Tafsir of Surah al Qari’ah – The Crashing Blow (Surah 101)

by Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Nasir as-Sa’di
Translated by Abu Rumaysah

1) The Crashing Blow!
2) What is the Crashing Blow?
3) What will make you realise what the Crashing Blow is?
4) A day when mankind will be like scattered moths,
5) and the mountains like tufts of wool.
6) Then, as for him whose scales are heavy;
7) he will have a most pleasant life.
8 ) But as for him whose scales are light,
9) a Bottomless Pit will be his matron.
10) What will make you realise what it is?
11) A raging Fire!

“The Crashing Blow” one of the names given to the Day of Judgment, it is called so because its horrors strike man with fear and trepidation. It is for this reason that Allah stressed its gravity and severity by asking, “What is the Crashing Blow? What will make you realise what the Crashing Blow is? “A day when mankind” in abject terror and horror “will be like scattered moths,” like scattered locusts, randomly surging into each other, not knowing where they are going; then, when a fire is lit, they rush headlong into it, unable to perceive its danger. On that Day, despite man being a rational creature, this will be his state.[1] “And the mountains,” firm, mighty, unmoving, “like tufts of wool,” feeble and of such weight that the least gust of wind cause them to flutter away. Allah says, “And you see the mountains that you deem solid flying with the flight of clouds.”[2] Then, the mountains shall become like “scattered dust”[3] and no perceivable trace of them shall remain. Then, the Scale will be erected and man shall be divided into two categories: the felicitous and the wretched. “Then, as for him whose scales are heavy,” i.e. his good deeds outweigh his bad “he will have a most pleasant life,” in the Gardens of Bliss. “But as for him whose scales are light,” whose good deeds do not compare to his bad “a Bottomless Pit,” al-Hawiyah (one of the names of Hell) “will be his matron,” his abode and final destination. It will like a mother to him who always sticks close to him just as Allah says, “surely the punishment thereof is lasting and clinging.”[4] It is also said that the meaning is that his mind will be hurled into Hellfire, meaning that he will be thrown into Hell headfirst. “What will make you realise what it is?” asked by way of emphasising its severity, then the answer is given: “a raging Fire” intensely hot, seventy times hotter than the fire of this world, we seek Allah’s protection from it!


1. Muslim records on the authority of Jabir that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said,

“My example and your example is that of a person who lit a fire and insects and moths began to fall in it, and he did his utmost to prevent them from falling in. I am grabbing onto your lower garments trying to hold you back from the Fire, but you are slipping from my hand.”

In another place Allah describes the state of man with the words, “With downcast eyes, they come forth from the graves as they were scattered locusts.” [al-Qamar (54): 7]

2. al-Naml (27): 88
3. al-Waqi`ah (56): 6
4. al-Furqan (25): 65

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