Sūra al-Raḥmān (Arabic:سورة الرحمن) known as the bride of the Qur'an is the 55th sura of the Qur'an which is located in the twenty seventh juz'. The name of this sura is one of the names of God, which is the first word of this sura. There are disagreements about whether this sura is Makki or Madani. The sixty forth verse of this sura is the shortest verse in the Qur'an, "مُدهامَّتان" (Densely shaded with dark green trees).
A large number of God's blessings in this world and in the hereafter are mentioned in this sura of the Qur'an. Also the resurrection and its features as well as evaluation of deeds. In this sura, after mentioning each blessing God asks His servants the question "فبای آلاء ربکما تکذبان" (Then, O Jinns and men, which of your Lord's bounties will you both deny?) which is repeated thirty one times in this sura. Based on a narration from Imam al-Sadiq (a), it is recommended to recite the phrase "لا بشیء من آلائک رب اکذب" (Oh God, I will not deny any of your bounties.) after reciting this verse of the Qur'an.
According to narrations if someone recites Sura al-Rahman, God will grant him/her the chance of being grateful to the blessings, he/she is given, and if he/she pass away in that night or day, he/she will be considered as a martyr.
Names and Designation
This sura of the Qur'an is called al-Rahman because this sura is started with this word which is one of the names of God. Ala' (the plural form of Ilay) which means blessings is the other name of this sura, because it mentions the blessings of God. Sura al-Rahman is known to be the bride of the Qur'an ('Arus al-Qur'an); this titles is given based on the narrations from Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Shi'a Imams (a).
Place and Order of Revelation
This sura of the Qur'an was the 97th sura revealed to the Prophet (s). It is the 55th sura of the Qur'an which is located in the 27th juz'. There are disagreements about whether this sura is Makki or Madani. Muhammad Hadi Ma'rifat, a researcher in Qur'anic sciences believe that al-Rahman is most probably a Madani sura.
Number of Verses and Other Features
This sura has 78 verses, 352 words and 1648 letters. Al-Rahman is regarded one of the Mufassalat suras which have relatively short and numerous verses; its size is about half of a hizb. The sixty forth verse of this sura is the shortest verse in Qur'an, "Mudhammatan" (Densely shaded with dark green trees).
A large number of God's blessings in this world and in the hereafter are mentioned in Sura al-Rahman, which represents the quality of being Rahman (the All-beneficent). The content of this sura of the Qur'an can be divided into three parts:
- The gifts in this world: blessings mentioned here includes teaching the Qur'an, creation of human and jinn, creation of plants and trees, creation of skies, presence of rules, creation of earth and its characteristics, creation of fruits, flowers and scented herbs, two meeting salt and fresh seas and God's blessings in the seas. (verses 1 to 30).
- The resurrection Day: Mentioning the dissolution of this world and occurrence of the resurrection, features of the resurrection, assessment of deeds and punishment [of sinners]. (verses 30 and 31)
- The gifts in the hereafter: After mentioning punishment of disbelievers in the hell then blessings for believers are mentioned including the gardens, streams, fruits and beautiful and loyal damsels. (verses 31 to 78).
Cause of Revelation
A number of exegetes believe this sura was revealed in order to raise awareness of disbelievers of Quraysh about the word al-Rahman (the All-Beneficent), as when the 60th verse of Sura al-Furqan was revealed in which it ordered humans to prostate to the All-Beneficent, and they said what is and who is Rahman? Then God revealed Sura al-Rahman to Prophet Muhammad (s). Also based on a narration from Imam al-Sadiq (a), some believe this sura was revealed about Ahl al-Bayt (a).
Two Seas and Lu'Lu' and Marjan
According to a narration from Imam al-Sadiq (a) the term "al-bahrayn (الْبَحْرَيْنِ)" in the verse "مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لَّا يَبْغِيَانِ" (He has made the two oceans appearently meeting together, yet between them is a barrier which they cannot cross) is about 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) and Lady Fatima (a) and the terms "Lu'lu' (اللُّؤْلُؤُ)" and "Marjan (الْمَرْجَانُ)" in the verse "يَخْرُجُ مِنْهُمَا اللُّؤْلُؤُ وَالْمَرْجَانُ" (He produces pearls and coral, from both of them) is attributed to Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a). Such exegeses are stated in Shiite exegesis books including Majma' al-Bayan by al-Tabrisi and Sunni exegesis books including Dur al-Manthur by al-Suyuti.
|“||هَلْ جَزَاءُ الْإِحْسَانِ إِلَّا الْإِحْسَانُ||”|
|“||Is the requital of goodness anything but goodness?||”|
In previous verses, God promised those who fear standing before their God, they will be rewarded with two heaven with countless blessings. In this verse, it is stated that rewards for goodness by God is due to goodness of those who feared standing before God, and then the reaction to goodness is goodness as well. Based on a narration from Imam al-Sadiq (a), this verse is about disbelievers and believers who have done good deeds and those who have done evil deeds. If someone does someone else a favor, he should compensate, and the way to it is that the compensation should be even greater that the action itself. Because if the reaction is at the same level of the action, then the action is better, because it started the good deed first. Therefore, the reaction should be greater that the action in order to gain the same value comparing to each other.
Sura al-Rahman in Public Culture
Sura al-Rahman is one of the suras of the Qur'an which is highly regarded in public culture. This sura has social roles in Islamic countries including Iran and Pakistan. In Pakistan, this sura is recited in wedding ceremonies and it is recited in mourning ceremonies of the departed ones in Iran; however, some disagree with reciting it in mourning ceremonies.
In the Works of Artists
This sura of Qur'an was also highly regarded by artists. For example, the whole sura was woven on a carpet, each verse of this sura is woven with the verse " فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ" (Then, O Jinns and men, which of your Rabb's favors will both of you deny?). The Qur'anic verse are written in beautiful and decorative calligraphy; also pictures related to each verse is woven near each verse. Hojjat Allah Khodayari, the artist from Iran, has finished weaving it in 1996. It is kept in the museum of Astan Quds Razavi.
According to a number of narrations if someone recites Sura al-Rahman, God will be merciful to his weaknesses and inabilities and he/she will have the chance of being grateful to His blessings. Also it is narrated to recites the phrase "لابشیء من الائک رب اکذب" (Oh God, I will not deny any of your favors) after reciting the verse " فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ". If he/she pass away in that night or day, he/she will be considered as a martyr. It is recommended to recite this sura of Qur'an in the prayers after reciting Ziyara of Imam al-Rida (a). Facilitation of harsh matters, healing of pain in eyes and having protection are among the merits of reciting Sura al-Rahman.
|For the full text, see text:Sura al-Rahman.|
- 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 writing this article has been mainly taken from سوره رحمن in Farsi wikishia.