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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

88. The Overwhelming Event (1 – 20)

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

1Have you heard tella An Arabic convention to draw attention to what follows. [Prophet] about the Overwhelming Event? 2On that Day, there will be downcast faces, 3toiling and weary, 4as they enter the blazing Fire 5and are forced to drink from a boiling spring, 6with no food for them except bitter dry thorns 7that neither nourish nor satisfy hunger. 8On that Day there will also be faces radiant with bliss, 9well pleased with their labour, 10in a lofty garden, 11where they will hear no idle talk, 12with a flowing spring, 13raised couches, 14goblets placed before them, 15cushions set in rows, 16and carpets spread. 17Do the disbelievers not see how rain cloudsb 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. are formed,18how the heavens are lifted,19how the mountains are raised high,20how the earth is spread out?

Notes:

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.

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