Al-Ghaashiya  (The Overwhelming, The Pall)


This Surah consists of 26 verses, 92 sentences, 381 letters and 1 Ruku'. 


The Sura takes its name from the word al-ghishiyah in the first verse.

Period of Revelation

The whole subject matter of the Surah indicates that this too is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed; but this was the period when the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) had started preaching his message publicly, and the people of Makkah were hearing it and ignoring it carelessly and thoughtlessly.

Theme and Subject Matter

To understand the subject matter well one should keep in view the fact that in the initial stage the preaching of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) mostly centred around two points which he wanted to instil in the people's minds: Tauhid and the Hereafter: and the people of Makkah were repudiating both. Let us now consider the subject matter and the style of this Surah.


At the outset, in order to arouse the people from their heedlessness, they have been plainly asked:"Do you have any knowledge of the time when an overwhelming calamity will descend?" Immediately after this details of the impendirg calamity are given as to how the people will be divided into two separate groups and will meet separate ends. One group of the people will go to Hell and they will suffer punishment; the second group will go to the sublime Paradise and will be provided with blessings.


After thus arousing the people the theme suddenly changes and the question is asked: Do not these people, who frown and scorn the teaching of Tauhid and the news of the Hereafter being given by the Quran, observe the common things which they experience daily in their lives? Do they never consider how the camels, on whom their whole life activity in the Arabian desert depends, came into being, endowed precisely with the same characteristics as were required for the beast needed in their desert life? When they go on their journeys, they see the sky, the mountains, or the earth. Let them ponder over these three phenomena and consider as to how the sky was stretched above them, how the mountains were erected and how the earth was spread beneath them? Has all this come about without the skill and craftsmanship of an All-Powerful, All Wise Designer? If they acknowledge that a Creator has created all this with great wisdom and power and that no one else is an associate with Him in their creation, why then do they refuse to accept Him alone as their Lord and Sustainer? And if they acknowledge that that God had the power to create all this, then on what rational ground do they hesitate to acknowledge that that God also has the power to bring about Resurrection, to recreate man, and to make Hell and Heaven?


After making the truth plain by this concise and rational argument, the address turns from the disbelievers to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) and he is told: "If these people do not acknowledge the truth, they may not; you have not been empowered to act with authority over them, so that you should coerce them into believing: your only task is to exhort, so exhort them. Ultimately they have to return to Us; then We shall call them to full account and shall inflict a heavy punishment on those who do not believe."




Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi


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

88 : 1




1. Hal ataka hadeethu alghashiyati

Have there come to you tidings of the Overwhelming?

88 : 2

2. Wujoohun yawma-ithin khashiAAatun

Many a face on that Day will be bent from disgrace!

88 : 3

3. AAamilatun nasibatun

They toiling and fatigued -

88 : 4

4. Tasla naran hamiyatan

Burning in the fierce blaze, -

88 : 5

5. Tusqa min AAaynin aniyatin

Drinking from a boiling spring;

88 : 6

6. Laysa lahum taAAamun illa min dareeAAin

No food for them except piercing thorns, -

88 : 7

7. La yusminu wala yughnee min jooAAin


Neither giving them nourishment nor placating their hunger!

88 : 8

8. Wujoohun yawma-ithin naAAimatun

Many other faces on that Day will be blissful!

88 : 9

9. LisaAAyiha radiyatun

Content with their endeavours in the past, -

88 : 10

10. Fee jannatin AAaliyatin

In a lofty Garden, -

88 : 11

11. La tasmaAAu feeha laghiyatan

Wherein they hear not profanities;

88 : 12

12. Feeha AAaynun jariyatun

Wherein are fountains gushing;

88 : 13

13. Feeha sururun marfooAAatun

Wherein are coaches raised,

88 : 14

14. Waakwabun mawdooAAatun

And goblets within reach,

88 : 15

15. Wanamariqu masfoofatun

And cushions neatly arranged,

88 : 16

16. Wazarabiyyu mabthoothatun

And velvety carpets on floors!

88 : 17

17. Afala yanthuroona ila al-ibili kayfa khuliqat

Observe they not the camel, how innovatively it has been created?

88 : 18

18. Wa-ila alssama-i kayfa rufiAAat

And the heaven, how high it has been raised?

88 : 19

19. Wa-ila aljibali kayfa nusibat

And the mountains, how firmly they are set?

88 : 20

20. Wa-ila al-ardi kayfa sutihat

And the earth, how infinitely it is spread?

88 : 21

21. Fathakkir innama anta muthakkirun

So remind them, for your mission is to give them the Reminder!

88 : 22

22. Lasta AAalayhim bimusaytirin

You are not a taskmaster over them!

88 : 23

23. Illa man tawalla wakafara

However, those who turn their faces away and vituperate, -

88 : 24

24. FayuAAaththibuhu Allahu alAAathaba al-akbara

Allah will mete out to them a severe punishment!

88 : 25

25. Inna ilayna iyabahum

Verily to Us is their returning, -

88 : 26

26. Thumma inna AAalayna hisabahum

And verily in Our hands is their reckoning! (R)

1. Has there come to you the narration of the overwhelming (i.e. the Day of Resurrection);

2. Some faces, that Day, will be humiliated (in the Hell-fire, i.e. the faces of all disbelievers, Jews and Christians, etc.).[]

3. Labouring (hard in the worldly life by worshipping others besides Allāh), weary (in the Hereafter with humility and disgrace)[] .

4. They will enter in the hot blazing Fire,

5. They will be given to drink from a boiling spring,

6. No food will there be for them but a poisonous thorny plant,

7. Which will neither nourish nor avail against hunger.

8. (Other) faces, that Day, will be joyful,

9. Glad with their endeavour (for their good deeds which they did in this world, along with the true Faith of Islāmic Monotheism).[]

10. In a lofty Paradise.

11. Where they shall neither hear harmful speech nor falsehood,

12. Therein will be a running spring,

13. Therein will be thrones raised high,

14. And cups set at hand.

15. And cushions set in rows,

16. And rich carpets (all) spread out.

17. Do they not look at the camels, how they are created?

18. And at the heaven, how it is raised?

19. And at the mountains, how they are rooted and fixed firm?

20. And at the earth, how it is spread out?

21. So remind them (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)), you are only a one who reminds.

22. You are not a dictator over them.

23. Save the one who turns away and disbelieves[]

24. Then Allāh will punish him with the greatest punishment.

25. Verily, to Us will be their return;

26. Then verily, for Us will be their reckoning. 

YUSUFALI: Has the story reached thee of the overwhelming (Event)?
PICKTHAL: Hath there come unto thee tidings of the Overwhelming?
SHAKIR: Has not there come to you the news of the overwhelming calamity?

YUSUFALI: Some faces, that Day, will be humiliated,
PICKTHAL: On that day (many) faces will be downcast,
SHAKIR: (Some) faces on that day shall be downcast,

YUSUFALI: Labouring (hard), weary,-
PICKTHAL: Toiling, weary,
SHAKIR: Laboring, toiling,

YUSUFALI: The while they enter the Blazing Fire,-
PICKTHAL: Scorched by burning fire,
SHAKIR: Entering into burning fire,

YUSUFALI: The while they are given, to drink, of a boiling hot spring,
PICKTHAL: Drinking from a boiling spring,
SHAKIR: Made to drink from a boiling spring.

YUSUFALI: No food will there be for them but a bitter Dhari'
PICKTHAL: No food for them save bitter thorn-fruit
SHAKIR: They shall have no food but of thorns,

YUSUFALI: Which will neither nourish nor satisfy hunger.
PICKTHAL: Which doth not nourish nor release from hunger.
SHAKIR: Which will neither fatten nor avail against hunger.

YUSUFALI: (Other) faces that Day will be joyful,
PICKTHAL: In that day other faces will be calm,
SHAKIR: (Other) faces on that day shall be happy,

YUSUFALI: Pleased with their striving,-
PICKTHAL: Glad for their effort past,
SHAKIR: Well-pleased because of their striving,

YUSUFALI: In a Garden on high,
PICKTHAL: In a high Garden
SHAKIR: In a lofty garden,

YUSUFALI: Where they shall hear no (word) of vanity:
PICKTHAL: Where they hear no idle speech,
SHAKIR: Wherein you shall not hear vain talk.

YUSUFALI: Therein will be a bubbling spring:
PICKTHAL: Wherein is a gushing spring,
SHAKIR: Therein is a fountain flowing,

YUSUFALI: Therein will be Thrones (of dignity), raised on high,
PICKTHAL: Wherein are couches raised
SHAKIR: Therein are thrones raised high,

YUSUFALI: Goblets placed (ready),
PICKTHAL: And goblets set at hand
SHAKIR: And drinking-cups ready placed,

YUSUFALI: And cushions set in rows,
PICKTHAL: And cushions ranged
SHAKIR: And cushions set in a row,

YUSUFALI: And rich carpets (all) spread out.
PICKTHAL: And silken carpets spread.
SHAKIR: And carpets spread out.

YUSUFALI: Do they not look at the Camels, how they are made?-
PICKTHAL: Will they not regard the camels, how they are created?
SHAKIR: Will they not then consider the camels, how they are created?

YUSUFALI: And at the Sky, how it is raised high?-
PICKTHAL: And the heaven, how it is raised?
SHAKIR: And the heaven, how it is reared aloft,

YUSUFALI: And at the Mountains, how they are fixed firm?-
PICKTHAL: And the hills, how they are set up?
SHAKIR: And the mountains, how they are firmly fixed,

YUSUFALI: And at the Earth, how it is spread out?
PICKTHAL: And the earth, how it is spread?
SHAKIR: And the earth, how it is made a vast expanse?

YUSUFALI: Therefore do thou give admonition, for thou art one to admonish.
PICKTHAL: Remind them, for thou art but a remembrancer,
SHAKIR: Therefore do remind, for you are only a reminder.

YUSUFALI: Thou art not one to manage (men's) affairs.
PICKTHAL: Thou art not at all a warder over them.
SHAKIR: You are not a watcher over them;

YUSUFALI: But if any turn away and reject Allah,-
PICKTHAL: But whoso is averse and disbelieveth,
SHAKIR: But whoever turns back and disbelieves,

YUSUFALI: Allah will punish him with a mighty Punishment,
PICKTHAL: Allah will punish him with direst punishment.
SHAKIR: Allah will chastise him with the greatest chastisement.

YUSUFALI: For to Us will be their return;
PICKTHAL: Lo! unto Us is their return
SHAKIR: Surely to Us is their turning back,

YUSUFALI: Then it will be for Us to call them to account.
PICKTHAL: And Ours their reckoning.
SHAKIR: Then surely upon Us is the taking of their account.