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Sura 76
Aya 1

Chapter 76

Manal-Insān ( الانسان )

31 verses • revealed at Medinan

»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.).«

The surah is also known as Every (Man)

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

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

هَل أَتىٰ عَلَى الإِنسانِ حينٌ مِنَ الدَّهرِ لَم يَكُن شَيئًا مَذكورًا

Muhammad Asad

THE OPINIONS of the earliest commentators are divided as to whether this surah - also called Ad-Dahr ("Time" or "Endless Time") after a word occurring in the first verse - belongs to the Mecca or the Medina period. Many authorities of the second generation - among them Mujahid, Qatadah, Al-Hasan al-Basri and 'Ikrimah (all of them quoted by Baghawi) - hold the view that it was revealed at Medina.
HAS THERE [not] been an endless span of time1 before man [appeared - a time] when he was not yet a thing to be thought of?2
  • Implying, according to all the classical commentators, "there has indeed been an immensely long [or "endless"] span of time" - the interrogative particle hal having here the positive meaning of qad. However, this meaning can be brought out equally well by interpolating the word "not".
  • Lit., "a thing mentioned" or "mentionable" - i.e., non-existent even as a hypothetical concept. The purport of this statement is a refutation of the blasphemous "anthropocentric" world-view, which postulates man as he exists - and not any Supreme Being - as the centre and ultimate reality of all life.