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Sura al-Bayyina

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Bayyina; to read its text see text:Sura al-Bayyina.
Sura al-Bayyina
al-Qadr← →al-Zalzala
سوره بینه.jpg
Sura Number 98
Juz' 30
Revelation
Revelation Number 100
Makki/Madani Madani
Information
Verse Count 8
Word Count 94
Letter Count 404

Sūra al-Bayyina (Arabic: سُورَة البَیِّنَة, the Evidence) or Sūra Lam Yakun (Arabic: سورة لَمْ یَکُنْ) or Sūra al-Qayyima (Arabic: سورة القَیِّمَة) is the 98th sura of the Qur'an and a Madani Sura. Sura al-Bayyina is one of the short suras of the Qur'an in its 30th juz'.

Sura al-Bayyina characterizes the animus of the unbelieving People of the Book and their incredulity as to the truth of Islam and the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (s). According to this sura, such people as well as polytheists are the worst of the creatures, who should be punished by the fire of the Hell. On the other hand, it gives believers and the righteous people the good news of the eternal Heaven. The 7th verse of this sura is known as Khayr al-Bariyya Verse, which is, according to Shiite and Sunni hadiths, concerned with Imam 'Ali (a) and his Shi'a.

There is a hadith from the Prophet (s) with regard to the virtue of reciting this sura: "if people knew about the blessings of this sura, they would leave their families and property and engage in learning it …".

Names

The most famous name of the sura is "al-Bayyina", because its 1st and the 4th verses talk about "bayyina" (evidence or proof). In the old sources and narrations the sura is mentioned as "Lam yakun" (literally: has never been) or "Lam yakun allazin kafaru" -the opening phrase of the sura. "Ahl al-Kitab" (People of the Book), "al-Qayyima" (the Upright), "Infikak" (setting apart) are other names of the sura.

Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Bayyina is a Madani sura of the Qur'an, and the 100th sura which was revealed to the Prophet (s), that is, after Sura al-Talaq and before Sura al-Hashr. In the traditional order of compilation, this is the 98th sura of the Qur'an in the 30th juz'.

Number of Verses and Words

Sura al-Bayyina has 8 verses, 94 words, and 404 letters. This is one of the mufassalat and short suras of the Qur'an.

Content

Sura al-Bayyina refers to the global mission of the Prophet (s), taking it to be buttressed with clear evidence and proofs. The sura also states two jurisprudential rulings: the wujub (obligation) of prayer and that of zakat.[Note 1] One theme of the sura is the characterization of the animus of the unbelieving People of the Book and their incredulity as to the truth of Islam, the revelation, and the mission of the Prophet (s). It characterizes the unbelieving People of the Book as well as polytheists as the worst creatures who should be punished by the fire of the Hell, and it characterizes the believers and the righteous people as the best creatures, giving them the good news of going to the Heaven and enjoying an eternal life there. According to Quranic exegeses, the sura was revealed with regard to Imam 'Ali (a) and his Shi'a, and the phrase, "Khayr al-Bariyya" (the best of creatures) refers to them.

Content of Sura al-Bayyina[1]
 
 
An ultimatum to opponents of the Prophet of Islam
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First topic: verses 1-5
Opposition of the People of the Book and polytheists to the Prophet's call to monotheism
 
Second topic: verses 6-8
Punishment of the Prophet's enemies and the reward for his followers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First point: verses 1-3
Insistence of the People of the Book and polytheists on their disbelief after the bi'tha of the Prophet (s)
 
First point: verse 6
Eternal punishment of the enemies of the Prophet (s)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second point: verses 4-5
Conscious opposition of the People of the Book to the Prophet's call to monotheism
 
Second point: verses 7-8
Eternal blessings of the followers of the Prophet (s)

Khayr al-Bariyya Verse

The 7th verse of Sura al-Bayyina is known as "Khayr al-Bariyya Verse".

According to many hadiths in sources of Sunni and Shiite books of hadith and exegesis, the verse is interpreted as being about Imam 'Ali (a) and his Shi'a (followers). For example, according to a hadith in the exegetical book, al-Durr al-manthur (a Sunni work):

"We were in the presence of the Prophet (s) when 'Ali (a) arrived. The Prophet (s) said: 'I swear to God in Whose hand is my life, this man and his shi'a [followers] are the only survivors in the resurrection.' Then the verse was revealed: "Indeed, they who have believed and done righteous deeds - those are the best of creatures". Since the time when the verse was revealed, whenever the Prophet's (s) Sahaba saw 'Ali (a), they said: 'here came the best of creatures'."

Virtues

The Prophet (s) was quoted as saying: "if people knew about the blessings of this sura, they would abandon their families and property and engage in learning it." A man from the Khuza'a tribe asked: "O the Messenger of God! What is the reward for reciting it?" The Prophet (s) said: "no hypocrite will recite it, nor will those with doubts in their hearts. I swear to God that close angels [to God] have been reciting this sura since the day when the heavens and the Earth were created, never plodding through its recitation. If a person recites it at night, God will command the angels to protect his faith as well as his mundane possessions and to ask for mercy and divine forgiveness for him, and if one recites it during the daytime, he will be rewarded an equal of what is brightened by the daylight and what is darkened by the night".

Notes

  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.
  1. Yet they were not commanded except to worship Allah, dedicating their faith to Him as men of pure faith, and to maintain the prayer and pay the zakāt. That is the upright religion. (Quran 98:5)

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from سوره بینه in Farsi WikiShia.