Sūra al-Mulk (Arabic: سورة المُلک) or Sūra Tabārak (سورة تَبارَک) is the sixty seventh sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in the juz' twenty ninth of the Qur'an. The Sura is called "al-Mulk" and "Tabarak" because these two words occur in the first verse of the sura. The main theme of Sura al-Mulk is the general Lordship of God over the whole universe and a warning about the resurrection.
The sura opens with a blessing and praise of God for His absolute dominion, sovereignty, and power, and the second verse of the sura concerns the creation of death and life as divine tests to determine people who are best in deeds. The first and the second verses are regarded as well-known verses of Sura al-Mulk. Of the virtues of the recitation of the sura, it is said that if one recites it at night, he will be given a reward equal to that of vigilance at the Night of Qadr.
The sura is called "al-Mulk" and "Tabarak" because these two words occur in its first verse. "Tabarak" refers to the emanation of profuse blessings from God. And "al-mulk" means the dominion of God over the universe. The sura is also variously called "al-Mani'a" (preventer), "al-Waqiya" (protector), "al-Munjiya" (saver), and "al-Manna'a" (extreme preventer). These appellations are because people who memorize and act upon Sura al-Mulk will be saved, prevented, and protected from the fire of the hell, as pointed out in hadiths.
- Place and Order of Revelation
Sura al-Mulk is a Makki sura, and in the order of revelation, it is the seventy seventh sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of compilation, it is the sixty seventh sura at the opening of the juz' twenty ninth of the Qur'an.
- Number of Verses and Characteristics
Sura al-Mulk has thirty verses, 330 words, and 1300 letters. With respect to size, it counts as one of the Mufassalat Suras of the Qur'an, which occupies about half of a hizb. It was revealed after Qur'an 52 and before Qur'an 69 prior to Hijra (migration of Muslims from Mecca to Medina). Thus, it was revealed in Mecca, without a single Madani verse. Just like Qur'an 25, Sura al-Mulk begins with "Blessed is He." It counts as one of the Mumtahanat suras, which is similar to Qur'an 60 with respect to its content.
Content of the Sura
The main theme of Sura al-Mulk is said to be the generality of God's Lordship over the whole universe and warning about the resurrection. The sura opens with a blessing of God for His absolute dominion, sovereignty, and power, and in its second verse, it is concerned with the creation of death and life as divine tests to determine people with best deeds.
In Tafsir-i nimuna, contents of Sura al-Mulk are summarized in the three following sections:
- The origin of the world, divine attributes, and the wonderful system of creation, particularly the creation of skies and stars, the creation of the Earth and its endowments, the creation of birds and flowing water, the creation of ears, eyes, and instruments of cognition,
- The resurrection, the sufferings of the Hell, and conversations between agents of punishment with inhabitants of the Hell,
- The warning of disbelievers and unjust people against various sufferings in this world and the afterlife.
The Occasion of the Revelation of Verse 13
|“||"And conceal your speech or publicize it; indeed, He is Knowing of that within the breasts"||”|
|— Qur'an, 67:13|
About the occasion of the revelation of verse thirteen of Sura al-Mulk, Ibn 'Abbas was quoted as saying that the verse concerns polytheists or hypocrites who attributed false things to the Prophet (s), and then recommended one another to speak quietly so that Muhammad and his companions do not hear about those talks. However, Gabriel informed the Prophet (s) about those talks, emphasizing that God knows what is in their hearts, whether they conceal it or reveal it.
The first verses of Sura al-Mulk are its best-known verses.
The Verse of Tabarak
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي بِيَدِهِ الْمُلْكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
"Blessed is He in whose hand is dominion, and He has power over all things."
|— Qur'an 67:1|
Allama Tabataba'i takes the word, "tabarak" (blessed), in the first verse of the sura to mean what yields many blessings and benefits. In this verse, God's essence being blessed is tied to His dominion over the world and His power over everything. Thus, He is characterized as an eternal blessed entity.
The phrase, "in whose hand is dominion," is said to suggest God's full dominance of the whole being in such a way that He can make whatever changes He wants in everything, He can manage things in whatever way He wants, and His power is not restricted in any way.
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
"He, who created death and life that He may test you [to see] which of you is best in conduct. And He is the All-mighty, the All-forgiving."
|— Qur'an 67:2|
- The meaning of test:
The verse points to the purpose of the creation of the human death and life, which are manifestations of God's dominion and rule over the universe. The divine test is said to be a kind of training in which human beings act until they are well-trained, tested, and purified so that they deserve proximity to God. Thus, the whole world is a field of test for all human beings, where the instrument of this test is life and death, and its goal is to do good deeds, which amount to the perfection of one's knowledge, purity of one's intention, and doing good things.
Merits and Benefits
There are numerous hadiths concerning the virtues of reciting Sura al-Mulk. The Prophet (s) is quoted as saying that if a person recites Sura al-Mulk at night, he will be given a reward equal to that of vigilance at the Night of Qadr. According to biographies of the Prophet (s), he recited this sura every night before he went to sleep. According to another hadith from the Prophet (s), Sura al-Mulk intervenes on behalf of its reciter on the day of resurrection, asking for his forgiveness.intercession, forgiveness, prevention from sufferings in the grave, and forgiveness of the dead.
|For the full text, see text:Sura al-Mulk.|
- 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 ملک in Farsi Wikishia.