Surah Inshirah

Surah Inshirah

Facts about Surah Inshirah

Surah Inshirah, also called Alam Nashrah and al-Sharh is the 94th surah of the Quran with 8 verses and 27 words. It was revealed in Mecca after the revelation of surah al-Duha, being composed of three parts: 1) mentioning three unique blessings granted to prophet Muhammad (S), namely opening his breast, relieving his burdens and exalting him; 2) Giving him the glad tiding that ease accompanies hardships and 3) Making his steps firm in continuing along the path of perusing goals in line with the pleasure of God.

94 Surah no.

Juz’ 30 Place

Makki Makki/Madani

12 Order of revelation

8 No. of verses

27 No. of words

102 No. of letters


Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Inshirah


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

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

أَ لَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ ﴿1﴾

Did We not open your breast for you

وَ وَضَعْنا عَنْكَ وِزْرَكَ ﴿2﴾

and relieve you of your burden

الَّذي أَنْقَضَ ظَهْرَكَ ﴿3﴾

Which [almost] broke your back?

وَ رَفَعْنا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ ﴿4﴾

Did We not exalt your name?

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً ﴿5﴾

Indeed ease accompanies hardship.

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً ﴿6﴾

Indeed ease accompanies hardship.

فَإِذا فَرَغْتَ فَانْصَبْ ﴿7﴾

So when you are done, appoint,

وَ إِلى‏ رَبِّكَ فَارْغَبْ ﴿8﴾

and turn eagerly to your Lord.

Surah Inshirah (Alam Nashrah) in a nutshell

Surah Inshirah, also called al-Sharh (الشرح) and Alam Nashrah (الم نشرح) is the 94th surah of the noble Quran, in Juz’ 30, with 8 verses and 27 words. It was revealed in Mecca in the early years of the appointment of Muhammad (S) as the messenger of God after sura Duha.

In this article you will read:

Blessings of God upon Prophet Muhammad (S)

Surah Inshirah

1st Blessing of God upon Muhammad (S): Expansion of the chest

أَ لَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ ﴿1﴾

Did We not open your breast for you

Prior to his appointment as the messenger of God, Muhammad (S) was well known for his truthfulness and was highly respected among his people; however, as he initiated to openly convey his message, the atrocities and enmities started. Nevertheless, Muhammad (S) was mercy upon mankind, and the apostle of peace. As cited in surah Inshirah, his breast was made open with the grace of God and he could endure the hardships easier. Hence, on the day of the conquest of Mecca, he pardoned all who had wronged him just as prophet Joseph (AS) had pardoned his brothers.

O Lord! Open my heart

Surah Inshirah states that God, the Almighty blessed Muhammad with the expansion of chest without even him asking for it; however, in the story of Moses (AS), when he was missioned to go to his people and guide them to the truth, he prays to God:

قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِي صَدْرِي ﴿25﴾

He said, ‘My Lord! Open my breast for me.

وَيَسِّرْ لِي أَمْرِي ﴿26﴾

Make my task easy for me.

وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِي ﴿27﴾

Remove the hitch from my tongue,

يَفْقَهُوا قَوْلِي ﴿28﴾

[so that] they may understand my speech. 1

Elsewhere we read in the Quran that:

فَمَن يُرِدِ اللَّـهُ أَن يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ ۖ وَمَن يُرِدْ أَن يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ ۚ ﴿125﴾

Whomever Allah desires to guide, He opens his breast to Islam, and whomever He desires to lead astray, He makes his breast narrow and straitened as if he were climbing to a height. 2

2nd blessing of God upon Muhammad (S): Relief of burdens

Surah Inshirah mentions the relief of burdens as the second divine blessing upon Muhammad (S).

وَ وَضَعْنا عَنْكَ وِزْرَكَ ﴿2﴾

and relieve you of your burden

الَّذي أَنْقَضَ ظَهْرَكَ ﴿3﴾

Which [almost] broke your back?

The noble prophet (S) had a back breaking mission; nevertheless, he had by his side many gallant, self-sacrificing and truly pure companions such as Aba Dhar, Ammar, Salman and Ali bin Abi Talib.

The story of the chivalrous fights of Ali (AS) in the battles of Badr, Kheibar and Uhud are well known where he bravely stood by the side of the seal of apostles.

Another incident is Laylat al-Mabīt (لَـیْـلَـة ٱلْـمَـبِـیْـت‎) (the night of staying) when the Quraysh had decided to attack Muhammad in his house as he was fast asleep and kill him. The prophet (S) was informed and was to migrate that same night from Mecca to Medina and instead Ali (AS) offered to sleep in his place so that the polytheists would not get informed of the prophet’s migration.

The noble Quran also mentions the divine assistance to the prophet and the Muslims at the battle time by sending the angels for help 3 or by placing fear in the hearts of the polytheist, hence, removing many back-breaking burdens from Muhammad (S).

3rd blessing of God upon Muhammad: exalting him

وَ رَفَعْنا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ ﴿4﴾

Did We not exalt your name?

After consoling Muhammad (S) by telling him that we opened your heart, and lifted the heavy burden off you in surah Inshirah, God adds that we also exalted your name.

In the call to prayer, which is heard from the mosque minaret ten times a day, upon testifying to the oneness of God, we testify to the prophethood of the noble prophet (S):

اشهد ان لا اله الا الله

I testify that there is no God but Allah

و اشهد ان محمد رسول الله

And that Muhammad is His messenger

We are repeatedly reminded that Muhammad (S) holds a unique spiritual position in the eye of God. Furthermore, we read in the Quran:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَ مَلَئكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلىَ النَّبىِ‏ يَأَيهُّا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَ سَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيمًا ﴿56﴾

Indeed Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who have faith! Invoke blessings on him and invoke Peace upon him in a worthy manner. 4

Ease accompanies hardship

فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً ﴿5﴾

Indeed ease accompanies hardship. (5)

إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً ﴿6﴾

Indeed ease accompanies hardship.

The term Usr (عسر) has occurred 12 times while Yusr (یسر) 36 times in the glorious Quran. This means that the occurrence of ease is three times the occurrence of hardship.

Sometimes it is the case that the trials and difficulties in life expand one’s capacity of tolerance, actualize one’s inner and hidden potentials and increases one’s experiences in life; hence, gradually one would not be easily moved and carried away by the slightest problem that arouse.

Other times, what happens is that because of tolerating much hardship and turbulence in life, one’s efforts pay off. Think about a mountain climber who works on his/her physical strength for a long time and goes through a lot of troubled times, passing through many steep and dangerous cliffs risking his life, however, one day he reaches the mountain top and views the breathtaking scenery from atop.

The same can be said about our life. Many successful businessmen, athletes, surgeons, teachers or even young couples were not doing well at the beginning of their life, nevertheless, they did not give up. They shaped their expectations based on the reality of life and step by step they prospered.

O’ Muhammad, your efforts will pay off one day

The same story can be said about the relentless endeavors of the noble prophet (S) in inviting all to Islam, the religion of peace and tranquility. There was much resistance and tyranny from the opposing side. However, God gives Muhammad the good tiding that all your selfless efforts will pay one day. One day…

وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّـهِ أَفْوَاجًا ﴿2﴾

and you see the people entering Allah’s religion in throngs, 5

Progress never stops

فَإِذا فَرَغْتَ فَانْصَبْ ﴿7﴾

So when you are done, appoint,

Different interpretations have been offered by the exegetes of the Quran for verse seven of surah Inshirah:

  • Once you are done with obligatory prayers, attend to recommended prayers;
  • Once you have finished praying, start supplicating to your Lord;
  • When the battle time is over, busy yourself with worshipping acts;
  • Once you are finished with worldly affairs, attend to other worldly matters and
  • When you are done with one task and have accomplished a goal, do not stop there. Aim for further achievements.

There is a golden point here which needs to be considered:

وَ إِلى‏ رَبِّكَ فَارْغَبْ ﴿8﴾

and turn eagerly to your Lord.

The intention behind all your actions has to be the pleasure of God. You will have to do an act with a pure and loving heart; that is when your act will elevate and gain in value.

Reciting surah Inshirah (Alam Nashrah) in prayers

According to the traditions of the family of the prophet (S) and Islamic scholars, if one intends to recite surah Inshirah after Fatihatul Kitab in one’s prayers, he/she has to also recite surah Duha as Inshirah and Duha are considered as one complete surah all together.

It is commonly believed that surah Inshirah was revealed shortly after surah Duha both in the city of Mecca in the early years of the appointment of Muhammad (S), seal of apostles.

Benefits of reciting surah Inshirah (Alam Nashrah)

  • The Holy Prophet (S) says in a hadith: one who recites surah Inshirah is similar to the one who has met prophet Muhammad (S) and if in the state of grief, God would remove his sorrows. 6
  • Imam Sadiq (AS) says: He who repeatedly recites surah Inshirah during the day and night, all his body parts and the objects around him would testify in his favor on the Last Day. 7
  • In a beautiful hadith from Imam Baqir (AS) we read: He who recites surah Inshirah during the day and night, shall die as a martyr and resurrected as a martyr and resembles one who fights in the way of God with his sword along the noble prophet (S).

One who recites surah Inshirah,

  1. Will be relieved of heart and chest pain;
  2. Will be granted certainty and health;
  3. Will be protected when traveling in sea;
  4. Will have an easy child birth.

References

  1. [20:25-28] Qarai translation.
  2. [6:125] Qarai translation.
  3. Please refer to the Quran, [3:123-125] and [3:151].
  4. [33:56] Qarai translation.
  5. [110:2] Qarai translation.
  6. Majma’ al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 387.
  7. Thawab al-‘Amal, p. 123.

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Radiyah Shameli
Radiyah Shameli
I am Radiyah Shameil. I write for the blog and am a team member in providing content for courses on “Family in the Quran”. I have a Ph.D. in Islamic studies and am a researcher in the field of women and family in Islam. I teach and research mostly in this area. Currently, I am working on the course “Family in the Quran” and “Parenting”

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