Sūra al-Muʾminūn (Arabic: سورة المومنون) is the 23rd sura and a Makki sura of the Qur'an, located in the 18th juz' thereof. It is called "Sura al-Mu'minun" (sura of the believers) because of its reference to 15 characteristics of believers. Contents of the sura include refusing from useless works and talks, hasting to do good things, as well as the stories of Moses (a) and Noah (a), the creation of the human being, and resurrection.
Verses 99 and 100 of the sura are its well-known verses according to which unbelievers wish to go back to this world and do righteous actions at the time of their death. As to the virtues of reciting this sura, there is a hadith to the effect that angels give good tidings of peace and comfort in the day of resurrection and achievement of what pleases their eyes when the angel of death comes to them.
The sura is called "Mu'minun" (believers) because it opens with a mention of the salvation of the believers in its first verse ("certainly, the faithful have attained salvation"), and then it enumerates fifteen characteristics of believers within 16 verses. Some people name it "Sura Qad Aflah" because of the phrase in the first verse.
Order and Place of Revelation
Sura al-Mu'minun is a Makki sura. In the order of revelation, it is the 74th sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of compilation, it is the 23rd sura, located in the 18th juz' of the Qur'an.
Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura al-Mu'minun has 118 verses, 1055 words, and 4486 letters. As to its volume, it counts as an average sura, occupying approximately half juz' of the Qur'an. A significant feature of the sura is its reference to the fate of both believers and unbelievers. Thus, the word, "falah" (salvation) and lack of salvation are used in the opening and the ending verses of the sura to refer respectively to the fate of believers and unbelievers.
According to Allama Tabataba'i, the main themes of Sura al-Mu'minun include the belief in God and the day of resurrection, praiseworthy characteristics of believers and vices of unbelievers, God's good tidings to believers and warnings to unbelievers, and catastrophes sent down on past nations from the period of Noah (a) to that of Jesus (a).
According to Tafsir-i Nimuna, Sura al-Mu'minun contains doctrinal and practical lessons, alerts, and the course of a believer's life from the beginning to the end. In this Quranic exegesis, topics of the sura are summarized within some sections:
- Praiseworthy characteristics of believers in 16 verses (verses 1-11 and verses 57-61);
- Reference to assorted signs of God, and His signs in horizons and in people's souls;
- Intense and overwhelming warnings to the arrogant;
- Issues concerning the resurrection;
- God's rule over the world;
- The resurrection, reckoning, requital, awards of good-doers, and punishments of wrongdoers;
- The goal of the creation of human beings.
Historical Narratives and Stories
- Noah's mission, the command for the construction of the ark, gathering all animals inside the ship, the storm, and destruction of the unjust (Verses 23-29)
- Salih's mission, him being denied by his people, and the punishment being sent down on them (Verses 31-41)
- The mission of Moses (a) and Aaron (a), their invitation of the Pharaoh to the right path, Moses being denied, and the destruction of the followers of the Pharaoh. (Verses 45-49)
- Mary (a) and Jesus as signs of God (Verse 50)
Occasions of Revelations of Certain Verses
There are occasions of revelations for two verses of the sura: 2 and 76.
Humbleness during the Prayer
According to some hadiths, the Prophet (s) used to stare at the sky when saying his prayers, until the second verse of Sura al-Mu'minun was revealed: "those who are humble in their prayers" at which point he stared at the ground.
Starvation as a Result of Impiety
Ibn 'Abbas is quoted as saying that Muslims had captivated a person called Thumama b. Uthal, and then took him to the Prophet (s) and he converted to Islam. Upon his emancipation, he returned to Yemen and robbed Meccan caravans of grocery, which led to starvation of the Quraysh to the point that they had to eat "'ilhaz" (a mixture of the camel's wool and blood). Abu Sufyan went to the Prophet (s) and said, "O Muhammad! I swear to God and our kinship! Do you not claim that you are a mercy for the world?" The Prophet (s) said, "yes." Abu Sufyan said, "you have killed our fathers with the sword, and our sons with starvation." In response to Abu Sufyan's claim, the verse 76 of Sura al-Mu'minun, "We have already seized them with punishment, yet they did not humble themselves before their Lord, nor will they entreat [Him for mercy]," was revealed. In this verse, the starvation was attributed to their impiety and arrogance.
|“||" When death comes to one of them, he says, ‘My Lord! Take me back, that I may act righteously in what I have left behind.' ‘By no means! These are mere words that he says.' And before them is a barrier until the day they will be resurrected. "||”|
|— Qur'an 23:99-100|
These verses describe the condition of polytheists and wrongdoers when facing death. Veils disappear from their eyes, and it is as if they see their fate with their own eyes, coming to know the consequences of their behaviors. Thus, they ask God to give them a new life to compensate their wrongdoing. However, laws of creation do not allow anyone to return to this life.
Jurists have drawn upon some verses of Sura al-Mu'minun, such as verses 5, 6, 7, 8, and 51, to infer jurisprudential rulings. Ayat al-Ahkam, or jurisprudential verses, are those containing a jurisprudential ruling or those cited in the process of inferring such rulings. These verses concern the observance of humbleness in prayer, covering one's intimate parts, uses of animals being halal, and the obligation of keeping one's promise.
- Observance of humbleness in prayer
- Avoidance of vain talk
- Guarding one's private parts
- Obligation of keeping one's promises
- Uses of animals
- Eating good parts of animals.
Merits and BenefitsAs to the virtue of reciting Sura al-Mu'minun, the Prophet (s) is quoted as saying: if one recites this sura, angels will give him good tidings of peace and comfort in the day of resurrection and achievement of what pleases the eye when the angel of death comes to him. Imam al-Sadiq (a) said: if one recites Sura al-Mu'minun, God will end his life with happiness and well-being, and if one constantly recite Sura al-Mu'minun on Fridays, he will reside in the Heaven.
|For the full text, see text:Sura al-Mu'minun.|
- Khurramshāhī, "Sura-yi muʾminūn," p. 1223.
- Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān, p. 323.
- Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 166.
- Khurramshāhī, "Sura-yi muʾminūn," p. 1223.
- Ṣafawī, "Sura-yi muʾminūn," p. 817.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 15, p. 5.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 14, p. 191.
- 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.
- Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 7, p. 157; Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān, p. 322.
- Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān, p. 324.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 15, p. 67.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 14, p. 310-312.
- Ardibīlī, Zubdat al-bayān, p. 52-53.
- Muʿīnī, "Āyāt al-aḥkām," p. 1.
- Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 7, p. 175.
- Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 108-109.
- Ardibīlī, Aḥmad b. Muḥammd. Zubdat al-bayān fī aḥkām al-Qurʾān. Edited by Muḥammad Bāqir Bihbūdī. Tehran: al-Maktaba al-Murtaḍawīyya, [n.d].
- Khurramshāhī, Qawām al-Dīn. "Sura-yi muʾminūn" In Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān pazhūhī, vol. 2. Tehran: Dūstān-Nāhīd, 1377 Sh.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1371 Sh.
- Maʿrifat, Muḥammad Hādī. Āmūzish-i ʿulūm Qurʾān. Markaz-i Chāp wa Nashr-i Sāzmān-i Tablīghāt-i Islāmī, 1371 Sh.
- Muʿīnī, Muḥsin. "Āyāt al-aḥkām." Taḥqīqāt-i Islāmī (1376 Sh): 1-8.
- Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Thawāb al-aʿmāl wa ʿiqāb al-aʿmāl. Qom: Dār al-Sharīf al-Raḍī, 1406 Sh.
- Ṣafawī, Salmān. "Sura-yi muʾminūn" In Dānishnāma-yi Muʿāṣir-i Qurʾān-i Karīm. Qom: Intishārāt-i Salmānzāda, 1396 Sh.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, Muḥammad Ḥusayn. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1390 AH.
- Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Majmaʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Muḥammad Jawād Balāghī. Tehran: Nāṣir Khusru, 1372 Sh.
- Wāḥidī, ʿAlī b. Muḥammad al-. Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-ʿIlmīyya, 1411 AH.