al-Mulk · Juz 29 · Qur'an Tafseer

Surah al-Mulk – 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:

In this Surah, on the one hand, the teachings of Islam have been introduced briefly, and, on the other, the people living in heedlessness have been aroused from their slumber in a most effective way. A characteristic of the earliest Surahs of the Makkan period is that they present the entire teachings of Islam and the object of the Prophet’s mission. Moreover, they are particularly directed to make the people shun heedlessness, to make them think, and to arouse their dormant conscience.

In the first five ayaat man has been made to realize that the universe in which he lives is a most well-organized and fortified Kingdom in which he cannot detect any fault, any weakness or flaw, however hard he may try to probe. This Kingdom has been brought from nothing into existence by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Himself and all the powers of controlling, administering and ruling it are also entirely in Allah’s hand. His power is infinite. Man has also been told that he has not been created without a purpose. He has been sent here for a test and in this test he can succeed only by his righteous deeds and conduct.

In ayaat 6-11, dreadful consequences of disbelief which will appear in the Hereafter have been mentioned, and the people told that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, by sending His Prophets, has warned them of these consequences in this world, as if to say, Now, if you do not believe in what the Prophets say and correct your attitude and behavior accordingly, in the Hereafter you will yourself have to admit that you really deserved the punishment that was being meted out to you.

In ayaat 12-l4, the truth that has been impressed on the minds is that the Creator cannot be unaware of His creation. He is aware of each open and hidden secret of ours, even of the innermost ideas of our hearts. Hence, the right basis of morality is that man should avoid evil, fearing the accountability of the unseen God, whether in the world there is a power to take him to task for this or not, and whether in the world there is a possibility of being harmed by such a power or not. Those who adopt such a conduct in the world alone will deserve forgiveness and a rich reward in the Hereafter.

In ayaat 15-23, making allusions, one after the other to those common truths of daily occurrence, which man does not regard as worthy of much attention, he has been invited to consider them seriously. It has been said: Look at the earth on which you move about with full satisfaction and peace of mind, and from which you obtain your sustenance has been subdued for you by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. Otherwise this earth might at any time start shaking suddenly so as to cause your destruction, or a typhoon might occur, which may annihilate you completely. Look at the birds that fly above you. It is only Allah Who is sustaining them in the air. Look at your own means and resources. If Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wills to inflict you with a scourge, none can save you from it; and if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala wills to close the doors of sustenance on you, none can open them for you. These things are there to make you aware of the truth, but you see them like animals, which are unable to draw conclusions from observations, and you do not use your sight, hearing and minds which Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has bestowed on you as men; that is why you do not see the right way.”

In ayaat 24-27, it has been said that we have to ultimately appear before Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala in any case. It is not for the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to tell the exact time and date of the event. His only duty was to warn beforehand of its inevitable occurrence. People of Makkah were not paying attention to his message and demanding that he should cause the event (the Day of Judgment) to occur and appear prematurely before them. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says but when it will occur, and people will see it with their own eyes, they will then be astounded. Then, it will be said to them, “This is the very thing you were calling to be hastened.”

In ayaat 28-29 replies have been given to what the unbelievers of Makkah said against the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Companions radhiAllahu ‘anhum. They cursed the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and prayed for his and the believers’ destruction. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala asks them how is the fate of believers going to change the destiny of the unbelievers? Whether the believers are punished or shown mercy, how is this going to affect the deniers of the truth? People should look after themselves and consider who would save them if they were overtaken by the scourge of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? They regard those who believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and put their trust in Him as the misguided, a time will come when it will become evident as to who was misguided in actual truth.

In conclusion, the people have been asked and left to ponder over the question that if the water which has come out from the earth at some place in the desert or hill country of Arabia and upon which depends your whole life activity, should sink and vanish underground, who beside Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala can restore it to you. Water is essential for life and if it disappears nothing on earth can sustain.

We ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for His never-ending blessings and the ability to give thanks for His favors that we enjoy, aameen.

Virtues of Surah al-Mulk

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu that Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

إِنَّ سُورَةً فِي الْقُرْآنِ ثَلَاثِينَ آيَةً شَفَعَتْ لِصَاحِبِهَا حَتْى غُفِرَ لَهُ: تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ

“Verily, there is a chapter in the Qur’an which contains thirty ayaat that will intercede on behalf of its recitor until he is forgiven. (It is) ‘Blessed be He in Whose Hands is the dominion.’”

At-Tabarani and al-Hafiz ad-Diya’ al-Maqdisi both recorded from Anas radhiAllahu ‘anhu that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

سُورَةٌ فِي الْقُرْآنِ خَاصَمَتْ عَنْ صَاحِبِهَا حَتْى أَدْخَلَتْهُ الْجَنَّةَ: تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ

“There is a chapter of the Qur’an that will argue on behalf of its recitor until it causes him to enter into Paradise. (It is) ‘Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion.’”

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