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Sura al-Mutaffifin

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Mutaffifin; to read its text see text:Sura al-Mutaffifin.
Sura al-Mutaffifin
al-Infitar← →al-Inshiqaq
سوره مطففین.jpg
Sura Number 83
Juz' 30
Revelation
Revelation Number 86
Makki/Madani Makki
Information
Verse Count 36
Word Count 169
Letter Count 751

Sūra al-Muṭaffifīn (Arabic: سورة المُطَفِّفین) is the 83rd sura of the Qur'an and the last Makki sura, in the 30th juz' of the Qur'an. "Mutaffifin" means fraudulent dealers, especially in measures and weights. In this sura, God reproaches such people, saying that it is as though they think that there is no Afterlife. The sura is concerned with events of the Resurrection and characteristics of good people (benefactors) and bad people (sinners). According to exegetical books, the 30th verse of this sura is about Amir al-Mu'minin (a).

With respect to the virtues of reciting this sura, there are hadiths according to which if someone recites this sura, God will saturate him with a pure, clean drink never seen by anyone. According to another hadith, if someone recites it in his prayers, he will be immune from the fire of the hell.

Introduction

Names

"Mutaffifin" is derived from "tatfif" (Arabic: تطفیف‌) and means fraudulent dealers. The word, "Mutaffifin" occurs at the beginning of this sura. It is also called "Sura al-Tatfif". "Tatfif" is the infinitive form of "Mutaffifin".

Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Mutaffifin is the last Makki sura and the 86th Quranic sura which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (s). It was revealed after Sura al-'Ankabut and before Sura al-Baqara. In the traditional order of compilation, it is the 83rd sura in the 30th juz' of the Qur'an.

Number of Verses and Words

Sura al-Mutaffifin has 36 verses, 169 words, and 751 letters. It is one of Mufassalat suras (having short and numerous verses).

Content

The first 3 verses of this sura are concerned with a jurisprudential ruling: selling underweight, that is, not giving people the fair amount of what they have purchased, is forbidden and counts as a major sin. The sura characterizes the resurrection and the Afterlife, introduces good and bad people, points to the sarcastic laughter of unbelievers at believers in this world, and says that on Dooms Day, it will be believers who laugh at unbelievers.

Content of Sura al-Mutaffifin[1]
 
 
The effect of disbelief in the hereafter in disregarding people's rights
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First topic: verses 1-28
Disregarding people’s material rights
 
Second topic: verses 29-36
Disregarding people’s spiritual rights
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
First point: verses 1-6
The effect of disbelief in the hereafter in using short measures
 
First point: verses 29-33
Disbelievers’ offensive treatment of believers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second point: verses 7-17
Wrong assumption of the rejecters of the hereafter about punishment of sinners
 
Second point: verses 34-36
Humiliation of disbelievers and honoring believers in the hereafter
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Second point: verses 18-28
Wrong assumption of the rejecters of the hereafter about rewards of the righteous

Occasion of Revelation

Fraudulent Dealers in Medina

According to Tafsir-i nimuna, the occasion of the revelation of Sura al-Mutaffifin is as follows: 'Abd Allah b. 'Abbas says that when the Prophet (s) went to Medina, there were many fraudulent dealers. These verses were revealed, they obeyed the verses, and avoided fraudulences. According to Majma' al-bayan, a man called "Abu Juhayna" lived in Medina who had two measures: a small and a big one. He used the big one when he bought things, and used the small one when he sold them.

Denial of Resurrection: A Consequence of Sins

According to the verse 12 of Sura al-Mutaffifin, nobody denies the resurrection except transgressors and sinners. In his al-Mizan, 'Allama Tabataba'i writes: it turns out that the only thing that makes one avoid sins is the belief in the resurrection. A person who is indulged in lusts and sins cannot accept any barriers to his acts. Thus, his sins lead him to the denial of the resurrection.

According to Imam al-Baqir (a), nothing distorts one's heart except sins. When the heart is accustomed to sins, it will increasingly desire them until they dominate it. Then the heart becomes upside-down.

A Verse Concerning Imam 'Ali (a)

'Allama Tabataba'i quotes Majma' al-bayan as saying that the verse, "when they passed by them, they winked at one another" [Note 1], is revealed about Imam 'Ali (a). It is said that he and some other Muslims were going to visit the Prophet (s). Some hypocrites mocked him, winked at each other, and laughed. When they went to their friends, they said: "today we saw that bold man (referring to Imam 'Ali (a)) and laughed at him". The verse was revealed then. According to 'Allama Tabataba'i, this story is also cited by the Sunni exegete of the Qur'an, al-Zamakhshari.

Virtues and Characteristics

The author of Majma' al-bayan has cited a hadith from the Prophet (s) according to which, if someone recites Sura al-Mutaffifin, God will saturate him with a pure, clean drink never seen by anyone. According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), if someone recites Sura al-Mutaffifin in his obligatory prayers, God will protect him against the punishments of the hell after the resurrection; neither will the hellfire meet him, nor will he meet the hellfire. According to another hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) cited in Tafsir al-burhan, if Sura al-Mutaffifin is recited for anything, that thing will be immune from all evils and insects on Earth.

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. وَ إِذا مَرُّوا بِهِمْ يَتَغامَزُونَ

References