Introduction to chapters of the Holy Quran: Surah ash-Shams, al-Lail, ad-Duha, al-Inshirah, at-Tin, al-‘Alaq, al-Qadr, al-Bayyinah, az-Zilzal, al-‘Adiyat


The English translation of the introduction to chapters of the Holy Quran as given by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh is being presented for the benefit of our readers. Insha-Allah, in the coming issues, we will endeavour to publish the introduction to all chapters of the Holy Quran.

Quran 2

91. ash-Shams

This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 16 verses.

The prophecy has been made once again in the current Surah that the sun of Islam will rise again, the moon that will reflect the sun’s light will illuminate once again, a dawn will break, and thereafter a dark night will prevail again. That is, there is no dawn whereafter the darkness of negligence fails to engulf mankind.

Next follows a great proclamation that every soul has been created by Allah Almighty in line with justice and has been revealed the ability to distinguish between its good and bad. He who develops and benefits from the abilities bestowed upon him will prosper; whereas he who corrupts the abilities granted him will be ruined.

Next follows the description of the people of Thamud and the she-camel of their messenger. Maybe it is also a reference to the point that once the people (of Thamud) hamstrung the she-camel that was used by Hazrat Salehas for delivering the Divine message, huge destruction befell them. Thus, whenever the enemies of the prophets cut off the means of transport used to deliver the Divine message, they were destroyed invariably.

92. al-Lail

This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 22 verses.

Surah ash-Shams (sun) is followed by Surah al-Lail (night), as a day is followed by a night. “Al-Lail” here does not signify a night of the world; rather, throughout the Surah, spiritual aspects of the night have been presented in a very becoming manner. It is accompanied by the glad tiding that a day has to dawn after a night prevails. It says that just as the effects of a day and a night are different, similarly, the endeavours of mankind are either dark like a night or bright like a day. Every individual gets their reward according to their deeds and beliefs. Thus, those who, out of fear of Allah, spend in His cause and for the welfare of the poor and testify to the word of goodness when it reaches them, Allah the Almighty will make their ways easy for them. As against them, a person who is niggardly, is unmindful of its consequences and rejects the word of welfare when it reaches them; about him, Allah says He will make their way difficult for them.

Finally, the evil person, whose characteristics are mentioned above, is threatened with a blazing fire, wherein he will enter; and the person who spent his wealth on good deeds and adopted righteousness will definitely be saved from that fire.

93. ad-Duha

This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 12 verses.

This Surah too gives glad tidings of a day that will have become fully bright, and a night that will follow it. Addressing the Holy Prophetsa, Allah Almighty says that He will not forsake him in the time of extreme darkness and difficulties, and his every latter hour will be better than the former. Another glad tiding has also been given that Allah the Almighty will give him abundance. So he should treat the orphans well, not chide the one who asks, and, God forbid, not hide from mankind any favours on him in fear that they will come to an end. The more you spend in the cause of Allah the Almighty, the more He will increase it further.

94. al-Inshirah

This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 9 verses.

Having described the distinguishing merits of the Holy Prophetsa in this magnificent Surah, Allah says: Have We not opened for you your bosom fully? And has Allah, by His grace, not enabled you to discharge the burden of trust that you carried? And has your name not been exalted? Thus, remember the eternal truth that every hardship is followed by ease. Every hardship is followed by ease. That is, the same principle applies temporally as well as spiritually. Thus, once you are free from your daytime activities, stand up for the worship of your Lord and satisfy your heart with His love.

95. at-Tin

This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 9 verses.

Surah al-Inshirah is followed by Surah at-Tin, which in fact is an explanation of ‘فَاِنَّ مَعَ الۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرًا۔ اِنَّ مَعَ الۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرًا’ [i.e, ‘Surely, there is ease after hardship. (Aye), surely, there is ease after hardship.’ (Surah al-Inshirah, Ch.94: V.6-7)]

This (Surah) reveals an endless evolution. Fig and olive have been cited as witnesses in it, i.e., Adamas and Noahas; and Mount Sinai, i.e., that mountain of Mosesas where Allah the Almighty manifested Himself; and then this Town of Security, which was the hometown of the Holy Prophetsa. Along with this step-by-step spiritual progress, this proclamation has also been made that, in the same manner, developing Man from lower states, We have brought him to his final evolutionary stages. But for that unfortunate one who fails to benefit from it, We revert him to the lowest of those who revert to the lower level. In other words, it is a reference to endless reverse progress. But for those who believe and do good deeds, their spiritual progress will be endless. Thus, whoso still rejects Allah’s Messengersa with regards to religion, then Allah the Almighty is the best of Judges in his case.

96. al-‘Alaq

This Surah was revealed at Mecca. It was revealed foremost of all the Surahs and, including the basmalah, it consists of 20 verses.

The coming of revelation started with this Surah, wherein Allah the Almighty commands the Holy Prophetsa to read in the name of the Lord, Who created everything. By saying ‘read’ again, the proclamation has been made that, ‘read in the name of the most Honourable Lord, Who put the secrets of all human success in the pen.’ No progress was possible if Man had not been invested with the pen and the ability to write.

Thereafter, every such person has been warned who hinders worship. He has been warned with the (evil) end that if he did not desist, We will seize him by his lying and sinful forelock, then let him call for help whomsoever he may; We too have angels of Hell who punish severely.

97. al-Qadr

This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 6 verses.

This Surah gives a glad tiding that the Quran, whose revelation has begun, has the power to light up all types of dark nights. Thus, here it is a reference to an extremely dark night of the time of the Holy Prophetsa, wherein disorder had prevailed all over sea and land. But as a result of the dark nights’ supplications of the one who had consumed himself in the way of Allah, a dawn broke, i.e., the revelation of the Holy Quran started, whose light was to stay until the Last Day.  ہِيَ حَتّٰي مَطۡلَعِ الۡفَجۡرِ signifies that the revelation will continue to come down until the dawn breaks fully. Further, a proclamation is made that one moment of the Night of Decree is better than somebody’s endeavours of a whole of their lifetime, in case somebody attains it.

98. al-Bayyinah

This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 9 verses.

It was mentioned in the preceding Surah that the revelation sent down in the Night of Decree will explain everything so well as if a dawn has broken. The current Surah mentions that Allah had also granted a smaller-scale Night of Decree to the past prophets; otherwise, on account of their mere endeavours, they would not have been able to turn the night of their time into a dawn.

Next, with regards to the Holy Prophetsa it states that a compendium of all the books, given to the past prophets, has been included in his teachings. And the summary of their teachings was to worship Allah the Almighty by being sincere to Him in obedience, observing prayer, and paying the Zakat. And this is such a religion, which itself will last forever and will also keep mankind on the right path.

Following is the news of the evil and good ends of both the disbelievers and believers in that, once the right religion comes, every individual has the liberty either to follow it and achieve a good end, or reject it and end up in evil.

99. az-Zilzal

This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 9 verses.

This Surah makes mention of those changes in the Latter Days in whose result Man will believe that they have overpowered the laws of nature. Whereas whatever secrets the earth will put forth in that age, it will do by the command of your Lord. In that age, a time for worldly reward and punishment will also come for mankind when they will witness that their worldly progress availed them nought except that they destroyed themselves by going into warfare with each other. Thus, on that day, every person will be rewarded for his smallest virtue as well as his smallest evil.

At the beginning of the Surah, it is mentioned that the earth will throw up her burdens, and in this very connection, it is stated at the end that not only the weighty virtues and evils will be accounted for, but if somebody had done a virtue equal to the smallest particle, they would be rewarded for it as well; and they would also get punished for an evil even up to the smallest particle.

100. al-‘Adiyat

This Surah was revealed at Mecca, and, including the basmalah, it consists of 12 verses.

After the mention of the wars that are to take place for worldly reasons, the defensive wars of the Holy Prophetsa and his Companionsra have been mentioned, which, from every aspect, are different from worldly warfare, and produce good results. The swift horses have been cited as witnesses who, breathing quickly, assault the enemy while their hooves produce sparks of fire. They make raids at dawn, and not at night. This is a sign of the highest standard of bravery; otherwise, it comes everywhere for those fighting for the world that they attack secretly.

Further, it states that Man is very ungrateful to his Lord and he himself bears witness to it. He is passionate in his love for wealth. Here it is a reference to the point that all worldly warfare is fought to acquire riches only. So, does he not know that when all the secrets of the Earth are disclosed and all the secrets in peoples’ hearts will become manifest, that day Allah the Almighty will be well aware of them?

(Translated from the original introduction of chapters as presented in the Urdu translation of the Holy Quran by Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih IVrh. Translated into English by Shahid Mahmood Ahmad, missionary in Ghana.)

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