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Sura 11
Aya 1

Chapter 11

HūdHūd ( هود )

123 verses • revealed at Meccan

»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).«

The surah is also known as Hood, Hud (The Messenger), The Prophet Hud

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

Muhammad Asad: In The Name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:

الر ۚ كِتابٌ أُحكِمَت آياتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَت مِن لَدُن حَكيمٍ خَبيرٍ

Muhammad Asad

REVEALED very shortly after the tenth surah (Yunus) - that is, during the last year of the Prophet's sojourn in Mecca - Hud bears a great resemblance to the former, both in method and subject-matter. As in Yunus, the main theme is the revelation of God's will through His prophets and the manifestation of prophethood as such. Some of the stories of earlier prophets mentioned in Yunus are developed in the present surah in greater detail, and are illuminated from various angles, with a particular stress on just dealings between man and man. Paramount in this connection is verse 117, which states that "never would thy Sustainer destroy a community for wrong [beliefs alone] so long as its people behave righteously [towards one another]". (See in this connection note 149.) Some of the authorities are of the opinion that verses 12, 17 and 114 were revealed at a later date, in Medina; Rashid Rida', however, rejects this view as unconvincing and holds that the surah in its entirety was revealed at Mecca (Manor XII, 2).
Alif. Lam. Ra.1 A DIVINE WRIT [is this], with messages that have been made clear in and by themselves, and have been distinctly spelled out as well2- [bestowed upon you] out of the grace of One who is wise, all-aware,
  • See Appendix II. In the somewhat strange opinion of Sibawayh (cf. Manar XII, 3) and of Razi in his commentary on this verse, the letters Alif-Lam-Ra represent the title of this surah, and ought therefore to be read in conjunction with the following sentence, thus: "Alif-Lam-Ra is a divine writ...", etc. However, this opinion conflicts sharply with that of several earlier authorities of great standing, e.g., Az-Zajjaj (quoted by Razi), and is, moreover, unacceptable in view of the fact that a number of other surahs are preceded by such letter-symbols without any syntactic possibility of their being regarded as "titles".
  • According to Zamakhshari and Razi, the conjunction thumma at the beginning of the clause thumma fussilat (lit., "and then have been distinctly spelled out") does not denote a sequence in time but, rather, a co-ordination of qualities or conditions; therefore my rendering. As regards my translation of the phrase uhkimat ayatuhu as "messages that have been made clear in and by themselves", see the first sentence of 3:7 as well as the corresponding note 5, which explains the expression ayat muhkamat. Rashid Rida' interprets this phrase in the same sense (see Manar XII, 3 f.).