Surah Muhammad (Arabic: سورة محمد) is the forty seventh sura. It is a Madani sura of the Qur'an located in its twenty sixth juz'. It is called "Muhammad" because the name is mentioned in its second verse.
The main theme of the sura consists in characteristics of believers and disbelievers, and their fate in the afterlife. A well-known verse of the sura is the verse seven concerning how God supports believers. And its fourth verse concerning the prohibition of killing prisoners of wars and their release without a payment or in exchange for a ransom counts as a Jurisprudential Verse.
The sura is called "Muhammad" because the name appears in its second verse. It is also called Sura al-Qital (fight), because a majority of its verses are concerned with jihad. It is also called "alladhin kafaru" (those who disbelieved) because it opens with this phrase.
- Place and Order of Revelation
Sura Muhammad is a Madani sura, and in the order of revelation, it is the ninety fifth sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the present order of compilation, it is the forty seventh sura, located in the twenty sixth juz' thereof.
- Number of Verses and Other Features
The main theme of Sura Muhammad consists in characteristics of believers and disbelievers, and a comparison of their respective fates after resurrection. The sura is also concerned with jihad and fights against enemies of Islam. It deals with issues of fight and jihad because it was revealed during the Battle of Uhud.
The words, "idlal" (wasting) and "ihbat" (rendering worthless), are repeatedly used in the sura referring to actions of disbelievers being wasted and rendered worthless, which is said to have to do with their disbelief and their abhorrence of the Qur'an.
The content of the sura can be summarized as follows:
- Faith and disbelief, and a comparison of the condition of believers and disbelievers in this world and the afterlife,
- Jihad with enemies, and an order concerning prisoners of wars,
- Recommendation of people to proceed through the Earth and investigate the fates of past nations as lessons,
- Divine test regarding wars,
- Donation as a kind of jihad.
The Verse of Divine Support
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّـهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ
"O you who have faith! If you help Allah, He will help you and make your feet steady."
|— Qur'an 47:7|
This verse encourages believers to fight the enemies. According to some Shiite exegeses, the emphasis on faith in this verse implies that a sign of faith is to fight enemies of the truth, and "to support God" obviously means to support His religion. According to these exegeses, supporting the Prophet (s), his sharia and his teachings, and as in other Quranic verses (Qur'an 59:8), supporting God and His messenger come together.
In Nahj al-balagha, Imam Ali (a) is quoted as saying that if people support God, God will support them and will plant firmly their feet. God does not ask for people's support out of misery and helplessness. He asks for support when He is all the while Mighty and Wise, and the armies of skies and the Earth are under His command. God asks for support because He wants to test people and determine people who do good things.
The verse four of Sura Muhammad is a Jurisprudential Verse concerning what to do to prisoners of wars after the wars end. The verse prohibits the murder of such prisoners, giving the leader of Muslims a choice to release them without any payment or in exchange for a ransom.
Merits and Benefits
The Prophet (s) is quoted as saying that if a person recites Sura Muahmmad, then when he rises from the grave, he will see the Prophet Muhammad (s) wherever he looks and God will satiate him from Heavenly springs. Rewards for the recitation of Sura Muhammad, as in a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), include the removal of doubts about the religion, prevention of poverty, and being secured by God and the Prophet (s).
- Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره محمد in Farsi WikiShia.