This page contains all verses of surah Ar-Rahmaan in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah الرحمن ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.
Linkage of the Surah and the Wisdom of Repeating the words, 'Which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?'
The preceding Surah Al-Qamar was mainly concerned with some of the rebellious nations of antiquity who were punished for rejecting the Divine Message. The description of every punishment was followed by the sentence: فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِي وَنُذُرِ (Then how was My torment and My warnings? ...54:16). This sentence was repeated many times in order to warn people against similar Divine punishment. Another verse that was repeated as a refrain at telling intervals is وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ “ And indeed We have made the Qur'an easy for seeking advice. So, is there one to seek advice?...54:17). This verse urges people to accept the Qur'anic Message, believe in it and follow its right guidance.
Surah Ar-Rahman, on the other hand, mainly describes the boons and bounties of Allah, of this world as well as of the Hereafter. Thus when a particular bounty of Allah is described, the verse: فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ fa-bi-ayyi' ala'i Rabbikuma tukadhdhiban (So, which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?) is used deliberately as a refrain in order to awaken the people and urge them to give thanks to Allah for His favours. This verse is repeated thirty-one times in the Surah. According to the rules of stylish usage, repetition of an expression serves the deliberate purpose of 'emphasis'. Especially, the repetition in these two Surahs of the Qur'an is repetition only in apparent form. In reality, the repeated sentence is each time related to a new subject, and having its own significance, cannot be taken as redundant. In Surah Al-Qamar, the فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِي وَنُذُرِ (Then how was My torment 54:16) has followed the description of each new torment. Likewise, in Surah Ar-Rahman, after the description of every new bounty the verse فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ (So, (0 mankind and Jinn,) which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?) is repeated, which being related to a new subject is not redundant. ` Allamah Suyati (رح) terms this device of repetition as At-tardid. Arab masters of eloquence, regard this device as aesthetically beautiful, polished, effective, moving, forceful and persuasive use of language. The device is used both in prose as well as in poetry. It is used not only in Arabic but [ almost in all the languages of the world, as for instance ] the most accomplished and consummate poets of Persian and Urdu have used them. This is no occasion to collect samples of their compositions here. Tafsir Rah-ul-Ma` ani has collected its several examples on this occasion.
Was Surah Ar-Rahman Revealed in Makkah or Madinah?
On the basis of a few narratives Imam Qurtubi concluded that this Surah was revealed in Makkah, and he prefers this view. Tirmidhi records from Sayyidna Jabir ؓ that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ recited this Surah before some people who remained silent. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said:
"I recited this Surah to the Jinns, on the night of Jinn, and their receptive response was better than yours! Whenever I recited Allah's statements فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ (So, (0 mankind and Jinn,) which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?) They said: لَا بِشیءِ مِّن نِّعَمِکَ رَبَّنَا نُکَذِّبُ فَلَکَ الحَمد 'None of your bounties do
we deny, our Lord! All praise is due to You'.
This narrative indicates that this Surah was revealed in Makkah, because 'the night of the Jinn' refers to the night when the Messenger of Allah ﷺ met the Jinns to convey to them the Message of the Qur'an and impart knowledge to them. This incident took place in Makkah. Likewise, Imam Qurtubi refers to a few more narratives which indicate that this Surah was revealed in Makkah.
The opening word of the first verse of the Surah is Ar-Rahman (The All-Merciful). One of the reasons for beginning the Surah with this name of Allah is presumably that the infidels of Makkah were unaware of this name of Allah. They used to say, وَمَا الرَّحْمَـٰنُ "What is Ar-Rahman? " [ as mentioned in 25:60] This name has been selected here to let them know it.
The second reason could be to indicate that teaching the Qur'an, which has been mentioned in the next verse as Allah's act, was a sheer gift flowing from Allah's beneficence, and not because this or any other act is obligatory on Allah for which He could be held responsible, nor because He is in need of anyone.
In the entire Surah, Allah's bounties - worldly as well spiritual - are continuously recounted. The greatest of all bounties is the knowledge of the Holy Qur'an, because it is an all-comprehensive Book directing man in temporal and spiritual matters and in matters relating to this world and the next. Those who heeded the Holy Qur'an and fulfilled its right, like the blessed Companions, Allah raised their status in the Hereafter and blessed them with inconceivable bounties and favours. In this world too they are promoted to such high stations as the greatest of kings were not able to attain.
Grammatically speaking, the verb عَلَّمَ ` allama [ to teach ] requires two objects, the direct and the indirect: [ 1] that of which the knowledge is imparted; and [ 2] he to whom the knowledge is imparted. Here the first object [ the Holy Qur'an ] is explicitly stated, but the second object is not. Some of the exegetes express the view that the second object is the Messenger of Allah ﷺ who was taught the Qur'an directly by Allah, and through him the entire creation. It is possible to look at it from another point of view: The purpose of the Holy Qur'an is to give guidance to the entire creation of Allah, and to teach them good morals and the righteous deeds. Therefore, no particular object has been specified. The fact that the second object has not been explicitly specified indicates its generality, that is, it refers to the totality of human beings.
خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ عَلَّمَهُ الْبَيَانَ (He has created man. He has taught him [ how ] to express himself...55:4) Man's creation itself is a great boon of Allah and in the natural order of things he is first and foremost, so much so that even imparting the knowledge of the Qur'an, which is mentioned first, can only take place after his creation. However, the bounty of Qur'anic knowledge is mentioned first, and the creation of man later, because the fundamental object of man's creation is to impart to him the knowledge of the Holy Qur'an, and for him to follow its guidance as stated elsewhere in the Qur'an: وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ (And I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except that they should worship Me.) [ 51:56] Surely, worship without Divine guidance is not possible. The source of the Divine guidance is the Holy Qur'an. Thus Qur'anic knowledge is mentioned before man's creation.
Having created man, uncountable bounties are bestowed upon him. Of them, imparting the knowledge of expression has been mentioned especially, because the bounties necessary for man's growth and development, and his existence and survival like his food and water, his protection against cold and heat, his dwelling arrangements and so on are bounties in which all creatures are equal partners. Among the bounties that are peculiar to human beings Knowledge of the Qur'an has been mentioned first, and it was followed by the knowledge of expressions, because deriving benefit from the Qur'an, and imparting it to others, is dependent on the knowledge of expression. The word bayan ('how to express himself) comprehends all the means of communication created by Allah, like speech, writing etc. There are various languages and dialects of various nations in various regions of the world. All these are constituent parts of linguistic knowledge which is the practical interpretation or application of the verse عَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا (And He taught Adam (علیہ السلام) the names, all of them) [ 2:31] فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّـهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَالِقِينَ
الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ بِحُسْبَانٍ (The sun and the moon are [ bound ] by a [ fixed ] calculation...55:5) This verse draws attention to two of the celestial bodies from among the bounties of Allah. They are especially mentioned presumably because the entire system of this world depends on the movement of these bodies in their orbits in perfect succession, according to precise calculation that is never delayed nor disturbed.
The word حُسْبَانٍ husban with dammah [=u ] on the first letter is, according to some lexicologists, used in the sense of hisab, the infinitive, meaning 'to calculate', like ghufran [ to forgive ], 3 subhan [ to declare purity ], قرآن Qur'an [ to recite or read ]. Other lexicologists feel that husban is the plural of hisab. The meaning of the verse, according to the former lexicologists, would be: The two bodies, on which depends man's entire life, run on fixed courses. They are subject to certain laws and they perform regularly, punctually and unerringly their allocated tasks - alternation of night and day, change of seasons and determination of years and months. If we go by the latter lexicologists' interpretation that husban is the plural of hisab, then it will refer to the fact that each of the sun and the moon has its own calculated orbits. The entire solar system is proceeding on the basis of different calculations, and each one of them is so firm and accurate that no deviation has ever occurred, since millions of years, even for a second.
This age is regarded as an age of ascension for science. The marvelous new inventions of the scientific age have caused wonders even for the philosophers. However, there is a clear difference between human inventions and Divine creation, which every discerning person can observe. Human inventions are subject to a series of continuous breakdown and damage, which require to be serviced, repaired, overhauled or refurbished. A machine, no matter how strong or sophisticated, needs to be repaired or at least serviced after a while. If this is not done in time, it will remain useless. The huge Divine creation, on the other hand, needs no repairs, no service nor refurbishing at any time. Neither the solar system overtakes the lunar movement, nor does the lunar movement outstrip the solar system. The sun and the moon and other celestial bodies, each float and move in its own orbit.
وَالنَّجْمُ وَالشَّجَرُ يَسْجُدَانِ (And the vine and the tree both prostrate [ to Allah ]....55:6). The word najm refers to the 'plants having no stem' and the word shajar refers to any 'tree' with stems or trunk, twigs and branches. All of them prostrate to Allah. Sajdah or prostration is the supreme symbol of humility, respect, surrender and unconditional love and obedience of Allah. In this context, the verse means that Allah has assigned a specific task to every tree, plant, creeper, and their leaves and fruits for the benefit of mankind and they are performing their tasks without the slightest deviation from their assigned duties. The plants without stems and the trees humbly submit themselves to Allah's will. Verse [ 6], read along with the preceding verse [ 5], shows that everything, from the largest celestial body to the smallest plant, is subject to His laws manifest in nature. A little disturbance in or deviation from their set course would bring down in pieces the whole universe, which has been created for the service of man. It is inconceivable, therefore, that man for whose service this vast and complicated but perfectly regulated universe has been brought into being would have been created without a purpose. The life of man surely has a grand Divine aim to which repeated reference has been made in this entire Surah and in other parts of the Qur'an. There are two types of obedience: [ 1] obedience that is carried out by free will, as for instance, man and jinn are given free will to choose between obeying Allah's laws or disobeying them; and [ 2] all other creation of Allah are assigned specific tasks or duties to perform without any choice. The latter is referred to as ita’ ah takwiniyyah or jabriyyah 'compelled or coerced obedience'. In the current verse, the word sajdah refers to this type of 'obedience to Allah's laws in nature' where the natural objects have no choice.
وَالسَّمَاءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ (And He raised the sky high, and has placed the scale....55:7) The verbs rafa'a and wada` a are antonyms: rafa'a means 'to raise up' and wada'a means 'to put down'. The verse first describes that Allah has raised the heavens. This could have its obvious or outer meaning referring to the physical height of the sky, and it could also have its metaphorical meaning, referring to the high status of the heaven: In relation to the earth, the heaven occupies a higher position. Normally, the earth is understood to be the opposite of the heaven. From this point of view, the heaven and the earth are treated as opposites and mentioned throughout the Holy Qur'an in that way. Having described the high position of the heaven, the Qur'an goes on to describe that Allah has set the balance, but 'placing the scale' vis-a-vis 'raising the heaven' does not seem to form a suitable pair according to the linguistic norm. As a matter of fact, a closer analysis of the context indicates that the verse is describing the 'placing of the earth'. Three verses later, verse (10) reads وَالْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ (And the earth is placed by Him for creatures...55:10) Thus the Qur'an is actually describing the heaven and the earth as opposites. In between the two, a third factor [ that of placing the scale ] is inserted for a sage reason. The wisdom in this seems to lie in the fact that the verses that follow lay stress on observing justice and fairness. They do not allow violation of rights and practice of injustice. Following the verses referring to 'raising the heaven' and 'placing the earth' are verses that describe the scale and enjoin the correct use of it. This implies that the ultimate purpose of creating the heaven and the earth was to establish justice, peace and harmony. Peace, safety, security and harmony cannot prevail on earth without establishing justice. Without justice, chaos, disorder, mischief and corruption will hold sway in the land. Allah, the Pure and the Most High, knows best!
The word مِيزَانَ mizan has been interpreted variously. In the current verse, scholars like Mujahid, Qatadah, Suddi رحمۃ اللہ علیہم and others interpret it in the sense of 'justice', because that is the purpose of mizan [ scale ]. Other scholars have taken the word in its obvious sense of a piece of equipment used to determine the weights of people or things. This equipment could be a pair of scales, consisting of a bar with a pan or a dish at each end or it may be some modern equipment used for the purpose of measuring and weighing. The ultimate sense of this interpretation in any case is maintaining rights and establishing justice and fair play.
أَلَّا تَطْغَوْا فِي الْمِيزَانِ (so that you should not be wrongful in weighing....55:8). The earlier verse stated the creation of the scale, and this verse states the reason for its creation. The imperfect verb تَطْغَوْا tatghaw is derived from طُغیَان tughyan which stands for 'injustice'. Thus verses [ 7] and [ 8] put together mean: '[ The 'mizan or scale' has been created so that you may not transgress the balance and thus practice injustice'.
وَأَقِيمُوا الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ (And observe the correct weight with fairness, ....55:9). The word قِسط qist literally means 'justice'. The meaning is obvious: 'And observe the weight with equity'.
وَلَا تُخْسِرُوا الْمِيزَانَ (and do not make weighing deficient...55:9). The word خُسر khusr means 'to skimp or make deficient'. The opening part of verse [ 9] was the positive aspect of the injunction, and the concluding part is its negative aspect, in that it is unlawful to fall short of measure or weight. The two parts, positive and negative, put together the verse as a whole means 'Do not cheat in weights and measures, but rather observe justice and fairness'.
وَالْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ (And the earth is placed by Him for creatures...55:10). The word 'anam with fatha [=a ] on the first letter on the grammatical measure of سَحَاب sahab, refers to all the creatures that are on the surface of the earth. Baidawi translates the word as 'everything having a soul'. Evidently, the word 'anam in the verse refers to mankind and the jinn, because only these two species of Allah's creation are obligated to observe the precepts of Shari` ah. Furthermore, they are addressed throughout the Surah. For instance in the refrain verse فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ (So, [ 0 mankind and Jinn,] which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?...55:13) The dual second person attached pronouns and the dual forms of the verbs second person sustained throughout Surah Ar-Rahman are addressed to Jinn and mankind.
فِيهَا فَاكِهَةٌ (in which there are fruits ....55:11). The word فَاكِهَةٌ fakihah refers to fruits that are normally eaten after food for pleasure.
وَالنَّخْلُ ذَاتُ الْأَكْمَامِ (...and the date-palms having sheaths...55:11). The word أَكْمَامِ akmam is the plural of کِمّ kimm, and refers to 'the cover that surrounds and protects dates and other fruits in the beginning'
وَالْحَبُّ ذُو الْعَصْفِ
(and the grain having chaff, ....55:12). The word حَبُّ habb means grain, as for instance 'wheat', 'gram', 'rice', 'a kind of vetch', 'lentil' and so on. The word عَصْفِ ` asf is the outer cover of some type of grains, like rice or wheat husk, which Allah creates with His power and consummate wisdom. Man's attention is drawn to the fact that each grain of the food he eats several times a day has been created by Allah, out of His unbounded grace and beneficence, from soil and water in inconceivably wonderful ways. He protected every grain against insects with the outer cover until maturity, so that it was prepared as a morsel of food. The current verse, thus, briefly points to all those natural things that are so essential for the physical development of man. The mention of ` asf [ husk ] is to remind that it is the fodder for your animals. This is another bounty of Allah because man needs the milk of the animals for nourishment. Furthermore, animals are used as a means of transportation to convey human beings from place to place as well as to carry load, cargo and luggage.
وَالرَّيْحَانُ (...and fragrant flowers....55:12). The popular meaning of the word رَّيْحَانُ raihan is fragrance or fragrant plant or sweet-scented plants. Ibn Zaid has interpreted the word thus in the current verse. Allah has produced a variety of fragrances and sweet-smelling flowers on plants and trees. Sometimes the word raihan is used in the sense of livelihood and sustenance. It is said in Arabic: خَرَجتُ اَطلُبَ رَیحَانَ اللہِ (I came out looking for sustenance provided by Allah.) Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ interprets it in this strain.
Mankind and Jinn are surrounded by Divine Bounties
فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ (So, [ 0 mankind and Jinn,] which of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?...55:13). The word آلَاءِ 'al a' is the plural and it means 'benefits, benefaction, favour, boon, blessing or bounty'. The address is to the two species of Jinn and men referred to in verse 33 below and many other verses of Surah Ar-Rahman where Jinn are specifically mentioned.
The Creation of Humans and Jinns
خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِن صَلْصَالٍ كَالْفَخَّارِ (He has created man from dry clay, ringing like pottery... 55:14). The word insan [ man ] in this context refers unanimously to 'Adam (علیہ السلام) . The word salsal [ clay ] refers to the wet soil when it becomes dry and heavy. The word fakhkhar refers to the wet soil when it is baked.
وَخَلَقَ الْجَانَّ مِن مَّارِجٍ مِّن نَّارٍ (and created Jann [ father of the Jinns ] from a smokeless flame of fire...55:15) The word جَانَّ - jann, refers to the class of beings called jinn'. The word مَّارِجٍ marij refers to the ' smokeless flame of fire'. The major element in the creation of jinn is the smokeless flame of fire, just as the major element in the creation of man is dry sounding clay.