a normal Muslim.

The Disbeliever vs the Believer

The disbeliever gathered/hoarded and Protected his wealth (ayah 18) and did not give it to benefit anyone!

The believer gave away his wealth to the needy and Protected/guarded his prayers (ayah 34).

[callout font_size=”27px” style=”cherry”]Ayah 35:[/callout]

Ayah 35:

أُولَٰئِكَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ مُّكْرَمُونَ

Those shall dwell in the Gardens (i.e. Paradise) honoured.

Ulaa’ika – those

Fee – in

Jannaatin (plural – for honor, distinction and nobility) – multiple Gardens/paradises.
JannaatIN [nakirah-not specified what type] = gardens of all types  – things which you can imagine in a garden (flowers, beautiful fruits, smells etc) and what you cannot imagine in a garden.

muKramuwn  – Honored/dignified.
iKraam – honor, dignify, grant nobility to someone.

muKramuwn [nominal/ism/permanent form] – Honored.
So Allah is telling us through the noun form – that these people who have the good characteristics mentioned earlier in this surah – they will be Honored, not just in the Gardens of Paradise, but they will have honor/nobility in this life too.

Hadeeth: Palaces made of Gold and silver bricks, their cement is musk.



Labinatun min dhahabin, labinatun min fiddah, wa teenuha misk… –
Palaces made of Gold and silver bricks, their cement is musk. Rivers flowing from beneath these gardens, of pure water which will never stench. Milk which will never go sour. Pure wine which will not cause a dulling of the senses, and a pure honey of Paradise. And the greatest of all, Allah will never be angry with them. I have given you my pleasure and I will never be angry with you ever again.


Ulaa’ika fee jannaatin – they are in Gardens.

Ulaa’ika muKramuwn – they are Honored.

We learn that;
i – they will be in Gardens
ii – they will be Honored
iii – they will be in the Gardens of Paradise and be Honored there.

In surah Mu’minoon, the people of Jannah/Paradise are described as the inheritors of Firdaws (the highest level of Paradise) forever.

Why did Allah describe these amazing characters as ‘inheritors’? Because if someone does not give someone their rightful share of inheritance, they have been wronged. So Allah is telling us that He is Just and fair, so it is only their right that He gives them al-Firdaws = No doubt they will have Jannah al Firdaws if they have the suited characteristics for it.

We ask Allah that He make us the people of Jannah al Firdaws, ameen ya Hayyu ya Qayoom!