Chapter Scripts

Surah Al-Qiyamah 75:11-20

75:11 But Nay, no refuge [for thee, O man]!

Lit., “when shank is wrapped around shank” – an idiomatic phrase denoting “the affliction of the present state of existence… combined with that of the final state” (Lane IV, 1471. quoting both the Qamus and the Taj al-‘Arus). As pointed out by Zamakhshari, the noun saq (lit., “shank”) is often used metaphorically in the sense of “difficulty”, “hardship” or “vehemence” (shiddah); hence the well-known phrase, qamat al-harb ala saq, “the war broke out with vehemence” (Taj al-‘Arus).

75:12 With thy Sustainer, on that Day, the journey’s end will be!

Lit., “towards thy Sustainer will be the driving”, i.e., with belated repentance (see next three verses). The phrase rendered above as “at the time” reads, literally, “on that day”; but the term yawm is often used idiomatically in the sense of “time” regardless of its duration.

75:13 Man will be apprised, on that Day, of what he has done and what he has left undone.

This interpolation, necessary for a full understanding of the sequence, is based on 4:17-18, which has a definite bearing on the above passage.

75:14 Nay, but man shall against himself be an eye-witness. 

Lit., “to his people”: i.e., to the arrogant belief, rooted in the materialism of his social environment, that man is “self-sufficient” and, therefore, not in need of any divine guidance (cf. 96:6).

75:15 Even though he may veil himself in excuses.

i.e., without being held morally responsible for his doing.

75:16 Move Not thy tongue in haste, [repeating the words of the revelation].

For this rendering of sawwa, see note 1 on 87:2 and note 5 on 91:7. The stress on God’s creating man after he had been a germ-cell is a metonym for His endowing the (originally) lowly organism with what is described as a “soul”.

75:17 For, behold, it is for Us to gather it [in thy heart] and to cause it to be read [as it ought to be read].

75:18 Thus, when We recite it, follow thou it’s wording [with all thy mind].

75:19 And then, behold, it will be for Us to make its meaning clear.

75:20 Nay, but [most of] you love this fleeting life.


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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