Sūra Hūd (Arabic: سورة هود) is the eleventh sura, and one of the Makki suras, of the Qur'an, located in the eleventh and twelfth juz' thereof. It is called "Hud" because it involves the story of Hud (a), the prophet of the People of 'Ad. The main subject-matters of the sura include stories of prophets, the battle against corruptions and deviations, steadfastness on the right path, the truth of the revelation and the Qur'an, the miracle and tahaddi of the Qur'an, the problem of divine knowledge, tests of human beings in the course of their perfection, and the selection of the best.
Well-known verses of Sura Hud include the verse thirteen concerning the tahaddi or challenge of the Qur'an, the verse eighty six concerning "baqiyyat Allah", and the verse 114 concerning the annulment of good deeds by bad deeds.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Content
- 3 Historical Stories and Narrations
- 4 The Occasion of the Revelation of Some Verses
- 5 Well-Known Verses
- 6 Jurisprudential Verses
- 7 Merits and Benefits
- 8 References
The sura is called "Hud" because it involves a detailed narration of the life story of Prophet Hud (a), the prophet of the People of 'Ad in verses fifty to sixty, it mentions "Hud" five times, and it points to the story of the People of 'Ad.
- Order and Place of Revelation
Sura Hud is a Makki sura of the Qur'an. In the order of revelation, it is the fifty second sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the present order of compilation, it is the eleventh sura in the eleventh and twelfth juz' of the Qur'an.
- Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura Hud has 123 verses, 1948 words, and 7820 letters. With respect to size, it counts as one of the Mi'un suras, which occupies about two-third of one juz' of the Qur'an. Sura Hud is the fifth sura opening with disjoined letters.
The first four verses of Sura Hud are said to contain all Qur'anic teachings in a nutshell, which are then elaborated throughout the rest of the sura. Sura Hud warns and gives good tidings by reference to God's tradition about His servants and stories of past names, such as people of Noah, Hud, Salih, and the like, and what happened to them as a consequence of their rejection of the divine call. Other themes of the sura include divine teachings such as monotheism, prophethood, resurrection, and God's promises to believers and righteous people.
Contents of Sura Hud can be summarized as follows:
- Stories of prophets (Noah (a), Hud (a), Salih (a), Lot (a), Shu'ayb (a), Abraham (a), and Moses (a)).
- The battle against corruptions and deviations, and steadfastness on the right path.
- The truth of the Revelation and the Qur'an, its greatness, glory, and miracle, and its tahaddi or challenge.
- God's knowledge of everything, and the test of human beings in the course of their perfection and the selection of the best.
Historical Stories and Narrations
Sura Hud involves a number of stories from past prophets and their people, such as those of Noah (a), Lot (a), Hud (a), Salih (a), and so on.
- The story of Noah (a): the mission, conversations with people, the construction of the Ark, the flood, the drowning of Noah's son, the end of the flood, and the Ark landing on top of Mount Judi. (Verses 25-48)
- The story of the People of 'Ad: Hud's mission, conversations with people, the punishment of the People of 'Ad. (Verses 50-60)
- The story of the People of Thamud: Salih's mission, conversations with people, the miracle of the She-Camel, the camel being slaughtered, the punishment of the People of Thamud. (Verses 61-68)
- The story of the People of Lot: angels visiting Abraham (a), Abraham's fear and the good tidings of Isaac (a), Abraham's conversation with angels about the People of Lot, the angels visiting Lot, the requests of the People of Lot about the angels and Lot's response, Lot abandoning his people, Lot leaving his wife with the people, the punishment of the People of Lot with stones falling from the sky. (Verses 69-83)
- The story of Shu'ayb (a): Shu'ayb's conversation with his people, the divine punishment in Midian. (Verses 84-95)
- The story of Moses (a): the call of the Pharaoh. (Verses 96-99)
The Occasion of the Revelation of Some Verses
God's Knowledge of People's Hearts
The occasion of the revelation of verse five of Sura Hud; "Look! They fold up their breasts to hide [their secret feelings] from Him. Look! When they draw their cloaks over their heads, He knows whatever they keep secret and whatever they disclose." is said to be as follows: the verse revealed about Akhnas b. Shariq who was friendly and sweet in his encounters with the Prophet (s), although he concealed an animus towards the Prophet (s) in his heart.
Sins Annulled by Good Deeds
The occasion of the revelation of the verse 114 of Sura Hud; "Indeed good deeds efface misdeeds. That is an admonition for the mindful." is said to be as follows: a man went to the Prophet (s) and said, "on the other side of the city I was tempted by Satan to harass a woman and I sinned, but no sexual penetration took place; now I have come to you so that you enforce the divine punishment (or hadd) on me." The Prophet (s) did not respond, and the man returned. Then, this verse was revealed. The Prophet (s) summoned the man and then told him to perform a wudu' and say prayers with him as a kaffara (or expiation) for his sin. A person asked the Prophet (s) if the ruling was specific to this person, and the Prophet (s) replied, "no, it generalizes to all Muslims."
Well-known verses of Sura Hud consist in the verse thirteen concerning the challenge or tahaddi of the Qur'an, the Verse of Baqiyyat Allah (verse 86), and the verse 114 concerning the annulment of sins by good deeds.
Al-Tahaddi Verse (13)
- Main article: Al-Tahaddi Verse
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ ۖ قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِعَشْرِ سُوَرٍ مِّثْلِهِ مُفْتَرَيَاتٍ وَادْعُوا مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ
Do they say, ‘He has fabricated it?’ Say, ‘Then bring ten suras like it, fabricated, and invoke whomever you can, besides Allah, should you be truthful.
|— Qur'an 11:13|
The verse is said to be a response to disbelievers who claimed that the Qur'an was falsely attributed to God. In response, the Qur'an challenges them to bring ten suras like those of the Qur'an and then attribute them to God if they think the attribution is false.
The Verse of Baqiyyat Allah (86)
- Main article: Baqiyyatullah
بَقِيَّتُ اللَّـهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ۚ وَمَا أَنَا عَلَيْكُم بِحَفِيظٍ
What remains of Allah’s provision is better for you, should you be faithful, and I am not a keeper over you.
|— Qur'an 11:86|
The verse is said to indicate that a healthy economy is the second most important thing after the belief in monotheism. On this interpretation, the collapse of the economic system is the origin of extensive corruptions in a society. The term, "Baqiyyat Allah" (remains from God), is used to refer to small halal interests because God commands such interest, or because the divine blessings remain, or because it refers to the spiritual rewards that remain forever.
In Shiite books of hadiths, "Baqiyyat Allah" is interpreted as referring to Imams of the Shia. Al-Majlisi cites Ibn Shahrashub's al-Manaqib as saying that the Verse of Baqiyyat Allah was revealed about the Imams. There is another hadith cited in Bihar al-anwar according to which Imam al-Baqir (a) addressed people who closed the gate of their city to him and referred to himself as "Baqiyyat Allah." Al-Tabrisi cites a hadith from Imam 'Ali (a) according to which "Baqiyyat Allah" refers to Imam al-Mahdi (a) who will appear. According to Shiite hadiths, when Imam al-Mahdi (a) reappears, he will recite the verse of Baqiyyat Allah.
The Verse of the Annulment of Sins by Good Deeds (114)
- Main article: Expiation of Sins
وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ ۚ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ
Maintain the prayer at the two ends of the day, and during the early hours of the night. Indeed good deeds efface misdeeds. That is an admonition for the mindful.
|— Qur'an 11:114|
The command to the prayer and steadfastness in verses 114 and 115 of Sura Hud is taken to be a command to the best worships and moral virtues, constituting the core of the faith and the foundations of Islam. Quranic exegetes take the phrase, "And establish prayer at the two ends of the day and at the approach of the night," to refer to the obligation of saying all obligatory prayers in the shortest possible words.
Al-Tabrisi quotes Ibn 'Abbas as saying that the five prayers annul or do away with sins committed by the person between one prayer and the next, taking the "al" in "al-hasanat" as a definite article, which refers to the prayer.
Muhammad Jawad Mughniya, the author of al-Kashif, cites the above remark by al-Tabrisi according to which the five prayers annul sins, and then considers it as irrational and implausible, because there is no religious, rational, or legal connection among rulings and obligations. In other words, to comply with a ruling, be it an obligation or a prohibition, has nothing to do with compliance with or disobedience of another ruling. The saying that the prayer annuls sins, he suggests, means that the goodness of the prayer is so tremendous that when one's good deeds and bad deeds are put on a scale, the good deeds will outweigh the bad deeds, provided that the bad deeds do not involve Major Sins or violations of people's rights.
The verse 114 of Sura Hud is considered as a jurisprudential verses because it determines the times of obligatory prayers. In this verse, "the two ends of the day" is interpreted as referring to the times of Morning and Maghrib prayers, and "the approach of the night" as referring to the time of Isha' prayer. Thus, it determines the times of three out of five daily prayers, and the times of other prayers are specified in other Qur'anic verses.
Merits and Benefits
The Prophet (s) is quoted as saying that if one recites Sura Hud, he will be rewarded ten times greater than the number of people who believed in Noah (a) or denied him, as well as the number of the believers and deniers of Hud (a), Salih (a), Shu'ayb (a), Lot (a), Abraham (a), and Moses (a), and he will be happy on the day of resurrection. Imam al-Baqir (a) is also quoted as saying that if one recites the sura on every Friday, he will be resurrected among the prophets and his sins will not be shown to him.
In al-Burhan, certain effects are attributed to the sura, such as the increase in one's bodily power and the achievement of one's needs.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره هود in Farsi Wikishia.
- 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.