Al-Infitar is the 82nd surah (chapter) of Al-Qur’an. It consists of 19 ayat (verses) that were all revealed in Mecca.
ALTHOUGH some authorities assign this surah to the early part of the Mecca period, others regard it as more probable that it belongs to the last group of Meccan revelations.
بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 1
إِذَا السَّمَاءُ انْفَطَرَتْ
Izas samaaa’un fatarat
1. WHEN THE SKY is cleft asunder,1
1 An allusion to the Last Hour, when the world as known to man will come to an end and the ultimate reality of the hereafter will begin.
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 2
وَإِذَا الْكَوَاكِبُ انْتَثَرَتْ
Wa izal kawaakibun tasarat
2. and when the stars are scattered,
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 3
وَإِذَا الْبِحَارُ فُجِّرَتْ
Wa izal bihaaru fujjirat
3. and when the seas burst beyond their bounds,
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 4
وَإِذَا الْقُبُورُ بُعْثِرَتْ
Wa izal qubooru bu’sirat
4. and when the graves are overturned—
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 5
عَلِمَتْ نَفْسٌ مَا قَدَّمَتْ وَأَخَّرَتْ
‘Alimat nafsum maa qaddamat wa akhkharat
5. every human being will [at last] comprehend, what he has sent ahead and what he has held back [in this world].2
2 I.e., what he has done and what he has omitted to do. An alternative rendering would be “what he has placed forward and what he has placed behind”, i.e., what he prized more and what less in his erstwhile,
subjective valuation. Thus, at the moment of resurrection man will suddenly understand the true motivations and moral implications of whatever he did—or consciously refrained from doing—during
his life in this world: and this applies to all the good deeds he did and the sins he refrained from, as well as to all the sins he committed and the good deeds he failed to do.
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 6
يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنْسَانُ مَا غَرَّكَ بِرَبِّكَ الْكَرِيمِ
Yaaa ayyuhal insaaanu maa gharraka bi Rabbikal kareem
6. O MAN! What is it that lures thee away from thy bountiful Sustainer,3
3 A rhetorical question implying that no human being is ever entirely immune against “that temptation to
evil (fitnah) which does not befall only those among you who are bent on denying the truth” (see Surah Al-Anfal : 25 and the corresponding note 25). The answer is given in verse 9 below.
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 7
الَّذِي خَلَقَكَ فَسَوَّاكَ فَعَدَلَكَ
Allazee khalaqaka fasaw waaka fa’adalak
7. who has created thee, and formed thee in accordance with what thou art meant to be,4 and shaped thy nature in just proportions,5
4 I.e., “endowed thee with all the qualities and abilities relevant to the exigencies of thy individual life and thy environment”.
5 Lit., “made thee proportionate”, i.e., a being subject to physical needs and emotional urges, and at the same time endowed with intellectual and spiritual perceptions: in other words, a being in whom there is no inherent conflict between the demands of “the spirit and the flesh”, since both these aspects of the human condition are—as stressed in the next verse—God-willed and, therefore, morally justified.
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 8
فِي أَيِّ صُورَةٍ مَا شَاءَ رَكَّبَكَ
Feee ayye sooratim maa shaaa’a rakkabak
8. having put thee together in whatever form He willed [thee to have]?
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 9
كَلَّا بَلْ تُكَذِّبُونَ بِالدِّينِ
Kalla bal tukazziboona bid deen
9. Nay, [O men,] but you [are lured away from God whenever you are tempted to] give the lie to [God’s] Judgment!6
6 In view of the fact that the whole of this passage is addressed to “man” or “men” in general, and not
merely to deniers of the truth, I believe that the expression “you give the lie” does not, in this context, necessarily imply a conscious denial of God’s ultimate judgment but rather, a tendency inherent in most human beings to close one’s mind—occasionally or permanently, as the case may be—to the prospect of having to answer before God for one’s doings: hence my rendering, “you are tempted to give the lie”.
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 10
وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ
Wa inna ‘alaikum lahaa fizeen
10. And yet, verily, there are ever-watchful forces over you,
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 11
11. noble, recording,
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 12
يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ
Ya’lamoona ma taf’aloon
12. aware of whatever you do!7
7 The classical commentators are of the opinion that we have here a reference to the guardian angels who record, allegorically, all of men’s deeds. However, another explanation has been suggested by me in my rendering of Surah Qaf : 16-23 and elaborated in the corresponding notes 11-16. In consonance with that interpretation, the “watchful force” (hafiz) set over every human being is his own conscience, which “records” all his motives and actions in his subconscious mind. Since it is the most precious element in man’s psyche, it is described in verse 11 as “noble”.
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 13
إِنَّ الْأَبْرَارَ لَفِي نَعِيمٍ
Innal abraara lafee na’eem
13. Behold, [in the life to come] the truly virtuous: will indeed be in bliss,
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 14
وَإِنَّ الْفُجَّارَ لَفِي جَحِيمٍ
Wa innal fujjaara lafee jaheem
14. whereas, behold, the wicked will indeed be in a blazing fire—
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 15
يَصْلَوْنَهَا يَوْمَ الدِّينِ
Yaslawnahaa Yawmad Deen
15. [a fire] which they shall enter on Judgment Day,
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 16
وَمَا هُمْ عَنْهَا بِغَائِبِينَ
Wa maa hum ‘anhaa bighaaa ‘ibeen
16. and which they shall not [be able to] evade.
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 17
وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ
Wa maaa adraaka maa Yawmud Deen
17. And what could make thee conceive what that Judgment Day will be?
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 18
ثُمَّ مَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الدِّينِ
Summa maaa adraaka maa Yawmud Deen
18. And once again: What could make thee conceive what that Judgment Day will be?8
8 For my rendering of thumma at the beginning of this verse as “And once again”, see Surah Al-An’am , note 31. The repetition of this rhetorical question is meant to indicate that man’s intellect and imagination cannot possibly answer it, since what is described as the Day of Judgment will usher in a reality which as yet is wholly outside our human experience and, therefore, cannot be grasped conceptually: hence, only allegory—and our own emotional response to it—can give us an inkling of what that reality might be.
Surah Al-Infitar Ayat 19
يَوْمَ لَا تَمْلِكُ نَفْسٌ لِنَفْسٍ شَيْئًا ۖ وَالْأَمْرُ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلَّهِ
Yawma laa tamliku nafsul linafsin shai’anw walamru yawma’izil lillaah
19. [It will be] a Day when no human being shall be of the least avail to another human being: for on that Day [it will become manifest that] all sovereignty is God’s alone.
Source: The Message of the Quran by Muhammad Asad (Leopold Weiss)