The general theme of sura al-Tin is the hereafter and rewards there. God began this sura with four oaths and calls the creation of human being the best and most perfect. In commentaries of the Qur'an based on hadiths, some of the verses of this sura are attributed to some of the Infallible Ones (a); for example, it is said that by "Wa l-tin wa l-zaytun", Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) are meant.
About the merits of recitation of this sura, it is narrated that well-being and certainty in faith are among its worldly fruits and the reward equal with the reward for fasting is among its fruits in the hereafter.
This sura has been named al-Tin (the fig) because in its first verse, God has sworn upon it [fig]. Sura al-Tin is sometimes called al-Zaytun or "Wa l-tin wa l-zaytun".
It is to note that according to exegetes, there are some possibilities about the meaning of "al-tin" and "al-zaytun":
- The two fruits of fig and olive are meant.
- They refer to the Mosque of Damascus.
- By al-zaytun, Al-Aqsa Mosque is meant.
- These two words refer to two mountains in Syria and Jerusalem which are called Tina and Zaytuna in Syriac.
Place and Order of Revelation
Number of Verses and Other Features
Sura al-Tin has 8 verses, 34 words, and 162 letters. This sura is among mufassalat suras (having several short verses) and also among short suras of the Qur'an. This sura is among the suras which begin with oaths and God swears upon four things.
Sura al-Tin is about resurrection on the Judgment Day, reckoning of deeds by God and rewards in the hereafter. This sura first mentions the creation of human being in the best way and then mentions that some people remain upon their primary God-given nature; but, some others abase themselves to lowest of levels. At the end, it mentions that God's wisdom requires to distinguish between the two groups in giving rewards.
In Tafsir al-burhan, there are hadiths mentioned in the interpretation of this sura in some of which it is mentioned that by "Wa l-tin wa l-zaytun", Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) are meant. In some others, "din" in the seventh verse is meant as the wilaya of Imam Ali (a) or it is said that the phrase "those who have faith and do righteous deeds" in verse 6, refers to Imam Ali (a) and his followers. It is also narrated that "al-Balad al-amin" refers to the Prophet (s).
Creation of Human Being in the Best Way
In the interpretation of verse 4, it is mentioned that God sworn upon four things to say that human being is created in a balanced and proper way in every aspects. From this verse and its following verse, it can be learned that human being has the potentials to reach the highest of levels.
Merits of Recitation
About the merits of recitation of this sura, in Majma' al-bayan, al-Tabrisi narrated from the Prophet (s), "anyone who recites this sura, for as long as he lives in this world, God will give him two things: well-being and certainty [in faith], and when passes away from this world, God will give him the reward for fasting one day for as many as those who have recited it."
|For the full text, see text:Sura al-Tin.|
Other merits have been mentioned about recitation of this sura in Thawab al-a'mal and 'iqbal al-a'mal. It is also mentioned that it is recommended to perform a two rak'a prayer in the eve of the 13th of the month of Sha'ban, and in each rak'a, it is recommended to recite Sura al-Tin after reciting Sura al-Fatiha (Qur'an 2).
- 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 تین in Farsi WikiShia.