Sūra al-Qamar (the Moon) (Arabic: سورة القَمَر) is the 54th sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in juz' 27. This sura is called "al-Qamar" because it mentions the miracle of Shaqq al-Qamar (moon-splitting) by the Prophet (s). Verses of this sura are mostly warnings and in order to give lessons, they speak about previous nations and their bad conditions on the Judgement Day upon coming out of graves and their attendance for reckoning of their deeds. People whose names are mentioned in this sura are 'Ad, Thamud, Lut and people of Pharaoh.
One of the famous verses of this sura is the verse which says that the Qur'an is presented in order to easily give lessons. This verse is repeated in this sura four times. About the merits of reciting this sura, it is transmitted from the Prophet (s) that whoever recites Sura al-Qamar every other day, will enter the Judgement Day while his face will be bright like the full moon.
This sura is called al-Qamar (the Moon) because its first verse speaks about the miracle of Shaqq al-Qamar (moon splitting). Another name of this sura is "Iqtarabat al-Sa'a" adopted from its first verse. In some hadiths, it is mentioned that this sura is called "Mubyadda" (derived from the root "bayad" meaning whiteness and brightness).
Order and Place of Revelation
Number of Verses and Other Features
Verses of Sura al-Qamar, except the two last verses (which promise the pious the paradise and closeness to God) are all warnings. In this sura, first the miracle of Shaqq al-Qamar [moon-splitting] is mentioned, which the Prophet (s) did due to the request of people, but they themselves called him a magician and rejected his prophethood; as, they followed their carnal desires, while they had heard shocking news about the Judgement Day and the stories of previous nations. Then, God reproachfully mentions some of those stories including the stories of the people of Noah (a), 'Ad, Thamud, Lut, and the people of Pharaoh and the painful punishments they received for rejecting their prophets. It continues saying that the people of the Prophet of Islam (s) are the dearest ones to God; however, they like previous ones cannot make God incapable.
|“||Certainly We have made the Qur'an simple for the sake of admonishment. So is there anyone who will be admonished?||”|
|— Qur'an 54:17, 22, 32, 40|
In the commentaries of this verse, it is mentioned that simplicity of the Qur'an means that God mentioned it in a manner that understanding of its discussions is easy for both common and special people and everyone learns from it proportionate to his own understanding. In fact, its warnings and promises are very clear, its stories are true and deep, its reasons are strong, its logic is impeccable and what is necessary for making influences exists in the Qur'an.
|“||Indeed the God-wary will be amid gardens and streams (54) in the abode of truthfulness with an omnipotent King.(55)||”|
|— Qur'an 54:54, 55|
These verses which speak about the material gifts of the dwellers of the paradise (great gardens and flowing rivers) and its spiritual blessings (presence before the Omnipotent King) give good promises to the God-wary who have two attributes: first, the paradise is the place of honesty and there is no futility there and all the promises of God will be realized there; and another is that the best of spiritual and not physical closeness to God exists there.
Historical Reports and Stories
- Mission of Prophet Noah (a), his people's rejection, Noah (a) cursing them, coming of the storm, Noah (a) and his companions' rescue (verses 9–15)[Note 1].
- People of 'Ad's rejection of their prophet's invitation, coming of a powerful hurricane and their punishment (verses 18–20)[Note 2].
- People of Thamud and rejection of their prophet's invitation, the miracle of the camel and the order to distribute water, killing the camel, coming of the punishment upon them (verses 23–31).[Note 3]
- People of Lut's (a) disobedience to their prophet, coming of the stone storm over them and the survival of the family of Prophet Lut (a), Lut's (a) warning before the punishment, his people's intention to abuse Lut's (a) guests and coming of the divine punishment (verses 33–39)[Note 4].
Merits and Benefits
In Majma' al-bayan, it is transmitted from the Prophet (s) that whoever recites Sura al-Qamar every other day, will enter the Judgement while his face will be bright like the full moon; and it is better if a person recites the sura every night and he will enter the Judgement while his face will shine in brightness. Also, Ibn 'Abbas transmitted from the Prophet (s), "the one who recites Sura al-Qamar is called 'bright face' in the Torah and on the day, faces will be bright or dark, the face of the reciter of this sura will be bright." Also, it is transmitted from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that God will resurrect whoever recites Sura al-Qamar, out of the grave while he rides a conveyance from the paradise.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 23, p. 6.
- Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1253.
- Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 166.
- Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1253.
- Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 19, p. 89.
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- Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 19, p. 113.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 23, p. 35.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 23, p. 81.
- Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 307.
- Suyūṭī, al-Jāmiʿ al-ṣaghīr, vol. 2, p. 234.
- Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 116.
- Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 5, p. 213.
- The people of Noah impugned before them. So they impugned Our servant and said, 'A crazy man,' and he was reviled (9),Thereat he invoked his Lord, [saying,] 'I have been overcome, so help [me].'(10),Then We opened the gates of the sky with pouring waters,(11),and We made the earth burst forth with springs, and the waters met for a preordained purpose.(12),We bore him on a vessel made of planks and nails(13),which sailed [over the flood waters] in Our sight, as a retribution for him who was met with disbelief.(14),Certainly We have left it as a sign; so is there anyone who will be admonished?
- The people of] 'Ad impugned [their apostle]. So how were My punishment and warnings(18),Indeed We unleashed upon them an icy gale on an incessantly ill-fated day,(19),knocking down people as if they were trunks of uprooted palm trees.(20)
- [The people of] Thamud denied the warnings,(23),and they said, 'Are we to follow a lone human from ourselves?! Indeed then we would be in error and madness.'(24),'Has the Reminder been cast upon him from among us? No, he is a self-conceited liar.'(25),'Tomorrow they will know who is a self-conceited liar.(26),We are sending the She-camel as a trial for them; so watch them and be steadfast.(27),Inform them that the water is to be shared between them; each of them showing up at his turn.'(28),But they called their companion, and he took [a knife] and hamstrung [her].(29),So how were My punishment and My warnings?!(30),We sent against them a single Cry, and they became like the dry sticks of a corral builder.(31)
- And the people of Lot denied the warnings.(33),We unleashed upon them a rain of stones, excepting the family of Lot, whom We delivered at dawn(34),as a blessing from Us. Thus do We reward those who give thanks.(35),He had already warned them of Our punishment, but they disputed the warnings.(36),They even solicited of him his guests, whereat We blotted out their eyes, [saying,] 'Taste My punishment and My warnings!'(37),Early at dawn there visited them an abiding punishment:(38),'Taste My punishment and warnings!'(39)
- Certainly the warnings did come to Pharaoh's clan (41),who denied all of Our signs. So We seized them with the seizing of One [who is] all-mighty, Omnipotent.(42)
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