Home Al Quran The Benefits of Reading and Listening Surah Waqiah

The Benefits of Reading and Listening Surah Waqiah

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Surah Waqiah
Surah Waqiah

Last updated on January 1st, 2024 at 10:52 am

When the earth will be violently shaken,

and the mountains will be crushed to pieces,

becoming scattered ˹particles of˺ dust,

you will ˹all˺ be ˹divided into˺ three groups:

the people of the right, how ˹blessed˺ will they be;

the people of the left, how ˹miserable˺ will they be;

and the foremost ˹in faith˺ will be the foremost ˹in Paradise˺.

(Surah Al-Waq’iah 56:4 – 56:10)

Surah Waqiah or Surah Al-Waqi’ah is the 56th Surah of the Quran. This relatively long Surah comprises 96 verses and is called “the event” or “the inevitable” in English.

Widely believed to be a Meccan surah, Al Waq’iah describes the Day of Judgment and the fate of believers and non-believers in a powerful discourse. True to the Quran’s beautiful narration style, this Surah also vividly depicts the Day of Judgment.

Are there benefits of Surah Waqiah? Yes indeed! Reciting and listening to the Holy Quran is filled with blessings and benefits for mankind. Some Surahs of the Quran are recited especially for certain benefits; in this article, we will discuss the benefits unique to Surah Waqiah along with its message and lessons in light of hadith and Islamic history.

Statistics – Surah Al-Waqiah

No. of Ayats No. of Words No. of Letters No. of Rukus Type of Surah Situated in Para Tarteeb-e-Nazool Tarteeb-e-Tilawat
96 379 1756 3 Makki 27 46 56

Period of Revelation

The majority of Islamic Scholars believe that this Surah was revealed in the fifth year of Prophet-Hood of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. They take this relevance from the famous incidence of embracing Islam by the 2nd Khalifa-e-Rashid, Hazrat Umar رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ.

Per the Tarteeb-e-Nazool (the revelation order), Surah Al-Waqiah falls at 46th position, whereas Surah Ta’ha is at number 45 and Surah Shua’rah is at 47. When the sister of Hazrat Umar رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ embraced Islam along with her husband, he got angry with her. At that time, she was reciting the verses of Surah Ta’ha. On seeing her brother, she tried to hide the pages that contained the verses of Surah Ta’ha. Hazrat Umar رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ forced her to show what she was reading. She told him that you cannot touch or read it because you are unclean, as you are following polytheism. She recited the verse “wa anna-hu la yamassu-ha ill-at-tahir” (Only a clean person can touch it.). Hazrat Umar رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ then washed himself and then read those verses.

Scholars are of the view that since a similar verse is reflected in Surah Al-Waqiah, as “La yamassu hu ill al mutahharun,” it is established that this Surah had already been revealed by that time, which comes to the fifth year of Prophet-Hood of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. This was the period after the first migration of Muslims from Mecca to Habshah. Eventually, Hazrat Umar embraced Islam after this incident.

· 7 Groups of Surahs of the Quran

Per the division of the Surahs of the Quran into 7 groups, based on the subject matter and content, Surah Al-Waqiah falls in the 7th and last group that starts. This Surah falls at 56 per the Tarteeb-e-Tilawat, whereas Surah Al-Rehman is 55. The scholars explain that the subject matter of Surah Al-Waqiah is a continuation of Surah Al-Rehman.

Summary of Surah Al-Waqiah

The basic theme of Surah Al-Waqiah comprises three main subjects: Tawheed (oneness of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى),  Aakhirat (Hereafter), and refutation of the suspicions of the people of Mecca about. The disbelievers of Mecca did not believe in the concept of resurrection. They couldn’t believe that after the Day of Judgment, every dead person would be resurrected, and their fate would be decided based on their acts and deeds, which they committed in their life on this earth. They termed it just as an imagination.

So, the first 7 verses of this Surah emphasize that the Day of Judgment is inevitable and must happen. The next verses explain how the people will be categorized into three groups: the people of the right, the people of the left, and the people who are foremost in rank. Going forward, the fate of these three groups is described.

The highest rank and best of the best status for the foremost group of the people who will be placed in Jannah (Paradise). Then comes the righteous group of people, who will also be placed in Jannah with many incentives and rewards. The third and most unfortunate group is those disbelievers who will be sent to hell. This has been explained in detail in verses 8 to 56 of this Surah.

Verses 57 to 75 describe the concept of Tawheed and life hereafter, which the people of the then Mecca did not believe in. Verses from 76 to 82 concern the Meccans’ suspicions about the Quran. Their suspicions have strongly been refuted in this part of the Surah. Then, in the last part of this Surah, people are invited to try to save a person from dying, which they cannot. Death is inevitable, and they cannot save their loved ones from dying in front of them. So, that’s the reality and authority and command of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى

Three Groups of People – The Day of Resurrection

As discussed above, Surah Al-Waqiah describes how people would be differentiated into three groups on the Day of Resurrection based on what they have done in their lives. The fate rewards and punishment for each group are explained in detail in this Surah.

Let’s explore these three groups and how they will be treated in the Life Hereafter:

· The Foremost in Faith

These individuals are amongst the first ones to accept Islam and are highest in the ranks of Muslims due to their obedience to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and their relationships with Allah’s creatures on earth. These individuals will be the first to enter Jannah and will hold the highest ranks therein.

Verses 10 to 26 of this Surah explain the rewards they will get in their Life Hereafter:

Translation

and the foremost ˹in faith˺ will be the foremost ˹in Paradise˺,

They are the ones nearest ˹to Allah˺,

in the Gardens of Bliss.,

˹They will be˺ a multitude from earlier generations,

and a few from later generations.,

All will be˺ on jewelled thrones, reclining face to face.,

They will be waited on by eternal youths,

with cups, pitchers, and a drink ˹of pure wine˺ from a flowing stream,

that will cause them neither headache nor intoxication.,

They will also be served˺ any fruit they choose,

and meat from any bird they desire,

And ˹they will have˺ maidens with gorgeous eyes, like pristine pearls,,

˹all˺ as a reward for what they used to do,

There they will never hear any idle or sinful talk, only good and virtuous speech

These verses also explain that the group would consist of the majority of the people from the first generations and a few from the later generations. And they will be the ones who are closest to Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.

· The People of the Right

The believers who believe in the Oneness of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, His Prophet, and His teachings. These individuals also enter Jannah and will get the best rewards. They will be given their deeds in their right hand, showing that they did well in their life on earth and deserve the best place in Jannah.

Verses 27 to 40 of this Surah describe their fate and rewards:

Translation

And the people of the right—how ˹blessed˺ will they be

They will be˺ amid thornless lote trees,

clusters of bananas,

extended shade

flowing water,

abundant fruit

never out of season nor forbidden

and elevated furnishings

Indeed, We will have perfectly created their mates

making them virgins,

loving and of equal age

for the people of the right

who will be˺ a multitude from earlier generations

and a multitude from later generations.

It is also explained that this group would comprise many people from the first generation and the same from the generations to come. They are next in rank to the Foremost group of people.

· The People of the Left

The non-believers and habitual sinners are the people of the left, and there is nothing but boiling water and fire of hell for them. These people will be punished on the Day of Judgment, and they will cry to have chosen the side of loss while on earth.  Verses from 41 to 56 of this surah describes the fate and punishment of these people:

Translation

And the people of the left—how ˹miserable˺ will they be!

˹They will be˺ in scorching heat and boiling water,

in the shade of black smoke

neither cool nor refreshing.

Indeed, before this ˹torment˺ they were spoiled by luxury,

and persisted in the worst of sin.

They used to ask ˹mockingly˺, “When we are dead and reduced to dust and bones, will we really be resurrected?

And our forefathers as well?”

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “Most certainly, earlier and later generations

will surely be gathered ˹together˺ for the appointed Day.

Then you, O misguided deniers

will certainly eat from ˹the fruit of˺ the trees of Zaqqûm

filling up ˹your˺ bellies with it.

Then on top of that you will drink boiling water

and you will drink ˹it˺ like thirsty camels do.

This will be their accommodation on the Day of Judgment.

They will be given their deed in their left hand, which would reflect that they were the sinners and disbelievers and hellfire is their destination forever.

The Message of Surah Waqiah

فَسَبِّحْ بِٱسْمِ رَبِّكَ ٱلْعَظِيمِ

So, glorify the Name of your Lord, the Greatest.

(Al Waq’iah 56:96)

Before looking for the benefits of Surah Waqiah, you must understand the teachings and message of the Surah. Vividly and clearly, the Surah declares that all humans should believe in Allah to become one of the righteous as, on the Day of Judgment, the righteous will be rewarded while the non-believers will suffer punishment.

The Surah discusses life after death and elaborates on the belief in the resurrection. In Islam, resurrection, or life after death, is one of the main pillars of the faith. Muslims believe in the Day of Judgment, a day on which Allah will raise the dead and reward or punish them for their deeds on earth.

In this Surah, Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى explicitly describes that on the Day of Judgment, all people will be divided into three groups:

The ultimate message of the Surah is that Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى has presented His religion to all mankind, and they should have mercy on themselves by choosing to believe in Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى and reap the benefits on the Day of Judgment.

Benefits of Reading and Listening Surah Al-Waqiah

As Muslims, it is our firm belief that reading or listening to any of the surahs of the Quran is highly beneficial and carries lots of rewards. The best way, however, to read or listen to the Quranic Surahs is to try to understand the meanings of these verses so they can be implemented in our lives.

The same is true with the Surah Al-Waqiah. It describes, in detail, the concept of monotheism and the Day of Resurrection; hence, it is a complete guide for the believers about life here and hereafter. As with various other Surahs of the Quran, there are some specific benefits associated with the recitation of this surah.

Per the traditions available in the research work of different Islamic Commentators and Scholars, reciting surah Al-Waqiah carries many benefits. Here, we will explain some of the virtues and benefits of reciting or listening to Surah Al-Waqiah.

· Brings Financial Benefits

The first and foremost benefit of Surah Waqiah is that it tells us about the Day of Judgment and the rewards and punishments that await us there. Other than this, the expansion of sustenance and protection from poverty are the most cited benefits of Surah Waqiah.

The following hadiths prove this claim:

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ) reported that Rasulullah (ﷺ) said: ‘Surah Waqi’ah will become a protection from poverty for the one who recites it every night.’

(Mukhtasar Ithafus sadatil Maharah, Hadith: 6556; Takhrijul Kash-shaf, vol.3 pg.412; Lisanul MIzan, no: 8902)

Note: Although we did not find any online citation of the hadith, renowned modern Muslim scholars of hadithanswers.com, and Darul Ifta, Darul Uloom Deoband, India, authentic sources of hadith and Islamic information, say that this hadith is true and a sahih hadith. Allah knows best.

Authentic sources reference two more weak Ahadith to validate the claims:

“Surah Waqiah is the surah of wealth, so recite it and teach it to your children.”

(Ibn Asakir)

· Prevents Poverty

“Whoever recites Surah al-Waqiah every night, he will never be afflicted by poverty. And Ibn Masood (R.A) used to order his daughters to read it every night.”

(Shuaib al-Iman 4/120, number 2269)

Most Muslim scholars agree that although the second and third hadith is weak, there is no harm in reciting Surah Waqiah to attain self-sufficiency. Scholars urge Muslims to have complete faith or Tawakkul in Allah. When you recite with the utmost belief and faith, it is bound to come true.

· Reciting it During Nights

According to the hadith mentioned above, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) advised the Ummah to recite it every night to thwart poverty. Therefore, the best time to recite the Surah is before sleeping. According to your preference, you can recite it between the prayers of Maghrib and Isha or after Isha, before you go to bed.

Reciting it every day reminds you of the fact that ALLAH is in control. It does not take more than 5 minutes to read, and the rewards are too big. The world that we are living in is full of tension and stress. So, this Surah provides an array of worldly benefits for good earning, which is why it is also called the Surah of Wealth.

· Prevention of Drought

It is believed that recitation of Surah Al-Waqiah, three times in succession, prevents the dry spell and brings rain by the will and Command of Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى, as He has the ultimate authority and power and everything is in His divine control. So, reciting this Surah to bring the drought to an end will surely be accepted by Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى.

· Reminds us of Life Hereafter

One of Surah’s three basic subject matters is the concept of Life Hereafter, the immortal life after the Day of Judgment. So, reciting this surah reminds us of that Day, which is inevitable and is set to come sooner or later. A reminder of the Day of Resurrection and the consequent rewards or punishments would trigger a sense of preparing for that eventuality. Hence, one of the best rewards and benefits of reciting this surah is the opportunity it gives us to prepare ourselves to face our Creator with the best possible deeds.

· Rewards for Reciting it as Part of the Quran

Above all, reciting any part of the Quran brings huge rewards. So, whatever the time or occasion and the intention, one can expect countless rewards while reciting this Surah, both in this world and on the Day of Judgment.

Considering the facts above, we can easily say that Surah Waqiah is one of the most important and powerful Surahs and should be recited consistently along with other surahs and verses of the Quran.

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