SURAH 81
At-Takwir  (The Overthrowing, The Folding Up)


This Surah consists of 29 verses, 104 sentences, 530 letters and 1 Ruku’ .


It is derived from the word kuwwirat in the first verse. Kuwwirat is passive voice from takvir in the past tense, and means "that which is folded up", thereby implying that it is a Surah in which the "folding up" has been mentioned.

Period of Revelation

The subject matter and the style clearly show that it is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah.

Theme and Subject Matter

It has two themes: the Hereafter and the institution of Apostleship.

In the first six verses the first stage of the Resurrection has been mentioned when the sun will lose its light, the stars will scatter, the mountains will be uprooted and will disperse, the people will become heedless of their dearest possessions, the beasts of the jungle will be stupefied and will gather together, and the seas will boil up. Then in the next seven verses the second stage has been described when the souls will be reunited with the bodies, the records will be laid open, the people will be called to account for their crimes, the heavens will be unveiled, and Hell and Heaven will be brought into full view. After depicting the Hereafter thus, man has been left to ponder his own self and deeds, saying: "Then each man shall himself know what he has brought with him."


After this the theme of Apostleship has been taken up. In this the people of Makkah have been addressed, as if to say "Whatever Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) is presenting before you, is not the bragging of a madman, nor an evil suggestion inspired by Satan, but the word of a noble, exalted and trustworthy messenger sent by God, whom Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) has seen with his own eyes in the bright horizon of the clear sky in broad day light. Whither then are you going having turned away from this teaching?"




   SURAH 81

Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

81 : 1


1. Itha alshshamsu kuwwirat

When the sun is folded up -

81 : 2

2. Wa-itha alnnujoomu inkadarat

And when the stars lose their gleam and come hurtling down -

81 : 3

3. Wa-itha aljibalu suyyirat

And when the mountains are set afloat -

81 : 4

4. Wa-itha alAAisharu AAuttilat

And when the she camels, ten months pregnant, are abandoned -

81 : 5

5. Wa-itha alwuhooshu hushirat

And when the wild beasts are herded together -

81 : 6

6. Wa-itha albiharu sujjirat

And when the oceans inundate -

81 : 7

7. Wa-itha alnnufoosu zuwwijat

And when souls are reunited -

81 : 8

8. Wa-itha almawoodatu su-ilat

And when the infant girl who was buried alive is asked -

81 : 9

9. Bi-ayyi thanbin qutilat

For what sin was she slain?

81 : 10

10. Wa-itha alssuhufu nushirat

And when the pages are laid open, -

81 : 11

11. Wa-itha alssamao kushitat

And when the sky is whisked away, -

81 : 12

12. Wa-itha aljaheemu suAAAAirat

And when Hell is set ablaze, -

81 : 13

13. Wa-itha aljannatu ozlifat

And when the Garden is brought into focus, -

81 : 14

14. AAalimat nafsun ma ahdarat

Then shall every soul come to know how it has come prepared with!

81 : 15


15. Fala oqsimu bialkhunnasi

Verily I shall call to witness the receding planets, -

81 : 16

16. Aljawari alkunnasi

And the stars which rise and set, -

81 : 17

17. Waallayli itha AAasAAasa

And the night when it descends, -

81 : 18

18. Waalssubhi itha tanaffasa

 And the morning when it ascends, -

81 : 19

19. Innahu laqawlu rasoolin kareemin

That verily this is the word of an illustrious messenger (the Archangel) -

81 : 20

20. Thee quwwatin AAinda thee alAAarshi makeenin

Great, and of high standing in the presence of the Lord of the Throne -

81 : 21

21. MutaAAin thamma ameenin

Who is to be obeyed and trusted!

81 : 22

22. Wama sahibukum bimajnoonin

And (O people) your mentor (the Prophet) is not mad!

81 : 23

23. Walaqad raahu bialofuqi almubeeni

Verily he beheld him (Gabriel) on the flared horizon!

81 : 24

24. Wama huwa AAala alghaybi bidaneenin

He does not withhold the Unseen -

81 : 25

25. Wama huwa biqawli shaytanin rajeemin

Nor is this (the Qur'aan) the utterance of Satan, the renegade!

81 : 26

26. Faayna tathhaboona

Why, then, are you backing off?

81 : 27

27. In huwa illa thikrun lilAAalameena

This is nothing short of an admonishment for the entire creation -

81 : 28

28. Liman shaa minkum an yastaqeema

For those of you who have the will to walk aright -

81 : 29

29. Wama tashaoona illa an yashaa Allahu rabbu alAAalameena


And you will not walk aright, unless if it also be the will of Allah, Lord of the worlds! (R)


1. When the sun Kuwwirat (wound round and lost its light and is overthrown[] ).

2. And when the stars shall fall;

3. And when the mountains shall made to pass away;

4. And when the pregnant she-camels shall be neglected;

5. And when the wild beasts shall be gathered together;

6. And when the seas shall become as blazing Fire or shall overflow;

7. And when the souls shall be joined with their bodies;

8. And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do) shall be questioned.[]

9. For what sin she was killed?

10. And when the written pages of deeds (good and bad) of every person shall be laid open;

11. And when the heaven shall be stripped off and taken away from its place;

12. And when Hell-fire shall be kindled to fierce ablaze.

13. And when Paradise shall be brought near,

14. (Then) every person will know what he has brought (of good and evil).

15. So verily, I swear by the planets that recede (i.e. disappear during the day and appear during the night).

16. And by the planets that move swiftly and hide themselves,

17. And by the night as it departs;

18. And by the dawn as it brightens;

19. Verily, this is the Word (this Qur'ān brought by) a most honourable messenger [Jibrael (Gabriel), from Allāh to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)].

20. Owner of power, and high rank with (Allāh) the Lord of the Throne,

21. Obeyed (by the angels), trustworthy there (in the heavens).

22. And (O people) your companion (Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) is not a madman;

23. And indeed he (Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) saw him [Jibrael (Gabriel)] in the clear horizon (towards the east).

24. And he (Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) withholds not a knowledge of the unseen.

25. And it (the Qur'ān) is not the word of the outcast Shaitān (Satan).

26. Then where are you going?

27. Verily, this (the Qur'ān) is no less than a Reminder to (all) the 'Alamīn (mankind and jinns)[] .

28. To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight,

29. And you will not, unless (it be) that Allāh wills, the Lord of the 'Alamīn (mankind, jinns and all that exists).  


YUSUFALI: When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up;
PICKTHAL: When the sun is overthrown,
SHAKIR: When the sun is covered,

YUSUFALI: When the stars fall, losing their lustre;
PICKTHAL: And when the stars fall,
SHAKIR: And when the stars darken,

YUSUFALI: When the mountains vanish (like a mirage);
PICKTHAL: And when the hills are moved,
SHAKIR: And when the mountains are made to pass away,

YUSUFALI: When the she-camels, ten months with young, are left untended;
PICKTHAL: And when the camels big with young are abandoned,
SHAKIR: And when the camels are left untended,

YUSUFALI: When the wild beasts are herded together (in the human habitations);
PICKTHAL: And when the wild beasts are herded together,
SHAKIR: And when the wild animals are made to go forth,

YUSUFALI: When the oceans boil over with a swell;
PICKTHAL: And when the seas rise,
SHAKIR: And when the seas are set on fire,

YUSUFALI: When the souls are sorted out, (being joined, like with like);
PICKTHAL: And when souls are reunited,
SHAKIR: And when souls are united,

YUSUFALI: When the female (infant), buried alive, is questioned -
PICKTHAL: And when the girl-child that was buried alive is asked
SHAKIR: And when the female infant buried alive is asked

YUSUFALI: For what crime she was killed;
PICKTHAL: For what sin she was slain,
SHAKIR: For what sin she was killed,

YUSUFALI: When the scrolls are laid open;
PICKTHAL: And when the pages are laid open,
SHAKIR: And when the books are spread,

YUSUFALI: When the world on High is unveiled;
PICKTHAL: And when the sky is torn away,
SHAKIR: And when the heaven has its covering removed,

YUSUFALI: When the Blazing Fire is kindled to fierce heat;
PICKTHAL: And when hell is lighted,
SHAKIR: And when the hell is kindled up,

YUSUFALI: And when the Garden is brought near;-
PICKTHAL: And when the Garden is brought nigh,
SHAKIR: And when the garden is brought nigh,

YUSUFALI: (Then) shall each soul know what it has put forward.
PICKTHAL: (Then) every soul will know what it hath made ready.
SHAKIR: Every soul shall (then) know what it has prepared.

YUSUFALI: So verily I call to witness the planets - that recede,
PICKTHAL: Oh, but I call to witness the planets,
SHAKIR: But nay! I swear by the stars,

YUSUFALI: Go straight, or hide;
PICKTHAL: The stars which rise and set,
SHAKIR: That run their course (and) hide themselves,

YUSUFALI: And the Night as it dissipates;
PICKTHAL: And the close of night,
SHAKIR: And the night when it departs,

YUSUFALI: And the Dawn as it breathes away the darkness;-
PICKTHAL: And the breath of morning
SHAKIR: And the morning when it brightens,

YUSUFALI: Verily this is the word of a most honourable Messenger,
PICKTHAL: That this is in truth the word of an honoured messenger,
SHAKIR: Most surely it is the Word of an honored messenger,

YUSUFALI: Endued with Power, with rank before the Lord of the Throne,
PICKTHAL: Mighty, established in the presence of the Lord of the Throne,
SHAKIR: The processor of strength, having an honorable place with the Lord of the Dominion,

YUSUFALI: With authority there, (and) faithful to his trust.
PICKTHAL: (One) to be obeyed, and trustworthy;
SHAKIR: One (to be) obeyed, and faithful in trust.

YUSUFALI: And (O people!) your companion is not one possessed;
PICKTHAL: And your comrade is not mad.
SHAKIR: And your companion is not gone mad.

YUSUFALI: And without doubt he saw him in the clear horizon.
PICKTHAL: Surely he beheld Him on the clear horizon.
SHAKIR: And of a truth he saw himself on the clear horizon.

YUSUFALI: Neither doth he withhold grudgingly a knowledge of the Unseen.
PICKTHAL: And he is not avid of the Unseen.
SHAKIR: Nor of the unseen is he a tenacious concealer.

YUSUFALI: Nor is it the word of an evil spirit accursed.
PICKTHAL: Nor is this the utterance of a devil worthy to be stoned.
SHAKIR: Nor is it the word of the cursed Shaitan,

YUSUFALI: When whither go ye?
PICKTHAL: Whither then go ye?
SHAKIR: Whither then will you go?

YUSUFALI: Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds:
PICKTHAL: This is naught else than a reminder unto creation,
SHAKIR: It is naught but a reminder for the nations,

YUSUFALI: (With profit) to whoever among you wills to go straight:
PICKTHAL: Unto whomsoever of you willeth to walk straight.
SHAKIR: For him among you who pleases to go straight.

YUSUFALI: But ye shall not will except as Allah wills,- the Cherisher of the Worlds.
PICKTHAL: And ye will not, unless (it be) that Allah willeth, the Lord of Creation.
SHAKIR: And you do not please except that Allah please, the Lord of the worlds.