Quran Chapter 88 - The Overwhelming Event - The Wonders of Nature
This Meccan sura serves to warn the disbelievers, encourage the Prophet and the believers, and absolve him of responsibility for the disbelievers. The title comes from the description of events on the Day of Judgement in the first verse, and the downcast faces of the disbelievers on that Day are contrasted with the radiant faces of the believers.
In the name of God, the Lord of Mercy, the Giver of Mercy
1 Have you heard tell [a] [Prophet] about the Overwhelming Event? 2 On that Day, there will be downcast faces, 3 toiling and weary, 4 as they enter the blazing Fire 5 and are forced to drink from a boiling spring, 6 with no food for them except bitter dry thorns 7 that neither nourish nor satisfy hunger. 8 On that Day there will also be faces radiant with bliss, 9 well pleased with their labor, 10 in a lofty garden, 11 where they will hear no idle talk, 12 with a flowing spring, 13 raised couches, 14 goblets placed before them, 15 cushions set in rows, 16 and carpets spread. 17 Do the disbelievers not see how rain clouds [b] are formed, 18 how the heavens are lifted, 19 how the mountains are raised high, 20 how the earth is spread out?
21 So [Prophet] warn them: your only task is to give warning, 22 you are not there to control them. 23 As for those who turn away and disbelieve, God will inflict the greatest torment upon them. It is to Us they will return, 24 and then it is for Us to call them to account.
a. An Arabic convention to draw attention to what follows.
b. The word ibl can mean ‘camel’ as well as ‘rain cloud’. However, the latter is better in this context amongst all the other geographical images presented. Rain is often used to illustrate the concept of resurrection.
The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)
The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.