Surah Muzzammil

Surah Muzzammil

Surah Muzzammil is one of the very first surahs that God revealed to Prophet Muhammad in Mecca at the time God was sending him to be a prophet for his people. Therefore, it is relevant to the events that led to his prophethood. This surah in terms of order is surah 73 located in juz’ 29 of the Quran. The Beginning verse of this verse, which the name of the surah is taken from it, means one who is wrapped in clothing. In this article, we will take a look at this surah from different perspectives including:

Facts about Surah Muzzammil

Surah Muzzammil is the 73rd surah of the Quran in juz 29. It begins by addressing the Prophet with his title al-Muzzammil meaning someone who wraps clothing around his body. The Prophet did this to protect himself from the harms that might come to him and also from the cold he felt from the weight and heaviness of Divine revelation. God tells him to rise at night and offer the night prayer in divided portions of the night and to recite the Quran. This surah also talks about other topics such as: Oneness of God, The Day of Judgment & Reading as much of the Quran as one can.

73 Surah no.

Juz’ 29 Place

Makki Makki/Madani

3 Order of revelation

20 No. of verses

300 No. of words

853 No. of letters

Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Muzzammil


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

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

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ ﴿1﴾

O you who wraps himself [in clothing],

قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا ﴿2﴾

Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little –

نِّصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا ﴿3﴾

Half of it – or subtract from it a little

أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا ﴿4﴾

Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation.

إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا ﴿5﴾

Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا ﴿6﴾

Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words.

إِنَّ لَكَ فِي النَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا ﴿7﴾

Indeed, for you by day is prolonged occupation.

وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا ﴿8﴾

And remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with [complete] devotion.

رَّبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا ﴿9﴾

[He is] the Lord of the East and the West; there is no deity except Him, so take Him as Disposer of [your] affairs.

وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَاهْجُرْهُمْ هَجْرًا جَمِيلًا ﴿10﴾

And be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance.

وَذَرْنِي وَالْمُكَذِّبِينَ أُولِي النَّعْمَةِ وَمَهِّلْهُمْ قَلِيلًا ﴿11﴾

And leave Me with [the matter of] the deniers, those of ease [in life], and allow them respite a little.

إِنَّ لَدَيْنَا أَنكَالًا وَجَحِيمًا ﴿12﴾

Indeed, with Us [for them] are shackles and burning fire

وَطَعَامًا ذَا غُصَّةٍ وَعَذَابًا أَلِيمًا ﴿13﴾

And food that chokes and a painful punishment –

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيبًا مَّهِيلًا ﴿14﴾

On the Day the earth and the mountains will convulse and the mountains will become a heap of sand pouring down.

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَاهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا ﴿15﴾

Indeed, We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness upon you just as We sent to Pharaoh a messenger.

فَعَصَىٰ فِرْعَوْنُ الرَّسُولَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُ أَخْذًا وَبِيلًا ﴿16﴾

But Pharaoh disobeyed the messenger, so We seized him with a ruinous seizure.

فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِن كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا ﴿17﴾

Then how can you fear, if you disbelieve, a Day that will make the children white- haired?

السَّمَاءُ مُنفَطِرٌ بِهِ ۚ كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَفْعُولًا ﴿18﴾

The heaven will break apart therefrom; ever is His promise fulfilled.

إِنَّ هَـٰذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا ﴿19﴾

Indeed, this is a reminder, so whoever wills may take to his Lord a way.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَىٰ مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ۚ عَلِمَ أَن لَّن تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ ۚ عَلِمَ أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُم مَّرْضَىٰ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّـهِ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ۚ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّـهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّـهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا ۚ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّـهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿20﴾

Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur’an. He has known that there will be among you those who are ill and others traveling throughout the land seeking [something] of the bounty of Allah and others fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give zakah and loan Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Worth to read!  Surah Nisa’

The following are the topics discussed in this article:

Occasion of Revelation of Surah Muzzammil

Occasion of revelation (اسباب النزول) means the event that caused the verse, verses, or surah to be revealed. For example, when Prophet Muhammad saw the archangel Gabriel (جِبرائيل) or as some say when God revealed the first few verses of the Quran, the burden of revelation was so much that he started trembling in fear and felt cold. Therefore, he wrapped himself with a cloth such as a blanket. This was due to the heaviness and weight of Divine revelation. As a result, God revealed this surah and also surah Muddaththir and gave him the title Muzzammil meaning someone who is wrapped in clothing. Moreover, God in the first few verses of surah Muzzammil asks the Prophet to recite the Quran with tarteel, meaning in a smooth and steady pace.

Tafseer of Surah Muzzammil

Tafseer means the exegesis or commentary of the Quran. The verses of the Quran are easy to understand but they are very deep in meaning and someone must further explain its verses. Mufassirs (مُفَسِّر) or exegetes of the Quran have this role.

Night Prayer Mentioned in Surah Muzzammil

يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ ﴿1﴾

O you who wraps himself [in clothing],

قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا ﴿2﴾

Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little –

نِّصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا ﴿3﴾

Half of it – or subtract from it a little

God commands the Noble Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him and his progeny, to rise at night to offer the night prayer (صَلوٰة الّيل). God Almighty determines different parts of the night that the Prophet must wake up and offer prayer.

Tarteel Recitation in Surah Muzzammil

أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا ﴿4﴾

Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation.

This is a famous verse of the Quran. In fact, God wants His prophet and nation to recite the Quran in a special way. Tarteel means with a steady pace such that one can correctly pronounce the words and phrases and also ponder on them. If you recite the Quran too fast or slow this cannot be achieved. The two kinds of recitation meaning murattal (مرتّل) and mujawwad (مجوّد) are both considered tarteel style of recitation because they have these characteristics.

The Weighty Divine Message in Surah Muzzammil

إِنَّا سَنُلْقِي عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَقِيلًا ﴿5﴾

Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.

Verse 5 of surah Muzzammil in reality talks about the Noble Quran itself. God says that He inspires messages to His prophet that are very deep and “heavy” so to speak. The Noble Quran indeed is a Divine scripture that contains many deep meanings and is a comprehensive and all-inclusive and conclusive book. Only the Prophet of Islam has the capacity to carry this weighty message.

Blessing of the Night in Surah Muzzammil

إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلًا ﴿6﴾

Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words.

God in verse 6 of surah Muzzammil says that the hours of the night are more suitable for supplication, worship, and speaking to God. At night, people are at sleep and it is a good time to spend in worship of God and ask for His forgiveness.

The Hour of Work in Surah Muzzammil

إِنَّ لَكَ فِي النَّهَارِ سَبْحًا طَوِيلًا ﴿7﴾

Indeed, for you by day is prolonged occupation.

Verse 7 of surah Muzzammil draws attention to the fact that the day is a long period of time where there is brightness by which people can be occupied by different works and tasks. This is quite the opposite of the night when lack of light does not allow people to work and be occupied with their tasks.

God is Our Guardian and Agent

وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ وَتَبَتَّلْ إِلَيْهِ تَبْتِيلًا ﴿8﴾

And remember the name of your Lord and devote yourself to Him with [complete] devotion.

رَّبُّ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ فَاتَّخِذْهُ وَكِيلًا ﴿9﴾

[He is] the Lord of the East and the West; there is no deity except Him, so take Him as Disposer of [your] affairs.

Verse 8 states that we must remember God and know that there is no deity except Him and we must take Him as the disposer of our affairs. What does that mean? It means that we must consider God to be the one who helps carry out our tasks. Of course this does not mean that we should sit idle and do nothing. In reality, it means that we should do our duty yet know that God is the only one who helps us get our work done.

Verse 9 has a similar content and says God is the Lord of the East and the West and so we must take Him as our guardian and agent (وَکيل).

Qiyamah in Surah Muzzammil

يَوْمَ تَرْجُفُ الْأَرْضُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَكَانَتِ الْجِبَالُ كَثِيبًا مَّهِيلًا ﴿14﴾

On the Day the earth and the mountains will convulse and the mountains will become a heap of sand pouring down.

Verse 14 of surah Muzzammil depicts one of the signs of Qiyamah. The earth and mountains will crumble and turn to dust and sand. God Almighty reminds us of Qiyamah in many parts of the Quran so that we take admonition and watch our behavior and conduct in this world. That is because, on that day, no one will be excused and people will be held accountable for their deeds in this world.

Every Nation Has a Prophet

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا شَاهِدًا عَلَيْكُمْ كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ رَسُولًا ﴿15﴾

Indeed, We have sent to you a Messenger as a witness upon you just as We sent to Pharaoh a messenger.

فَعَصَىٰ فِرْعَوْنُ الرَّسُولَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُ أَخْذًا وَبِيلًا ﴿16﴾

But Pharaoh disobeyed the messenger, so We seized him with a ruinous seizure.

Verse 15 of surah Muzzammil states that God has sent a messenger as a witness to the people of Arabia just as he did so with respect to the Pharaoh . As a matter of fact, God has sent messengers to all nations. According to the Quran, there has been no nation that has been left without a warner:

وَإِن مِّنْ أُمَّةٍ إِلَّا خَلَا فِيهَا نَذِيرٌ

And there was no nation but that there had passed within it a warner. (35:24; Translation by Qarā’ī)

Verse 16 notes that if anyone disobeys God and His messengers, He will be seized by God. Therefore, all of those who are the enemies of God should know that they will ultimately be defeated.

Hardship of Qiyamah

فَكَيْفَ تَتَّقُونَ إِن كَفَرْتُمْ يَوْمًا يَجْعَلُ الْوِلْدَانَ شِيبًا ﴿17﴾

Then how can you fear, if you disbelieve, a Day that will make the children white- haired?

This verse of surah Muzzammil speaks about the hardship of Qiyamah. It is a day in which children will become white-haired. In other words, the hardship of that day is so much that even children become aged and develop signs of old age. So, God is saying, how is it even possible for us to disbelieve a day that makes children old and aged? This again is a rhetorical question meaning the answer is within the question.

The Quran is a Reminder

إِنَّ هَـٰذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا ﴿19﴾

Indeed, this is a reminder, so whoever wills may take to his Lord a way.

Isn’t it beautiful that the Quran keeps describing itself and saying what its purpose is for? How many books are like this? Indeed, the Quran is a reminder of what needs to be known. It contains information of everything that one needs for his life in the other world and a reminder of those information.

Recitation of the Quran in Surah Muzzammil

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَىٰ مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ۚ عَلِمَ أَن لَّن تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ ۚ عَلِمَ أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُم مَّرْضَىٰ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّـهِ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ۚ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّـهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّـهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا ۚ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّـهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿20﴾

Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur’an. He has known that there will be among you those who are ill and others traveling throughout the land seeking [something] of the bounty of Allah and others fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give zakah and loan Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

At the beginning of the last verse of surah Muzzammil, God tells His prophet that He knows that he is busy worshipping him at different parts of the night. Furthermore, He also tells Muslims that He knows they will not be able to do it. As a result, God asks the Prophet and Muslims to read what is easy for them of the Quran. The importance of learning the Quran  is also shown in this verse. For example, if they cannot recite an entire juz on a daily basis, they can at least recite a few pages. If they cannot recite even a few pages, they can recite a few verses, and so on. God is telling us that we must not put a burden on ourselves when it comes to reciting the Quran. To put it in another way, we should do it with ease.

This long verse of surah Muzzammil also talks about loaning God with a goodly loan (قرض الحسَنَة). The goodly loan is basically lending money to a fellow Muslim. However, it is different from alms as the money will be returned to the owner. Therefore, God has said that he likes the goodly loan more than alms.

Lessons Drawn From Surah Muzzammil

  • Prophet Muhammad has different titles and names one of them being Muzzammil, meaning the one wrapped with clothing. These titles do not seek to reproach the Prophet, but rather they only seek to address him using a special name and title.
  • The Quran must be recited with a steady pace so one can reflect on its verses.
  • The Quran is a “heavy” word. That is to say, it carries a very deep and sophisticated message. This heavy word can be explained to us through the Prophet and Imams who are the true exegetes of the Quran.
  •  There is only one God who is the Lord of the East and the West. We must make him our guardian and disposer of our affairs.
  • Every nation will have a prophet just as the nation of the Noble Prophet and Prophet Moses did. Those who oppose them will be defeated and then punished.
  • The hardship of Qiyamah is so much that young children become aged and become white-haired.
  • We must all recite the Quran to the best of our ability. That is, we must recite whatever of the Quran we can and is easy for us.

Benefits and Rewards of Reciting Surah Muzzammil

  • Among the benefits of reciting this surah is that whoever keeps on reciting this surah, God will take away the hardships of this world and the hereafter from him and he will see the Prophet in his dream. 1
  • One of our Imams states that if someone recites this surah in his ‘Isha prayer or at the end of the night, the surah will bear witness day and night in favor of that person and God will make his life pure and cause him to die in purity. 2

References

  1. Bahrani (بَحرانی), Al-Burhan fi Tafseer al-Qur’an (القرآن في تفسير القُرآن), vol. 5, p. 515.
  2. Tabarsi (طبرسي), Majma‘ al-Bayān (مَجمَعُ البَيان), vol. 10, p. 565.

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Abu Mahdi
Abu Mahdi
I'm Abu Mahdi, one of the writers of this blog. I have a BA in English literature and an MA in English language teaching. I am also a teacher and reciter of the Quran in the field of reading the Quran, tajweed, and maqamat. Currently, we are working on a course for learning tajweed of the Quran here on Islam4u.

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