This page contains all verses of surah Ad-Dukhaan in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah الدخان ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.
The Merit of the Surah
Sayyidna Abu Hurairah رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said that whoever recites Surah Dukhan on Friday night, his sins will have been forgiven by the morning. Sayyidna Umamah ؓ narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said anyone who recites Surah Dukhan on Friday, in the night or in the day, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise. (Qurtubi on the authority of Thalabi).
In the present set of verses, the greatness of Qur'an and some of its special features are described. وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ "By the manifest Book". This verse refers to the Holy 'Qur'an'. In the verse Allah swears an oath by the magnificent Qur'an to state that it was revealed in a blessed and auspicious Night, the purpose of which is to awaken the unmindful human beings from their deep slumber. A similar oath was taken, in exactly the same words, at the commencement of Surah Az-Zukhruf (Chapter 43). The oath-phrase has been fully discussed there.
لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ 'blessed night', in verse 2 according to majority of the Commentators, refers to 'laylatul Qadr' or the 'Night of Power' which occurs in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. During this night Allah sends down countless blessings for his slaves/servants. It has been explicitly mentioned in Surah Al-Qadr, thus:
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ
"We sent it (the Qur'an) down in the Night of Qadr". (97:1)
This clearly indicates that the phrase 'laylah mubarakah' (blessed night) occurring in the verse refers to the 'Night of Power'. It is narrated in a Tradition of the Prophet ﷺ that all Prophets (علیہم السلام) since the inception of man till the end, received their respective Books in the month of Ramadan on different dates. Sayyidna Qatadah ؓ reports on the authority of Sayyidna Wathilah ؓ that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said that Prophet Ibrahim (علیہ السلام) received his Scriptures on 1st Ramadan, Torah was revealed on 6th Ramadan, Zabur was revealed on 12th Ramadan, Injil was revealed on 18th Ramadan and the Holy Qur'an was revealed on the night of 24th, that is, on 25th Ramadan. (Qurtubi).
The statement that the Qur’ an was revealed in the Night of Power’ means that it was revealed in its entirety from the Preserved Tablet to the lowest Firmament in one night of the month of Ramadan. But, it was revealed to the Prophet ﷺ gradually over a period of twenty-three years. Some scholars have expressed the opinion that the installment of the Qur'an that was destined to be revealed in a given year used to be sent down on the Night of Power from the Preserved Tablet to the Firmament of the Earth. (Qurtubi).
Some other scholars of Tafsir, like ` Ikrimah ؓ ، interpret the phrase 'laylah mubarakah' (blessed night) as referring to 'laylat-ul-bara'ah' (the Night of Immunity), that is, the 15th night of Sha` ban. But to say that the Qur'an was revealed during this night goes against the clear texts of the Qur'an: In شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ ! and in إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ we come across "The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Qur'an was revealed...(2:185) " and "We have sent it (the Qur'an) in the Night of Qadr - (97:1) ". In the presence of such clear texts, it cannot be accepted, without any strong evidence, that the Qur'an was revealed in the Night of Immunity. There are, however, certain Traditions that speak highly of this night - that it is a night of blessings and that it is a night during which Allah showers His mercy. Some versions of the Tradition use exactly the same words as the Qur'an uses in the verse to describe 'laylah mubarakah' فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ كُلُّ أَمْرٍ حَكِيمٍ أَمْرًا مِّنْ عِندِنَا . "In that (night), every wise thing is decided (4) through a command from Us...(5) ". In interpreting this verse Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ says that it refers to the Night of Power, in which the Qur'an was revealed. In it all matters are decreed to happen from the present Night of Power to the next, relating to all creation, their births, their deaths, their provisions and other details. Other leading authorities on Tafsir, like Sayyidna Hasan, Qatadah, Mujahid and others ؓ concur with Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ . Mahdawi says that all matters decreed by Allah are, on this night, transferred to the angelic scribes who record the decrees of the coming year. Other texts of Qur'an and Sunnah bear testimony to the fact that Allah had decreed all matters in pre-eternity (azal) even before the creation of man. Therefore, the statement that man's destiny is decreed in this night simply means that the decrees for the whole year are handed over, in this night, to the relevant angels for implementation. (Qurtubi).
Because some versions of the Tradition state that births, deaths and sustenance are decreed in the night of immunity or 15th night of Sha'ban, some of the scholars have interpreted the phrase 'laylah mubarakah' in the current verse as referring to 'laylat-ul-bara'ah' or 'the Night of Immunity'. But this is not correct, because here the revelation of the Qur'an is mentioned first; and its revelation in the month of Ramadan is confirmed by the clear texts of the Qur'an. Some versions state that sustenance and other things are decreed in the Night of Immunity. Ibn Kathir, first of all, says this Tradition is mursal and such Tradition cannot be reliable in the presence of clear/express texts. Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn ` Arabi asserts that no authentic Tradition relating to mid-Sha'ban is available which may show that sustenance, births and deaths are determined and decreed in that night. He further rejects the idea that there is any reliable Tradition on the merit of this night. Ruh-ul-Ma` ani, however, cites a Tradition, without a chain of transmitters, narrated by Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ in which he says that sustenance, life and death are determined in the mid-Sha'ban night, and in the Night of Power the decrees are handed over to the angels. If this Tradition is confirmed, then the two interpretations can be reconciled and synchronized. Otherwise, the express words of Qur'an and authentic Traditions relating to 'laylah mubarakah' and 'fiha yufraqu...' in the verse of Surah Dukhan فِيهَا يُفْرَقُ clearly show that they refer to the 'Night of Power'. As far as the merit of the night of mid-Sha'ban is concerned, it is a separate issue. Some Traditions do speak about it but they are weak. Therefore, Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn ` Arabi denied any merit of this night. Chains of Transmission of Traditions concerning mid-Sha'ban are all weak but, it may be suggested that, if the various ways of transmission are put together, they gain strength. Therefore, many great scholars have accepted the Traditions about mid-Sha'ban because there is room to act upon weak Traditions relating to meritorious actions. Allah knows best!
دُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ...visible smoke" in verse (10) embodies a prophecy and the Prophet ﷺ was asked to watch for the Day when the sky will bring forth a manifest smoke covering the people. There are three opinions recorded about this from the Companions and their pupils.
The first view is that the smoke is one of the portents of the Day of Judgment which will occur very close to the Day of Judgment. This view is held by Sayyidna al-Murtada, Ibn ` Abbas, Ibn ` Umar, Abu Hurairah, Zaid Ibn ` Ali ؓ ، Hasan al-Basri Ibn Abi Mulaikah and others رحمۃ اللہ علیہم . This view is recorded traceably on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Said al-Khudri and Hudhaifah Ibn ` Usaid al-Ghifari ؓ which will be set out in detail later.
The second view is that this prophecy has already occurred. This refers to the event when the Quraish did not respond to Islam's call and they grew obstinate, the Apostle of Allah invoked against them that they would suffer seven years of drought and famine as it happened in the time of Prophet Y usuf علیہ السلامٍ. They became so exhausted and hungry that they were forced to eat bones and carrion. When they looked at the sky, they saw nothing but smoke or smoky haze because of their exhaustion, instead of rain-laiden clouds. This view is held by Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud ؓ and others.
The third view is held by Sayyidna ` Abdur-Rahman al-'A'raj and others. They say that the 'smoke' refers to the 'dust' which had been stirred up to the sky, and had covered the firmament of Makkah on the day of 'the Conquest of Makkah'. (Qurtubi).
The first two views are most popular. Ibn Kathir says regarding the third view:
ھَذا القول غیرب جِدَّا بل مُنکر
"This view is gharib (unfamiliar), in fact munkar (against authentic reports) ".
The other two views are confirmed by authentic Traditions. Ruh-ul-Ma` ani supports the second view. Tafsir Bayan-ul-Qur'an prefers this view. It would appear that Ibn Kathir and Qurtubi prefer the first view. Allah knows best!
Narrations relating to the two views are as follows. It is recorded in Sahih of Muslim that Sayyidna Hudhaifah Ibn ` Usaid al-Ghifari ؓ said: "The Messenger of Allah ﷺ looked out upon us from a room while we were discussing the Hour. He said:
'The Hour will not come until you see ten signs. The rising of the sun from the west; the smoke; the beast (dabbat-ul ard); the emergence of Gog and Magog; the appearance of ` Isa son of Maryam; the Dajjal (anti-Christ); three cases of the earth collapsing - one in the east, one in the west, and one in the Arabian peninsula; and a fire that will emerge from the bottom of Aden and will drive the people - or gather the people - stopping with them when they stop to sleep at night or rest during the day."' (Ibn Kathir).
Ibn Jarir has recorded on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Malik Ash` ari ؓ that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: "I warn you against three things: one, the smoke which will only cause cold in a believer, but will permeate the entire body of an unbeliever so much so that it will ooze out from every pore and minute hole of the skin; the second thing is the beast (of the earth which will be of a strange/unusual type); the third thing will be Dajjal". Having cited this narration, Ibn Kathir said: "This chain of transmitters is good". Ibn Kathir has cited another narration on the same subject vide Ibn Abi Hatim on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Said al-Khudri ؓ . He also cites a narration with reference to Ibn Abi Hatim on the authority of Sayyidna al-Murtada ؓ to the following effect: "This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. (It will happen close to the Hour). This smoke will be the cause of catarrh for the believer but it will penetrate the entire body of an unbeliever and ooze out of the tiny holes of his skin". Ibn Jarir cites a narration on the same subject on the authority of Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn ` Umar and Ibn ` Abbas ؓ . Ibn Kathir cites this and writes:
ھذا اسناد صحیح الٰی ابن عباس ؓ حبر الامۃ و ترجمان القراٰن وھٰکَذا قول من وافقہ من الصّحابۃ ؓ والتابِعِین رحمۃ اللہ علیہم مع الاحادیث المرفوعہ من الصحاح والحسان وغیرھما الّتی اور دوھا مما فیہ مقنع ودلالۃ ظاھرۃ علی ان الدّخان من الاٰیات المنتظرہ مع انّہ ظاھر القرآن (فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ تَأْتِي السَّمَاءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ ) وعلیٰ مافسرہ ابن مسعود انما ھو خیال رأوہ فی اعینھم من شدّد الجوع والجھد وھٰکذا قولہ تعالیٰ (يَغْشَى النَّاسَ ) او یتغشاھم و یعمھم ولو کان امراً خیالیا یخص اھل المکۃ المشرکین لما قیل فیہ یغشی الناس۔
"This chain of transmitters is authentic up to Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، the scholar of the Ummah, interpreter of the Qur'an. This is the view of other Companions ؓ and their pupils who concur with Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، together with prophetic Traditions - some being sahih and others hasan. They too are sufficient to prove that the 'smoke' is one of the portents of the Hour. It has not yet occurred, especially since the apparent wordings of the Qur'an bear evidence to this fact. Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Mas` ud's ؓ popular interpretation of the word 'smoke' refers to an imaginary smoke/an illusion which they saw because of their intense hunger and exhaustion, but it is inconceivable that the Qur'an would use a phrase like يَغْشَى النَّاسَ 'that will envelop people ...(11) ’ because this imaginary smoke was experienced by Makkans only. The wordings of the phrase 'that will envelop people ...(11) " show that the smoke had enveloped all the people.
Earlier on, Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Mas` ud's ؓ view was given as follows as recorded in the two Sahihs, Musnad of Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Nasa'i and others. Sayyidna Masruq ؓ narrates: 'We entered the mosque of Kufah at the gates of kindah - and a preacher recited the verse يَوْمَ تَأْتِي السَّمَاءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ "a day when the sky will come up with a visible smoke (44:10) " and asked the audience: "Do you know what smoke is that?" Then he said that that is the smoke which will emerge on the Day of Resurrection. It will take away the hearing and sight of the hypocrites, but for the believers it will be like having a cold. Sayyidna Masruq ؓ says, 'when we heard this we went to Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud ؓ and told him about it. He was lying down, and he sat up with a start and said: "Allah has given to his prophet the following direction: قُلْ مَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُتَكَلِّفِينَ Say, "I do not demand from you any fee for it, nor am I from among those who make up things artificially" (38:86). This verse proves that it is also a part of knowledge that when a man does not know something, he should say frankly that he does not know and that the correct knowledge is with Allah.(and he should not pretend that he knows it) "Then he narrated a Hadith which interprets the meaning of the verse, thus: When the Quraish did not respond to the call of Islam and grew stubborn, the Messenger of Allah imprecated against them that they should have years like the years of drought and famine during the time of Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) . They became so exhausted and hungry that they ate dead meat and bones. When they looked at the sky, they saw nothing but smoke.
According to another report, a man would look at the sky and he would see nothing between him and the sky except a smoky haze on account of intensity of hunger and exhaustion. In support of his argument he recited فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ تَأْتِي السَّمَاءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ "So, wait for a day when the sky will come up with a visible smoke (44:10) ". When this event took place, people came up to the Prophet of Allah ﷺ and requested him to pray to Allah to send down rain to his tribe of Mudar. Otherwise, they all will perish. So, the Holy Prophet ﷺ prayed for rain for them, and the rain came down. On that occasion the following verse was revealed إِنَّا كَاشِفُو الْعَذَابِ قَلِيلًا ۚ إِنَّكُمْ عَائِدُونَ ! We are going to remove the punishment for a while, (but) you will certainly go back (to your original position). (44:15) " As predicted, when they were granted ease or reprieve, they reverted to their former state of kufr (disbelief) and Allah revealed the following verse يَوْمَ نَبْطِشُ الْبَطْشَةَ الْكُبْرَىٰ إِنَّا مُنتَقِمُونَ " (Then,) the day We will seize (you) with the greatest seizure, We will take vengeance. (44:16) "
Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud ؓ says that بطشہ کبریٰ "greatest seizure" refers to the battle of Badr. After reporting this incident, Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud ؓ says that five events have already taken place:
(1) the smoke;
(2) the (defeat of the) Romans;
(3) the (splitting of the) moon;
(4) the seizure; and
(5) the lizam. (IbnKathir).
The 'smoke', according to this interpretation, refers to the drought and famine in Makkah. The defeat of the Romans was prophesied in the Surah Ar-Rum, thus: وَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ غَلَبِهِمْ سَيَغْلِبُونَ "and they, after their defeat, will be victorious." (30:3) The splitting of the moon refers to the miracle given by Allah to Prophet Muhammad t that is described in Surah -Qamar, thus: اقْتَرَبَتِ السَّاعَةُ وَانشَقَّ الْقَمَرُ "The Hour (of doom) has drawn near, and the moon has split asunder (54:1) ". The 'seizure', according to this interpretation, refers to the consequences of the pagan Quraish in the Battle of Badr. The 'lizam' refers to فَسَوْفَ يَكُونُ لِزَامًا "Now since you belied (the truth), the punishment will be inseparable from you (25:77) ", meaning the unbelievers' persistent denial of the truth will inevitably cause them torment.
A careful analysis of the verses embody several prophecies. First, the appearance of smoke on the sky and enveloping all the people. Second, that the pagans will not be able to bear the torment, so they will pray to Allah for its removal promising that they will believe. Third, they will go back on their words and break their promise. Fourth, Allah - despite their false promise - will remove the punishment for a short while in order to establish an argument against them, showing that they will not keep to their promise. Fourth, He will launch the greatest assault on them again to take revenge. According to Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Mas` ud's ؓ interpretation, all the prophecies have been fulfilled. The first four prophecies were fulfilled during the period when the people of Makkah suffered a severe drought and famine until this torment was lifted. The fifth one was fulfilled on the occasion of the. Battle of Badr. But the difficulty in this interpretation is that it seems inconceivable that the express wordings of the Qur'an such as تَأْتِي السَّمَاءُ...the sky will come دُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ a visible smoke (10) يَغْشَى النَّاسَ will envelop people ... (11) " would refer to an imaginary smoke on account of intensity of hunger. The wordings expressly refer to the distinctive smoke that would be brought forth in the open and clear sky, enshrouding all the people. But in this interpretation, there is neither visible smoke in the sky nor is it enveloping the people. The smoke was as a result of the intensity of their own exhaustion. Therefore, following the express wordings of the Qur'an, Ibn Kathir prefers to interpret the expression دُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ "visible smoke" as referring to one of the signs/portents of the Hour. Furthermore, this interpretation is preferable because this is based on Prophetic ahadith, while the other interpretation is based merely on a saying of Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud ؓ .
But a strong objection on the interpretation of Ibn Kathir may be raised on the basis of the verse that says, إِنَّا كَاشِفُو الْعَذَابِ قَلِيلًا ۚ إِنَّكُمْ عَائِدُونَ " (Well,) We are going to remove the punishment for a while, (but) you will certainly go back (to your original position). (44:15) ". The problem here is that on the Day of Judgment no punishment of the unbelievers will be removed. The assertion that their punishment will be removed for a few days does not appear to coincide with the interpretation that takes the 'smoke' as a sign of Qiyamah. Responding to this objection, Ibn Kathir has observed that it could have one of two meanings. For one thing, it could mean 'If We, in keeping with your request, grant you reprieve from your torment and send you back to the world, you will revert to your former state of kufr'. This may be compared to another verse on the same subject: وَلَوْ رَحِمْنَاهُمْ وَكَشَفْنَا مَا بِهِم مِّن ضُرٍّ لَّلَجُّوا فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ "And even if We have mercy on them and remove whatever distress they have, they would still persist obstinately in their rebellion, wandering blindly (23:75) ". Similarly, another verse وَلَوْ رُدُّوا لَعَادُوا لِمَا نُهُوا عَنْهُ "...And if they were sent back, they
would again go for what they were forbidden from...". (6:28)
The other meaning of کاشفوا العَذَاب "We are going to remove the punishment" could be that all the causes of punishment have been completed and the punishment is imminent, but it is postponed for a few days, as it was delayed in the case of the people of Yunus (علیہ السلام) The Qur'an says شَفْنَا عَنْهُمْ عَذَابَ "Surely We have removed from them their punishment" whereas the punishment on the people of Yunus (علیہ السلام) had not yet arrived - only the signs of punishment were visible when it was delayed, but it is described as removal of punishment.
In conclusion, if the prophecy of dukhan ('smoke' ) be taken as one of the portents of the Hour, so the phrase kashiful adhab (We are going to remove the punishment –کاشفوا العذاب) does not create any problem. In this interpretation, the phrase يَوْمَ نَبْطِشُ الْبَطْشَةَ الْكُبْرَىٰ " (Then,) the day We will seize (you) with the greatest seizure ... (44:16) " refers to the seizure of the Day of Judgment. In Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Mas` ud's 'interpretation it refers to the seizure of the battle of Badr. This is correct because that too was a great seizure, but that does not necessarily mean that a greater seizure will not be made on the Day of Judgment. It is possible that the Qur'an, through these verses, is warning the unbelievers of an impending punishment. Whenever a punishment befell the enemies, the noble Companions took the verses to apply to that particular punishment. This does not negate its being one of the signs of the Hour. Ruh-ul-Ma` ani cites Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud's ؓ narration with reference to ` Allamah Saffarini's book البحورالزاخرۃ 'al-Buhur-uz-Zakhirah', thus:
ھما دخامان مضی واحد والّذی بقی یملأ مابین السّماء والارض ولا یصیب المؤمن الا بالذکمۃ واما الکافر فیشق مسامعہ فیبعث اللہ تعالیٰ عند ذالک الرّیح الجنوب من الیمن فتقبض روح کل مؤمن ویبقیٰ شرار النّاس۔ (روح)
"Two clouds of 'dukhan or smoke' will be produced at two different times: One, in fact, has already occurred on the occasion of the famine of Makkah and the other is still going to be produced. The second smoke will fill the atmosphere between the heaven and the earth. A believer will feel it like having a cold but it will tear through all the pores of an unbeliever. At that time Allah will send southerly wind from Yemen which will take away the soul of every believer; and there shall remain only the unbelievers, the worst of people." (Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani)
The author of Ruh-ul-Ma` ani, in terms of his preferred interpretation, has expressed his suspicion on the authenticity of this narration. However, if the narration can be confirmed, then there will remain no conflict between the Tafsir of Ibn Masud ؓ and the express wordings of the Qur'an and the Prophetic ahadith. Allah, the Pure and Exalted, knows best