Surah Ash-Shams: Reading and Tafsir and Download

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

Tafsir of Surah Ash-Shams (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

By the sun and its brightness

English Transliteration

Waalshshamsi waduhaha

Commentary

Allah swears by the objects and phenomena mentioned in verses [ 1-7], which gives these creations an added significance and draws man's attention to them. Man ought to reflect on these phenomena and try to appreciate their value and the purpose of their creation. The first oath is taken by:

وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا (I swear by the sun and his broad light,...91:1). The phrase and his broad light' is, though conjoined to 'by the sun' by means of the conjunctive particle 'and', the context indicates that 'broad light' is in adjectival position qualifying shams 'the sun', that is to say, 'I swear by the sun when it is in the time of forenoon. The word duha is that part of the day when the sun rises [ early in the morning ] and goes up slightly higher [ on the sky ], and its light spreads on the earth. Man observes it to be near to himself and observes it fully on account of lack of heat.

English Translation

And [by] the moon when it follows it

English Transliteration

Waalqamari itha talaha

The second oath is taken by:

وَالْقَمَرِ‌ إِذَا تَلَاهَا (and by the moon when she follows him,...91:2). This signifies one of two things: [ 1] The moon following the sun is seen clearly during the middle of the lunar months when the full moon rises to dominate the sky with its radiance after sunset. [ 2] The phrase 'when she follows him' could signify just as the sun is seen in full in broad light, so does the moon, following the sun, becomes full. The third oath is taken by:

English Translation

And [by] the day when it displays it

English Transliteration

Waalnnahari itha jallaha

وَالنَّهَارِ‌ إِذَا جَلَّاهَا (and by the day when it shows its brightness...91:3). The attached pronoun ha 'its' may possibly refer to the earth or the world, although neither of the nouns precedes it. Such usage in Arabic is commonplace, especially if the phenomenon, such as the earth or the world, with which man is generally familiar. In such a case Arabs commonly refer to the phenomenon simply by using a pronoun without making prior reference to it. The addressee understands the meaning by implication. The Qur'an has many examples of, and bears ample testimony to, this grammatical phenomenon. The verse thus signifies 'by the day and by the world or the earth which the day has brightened up'. In other words, 'by the day when it is fully bright'. Another possibility, which is more pertinent to the context, is that the pronoun 'its' refers to the 'sun' in which case it signifies 'by the day when it brightens up the sun'. This relation of attribution, in this case, would be a metaphorical relationship. Although the sun is usually understood to be the cause of the day to come out, here the day is said to brighten up the sun. Thus the verse would signify 'when the sun is seen brightened up because the day is out.

English Translation

And [by] the night when it covers it

English Transliteration

Waallayli itha yaghshaha

The fourth oath is taken thus:

وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَاهَا (and by the night when it envelops him,...91:4). In other words, when it [ the night ] sets in, the brightness of the sun is concealed [ and only darkness prevails ].

'

English Translation

And [by] the sky and He who constructed it

English Transliteration

Waalssamai wama banaha

The fifth oath is:

وَالسَّمَاءِ وَمَا بَنَاهَا (and by the sky, and the One who built it...91:5). Most clearly the context suggests that the ma may be taken as infinitival particle [ masdariyyah ], signifying 'by the sky and its make ' as elsewhere in the Qur'an غَفَرَ‌ لِي رَ‌بِّي '...how my Lord has forgiven me [ 36:27] ' (1)

1. It should be kept in mind that the translation of the text is not based on this construction. It is based on taking 'ma' as mousulah in the sense of 'the one' as adopted by Maulana Thanawi, and explained by the author in the following verse. word taswiyah means, to proportion, balance, perfect. The meaning of this word has been explained in the previous Surah.

English Translation

And [by] the earth and He who spread it

English Transliteration

Waalardi wama tahaha

The sixth oath is:

وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَمَا طَحَاهَا (and by the earth, and the One who spread it...91:6). The ma in this phrase too stands for masdariyyah or infinitival particle, signifying 'by the earth and its expanse'. The word tahwun means 'to spread'. Thus in the two verses above attention has been focused on the great Designer and Architect of the sky and earth [ that is, the universe ], and on the perfection and complete freedom from flaw or defect in the design and creation of the universe. Sayyidna Qatadah and others reported this interpretation. Kashshaf, Baidawi and Qurtubi preferred this interpretation. Some of the commentators have taken ma in the sense of man 'the One Who' and refer it to 'Allah', signifying 'by the sky and its Maker and by the earth and One who spreads it. Thus far, all the oaths were taken by the created objects and phenomena. In between is taken oath by Allah. And Allah knows best! The seventh oath is taken thus:

English Translation

And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it

English Transliteration

Wanafsin wama sawwaha

وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا (and by the soul, and the One who made it well,...91:7) If, in this phrase, the particle ma is taken to function as infinitival particle, it signifies 'by the human soul and its perfection'. If ma is taken in the sense of man , it signifies 'by the soul and the One who proportioned it'. The

English Translation

And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness,

English Transliteration

Faalhamaha fujooraha wataqwaha

فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَ‌هَا وَتَقْوَاهَا (then inspired it with its [ instincts on evil and piety...91:8) The word ilham denotes 'to cast into the heart'. The word fujur denotes 'open transgression'. The meaning of taqwa is well-known. This sentence is linked with the seventh oath وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا and by the soul, and the One who made it well, [ 91:7] ', signifying that Allah has equipped man with human soul which has the capacity to distinguish between good and bad, and right and wrong. In other words, in his make-up Allah has built in him a special ability to choose freely the righteous path or the sinful path. Whichever way he takes out of his own free will, he will be rewarded or punished. This interpretation is deducible from a traceable Hadith which is transmitted by Muslim on the authority of Sayyidna ` Imran Ibn Husain ؓ . The Holy Prophet ﷺ was sitting in the company of his followers. They asked him a question regarding Divine Destination. In response, the Holy Prophet ﷺ recited this verse. This verse will allay the doubt about Divine Destination only if the words 'then inspired it with its (instincts of) evil and piety, [ 91:8] ' are taken in the sense that human soul has been inspired with conscience to distinguish between right and wrong, and has also been granted the ability to do good as well as the ability to commit sin. Man is not a creature of pure force or coercion. He has free will to choose his path of good or evil. He, in fact, has the option to do good or refrain from sin. The choice is his, for which he is rewarded or punished.

Sayyidna Abu Hurairah and Ibn ` Abbas ؓ report that whenever the Holy Prophet ﷺ recited the verses [ 91:7-8] under comment would stop and recite the following supplication aloud:

اللّٰھُمَّ اٰتِ نفسِی تَقوٰھَا اَنتَ وَلِیُّھَا وَ مَولَاھَا وَ اَنتَ خَیرُ مَن زَکَٰھَا

'0 Allah! Give my soul its good. You are its Guardian and Master, and the best to purify it.'

English Translation

He has succeeded who purifies it,

English Transliteration

Qad aflaha man zakkaha

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا ﴿9﴾ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا ﴿10﴾ (success is really attained by him who purifies it, and failure is really suffered by him who pollutes it....91:10). This is the subject of the seven oaths. The primitive meaning of tazkiyah is 'inner cleanliness', signifying 'he who obeyed Allah and purified his inner and outer selves.' Verse [ 10] signifies 'he who caused his soul to sink in the swamp of sins will be deprived'. The word dassa is derived from the basic word dass' which denotes 'to bury in the ground' as for instance it occurs elsewhere in the Qur'an, thus:

أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَ‌ابِ

...or put it away into the dust? [ 16:59] '

Some of the commentators have analysed that the pronouns of zakka 'He purified' and dassa 'He caused to pollute' as referring to 'Allah', signifying that 'he is successful indeed whose soul Allah has purified and he has failed whose soul Allah pollutes '. This verse has divided the entire mankind into two groups: [ 1] successful; and [ 2] unsuccessful. An example of the second group has been cited to show how it rejected the message of Allah and consequently how Allah destroyed them. Such a group will receive severe punishment in the Hereafter. Sometimes, however, an installment of punishment is meted out to them in this world as in the case of Thamud. Their story is recounted fully in Surah A` raf [ S.7:73-79; S.11:61-68; S. 26:141-159; S.27:45-53; S..41:17-18; S.54:23-32; and S. 69:4-5]. Here a brief reference is made to that story and their punishment.

English Translation

And he has failed who instills it [with corruption].

English Transliteration

Waqad khaba man dassaha

English Translation

Thamud denied [their prophet] by reason of their transgression,

English Transliteration

Kaththabat thamoodu bitaghwaha

English Translation

When the most wretched of them was sent forth.

English Transliteration

Ithi inbaAAatha ashqaha

English Translation

And the messenger of Allah [Salih] said to them, "[Do not harm] the she-camel of Allah or [prevent her from] her drink."

English Transliteration

Faqala lahum rasoolu Allahi naqata Allahi wasuqyaha

English Translation

But they denied him and hamstrung her. So their Lord brought down upon them destruction for their sin and made it equal [upon all of them].

English Transliteration

Fakaththaboohu faAAaqarooha fadamdama AAalayhim rabbuhum bithanbihim fasawwaha

فَدَمْدَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَ‌بُّهُم بِذَنبِهِمْ فَسَوَّاهَا (... so their Lord sent eradicating torment upon them, and made it equal for all. And He has no fear of its consequence....91:14). The word damdama refers to such tormenting scourge as is unleashed on a person or a nation again and again, until it destroys or crushes them completely. Fa-sawwaha signifies that the scourge overtook the entire nation, men, women, children, and young and old.

In conclusion, the verse says: وَلَا يَخَافُ عُقْبَاهَا 'Allah has no fear of its consequence'. It means that Divine torment that destroys a nation completely cannot be compared to the torment inflicted by the greatest king of this world, because a tyrant king who destroys his people on a large scale, fears for his life, lest the survivors or the supporters of the people destroyed should revenge on him and rebel against him. Whoever destroys others is himself in danger of avenge. Those who attack others must necessarily bear the brunt of counter-attack except Allah. When a people incur Divine punishment and are thus destroyed, Allah has no fear from any one.

Al-hamdulillah

The Commentary on

Surah Ash-Shams

Ends here

English Translation

And He does not fear the consequence thereof.

English Transliteration

Wala yakhafu AAuqbaha
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