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Sura 36
Aya 1

Chapter 36

Yā SīnYā Sīn ( يس )

83 verses • revealed at Meccan

»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.«

The surah is also known as Ya-Sin, Yaa Siin

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

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


Muhammad Asad

FOR an explanation of my rendering of the title Ya Sin as "O Thou Human Being", see note 1 below.Revealed in the early part of what is termed the "middle" Mecca period (probably just beforeAl-Firqan), this surah is almost entirely devoted to the problem of man's moral responsibilityand, hence, to the certainty of resurrection and God's judgment: and it is for this reason that theProphet called upon his followers to recite it over the dying and in prayers for the dead (cf. severalTraditions to this effect quoted by Ibn Kathir at the beginning of his commentary on this surah).
O THOU human being!1
  • Whereas some of the classical commentators incline to the view that the letters y-s (pronounced ya sin) with which this surah opens belong to the category of the mysterious letter-symbols (al-muqatta'at) introducing a number of Qur'anic chapters (see Appendix II), 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abbas states that they actually represent two distinct words, namely the exclamatory particle ya ("O") and sin, which in the dialect of the tribe of Tayy' is synonymous with insan ("human being" or "man"): hence, similar to the two syllables ta ha in surah 20, ya sin denotes "O thou human being!" This interpretation has been accepted by 'Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan al-Basri, Sa'id ibn Jubayr, and other early Qur'an-commentators (see Tabari, Baghawi, Zamakhshari, Baydawi, Ibn Kathir, etc.). According to Zamakhshari, it would seem that the syllable sin is an abbreviation of unaysin, the diminutive form of insan used by the Tayy' in exclamations. (It is to be borne in mind that in classical Arabic a diminutive is often expressive of no more than endearment: e.g., ya bunayya, which does not necessarily signify "O my little son" but, rather, "my dear son" irrespective of the son's age.) On the whole, we may safely assume that the words ya sin apostrophize the Prophet Muhammad, who is explicitly addressed in the sequence, and are meant to stress - as the Qur'an so often does - the fact of his and all other apostles' humanness.