This Surah consists of 21 verses, 71 sentences, 310 letters and 1 Ruku'.
It takes its name from the word wal-lail with which it opens.
Its subject matter so closely resembles that of Surah Ash-Shams that each Surah seems to be an explanation of the other. It is one and the same thing which has been explained in Surah Ash-Shams in one way and in this Surah in another. This indicates that both these Surahs were sent down in about the same period.
Its theme is to distinguish between the two different ways of life and to explain the contrast between their ultimate ends and results. In view of the subject matter this Surah consists of two parts, the first part consisting of vv. 1-11 and the second of vv. 12-21.
In the first part, at the outset it has been pointed out that the strivings and doings that the individuals, nations and groups of mankind are engaged in in the world, are, in respect of their moral nature, as divergent as the day is from the night, and the male from the female. After this, according to the general style of the brief Surahs of the Quran, three moral characteristics of one kind and three moral characteristics of the other kind have been presented as an illustration from among a vast collection of the strivings and activities of man, from which every man can judge which style of life is represented by one kind of the characteristics and which style of life by the other kind. Both these styles have been described in such brief, elegant, and pithy sentences that they move the heart and go down into memory as soon as one hears them. Characteristics of the first kind are that one should spend one's wealth, adopt God-consciousness and piety, and acknowledge the good as good. The second kind of the characteristics are that one should be miserly, should least care for God's pleasure and His displeasure, and should repudiate what is good and right. Then it has been stated that these two modes of action which are clearly divergent, cannot be equal and alike in respect of their results. But, just as they are divergent in their nature, so they are divergent in their results. The person (or group of persons) who adopts the first mode of action, Allah will make easy for him the correct way of life, so much so that doing good will become easy for him and doing evil difficult. On the contrary, he who adopts the second mode of life, Allah will make easy for him the difficult and hard way of life, so much so that doing evil will become easy for him and doing good difficult. This passage has been concluded with a most effective and touching sentence, saying: "This worldly wealth for the sake of which man is even prepared to risk his life: will not go down with him into the grave; therefore, what will it avail him after death?"'
In the second part also three truths have been stated equally briefly. First, that Allah has not left man uninformed in the examination hall of the world, but He has taken on Himself the responsibility to tell him which one is the straight and right way out of the different ways of life. Here, there was no need to point out that by sending His Messenger and His Book. He has fulfilled His responsibility, for both the Messenger and the Book were present to afford the guidance. Second, that the Master of both the world and the Hereafter is Allah alone. If you seek the world, it is He Who will give it, and if you seek the Hereafter, again it is He Who will give it. Now, it is for you to decide what you should seek from Him. The third truth that has been stated is that the wretched one who rejects the good, which is being presented through the Messenger and the Book, and turns away from it, will have a blazing fire ready for him. As for the God fearing person who spends his wealth in a good cause, without any selfish motive, only for the sake of winning his Lord's good pleasure, his Lord will be pleased with him and will bless him with so much that he will be well pleased with Him.
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
91 : 1
1. Waallayli itha yaghsha
And by the night when it becomes dark,
91 : 2
2. Waalnnahari itha tajalla
And the day when it becomes bright,
91 : 3
3. Wama khalaqa alththakara waal-ontha
And by Him Who has created male and female!
91 : 4
4. Inna saAAyakum lashatta
Verily varied are your goals!
91 : 5
5. Faamma man aAAta waittaqa
As for him who spends his wealth in Allah's way and renders his dues,
91 : 6
6. Wasaddaqa bialhusna
And believes in righteousness,
91 : 7
7. Fasanuyassiruhu lilyusra
Verily We shall lead him to comfort.
91 : 8
8. Waamma man bakhila waistaghna
But as for him who is parsimonious in charity and disregards his dues,
91 : 9
9. Wakaththaba bialhusna
And rejects righteousness,
91 : 10
10. Fasanuyassiruhu lilAAusra
Verily We shall plunge him into adversity.
91 : 11
11. Wama yughnee AAanhu maluhu itha taradda
And his possessions will avail him not when he is dead!
91 : 12
12. Inna AAalayna lalhuda
Verily to Us belongs the responsibility of providing mankind with guidance -
91 : 13
13. Wa-inna lana lal-akhirata waal-oola
And verily to Us belong the Hereafter as well as the Here!
91 : 14
14. Faanthartukum naran talaththa
Hence I am warning you of the fierce flames -
91 : 15
15. La yaslaha illa al-ashqa
Into which none but the most ill-fated will be cast :
91 : 16
16. Allathee kaththaba watawalla
Those who imprecate and those who turn their faces away!
91 : 17
17. Wasayujannabuha al-atqa
And farthest from it will be they who are utmost in righteousness, -
91 : 18
18. Allathee yu/tee malahu yatazakka
They who spend out of what they have in order to gain spiritual absolution, -
91 : 19
19. Wama li-ahadin AAindahu min niAAmatin tujza
Not in return for a favour done to them -
91 : 20
20. Illa ibtighaa wajhi rabbihi al-aAAla
Except in pursuit of the accord of his Lord, the Almighty!
91 : 21
21. Walasawfa yarda
And He will surely bless them with His accord towards it! (R)
1. By the night as it envelops;
2. And by the day as it appears in brightness;
3. And by Him Who created male and female;
4. Certainly, your efforts and deeds are diverse (different in aims and purposes);
5. As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to All‚h and fears Him,
6. And believes in Al-Husna.
7. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness).
8. But he who is greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient .
9. And gives the lie to Al-Husna (see Verse No: 6 footnote);
10. We will make smooth for him the path for evil;
11. And what will his wealth benefit him when he goes down (in destruction).
12. Truly! Ours it is (to give) guidance,
13. And truly, unto Us (belong) the last (Hereafter) and the first (this world).
14. Therefore I have warned you of a Fire blazing fiercely (Hell);
15. None shall enter it save the most wretched,
16. Who denies and turns away.
17. And Al-MuttaqŻn (the pious and righteous - see V.2:2) will be far removed from it (Hell).
18. He who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification,
19. And have in his mind no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected in return,
20. Except only the desire to seek the Countenance of his Lord, the Most High;
21. He surely will be pleased (when he will enter Paradise).
YUSUFALI: By the Night as it conceals (the light);
PICKTHAL: By the night enshrouding
SHAKIR: I swear by the night when it draws a veil,
YUSUFALI: By the Day as it appears in glory;
PICKTHAL: And the day resplendent
SHAKIR: And the day when it shines in brightness,
YUSUFALI: By (the mystery of) the creation of male and female;-
PICKTHAL: And Him Who hath created male and female,
SHAKIR: And the creating of the male and the female,
YUSUFALI: Verily, (the ends) ye strive for are diverse.
PICKTHAL: Lo! your effort is dispersed (toward divers ends).
SHAKIR: Your striving is most surely (directed to) various (ends).
YUSUFALI: So he who gives (in charity) and fears (Allah),
PICKTHAL: As for him who giveth and is dutiful (toward Allah)
SHAKIR: Then as for him who gives away and guards (against evil),
YUSUFALI: And (in all sincerity) testifies to the best,-
PICKTHAL: And believeth in goodness;
SHAKIR: And accepts the best,
YUSUFALI: We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss.
PICKTHAL: Surely We will ease his way unto the state of ease.
SHAKIR: We will facilitate for him the easy end.
YUSUFALI: But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient,
PICKTHAL: But as for him who hoardeth and deemeth himself independent,
SHAKIR: And as for him who is niggardly and considers himself free from need (of Allah),
YUSUFALI: And gives the lie to the best,-
PICKTHAL: And disbelieveth in goodness;
SHAKIR: And rejects the best,
YUSUFALI: We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Misery;
PICKTHAL: Surely We will ease his way unto adversity.
SHAKIR: We will facilitate for him the difficult end.
YUSUFALI: Nor will his wealth profit him when he falls headlong (into the Pit).
PICKTHAL: His riches will not save him when he perisheth.
SHAKIR: And his wealth will not avail him when he perishes.
YUSUFALI: Verily We take upon Ourselves to guide,
PICKTHAL: Lo! Ours it is (to give) the guidance
SHAKIR: Surely Ours is it to show the way,
YUSUFALI: And verily unto Us (belong) the End and the Beginning.
PICKTHAL: And lo! unto Us belong the latter portion and the former.
SHAKIR: And most surely Ours is the hereafter and the former.
YUSUFALI: Therefore do I warn you of a Fire blazing fiercely;
PICKTHAL: Therefor have I warned you of the flaming Fire
SHAKIR: Therefore I warn you of the fire that flames:
YUSUFALI: None shall reach it but those most unfortunate ones
PICKTHAL: Which only the most wretched must endure,
SHAKIR: None shall enter it but the most unhappy,
YUSUFALI: Who give the lie to Truth and turn their backs.
PICKTHAL: He who denieth and turneth away.
SHAKIR: Who gives the lie (to the truth) and turns (his) back.
YUSUFALI: But those most devoted to Allah shall be removed far from it,-
PICKTHAL: Far removed from it will be the righteous
SHAKIR: And away from it shall be kept the one who guards most (against evil),
YUSUFALI: Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification,
PICKTHAL: Who giveth his wealth that he may grow (in goodness).
SHAKIR: Who gives away his wealth, purifying himself
YUSUFALI: And have in their minds no favour from anyone for which a reward is expected in return,
PICKTHAL: And none hath with him any favour for reward,
SHAKIR: And no one has with him any boon for which he should be rewarded,
YUSUFALI: But only the desire to seek for the Countenance of their Lord Most High;
PICKTHAL: Except as seeking (to fulfil) the purpose of his Lord Most High.
SHAKIR: Except the seeking of the pleasure of his Lord, the Most High.
YUSUFALI: And soon will they attain (complete) satisfaction.
PICKTHAL: He verily will be content.
SHAKIR: And he shall soon be well-pleased.