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Sura 56 of the Quran
The Event
Other namesThe Event, The Inevitable
PositionJuzʼ 27
No. of Rukus3
No. of verses96
A 14th/15th century panel containing excerpts from Al-Waqi'a (center).[1]

Al-Waqi'a (Arabic: سورة الواقعة‎; Sūrat al-Wāqiʻah; "The Inevitable"[1] or "The Event"[2]) is the 56th surah (chapter) of the Quran. Muslims believe it was revealed in Mecca (see Meccan surah). The total number of verses in this surah are 96. It mainly discusses the afterlife according to Islam, and the different fates people will face in it.

Revelation history[edit]

According to Quranic commentators, the chapter is a Meccan sura, that is, it was revealed during the Meccan period of Muhammad's prophethood. Some commentators, although not in the majority, argue that part of it was revealed during the Medinan period. Some of such commentators maintain that verses 39–40 are the verses that was from the Medinan period, while some say 81–82, and others say 83.[2]

The traditional Egyptian chronology puts the chapter as the 41th chapter by the order of revelation (after Al-Tur), while the Nöldeke Chronology (by the orientalist Theodor Nöldeke) puts it as the 46th.[3] The chapter's position in the Quran, which is not determined by the revelation order, is as the 56th chapter, right after Ar-Rahman which discusses partly related topic. Some commentators, such as Ahmad ibn Ajiba consider Al-Waqi'a a continuation of Ar-Rahman.[2]


The Afterlife (akhirah) is the main topic discussed in the chapter. Picking up from the preceding chapter, Ar-Rahman, which discusses the rewards of Paradise (jannah), this chapter also mentions them and then contrasts them with the punishment of hell. The chapter also distinguishes the three classes of people in the afterlife, "the foremost", "the companions of the right" and "the companions of the left". According to chapter, the first two groups will enter paradise while the companions of the left will go to hell.[2] Here, "the right" is associated with goodness, the righteous will be seated to the right of God's throne and receive their records of deeds in their right hand.[4] The "foremost" refers to a special group of people who will have an even better fate than the companion of the right in the afterlife. Quranic commentators differ on understanding who the foremost is. They variously identify the foremost with the prophets, the saints, the truthful, the martyrs, the first to accept Islam, and others.[5]


According to a hadith, Muhammad was reported to say that whoever recites Al-Waqi'a every night "shall never be afflicted by need". For this reason, the chapter is one of the most recited of the Quran.[2]



  1. ^ a b "Qur'anic Verses (56:77-9) on Carpet Page". World Digital Library. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e The Study Quran, p. 1319.
  3. ^ Ernst 2011, p. 39.
  4. ^ The Study Quran, p. 1320, vv.8–9 commentaries.
  5. ^ The Study Quran, p. 1321, v.10 commentary.