Surah Naba

Surah Naba

We all know that the holy Quran is comprised of 114 chapters, each carrying their own significance, messages, teachings and benefits. While the Quran is divided into 30 sections, also known as juz’, the last juz’ is a collection of the shorter chapters. One of these chapters is Surah An-Naba. Surah An-Naba (سورة النباء) is the 78th chapter of the holy Quran, comprising of 40 verses, with Surah Al-Mursalat (سورة المرسلات) preceding and Surah An-Nazi’at (سورة النازعات) proceeding it. In this article, we will be discussing different aspects of this luminous surah such as:

Facts about Surah Naba

Surah An-Naba is the 78th chapter of the Holy Quran and the first chapter of the final section. It has different names all eluding to one of the verses or aspects of this noble chapter. What makes this chapter very interesting is the tone, content and brevity of its 40 verses and the important apparent and teachings it has for every truth-seeking heart. There are also many blessings to this luminous that one can benefit from in both worldly and spiritual affairs.

78 Surah no.

Juz’ 30 Place

Makki Makki/Madani

80 Order of revelation

40 No. of verses

174 No. of words


Arabic Text and Translation of Surah Naba


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيم

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

عَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ ﴿1﴾

What is it that they are questioning each other about?!

عَنِ النَّبَإِ الْعَظِيمِ ﴿2﴾

[Is it] about the Great Tiding,

الَّذِي هُمْ فِيهِ مُخْتَلِفُونَ ﴿3﴾

the one about which they differ?

كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ ﴿4﴾

No indeed! Soon they will know!

ثُمَّ كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ ﴿5﴾

No indeed! Soon they will know for once again!

أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الْأَرْ‌ضَ مِهَادًا ﴿6﴾

Did We not make the earth a resting place?

وَالْجِبَالَ أَوْتَادًا ﴿7﴾

and the mountains stakes?

وَخَلَقْنَاكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا ﴿8﴾

and create you in pairs?

وَجَعَلْنَا نَوْمَكُمْ سُبَاتًا ﴿9﴾

and make your sleep for rest?

وَجَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ لِبَاسًا ﴿10﴾

and make the night a covering?

وَجَعَلْنَا النَّهَارَ‌ مَعَاشًا ﴿11﴾

and make the day for livelihood?

وَبَنَيْنَا فَوْقَكُمْ سَبْعًا شِدَادًا ﴿12﴾

and build above you the seven mighty heavens?

وَجَعَلْنَا سِرَ‌اجًا وَهَّاجًا ﴿13﴾

and make [the sun for] a radiant lamp?

وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْمُعْصِرَ‌اتِ مَاءً ثَجَّاجًا ﴿14﴾

and send down water pouring from the rain-clouds,

لِّنُخْرِ‌جَ بِهِ حَبًّا وَنَبَاتًا ﴿15﴾

that We may bring forth with it grains and plants,

وَجَنَّاتٍ أَلْفَافًا ﴿16﴾

and luxuriant gardens?

إِنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ كَانَ مِيقَاتًا ﴿17﴾

Indeed the Day of Judgement is the tryst,

يَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ‌ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْوَاجًا ﴿18﴾

the day the Trumpet will be blown, and you will come in groups,

وَفُتِحَتِ السَّمَاءُ فَكَانَتْ أَبْوَابًا ﴿19﴾

and the sky will be opened and become gates,

وَسُيِّرَ‌تِ الْجِبَالُ فَكَانَتْ سَرَ‌ابًا ﴿20﴾

and the mountains will be set moving and become a mirage.

إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ كَانَتْ مِرْ‌صَادًا ﴿21﴾

Indeed hell is in ambush,

لِّلطَّاغِينَ مَآبًا ﴿22﴾

a resort for the rebels,

لَّابِثِينَ فِيهَا أَحْقَابًا ﴿23﴾

to reside therein for ages,

لَّا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا بَرْ‌دًا وَلَا شَرَ‌ابًا ﴿24﴾

tasting in it neither any coolness nor drink,

إِلَّا حَمِيمًا وَغَسَّاقًا ﴿ ﴿25﴾

except boiling water and pus,

جَزَاءً وِفَاقًا ﴿26﴾

a fitting requital.

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا لَا يَرْ‌جُونَ حِسَابًا ﴿27﴾

Indeed they did not expect any reckoning,

وَكَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا كِذَّابًا ﴿28﴾

and they denied Our signs mendaciously,

وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَاهُ كِتَابًا ﴿29﴾

and We have figured everything in a Book.

فَذُوقُوا فَلَن نَّزِيدَكُمْ إِلَّا عَذَابًا ﴿30﴾

So [now] taste! We shall increase you in nothing but punishment!

إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ مَفَازًا ﴿31﴾

Indeed a triumph awaits the Godwary:

حَدَائِقَ وَأَعْنَابًا ﴿32﴾

gardens and vineyards,

وَكَوَاعِبَ أَتْرَ‌ابًا ﴿33﴾

and buxom maidens of a like age,

وَكَأْسًا دِهَاقًا ﴿34﴾

and brimming cups.

لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا وَلَا كِذَّابًا ﴿35﴾

Therein they shall hear neither vain talk nor lies

جَزَاءً مِّن رَّ‌بِّكَ عَطَاءً حِسَابًا ﴿36﴾

—a reward and a sufficing bounty from your Lord,

رَّ‌بِّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ ۖ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِنْهُ خِطَابًا ﴿37﴾

the All-beneficent, the Lord of the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. They will not be able to address Him

يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّ‌وحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَّا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا ﴿38﴾

on the day when the Spirit and the angels stand in an array: none shall speak except someone who is permitted by the All-beneficent and says what is rightful.

ذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَ‌بِّهِ مَآبًا ﴿39﴾

That day is true for certain. So let anyone who wishes take resort with his Lord.

إِنَّا أَنذَرْ‌نَاكُمْ عَذَابًا قَرِ‌يبًا يَوْمَ يَنظُرُ‌ الْمَرْ‌ءُ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ وَيَقُولُ الْكَافِرُ‌ يَا لَيْتَنِي كُنتُ تُرَ‌ابًا ﴿40﴾

Indeed We have warned you of a punishment near at hand—the day when a person will observe what his hands have sent ahead and the faithless one will say, ‘I wish I were dust!’

Names of Surah Naba

The 78th chapter of the holy Quran has several names including Naba (نباء) which means tidings, alluding to the term “great tidings” within the second verse of the chapter:

عَنِ النَّبَإِ الْعَظِيمِ

[Is it] about the Great Tiding

Other names reported for the chapter are Amma (عَمَّ) meaning about what, Tasaa’ul (تَسائُل) meaning questioning and Mu’saraat (مُعصَرات) which means rain-clouds, also a term used in the 14th verse of Surah An-Naba in the Quran.

وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْمُعْصِرَاتِ مَاءً ثَجَّاجًا

and send down water pouring from the rain-clouds,

Place of Revelation of Surah Naba

Surah An-Naba was revealed to Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him and his pure progeny- in the holy city of Mecca. One of the reasons that lead scholars to believe Surah An-Naba was reveled in the city of Mecca is the strong and intensive tone of the verses. Another quality is the subject of heaven and hell which has been discussed in this chapter and explained in vivid details. Moreover, the polytheists have been addressed in this chapter as well, suggesting that its revelation took place before the migration to Medina where most chapters are directed at the growing Muslim population.

Occasion of Revelation of Surah Naba

It is believed by some scholars such as Sheikh Tousi, that the Noble Prophet would inform the Muslims of past and future events and tell them about the unseen. However, the pagans would hear the Messenger impart such knowledge on to the Muslims and ridicule him. Therefore, Allah commanded His Messenger not to speak in the presence of the insolent disbelievers. As the Prophet was speaking to his companions one day a group of infidels came by and the Noble Prophet stopped speaking. They then sarcastically remarked that “O Muhammad, we find the things you say so interesting and would like to hear you speak”. To which the Noble Prophet replied “I have been commanded by Allah not to speak to you” 1 and thus the verse was revealed:

عَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ عَنِ النَّبَإِ الْعَظِيمِ

What is it that they are questioning each other about?! [Is it] about the Great Tiding

Occasions in Narrations

It has been narrated by the blessed Household of Prophet Muhammad that another occasion for the first verses of Surah An-Naba in the Quran, is in fact, Ali ibn Abitalib peace be upon him. As reported by Abu Hamzah Al-Thumali that:

سَأَلْتُ أَبَا جَعْفَر (علیه السلام) فِی قَوْلِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ‌وَ‌جَلَّ عَمَّ یَتَساءَلُونَ فَقَالَ کَانَ أَمِیرُ‌الْمُؤْمِنِینَ (علیه السلام) یَقُولُ لِأَصْحَابِهِ أَنَا وَ اللَّهِ النَّبَأُ الْعَظِیمُ الَّذِی اخْتُلِفَ فِی جَمِیعِ الْأُمَمِ بِأَلْسِنَتِهَا وَ اللَّهِ مَا لِلَّهِ نَبَأٌ أَعْظَمُ مِنِّی وَ لَا لِلَّهِ آیَهْ أَعْظَمُ مِنِّی

I asked Abu Ja’far [ Imam Al-Baqir] regarding the word of Allah that “of what do they ask” and he said it was the Master of the Faithful [Imam Ali]. He had told his companions “I am the great good tiding in which all nations with their [different] languages disagree upon. By Allah, Allah does not have a news and a good tiding greater than me and He does not have a sign greater than me.” 2

Themes and Topics of Surah Naba

As mentioned before, Surah An-Naba was revealed in the city of Mecca. This means that the verses of this chapter would revolve around certain themes that are usually the subject of Makki chapters. Therefore, these subjects primarily discuss the fundamentals of Islamic beliefs. If we wish to have a more accurate categorization of the verses of Surah An-Naba in the Quran, we must take a closer look at the topic of each verse and the beliefs under which they can be classified, such as:

The qualities and details of the unseen i.e. heaven and hell

إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ كَانَتْ مِرْصَادًا

Indeed, hell is in ambush

لَّا يَذُوقُونَ فِيهَا بَرْدًا وَلَا شَرَابًا

tasting in it neither any coolness nor drink

حَدَائِقَ وَأَعْنَابًا

gardens and vineyards

لَّا يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْوًا وَلَا كِذَّابًا جَزَاءً مِّن رَّبِّكَ عَطَاءً حِسَابًا

Therein they shall hear neither vain talk nor lies —a reward and a sufficing bounty from your Lord

With the two first verses being about that which will be received as a result of sins and the latter being the reward for piety.

The signs of Allah

أَلَمْ نَجْعَلِ الْأَرْضَ مِهَادًا

Did We not make the earth a resting place?

وَخَلَقْنَاكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا

and create you in pairs?

وَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ الْمُعْصِرَاتِ مَاءً ثَجَّاجًا

and send down water pouring from the rain-clouds,

As shown in these verses and of course, the verse before and after them, the verses in this chapter which are related to the signs of Allah speak in perfect sequence regarding the earth, humans and the skies.

Qiyamah

يَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْوَاجًا

the day the Trumpet will be blown, and you will come in groups

يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ صَفًّا ۖ لَّا يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلَّا مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ وَقَالَ صَوَابًا

on the day when the Spirit and the angels stand in an array: none shall speak except someone who is permitted by the All-beneficent and says what is rightful.

And the position of the righteous

إِنَّ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ مَفَازًا

Indeed, a triumph awaits the God-wary

Benefits of Reciting Surah Naba

A believer can gain benefits from reading any verse of the Holy Quran. However, each verse or chapter has its own unique benefits and qualities depending on the content and circumstances. Naturally, Surah An-Naba in the Quran is not an exception. Here, we will be looking at a few narrations from the infallibles regarding the benefits of reciting the 78th chapter of the Book of Allah.

Hidden rewards and value of Surah Naba

The Noble Messenger has said:

Whoever recites Surah An-Naba, Allah will reward him with a cool drink on the Day of Judgement. 3

His eminence has also said:

Learn Surah An-Naba for if you knew of the great bounties and blessings that this chapter has, you would leave all else and only learn Surah An-Naba and seek nearness to Allah by it and through this surah Allah would forgive all your sins except ascribing a partner to Him. 4

The tawfeeq (توفیق) of visiting the House of God

Imam Sadiq peace be upon him:

Whoever recites Surah An-Naba every day for a year, will not leave that year until he has visited the House of God (Holy Ka’ba). 5

In order to stay alert and awake

Whoever wishes to stay awake during the night should recite Surah An-Naba and it will be such…

For safety during night trips

…[Also] reciting this Surah has benefits for those who travel at night and will guard them from thieves and bandits. 6

Ease on Qiyamah

The Noble Messenger of God has said:

Whoever learns Surah An-Naba and memorizes it, his reckoning on the Day of Judgment will be as short and fast as performing a prayer. 7

Conclusion

in conclusion, this chapter is the first chapter of the final juz’ in the Quran, which is the 30th section of the Quran, also known as juz’ ‘Amma (جَزء عَمَّ). The significance of this chapter is due to its resourceful collection of profound knowledge and above all its deeper meaning regarding Imam Ali and his position.


References

  1. At-Tibyan, vol. 10, p. 238
  2. Biharul anwar, vol. 36, p.3
  3. Majma’ul bayan, vol. 10, p.237
  4. Mustadrakul wasa’il, vol. 4, p. 366
  5. Thawabul a’maal, p. 121
  6. Tafsir Al-Burhan, vol. 5, p. 63
  7. Tafsir Al-Burhan, vol. 4, p. 419

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3 Responses

  1. Salam. MashaAllah, great work! Wish there was more elaboration about how this chapter relates to Imam Ali علیه السلام
    It’s also great that you have videos for each article

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