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Sura 54
Aya 1

Chapter 54

The Moonal-Qamar ( القمر )

55 verses • revealed at Meccan

»The surah that opens with the unnerving, cataclysmic sign of the end of the world coming and The Moon having split apart. It takes its name from verse 1 which mentions “the moon” (qamar), that here serves as a reference to the Day of Resurrection. The surah deals mainly with the punishment dealt out to previous generations of disbelievers. These are presented as a warning to the disbelievers of Mecca, with the refrain “is there anyone who will be admonished?” running throughout the surah. Finally the treatment of the disbelievers on the Day of Judgement is contrasted to the everlasting bliss the believers will enjoy.«

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

Ahmed Ali: In the name of Allah, most benevolent, ever-merciful.

اقتَرَبَتِ السّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ القَمَرُ

Ahmed Ali

THE HOUR HAS come and split is the moon.1
  • Shaqqa includes ‘opposition’ in its basis meanings, which is also implied by ‘split’ in English. The moon was the emblem of the Quraish. Raghib, however, says in his Mufridat that the flag of the Arabs consisted of the moon, even as the sun was the emblem of neighbouring Iran. The Quraish being the dominant tribe of Arabia, it was their emblem that represented the Arabs as a whole. After the advent of Islam there was a split among the Quraish, some accepting Islam, others remaining pagan and opposed to it. Shaqq al-qamar, therefore, stands, in the metaphor of the Qur’an, for this split in the ranks of the Quraish. Otherwise, the meaning of Surah 106, The Quraish, would not be brought out effectively, exhorting the Quraish to become united in the worship of one God. For use of shaqqa in the sense of opposition see 4:35; 4:115; 38:2; 59:4. After the victory of Makkah the ‘split’ was healed.