Sura al-Shams (Arabic: الشَمس سورة) is 91th sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in juz' 30. It is called al-Shams (the sun) because it begins with an oath to "Shams". It is mentioned that Prophet (s) used to order his companions to recite this sura. The main content of this sura are relevant to ethical issues as well as the story of the Prophet Salih (a) and the story of his She-Camel and the people of Thamud.
It is called al-Shams (the sun) because of God's swearing to al-Shams (the sun) in the first verse of this sura:
By the sun and her forenoon splendor
|— Quran 91:1|
Its other name is Salih's camel, for some part of this sura which is on the prophet Salih (a) and his people which killed his She-Camel.
Place and Order of Revelation
Sura al-Shams is Makki sura of the Qur'an and it is the 26th sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the traditional order of the compilation of the Qur'an, Sura al-Shams is the 91th sura in its 30th juz'.
Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura al-Shams consists of 15 verses, 54 words, and 253 letters. It counts as one of the mufassalat suras of the Qur'an. And it is one of the suras which begin with swearing. This sura has the highest number of oath in Qur'an since the 11 verses of this sura begin with swearing.
This sura emphasizes on self-purifications and introduce the ethical purifications as the way of salvation. At the end of the sura, God has mentioned the story of Prophet Salih (a) and his She-Camel which was killed by the people of Thamud. Then he stated the evil destiny of this people.
A Sura with Eleven Oaths
In the commentaries of Sura al-Shams, it has been said that the number of consecutive oaths at the beginning of this sura which are eleven oaths, is the highest number of oath in the suras of Qur'an and clearly shows that an important message is to be mentioned, a message as great as the skies, the earth, the sun, and the moon. About the oaths in the Qur'an, it has been said that these oaths are generally for two reasons: firstly, to show the importance of the message for which the oaths are made (such as "purification of soul" in the present sura); and secondly, to show the importance of the things upon which, the oaths are made (such as the sun and the moon in this sura.)
Merits and Benefits
It is narrated form the Prophet (s) that he said, "Whoever recite Sura al-Shams, is like he gave alms as amount as whatever the sun and moon had shined on them".
Moreover, it is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that he said, "Everyone who recites Sura al-Shams, all his body parts will witness in favor of him on the Judgment Day and God will say that I would accept your witnesses for my servant and would reward him; Accompany him to Heaven till select anything he want and all the blessing of heaven would be tasty for him."
Recitation in PrayersRecitation of the Sura al-Shams is recommended in the second rak'a, and according to some sources, in the first rak'a of the Eid al-Fitr prayer and Eid al-Adha. It is also recommended to perform a two rak'a prayer on the day of Dahw al-Ard (Dhu al-Qi'da 25th), and to recite Sura al-Shams five times in every rak'a, after the Sura al-Fatiha (Qur'an 2).
|For the full text, see text:Sura al-Shams.|
- 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 is mainly taken from سوره شمس in Farsi WikiShia.