Sūrat Al-Wāqiʻah; “The Inevitable” or “The Event” is the 56th surah (chapter) of the Quran. It is believed that it was revealed in Mecca, specifically around 7 years before the Hegira (622), the migration of Muhammad ﷺ to Medina. 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.
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.
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.
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.