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Sura al-Tahrim

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Tahrim; to read its text see text:Sura al-Tahrim.
Sura al-Tahrim
al-Talaq ← →al-Mulk
سوره تحریم.jpg
Sura Number 66
Juz' 28
Revelation Number 108
Makki/Madani Madani
Verse Count 12
Word Count 254
Letter Count 1105

Sura al-Taḥrim (Arabic: سوره التحریم) is 66th sura of the Qur'an. It is a Madani sura located in juz' 28. The name of the sura is adopted from the first verse of the sura which refers to the event when the Prophet (s) made a permissible issue prohibited for himself by taking an oath in order to please his wives. Sura al-Tahrim urges wrongdoers to make a sincere repentance and speaks about the effects of faith on the Judgment Day. It also urges Muslims toward jihad with disbelievers and hypocrites and to be harsh toward them. In this sura, the wives of Noah (a) and Lot (a) are mentioned as unrighteous women and the wife of Pharaoh and Lady Mary (a) are considered as righteous women.

One of the famous verses of this sura is verse 6 which calls believers to save themselves and their families from the hellfire. It is narrated from the Prophet (s) that whoever recites Sura al-Tahrim will be successful to make sincere repentance and not return to sins. Also, lessening the punishment of dead ones and easy death of a person who is in his deathbed are mentioned as other benefits of this sura.



The famous name of this sura is "al-Tahrim" which is adopted from the first verse of the sura. In this verse, the Prophet (s) is asked why he (s) prohibited a permissible issue for himself because of his wives. This sura is also called "Sura al-Nabi (s)", "Lim-a tuhrim" and "al-Mutaharrim".

Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Tahrim is a Madani sura and was the 108th sura revealed to the Prophet (s). This sura is now 66th sura in the Qur'an, located in juz' 28.

Number of Verses and other Characteristics

Sura al-Tahrim has 12 verses, 254 verses and 1105 letters. Regarding volume, it is a relatively short sura among Mufassalat suras (having several short verses), in half of one hizb.


Sura al-Tahrim begins by admonishing the Prophet (s) (which is actually admonishing his wives), because he (s) prohibited an issue declared permissible by God for himself in order to please his wives in an event which happened due to the plot of two of the Prophet's (s) wives. The next verses call believers to save themselves from the hellfire whose fuel is people and stones and to know that they will only be requited for their deeds.

Some of the issues mentioned in this sura are urging sinners to repent (a sincere repentance), fruits of faith on the Judgment Day, jihad with disbelievers and hypocrites and being harsh to them, mentioning the wives of Noah (a) and Lot (a) as unrighteous women and mentioning Pharaoh's wife and Lady Mary (a) (daughter of 'Imran) as righteous women.

Content of Sura al-Tahrim[1]
Warning Plotters and Wives of the Prophet (s)
First topic: verses 1-5
Gods support for the Prophet (s) against his wives
Second topic: verses 6-9
Duties of the Prophet (s) and believers against traitors
Third topic: verses 10-12
Destiny of righteous and unrighteous women
First point: verses 1-2
Emotional support of God for the Prophet (s)
First point: verses 6-8
Duties of believers:
avoiding any cooperation with the Prophet’s (s) dissidents
repenting of cooperation with the Prophet's (s) enemies
First point: verse 10
Destiny of the wives of Noah (a) and Lot (a)
Second point: verse 3
Mentioning the roles of the Prophet's (s) wives
Second point: verse 9
The Prophet's (s) duty: seriously fighting plotters
Second point: verses 11-12
Destiny of the servitude of Asiya and Lady Mary (a)
Third point: verse 4
Supporting the Prophet (s) by God and His armies.
Third point: verse 5
Warning the Prophet's (s) wives of being divorced

The Prophet (s) and Pleasing His Wives

Exegetes have different opinions about the context of revelation for the first verses of Sura al-Tahrim which admonish the Prophet (s) for prohibiting the issues declared permissible by God in order to please his wives.

Some sources have narrated that the Prophet (s) used to visit his wives after fajr prayer. One day, Hafsa gave the Prophet (s) a honey drink and the Prophet (s) stayed with her longer. 'Ayisha became upset of his stay and plotted with his other wives that they tell him that he (s) smelled bad when they visited him. The Prophet (s) who did not like to smell bad, swore not to drink from that honey again. In another narration, it is mentioned that it was Zaynab bt. Jahsh who gave him the honey drink and in another narration it is said that it was Umm Salama.

According to another report, the Prophet (s) avoided being with his bondwoman in order to please Hafsa and advised her to keep this secret to herself, but she told 'Ayisha about it. Following this action of Hafsa, the first verses of Sura al-Tahrim were revealed.

However, in Tafsir al-Mizan, 'Allama Tabataba'i mentioned these different narrations about the context of the revelation of the first verses of Sura al-Tahrim and evaluated them incompatible with other verses of this sura.

According to some other reports, it is mentioned that following the objection of 'Ayisha and Hafsa about the Prophet's (s) stay in the house of Mariya, the Prophet (a) swore that he (a) would never again have sex with her and these verses were revealed about this event.

Famous Verse

Verse 6

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلَائِكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ شِدَادٌ لَّا يَعْصُونَ اللَّـهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ
"O you who have faith! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones"

About this verse, al-'Allamah al-Majlisi explained that a person should save himself and his family from the hellfire by obeying God, keeping away from sins and not following desires; thus, he needs to keep patience, calls his family to obey God, teach them the obligations and prohibits them from the evil and encourage them to do good.

Merits and Benefits

It is narrated from the Prophet (s) that whoever recites Sura al-Tahrim, will be successful to make sincere repentance without returning to sins. It is also narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that whoever recites Sura al-Talaq and Sura al-Tahrim in his daily prayers, God will keep him away from fear and distress on the Day of Judgment; because, these two suras belong to the Prophet (s). About the benefits of this sura, it is narrated that it makes death easy for the one who is in his deathbed if they write it for him. Also, it will decrease the punishments of dead ones. It also draws away distress; and, its frequent recitation is beneficial for a person in debt God-willing.


  1. 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.