Al-Qaria or The Calamity[1] (Arabic: القارعة, al-Qāriʻah, also known as The Striking,[2]) is the 101st chapter (sūrah) of the Quran, with 11 āyāt or verses. This chapter takes its name from its first word "qariah",[3] referring to the Quranic view of the end time and eschatology. "Qariah" has been translated as calamity, striking, catastrophe and clatterer.[4] According to Ibn Kathir, a traditionalistic exegete, Al-Qariah is one of the names of the Day of Judgement, like Al-Haaqqa, At-Tammah, As-Sakhkhah and others.[5]

Sura 101 of the Quran
The day of Judgement
Other namesThe Shocker, The Striking Hour
PositionJuzʼ 30 ʿAmma yatasāʾalūna
No. of verses11
No. of words36
No. of letters158


After a picturesque depiction of judgement day in first 5 verses,[7] next 4 verses (ayat) describe that God's Court will be established and the people will be called upon to account for their deeds. The people whose good deeds will be heavier, will be blessed with bliss and happiness, and the people whose good deeds will be lighter, will be cast into the burning fire of hell.[8]

The last 2 verses describe Háwíyah[9] in a similar emphatic[10][11] way as Al-Qariah was emphasized[12][13] in the beginning. According to the Papal translator, Maracci, the original word Hâwiyat is the name of the lowest dungeon of hell, and properly signifies a deep pit or gulf.[14] Jewish to Muslim convert, Muhammad Asad comments here: Lit., "his mother [i.e., goal] will be an abyss" (of suffering and despair). According to Quranite translator, Sam Gerrans, the term "mother" (umm) is used idiomatically to denote something that embraces or enfolds.[15]


Text and transliteration

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
Bismi l-lahi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm(i)
ٱلْقَارِعَةُ ۝
1 ’al qāri‘ah(tu)
مَا ٱلْقَارِعَةُ ۝
2 Ma l-qāri‘ah(tu)
وَمَآ أَدْرَىٰكَ مَا ٱلْقَارِعَةُ ۝
3 Wa mā ’adrāka ma l-qāri‘ah(tu)
يَوْمَ يَكُونُ ٱلنَّاسُ كَٱلْفَرَاشِ ٱلْمَبْثُوثِ ۝
4 Yawma yakūnu n-nāsu kalfarāshi l-mabthūth(i)
وَتَكُونُ ٱلْجِبَالُ كَٱلْعِهْنِ ٱلْمَنفُوشِ ۝
5 Watakūnu l-jibālu kal‘ihni l-manfūsh(i)
فَأَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَٰزِينُهُۥ ۝
6 Fa’ammā man thaqulat mawāzīnuh(ū)
فَهُوَ فِى عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ ۝
7 Fahuwa fī ‘īshati r-rāḍiyah(tin)
وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَٰزِينُهُۥ ۝
8 Wa’ammā man khaffat mawāzīnuh(ū)
فَأُمُّهُۥ هَاوِيَةٌ ۝
9 Fa’ummuhū hāwiyah(tun)
وَمَآ أَدْرَىٰكَ مَا هِيَهْ ۝
10 Wamā ’adrāka mā hiyah
نَارٌ حَامِيَةٌۢ ۝
11 Nārun ḥāmiyah(tun)

Name of the surah

Jalaluddin Al-Suyuti, co-author of the classical Sunni tafsīr known as Tafsir al-Jalalayn, suggests that some of the sūrahs have been named using incipits (i.e. the first few words of the surah). Hamiduddin Farahi a celebrated Islamic scholar of Indian subcontinent is known for his groundbreaking work on the concept of Nazm, or Coherence, in the Quran. He writes that Some sūrahs have been given names after some conspicuous words used in them.[16] The Surah takes its name from its first word al-qariah. This is not only a name but also the title of its subject matter, for the Surah is devoted to Resurrection -Abul A'la Maududi.[17]

Period of revelation

Regarding the timing and contextual background of the supposed revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl), Al-Qāriʻah is a Meccan surah.[18] Meccan suras are chronologically earlier surahs that were revealed to Muhammad at Mecca before the hijrah to Medina in 622 CE. They are typically shorter, with relatively short ayat, and mostly come near the end of the Qur'an's 114 sūwar. Most of the surahs containing muqattaʿat are Meccan. Theodor Nöldeke and William Muir[19] alike assign this surah a place among the earliest revelations of the Qurán -George Sale.[20] In accordance with the western exegesis mentioned, the Muslim tafsirs [21] also exert that the contents of this surah show that this is one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah.

Placement and coherence with other surahs

The surahs of the Qur'an are not haphazardly compiled as is generally thought. They have been arranged in a specific order by the Almighty, and like the arrangement of the verses within a surah, the arrangement of the surahs within the Qur'an is very apt and meaningful with relation to the topic they discuss. In a nutshell, as per this arrangement, the Qur'an is divided in seven distinct groups and the surahs within each group occur in pairs.[22] This pairing of the surahs is on the basis of the topics discussed, and each member of a pair has a complementary relation with one another. Some surahs are an exception to this scheme like Surah Fatihah, which is like an introduction to the whole Qur'an. Some other surahs have come as an appendix or as a conclusion of a group. The idea of textual relation between the verses of a chapter has been discussed under various titles such as nazm and munasabah in non-English literature and coherence, text relations, intertextuality, and unity in English literature. Hamiduddin Farahi, an Islamic scholar of the Indian subcontinent, is known for his work on the concept of nazm, or coherence, in the Quran. Fakhruddin al-Razi (died 1209 CE), Zarkashi (died 1392) and several other classical as well as contemporary Quranic scholars have contributed to the studies.[23]

This surah belongs to the seventh and final group of surahs, which starts from Surah Al-Mulk (67) and runs to the end of the Quran. The theme of the seventh group is to warn the leadership of the Quraysh of the consequences of the Hereafter, to communicate the truth to them to the extent that they are left with no excuse to deny it, and, as a result, to warn them of a severe punishment, and to give glad tidings to Muhammad of the dominance of his religion in the Arabian peninsula. Briefly, this can be stated as delivering warning and glad tidings.[24]

Rhetorically Al-Qariah has 2 similarities with Al-Haaqqa(69). Firstly the opening of the surah resembles Al-Haaqqa (69), which opens with the wordings
69:1 الْحَاقَّةُ
69:2 مَا الْحَاقَّةُ
69:3 وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحَاقَّةُ

notice that Al-Qaria opens in exactly same style
101:1 الْقَارِعَةُ
101:2 مَا الْقَارِعَةُ
101:3 وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْقَارِعَةُ

Secondly, word Al-Qaria appears as a total of 5 times in Quran and out of which thrice it is mentioned in this surah while once it appears in Al-Haaqqa as well.

Connection with adjacent surahs

Al-Qariah form a pair with next surah At-Takathur in regards to their subject-matter. The first surah warns its addressees of the situation that will arise on the Day of Judgement, while the second, with reference to this situation warns them of their attitude of indifference -Javed Ahmed Ghamdi.[25] Regarding its message, this surah forms a group of four similar surahs along with two previous and one next surah which depicts judgement day with picturesque description and concludes the topic of every person's deeds being weighed and thus resulting in either heaven or hell allotted to the according person. -Dr.Israr Ahmed.[26]

Theme and subject matter

The theme of this surah is resurrection and the hereafter; a scene explaining the day of judgement. At the outset, the people have been aroused and alarmed, saying: "The Great Disaster! What is the Great Disaster? And what do you know what the Great Disaster is?" Thus, after preparing the listeners for the news of the dreadful calamity, Resurrection has been depicted before them in two sentences, saying that on that Day people will be running about in confusion and bewilderment just like so many scattered moths around a light, and the mountains uprooted, will their cohesion and will fly about like carded wool. Then, it has been said that when God's Court is established in the Hereafter and the people are called upon to account for their deeds. The people whose good deeds are found to be heavier than their evil deeds, will be blessed with bliss and happiness, and the people whose good deeds are found to be lighter than their evil deeds, will be cast into the deep pit full of burning fire.[17] Sale divides the contents of the surah in three principal subjects[20]
Ayat 1-5: The day of judgment a day of striking.
Ayat 6-9: The good and bad shall be judged according to their works.
Ayat 10,11: Háwíyah described.


  1. Lumbard, Joseph (April 2015). The Study Quran. San Francisco: HarperOne.
  2. George Sale's translation
  3. "The Quranic Arabic Corpus - Word by Word Grammar, Syntax and Morphology of the Holy Quran".
  4. Iman Mohammad Kashi; Uwe Hideki Matzen; Online Quran Project contributors. "Al-Quran (القرآن) — Online Quran Project — Translation and Tafsir". The Quran. {{cite web}}: |author3= has generic name (help)
  5. Tafsir ibn Kathir. Translator: Abridged by a group of scholars under the supervision of Shaykh Safiur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, 2000, publ. DARUSSALAM, Riyadh (
  6. Wherry, Elwood Morris (1896). A Complete Index to Sale's Text, Preliminary Discourse, and Notes. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. "Malik Surah 101. Al-Qari'a Introduction, Revelation, Background and Summary".
  9. "The Quran, vol. 4 - Online Library of Liberty".
  10. "Surah Al-Qari'ah - The Noble Qur'an - القرآن الكريم".
  11. "Quran Surah Al-Qaari'a ( Verse 10 )'". - Islamic Religious Education. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  12. "Surah Al-Qari'ah - The Noble Qur'an - القرآن الكريم".
  13. "Quran Surah Al-Qaari'a ( Verse 3 )'". - Islamic Religious Education. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  14. George Sale, AlKoran This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  15. Gerrans, S: The Qur'an: A Complete Revelation, Footnote 8848
  16. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-13. Retrieved 2009-10-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. Compiled from a First Edition, multi-volume paperback English translation of the Quran by Maulana Maududi.
  18. List of surahs in the Quran
  19. In his book The Corân
  20. Mohammed, A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran: Comprising Sale's Translation and preliminary Discourse, with Additional Notes and Emendations (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co., 1896). 4 vols. 6/24/2018.
  21. Dr. Israr Ahmed, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Nouman Ali Khan & Farhat Hashmi lectures & orations.
  22. Mir, Mustansir (1986). Coherence in the Qur'an : a study of Islahi's concept of nazm in Tadabbur-i Qur'an. American Trust Publications. ISBN 0892590653.
  23. Hamiduddin Farahi, translated by Tariq Mahmood Hashmi (2008). Exordium to coherence in the Quran : an English translation of Fātiḥah Niẓām al-Qurʼān (1st ed.). Lahore: al-Mawrid. ISBN 978-9698799571.
  24. El-Awa, Salwa (2005). Textual Relations in Qur'an: Relevance, Coherence and Structure. Routledge. ISBN 1134227477.
  25. Javed Ahmed Ghamdi - Tadabbur-i-Quran
  26. Dr.Israr Ahmed - Bayan-ul-Quran
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