When the earth is shaken with its (final) earthquake. (1) And when the earth throws out its burdens, (2) And man will say: “What is the matter with it?” (3) That Day it will declare its information (about all that happened over it of good or evil). (4) Because your Lord will inspire it. (5) That Day mankind will proceed in scattered groups that they may be shown their deeds. (6) So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. (7) And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. (8)
99: 2. and when the earth throws out its burdens,
And when the earth throws out its burdens meaning, it will throw forth that which is in it of the dead. More than one of the Salaf have said this.
Allah said in Surah al Inshiqaq 84: 4
3. and when the earth is stretched forth,
4. and has cast out All that was In it and became empty,
Muslim recorded in his Sahih from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,
The earth will throw out the pieces of its liver (its contents). Gold and silver will come out like columns. A murderer will come and say, `I killed for this’ The one who broke the ties of kinship will say, `For this I severed the ties of kinship’ The thief will say, `For this I got my hands amputated’ Then they will leave it there and no one will take anything from it.
Some scholars mention that the burdens that will be taken out of the earth are the dead and the treasure it has in it. Allah knows best.
99: 3 and man will say: “What is the matter with it?”
From Tafseer Ibn Kathir
And man will say: “What is the matter with it” meaning, he will be baffled by its situation after it used to be stable, settled and firm, and he used to be settled upon its surface.
This refers to the alteration of the state of things and the earth moving and shaking. There will come to it inescapable quaking that Allah prepared for it. Then it will throw out its dead people – from the first to the last generations. At that time the people will be baffled by the events and the earth changing into other than the earth, and the heavens as well. Then they will be presented before Allah, the One, the Irresistible.
Man here may as well imply every man, for after resurrection and coming to senses the first impression of every man will be as to what was happening around him; afterwards he will realize that it was the Resurrection Day.
Man may also imply the man who denies the Hereafter, for what he regarded as impossible would be happening in front of him and causing him confusion and bewilderment.
As for the believers, they will not be bewildered and confused, for everything would be taking place according to their belief and conviction.
Yassin 36: 52.
they will say: “Woe to us! who has raised us up from Our place of sleep.” (it will be said to them): “This is what the Most Beneficent (Allâh) had promised, and the Messengers spoke truth!”
99: 4 that Day it will declare its information (about All what happened over it of good or evil).
That Day it will declare its information meaning, it will speak of what the people did upon its surface.
Imam Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi and Abu `Abdur-Rahman An-Nasa’i all recorded a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah – and in the wording of An-Nasa’i’s version it states — that he said,
“The Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah, (That Day it will declare its information.) Then he said, (Do you know what is its information), “They said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, (Verily, its information is that it will testify against every male and female servant, about what they did upon its surface. It will say that he did such and such on such and such day. So this is its information.)” Then At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Sahih Gharib.”
It might have been difficult for a man of ancient times to understand how the earth will speak and narrate the information and events happening on it on the Resurrection Day, but in the present age of scientific discoveries and the inventions of cinema, loudspeaker, radio, television, tape-recorder, electronic equipment, etc., it is no longer difficult to understand how the earth will narrate the information. The impression of whatever man speaks is preserved in the air, in the radio waves, on the particles of the walls and floors and ceilings of the houses, and on the environments of the road, plain or field if he spoke outside the house. If Allah so wills He can make these things repeat all these voices precisely in the way these were uttered in the first instance by man. Man at that time will hear with his ears and know that it was his own voice, and all his acquaintances will also testify that whatever they were hearing was the person’s own voice and his own accent. Then whatever man has done anywhere on the earth, and in whatever state, has had its impression on everything of the environment and its image inscribed on it. Even if he did something in pitch dark, there are such rays in the Kingdom of God for which darkness and light make no difference; they can preserve his image in any case. All these images will pass before man on the Resurrection Day like a motion picture, and will show him when and where he had done something during his life on the earth.
The fact is that although Allah directly knows whatever a man does, yet in the Hereafter when He will establish His court, He will punish every culprit only after fulfilling all the demands of justice. Any case which is brought before His court against a criminal will be proved with such perfect evidence that no room will be left to doubt his being a criminal.
The first and foremost evidence against him is the record in which the two recording angels are recording his each word and deed.
Infitar 82: 10-12
10. but Verily, over You (are appointed angels In charge of mankind) to watch you,
11. Kirâman (honourable) Kâtibîn writing down (your deeds),
12. they know All that You do.
This record will be handed over to him and he will be asked to read it. Reading it man will be bewildered, for “it has left nothing un-recorded of our deeds, small or great.” (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayat 49)
49. and the Book (one’s Record) will be placed (in the Right Hand for a believer In the Oneness of Allâh, and In the left Hand for a disbeliever In the Oneness of Allâh), and You will see the Mujrimûn (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.), fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. they will say: “Woe to us! what sort of Book is This that leaves neither a small thing nor a big thing, but has recorded it with numbers!” and they will find All that they did, placed before them, and Your Lord treats no one with injustice.
Then there is man’s own body which he had used in the world. In Allah’s court his own tongue will bear witness as to what he had been speaking through it in the world, his own hands and feet will bear witness as to what deeds he had committed through them (Surah An-Noor, 24: 24).
24. on the Day when their tongues, their hands, and their legs or feet will bear witness against them as to what they used to do.
His eyes and his ears will bear witness as to what he saw and heard by their means. Even the skin of his body will bear witness to his deeds. Bewildered, he will ask his limbs: Why have you borne witness against me? They will reply: The same God Who has given speech to everything has given us speech.Al Fussilat, 32: 20- 22.
20. till, when they reach it (Hell-fire), their hearing (ears) and their eyes, and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do.
21. and they will Say to their skins, “Why do You testify against us?” they will say: “Allâh has caused us to speak, as He causes All things to speak, and He created You the first time, and to Him You are made to return.”
22. and You have not been hiding against yourselves, lest Your ears, and Your eyes, and Your skins testify against you, but You thought that Allâh knew not much of what You were doing.
On top of these, there will be the witnesses which will be presented from the earth and all its environments, in which man will hear his own voice by his own ears and see the exact pictures of his own deeds by his eyes. Furthermore, the ideas, motives and aims hidden in the heart of man and the intentions with which he had performed every deed will be brought out and placed before him as is stated in Surah Al-Adiyat 100: 10.
And that which is in the breasts (of men) is made known? (10)
That is why with the production of such absolute, clear and undeniable proofs, man will be confounded and he will be left with no chance to say anything in self-defense to excuse himself. (Surah Al-Mursalat 77: 35-36).
35. that will be a Day when they shall not speak (during some part of it),
36. and they will not be permitted to put forth any excuse.
May the best day for us is the day we will meet Allah.
99: 5 because Your Lord has inspired it.
From Ibn Kathir
It is apparent that the implied meaning here is that Allah will permit it (the earth)
her to relate what was done on her surface. Looking at the earth, we may leave to wonder what earth will tell.
Would it be wonderful if she would mention to Allah that we make remembrance of Allah as we roam the earth or that we cultivate the land and did not destroy it.
أوحى comes from the word وحي (Wahyu).
Translated loosely as inspiration. Awha ( أَوْحَىٰ ) – usually refers to wisdom/knowledge/ signs which is inspired or knowledge is being hinted.
فَخَرَجَ عَلَىٰ قَوۡمِهِۦ مِنَ ٱلۡمِحۡرَابِ فَأَوۡحَىٰٓ إِلَيۡہِمۡ أَن سَبِّحُواْ بُكۡرَةً۬ وَعَشِيًّ۬ا
Then He (Prophet Zakaria) came out to his people from Al-Mihrâb (a praying place or a private room, etc.), He told them by signs to glorify Allâh’s praises In the morning and In the afternoon.
وَأَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَىٰٓ أُمِّ مُوسَىٰٓ أَنۡ أَرۡضِعِيهِۖ فَإِذَا خِفۡتِ عَلَيۡهِ فَأَلۡقِيهِ فِى ٱلۡيَمِّ وَلَا تَخَافِى وَلَا تَحۡزَنِىٓۖ إِنَّا رَآدُّوهُ إِلَيۡكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِينَ
and we inspired the mother of Mûsa (Moses), (saying): “Suckle Him [Mûsa (Moses)], but when You fear for him, Then cast Him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily! we shall bring Him back to you, and shall make Him one of (Our) Messengers.”
There is another word for inspiration which is ilham. Wahyu refers to hinted knowledge while ilham refers to action which is inspired.
Ash Shams 91: 8
فَأَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقۡوَٮٰهَا
Then He showed Him what is wrong for Him and what is right for him.
Another type of inspiration that refers to Shaytan’s evil plot.
The word Hamazaat in al Muminun 23:97
وَقُل رّبّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشّيَاطِينِ
And say: “My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions/incitements) of the Shayatin (devils).
Or the word Waswasa: – whisperings which appear, go away, and return again. Surah al Naas مِن شَرّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنّاسِ 114:4
From the evil of the retreating whisperer.