Thursday 2 August 2018

The Holy Qur'an (Summary): Chapter 93 Sūrat aḍ-Ḍuḥā ( The Morning Brightness )

The Chapter 93, Sūrah Aḍ-Ḍuḥā, of the Holy Qur'an commences with a vow by the Almighty Allah to dispel a notion of many non believers when the divine revelations to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had a pause of considerable days. The absence of revelations provided an excuse to the non believers and pagans of Makkah to mock the Prophet of Allah by saying that the 'false' fountainhead has dried up. And this really saddened the Prophet (s) for He thought that the continuation of divine messages has finally ended.

Its subject matter clearly indicates that it belongs to the earliest period at Makkah. Traditions also show that the revelations were suspended for a time, which caused the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) to be deeply distressed and grieved. On this account he felt very anxious that perhaps he had committed some error because of which his Lord had become angry with him and had forsaken him. Thereupon he was given the consolation that revelation had not been stopped because of some displeasure but this was necessitated by the same expediency as underlies the peace and stillness of the night after the bright day, as if to say: "If you had continuously been exposed to the intensely bright light of Revelation (Wahi) your nerves could not have endured it. Therefore, an interval was given in order to afford you peace and tranquility." This state was experienced by the Holy Prophet in the initial stage of the Prophethood when he was not yet accustomed to hear the intensity of Revelation. On this basis, observance of a pause in between was necessary. This we have already explained in the introduction to Surah Al Muddaththir; Surah Al-Muzzammil also we have explained what great burden of the coming down of Revelation he had to bear. Later, when the Holy Prophet developed the power to bear this burden, there was no longer any need for long gaps.

Its theme is to console the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) and its object to remove his anxiety and distress, which he had been caused by the suspension of Revelation. First of all, swearing an oath by the bright morning and the stillness of night, he has been reassured, so as to say: "Your Lord has not at all forsaken you, nor is he displeased with you." Then, he has been given the good news that the hardships that he was experiencing in the initial stage of his mission, would not last long, for every later period of life for him would be better than the former period, and before long Allah would bless him so abundantly that he would be well pleased. This is one of the express prophecies of the Quran, which proved literally true, afterwards, whereas when this prophecy was made there seemed not to be the remotest chance that the helpless and powerless man who had come out to wage a war against the ignorance and paganism of the entire nation, would ever achieve such wonderful success.

Then, addressing His Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) Allah says:"O My dear Prophet, what has caused you the anxiety and distress that your Lord has forsaken you, and that We are displeased with you? Whereas the fact is that We have been good to you with kindness after kindness ever since the day of your birth. You were born an orphan, We made the best arrangement for your upbringing and care: you were unaware of the Way, We showed you the Way; you were indigent, We made you rich. All this shows that you have been favored by Us from the very beginning and Our grace and bounty has been constantly focused on you." Here, one should also keep in view vv. 37-42 of Surah Ta Ha, where Allah, while sending the Prophet Moses to confront a tyrant like Pharaoh, encouraged and consoled him, saying: "We have been looking after you with kindness ever since your birth; therefore, you should be satisfied that you will not be left alone in this dreadful mission. Our bounty will constantly be with you."

In conclusion, Allah has instructed His Prophet (upon whom be peace) telling him how he should treat the creatures of God to repay for the favors He has done him and how he should render thanks for the blessings He has bestowed on him.

Before commenting on the text of Sūrah Aḍ-Ḍuḥā, please read the English translation of the Sūrat aḍ-Ḍuḥā to understand its plain meaning / translation :
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful"
  • By the bright forenoon
  • and by the night when it covers the world with peace
  • (O Prophet), your Lord has neither forsaken you, nor is He displeased
  • Indeed what is to come will be better for you than what has gone by
  • Verily your Lord will soon give you so amply that you will be well-pleased
  • Did He not find you an orphan and then gave you shelter?
  • Did He not find you unaware of the Right Way, and then directed you to it?
  • And did He not find you in want, and then enriched you?
  • Therefore, be not harsh with the orphan;
  • and chide not him who asks,
  • and proclaim the bounty of your Lord.
وَالضُّحٰىۙ‏: By the morning brightness, when the earth covered by the darkness of night, brings life to the world and everyone goes about doing one's daily chores. This vow of morning brightness followed by the darkness of the night has been taken by Allah to reassure His beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that Allah has neither been displeased nor forsaken him. 

These initial verses of the Sūrat aḍ-Ḍuḥā were revealed when the divine messages had stopped coming, some say for 15 days while say it was 40 days. Naturally this perturbed the Prophet of Allah and was in a state of extreme grief and anguish which was augmented by the taunts, jeers and mocking by the pagans and non believers. As per some sources, it is quoted that "Umm Jamil, wife of Abu Lahab, who was an aunt of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and whose house adjoined his, said to him: It appears your Satan has forsaken you." [1]

In the verses 4-5 Allah promises His Prophet that "Soon would follow what is better for you and that you shall be rewarded and given so much that you will be well pleased." This promise was fulfilled during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and all Arabia, from the southern coasts to the Syrian frontiers of the Byzantine empire and the Iraqi frontiers of the Persian empire in the north, and from the Persian Gulf in the east to the Red Sea in the west, came under his control.  And the slogan La-ilaha-illallah-u Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah reverberated throughout the lands where the polytheists and the followers of the earlier scriptures had tried their utmost to keep their false creeds and slogans aloft till the last. [1]

Allah then reminds the Prophet that He was taken under divine protection even he was born orphan, even when His mother passed away when He was six, and by eighth year His grandfather too passed away and was then taken over by His uncle Abu Talib for as long as the latter lived and He was able to stand on His own feet and become a successful merchant.

A similar encouragement was given to Prophet Musa (Moses, peace be upon him) when he was found hesitant to confront a tyrant like Pharaoh: "We have been looking after you with kindness ever since your birth; therefore, you should be satisfied that you will not be left alone in this dreadful mission. Our bounty will constantly be with you." [Chapter 20, Surah Ta Ha, verses 37-42]

Since Allah had protected the orphan boy from very early days of His birth till being a prosperous merchant, Allah commands his Prophet to take care of orphans and the poor for he once was too. And should not refuse anyone who is in need and asks for assistance.

And then at the end, Allah asks His Prophet "and proclaim the bounty of your Lord" by thanking Allah for the countless bounties blessed upon Him and openly announcing prophet-hood, the blessings of Holy Qur'an publicly so that all around should know how Allah takes care of His prophets, rears them from rags and takes them to pinnacles of success, and never leaves them to be mocked and jeered at. 

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat aḍ-Ḍuḥā with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Part backwards for chapters in 30th Part are shorter and easier to understand)

Photo | References: | 1 |  2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
An effort has been made to gather explanation of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic souses and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. However, those wanting detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to sites the references of which are given above.

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