Surah Duha

Surah Duha

As the 93rd chapter of the Quran, Surah Duha focuses mainly on the Prophet. The verses speak of God comforting him during times when others are mocking him as well as recounting some of God’s blessings upon him. Based on these blessings God also gives certain commands to him and the believers.

Facts about Surah Duha

One of the main issues the Prophet faced during his period of Prophet-hood was the persecution by the disbelievers and sometimes even doubt by the believers. Surah Duha addresses one such instance where the Prophet was being mocked for not receiving revelation for a few days and God’s subsequent show of solidarity and comfort for him and reminding the Prophet and people of the blessings He bestowed upon him.

93 Surah no.

Juz’ 30 Place

Either, Not Specified Makki/Madani

11 Order of revelation

11 No. of verses

40 No. of words

165 No. of letters


Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Duha


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

In the name of Allah, the most compassionate, most merciful

وَالضُّحَىٰ ﴿1﴾

By the morning brightness,

وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَىٰ ﴿2﴾

And by the night when it is calm!

مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَمَا قَلَىٰ ﴿3﴾

Your Lord has neither forsaken you, nor is He displeased with you,

وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُولَىٰ ﴿4﴾

And the Hereafter shall be better for you than the world.

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ ﴿5﴾

Soon your Lord will give you [that with which] you will be pleased

أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ ﴿6﴾

Did He not find you an orphan, and shelter you?

وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَىٰ ﴿7﴾

Did He not find you astray, and guide you?

وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَىٰ ﴿8﴾

Did He not find you needy, and enrich you?

فَأَمَّا الْيَتِيمَ فَلَا تَقْهَرْ ﴿9﴾

So, as for the orphan, do not oppress him;

وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ ﴿10﴾

And as for the beggar, do not chide him;

وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ ﴿11﴾

And as for your Lord’s blessing, proclaim it! 1

The article covers the following topics relating to Surah Duha:

Benefits of Reciting Surah Duha

It has been narrated from the Holy Prophet (peace be on him and his household) regarding this chapter that:

One who recites this Chapter will be among those accepted by Allah, the most Exalted One, as being a member of the nation of Muhammad (S) worthy of his intercession, and he will receive ten good deeds for each orphan and beggar. 2

Occasion of Revelation of Surah Duha

It has been said that a few days had passed that the Prophet (peace be on him and his household) had not received revelation, such that some people started to talk and say that God had forsaken him. In response to their words, Surah Duha was revealed and though this God made the Prophet happy. 3

Surah Duha Starting with Oaths

As in many chapters of the 30th part of the Quran, Surah Duha too begins with oaths:

وَالضُّحَىٰ ﴿1﴾

By the morning brightness,

وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَىٰ ﴿2﴾

And by the night when it is calm!

There are two oaths this chapter begins with:

  • The time when the light of the sun spreads; in this verse, the word ‘duha’ (ضُحَىٰ) is used in this meaning.
  • The night at the time when darkness has overtaken everywhere 4 ; i.e., the time when it has become still and settled. 5

Surah Duha: Comforting the Prophet

مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَمَا قَلَىٰ ﴿3﴾

Your Lord has neither forsaken you, nor is He displeased with you,

This verse gives comfort to the Prophet by informing him that God has neither abandoned him and nor is He angry with him.

It is a consequent to the aforementioned oaths and it is clear that there is a relation between the light of day and revelation and the darkness of night and cutting off of revelation. 6

The Hereafter is Better

وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُولَىٰ ﴿4﴾

And the Hereafter shall be better for you than the world.

Here, Surah Duha is promoting and boosting the matter indicated in the previous verse.

The previous verse proves God’s magnanimity and favor on the Prophet (peace be on him and his household); this verse states that with all the honor and greatness that your worldly life has, and all the favor God has bestowed upon you, it is nothing in the face of your life in the Hereafter; which is better. 7

The Prophet’s Pleasure in Surah Duha

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ ﴿5﴾

Soon your Lord will give you [that with which] you will be pleased

Based on the context of the previous verses, the giving will take place in the Hereafter.

In the World

It is possible also that the verse intends to say that even though the life of the Hereafter is better for you; however, you will be given so much reward in the world too until you are pleased. In this case the spread of religion is what is meant. 8

In the Hereafter

If what is meant is the Hereafter, however, it refers to Heaven and intercession and other such matters. 9

It is important to note here that both giving has been mentioned in the absolute sense (without any limits), as well as pleasure. 10

Narrative Discussion

Harb bin Shurayh narrates that I asked Muhammad al-Baqir (peace be on him) whether there is truth to the intercession of the Prophet which the people of Iraq speak of among themselves. He replied: yes, I swear by God. My uncle, Muhammad Hanafiyyah narrated to me from Ali (peace be upon him who narrated from the Holy Prophet (peace be on him and his household): I will intercede for my nation till God calls out, are you pleased O Muhammad? And I will reply, yes my Lord, I am pleased.

Muhammad al-Baqir then turned to Harb and said to him: O people of Iraq! You say that the most hopeful verse of the Book of God is the following:

Say [that Allah declares,] ‘O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah will forgive all sins. Indeed, He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful. 11

Harb replied in the affirmative. Al-Baqir then continued and said that all of the Ahlulbait consider Soon your Lord will give you [that with which] you will be pleased to be the most hopeful verse in God’s Book which is intercession 12 (i.e. what it refers to is intercession).

Some of God’s Greatest Blessings on the Prophet

أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَىٰ ﴿6﴾

Did He not find you an orphan, and shelter you?

وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَىٰ ﴿7﴾

Did He not find you astray, and guide you?

وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَىٰ ﴿8﴾

Did He not find you needy, and enrich you?

i. Sheltering the Orphan Prophet

The Prophet lost his father while his mother was still pregnant with him and according to historical reports, he lost his mother too when he was only two years old.

However, God then blessed him with the care of his grandfather Abdul Muttalib who raised him till he passed away when the Prophet was eight years old and then God blessed him with the care of his uncle Abu Taleb and made him so beloved to him that he loved the Prophet more than his own sons and raised and took care of him. 13

ii. Guidance

‘Daall’ (ضالّ) here does not mean being deviated in the sense of going off the right path; rather it refers to lack of guidance.

Lack of guidance in reference to the Prophet (peace be on him and his household) refers to the state of the Prophet without taking into consideration Divine guidance. Therefore, the verse states that if it were not for Divine guidance neither the Prophet nor any other human being would have guidance; guidance is only from Him.

So even though there was not a day when the Prophet was not Divinely guided; if one takes only his soul into consideration without God’s guidance, it too lacked guidance and it only through God that he and others are guided. 14

iii. Bestowing with Wealth

‘‘Aa-il’ (عائل) is a destitute who owns nothing of worldly wealth and the Prophet was such.

God made him wealthy after his marriage with Khadijah, the daughter of Khuwaylid and she bestowed him all of her extensive wealth. 15

Surah Duha: Commands to the Prophet and Believers

فَأَمَّا الْيَتِيمَ فَلَا تَقْهَرْ ﴿9﴾

So, as for the orphan, do not oppress him;

وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ ﴿10﴾

And as for the beggar, do not chide him;

وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ ﴿11﴾

And as for your Lord’s blessing, proclaim it!

These verses are a conclusion of the previous three verses; i.e. since you have experienced being an orphan, do not subdue or abase any orphan; you did not possess anything and God enriched you therefore, do not persecute or turn away a beggar and thank God for the blessings He gave you by expressing them and not hiding them; expressing blessings is through words and actions both. 16

Proclaiming God’s Blessings

It has been narrated that God likes to see the effects of the blessings upon man in him.

We should speak of both personal and social blessings together as God has repeatedly reminded us of the blessings that He has bestowed upon us in verses of the Quran. 17

Proclaiming blessings or ‘tahaddoth’ (تحدث) is itself a form of thanksgiving. 18

Umar bin Abi Nasr narrates that a person from the inhabitants of Basra said to him that he saw Ali bin Hussain (peace be on him) and Abdullah bin Umar circumambulating the Ka‘bah and asked Abdullah regarding the verse And as for your Lord’s blessing, proclaim it! he said God has commanded him to relate to people the blessings that God has given him. He then asked Ali bin Hussain and he said that God has ordered him to speak of the blessings that He has bestowed on him of religion. 19

A General Rule

It must be noted that although the Prophet is being addressed in these verses, the commands and prohibitions mentioned in them are orders for all people and not the person of the Prophet alone. 20

Summary of Surah Duha

The chapter first begins with oath on the day and night and then indicates the incident where the Prophet did not receive revelation for a days and the people were mocking him and the verses comfort the Prophet. God also promises him a great reward by telling him that he will bless him till he is pleased; this could be in the world and the Hereafter. The next verses mention some of the blessings that God has bestowed on the Prophet and the chapter ends by drawing conclusions from those blessings and commanding and prohibiting the Prophet and all believers regarding certain actions.


References

  1. Qarai translation
  2. Al-Islam
  3. Tabatabai, M. H. (1374 AP). Tafsir al-Mizan. (Transl. by Seyed Muhammad Baqir Musavi Hamedani). Jamiat al-Modarresin Publications. Vol. 20, p. 522
  4. Ibid.
  5. Tabarsi, F. (1360 AP). Majma‘ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Quran. Translated by a group of translators. Farahani Publications. Vol. 27, p. 140
  6. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p. 522
  7. Ibid.
  8. Qarashi, A. A. (1377 AP). Tafsir-i Ahsan al-Hadith. Bethat Publications. Vol. 12, p. 264
  9. Ibid.
  10. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p.
  11. [39: 53]; Qarai translation
  12. Qarashi, A. A. Ibid. pp. 267-268
  13. Tabarsi, F. (1377 AP). Tafsir Jawami‘ al-Jame‘. Transl. by a group of translators. Astan Qods Razavi Publications. vol. 6, p. 658
  14. Tabatabai, M. H. Ibid. p. 523
  15. Ibid. p. 524
  16. Qarashi, A. A. Ibid. p. 265
  17. Ibid.
  18. Qaraati, M. Tafsir Nur. Commentary of verses 6-11
  19. Qarashi, A. A. Ibid.
  20. Tabatabai. M. H. Ibid. p. 525

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