This Surah consists of 29 verses, 139 sentences, 597 letters and 1 Ruku'.
It takes its name from the word wal-fajr with which it opens.
Its contents show that it was revealed at the stage when persecution of the new converts to Islam had begun in Makkah. On that very basis the people of Makkah have been warned of the evil end of the tribes of Ad and Thamud and of Pharaoh.
Its theme is to affirm the meting out of rewards and punishments in the Hereafter, which the people of Makkah were not prepared to acknowledge. Let us consider the reasoning in the order in which it has been presented.
First of all, swearing oaths by the dawn, the ten nights, the even and the odd, and the departing night, the listeners have been asked: "Are these things not enough to testify to the truth of that which you are refusing to acknowledge?" From the explanation that we have given of these four things in the corresponding notes, it will become clear that these things are a symbol of the regularity that exists in the night and day, and swearing oaths by these the question has been asked in the sense: Even after witnessing this wise system established by God, do you still need any other evidence to show that it is not beyond the power of that God Who has brought about this system to establish the Hereafter, and that it is the very requirement of his wisdom that He should call man to account for his deeds?
Then, reasoning from man's own history, the evil end of the Ad and the Thamud and Pharaoh has been cited as an example to show that when they transgressed all limits and multiplied corruption in the earth, Allah laid upon them the scourge of His chastisement. This is a proof of the fact that the system of the universe is not being run by deaf and blind forces, nor is the world a lawless kingdom of a corrupt ruler, but a Wise Ruler is ruling over it, the demand of Whose wisdom and justice is continuously visible in the world itself in man's own history that He should call to account, and reward and punish accordingly, the being whom He has blessed with reason and moral sense and given the right of appropriation in the world.
After this, an appraisal has been made of the general moral state of human society of which Arab paganism was a conspicuous example; two aspects of it in particular, have been criticised: first the materialistic attitude of the people on account of which overlooking the moral good and evil, they regarded only the achievement of worldly wealth, rank and position, or the absence of it, as the criterion of honour or disgrace, and had forgotten that neither riches was a reward nor poverty a punishment, but that Allah is trying man in both conditions to see what attitude he adopts when blessed with wealth and how he behaves when afflicted by poverty. Second, the people's attitude under which the orphan child in their society was left destitute on the death of the father. Nobody asked after the poor; whoever could, usurped the whole heritage left by the deceased parent, and drove away the weak heirs fraudulently. The people were so afflicted with an insatiable greed for wealth that they were never satisfied however much they might hoard and amass. This criticism is meant to make them realize as to why the people with such an attitude and conduct in the life of the world should not be called to account for their misdeeds.
The discourse has been concluded with the assertion that accountability shall certainly be held and it will be held on the Day when the Divine Court will be establislied. At that time the deniers of the judgement will understand that which they are not understanding now in spite of instruction and admonition, but understanding then will be of no avail. The denier will regret and say, "Would that I had provided for this Day beforehand while I lived in the world." But his regrets will not save him from Allah's punishment. However, as for the people who would have accepted the Truth, which the heavenly books and the Prophets of God were presenting, with full satisfaction of the heart in the world, Allah will be pleased with them and they will be well pleased with the rewards bestowed by Allah. They will be called upon to join the righteous and enter Paradise.
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
89 : 1
By the Dawn -
89 : 2
2. Walayalin AAashrin
And by the first ten nights;
89 : 3
3. WaalshshafAAi waalwatri
And by the Even and the Odd!
89 : 4
4. Waallayli itha yasri
And by the night when it recedes!
89 : 5
5. Hal fee thalika qasamun lithee hijrin
There surely is an oath for the discerning man!
89 : 6
6. Alam tara kayfa faAAala rabbuka biAAadin
Seen you not how your Lord dealt with the tribe of Aad -
89 : 7
7. Irama thati alAAimadi
Of the many gabled city of Iram, -
89 : 8
8. Allatee lam yukhlaq mithluha fee albiladi
The likes of whom were never born in any of the later generations?
89 : 9
9. Wathamooda allatheena jaboo alssakhra bialwadi
And with the tribe of Thamud who chiselled their dwellings through the rocks of the valley!
89 : 10
10. WafirAAawna thee al-awtadi
And with Pharaoh, the Lord of Sticks?
89 : 11
11. Allatheena taghaw fee albiladi
All of whom rebelled against Allah in their respective realms, -
89 : 12
12. Faaktharoo feeha alfasada
And multiplied insurgency therein!
89 : 13
13. Fasabba AAalayhim rabbuka sawta AAathabin
So your Lord landed upon them His most acerbic castigation!
89 : 14
14. Inna rabbaka labialmirsadi
Verily nothing escapes the purview of your Lord!
89 : 15
15. Faamma al-insanu itha ma ibtalahu rabbuhu faakramahu wanaAAAAamahu fayaqoolu rabbee akramani
As for man, when his Lord puts him to test by bestowing upon him status and wealth, he is quick to say : 'My Lord has complimented me!' -
89 : 16
16. Waamma itha ma ibtalahu faqadara AAalayhi rizqahu fayaqoolu rabbee ahanani
But when He puts him to test by diminishing his means of livelihood, he is equally quick to say : 'My Lord has condemned me!'
89 : 17
17. Kalla bal la tukrimoona alyateema
Nay! Nay! You respect not the needs of an orphan -
89 : 18
18. Wala tahaddoona AAala taAAami almiskeeni
Nor do you encourage one another towards feeding of the destitute!
89 : 19
19. Wata/kuloona altturatha aklan lamman
And swallow the bequeaths which belong to others with insatiable greed -
89 : 20
20. Watuhibboona almala hubban jamman
And are excessively obsessed with earthly possessions!
89 : 21
21. Kalla itha dukkati al-ardu dakkan dakkan
Nay, but when the earth is crumbled into dust, -
89 : 22
22. Wajaa rabbuka waalmalaku saffan saffan
And your Lord arrives along with columns upon columns of His angels -
89 : 23
23. Wajee-a yawma-ithin bijahannama yawma-ithin yatathakkaru al-insanu waanna lahu alththikra
Hell is brought near that Day and man will regret on that Day; but of what use will regrets be to him now?
89 : 24
24. Yaqoolu ya laytanee qaddamtu lihayatee
He will say : 'If only I had made some provision for this life from my previous life!'
89 : 25
25. Fayawma-ithin la yuAAaththibu AAathabahu ahadun
None punishes as harshly as He will punish on that Day -
89 : 26
26. Wala yoothiqu wathaqahu ahadun
None binds as irretrievably as He will bind!
89 : 27
27. Ya ayyatuha alnnafsu almutma-innatu
O you Soul who is at peace!
89 : 28
28. IrjiAAee ila rabbiki radiyatan mardiyyatan
Return to your Lord in a milieu of mutual accord -
89 : 29
29. Faodkhulee fee AAibadee
And enter you the circle of My cherished bondsmen!
89 : 30
30. Waodkhulee jannatee
Enter you My Garden! (R)
1. By the dawn;
2. By the ten nights (i.e. the first ten days of the month of Dhul-Hījjah) ,
3. And by the even and the odd (of all the creations of Allāh) .
4. And by the night when it departs.
5. There is indeed in them (the above oaths) sufficient proofs for men of understanding (and that, they should avoid all kinds of sins and disbeliefs, etc.)!
6. Did you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) not see (thought) how your Lord dealt with 'Ad (people)?
7. Who were very tall like lofty pillars,
8. The like of which were not created in the land?
9. And (with) Thamūd (people), who cut (hewed) out rocks in the valley (to make dwellings)?
10. And (with) Fir'aun (Pharaoh), who had pegs (who used to torture men by binding them to pegs)?
11. Who did transgress beyond bounds in the lands (in the disobedience of Allāh).
12. And made therein much mischief.
13. So your Lord poured on them different kinds of severe torment.
14. Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful (over them).
15. As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): "My Lord has honoured me."
16. But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life, he says: "My Lord has humiliated me!"
17. Nay! But you treat not the orphans with kindness and generosity (i.e. you neither treat them well, nor give them their exact right of inheritance)!
18. And urge not on the feeding of AlMiskīn (the poor)!
19. And you devour inheritance all with greed,
20. And you love wealth with much love!
21. Nay! When the earth is ground to powder,
22. And your Lord comes with the angels in rows,
23. And Hell will be brought near that Day. On that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance (then) avail him?
24. He will say: "Alas! Would that I had sent forth (good deeds) for (this) my life!"
25. So on that Day, none will punish as He will punish.
26. And none will bind as He will bind.
27. (It will be said to the pious): "O (you) the one in (complete) rest and satisfaction!
28. "Come back to your Lord, Well-pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing unto Him!
29. "Enter you, then, among My honoured slaves,
30. "And enter you My Paradise!"
YUSUFALI: By the break of Day
PICKTHAL: By the Dawn
SHAKIR: I swear by the daybreak,
YUSUFALI: By the Nights twice five;
PICKTHAL: And ten nights,
SHAKIR: And the ten nights,
YUSUFALI: By the even and odd (contrasted);
PICKTHAL: And the Even and the Odd,
SHAKIR: And the even and the odd,
YUSUFALI: And by the Night when it passeth away;-
PICKTHAL: And the night when it departeth,
SHAKIR: And the night when it departs.
YUSUFALI: Is there (not) in these an adjuration (or evidence) for those who understand?
PICKTHAL: There surely is an oath for thinking man.
SHAKIR: Truly in that there is an oath for those who possess understanding.
YUSUFALI: Seest thou not how thy Lord dealt with the 'Ad (people),-
PICKTHAL: Dost thou not consider how thy Lord dealt with (the tribe of) A'ad,
SHAKIR: Have you not considered how your Lord dealt with Ad,
YUSUFALI: Of the (city of) Iram, with lofty pillars,
PICKTHAL: With many-columned Iram,
SHAKIR: (The people of) Aram, possessors of lofty buildings,
YUSUFALI: The like of which were not produced in (all) the land?
PICKTHAL: The like of which was not created in the lands;
SHAKIR: The like of which were not created in the (other) cities;
YUSUFALI: And with the Thamud (people), who cut out (huge) rocks in the valley?-
PICKTHAL: And with (the tribe of) Thamud, who clove the rocks in the valley;
SHAKIR: And (with) Samood, who hewed out the rocks in the valley,
YUSUFALI: And with Pharaoh, lord of stakes?
PICKTHAL: And with Pharaoh, firm of might,
SHAKIR: And (with) Firon, the lord of hosts,
YUSUFALI: (All) these transgressed beyond bounds in the lands,
PICKTHAL: Who (all) were rebellious (to Allah) in these lands,
SHAKIR: Who committed inordinacy in the cities,
YUSUFALI: And heaped therein mischief (on mischief).
PICKTHAL: And multiplied iniquity therein?
SHAKIR: So they made great mischief therein?
YUSUFALI: Therefore did thy Lord pour on them a scourge of diverse chastisements:
PICKTHAL: Therefore thy Lord poured on them the disaster of His punishment.
SHAKIR: Therefore your Lord let down upon them a portion of the chastisement.
YUSUFALI: For thy Lord is (as a Guardian) on a watch-tower.
PICKTHAL: Lo! thy Lord is ever watchful.
SHAKIR: Most sure!y your Lord is watching.
YUSUFALI: Now, as for man, when his Lord trieth him, giving him honour and gifts, then saith he, (puffed up), "My Lord hath honoured me."
PICKTHAL: As for man, whenever his Lord trieth him by honouring him, and is gracious unto him, he saith: My Lord honoureth me.
SHAKIR: And as for man, when his Lord tries him, then treats him with honor and makes him lead an easy life, he says: My Lord honors me.
YUSUFALI: But when He trieth him, restricting his subsistence for him, then saith he (in despair), "My Lord hath humiliated me!"
PICKTHAL: But whenever He trieth him by straitening his means of life, he saith: My Lord despiseth me.
SHAKIR: But when He tries him (differently), then straitens to him his means of subsistence, he says: My Lord has disgraced me.
YUSUFALI: Nay, nay! but ye honour not the orphans!
PICKTHAL: Nay, but ye (for your part) honour not the orphan
SHAKIR: Nay! but you do not honor the orphan,
YUSUFALI: Nor do ye encourage one another to feed the poor!-
PICKTHAL: And urge not on the feeding of the poor.
SHAKIR: Nor do you urge one another to feed the poor,
YUSUFALI: And ye devour inheritance - all with greed,
PICKTHAL: And ye devour heritages with devouring greed.
SHAKIR: And you eat away the heritage, devouring (everything) indiscriminately,
YUSUFALI: And ye love wealth with inordinate love!
PICKTHAL: And love wealth with abounding love.
SHAKIR: And you love wealth with exceeding love.
YUSUFALI: Nay! When the earth is pounded to powder,
PICKTHAL: Nay, but when the earth is ground to atoms, grinding, grinding,
SHAKIR: Nay! when the earth is made to crumble to pieces,
YUSUFALI: And thy Lord cometh, and His angels, rank upon rank,
PICKTHAL: And thy Lord shall come with angels, rank on rank,
SHAKIR: And your Lord comes and (also) the angels in ranks,
YUSUFALI: And Hell, that Day, is brought (face to face),- on that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance profit him?
PICKTHAL: And hell is brought near that day; on that day man will remember, but how will the remembrance (then avail him)?
SHAKIR: And hell is made to appear on that day. On that day shall man be mindful, and what shall being mindful (then) avail him?
YUSUFALI: He will say: "Ah! Would that I had sent forth (good deeds) for (this) my (Future) Life!"
PICKTHAL: He will say: Ah, would that I had sent before me (some provision) for my life!
SHAKIR: He shall say: O! would that I had sent before for (this) my life!
YUSUFALI: For, that Day, His Chastisement will be such as none (else) can inflict,
PICKTHAL: None punisheth as He will punish on that day!
SHAKIR: But on that day shall no one chastise with (anything like) His chastisement,
YUSUFALI: And His bonds will be such as none (other) can bind.
PICKTHAL: None bindeth as He then will bind.
SHAKIR: And no one shall bind with (anything like) His binding.
YUSUFALI: (To the righteous soul will be said:) "O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction!
PICKTHAL: But ah! thou soul at peace!
SHAKIR: O soul that art at rest!
YUSUFALI: "Come back thou to thy Lord,- well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him!
PICKTHAL: Return unto thy Lord, content in His good pleasure!
SHAKIR: Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him),
YUSUFALI: "Enter thou, then, among My devotees!
PICKTHAL: Enter thou among My bondmen!
SHAKIR: So enter among My servants,
YUSUFALI: "Yea, enter thou My Heaven!
PICKTHAL: Enter thou My Garden!
SHAKIR: And enter into My garden.