Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Surah Ar Rahman: The Most Merciful (Summary of 55th Chapter of Holy Quran) Part I - Introduction


Each verse and each chapter of the Holy Qur'an is a magnificent combination of Divine message revealed unto Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and has become a beacon of light for the guidance of man as long as the universe exists. But there are a few chapters that take precedence over other in meaning, substance and guiding lines for the believers. One such chapter is Chapter 36 Surat al Yaseen and the second is Sūrat ar-Raḥmān, the 55th chapter of the Holy Qur'an. Today we would explore the 78 verses of the Sūrat ar-Raḥmān and see how very beautifully Allah has revealed His divine message to the mankind.

Reciting Surah Ar Rahman gives a feeling as of something which is in complete synchrony and perfectly rhymed like poetry of early Arabic poetry. Perhaps for this reason the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been quoted as saying by Abdullah ibn Mas'ud: "Everything has an adornment, and the adornment of the Qur'an is Surah ar Rahman." [2]

The Sūrat ar-Raḥmān is named after one of the 99 Holy names of the Allah Almighty. Ar Rehman means the Most Merciful - one of the countless attributes of Allah and we now know that there is no one other than Allah alone who is more merciful and most exalted. Since this surah begins with the Merciful attribute of Allah Almighty, the readers find that this surah dwells more on rewards to the believers than punishment to the nonbelievers and the disbelievers.  

Prominent Muslim scholar Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi in his book "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" points out that: [1]
This is the only Surah of the Qur'an in which besides men the jinn too have been directly addressed, and both men and jinn have been made to realize the wonders of Allah's power, His countless blessings, their own helplessness and accountability before Him, and have been warned of the evil consequences of His disobedience and made aware of the best results of His obedience. 
Although in the beginning of the Surah the address is directed only to man, for to them only belongs the "vicegerency" of the earth, among them only have the Messengers of Allah been raised, and in their tongues only have the Divine Books been revealed, yet from verse 13 onward both the men and the jinn have been addressed and one and the same invitation has been extended to both.

Here it would be pertinent to quote one important explanation of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) regarding jinns listening to the Prophet of Allah when He recited this surah to them and of their response: [1]
Al-Bazzar, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Al- Mundhir, Daraqutni (in Al Afrad), Ibn Marduyah and Ibn Al Khatib (in Al- Tarikh) have related, on the authority of Hadrat Abdullah bin Umar, that once the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) recited Surah Ar-Rahman himself, or heard it recited before him: then he said to the people: How is it that I am not hearing from you the kind of good answer that the jinn had given to their Lord?
When the people asked what it was he replied: "As I recited the Divine Words, Fa bi- ayyi alaa'i Rabbi-kuma tukadhdhiban, the jinn in response would repeat the words La bi shai'in min ni'mati Rabbi- na nukadhdhib: "We do not deny any of our Lord's blessings."
The centerpiece of this surah is the refrain: "Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? " which is repeated 31 times while Allah continues to count His blessings, cautions the wrongdoers of the and punishments and promises blessings and rewards to the faithful. The calligraphy above depicts one of the many attributes of Allah: (He is) Lord of the two Easts and Lord of the two Wests: Then which of the favors of your Lord will ye deny? (verses 17-18)

Since this surah is rather long and each of its verse being very meaningful, requiring absolute understanding, we are dividing this post in two parts: Part I, the introduction (this post) and the Part II, the detailed explanation of the surah. 

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat al-Inshiqāq 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)

Photos: Header | Refrain
References: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
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