Chapter Scripts

Surah Al-Mursalat 77:11-20

77:11 And when all the apostles are called together at a time appointed.


I.e., of death, resurrection, and God’s judgment, all three of which cast dark shadows, as it were, over the sinners’ hearts

77:12 For what day has the term [of all this] been set?


Lit., “like yellow twisted ropes”, yellow being “the color of fire” (Baghawi). The conventional rendering of jimalat (also spelt jimalat and jimalah) as “camels”, adopted by many commentators and, until now, by all translators of the Qur’an, must be rejected as grossly anomalous; see in this connection note 32 on the second part of 7:40 – “they shall not enter paradise any more than a twisted rope can pass through a needle’s eye”. In the above verse, too, the plural noun jimalah (or jimalat) signifies “twisted ropes” or “giant ropes” – a connotation that has been forcefully stressed by Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Sa’id ibn Jubayr and others (cf. Tabari, Baghawi, Razi, Ibn Kathir; also Bukhari, Kitab at-Tafsir). Moreover,our observation of the trajectory of shooting stars fully justifies the rendering “giant fiery ropes”. Similarly, my rendering of qasr, in this context, as “[burning] logs” – instead of the conventional (and utterly meaningless) “castles”, “palaces”, etc. – goes back to all of the above-mentioned authorities.

77:13 For the Day of Distinction [between the true and the false]!


For this symbolism of the joys of paradise, see Appendix I.

77:14 And what could make thee conceive what that Day of Distinction will be?


Lit” “behold, you are lost in sin (mujrimun)”.

77:15 Woe on that Day unto those who give the lie to the truth!

77:16 Did We not destroy [so many of] those [sinners] of olden days?

77:17 And We shall let them be followed by those of later times.

77:18 [For] thus do We deal with such as are lost in sin.

77:19 Woe on that Day unto those who give the lie to the truth!

77:20 Did We not create you out of a humble fluid. 


The divine scriptures are God’s beacons to the world. Surely God offered His trust to the heavens and the earth, and the hills, but they shrank from bearing it and were afraid of it. And man undertook it.
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