89-The Dawn / Al-Fajr:

In God’s Name, whose Mercy is Great and Continuous:

(89:1)   I swear by the dawn,

(89:2)   and by the blessed ten nights of the month of Thul-Hijjah and Ramadan;

(89:3)   I swear by the pairs in creation and by Me the one and only,

(89:4)   and I swear by the night receding slowly, that I will hold you accountable.

(89:5)   This is enough of an oath for those who are responsible.

(89:6)   Didn’t you see what I did to the tribe of Aad,

(89:7)   from the people of Iram with their tents?

(89:8)   In their time they were strong and powerful.

(89:9)   Or the tribe of Thamud who carved their homes into the walls of the valley? In their time they were successful.

(89:10) Or did you see what I did to Pharaoh with his pyramids that were remarkable?

(89:11) They all were unjust,

(89:12) and they spread evil in the land.

(89:13) So I let loose on them a whip of punishment so terrible.

(89:14) I took them by surprise and held them accountable.

(89:15) If I test people by giving them wealth and power they say, “God has honored us because we deserve it.”

(89:16) And if I test them by reducing what I give them they say, “God has humiliated us. We don’t deserve this.”

(89:17) No they are wrong, and with orphans they are not generous.

(89:18) They don’t feed the poor because they are stingy,

(89:19) and take the rights of others to inheritance because they are greedy.

(89:20) And they love money and wealth tremendously.

(89:21) No, when the earth is pounded over and over,

(89:22) and I come with the angels in row after row;

(89:23) when Hell is brought forward, on that day, everyone will realize the truth and what good will it do them?

(89:24) They will say, “If only we had done more good deeds for this eternal life,” but their regret will not save them.

(89:25) Then on that day, there is no punishment like My punishment,

(89:26) and there are no chains like My chains that bind those who were disobedient.

(89:27) Oh those who lived faithfully,

(89:28) come to Me content and happy. I am content and happy with you.

(89:29) Come join My people who submitted to Me,

(89:30) and enter My gardens in Heaven I prepared for you.


Verse 2: Thul-Hijah is a month in the lunar calendar in which Muslims who are able perform the Hajj pilgrimage. Ramadan is the month of fasting. This verse literally translates, “and by the ten nights.” The majority of scholars interpreted this verse to refer to the first ten nights of the month of Thul-Hijjah, and some interpreted it to refer to the blessed ten nights at the end of the month of Ramadan. Either way, the wording of the verse is general, and neither interpretation is exclusive of the other. So they were combined in this verse.

Verses 1-4: The language in these verses is broad and open to different interpretations.  For example, the first verse could be understood as a reference to the time of daybreak, or it could be understood as referring to the dawn prayer (Fajir prayer). The second verse literally reads “and by the ten nights.” The third verse literally translates “and by the pair and the one.” Because the language is not specific, multiple interpretations have been offered for these verses. There are some non-definitive narrations attributed to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, that suggest interpreting these verses around the Hajj pilgrimage theme. Based on this perspective, the verses could be understood as, “I swear by the morning, and by the ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah, and by the Day of Arafat, and the Day of Nahr, and its night receding.”  From this perspective the “pair” is the Day of Nahr because it is on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah, and the Day of Arafat is the “one” because it is on the ninth. Another possibility is that the “pair” refers to the two day stay in Mina on the 11th and 12th, and the “one” refers to the optional stay for the 13th day in Mina. Without definitive proof that one interpretation is meant to the exclusion of other interpretations, all interpretations that can fairly be understood from a plain reading of the text are acceptable. In the end, it is God that knows best.  

Verse 6: Aad was a famous ancient tribe from the people of Iram. The tribe of Aad lived several hundred miles to the south east of Makkah in a land of sand dunes. They were a major power in their area and they worshiped idols. They rejected the messenger God sent them, and so they were destroyed. All that is left of them is the remains of some of their buildings.

Verse 9: The tribe of Thamud was a major tribe and ancient civilization that lived several hundred miles to the North of Makkah. The civilization was destroyed, leaving behind their homes and buildings which they had carved into the side of mountains. Their vacant remains can still be visited today.

Verse 10: This verse literally translates to “Pharaoh and his posts.” The classical explanation is that ‘posts’ references to his armies as they gave him strength and support. However, God compares mountains to posts in the Quran and the pyramids are like mountains. Referring to the pyramids also fits with the flow of talking about the major building accomplishments of the three peoples who disobeyed God and their power did not save them from God’s punishment.

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Disclaimer: The focus of this site is to provide a comprehensive and deep understanding of the Quran's message, and do so in a manner that is engaging and accessible to the average reader.  Every translation involves compromises, and the content on this site is no different. However, every effort was made to capture as much of the spirit and message of the Quran as possible, relying on the most respected and accepted classical scholarly texts in the field. God willing, the material on this site can be relied upon as a solid beginning on the journey towards understanding the Quran as it was revealed in its classical Arabic. If you have a question as to why a certain verse was translated a certain way, the answer can usually be found in: Fath Al-Qadeer by Imam Al-Shawkani, or feel free to E-mail us your questions.
1- The Opening / Al-Fatihah

2-The Cow - Part 1
2-The Cow - Part 2
2-The Cow - Part 3
2-The Cow - Part 4
2-The Cow - Part 5
2-The Cow - Part 6
2-The Cow - Part 7
18-The Cave / Al-Kahf
19-Mary Mother of Jesus / Maryam
24-The Light 35-40
29-The Spider
67-God's Kingdom / Al-Mulk
68-The Pen / Al-Qalam

69-Day of Accountability / Al-Haqqah
70-The Levels / Al-Ma'arij:
71- Noah / Nuh
72- The Jinn / Al-Jinn
73-Wrapped with Responsibility / Al-Muzzammil

74-Get out of Bed / Al-Muddaththir

75-Day of Resurrection / Al-Qiyamah

76-Humanity / Al-Insan

77-What I send / Mursalat

78-The News / An-Naba

79-The Angels Who Pull Out Your Souls / An-Naziat

80-He Frowned / Abasa

81-When the Sun Collapses and Dies / At-Takwir

82-The Tearing / Al-Infitar

83-The Cheaters / Al-Mutaffifin

84-Ripped Open / Al-Inshiqaq
85-The Constellations / Al-Buruj

86-The Brilliant Stars / At-Tariq
87-The Most High / Al-A'la
88-The Overhelming Day / Al-Ghashiyah
89-The Dawn / Al-Fajr
90-The Sacred Land of Makkah / Al-Balad
91-The Sun / Ash-Shams
92-The Night / Al-Lail
93-Morning / Ad-Duha
94-Insight and Understanding / Ash-Sharh
95-The Fig / At-Teen
96-The Clot / Al-Alaq
97-The Night of Destiny / Al-Qadr
98-Clear Evidence / Al-Bayyinah

99-The Earthquake / Al-Zalzalah
100-Running Horses /Al-Adiyat
101-Terrifying / Al-Qariah
102-Collecting Things / Al-Takathur
103-Time / Asr
104-Backbiting / Al-Humazah
105-The Elephant / Al-Feel
106-The Tribe of Quraish / Quraish
107-Small Assistance / Al-Ma'un
108-A River in Paradise Called Kauthar / Al-Kauthar
109-Those Who Reject the Truth
110-My Support / Al-Nasr
111-Twisted Braided Rope / Al-Masad
112-Pure Intention / Al-Ikhlas
113-Daybreak / Al-Falaq
114-People / Al-Nas