Sūra Qāf (Arabic: سورة ق) is the fiftieth sura, and a Makki sura of the Qur'an, located in the twenty sixth juz' thereof. It is called "qaf" because it opens with the disjoined letter, "qaf." Themes of the sura include resurrection, the astonishment of disbelievers at the revival of the dead, prophethood, monotheism, and the divine power.
One well-known verse of Sura Qaf is its sixteenth verse, according to which God is closer to human beings than their jugular vein. As to the virtues of the recitation of this sura, it is said that God will ease hardships and agonies of death reciters of this sura.
The sura is called "Qaf" because it opens with the disjoined letter, "qaf." It is also called "Basiqat" (tall trees) because the word occurs in the sura, which is its only occurrence in the whole Qur'an.
- Place and Order of Revelation
Sura Qaf is a Makki sura of the Qur'an. In the order of revelation, it is the thirty forth sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the present order of compilation, it is the fiftieth sura in the twenty sixth juz' of the Qur'an.
- Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura Qaf has 45 verses, 373 words, and 1507 letters. With respect to size, it is one of the Mufassilat suras, occupying about half a hizb of the Qur'an. It is the 28th of the 29 suras opening with disjoined letters. And it is the sixth of the twenty three suras opening with oaths.
The main theme of Sura Qaf is said to be resurrection, other themes being only subsidiary.
Here is an outline of issues that appear in Sura Qaf:
- Argument for resurrection from the system of creation, particularly the revival of dead lands by rainfalls
- Argument for resurrection from original creation
- Reference to the recording of people's deeds and talks for a day of judgement
- Issues pertaining to death
- Shocking events of the end of the world
- The agonizing fate of transgressors
- The command to the remembrance of God and the greatness of the Qur'an
- Humans being monitored and protected throughout their life.
The Occasion of the Revelation of Verse 38
The occasion of the revelation of verse 38 of Sura Qaf "Certainly We created the heavens and the earth, and whatever is between them, in six days, and any fatigue did not touch Us." is said to be as follows:
- Some Jews went to the Prophet (s) and asked him about the creation of skies and the Earth. The Prophet (s) said, "God created the Earth on Sunday and Monday, the mountains on Tuesday, the sky on Wednesday and Thursday, and stars, the sun, and the moon on Friday." The Jews asked, "What did He do thereafter?" The Prophet (s) recited the Quranic verse, "and then established Himself above the Throne," which implies God's infinite power. However, the Jews said, "thus, God was finished with His work on Friday, and then took a rest on Saturday by relying on His Throne." The Prophet (s) was angered at what they said. Thus, the verse thirty eight of Sura Qaf was revealed to the effect that no weariness touched God after the creation.
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ وَنَعْلَمُ مَا تُوَسْوِسُ بِهِ نَفْسُهُ ۖ وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ
Certainly We have created man and We know to what his soul tempts him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.
|— Qur'an 50:16|
The word, "warid," has been variously interpreted as "jugular vein", the vein connected to the heart and liver, the vein beneath the tongue, and the vein going throughout the whole body in which the blood circulates. In his al-Mizan, 'Allama Tabataba'i takes this verse to be a metaphor for God's closeness to, and encompassing of, human beings.
- Main article: Raqib and Atid
مَّا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ
he says no word but that there is a ready observer beside him.
|— Qur'an 50:18|
This verse refers to two angels as "Raqib" (Observer) and "'Atid" (Prepared). According to some hadiths, Raqib stands on one's right shoulder to record his or her good deeds, and 'Atid stands on one's left shoulder to record his or her sins. The two angels appear to the person at the time of his or her death, and will testify for one's deeds on the day of resurrection. These angels have also been referred to in the Qur'an as "rusul" (messengers), "noble and recording," and "keepers."
- Main article: Blowing the Trumpet
وَنُفِخَ فِي الصُّورِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمُ الْوَعِيدِ
And the Trumpet will be blown: ‘This is the promised day.’
|— Qur'an 50:20|
Blowing the Trumpet is a horrendous heavenly cry filling all skies and the Earth at the time of resurrection, causing all creatures in the world to die. According to some hadiths, the Blowing occurs four times. However, the Qur'an mentions only two instances of Blowing: one at the end of the world as a consequence of which all creatures die, which is the Blowing of death, and the other just before resurrection as a consequence of which all creatures come back to life, which is the Blowing of life. Verse twenty of Sura Qaf refers to the latter Blowing, or to both, because it also says, "that is the day of the threat [or the promised day]."
Merits and Benefits
The Prophet (s) was quoted as saying that if one recites Sura Qaf, God will ease for him the hardships and agonies of death. Imam al-Baqir (a) said: if one recites Sura Qaf in his obligatory or recommended prayers, God will expand his livelihood and, on the day of resurrection, will give the book of his deeds to his right hand, and will audit his records with some laxity. According to al-Burhan, the recitation of the sura has effects such as the healing of epilepsy, increase in one's livelihood, and the obviation of one's fears and anxiety.
- 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 ق in Farsi Wikishia.