Sūra al-Takwīr (Arabic: سُورَة التَکْویر) or Sūra Kuwwirat (Arabic: سورَة کُوِّرَت) is the 81st sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura of the Qur'an in the 30th juz' of the Qur'an. The word, "al-takwir", literally means to be convoluted and darkened. The title comes from the first verse of the sura. Sura al-Takwir is about the signs of the resurrection, the happenings on the day of the resurrection, the greatness of the Qur'an, and its influence.
A well-known verse of this sura is its 9th verse concerning the tradition of burying baby girls alive during the Jahiliyya period, asking "for what sin she was slain". According to some hadiths, if one recites Sura al-Takwir, God will protect him or her against shames when the letter of their actions is opened on the day of resurrection.
The title of sura is "al-Takwir" or "Kuwwirat", because the word, "kuwwirat" (whose infinitive is "takwir") has occurred in its first verse. "Al-Takwir" literally means "convolution, twist, being folded up, or being darkened".
Location and Order of Revelation
Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura al-Takwir has 29 verses, 104 words, and 434 letters. With respect to its length, it counts as one of the mufassalat sura of the Qur'an (the ones with numerous short verses). In verses 15 to 18 of the sura, God swears to starts, the night, and the morning.
The content of the sura implies that it was revealed early after the Prophet's (s) bi'tha, because it rejects the accusations against the Prophet (s) made by polytheists. The content of the sura can be divided into two main parts:
- The signs of the day of resurrection and its events: early verses of the sura are concerned with the signs of the resurrection and developments at the end of this world, such as the sun being convoluted and twisted, the stars falling down, the mountains moving because of a strong earthquake, and people being immensely horrified.
- The greatness of the Qur'an and the exaltation of Jabra'il (Gabriel): the second part of the sura is concerned with the greatness of the Qur'an and the person who brought it down, as well as its influence on people's souls. According to this part, the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet (s) by a trusted messenger who is not penetrable by the Satan unlike what polytheists had claimed.
Condemnation of Burying-Alive the Girls:
|“||"And when the girl buried-alive will be asked (8) for what sin she was killed.(9)"||”|
|— Quran 81:8-9|
It is said that these verses are concerned with a tradition in the Jahiliyya period: some people buried their newborn baby girls alive, lest they would cause any shames when they grew up. According to exegetes of the Qur'an, during the Jahiliyya period, when a woman was about to give birth to her baby, her man dug a hole in the ground and had the woman sit on it. If the baby was a girl, he threw her into the hole, and if it was a boy, he kept him alive.
Some hadiths have provided a very broad interpretation of the verse, which includes any sort of cutting off one's family ties (contrary to silat al-rahim) or cutting off one's love of Ahl al-Bayt (a). So, people will be punished in the afterlife if they cut off their family ties or do not love Ahl al-Bayt (a). When Imam al-Baqir (a) was asked about this verse, he said: "it refers to people who are killed because they loved us".
Virtues of Recitation
It is said that if one recites this sura, they will be protected against any shames when receiving the letter of their actions. One will also be protected against any betrayals. It is also recommended to recite the sura in order to improve the pain or damage in one's eye.
|For the full text, see text:Sura al-Takwir.|
- 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 تکویر in Farsi Wikishia.