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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
Revelation Number 80
Makki/Madani Makki
Information
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 seventy eighth 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' thirtieth. 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 thirty one 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.


Introduction

  • Naming

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[1] or useful news.[2] 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?).[3]

  • Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Naba' is a Makki sura of the Qur'an. It is the eightieth sura revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (s). In current order of compilation, it is the seventy eighth sura of the Qur'an[4] located in juz' thirty.

  • Number of Verses and Words

Sura al-Naba' has forty 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 thirtieth juz' of the Qur'an. Thus, it is known as "'Amma juz'".[5]

Content

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.[6]

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.[7]

Content of Sura al-Naba'[8]
 
 
 
 
 
 
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 ten 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.[9] 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 thirty first of the sura ("for the pious people is achievement") refers to 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a).[10]

Famous Verses

Verses thirty one to forty one 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 Companions 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 great news", was revealed."[11]

Merits and Benefits

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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

Notes

  1. Dihkhudā, Lughatnāma, Under the word «نبأ».
  2. Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Mufradāt alfāẓ al-Qurʾān, vol. 1, p. 788.
  3. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1260-1261.
  4. Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾān, vol. 1, p. 167.
  5. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1260-1261.
  6. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 20, p. 158.
  7. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 20, p. 158.
  8. 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.
  9. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 5, p. 566.
  10. Shūshtarī, Iḥqāq al-ḥaqq, vol. 14, p. 533.
  11. Ṭūsī, al-Tibyān, vol. 10, p. 238.
  12. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 10, p. 637.
  13. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 26, p. 4.
  14. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 20, p. 150.

References

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  • Khurramshāhī, Bahāʾ al-Dīn. Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān pazhūhī. Tehran: Dūstān-Nāhīd, 1377 Sh.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1374 Sh.
  • Maʿrifat, Muḥammad Hādī. Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾān. [n.p]: Markaz Chāp wa Nashr-i Sāzmān-i Tablīghāt, 1371 Sh.
  • Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad al-. Mufradāt alfāẓ al-Qurʾān. Damascus: Dār al-ʿIlm, 1412 AH.
  • Shūshtarī, Nūr Allāh al-Ḥusaynī al-. Iḥqāq al-ḥaqq wa izhāq al-bāṭil. Edited by Marʿashī al-Najafī. Qom: Kitābkhāna-yi Āyatollāh Marʿashī al-Najafī, 1409 AH.
  • Ṭabāṭabāyī, Mūhammad Ḥusayn al-. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Second edition. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1974.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. Majmaʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Hāshim Rasūlī & Yazdī Ṭabāṭabāyī. Third edition. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Nāṣir Khusru, 1372 Sh.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Tibyān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Aḥmad Qaṣīr al-ʿĀmilī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, [n.d].