Surah Al-Masad (111): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Masad in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah المسد 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-Masad

Surah Al-Masad

Surah Al-Masad, also known as Surah Lahab, is the 111th chapter of the Quran. It is a short chapter consisting of 5 verses and is located in the 30th Juz of the Quran. The surah is named after the Arabic word "Al-Masad," which means "palm fiber" or "twisted rope."

The surah is significant for its condemnation of Abu Lahab, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, and his wife. It is a powerful reminder of the consequences of arrogance, disbelief, and opposition to the message of Islam.

The surah begins with a declaration of the perishable nature of Abu Lahab and his wife's wealth and their ultimate fate in the Hereafter. It emphasizes that their wealth and status will not avail them on the Day of Judgment, and they will be cast into the blazing Fire.

Surah Al-Masad serves as a warning to those who oppose the truth and seek to hinder the spread of Islam. It highlights the futility of worldly possessions and the importance of faith and righteousness. The surah also conveys the message that no one can protect or save another on the Day of Judgment, and each individual will be accountable for their own actions.

The surah concludes with a powerful statement affirming the punishment that awaits Abu Lahab and his wife, emphasizing the severity of their rejection of the Prophet and the message of Islam.

Overall, Surah Al-Masad serves as a reminder of the consequences of arrogance, disbelief, and opposition to the truth. It conveys a powerful message about the fleeting nature of worldly possessions and the ultimate accountability in the Hereafter.

Surah Al-Masad
سُورَةُ المَسَدِ
Page 603 (Verses from 1 to 5)

Tafsir of Surah Al-Masad (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he.

English Transliteration

Tabbat yada abee lahabin watabba

Name and Nickname of Abu Lahab

Abu Lahab [ Father of Flame ] was the Nickname of ` Abd-ul-` Uzza, one of the sons of ` Abdul-Muttalib. As he was ruddy in complexion, he was nicknamed Abu Lahab [ Father of Flame ]. The Qur'an did not mention his real name, because it smacked of paganism, and the last element 'lahab' [ Flame ] in the nickname has also nexus with the flame of Hell. This person was the inveterate enemy and persecutor of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، and violently opposed Islam. Whenever the Holy Prophet ﷺ invited the people to Islamic Faith, he would stand up and cry lie to his message. [ Ibn Kathir ]

Cause of Revelation

It is recorded in the two Sahihs that when the verse وَأَنذِرْ‌ عَشِيرَ‌تَكَ الْأَقْرَ‌بِينَ (Warn your closest relatives - 26:214) was revealed, the Holy Prophet ﷺ ascended the mount Safa and cried out to the tribe of Quraish in a manner that was known among them for warning of an attack by the enemy. Some narratives maintain that he called the different Makkah clans by name, the clan of Banu ` Abd Munaf, Banu ` Abdul-Muttalib and others. All the clans of Quraish gathered around him, and he said to them: 'If I were to tell you that the enemy is about to attack you in the morning or in the evening, would you believe me?' They all unanimously replied in the affirmative. Then he said: 'Verily, I am a warner sent to you before the coming of a severe torment (as a result of disbelief or paganism). Abu Lahab then responded: تَبَاً لَکَ اَلِھٰذَا جَمَعتَنَا 'Ruin may seize you! Is it for this purpose that you have called us together?' and picked up a stone to hit him. Thus this Surah was revealed.

Verse [ 111:1] تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ (Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab, and perish he! ) The word yad literally means a 'hand'. Because hands play a very important role in all of human works and actions, often yad (hand) refers to the human person, as in the phrase ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاكَ (...All this is due to what your hands have sent forth...22:10). Baihaqi has recorded on the authority of Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas ؓ that one day Abu Lahab said to the people that Muhammad says that such-and-such a thing will happen after death. Then, pointing to his hands, said that none of those things have come into these hands; then he addressed his hands and said: تَبّاً لکما ما اریٰ فیکما شیٔاً ممّا قال محمد (Perish you! I do not see any of the things Muhammad said in you.) Therefore, the Qur'an attributes his destruction to his hands.

The verb tabba is derived from tabab which means 'to perish'. In verse [ 11, the first sentence تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ (Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab) is in the form of a prayer invoking or imprecating destruction upon Abu Lahab, and the second sentence wa tabba is the declarative sentence prophesying the consequence of the invocation. The first sentence was invoked against him to satisfy the indignation of the Muslims, because when Abu Lahab imprecated destruction upon the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، it was the desire of the Muslims that imprecation be invoked against him. Allah thus fulfilled their desire, and also informed them that the invocation has taken effect and he perished. Seven days after the battle of Badr, he developed a terrible case of plague because of which people avoided him. They regarded the disease as infectious and were afraid that it might be transmitted by contact, so they forced him to live in an isolated house, and they did not come into contact with him at all. He at last died in this state. His dead body lay untouched in his house for three days. When his body began to rot giving out unbearable stench, people taunted his sons, and they hired laborers to take it away and bury it. They dug a pit in the ground, pushed his body into it with a stick and covered it with stones. [ Bayan-ul-Qur’ an from Ruh ].

Verse [ 111:2] مَا أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ (Neither his wealth availed him, nor what he earned.) The phrase ma kasab [ what he earned ] could refer to the profits that accrued to him from investment of his wealth in business, and it could also imply 'children', for the children of a person are also referred to (in Arabic) as his earning. Sayyidah ` A'ishah ؓ reports that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

ان اطیب ما اکل الرّجل من کسبہ وان ولدہ من کسبہ

"The best and the purest thing a man eats is from his earnings and his children are part of his earnings".

This means that eating from the earnings of one's children is tantamount to eating from one's own earnings. [ Qurtubi ]

Therefore, Sayyidah ` A'ishah, Mujahid, 'Ata’, Ibn Sirin and others interpret ma kasab [ what he earned ] as referring to 'children'. Allah had granted Abu Lahab abundant wealth and many children, and these two factors led him to be ungrateful, and caused him to be proud and arrogant. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ says that when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ called his people to faith and warned them about the Divine punishment, Abu Lahab said: "Even if what my nephew says is true, I will save myself from the painful torment on the Day of Judgment with my wealth and my children." Thus Allah revealed verse [ 2] مَا أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ that is, when the Divine torment seized him in this world, neither his wealth nor his children benefited him!

English Translation

His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained.

English Transliteration

Ma aghna AAanhu maluhu wama kasaba

English Translation

He will [enter to] burn in a Fire of [blazing] flame

English Transliteration

Sayasla naran thata lahabin

Verse [ 111:3] سَيَصْلَىٰ نَارً‌ا ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ (He will enter a fire, full of flames.) That is, either on the Day of Judgment or immediately after his death, while in grave, he will be pushed into the blazing fire. There is a rhetorical relationship between Abu Lahab and dhata lahab [ full of flames ].

English Translation

And his wife [as well] - the carrier of firewood.

English Transliteration

Waimraatuhu hammalata alhatabi

The Fate of 'Umm Jamil, the Wife of Abu Lahab

Verse [ 111:4] وَامْرَ‌أَتُهُ حَمَّالَةَ الْحَطَبِ (And his wife as well, the wicked, the carrier of firewood.) As Abu Lahab was a vehement enemy of the Holy Messenger ﷺ ، his wife too was supportive of her husband in his disbelief, rejection, obstinacy, and in persecuting the Holy Prophet ﷺ . She was a sister of Abu Sufyan, and daughter of Harb Ibn 'Umayyah. Her nickname was Umm Jamil. The Qur'an makes plain in this verse that this wretched woman will also roast with her husband in the fire of Hell. She is described as حَمَّالَةَ الْحَطَبِ which literally means 'the carrier of firewood'. Idiomatically, Arabs use this expression to refer to a 'tale-bearer ', that is, one who gathers pieces of gossip and carries them between individuals and families in order to ignite the fires of discord and enmity between people, exactly as one would gather firewood to kindle the fire. This telltale woman improperly carried information concerning the private affairs of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، and the blessed Companions in an attempt to ignite and instigate trouble. In this verse too, the phrase 'the carrier of firewood' has been interpreted by Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، Mujahid, ` Ikrimah رحمۃ اللہ علیہما and a group of commentators to mean that 'She was a tale-bearer' while Ibn Zaid, Dahhak and other commentators رحمۃ اللہ علیہم retain it in its original sense, and explain that she literally used to collect thorny branches from the jungle, and place them in the path of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ in order to harm him - hence the description: 'carrier of firewood'. [ Qurtubl, Ibn Kathir ].

Some scholars explain that just as she used to help her husband in this world to promote disbelief and tyranny and to assist him in harming the Messenger of Allah ﷺ ، she will add to the torment of her husband in the Hereafter. She will collect the branches of zaqqum and other trees and add them as fuel to the fire of Hell in which her husband would be roasting. [ Ibn Kathir ].

Tale-Bearing: A Gravely Major Sin

It is recorded in the two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said that a tale-bearer (to harm others) will not enter Paradise. Fudail Ibn ` Iyad (رح) says that there are three evil deeds of man that destroy all his righteous actions. They are: [ 1] backbiting; [ 2] tale-bearing; and [ 3] lying. ` Ata' Ibn Sa'ib (رح) says that he asked Sha'bi (رح) about the Prophetic Tradition in which the Messenger of Allah ﷺ is reported to have said: لَا یدخل الجنّۃ سافک دم ولا مشّاء بنمیمۃ ولا تاجر یربی . "Three types of people will not enter Paradise: [ 1] a murderer; [ 2] a tale-bearer; and [ 3] a trader who is involved in usury." ` Ata' (رح) says that I cited this Tradition to Sha'bi and asked him in a surprising tone that the Holy Prophet ﷺ has equated 'a tale-bearer' with a murderer and a usurer. He replied: "Indeed, tale-bearing is the root cause of murder and usurpation of wealth." [ Qurtubi ]

English Translation

Around her neck is a rope of [twisted] fiber.

English Transliteration

Fee jeediha hablun min masadin

Verse [ 111:5] فِي جِيدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِّن مَّسَدٍ (In her neck there is a rope of twisted palm-fibre.) The masd with the letter-s-bearing sukun [ quiescence or rest ] is an infinitive which means 'to twist rope or cord, or to twist it strongly and tightly'. If the word is read as masad with the letters m-s bearing fatha [= a-a ], the word refers to fibres. It is also a rope made of 'twisted fibres of palm tree' or 'tightly braided fibres of coconut tree' or 'cord that has been woven strongly' or 'coil or cable formed by winding iron strands together'. [ al-Qamus ]. Some scholars have preferred to translate it specifically as 'a rope made of twisted fibres of palm tree' and no other string or twine. This is in conformity with the general usage of the Arabs. Basically, it refers to any string or twine or rope or cord or coil or cable formed by intertwining strands of any material. In keeping with this general sense of the word, Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ ، ` Urwah Ibn Zubair ؓ and others said that in this context the phrase حَبْلٌ مِّن مَّسَدٍ "rope of masad" refers to 'rope formed by twisting iron strands'. This will be her condition in Hell where an iron-collar will be in her neck. Sayyidna Mujahid (رح) interprets min masad as min hadid, that is, 'of iron'. [ Mazhari ].

Sha'bi, Muqatil and other commentators have taken the phrase min masad to refer to 'a rope made of twisted fibres of palm tree' and said that Abu Lahab and his wife were extremely wealthy and were looked upon as leaders of their nation but, on account of his wife's mean disposition and miserliness, she used to collect firewood from the jungle, bind them together with a rope, place the bundle on her head and put its rope round her neck, so that it might not fall from her head. This practice of hers one day led to her destruction. She had a bundle of wood on her head and the rope in her neck. She felt tired and sat down. Then fell, was choked and died. According to this second interpretation, the verse describes her mean disposition and the disastrous consequences of her sadistic behavior. [ Mazhari ]. However, such a conduct in Abu Lahab's family, especially of his wife, was hardly conceivable; therefore, most commentators have preferred the first interpretation. Allah knows best!

Al-Hamdulillah

The Commentary on

Surah Al-Lahab

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