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Sura al-Naba'

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Naba'; to read its text see text:Sura al-Naba'.
Sura al-Naba'
al-Mursalat← →al-Nazi'at
سوره نبأ.jpg
Sura Number 78
Juz' 30
Revelation Number 80
Makki/Madani Makki
Verse Count 40
Word Count 174
Letter Count 797

Sūra al-Nabaʾ (Arabic: سورة النبأ) or Sūra ʿAmma (Arabic: سورة عمَّ) or Sūra al-Tasāʾul (Arabic: سورة التسائل) is the 78th sura of the Qur'an and a Makki sura. It is a relatively short Qur'anic sura. Sura al-Naba' is the first sura of the juz' 30th. This is why this juz' is called "'Amma juz'". "Nabaʾ" means "news".

Sura al-Nabaʾ is concerned with the resurrection and its events, and the condition of sinners and good people on that day. Its well-known verses are verses 31 onwards concerning the pious people after the resurrection. Some hadiths take the "pious" in these verses to refer to Amir al-Mu'minin (a).

There is a hadith according to which if someone recites Sura al-Nabaʾ every day, the year will not end until he visits the Ka'ba.



This sura is called "Sura al-Naba'" because its second verse talks about "al-Naba' al-'Azim" (the great news, which refers to the resurrection). "Naba'" literally means news or useful news. The sura is also known as "'Amma" (about what?) and "Tasa'ul" (asking each other), because it begins with the phrase, "'amma yatasa'alun" (about what are they asking each other?).

Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Naba' is a Makki sura of the Qur'an. It is the 80th sura which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (s). It was revealed after Sura al-Ma'arij and before Sura al-Nazi'at. In its traditional order of compilation, it is the 78th Sura of the Qur'an.

Number of Verses and Words

Sura al-Naba' has 40 verses, 174 words, and 797 letters. It is one of the Mufassalat suras (the ones with short and numerous verses). It is a relatively short sura which occurs at the beginning of the 30th juz' of the Qur'an. Thus, it is known as "'Amma juz'".


Sura al-Naba' talks about a great event or news, that is, the resurrection, arguing for its truth and indubitability. The sura begins by saying that people ask each other about the news of resurrection. It is followed by the warning that they will soon know about it.

The sura goes on to prove the truth of the resurrection. The world with its intelligent design is the best evidence for there being an Afterlife after this mortal world, which is the day of reward and punishment, rather than action. Then the events of the resurrection are characterized in this sura: all people will be present there and transgressors will endure a painful punishment and the pious will be rewarded with a permanent blessing.

Content of Sura al-Naba'[1]
Proving the hereafter based on the wisdom of the creation
Introduction: verses 1-5
Criticizing the deniers of the Judgement Day
First topic: verses 6-16
Harmonic phenomena in the creation, as a sign of the definiteness of the hereafter
Second topic: verses 17-39
Wisdom of holding the Judgement Day and the system of rewards and punishments
Conclusion: verse 40
Warning the Ignorant about the Judgement Day
First point: verses 6-7
Congruity between the earth and mountains
First point: verses 17-20
Description of the Judgement Day
First point: verse 8
Harmony between the creations of man and woman
First point: verses 21-30
Congruity of disbelievers with their actions
First point: verses 9-11
Harmony between day and night
First point: verses 31-36
Congruity of the God-wary with their actions
First point: verses 12-16
Harmony between heavenly phenomena for providing human’s food
First point: verses 37-39
Wisdom of the rewards on the Day of Resurrection

The Great News Refers to Imam 'Ali (a)

There are 10 hadiths in Tafsir al-burhan under the first and the second verses of Sura al-Naba' according to which the "Great News" is Amir al-Mu'minin 'Ali (a) or his Wilaya. Also in his book, Ihqaq al-haqq, Qadi Nur Allah al-Shushtari quotes al-Hakim al-Haskani (a Sunni scholar) as saying that the pious in the verse 31 of the sura ("for the pious people is achievement") refers to 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a).

Well-Known Verses

Verse 31 till 40:

"For the pious people is achievement. Gardens and vineyards...."

Verses 31 to 41 of Sura al-Naba' are very well-known. The recital of these verses with the voice of 'Abd al-Basit (the famous Egyptian reciter of the Qur'an) is very well-known among Iranians. In these verses, God enumerates the rewards of the pious people after the resurrection.

Occasion of Revelation: the Quraysh and their Mocking at the Prophet (s)

Al-Shaykh al-Tusi writes in his exegesis of the Qur'an, al-Tibyan: with respect to the occasion of the revelation of this sura, it is said that the Prophet (s) talked to the Quraysh about the news of earlier peoples and preached them, but they mocked at him. Thus, God forbade the Prophet (s) from talking to them. One day, the Prophet (s) was talking to his Sahaba when one of the polytheists went to him and the Prophet (s) stopped talking. Then polytheists gathered and told him, "O Muhammad! Your talks are strange. We like to hear it". But the Prophet (s) said: "God has forbidden me from talking with you". Then the verse, "about what are they asking each other? About a great news", was revealed.

Merits and Characteristics: Visiting the Ka'ba and Easy Scrutiny

There is a hadith from the Prophet (s) about the recitation of Sura al-Naba' according to which if someone recites Sura 'Amma yatasa'alun, God will saturate him with a cold and tasty drink of the Heaven after the resurrection. There is also a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a) according to which if someone recites Sura 'Amma yatasa'alun, the year will not end until he visits the Ka'ba.

There is another hadith from the Prophet (s) according to which if someone recites and memorize this sura, his actions will be scrutinized after the resurrection so quickly that it will be like saying one prayer. There are also hadiths according to which the Prophet (s) has taken Sura al-Naba' as one of the Qura'nic suras that have whitened the Prophet's (s) hair.


  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.


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