Ash-Shams · Juz 30 · Qur'an Tafseer

Surah Ash-Shams – An Overview


بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Period of Revelation: Makkan

Theme and Subject Matter:

The Surah which maintains the same rhyme in all its Ayaat encompass truth about man’s nature, his inherent abilities, choices and responsibilities in determining his own fate. It distinguishes the good from the evil and warns the people, who were refusing to understand this distinction and insisting on following the evil way, of the evil end.

It can be said that the Surah consists of two parts. Ayaat 1-10 tell us that just as the sun and the moon, the day and the night, the earth and the sky, are different from each other and contradictory in their effects and results, so are the good and the evil different front each other and contradictory in their effects and results; they are neither alike in their outward appearance nor can they be alike in their results. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has not mankind uninformed in this world rather He has instilled into his unconscious by means of a natural inspiration the distinction between good and evil and right and wrong. Man’s fate depends on how he uses his intellect to discriminate or judge between the good and evil. If he develops the good inclination and frees his self of the evil inclinations, he will attain eternal success. If, on the contrary, he suppresses the good and promotes the evils, he will meet with disappointment and failure.

In Ayaat 11-15 the story of the people of Thamoud is mentioned. Prophet Salih ‘alayhi salaam was sent to these people to inspire them to do good and stay away from the evil. Overwhelmed by their inner self, his people became rebellious and rejected him. Prophet Salih presented before them the miracle of the she camel, as demanded by themselves, the most wretched one of them, in spite of his warning, hamstrung it, in accordance with the will and desire of the people. Consequently, the entire tribe was overtaken by a disaster.

This provides an example of the unpromising prospects which await those who corrupt their souls instead of keeping them pure and who do not confine themselves within the limits of piety.

“Successful is the one who keeps it pure, and ruined is the one who corrupts it.” [91:9]

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