|Sad ← →Ghafir|
Sūra al-Zumar (Arabic: سورة الزمر) is the thirty ninth sura of the Qur'an. It is one of the Makki suras placed in the twenty third and twenty fourth juz' of the Qur'an. The title Zumar ("groups") is taken from verses seventy one and seventy three in the sura, where the word appears to refer to the two groups of the people of Paradise and the people of Hell.
Sura al-Zumar includes themes such as resurrection, the fruits of the belief in the Oneness of God, glorifying Him, and the fact that human beings remember God and implore Him when they are afflicted, but when He saves them from the affliction, they forget Him.
Among the famous verses of the sura is verse fifty three, which instructs people never to lose their hope in God's mercy. The sura occupies nearly one sixtieth of the Quran.
As to the merits of reciting Sura al-Zumar, it is reported that on the Day of Judgment God will not make those who recite it hopeless and will grant them the reward of those who fear Him.
The title of the sura, "al-Zumar" (groups), is taken from its seventy first and seventy third verses where the word zumar appears to refer to two groups: the people of Paradise and the people of Hell. Another title for Sura al-Zumar is "Ghuraf" (rooms) which is taken from its twenty first verse. The sura is also called Sura al-Arab, since its twenty eighth verse uses the adjective "Arabic" for the Qur'an.
- Place and Order of Revelation
Sura al-Zumar is the fifty-ninth sura of the Qur'an, revealed to the Prophet (s) in Mecca. In the current sequence of suras, it is the thirty ninth sura, placed in the twenty third and twenty fourth juz' of the Qur'an.
- Number of Verses and Characteristics
Sura al-Zumar has seventy five verses, 1180 words, and 4871 letters. In terms of its length, it is one of the mathani suras, occupying nearly one-sixtieth of the Qur'an.
The main message of the sura is calling to monotheism and sincerity in worship. It begins with enumerating the fruits of monotheism and rejecting the idea of God having a son. It commands the Prophet (s) to keep his faith pure, reject the gods of the polytheists, and announce to them that he has been commanded to be a monotheist and to be sincere in his faith.
Among the other themes mentioned in Sura al-Zumar are the fact that people usually turn to God when they are in need but then they forget, arguing for God's unity of lordship based, comparison between the believers and polytheists, mentioning the characteristics of believers and giving them glad tidings about the blessings of the hereafter, warning the polytheists about their ill-fated path and the punishment that awaits them in this world and the hereafter, and describing the resurrection and the hereafter with vivid imagery.
Occasions of the Revelation of Some Verses
Verses 17 and 18
|“||As for those who stay clear of the worship of fake deities and turn penitently to Allah, there is good news for them. So give good news to My servants who listen to the word [of Allah] and follow the best [interpretation] of it. They are the ones whom Allah has guided, and it is they who possess intellect.||”|
The revelation of the verses seventeen and eighteen is said to have been related to Zayd b. Amr, Abu Dhar al-Ghifari, and Salman al-Farsi, who used to say, la ilaha illa Allah" (There is no god but Allah) constantly in the Age of Ignorance.
The first part of verse twenty two is said to have been revealed referring to Hamza and Imam Ali (a), who readily embraced Islam, and the second part of the verse ("So woe to those whose hearts have been hardened to the remembrance of Allah..") reportedly refers to Abu Lahab and his children who refused Islam due to their hard-heartedness.
Several referents have been reported for the word "My servants" in this verse Wahshi, who killed Hamza, the Prophet's (s) uncle in the battle of Uhud. A youth who used to steal burial shrouds and, on one occasion, committed adultery with a corpse. The Meccans who used to worship idols and commit other sins.
This verse illustrates God's justice, based on which no one will bear another person's burden of sins.
The "threefold darkness" in this verse is said to refer to the darkness of the belly, womb, and amniotic sac. Some commentators, however, believe that it refers to the amniotic sac alone, which consists of three thick layers. This verse is considered one of the verses that show the miraculous nature of the Qur'an in scientific aspects.
Praising those servants of God who listen to different sayings and then follow the best of them, this verse is understood as illustrating the value of free thinking in Islam.
This verse, with its affectionate tone, proclaims that God is ready to embrace all sinners with His forgiveness. According to a hadith from Imam Ali (a), no verse of the Qur'an is as inclusive as this verse, since it encompasses all sins.
Merits and Benefits
It is reported that whoever recites this sura, God will not make him hopeless on the Day of Judgment and will grant him the reward of those who fear Him. In another hadith, Imam al-Sadiq (a) is reported to have said, "God will grant the one who recites Sura al-Zumar and pronounces its words calmly the honor of this world and the hereafter and will make him venerable, not through wealth or kinsfolk, such that whoever sees him reveres him, and He shall prohibit hellfire to burn his body."
- 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 زمر in Farsi WikiShia.