76. Al Insan (Man), also known as Ad Dahr (Time)

Ayah 1-31 – 3 Jannah 3 wives

Topic: 3 Jannah 3 World


This Sura is called Ad-Dahr as well as Al-Insan after the words occurring in the first verse.

Period of Revelation

Most of the commentators including Allama Zamakhshari Imam Razi Qadi Baidawi Allama Nizam ad-Din Nisaburi Hafiz Ibn Kathir and many others regard it as a Makki Sura and according to Allam Alusi the same is the opinion of the majority of scholars. However some commentators hold the view that the Sura was revealed at Madinah and some others say that it was revealed at Makkah but vv. 8-10 of it were sent down at Madinah. As far as the subject matter and the style of the Sura are concerned these are very different from those of the Madani Suras. A little study of it rather shown that it is not only a Makki Sura but it was revealed during the earliest period at Makkah which began just after the revelation of the first seven verses of Sura Al-Muddaththir. As for vv 8-10 they are so naturally set in the theme of the Sura that if they are read in their proper context no one can say that the theme preceding and following them had been sent down 15 to 16 years earlier but these three verses which were revealed many years later were inserted here unnaturally. In fact the basis of the idea that this Sura; or some verses of it were revealed at Madinah is a tradition which Ata has related from Ibn Abbas (may Allah bless him). He says that once Hadrat Hasan and Husain fell ill The Holy Prophet and some of his Companions visited them. They wished Hadrat Ali to make a vow to Allah for the recovery of the two children. Thereupon Hadrat All Hadrat Fatimah and Fiddah their maid servant vowed a fast of three days if Allah restored the children to health. The children recovered by the grace of Allah and the three of them began to fast as avowed. As there was nothing to eat in the house Hadrat Ali borrowed three measures (sa’) of barley from somebody (according to another tradition earned through labour). When on the first day they sat down to eat after breaking the fast a poor man came and begged for food. They gave all their food to him drank water and retired to bed. The next day when they again sat down to eat after breaking the fast an orphan came and begged for something. They again gave away the whole food to him drank water and went to bed. On the third day when they were just going to eat after breaking the fast a captive came up and begged for food likewise. Again the whole food was given away to him. On the fourth day Hadrat Ali took both the children with him and went before the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace). The Holy Prophet (on whom be peace) seeing the weak condition of the three returned with them to the house of Hadrat Fatimah and found her lying in a corner half dead with hunger. This moved him visibly. In the meantime the Angel Gabriel (peace be on him) came and said; “Look Allah has congratulated you on the virtues of the people of your house!”When the Holy Prophet asked what it was he recited this whole Sura in response. (Accordink to Ibn Mahran’s tradition he recited it from verse 5 till the end. But the tradition which Ibn Marduyah has related from Ibn Abbas only says that the verse Wff yut’imun-at ta’am… was sent down concerning Hadrat Ali and Hadrat Fatimah; there is no mention of this story in it). This whole story has been narrated by Ali bin Ahmad al-Wahidi in his Commentary of the Qur’an entitled Al’Basit and probably from the same it has been taken by Zamakhshari Razi Nisaburi and others. In the first place this tradition is very weak as regards its chain of transmission. Then from the point of view of its subject matter also it is strange that when a poor man or an orphan or a captive comes to beg for food he is given all the food. He could be given one member’s food and the five of them could share the rest of it among themselves:Then this also is incredible that illustrious persons like Hadrat Ali and Hadrat Fatimah who possessed perfect knowledge of Islam should have regarded it as an act of virtue to keep the two children who had just recovered their health and w

Theme and Subject Matter

The theme of this Sura is to inform man of his true position in the world and to tell him that if he understood his true position rightly and adopted the attitude of gratefulness he would meet with such and such good end and if he adopted the way of disbelief he would meet with such and such evil ends In the longer Suras of the Qur’an this same theme has been presented at length but a special characteristic of the style of the earliest Suras revealed at Makkah is that the subjects dealt with at length in the later period have been presented in a brief but highly effective way in this period in such concise elegant sentences as may automatically be preserved in the memory of thc hearers. In this Sura first of all man has been reminded that there was a time when he was nothing; then a humble beginning of him was made with a mixed drop of sperm and ovum of which even his mother was not aware; even she did not know that he had been conceived nor anyone else seeing the microscopic cell could say that it was a man who in future would become the best of creation on the earth. After this man has been warned so as to say: Beginning your creation in this way We have developed and shaped you into what you are today in order to test and try you in the world. That is why unlike other creatures you were made intelligent and sensible and were shown both the way of gratitude and the way of ungratitude clearly so that you may show in the interval that you have been granted here for work whether you have emerged as a grateful servant from the test or an unbelieving Un- grateful wretch!” Then just in one sentence it has been stated decisively what will be the fate to be met with in the Hereafter by those who emerged as unbelievers from this test. After this in vv. 5-22 continuously the blessings with which those who do full justice to servitude in the world will be favoured have been mentioned in full detail. In these verses not only have their best rewards been mentioned but they have also been told briefly what are the acts on the basis of which they would become worthy of those rewards. Another special characteristic of the earliest Suras revealed at Makkah is that besides introducing in them briefly the fundamental beliefs and concepts of Islam here and there those moral qualities and virtuous acts have been mentioned which are praiseworthy according to Islam and also those evils of deed and morality of which Islam strives to cleanse human life. And these two things have not been mentioned with a view to show what good or evil result is entailed by them in the transitory life of the world but they have been mentioned only to point out what enduring results they will produce in the eternal and everlasting life of the Hereafter irrespective of whether an evil quality may prove useful or a good quality may prove harmful in the world. This is the subject matter of the first section (vv. 1-22). In the second section addressing the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) three things have been stated: first that “it is in fact We Ourself Who are revealing this Qur’an piecemeal to you and this is intended to inform the disbelievers not you that the Qur’an is not being fabricated by Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings) but it is “We Who are revealing it and it is Our Own wisdom which requires that We should reveal it piece by piece and not all at once.”Second the Holy Prophet has been told: “No matter how long it may take for the decree of your Lord to be enforced and no matter what afflictions may befall you in the meantime in any case you should continue to perform your mission of Apostleship patiently and not to yield to the pressure tactics of any of these wicked and unbelieving people.”The third thing he has been told is: “Remember Allah day and night perform the Prayer and spend your nights in the worship of Allah for it is these things which sustain and strengthen those who call to Allah in

Scroll Up