The Surah has been so named after the word al-Qiyamah in the first verse.
This is not only the name but also the title of this Surah, for it is devoted to
Period of Revelation Although
there is no tradition to indicate its period of revelation, yet there is in the
subject matter of this Surah an internal evidence, which shows that it is one of
the earliest Surahs to be sent down at Makkah. After verse 15 the discourse is
suddenly interrupted and the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) told: "Do not
move your tongue to remember this Revelation hastily. It is Our responsibility
to have it remembered and read. Therefore, when We are reciting it, listen to
its recital carefully. Again, it is Our responsibility to explain its meaning."
Then, from verse 20 onward the same theme which was interrupted at verse 15, is
resumed. This parenthetical passage, according to both the context and the
traditions, has been interposed here for the reason that when the Angel Gabriel
was reciting this Surah to the Holy Prophet, the Holy Prophet, lest he should
forget its words later, was repeating them at the same moment. This in fact
happened at the time when the coming down and receipt of Revelation was yet a
new experience for him and he was not yet fully used to receiving it calmly.
There are two other instances also of this in the Qur'an. First, in Surah Ta Ha
the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) has been told: "And see that you do not
hasten to recite the Qur'an before its revelation is completed to you." (v.
114). Then, in Surah Al-A'la, it has been said: "We shall enable you to recite:,
then you shall never forget. (v. 6). Later, when the Holy Prophet became fully
used to receiving the Revelation well, there remained no need to give him any
such instruction. That is why except for these, three, there is no other
instance of this in the Qur'an.
Theme and Subject Matter
Most of the Surahs, from here till the end of the Qur'an, in view of their
content and style, seem to have been sent down in the period when after the
first seven verses of Surah Al-Muddaththir, revelation of the Qur'an began like
a shower of rain: Thus, in the successively revealed Surahs Islam and its
fundamental concepts and moral teachings were presented so forcefully and
effectively in pithy, brief sentences and the people of Makkah warned so
vehemently on their errors and deviations that the Quraish chiefs were utterly
confounded. Therefore, before the next Hajj season came they held the conference
for devising schemes to defeat the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) as has been
mentioned in the Introduction to the Surah Al-Muddaththir above.
Surah, addressing thee deniers of the Hereafter, replies have been given to each
of their doubts and objections, strong arguments have been given to prove the
possibility, occurrence and necessity of the Resurrection and Hereafter, and
also it has been pointed out clearly that the actual reason of the people's
denying the Hereafter is not that they regard it as impossible rationally but
because their selfish motives do not allow them to affirm it. At the same time,
the people have been warned, as if to say: "The event, the occurrence of which
you deny, will inevitably come: all your deeds will be brought and placed before
you. As a matter of fact, even before any of you sees his record, he will be
knowing fully well what he has done in the world, for no man is unaware of
himself, no matter what excuses and pretenses he may offer to deceive the world
and deceive himself in respect of his misdeeds."