Meaning of Quran

Al-Ghashiyah | The Overwhelming

With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful.

[88:1] Has there come to you the description of the Overwhelming Event?

[88:2] Many faces that day will be humbled,

[88:3] labouring, exhausted.

[88:4] They will enter into the scorching fire.

[88:5] They will be made to drink water from a boiling spring.

[88:6] There will be no food for them except a thorny plant.

[88:7] that will neither nourish nor satisfy hunger.

[88:8] Many faces that day will be full of glamour,

[88:9] well pleased with their endeavour,

[88:10] in a lofty garden,

[88:11] in which they will not hear any absurd talk.

[88:12] In it, there is a flowing spring.

[88:13] In it, there are elevated couches

[88:14] and goblets, well placed,

[88:15] and cushions, arrayed.

[88:16] and carpets, spread around.

[88:17] So, do they not look at the camels and how they are created,

[88:18] and at the sky, how it is raised high,

[88:19] and at the mountains, how they are installed,

[88:20] and at the earth, how it is spread out?

[88:21] So, (O Prophet,) keep on preaching; you are only a preacher.

[88:22] You are not a taskmaster set up over them,

[88:23] but whoever turns away and disbelieves,

[88:24] Allah will punish him with the greatest torment.

[88:25] Surely towards Us they have to return,

[88:26] then it is Our job to call them to account.


Overview of Surah Al-Ghashiyah

  1. Title and Position: Surah Al-Ghashiyah is the 88th chapter of the Quran. The title “Al-Ghashiyah” translates to “The Overwhelming,” referring to the Day of Judgment, which is a central theme of the surah, depicting scenes that will overwhelmingly encompass all of humanity.
  2. Verses and Structure: This surah contains 26 verses. It is recognized for its vivid depiction of the Day of Judgment, contrasting the fates of the righteous and the wicked, and urging reflection on God’s creation and the hereafter.
  3. Themes and Messages: Major themes include the stark realities of the Day of Judgment, the rewards for the righteous, the punishment for the disbelievers, and the signs of God’s power in the natural world.
  4. Significance in Islamic Thought: Surah Al-Ghashiyah is significant for its emphasis on the afterlife, ethical and spiritual accountability, and the encouragement to ponder upon the signs of God’s majesty in creation.

Detailed Explanation

  1. The Overwhelming Event: The surah begins by questioning whether people have been informed about the overwhelming event, setting a tone of reflection and concern about the Day of Judgment.
  2. Fate of the Disbelievers: It describes the severe conditions that disbelievers and wrongdoers will face in the hereafter, emphasizing the physical and spiritual suffering as a consequence of their choices.
  3. Rewards for the Righteous: In contrast, the surah depicts the tranquil and joyful state of the righteous in paradise, highlighting the eternal pleasures and contentment they will experience.
  4. Reflection on Creation: Surah Al-Ghashiyah invites individuals to reflect on various aspects of the natural world, such as mountains, camels, and agriculture, as signs of God’s power, wisdom, and mercy.
  5. Call to Mindfulness and Action: The surah concludes by reminding the Prophet Muhammad that his role is to admonish and guide, not to compel. It emphasizes personal responsibility in accepting the truth and preparing for the afterlife.


  1. Why is Surah Al-Ghashiyah named “The Overwhelming”?
    • The surah is named “Al-Ghashiyah” due to its focus on the Day of Judgment, an event so profound and all-encompassing that it will overwhelm all of humanity with its reality and consequences.
  2. How does Surah Al-Ghashiyah describe the Day of Judgment?
    • The surah provides stark contrasts between the fates of the righteous and the wicked, with vivid imagery of both the bliss in paradise and the torment in hell, highlighting the ultimate justice of God.
  3. What does the surah suggest about human responsibility?
    • It underscores human responsibility in acknowledging God’s signs, making ethical choices, and preparing for the hereafter, emphasizing that individuals have the freedom to choose their path but are accountable for their choices.
  4. How does the surah encourage reflection on the natural world?
    • By pointing to various natural phenomena, the surah encourages reflection on the intricacies and wonders of creation as evidence of God’s power and a means to foster greater awareness and gratitude towards the Creator.

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