Surah Al-Insaan: Reading and Tafsir and Download

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Insaan in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Hafiz Ibn Kathir). In the first part you can read surah الانسان ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Al-Insaan

Tafsir of Surah Al-Insaan (Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Hafiz Ibn Kathir)

English Translation

Has there [not] come upon man a period of time when he was not a thing [even] mentioned?

English Transliteration

Hal ata AAala alinsani heenun mina alddahri lam yakun shayan mathkooran

Which was revealed in Makkah

The Recitation of Surat As-Sajdah and Al-Insan in the Morning Prayer on Friday

It has been mentioned previously that it is recorded in Sahih Muslim from Ibn `Abbas that the Messenger of Allah used to recite in the Morning prayer on Friday:

الم تَنزِيلَ

(Alif Lam Mim. The revelation...)(32) and;

هَلْ أَتَى عَلَى الإِنسَـنِ

(Has there not been over man...) (76)

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

Allah created Man after He did not exist

Allah informs that He brought man into existence after he was not even a thing worth mentioning, due to his lowliness and weakness. Allah says,

هَلْ أَتَى عَلَى الإِنسَـنِ حِينٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُن شَيْئاً مَّذْكُوراً

(Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning) Then Allah explains this by saying,

إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الإِنسَـنَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ

(Verily, We have created man from Nutfah Amshaj,) meaning, mixed. The words Mashaj and Mashij mean something that is mixed together. Ibn `Abbas said concerning Allah's statement,

مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ

(from Nutfah Amshaj,) "This means the fluid of the man and the fluid of the woman when they meet and mix." Then man changes after this from stage to stage, condition to condition and color to color. `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas all made statements similar to this. They said, "Amshaj is the mixing of the man's fluid with the woman's fluid." Concerning Allah's statement,

نَّبْتَلِيهِ

(in order to try him,) means, `We test him.' It is similar to Allah's statement,

لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً

(That He may test you which of you is best in deed.) (67:2) Then Allah says,

فَجَعَلْنَـهُ سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً

(so, We made him hearer and seer.) meaning, `We gave him the faculties of hearing and sight so that he would be able to use them for obedience and disobedience.'

Allah guided Him to the Path, so Man is either Grateful or Ungrateful

Allah says,

إِنَّا هَدَيْنَـهُ السَّبِيلَ

(Verily, We guided to him the way,) meaning, `We explained it to him, made it clear to him and showed it to him.' This is as Allah says,

وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَـهُمْ فَاسْتَحَبُّواْ الْعَمَى عَلَى الْهُدَى

(And as for Thamud, We guided them but they preferred blindness to guidance.) (41:17) Allah also said,

وَهَدَيْنَـهُ النَّجْدَينِ

(And We guided him to the two ways.) (90:10) meaning, `We explained to him the path of good and the path of evil.' This is the statement of `Ikrimah, `Atiyah, Ibn Zayd and Mujahid from what is well-known from him and the majority. Allah then says,

إِمَّا شَاكِراً وَإِمَّا كَفُوراً

(Whether he be grateful or ungrateful.) This is his decree. Thus, with this he is either wretched or happy. This is like what has been recorded by Muslim in a Hadith from Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari. He said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ، فَمُوبِقُهَا أَوْ مُعْتِقُهَا»

(All of mankind wakes up in the morning the merchant of his own soul. So he either imprisons it or sets it free. )

English Translation

Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing.

English Transliteration

Inna khalaqna alinsana min nutfatin amshajin nabtaleehi fajaAAalnahu sameeAAan baseeran

English Translation

Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful.

English Transliteration

Inna hadaynahu alssabeela imma shakiran waimma kafooran

English Translation

Indeed, We have prepared for the disbelievers chains and shackles and a blaze.

English Transliteration

Inna aAAtadna lilkafireena salasila waaghlalan wasaAAeeran

The Recompense of the Disbelievers and the Righteous

Allah informs of what he has waiting for those who disbelieve in Him from His creatures of chains, iron collars and Sa`ir. Sa`ir is the flame and fire of the Hell. This is as Allah says,

إِذِ الاٌّغْلَـلُ فِى أَعْنَـقِهِمْ والسَّلَـسِلُ يُسْحَبُونَ - فِى الْحَمِيمِ ثُمَّ فِى النَّارِ يُسْجَرُونَ

(When iron collars will be rounded over their necks, and the chains, they shall be dragged along, in the boiling water, then they will be burned in the Fire.) (40:71,72) After mentioning the blazing Fire He has prepared for these wretched people, Allah goes on to say,

إِنَّ الاٌّبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِن كَأْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَـفُوراً

(Verily, the Abrar (righteous believers) shall drink of a cup mixed with Kafur.) The properties of the Kafur (camphor) are well known; cooling, having a nice fragrance and in addition to this its taste will be delicious in Paradise. Al-Hasan said, "The coolness of the camphor will be in the pleasantness of ginger." Thus Allah said,

عَيْناً يَشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ اللَّهِ يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيراً

(A spring wherefrom the servants of Allah will drink, causing it to gush forth abundantly.) meaning, this (drink) that will be mixed for these righteous people will be taken from Kafur, which is a spring that Allah's close servants will drink directly from, without it being mixed with anything, and they will drink to their fill from it. The word Yashrabu (to drink) includes the meaning of Yarwa (to quench one's thirst). Allah then says,

يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيراً

(causing it to gush forth abundantly (Tafjir).) meaning, they will have control of it however and wherever they wish. They will have access to it from their castles, their homes, their sitting rooms and their residences. At-Tafjir means to cause to gush forth or flow out. This is as Allah says,

وَقَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ يَنْبُوعًا

(And they say: "We shall not believe in you until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us.) (17:90) And Allah says,

وَفَجَّرْنَا خِلَـلَهُمَا نَهَراً

(We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of them.) (18:33) Mujahid said,

يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيراً

(causing it to gush forth abundantly.) "This means that they will divert it to wherever they wish." `Ikrimah and Qatadah both made similar statements. Ath-Thawri said, "They will cause it to flow wherever they wish."

The Deeds of these Righteous People

Allah says,

يُوفُونَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَيَخَـفُونَ يَوْماً كَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْتَطِيراً

(They fulfill vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be wide-spreading.) meaning, they devote to worship Allah using that which He made obligatory upon them from actions of obligatory obedience that is based on Islamic legislation. They also worship Him by fulfilling their vows. Imam Malik reported from Talhah bin `Abdul-Malik Al-Ayli, who reported from Al-Qasim bin Malik, from `A'ishah that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ نَذَرَ أَنْ يُطِيعَ اللهَ فَلْيُطِعْهُ، وَمَنْ نَذَرَ أَنْ يَعْصِيَ اللهَ فَلَا يَعْصِه»

(Whoever makes a vow to obey Allah, then he should obey Him. And whoever makes a vow to disobey Allah, then he should not disobey Him.) Al-Bukhari also recorded this Hadith from Malik. These people also abandon those forbidden things which He (Allah) has prohibited for them, due to their fear of having an evil reckoning on the Day of Return. This is the Day when the evil will spread out among all people except for those upon whom Allah has had mercy. Ibn `Abbas said, "Spreading." Qatadah said, "By Allah! The evil of that Day will spread until it fills the heavens and the earth." Concerning Allah's statement,

وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ

(And they give food, inspite of their love for it,) It has been said that this means the love of Allah, the Most High. In their view the pronoun refers to Allah. However, the most apparent meaning is that the pronoun refers to the food. This would mean, they give food while they themselves love it and desire it. This was stated by Mujahid and Muqatil, and it was the preferred opinion of Ibn Jarir. This is similar to Allah's statement,

وَءَاتَى الْمَالَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ

(And gives his wealth, in spite of love for it.) (2:177) Allah also says,

لَن تَنَالُواْ الْبِرَّ حَتَّى تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ

(By no means shall you attain Al-Birr unless you spend of that which you love.) (3:92) In the Sahih, there is a Hadith which states,

«أَفْضَلُ الصَّدَقَةِ أَنْ تَصَدَّقَ وَأَنْتَ صَحِيحٌ شَحِيحٌ، تَأْمُلُ الْغِنَى وَتَخْشَى الْفَقْر»

(The best charity is that which you give while you are healthy, covetous, hoping for wealth and fearing poverty.) This means in the condition of your love for wealth, your eagerness for it and your need for it. Thus, Allah says,

وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِيناً وَيَتِيماً وَأَسِيراً

(And they give food, inspite of their love for it, to the poor, the orphan and the captive,) Concerning the poor person and the orphan, an explanation of them and their characteristics has already preceded. In reference to the captive, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan and Ad-Dahhak all said, "He is the captive among the people of the Qiblah (i.e., the Muslims)." Ibn `Abbas said, "At that time (when this Ayah was revealed) their (the Muslims') captives were idolators." Proof for this is that on the day of Badr the Messenger of Allah commanded his Companions to treat the captives respectfully. They (the Companions) would give them preference over themselves when eating their meals. `Ikrimah said, "They (captives) are the slaves." Ibn Jarir preferred this opinion since the Ayah generally refers to both the Muslim and the idolators. Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ata', Al-Hasan and Qatadah all made similar statements. The Messenger of Allah advised treating servants well in more than one Hadith. This held such importance with him that the last statement of advice that he gave (before dying) was his saying,

«الصَّلَاةَ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُم»

(The prayer (As-Salah) and what your right hand possesses (slaves).) Mujahid said, "He (the captive) is the prisoner." This means that these (righteous) people give food to others even though they themselves desire it and love it, saying at the same time,

إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ

(We feed you seeking Allah's Face only.) meaning, hoping for the reward of Allah and His pleasure.

لاَ نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَآءً وَلاَ شُكُوراً

(We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.) meaning, `we do not seek any reward from you in return for it. We also are not seeking for you to thank us in front of the people.' Mujahid and Sa`id bin Jubayr both said, "By Allah! They do not say this with their tongues, but rather, Allah knows it in their hearts and He commends them for it. Every seeker should seek after this."

إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِن رَّبِّنَا يَوْماً عَبُوساً قَمْطَرِيراً

(Verily, We fear from our Lord a Day that is `Abus and Qamtarir.) meaning, `we only do this so that perhaps Allah may have mercy on us and treat us with gentleness on the Day that is `Abus and Qamtarir.' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas, "`Abus means difficult and Qamtarir means long." `Ikrimah and others said from Ibn Abbas,

يَوْماً عَبُوساً قَمْطَرِيراً

(a Day that is `Abus and Qamtarir (hard and distressful, that will make the faces look horrible from extreme dislike to it.)) "The disbeliever will frown on that day until sweat will flow between his eyes like tar." Mujahid said, "Abus `Abis means (frowning with) the two lips and Qamtarir means drawing up the face in a scowl." Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah said, "Faces will be made to frown due to dismay. Qamtarir is the contraction of the forehead and what is between the two eyes due to dismay." Ibn Zayd said, " `Abus is the evil and Qamtarir is the severity."

Some Details concerning the Reward of the Righteous in Paradise and what it contains of Delights

Allah says,

فَوَقَـهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَلِكَ الْيَومِ وَلَقَّـهُمْ نَضْرَةً وَسُرُوراً

(So, Allah saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadrah (a light of beauty) and joy.) This is used as a way of eloquence in stating similarity (i.e., two similar things).

فَوَقَـهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَلِكَ الْيَومِ

(So, Allah saved them from the evil of that Day,) meaning, He protects them from that which they fear of it.

وَلَقَّـهُمْ نَضْرَةً

(and gave them Nadrah (a light of beauty)) meaning, in their faces.

وَسُرُوراً

(And joy) in their hearts. Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, Abu `Aliyah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas all stated this. This is similar to Allah's statement,

وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ مُّسْفِرَةٌ - ضَـحِكَةٌ مُّسْتَبْشِرَةٌ

(Some faces that Day will be bright, laughing, rejoicing at good news.) This is because if the heart is happy, then the face will be enlightened. As Ka`b bin Malik said in his lengthy Hadith about Allah's Messenger , whenever he was happy, then his face will be radiant until it will be as if it is a piece of the moon. `A'ishah said, "The Messenger of Allah entered into my home happy and his facial expression was glowing." And the Hadith continues. dAllah then says,

وَجَزَاهُمْ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ

(And their recompense because they were patient) meaning, due to their patience He will give them, bestow upon them and accommodate them with Paradise and silken garments. This means a home that is spacious, a delightful life and fine clothing. Al-Hafiz Ibn `Asakir said in his biography of Hisham bin Sulayman Ad-Darani, "Surat Al-Insan was recited to Abu Sulayman Ad-Darani, and when the reciter reached the Ayah where Allah says,

وَجَزَاهُمْ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ جَنَّةً وَحَرِيراً

(And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient.) he (Abu Sulayman) said, `Because they were patient in leaving off their desires in the world."'

English Translation

Indeed, the righteous will drink from a cup [of wine] whose mixture is of Kafur,

English Transliteration

Inna alabrara yashraboona min kasin kana mizajuha kafooran
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