3 Lessons from Surah Zilzal— Half of the Quran

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by Raiiq Ridwan

1 When the earth is shaken violently in its [last] quaking, 2 when the earth throws out its burdens, 3 when man cries, ‘What is happening to it?’; 4 on that Day, it will tell all 5 because your Lord will inspire it [to do so]. 6 On that Day, people will come forward in separate groups to be shown their deeds: 7whoever has done an atom’s-weight of good will see it, 8but whoever has done an atom’s-weight of evil will see that

Multiple narrations attributed to the Prophet [1] sallallahu alayhi wasallam mention that Surah Zilzal is equal to half of the Quran. However, all the narrations are mentioned by hadeeth scholars to be weak. However, from the early scholars of Islam many of them, including al-Hasan al-Basri, said that Surah Zilzal is equivalent to half of the Quran. So how do we reconcile between the fact that it is not proven to be from the Prophet but it is mentioned by the scholars to be equivalent to half of the Quran?

The scholar al-Manaawi summarized it as such: Because the greatest objective of the Quran is to explain the creation and the resurrection, and When the earth is shaken violently in its [last] quaking refers only to the resurrection, therefore it is equivalent to half of the Quran. This was referred to by al-Qaadi. [2]

Therefore we cannot take it as a reward, but we can say that the meaning of Surah Zilzal covers half of the Quran— resurrection and the Day of Judgement. So what can we learn from “half of the Quran”?

The Day of Judgement will be no easy matter

Have you ever experienced an earthquake? A small shake, that rattles the buildings, shakes everything and for seconds we think we are doomed? Yes, that is a small snippet at what the Day of Judgement will be like. It is a terrible day, when the whole world, instead of just a part of it will shake, and it will shake so vigorously that it will throw out all the people that are buried inside it. So much so that people will ask “What is wrong with it?” Other ayat of the Quran mention a similar horror about the Day of Judgement, “When the Deafening Blast comes–the Day man will flee from his own brother, his mother, his father, his wife, his children, each of them will be absorbed in concerns of their own on that Day.” [3]

Surahs after Surahs in the Quran describe the Day of Judgement. In fact the Day of Judgement itself has over 15 different names in the Quran and in the Hadeeth literature. Almost every page of the Quran mentions it- because we are quick to forget it. It is easy to forget that the Day of Judgement could be near, and thus we hardly think about it. But, Allah is Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful who reminds us over and over again in the Quran. How do we deal with it? The simplest way is to ask ourselves, while doing every single deed that we do— will this deed help us or harm us on the Day when none will be of help except Allah?

The earth will bear witness

On that Day, it will tell all because your Lord will inspire it [to do so]– Allah will inspire the earth to tell of all that has happened on its surface. Every sin, every good deed, every virtuous man and every rebellious disbeliever will be identified and mentioned. Allah has kept this earth as a witness and on the Day of Judgement it will give the earth a voice, and before everyone, it will bare all. What are we doing on this earth? Will the earth positively vouch for us, or will it speak against us?

Every single deed will be accounted for

On that Day, people will come forward in separate groups to be shown their deeds: whoever has done an atom’s-weight of good will see it, but whoever has done an atom’s-weight of evil will see that.

Every single deed of the son of Adam will be on show on that Day. Whatever we have done, from breathing to sleeping to drinking water, nothing is small. A good deed no matter how small is still valued by Allah and a sin no matter how small is still going to be accounted for.

O Allah, the smallest of the sins and the largest, the ones we remember and the ones we don’t, please forgive us all for all our sins, and purify us from them O Forgiver of Sins, Acceptor of Repentance, Most Merciful of those who show Mercy

O Allah, our good deeds are full of defects, but we have done them to please You, please accept them from us O our Lord and reward us for them

Learning Surah Zilzal and the meanings associated with them will help us improve our prayers and in sha Allah protect us from a bad day on Judgement Day. Join in the 50% of the Quranic words course on UnderstandQuran.com, and benefit from having your reading of the Quran, and your prayers.

Raiiq Ridwan

[1] Narrations from at-Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Ibn Sunni and others

[2] Fayd al-Qadeer

[3] Quran 80:33-37

1 Comment

  1. zamin December 10, 2015 Reply

    good learn and is vry good for information of quran and keeep up the good job!!!!!!!!

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