|By the break of Day
|Wa layaalin 'ashr
|By the Nights twice five;
|Wash shaf'i wal watr
|By the even and odd (contrasted);
|Wallaili izaa yasr
|And by the Night when it passeth away;-
|وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَسْرِ
|Hal fee zaalika qasamul lizee hijr
|Is there (not) in these an adjuration (or evidence) for those who understand?
|هَلْ فِي ذَٰلِكَ قَسَمٌ لِذِي حِجْرٍ
|Alam tara kaifa fa'ala rabbuka bi'aad
|Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the ´Ad (people),-
|أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ
|Iramaa zaatil 'imaad
|Of the (city of) Iram, with lofty pillars,
|إِرَمَ ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ
|Allatee lam yukhlaq misluhaa fil bilaad
|The like of which were not produced in (all) the land?
|الَّتِي لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِي الْبِلَادِ
|Wa samoodal lazeena jaabus sakhra bil waad
|And with the Thamud (people), who cut out (huge) rocks in the valley?-
|وَثَمُودَ الَّذِينَ جَابُوا الصَّخْرَ بِالْوَادِ
|Wa fir'awna zil awtaad
|And with Pharaoh, lord of stakes?
|وَفِرْعَوْنَ ذِي الْأَوْتَادِ
|Allazeena taghaw fil bilaad
|(All) these transgressed beyond bounds in the lands,
|الَّذِينَ طَغَوْا فِي الْبِلَادِ
|Fa aksaroo feehal fasaad
|And heaped therein mischief (on mischief).
|فَأَكْثَرُوا فِيهَا الْفَسَادَ
|Fasabba 'alaihim Rabbuka sawta 'azaab
|Therefore did thy Lord pour on them a scourge of diverse chastisements:
|فَصَبَّ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّكَ سَوْطَ عَذَابٍ
|Inna Rabbaka labil mirsaad
|For thy Lord is (as a Guardian) on a watch-tower.
|إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ
|Fa ammal insaanu izaa mab talaahu Rabbuhoo fa akramahoo wa na' 'amahoo fa yaqoolu Rabbeee akraman
|Now, as for man, when his Lord trieth him, giving him honour and gifts, then saith he, (puffed up), "My Lord hath honoured me."
|فَأَمَّا الْإِنْسَانُ إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَأَكْرَمَهُ وَنَعَّمَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَكْرَمَنِ
|Wa ammaaa izaa mabtalaahu faqadara 'alaihi rizqahoo fa yaqoolu Rabbeee ahaanan
|But when He trieth him, restricting his subsistence for him, then saith he (in despair), "My Lord hath humiliated me!"
|وَأَمَّا إِذَا مَا ابْتَلَاهُ فَقَدَرَ عَلَيْهِ رِزْقَهُ فَيَقُولُ رَبِّي أَهَانَنِ
|Kalla bal laa tukrimooo nal yateem
|Nay, nay! but ye honour not the orphans!
|كَلَّا ۖ بَلْ لَا تُكْرِمُونَ الْيَتِيمَ
|Wa laa tahaaaddoona 'alaata'aamil miskeen
|Nor do ye encourage one another to feed the poor!-
|وَلَا تَحَاضُّونَ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ الْمِسْكِينِ
|Wa taakuloonat turaasa aklal lammaa
|And ye devour inheritance - all with greed,
|وَتَأْكُلُونَ التُّرَاثَ أَكْلًا لَمًّا
|Wa tuhibboonal maala hubban jammaa
|And ye love wealth with inordinate love!
|وَتُحِبُّونَ الْمَالَ حُبًّا جَمًّا
|Kallaaa izaaa dukkatil ardu dakkan dakka
|Nay! When the earth is pounded to powder,
|كَلَّا إِذَا دُكَّتِ الْأَرْضُ دَكًّا دَكًّا
|Wa jaaa'a Rabbuka wal malaku saffan saffaa
|And thy Lord cometh, and His angels, rank upon rank,
|وَجَاءَ رَبُّكَ وَالْمَلَكُ صَفًّا صَفًّا
|Wa jeee'a yawma'izim bi jahannnam; Yawma 'iziny yatazakkarul insaanu wa annaa lahuz zikraa
|And Hell, that Day, is brought (face to face),- on that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance profit him?
|وَجِيءَ يَوْمَئِذٍ بِجَهَنَّمَ ۚ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتَذَكَّرُ الْإِنْسَانُ وَأَنَّىٰ لَهُ الذِّكْرَىٰ
|Yaqoolu yaa laitanee qaddamtu lihayaatee
|He will say: "Ah! Would that I had sent forth (good deeds) for (this) my (Future) Life!"
|يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي قَدَّمْتُ لِحَيَاتِي
|Fa Yawma izil laa yu'azzibu 'azaabahooo ahad
|For, that Day, His Chastisement will be such as none (else) can inflict,
|فَيَوْمَئِذٍ لَا يُعَذِّبُ عَذَابَهُ أَحَدٌ
|Wa laa yoosiqu wasaaqa hooo ahad
|And His bonds will be such as none (other) can bind.
|وَلَا يُوثِقُ وَثَاقَهُ أَحَدٌ
|Yaaa ayyatuhan nafsul mutma 'innah
|(To the righteous soul will be said:) "O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!
|يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ
|Irji'eee ilaa Rabbiki raadiyatam mardiyyah
|"Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him!
|ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَرْضِيَّةً
|Fadkhulee fee 'ibaadee
|"Enter thou, then, among My devotees!
|فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي
|"Yea, enter thou My Heaven!
Recitation by Mishary Al-Alfasy
The Surah is so designated after the word wal-fajr with which it opens.
Period of Revelation
Its contents show that it was revealed at the stage when persecution of the new converts to Islam had begun in Makkah. On that very basis the people of Makkah have been warned of the evil end of the tribes of Ad and Thamud and of Pharaoh.
Theme and Subject Matter
Its theme is to affirm the meting out of rewards and punishments in the Hereafter, which the people of Makkah were not prepared to acknowledge, Let us consider the reasoning in the order in which it has been presented.
First of all, swearing oaths by the dawn, the ten nights, the even and the odd, and the departing night, the listeners have been asked: "Are these things not enough to testify to the truth of that which you are refusing to acknowledge?" From the explanation that we have given of these four things in the corresponding notes, it will become clear that these things are a symbol of the regularity that exists in the night and day, and swearing oaths by these the question has been asked in the sense: Even after witnessing this wise system established by God, do you still need any other evidence to show that it is not beyond the power of that God Who has brought about this system to establish the Hereafter, and that it is the very requirement of his wisdom that He should call man to account for his deeds?
Then, reasoning from man's own history, the evil end of the Ad and the Thamud and Pharaoh has been cited as an example to show that when they transgressed all limits and multiplied corruption in the earth, Allah laid upon them the scourge of His chastisement. This is a proof of the fact that the system of the universe is not being run by deaf and blind forces, nor is the world a lawless kingdom of a corrupt ruler, but a Wise Ruler is ruling over it, the demand of Whose wisdom and justice is continuously visible in the world itself in man's own history that He should call to account, and reward and punish accordingly, the being whom He has blessed with reason and moral sense and given the right of appropriation in the world.
After this, an appraisal has been made of the general moral state of human society of which Arab paganism was a conspicuous example; two aspects of it in particular, have been criticized: first the materialistic attitude of the people on account of which overlooking the moral good and evil, they regarded only the achievement of worldly wealth, rank and position, or the absence of it, as the criterion of honor or disgrace, and had forgotten that neither riches was a reward nor poverty a punishment, but that Allah is trying man in both conditions to see what attitude he adopts when blessed with wealth and how he behaves when afflicted by poverty. Second, the people's attitude under which the orphan child in their society was left destitute on the death of the father. Nobody asked after the poor; whoever could, usurped the whole heritage left by the deceased parent, and drove away the weak heirs fraudulently. The people were so afflicted with an insatiable greed for wealth that they were never satisfied however much they might hoard and amass. This criticism is meant to make them realize as to why the people with such an attitude and conduct in the life of the world should not be called to account for their misdeeds.
The discourse has been concluded with the assertion that accountability shall certainly be held and it will be held on the Day when the Divine Court will be established. At that time the deniers of the judgment will understand that which they are not understanding now in spite of instruction and admonition, but understanding then will be of no avail. The denier will regret and say, "Would that I had provided for this Day beforehand while I lived in the world." But his regrets will not save him from Allah's punishment. However, as for the people who would have accepted the Truth, which the heavenly books and the Prophets of God were presenting, with full satisfaction of the heart in the world, Allah will be pleased with them and they will be well pleased with the rewards bestowed by Allah. They will be called upon to join the righteous and enter Paradise.