Al-Qurʾān

The Quran

القرآن

»Browse the Quran by clicking on the above Menu-tab or select a chapter below«


1. al-Fātiḥah

The Opening

»The surah that is The Opening to the Quran and the straight way of God. Another common name of the surah is The [Lord’s] Praise (al-Ḥamd). It is seen to be a precise table of contents of the Quranic message and is important in Islamic worship, being an obligatory part of the daily prayer, repeated several times during the day.«

2. al-Baqarah

The Cow

»The surah that mentions the story of The Cow designated by God for sacrificial offering, whereby He tested the sincerity of faith of the Children of Israel after their deliverance from Pharaoh. Its name is taken from the story of the cow (baqarah) mentioned in verse 67 ff. The surah comprises five principal sections, where the addressee shifts as the surah progresses. The first section (verse 1 ff.) mentions the revelation; the dynamics of belief and unbelief; and the story of Adam. The next section (verse 40 ff.) is an address to the Children of Israel, which highlights there shortcomings in the time of Moses and in Muḥammad’s own day. They are urged to serve God who has been so gracious to them (they are reminded that God created Adam and favoured him over the angels), the Children of Israel. This is followed (verse 122 ff.) by a final appeal to the Children of Israel to agree with the Muslims on the basis of the religion of Abraham, which predate the covenant with Moses. Verse 135 ff. marks the beginning of the fourth section, which consists mainly of legal provisions for the newly-established community. The fifth and final section (verse 243 ff.) also contains some legislation, but the primary emphasis is on striving for God with your life and property. The last tree ayahs (verse 284 ff.), draw together a number of themes encountered earlier in the surah.«

3. Āl ʿImrān

The Family of Imran

»The surah that mentions that God has chosen The Family of Imran to inherit prophethood above the people of all the world (Imran was a common ancestor of Moses and Jesus). It takes its name from the expression “the House of ʿImrān” (āl-i ʿImrān) mentioned in verse 33. It begins by emphasizing that the Quran confirms the earlier scriptures and goes on to say later that the central tenet of faith is devotion to God (verse 19 ff.). The story of Zachariah, Mary, and Jesus is given in verse 35 ff. and the fact that Jesus was unfathered, just as Adam was created without a father, is accentuated. Aspects of the battles of Badr (year 2/624) and Uḥud (year 3/625) are described, especially the latter, where most of the early Muslims disobeyed the Prophet Muḥammad and were defeated. The surah first introduce the tension that arose between the Muslims and certain of the Jews and Christians (verse 65 ff. and verse 98 ff.), then closes by emphasizing the unity of faith and conduct between the Muslims and some of these People of the Book, explaining that these will have their reward from God (verse 199).«

4. al-Nisāʾ

Women

»The surah that enshrines the spiritual-, property-, lineage-, and marriage-rights and obligations of Women. It makes frequent reference to matters concerning women (nisāʾ), hence its name. The surah gives a number of instructions, urging justice to children and orphans, and mentioning inheritance and marriage laws. In the first and last verses of the surah, it gives rulings on property and inheritance. The surah also talks of the tensions between the Muslim community in Medina and some of the People of the Book (verse 44 and verse 61), moving into a general discussion of war: it warns the Muslims to be cautious and to defend the weak and helpless (verse 71 ff.). Another similar theme is the intrigues of the hypocrites (verse 88 ff. and verse 138 ff.).«

5. al-Māʾidah

The Table

»The surah that mentions the story of The Table from Heaven that God sent down at the request of the Disciples to be a clear sign to them of the unambiguous truth that Jesus was, indeed, the awaited Messiah and Prophet of God. It takes its name from “the table” (al-māʾidah) mentioned in verse 112 ff. A central theme of this surah is the regulation of lawful and unlawful food, obedience to which is part of the pledge between God and the believers (verse 1 ff. and verse 87 ff.). Part of the surah concerns hunting for food during the pilgrimage and respect for the rites of pilgrimage. God had also taken pledges from the Jews and Christians and the section between verse 13 and verse 86 deals with what these two communities did to their pledges, and with their relationships with the Muslims. The passage from verse 109 ff. deals with the afterlife and the verdict of the messengers on the behaviour of their respective communities. Jesus, in particular, is given prominence here: mention is made of the feast for which his disciples asked him to pray to God, which gives the surah its title, and of his renunciation of any claim to divinity.«

6. al-Anʿām

Cattle

»The surah that debunks as a mere forgery against the Law of God the forbidden practices of Pre-Islamic Arabia with regard to the sacrifice, distribution, and consumption of Cattle—and all such systems that arbitrarily impose upon people meaningless sacrifices, offerings, and prohibitions in the name of ungodly ideas and lifeless idols, which lead invariably to the impoverishment of women and the poor, and the institutionalization, thereby, of infanticide. It takes its name from “the cattle” (al-anʿām) mentioned in verse 136 ff. which deal with pagan superstitions and certain regulations related to cattle. The surah in its entirety makes plain that it is God who creates, controls, and sees everything, and that it is to Him that we turn in times of need. Thus it gives a lengthy refutation of the idolaters” claims.«

7. al-Aʿrāf

The Elevations

»The surah that depicts the final separation of the believers and unbelievers on the Day of Judgment by an unscalable edifice called The Elevations that veils them from one another; but upon it stand men and women who can see both the people destined for Paradise and those fated for Hell, while their own harrowing verdict remains as yet undeclared by God. It is named after “the Elevations” (al-Aʿrāf) mentioned in verse 46 ff. The surah begins by addressing the Prophet Muḥammad, reassuring him about his revelations, and closes emphasizing the fact that he merely repeats what is revealed to him. It warns the disbelievers of their fate via numerous stories of disobedient communities of the past, in the hope that they may take heed and repent before it is too late. Both subjects also serve to give encouragement to the Prophet and the believers.«

8. al-Anfāl

The Spoils

»The surah that answers the question that the believers put to the Prophet regarding how God and His Messenger would have them distribute The spoils, after the believers had differed among themselves about its disbursement. It takes its name from the term “spoils” (al-anfāl) mentioned in verse 1. The main part of this surah is a comment on the Battle of Badr (year 2/624), the first fought between the Muslims and their Meccan opponents. The Muslims, some of whom were at first reluctant to fight, won in spite of being vastly outnumbered, and began to question the distribution of the gains (spoils of war). The surah reminds them that it was God who brought about the victory. verse 41 shows how the gains were to be distributed. It advises Muslims and comments on the role of the hypocrites and on those who always break their treaties (verse 56), ending with a statement about loyalties and alliances.«

9. al-Tawbah

Repentance

»The surah that announces for all time that God granted to His prophet, to the Emigrant and Helping Companions, and to three errant believers Repentance; and that offers the same opportunity to the unbelievers and the hypocrites, provided they forever renounce hostility, idolatry, and duplicity; and which further demonstrates the faithfulness of this offer in God’s decree of amnesty for the truly repentant idolaters who fought the believers at a place called Ḥunayn. It is named after “repentance” (tawbah) mentioned in verse 3 and verse 5. The surah opens by giving notice of the severance of the treaty with the idolaters because they had broken it, but the bulk of the surah deals with preparations and recruitment for the expedition to Tabūk (year 9/631). The hypocrites and those who stayed behind and failed to support the Prophet Muḥammad are all censured. This is the only surah not to begin with the formula Basmalah.«

10. Yūnus

Jonah

»The surah that mentions the repentance of the people of the Prophet Jonah as an exception among the communities to whom the prophets came. They heeded Jonah’s call. Thus, God shed His grace upon them and exempted them from ruin. “Yūnus” is the Arabic for “Jonah”, the prophet whose account appears in this surah (verse 98). It stresses God’s power, the authenticity of the Quran, and the fate of evildoers. God’s anger at those who consistently deny the truth of His revelations and signs is made clear, as is the fact that, were it not for His decision to await the Day of Resurrection, His judgement would already have fallen upon them. The Prophet is encouraged to be patient and reminded of the fact that he cannot force people to believe.«

11. Hūd

Hūd

»The surah that mentions an ancient prophet after Noah named Hūd, whom God sent to the mighty people of ʿĀd, the dwellers of a great pillared city called Iram. It is named after Hūd, whose account is given in verse 50 ff. The surah begins by announcing that the Prophet is sent both to warn and to give good news, and the body of the surah focuses on the warning aspect: God watches over everything and is aware of all that people do (verse 5 ff., verse 111 ff. and verse 123). The many stories of past prophets, which serve to warn the disbelievers, also strengthen the heart of the Prophet (verse 120).«

12. Yūsuf

Joseph

»The surah that narrates the edifying and enthralling life experience of the noble prophet and interpreter of dreams, Joseph—son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham—calling it “the fairest of stories,” an inspirational triumph of morality and faith. “Yūsuf” is the Arabic for “Joseph”, whose well-known story is told in this surah. Even though the surah primarily deals with the story of Joseph, it is framed by a three-verse introduction about the Quran and a ten-verse epilogue about the Meccans” response, the punishment met by earlier disbelievers, and encouragement for the Prophet.«

13. al-Raʿd

Thunder

»The surah that translates into human experience the overpowering meaning of what Thunder says when it resounds through the sky and God sends bolts to the earth. It takes its name from thunder (al-raʿd), mentioned in verse 13. The surah is distinguished by its moving description of God’s power and knowledge. Muḥammad’s place in a long tradition of prophets, none of whom could produce miracles on request, is stressed, and his role emphasized: it is only to deliver the message. God is the One who will call people to account for their deeds, and He is the witness for the truth of the message.«

14. Ibrāhīm

Abraham

»The surah that records the prayer of Abraham for the security and perpetual godliness of the barren valley of Mecca, when, at God’s command, he settled his beloved wife Hagar and first son Ishmael there, in order to establish the perennial rites of the prayer, as well as other forms of worship, for all time on earth. It is named after Abraham, whose prayer appears in verse 35 ff. Throughout the surah the ungrateful are condemned, and the grateful commended. Abraham also asks that he and his descendants may be protected from idol-worship. This serves to remind the Meccans that they should shun the worship of idols.«

15. al-Ḥijr

Ḥijr

»The surah that mentions the ancient and might people of Thamūd that lived in a place or region named Ḥijr, and whom God destroyed because they belied with extreme prejudice His miraculous signs and messengers. It takes its name from Ḥijr (mentioned in verse 80). The people of Thamūd are an example of the many who disbelieved and rejected their prophets. Each has its own time for punishment so the Prophet should bear patiently, not grieve over what the disbelievers say, and continue with his worship.«

16. al-Naḥl

The Bee

»The surah that mentions the bees—dwelling in mountains, trees, and man-made hives; eating freely of fruited plants; and giving forth variously coloured honeys that hold both healthful delight and healing qualities—as a clear sign of the wondrous bounty of God’s creation. It takes its name from the honey bee (al-naḥl) mentioned in verse 68 ff. This is just one of the numerous examples given in this surah of God’s grace and the many things man should be grateful for. The surah condemns the idolaters who attribute God’s bounty to other powers and worship false deities. Abraham is given at the end as an example for the Muslim community to follow. Until verse 88, the surah is directed at the polytheists; from verse go onwards it teaches the Muslims in various ways; verse 89 connects the two parts by naming the Prophet as witness to the believers and disbelievers of his community.«

17. al-Isrāʾ

The Night Journey

»The surah that mentions the miracle of The Night Journey, wherein God transported His servant Muḥammad in a single night from the Sacred Mosque of Mecca to al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, to show him some of His most wondrous signs. God caused Muhammad, in the space of a single night, to journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and from there to heaven and back again. It takes its name from this subject, as relating to the celestial journey (miʿrāj) of the Prophet, mentioned in verse 1 and again in verse 60. The surah is framed by references to the Children of Israel at the beginning, and to Pharaoh at the end. The bulk of the surah deals with the Quran as guidance and warning, Muḥammad, and the nature of prophecy, especially the fact that he is a human being and incapable himself of producing miracles. It also warns of Iblis’s promise to tempt mankind and of the fate of the disbelievers, and it gives a series of commandments (verse 22 ff.).«

18. al-Kahf

The Cave

»The surah that mentions the wondrous story of a group of youthful believers who retreated from their unbelieving people to the hills and the seclusion of The Cave wherein God caused them to sleep for three hundred and nine lunar years as a sign to their people that God shall, indeed, raise the dead—and that also mentions the narratives of other marvels beyond ordinary human conception. Its name is derived from the story of the “Companions of the Cave” (aṣḥāb al-kahf) told at its beginning. This surah also deals with two other stories: Moses’ meeting with an unidentified figure (verse 60 ff.), and the story of Dhuʾl-Qarnayn (verse 83). A parable is put forward for the people of Mecca: the parable of the luscious gardens belonging to an arrogant and ungrateful man, which God reduces to dust. The surah opens and closes with references to the Quran itself.«

19. Maryam

Mary

»The surah that mentions the miracle-filled story of Mary and how, though an untouched virgin, she gave birth to Jesus, the true Messiah and a human messenger of God to the Children of Israel. It takes its names from the story of Mary told in verse 16 ff. It recounts the grace given by God to a number of prophets and tells aspects of their stories. The claim that Jesus is the son of God is firmly denied, as is the assertion of the pagans of Mecca that the angels are God’s daughters. From verse 66 ff. the surah discusses the arrogant assertions of the disbelievers of Mecca. The Prophet is told that God’s punishment is coming to them and exhorted not to be impatient for it to arrive or to receive the revelation (verse 64).«

20. Ṭā Ḥā

Ṭā Ḥā

»The surah that opens with the discrete Arabic letters Ṭā Hā. Like “Yā Sīn” (surah 36), “Ṭā Hā” is said to be one of the names of the Prophet Muḥammad. The surah both begins and ends with mention of the Quran: it was not sent to the Prophet to cause him grief but is a clear proof from his Lord. The example of Moses is given as a lengthy account in order to encourage the Prophet and show the end of the disbelievers. The destruction of earlier generations is cited as a lesson from which the disbelievers should learn. The Prophet is ordered to be patient and to persevere with his worship.«

21. al-Anbiyāʾ

The Prophets

»The surah that mentions the names of sixteen of The Prophets and Mary, illustrating the unity of the divine message. Accounts of several prophets (anbiyāʾ) appear in this surah from verse 48 ff., hence its name. The surah stresses that fact that Muḥammad is a man like earlier prophets, and has been given the same message to declare the unity of God. It warns the disbelievers of the approaching Judgement from which there is no escape.«

22. al-Ḥajj

The Pilgrimage

»The surah wherein God commands Abraham to proclaim to all humanity the obligation of The Pilgrimage to the Ancient House of God—The Kaʿbah—in Mecca. Verse 26 ff. of this surah relate the ḥajj pilgrimage, after which it is named. This theme is introduced by the condemnation of those who bar the believers from access to the Sacred Mosque and is followed by permission to fight when attacked. It begins with the Day of Judgement and castigates those who worship useless idols, describing them later as powerless to create even a fly. The surah ends by urging the Muslims to persevere in following the faith of Abraham.«

23. al-Muʾminūn

The Faithful

»The surah that declares the ultimate success of the faithful - the believers in One God, without partner, and that describes the irreproachable of their spiritual and moral virtues. It takes its name from verse 1 which mentions the faithful (muʾminūn). The surah stresses that the believers are the ones who will succeed, whereas the disbelievers will be punished for their arrogance and derision. Several proofs are given of God’s Oneness and His power, and the inevitability of the Resurrection is emphasized.«

24. al-Nūr

The Light

»The surah that contains the inimitable verse that celebrates God as The Light of the heavens and earth, guiding to Himself whomever He so wills. It is named after the “Light Verse” which occurs at verse 35, where God’s light is contrasted to the darkness in which the disbelievers find themselves engulfed. The surah clarifies several regulations for the Muslim community, mainly to do with marriage, modesty, obedience to the Prophet, and appropriate behaviour in the household.«

25. al-Furqān

The Criterion

»The surah proclaiming the Quran that God bestowed upon Muhammad to be, in its finality and totality, The Criterion of everlasting salvation for all humankind until the end of time. It takes its name from verse 1, which refers to the Quran as “al-Furqān” (lit. “the Distinguisher”, “the Separator” or “the Differentiator”, i.e. a criterion for distinguishing between truth and falsehood). The surah starts with a denunciation of polytheism, then deals with the disbelievers” arguments against the Prophet, the Quran, and the Day of Judgement. It warns them of their fate, citing examples of earlier peoples. The surah describes the power and grace of God, and ends with the qualities of true believers in verse 63 ff.«

26. al-Shuʿarāʾ

The Poets

»The surah that mentions the aimless meandering of unbelieving Poets in their creative effort to versify, and how their own actions belie their artistic messages, though it exempts from this censure poets who are believers and act with justice and righteousness. It takes its name from verse 224 ff. concerning the poets (shuʿarāʾ). The surah talks about the disbelievers who belittle the Quran, and gives examples of God’s power and grace in nature. It recounts several stories of earlier prophets, the reactions of their people, and punishments that afflicted them, ending by confirming the divine origin of the Quran. It is not something brought down by the jinn, nor is it poetry.«

27. al-Naml

The Ants

»The surah that speaks of the Valley of The Ants, through which the hosts of the prophet Solomon were once marching, wherein God miraculously enabled Solomon to hear one of them as she warned the other to flee into their homes before being crushed—a miracle of audition and understanding for which Solomon thanked God profusely. It takes its name from the story of Solomon and the ant (naml), mentioned in verse 18 ff. The surah both opens and closes by describing the Quran as joyful news for the believers and a warning for others. It gives stories of past prophets and the destruction of the communities that disbelieved in them. Illustrations are given of the nature of God’s power, contrasted with the total lack of power of the “partners” they worship beside Him, and descriptions are given of the Day of Judgement for those who deny it.«

28. al-Qaṣaṣ

The Story

»The surah that mentions how Moses came to the wells of Midian and related to the aged believer, whose daughters he had helped, the series of events and The Story of his flight from Egypt; and that mentions, as well, the stories of Moses’ call to prophethood and confrontation with Pharaoh, his Exodus with the Children of Israel, and that of Korah of Israel, whom God destroyed. It takes its name from verse 25 wherein the word “story” (qaṣaṣ) occurs. Its main theme is the bad end that comes to those who are arrogant and spread corruption—polytheism is denounced at various points throughout the surah—and a link is made between these and the disbelievers of Mecca. The Prophet is reminded that he cannot make everyone believe (verse 56) and should remain steadfast (verse 87).«

29. al-ʿAnkabūt

The Spider

»The surah that mentions the practical fragility of the webbed home of The Spider as an analogy for those who take false deities as a shelter. It takes its name from verse 41 which mentions “the spider” (ʿankabūt). The surah stresses that believers will be tested and that they should remain steadfast. The misconceptions of disbelievers regarding the nature of revelation and the Prophet are addressed. References are made to earlier prophets and details given of the punishments brought on those who denied them.«

30. al-Rūm

The Byzantines

»The surah that mentions the defeat of The Byzantines and the divine promise of their forthcoming victory in several years—and in prophesying this, implying martial triumph for the Muslims over their idolatrous adversaries at the same time. The surah is occasioned by the celebration of the idol-worshipping opponents of the prophet at the new of the Byzantine defeat by the Persians, for they drew an analogy between themselves and the fire-worshipping Persians as defenders of polytheism in opposition to the monotheism of the Muslims and Byzantine Christians. It derives its name from verse 2 which mentions “Byzantium” (al-Rūm). The surah opens with a reference to the defeat of the Byzantines at the hands of the Persians (613–14 CE) in Syria, and the subsequent victory of the Byzantines in 624 CE. The surah urges people to reflect on the creation of themselves, the heavens and earth, and all God’s wonders. God’s power to give life to a barren land is repeated as an indication both of His ability to raise the dead and of His mercy to mankind. The disbelievers are warned to believe before it is too late; the Prophet is urged to persevere and to ignore the taunts of the disbelievers.«

31. Luqmān

Luqmān

»The surah that mentions the judicious and poignant admonitions of Luqmān (whom some call Lokman, the Wise, a man of faith) as he spoke them to his beloved son. It is named after Luqmān, whose account is given in verse 12. The surah opens with a description of the believers, and it condemns those who attempt to lead others away from guidance. It extols God’s power and warns the disbelievers of the consequences of their actions. The Prophet is told not to be saddened by their disbelief.«

32. al-Sajdah

Prostration

»The only surah beginning with the discrete Arabic letters Alif Lām Mīm that also contains a ayah which requires one who recites it to perform a Prostration of bowing down to the ground before God in worship at the mention of God’s revealed signs. It takes its name from verse 15 which mentions “prostration” (sajdah). The surah emphasized the truth of the Quran at the beginning, and the Prophet is urged at the end of the surah to pay no attention to the disbelievers who cannot see the significance of God’s signs.«

33. al-Aḥzāb

The Confederates

»The surah that mentions The Confederates of the unbelievers, who besieged Medina, with an overwhelming force, but whom God routed with winds and a sandstorm in what became known as the Battle of the Ditch (in reference to the digging of a wide trench around the city as a barrier to invasion, an unprecedented practice in Arabia) in AH 5/627 CE (verse 9 ff.). It takes its name from verse 20 which refers to the campaign of the “confederates” (aḥzāb) against the Prophet. The believers dug a ditch, which the disbelievers were unable to cross, and eventually the enemy retreated in disarray. This is mentioned in order to remind the believers of God’s goodness to them, so that they may obey the numerous instructions given in the surah, starting with the regulation of adoption and including proper conduct towards the Prophet, his Ahl al-Bayt and his wives. The hypocrites are warned to stop their bad behaviour.«

34. Sabaʾ

Sheba

»The surah that mentions the gracious dwelling place of the blessed people of Sheba in Yemen, whom God whelmed away for their rejection of God’s blessings and then punished them for their ingratitude. It is named after the account of Sheba (Saba) in verse 15 ff. The Prophet is first encouraged through references to David and Solomon and how God favoured them. The disbelievers of Mecca are warned through a description of the punishment that awaits them on the Day of Resurrection. Two references are made to their accusing the Prophet of madness (verse 8 and verse 46) and this charge is thoroughly refuted.«

35. Fāṭir

The Originator

»The surah that opens with the praise of God as The Originator of the heavens and the earth. It takes its name from the word “fāṭir” (orginator), which occurs in verse 1. The surah affirms God’s power and Creation and contrasts this with the powerlessness and uselessness of the “partners” set up by the idolaters. The surah warns the idolaters of their punishment and comforts the Prophet through mention of previous messengers who were also rejected as liars. The great rewards that await believers are described.«

36. Yā Sīn

Yā Sīn

»The surah that opens with the discrete Arabic letters Yā Sīn. “Yā Sīn” (mentioned in verse 1) is one of the names of the Prophet. The surah emphasizes the divine source of the Quran and defends it from the charge of being poetry made by man (verse 5 ff. and verse 69 ff.). It warns of the fate of men who are stubborn and always mock God’s revelations. They are reminded of the punishment that befell earlier generations, and of God’s power as shown in His Creation. The end of the surah gives strong arguments for the reality of the Resurrection.«

37. al-Ṣaffāt

The Ranged Ones

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by the angels arrayed before Him in devotional ranks, The Ranged Ones—thereafter, by other angels propelling the clouds, dispelling evil, and reciting God’s praise. It takes its name from verse 1, which refers to a gropu of angels as “those ranged (ṣāffāt) in ranks”. The central point of this surah is the unity of God (verse 4 and verse 180 ff.) and the refutation of the pagan belief that the angels were daughters of God and worthy of worship. The angels themselves are quoted to refute this (verse 164 ff.). The prophethood of Muḥammad, is affirmed, as is the Hereafter. There are two supporting sections: the scenes in the Hereafter (verse 19 ff.) and the stories of earlier prophets (verse 75 ff.).«

38. Ṣād

Ṣād

»The surah that opens with the single discrete Arabic letter Ṣād. It takes its name from the letter Ṣād, as mentioned in verse 1. This surah mentions previous prophets in support and encouragement for Muḥammad, and makes a clear link between the arrogance displayed by the disbelievers of Mecca, previous generations, and Iblis, the original rebel. The first and last verses assert the truth and nobility of the Quran.«

39. al-Zumar

The Throngs

»The surah that mentions The Throngs of the unbelievers who shall be driven to Hell in the Hereafter, and the companies of the God-fearing who shall be ushered to Paradise in honour. It takes its name from verse 71 and verse 73 in which the word “throngs” (zumar) occurs. The main focus of the surah is the contrast between those who follow the true faith, and those who ascribe partners to God. The surah emphasizes that people are free to choose whether to believe or disbelieve (verse 41), but urges them in the strongest possible terms to turn to the right path while there is still time to repent (verse 53 ff.).«

40. al-Ghāfir

The Forgiver

»The surah that describes the Divine Being as the one and only God, who is The Forgiver of Sin, the Acceptor of Repentance, but also the Severe in Punishment. It takes its name from the phrase “forgiver of sins” (ghāfir al-dhanb) which occurs in verse 3. A surah with two recurring themes: disputing God’s truth (verse 4, verse 35 and verse 69) and calling upon Him (verse 14 and verse 49 ff.). In the opening verses God is described as the Forgiver, and the Accepter of repentance, yet severe in punishment, and this dual aspect is exemplified in the surah. The central section of the surah deals with the story of Pharaoh and Moses (verse 23 ff.): the destruction of one and victory of the other are stated in verse 45 and verse 51. The Prophet is, in his turn, urged to be steadfast and to ignore the taunts of the disbelievers (verse 55 and verse 77).«

41. Fuṣṣilat

Elaborated

»The surah that describes the Quran as Elaborated Heavenly revelation for those who would give it heed. It takes its name from the word “elaborated” (fuṣṣilat) in verse 3 and again in verse 44. The surah deals with the obduracy of the disbelievers, the truthfulness of the Quran, the unity of God, and the inevitability of Resurrection. The surah makes several references to the senses (verse 5, verse 20 ff. and verse 44) which the disbelievers shut off from perceiving the Truth in this world, and which will then testify against their “owners” on the Day of Resurrection, and it describes the arrogance displayed by people when all is well, contrasted with their humility and despair when difficulties strike (verse 49 ff.).«

42. al-Shūrā

Consultation

»The surah that mentions mutual Consultation among the believers as the godly means by which to conduct their affairs and as a virtuous sign that they will gain the reward of God in the Hereafter. It takes its name from verse 38 concerning “counsel” (shūrā). The surah discusses man’s habit of creating division and disharmony in matters of religion, and God’s all-prevailing power, wisdom, and final decision. The unity of religion is stressed (verse 13) as is the continuity of the prophets (verse 3). The Prophet is reminded that he cannot compel people to believe, that they will be judged according to their deeds, and that he is only there to deliver the message. The nature of revelation is described in verse 51 ff.«

43. al-Zukhruf

Ornaments

»The surah that mentions the Ornaments of solid gold, and other precious commodities and appointments, which God would have granted in this life to all the unbelievers—had it not been that this would have driven humankind to unite in godlessness—for the trinkets of life are the true hearts” desire of the ungodly. Yet fleeting are all the things of this world, and far finer and everlasting the joy of Paradise for the believers; and that is their true hearts” desire. It takes its name from the word “ornaments” (zukhruf) in verse 35, and alluded to again in verse 53: in both instances God is refuting the claim of the disbelievers that a true prophet would be rich. The fact that the angels are not God’s daughters but His obedient servants is emphasized again and again (verse 15 ff. and verse 60). Similarly, the idea that Jesus could be the son of God is clearly denied (verse 57 ff.).«

44. al-Dukhān

Smoke

»The surah that mentions a divine portent of an evil destiny that will come in the appearance of something unknown called the Smoke. It manifests in the sky and enveils the unbelievers on the earth, until they cry in vain to God that they shall believe in the Quran and its Messenger of only He delivers them from this torment. It takes its name from the “smoke” (dukhān) mentioned in verse 10. The surah highlights the mercy that is the Quran, addresses the obduracy of the powerful and wealthy oppressors, and draws comparisons between the people of Pharaoh, Tubbaʾ, and the Meccans. The people of Paradise will enjoy heavenly bliss while those who were mighty in this world will suffer the torments of Hell.«

45. al-Jāthiyah

Crowling

»The surah that mentions The Kneeling of every community around the brink of Hellfire on the Day of Doom in wait of its divine judgment. It takes its name from the word “kneeling” (jāthiyah) in verse 28. The surah addresses some of the arguments put forward by those sceptical of the truthfulness of the Quran. Emphasis is placed on the signs of God’s existence discernible in nature, and on the painful punishment that awaits the doubters on the Day of Judgement. The misguided arrogance of the disbelievers (verse 8 and verse 31) is contrasted with God’s true greatness (verse 37); references to God’s wisdom and majesty open and close the surah.«

46. al-Aḥqāf

Aḥqāf

»The surah that mentions the fatal lesion of the ancient people of ʿĀd who dwelled in the dune valley of Aḥqāf, whose prophet warned them to give up idolatry and worship only God, but to no avail. It takes its name from verse 21, where Aḥqāf is mentioned. It reflects one of the major themes of this surah: the inescapable punishment that awaits those who deny the truth and the Resurrection. Emphasis is placed on the fact that communities more established than the Meccans” have been destroyed, and that even the jinn believe in the Quran before the disbelievers of Mecca do. Finally, the Prophet is encouraged to be steadfast and await God’s judgement on the disbelievers.«

47. Muḥammad

Muḥammad

»The surah that declares that God absolves of misdeeds, and sets right the intellects, of those who work righteousness and who believe in all that God has sent down upon His final Messenger to humankind, Muḥammad. It takes its name from verse 2, where the name of the Prophet occurs. The surah deals with issues of war, those who try to prevent conversion to Islam and the carrying out of God’s commands, and the fate of the hypocrites. It specifically mentions the iniquity of those who expelled the Prophet from Mecca, it describes the futility of the disbelievers’ attempts to oppose God and His Prophet, and it urges the Muslims to obey God in all matters, lest their good deeds come to nothing on the Day of Judgement like those of the disbelievers and hypocrites.«

48. al-Fatḥ

Victory

»The surah that opens by acclaiming the manifest Victory or Triumph of peace that God accorded His Prophet in the truce he agreed to with the Meccans at a place called Ḥudaybiyyah. It takes its name from verse 1 wherein “victory” (fatḥ) is mentioned. The surah makes reference to the occasion when the Prophet had a vision that he and his followers would be performing pilgrimage to Mecca (verse 27). They set out, but the Meccans decided to bar them at Ḥudaybiyyah from reaching the town and sent emissaries to have discussions with the Prophet. In the end the Prophet signed a treaty that he and the believers would not enter Mecca that year, but would do so the next year. Seeing the long-term significance of this treaty, in the interests of peace he agreed to a truce often years during which time, if any Meccan went over to his side, he would return him to the Meccans, but if any of his people went over to the Meccans, they would not return them. Throughout the surah the Prophet is assured that this treaty that God has given him is a great breakthrough (verse 1ff., verse 18 ff. and verse 27). The believers are reassured that their self-restraint and obedience to the Prophet were inspired by God (verse 4 ff. and verse 24 ff.). The surah condemns both the hypocrites in Medina (verse 6) and the idolaters of Mecca (verse 6 and verse 26) and closes by praising the believers (verse 29).«

49. al-Ḥujurāt

Apartments

»The surah that criticized as ill-mannered and uncouth those who would stand behind the Apartments of the Prophet’s wives and call him forth for discourse with raised voices. It takes its name from the word “apartments” (ḥujurāt) in verse 4. The surah guides the believers on how to behave with proper respect towards their leader (verse 1 ff.), and with mutual respect and trust towards each other (verse 9 ff.). It stresses the unity of mankind and God’s intention that people should live together in harmony (verse 13). It criticizes the desert Arabs for their presumptuous attitude to their faith and to God (verse 14 ff.).«

50. Qāf

Qāf

»The surah that opens with the single discrete Arabic letter Qāf. It deals predominantly with the Resurrection and the Day of Judgement. Reference is made to previous generations of disbelievers (verse 12 ff.), both to warn the disbelievers in Mecca and to reassure the Prophet. Creation is cited as an indication of God’s ability to bring the dead to life again (verse 3 ff.), and emphasis is placed on the powerlessness of man on the Day of Resurrection (verse 20). The surah both opens and closes with mention of the Quran.«

51. al-Dhāriyāt

The Scatterers

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by The Scattering winds that stream far and wide bearing the rain clouds of His mercy. It takes its name from verse 1, which mentions the “scatterers” (dhāriyāt). The surah gives several signs of nature as proof of the Resurrection, among them the scattering winds. The disbelievers are reminded of the fate that befell previous rebellious generations and the Prophet is urged to carry on reminding.«

52. al-Ṭūr

The Mount

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by The Mount of Sinai, where the Torah was revealed to Moses. It takes its name from “the mount” (ṭūr) mentioned in verse 1. The surah which addresses many of the arguments put to the Prophet by the disbelievers of Mecca (verse 29 ff.). The bliss that will be enjoyed by the believers is contrasted to the torments of Hell, and the Prophet is urged to bide his time, to continue to deliver his message, and to wait with confidence for God’s judgement. God swears by, among other things, Mount Sinai, that the Day of Judgement is inevitable.«

53. al-Najm

The Star

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by every one of The Stars, as they descend and disappear beneath the horizon, that Muḥammad is indeed God’s awaited Messenger. It takes its name from verse 1, which mentions “the stars” (najm). The surah confirms the divine source of the Prophet’s message and refers to his ascension to heaven during the Night Journey (verse 1 ff.). The surah refutes the claims of the disbelievers about the goddesses and the angels (verse 19 ff.), and lists several truths about God’s power. It closes with a warning of the imminent Day of Judgement.«

54. al-Qamar

The Moon

»The surah that opens with the unnerving, cataclysmic sign of the end of the world coming and The Moon having split apart. It takes its name from verse 1 which mentions “the moon” (qamar), that here serves as a reference to the Day of Resurrection. The surah deals mainly with the punishment dealt out to previous generations of disbelievers. These are presented as a warning to the disbelievers of Mecca, with the refrain “is there anyone who will be admonished?” running throughout the surah. Finally the treatment of the disbelievers on the Day of Judgement is contrasted to the everlasting bliss the believers will enjoy.«

55. al-Raḥmān

The All-Beneficent

»The surah that crowns the Quran and opens with the chant of a single word proclaiming one of God’s most beautiful names, The All-Beneficent. It takes its name from verse 1 which mentions “the All-beneficent” (al-raḥmān). The surah highlights Gods wonders in this world, describes the end of the world, and paints an evocative picture of the delights of Paradise. Hell is briefly contrasted (verse 43 ff.) with the joys that await the righteous. The surah is characterized by the refrain “So which of your Lord’s bounties will you both deny?” which runs throughout. The surah divides mankind and jinn into three classes: the disbelievers (verse 41 ff.), the best of believers (verse 46 ff.), and the ordinary believers (verse 62 ff.).«

56. al-Wāqiʿah

The Imminent

»The surah that opens by naming the occurrence of the end of time with the title, The Imminent; for all who deny that it is coming will never belie it when finally it happens. It takes its name from verse 1, which mentions “the Imminent Hour” (al-wāqiʿah) i.e., the Day og Resurrection. The surah whose central message is stated in its opening verses: the Day of Judgement is inevitable and it will sort people into the humiliated and the richly rewarded. As in the previous surah, people are divided into three classes: those brought near to God (the best of the believers), those on the right (the ordinary believers), and those on the left (the disbelievers). Ample proof is given of God’s power and consequently His ability to bring about the Resurrection (verse 57 ff.).«

57. al-Ḥadīd

Iron

»The surah that mentions the heavy metallic element Iron as being sent down by God form the heavens to endow the earth itself with mighty force, and humanity with the many benefits of its malleable and structural strength, and all the great tests of faith that arise from this. It takes its name from verse 25, which mentions iron (ḥadīd). The surah urges the believers to spend in God’s cause and uphold justice. The all pervasiveness of God’s power, knowledge, control, and glory is affirmed to encourage the believers to right action, and the fate of the hypocrites is described. Previous prophets are mentioned (verse 26 ff.), especially Noah, Abraham, and Jesus, showing the response they received. The surah closes with a reference to the People of the Book.«

58. al-Mujādilah

The Pleader

»The surah that mentions the complaint of Khawlah bint Thaʿlabah to the Prophet as The Pleader for dignity of women against the abominable practice whereby husbands estranged their wives from intimacy on false pretext. It takes its name from the phrase “pleads with you” (tujādiluka) mentioned in verse 1. The surah disallows a specific pagan divorce practice. It goes on to state that those who oppose God and His messenger, who secretly ally themselves with Satan, who lie in their oaths and make intrigues against the Prophet, will be defeated and suffer humiliation both in this world and in the next (verse 5 and verse 20), while those on God’s side will triumph (verse 22).«

59. al-Ḥashr

The Banishment

»The surah that mentions The Banishment, God’s expulsion, of the clan of Banū al-Naḍīr from their prodigious fortress-settlement near Medina, in the mustering it calls the first of its kind: for they had betrayed their covenant of mutual defence by aiding idolaters against monotheistic believers. It takes its name from the “banishment” or “gathering of forces” (ḥashr) of the Jewish tribe from Medina, which is mentioned in verse 2. The Banū al-Naḍīr, who originally agreed with the Prophet that they would fight neither for nor against him, yet, after the Meccan defeat of the Muslims in the Battle of Uḥud (year 3/625), made an alliance with the Meccans. They also tried to kill the Prophet while he was in their area. He asked them to leave and they agreed, but Ibn Ubayy, the head of the “hypocrites” of Medina, promised them that, if they fought the Muslims, he and his camp would fight with them (verse 11 ff.), and, if they had to leave Medina, he and his camp would leave with them. Because the Banū al-Naḍīr had repeatedly broken their agreements, the Muslims besieged them in Medina (in year 4/626), Ibn Ubayy did not keep his promise, and the Banū al-Naḍīr agreed to leave, some going to Syria and some to Khaybar. In this surah, God stresses that any gains were His doing and so should be distributed in accordance with His instructions (verse 6 ff.). The end of the surah, consequently, emphasizes obedience and awe towards God (verse 21 ff.).«

60. al-Mumtaḥanah

The Woman Tested

»The surah that instituted for lone female Émigrés to Islam the swearing of a scared oath as the test of faith, The Women Tested, establishing publicly that their migration was purely for the sake of God, without worldly motive, so as to vouchsafe to them full protection and rights in the Muslim community. It takes its name from verse 10 concerning “the testing” (imtiḥān) of new female converts to Islam. The surah was revealed between the Treaty of Ḥudaybiyyah and the conquest of Mecca: instructions are given on how to deal with women who leave Mecca and join the Muslims, and the procedure for wives who leave Medina for Mecca (verse 10 ff.). The Muslims are instructed on the appropriate allocation of their loyalties (verse 1 ff., verse 7 ff. and verse 13) and Abraham is cited for them as an example to learn from (verse 4).«

61. al-Ṣaff

Ranks

»The surah that declares God’s love of all those believers who maintain the solid Ranks or lines of unreachable communal unity in selflessly and fearlessly defending God’s cause against aggression. It takes its name from verse 4, in whicn the word “ranks” (ṣaff) occurs. The surah encouraging the believers to stick together in support of God’s cause and criticizes those who broke their word (verse 3) and those who argued against the faith (verse 7 ff.). Moses and Jesus are cited as examples of prophets whose communities were divided: the rebellious were left to stray and the faithful granted success (verse 5 ff. and verse 14). The rewards of those who strive in God’s cause are described in some detail (verse 11 ff.).«

62. al-Jumuʿah

Friday

»The surah that enjoins the believers to proceed at once to the ritual Prayer of the Friday congregation and to quit all commercial transacting as soon as they hear the call to the Prayer. It takes its name after “Friday” (jumuʿah) prayer mentioned in verse 9. The surah instruction to the believers to observe the Friday prayer promptly and reliably when called and reminds the Muslims of God’s grace in granting them a prophet and the chance to grow spiritually (verse 2 ff.). Those who do not act in accordance with the knowledge they have been given are criticized (verse 5 ff.).«

63. al-Munāfiqūn

The Hypocrites

»The surah that declares that God bears witness that the false profession of faith by The Hypocrites is uttered only as a screen to hide their duplicity. It takes its name from its main topic, “the hypocrites” (munāfiqūn). The surah warns the believers about the treachery of the hypocrites and describes their behaviour in some detail. A specific occasion on which the hypocrites tried to stop anyone donating money to believers is described (verse 7 ff.) and God calls on the Muslims to compensate for this by giving more of their own funds to the needy (verse 9 ff.).«

64. al-Taghābun

Dispossession

»The surah that calls the Day of Judgement the day of Dispossession. For those who abandon faith and choose to disbelieve shall lose Paradise and be thrown into Hellfire, cheated forever from felicity by their own souls and their leaders. Those who believe, however, shall gain Paradise against all the attempts of the unbelievers to distract them in the world from faith and goodness, guided away from Hellfire by God and His messengers. It takes its name from “they day of dispossession” (yawm al-taghābun) mentioned in verse 9. The surah opens with a description of God’s power, wisdom, and knowledge (verse 1 ff.). The disbelievers are reminded of the end of those who disbelieved before them (verse 5 ff.), and their denial of the Resurrection is strongly refuted (verse 7). The believers are urged to be wary but forgiving of the enemies they may have within their own families (verse 14 ff.) and warned to remain steadfast and to spend in God’s cause (verse 8 ff. and verse 16 ff.).«

65. al-Ṭalāq

Divorce

»The surah that issues the lawful procedures by which one may Divorce and that calls for fair parting between believers if marriage is to end, in accordance with what is right and within God’s prescribed limits, while promising ease and deliverance for the truly God-fearing who undergo this trauma. It takes its name from verse 1 ff. concerning “divorce” (ṭalāq). The surah strongly urges people to observe God’s regulations and guidance. To reinforce this they are reminded of the fate of earlier disobedient peoples and the rewards of the obedient. God’s power and knowledge are emphasized at the end (verse 12).«

66. al-Taḥrīm

The Forbidding

»The surah that opens with admonishing the Prophet against The Forbidding or prohibition of something he once imposed on himself for the purpose of not offending his wives, though God had made it lawful for him. Named after the phrase “why do you forbid” (li mā tuḥrimu) in verse 1. It mentions two of the Prophet’s wives, namely Ḥafṣah and ʿĀyishah, for an incident when a confidence was betrayed (verse 3 ff.) and urges all believers to submit themselves to God and to guard themselves and their families against Hellfire (verse 6). The surah closes by giving examples of believing and disbelieving women (verse 10 ff.).«

67. al-Mulk

Sovereignty

»The surah that opens with the statement “Blessed is He in whose hands is all sovereignty”. It takes its name from Divine sovereignty (mulk) mentioned in verse 1. The surah challenges the disbelievers with declarations of God’s total power over them, and everything else, in this world and the next. It describes the regret the disbelievers will express on the Day of Resurrection (verse 9 ff. and verse 27).«

68. al-Qalam

The Pen

»The surah that opens with the single discrete Arabic letter Nūn and the oath of the Divine One swearing by the instrument of The Pen, as well as all knowledge that people are able to preserve and communicate thereby. It takes its name from “the pen” (al-qalam) mentioned in verse 1. The surah deals with the accusation that Muḥammad was not God’s Messenger but merely mad (verse 2 ff.). The arrogance of those who assume that, because they have some of the good things in this life, they can reject the Revelation, is rebutted (verse 10 ff.). Examples are given of those who came to regret their arrogance (verse 17 ff.). The Prophet is urged to remain steadfast (verse 48 ff.).«

69. al-Ḥāqqah

The Inevitable

»The surah that opens by proclaiming one of the names of the Day of Resurrection, The Inevitable reality or hour, so named because in the matter of truth shall forever be decided then and all truth shall prevail regarding every affair. It takes its name from the Inevitable or Besieger (al-Ḥāqqah) mentioned in verse 1. The surah describes punishment in this life (verse 4 ff.) and the next (verse 13 ff.). The bliss to be enjoyed by the believers is eloquently contrasted with the torments of hell (verse 19 ff.). From verse 38 onwards, God affirms the Truth of the Quran and the Prophet.«

70. al-Maʿārij

Lofty Stations

»The surah that proclaims God to be the Lord of the heavenly ascents, Lofty Stations, the points of rising from which the angels ascend to God. It takes is named after the phrase “of lofty stations” (dhi al-maʿārij) in verse 3. The surah describes the Day of Judgement (verse 8 ff.). One of the opponents of the Prophet challenged him to hasten the punishment they had been threatened with (verse 1), so the foolishness of the disbelievers in denying the Resurrection (verse 6) is exposed (verse 36 ff.). The people who will be granted the Garden are described (verse 22 ff.).«

71. Nūḥ

Noah

»That surah that opens with the story of the ancient Prophet Noah, the unrelenting Messenger of Resolve, and his obstinately unbelieving people. It is named after Noah (Nūḥ) whose account is related in the surah and further gives details of the life of Noah before the Flood, to encourage the Prophet and warn the disbelievers.«

72. al-Jinn

The Jinn

»The surah that opens with the revelation that a group of The Jinn listened to the Prophet reciting the Quran, believed in it, and so admonished their own race. It is names after the jinn-kind, whose account is given in its first part. The surah begins with the account of what a group of jinn said when they overheard a recitation of the Quran and realized its truth (verse 1 ff.). This is a lesson to the Meccan Arabs, who are also told that the Prophet can help them only by delivering the Message—God is the All Powerful One (verse 16 ff.). The disbelievers are threatened with what they will meet on the Day of Judgement (verse 23 ff).«

73. al-Muzzammil

Enwrapped

»The surah that opens by addressing the mantled Prophet as the Enwrapped Messenger. It takes its name from the word “wrapped in mantle” (muzzammil) in verse 1. The surah describes how God relaxed the early regime of devotion first imposed on the Prophet (verse 1 ff.) to prepare him for the weighty message. The Prophet is urged to be patient (verse 10 ff.), told of the punishment that awaits the disbelievers in Hell (verse 12 ff.), and reminded of the punishment that befell Pharaoh in this life (verse 15 ff.).«

74. al-Muddaththir

Shrouded

»The surah that opens by addressing the enwrapped Prophet as the Shrouded Messenger. It takes its name from the word “wrapped in mantle” (muddaththir) in verse 1. The first verses of this surah (verse 1 ff.) were revealed after one of the Prophets first encounter with the Angel of Revelation in the Cave of Ḥirāʾ. The surah goes on, in a section from a later period, to remind the obstinate disbelievers of their fate on the Day of Judgement (verse 8 ff.) and a specific opponent of the Prophet is singled out (verse 11 ff.). The end of the surah (verse 39 ff.) exposes the foolishness of the disbelievers” attitude to the Revelation and the Day of Resurrection.«

75. al-Qiyāmah

Resurrection

»The surah that opens with the emphatic oath of the Divine One swearing by the looming day of Resurrection. It takes its name from verse 1, which mentions the Day of Resurrection. The surah dealing with the Day of Resurrection and man’s denial of that Day. God’s power is convincingly described in several vignettes (verse 3 ff., verse 26 ff. and verse 34 ff.). The third paragraph instructs the Prophet on appropriate reception of the revelation (verse 16 ff.), and thereby serves to emphasize that the Quran is indeed God’s word.«

76. al-Insān

Man

»The surah that opens with a question posed to arrogant Man about his utter nothingness before God brought him into existence. It takes its name from the word “man” (al-insān) mentioned in verse 1. The surah speaks of how man is tested (verse 2 ff.) and what the results will be for the evildoers (verse 4) and for the righteous (verse 5 ff.). The Prophet is urged to persevere in his devotion and to bear with patience (verse 23 ff.).«

77. al-Mursalāt

The Emissaries

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by the Emissaries as those sent forth in succession. It takes its name from the “emissaries” (mursalāt) mentioned in verse 1. The surah describes the Day of Decision: its inevitability, arguments for its coming, and the events that will presage the Judgement, as well as the fates of believers and disbelievers.«

78. al-Nabaʾ

The Tiding

»The surah that mentions The [Great] Tiding of the coming of the Day og Judgment, the truth of which people yet dispute. It takes its name from the expression “the great tiding” (al-nabaʾ al-ʿaẓīm). The disbelievers often asked incredulously about the Resurrection. This surah gives evidence of God’s power, then explains what will happen on the Day of Resurrection, and the respective fates of believers and disbelievers.«

79. al-Nāziʿāt

The Wresters

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by The Wresters, the angelic pullers, who shall harshly wrest out the souls of the unbelievers at their appointed time of death. It takes its name from “the wresters” (al-nāziʿāt) mentioned in verse 1. The main theme of the surah is the possibility and inevitability of the Resurrection, its results, and its timing. The story of Moses and Pharaoh acts as encouragement to the Prophet and a warning to the disbelievers.«

80. ʿAbasa

He frowned

»The surah that opens with admonishing the Prophet and refers to him as He [who] Frowned and turned away. While the Prophet was speaking to some unbelieving nobles of Quraysh, hoping to convert them, a blind Muslim man came up to learn from him, but in his eagerness to attract the disbelievers to Islam, the Prophet frowned at him. The Prophet is then reproached and told not to concern himself with the disbelievers. It takes its name from the word “he frowned” (ʿabasa) in verse 1. The surah also deals with the condemnation of man’s ingratitude: man becomes self-satisfied and forgets his origin and his final return to God.«

81. al-Takwīr

The Winding Up

»The surah that opens with a riveting description of The Winding Up of the sun at the end of earthly life and the dawn of eternity. It takes its name from “the winding up”, “the enfolding” or “the darkening” (takwīr) of the sun as mentioned in verse 1. The surah stress the fact that people will be confronted by their deeds on Judgement Day, asserting the truth of the Quran, and calling people to the right path. It opens with a powerful description of events on that Day.«

82. al-Infiṭār

The Rending

»The surah that opens with a riveting description of The Rending open of the sky at the onset of the Day of Resurrection and assets that every human is being watched by angels and shall stand accountable before God in the Hereafter. It takes its name from “the renting” or “torn apart” (infiṭār) of the sky mentioned in verse 1. The surah deals with man’s ingratitude and his failure to concede that the Day of Judgement will come.«

83. al-Muṭaffifīn

The Defrauders

»The surah that opens with a dire divine warning of a debasing punishment awaiting in the Hereafter for those who practice cheating as a norm in commerce, and whom is calls The Defrauders because they insist on receiving a full amount in return for the partial measure that they themselves give. It takes its name from verse 1, which condemns the tradesmen who cheat customers by using short weights and measures (muṭaffifūn). It appears that the practice of cheating have been prevalent in Mecca, and is strongly condemned here and elsewhere in the Quran (e.g. 11: 84 ff.; 7: 85).«

84. al-Inshiqāq

The Splitting

»The surah that opens with a riveting description of The Splitting of the sky and the levelling of the earth as a sign of the commencement of the Day of Resurrection. It is named after the “splitting open” (inshiqāq) of the sky mentioned in verse 1. The surah deals with the inevitability of man’s meeting with his Lord on the Day of Judgement. The obedience of the sky and earth is contrasted with the disobedience of the disbelievers. The reaction of the believers and of the disbelievers on the Day of Judgement is described.«

85. al-Burūj

The Houses

»The surah that opens with a three-part oath of the Divine One, who swears by the sky studded with The Houses, by the assurance that the Day of Resurrection shall come, and by His Own Universal Witness, which beholds all, that the believers shall have their reward, and the unbelievers their punishment, in the Hereafter. It takes is name from “the houses” (burūj) mentioned in verse 1, normally understood in conjunction to the constellations. The surah strengthened the heart of the Prophet Muḥammad and his followers by referring to the fate of those who tortured earlier believers. The title expresses God’s power over the whole universe, from the stars in the sky to the evildoers referred to in this surah. Indeed, His all-encompassing power is a recurring theme throughout the surah.«

86. al-Ṭāriq

The Nightly Visitor

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by the sky of the world and The Nightly Visitor so called because it comes by night and leaves by day. It takes its name from verse 1 which mentions “the night-comer” or “nightly visitor” (ṭāriq). The surah focuses on a series of examples of things coming out: the piercing night-star, spurting semen, the baby that bursts out of the womb, and plants that sprout out of the ground. All of these are used to illustrate resurrection from the grave.«

87. al-Aʿlā

The Most Exalted

»The surah that opens with the command to highly exalt God, the Divine One who is The Most Exalted, far above all that is unworthy that people wrongly attribute to Him. It is named after “the Most Exalted” (al-aʿlā), mentioned in verse 1. The surah reassures the Prophet Muḥammad that God will help him and urging him to continue with his mission. The temporary nature of this world is highlighted through mention of the short life of green pasture (cf. verse 10:24 and verse 18: 45).«

88. al-Ghāshiyah

The Enveloper

»The surah that opens with the edifying question regarding human awareness of the coming of a sure cataclysmic event it calls The Enveloper. It takes its name from “the enveloper” (al-ghāshiyah) mentioned in verse 1. The surah serves to warn the disbelievers, encourage the Prophet Muḥammad and the believers, and absolve him of responsibility for the disbelievers.«

89. al-Fajr

The Dawn

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by The Dawn, and other natural occurrences and sacred designations, as a means of categorical affirmation to mankind that God shall, indeed, hold all people accountable. It is names after “the dawn” (al-fajr) mentioned in verse 1. A surah in which God emphasizes that the tyrants of the Prophet’s time will be like those He dealt with in the past. The surah compares the destiny of the ungrateful with that of the souls at peace.«

90. al-Balad

The City

»The surah that opens with the emphatic oath of the Divine One swearing by The City, that mankind us under the absolute power and watchfulness of God. It takes its name after the “city” or “town” (balad) mentioned in verse 1. The essential point of this surah is that man is created to work and be judged. He should therefore seek to do good deeds rather than indulge in arrogance and wastefulness.«

91. al-Shams

The Sun

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by The Sun as it shines out with morning’s radiance. It is named after “the sun” (al-shams), mentioned in verse 1. The central theme of the surah touch upon purifying or corrupting the soul, with the tribe of Thamūd given as an example of corruption.«

92. al-Layl

The Night

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by the whelming of The Night that swathes the world in darkness. It is named after “the night” (al-layl), mentioned in verse 1. The surah shows the consequences of the paths people choose and emphasizing God’s guidance and warning.«

93. al-Ḍuḥā

The Morning Brightness

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by the The Morning Brightness and the night when all falls still. It is named after “the morning brightness” (ḍūḥā), mentioned in verse 1. The surah is an address to the Prophet Muḥammad, to reassure him, when he had not received revelation for some time, that his Lord had not forsaken him.«

94. al-Sharḥ

Opening

»The surah that opens with a reassurance to the Prophet Muḥammad that his divine appointment to receive God’s revelation has been nothing less than the Opening of the breast to sacred wisdom and guidance, and that thereby he has been honoured for all time, made well-able to bear the mantle of prophethood, and that ultimately and inevitably he shall be eased unto success. It is named “opening” after the phrase “did We not open” (a lam nashraḥ) in verse 1. The surah is a continuation of the reassurance and encouragement given in the previous surah.«

95. al-Tīn

The Fig

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by The Fig and the olive, and other signs, representing the Holy Land in which God revealed the Evangel, the Torah, and the Quran, and thereby guided all mankind. It is named after “the fig” (al-tīn) mentioned in verse 1. The surah questions how man can deny the Judgement, and emphasizing the importance of faith and good deeds.«

96. al-ʿAlaq

The Clinging Mass

»The surah that contains the first revealed verses of the Quran, reminding the human being of The Clinging Mass, a stage that reflects the miracle of human creation in the womb of the mother. The surah is also known by the first Quranic instruction: Read. It is named after “the clining mass” (ʿalaq) mentioned in verse 2. The first five verses are known to be the first revelation of the Quran when the Prophet Muḥammad was instructed to read. The second part came later to show that man transgresses when he becomes self-satisfied.«

97. al-Qadr

The Ordainment

»The surah that mentions the moment in which God first revealed the Quran, calling it The Ordainment. It is named after the phrase “the night of ordainment” (laylay al-qadr), mentioned in verse 1. The surah celebrates the night when the first revelation of the Quran was sent down.«

98. al-Bayyinah

The Proof

»The surah that mentions the advent of the message of the Quran and its Messenger as The Proof of a decisive revelation for both the disputing People of the Scripture and the unbelievers unlettered in God’s word. It is named after “the proof” (al-bayyinah) mentioned in verse 1 and verse 4. The surah spells out the basic tenets of faith, and contrasts the Fire of Hell with the lasting bliss that will be enjoyed by the faithful.«

99. al-Zalzalah

The Quake

»The surah that opens with the mention of The Quake of the earth in utter destruction at the end of the world. It takes its name from “the quake” (al-zalzalah) mentioned in verse 1. The surah deals with scenes from the Day of Judgement.«

100. al-ʿĀdiyāt

The Chargers

»The surah that opens with the mention of galloping war steeds that it calls The Chargers, whose very hoofs strike sparks upon the rocky earth as they carry their riders furiously into the midst of the fray life. It takes its name from “the chargers” (al-ʿadiyāt) mentioned in verse 1. The surah touch upon Gods swearing by the warhorses He has subjected to man’s use that man is ungrateful and misguided.«

101. al-Qāriʿah

The Catastrophe

»The surah that opens with this single world, al-Qāriʿah, meaning The Catastrophe, for that is the repeated sound that shall resound through all the earth as it is being pulverized in the cataclysm at the end of time, levelled utterly for the Resurrection Day and the ultimate Judgment of every human soul. It takes its name from “the catastrophe” (al-qāriʿah) mentioned in verse 1 ff. The surah gives some scenes from the Resurrection and Judgement.«

102. al-Takāthur

Rivalry

»The surah that opens with the mention of the Rivalry as mentioned in verse 1 ff. The surah criticizes man’s preoccupation with worldly wealth and stresses that he will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection.«

103. al-ʿAṣr

Time

»The surah that opens with the oath of the Divine One swearing by the decline of Time and humankind’s absolute loss of every single thing but righteousness, truth, patience, and faith. It takes its name from the phrase “by time” (wal- ʿāṣr) as mentioned in verse 1. The surah shows the way to salvation. The image of a declining day suggests the stage in the day, or in life, when only a short while is left for those wishing to make up for lost time.«

104. al-Humazah

The Scandal-monger

»The surah that opens with a threat of impending affliction and grief to The Scandal-monger or the slanderous reviler, one who, in greediness of wealth and acclaim, defames others. It takes its name from “the slanderer” (humazah) mentioned in verse 1. The surah condemns the greedy backbiter and gives a description of Hell.«

105. al-Fīl

The Elephant

»The surah that tells of the destruction of the armed force that came to be known as the company of The Elephant, after the animal they intended to use to destroy the Kaʿbah, in the generation before the advent of Islam. This surah is a reference to events that happened in 570 CE, the year of the Prophet Muḥammads birth. It takes its name from “the elephant” (al-fīl) mentioned in verse 2, which refers to the force dispatched by Abrahah (a Christian ruler of Yemen) to Mecca, that is “the men of the elephant” (aṣḥāb al-fīl). The destruction of this army is cited here to encourage the believers and warn the disbelievers.«

106. Quraysh

Quraysh

»The surah that admonishes the first recipients of the Quran, the Meccan tribe of Quraysh, to give thanks to the One God alone who had long bequeathed to them, in their desert surroundings, abundant provision and security. It takes its name from verse 1, which mentions the Quraysh, the tribe to which the Prophet Muḥammad belonged.«

107. al-Māʿūn

Aid

»The surah that chastises as irreligious and mean all those who withhold from the helpless and needy of the most basic forms of Aid. It takes its name from verse 7, in which “the aid” (al-māʿūn) occurs. The surah describes some characteristics of a person who denies the Judgement.«

108. al-Kawthar

Abundance

»The surah that informs the Prophet Muḥammad that God has gifted him with Abundance goodness in this life and far greater resplendence in the Hereafter—for which he is instructed to ever show gratitude and charitable generosity. It takes its name from “the abundance” (al-kawthar) mentioned in verse 1. The surah comes to reassure the Prophet Muḥammad and as a retort to his enemy.«

109. al-Kāfirūn

The Faithless

»The surah that instructs the Prophet Muḥammad to inform The Faithless that the worship of false deities and the worship of One God are not, and can never be, compatible. It takes its name from “the faithless” (al-kāfirūn) mentioned in verse 1. The surah tells about some of the idolaters that suggested to the Prophet as a compromise that he should worship their gods for a year and they should worship his for a year. This was the reply.«

110. al-Naṣr

The Help

»The surah that informs the Prophet Muḥammad that The Help of God is imminent in the liberation of Mecca from idolatry, in the throngs whose hearts God will open to Islam, and in the approach of his own passing to the mercy of God. It takes its name from verse 1, in which the phrase “naṣr Allah” (meaning “Allah’s help”) occurs.«

111. al-Masad

Palm Fibre

»The surah that mentions the Palm Fibre rope that in Hellfire shall be twisted around the neck of the wife of the Prophet’s uncle, who bitterly opposed Islam; for she took great pride in wearing an ostentatious necklace she became known for and would slip by night to strew thorns and prickly plants in the Prophet’s path to injure his feet. It takes its name from verse 5 in which the phrase “ḥablun min masad” (meaning “a rope of palm fibre”) occurs.«

112. al-Ikhlāṣ

Monotheism

»The surah whose six elements of belief constitute pure sincerity of faith or Monotheism, wherein a believer affirms God’s divinity, Oneness, and eternality, and negates in relation to Him any offspring, ancestry, or likeness. It negates any kind of anthropomorphism that may compromise pure monotheism. It is unusual in having as its title a term not mentioned in the body of the surah. The word “Ikhlas” conveys the meaning of sincerity in one’s religion and total dedication to the One true God.«

113. al-Falaq

The Daybreak

»The surah that opens with the mention of God as the Lord of The Daybreak and that teaches one to seek refuge in Him from the evil in creation and from all who envy the blessings of God in others. It takes its name from “the daybreak” (al-falaq) mentioned in verse 1. The surah is used as an invocation against evil.«

114. al-Nās

Humans

»The surah that opens with the mention of God as the Lord of Humans and teaches one to seek refuge in Him from the whisperings of Satan and those of evil jinn and people. It takes its name from the word “people” or “mankind” (al-nās) which recurs throughout the surah. This is another surah commonly used as an invocation against evil.«

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Quran, Koran, القرآن, Coran, クルアーン, Kuran, Corán, Korán, Куран, 古蘭經, Alcoran, Quraan, Kurani, Curanu, කුර්ආන්, Koraani, திருக்குர்ஆன், Leqran, ఖోరాన్, Koranen, อัลกุรอาน, Қуръон, 古兰经, Korã, Alcorà, Κοράνιο, Korano, Koranin, Koaran, કુરાન, Ղուրան, क़ुरआन, Korano, Хъуыран, הקוראן, ყურანი, Құран, Qurani, ഖുർആൻ, कुराण …

Names of the Quran

Furqan, Kitab, Dhikr, Tanzil, Hadith, Bayan, Huda, Sirat, Hukm, Hikma, Hakim, Hadi, Nur, Rahma, Muhaymin, Shifa, Qasas, Aliyy, Isma, Ni’ma, Haq, Tibyan, Basa’ir, Mubarak, Majid, Aziz, Azim, Karim, Munir, Bashir, Nadhir, Qayyim, Mubin, Kalam, Ruh, Balagh, Mustashabih, Qawl, Arabi, Adl, Bushra, Amr, Iman, Naba, Wahy, Ilm, read more…

Major Themes of the Quran

God, Divine, Creation, Nature, Angel, Sign, Message, Islam, Monotheism, Prophet, Muhammad, Muslim, Revelation, Worship, Judgement, Resurrection, Paradise, Faith, Mankind, Provision, Religious, Hereafter, Believe and Unbelieve, Hypocrite, Sacred, Scripture, Community, Criterion, Justice, Apostle, Holy …

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