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Sura al-Shura

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Shura; to read its text see text:Sura al-Shura.
Sura al-Shura
al-Zukhruf← →Fussilat
سوره شوری.jpg
Sura Number 42
Juz' 25
Revelation Number 62
Makki/Madani Makki
Verse Count 53
Word Count 860
Letter Count 3521

Sūra al-Shurā (Arabic: سورة الشورى) is forty second sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in juz' twenty five. The name of this sura is adopted from its verse thirty eight, where it is mentioned as one of the attributes of believers. The central topic in Sura al-Shura is revelation and it also discusses about other issues such as the Unity of God, the hereafter and the attributes of believers and disbelievers.

Verse twenty three of this sura is known as Al-Mawadda Verse. Verse thirty eight is also a famous verse of this sura about the importance of consultation. Verse forty of this sura has been referred to by jurists to prove the validity of qisas (commonly as "retaliation").

About the merits of recitation of this sura, it is mentioned that whoever recites this sura, angels praise him and ask forgiveness and mercy for him.


  • Naming

The name of this sura is adopted from its verse thirty eight. In this verse, consultation is considered as one of the practices of believers.[1] This sura is also called "Ham-Mim ‘Ayn-Sin-Qaf" because of its first verse.[2]

  • Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Shura is a Makki sura. It was sixty second sura revealed to the Prophet (s) and forty second sura of the Qur'an now, located in juz' 25.[3] It is said that it was revealed after Mi'raj (ascension) and little before immigration of the noble Prophet (s) to Medina.[4] Some exegetes believe that verses twenty three to twenty six and verses thirty eight, thirty nine and forty of this sura were revealed in Medina.[5]

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

Sura al-Shura has fifty three verses, 860 words and 3521 letters.[6] According to some reciters, this sura has fifty verses and according to some others, it has fifty six verses. This sura is among Ham-mimat or Hawamim suras or the Seven Hawamim. It is twenty third sura beginning with disjoined letters (al-huruf al-muqatta'a). Regarding volume, it is among Mathani suras, a little more than one hizb.[7]


Central topic in Sura al-Shura is the issue of revelation.[8] Some other topics mentioned in this sura are: advising the Prophet (s) to have steadfastness in preaching religion and inviting people toward God, unity of divine religions and prohibiting people from division and disunity in God's religion, forgiveness of others' slips and overcoming one's anger. In Sura al-Shura, also some other issues are mentioned such as the Unity of God, the hereafter, repentance and God's acceptance of repentance, enjoining people to consult and cooperation in the issues of the society and the government.[9]

Attributes and content of Divine Revelation
First Discussion: verses 1-5
Greatness of Revelation
Second Discussion: verses 6-12
The goal of revelation
Third Discussion: verses 13-16
Avoiding disagreement in the teachings of revelation
Fourth Discussion: verses 17-26
Attributes of revealed teachings
Fifth Discussion: verses 27-50
The result of following revealed teachings, benefiting from divine sustenance
Sixth Discussion: verses 51-53
Types of revelation
First issue: verses 1-4
Greatness of the Revealer
First issue: verses 6-8
Warning about the destiny of polytheism
First issue: verse 13
Revelation of one religious law to all prophets
First issue: verses 17-20
Religion of God as the criterion for the truth and falsehood in the hereafter
First issue: verse 27
Proportion of divine sustenance with people’s competence
First issue: verse 51
Three ways of revelation
Second issue: verse 5
Greatness of revelation upon its presentation
Second issue: verses 9-12
Mentioning the reasons of monotheism and the falsehood of polytheism
Second issue: verse 14
The reason for creation of disagreements in religious teachings
Second issue: verses 21-22
In the hereafter, only the religion of God is the standard, not polytheism
Second issue: verses 28-29
God's unity in sustenance
Second issue: verses 52-53
Divine source of revelations the Prophet (a) received
Third issue: verse 15
The mission of the Prophet (a) in fighting religious disputes
Third issue: verses 23-26
Love of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) of the Prophet (a), the criterion in the religion of God
Third issue: verses 30-31
The influence of sins on decreasing sustenance
Fourth issue: verse 15
The destiny of division makers in religion
Fourth issue: verses 30-31
The influence of sins on sinkage of ships
Fifth issue: verses 36-43
The influence of God-wariness on receiving blessings in the hereafter
Sixth issue: verses 44-48
The influence of sins on on being deprived of receiving blessings in the hereafter
Seventh issue: verses 49-50
Sustenance, a manifestation of God's sovereignty

Occasion of Revelation for Some Verses

Love of the Ahl al-Bayt (a)

About the occasion of revelation of verse twenty three of Sura al-Shura: "Say, ‘I do not ask you any reward for it except the love of [my] relatives" it is transmitted from Ibn Abbas that when the Prophet (s) went to Medina, a series of events happened which led to the poverty of the Prophet (s); therefore, some of the Helpers collected some wealth and took it to the Prophet (s) and asked him to accept it. Then, the verse twenty three of Sura al-Shura was revealed and asked their love for the Prophet's (a) relatives instead of reward for his mission.[11]

Abu l-Futuh al-Razi too quoted from Abu Qutada who considered the revelation of this verse an answer to the speech of the people of Mecca who said that the Prophet (s) wanted a reward for his mission.[12]

Aspiration for Wealth in this World

According to the report of Khabbab b. Aratt, the revelation of verse twenty seven of Sura al-Shura: "Were Allah to expand the provision for [all] His servants, they would surely create havoc on the earth. But He sends down in a [precise] measure whatever He wishes. Indeed, He is all-aware, all-seeing about His servants" is about those who wished to have the wealth of Banu Nadir and Banu Qurayda and based on the quotation of Abu Uthman Mu'adhdhin from Amr b. Harith, this verse is about the companions of Suffa who wished to receive blessings and wealth in this world.[13]

Revelation upon the Prophets (a)

Revelation of verse fifty one of Sura al-Shura: "It is not [possible] for any human that Allah should speak to him except through revelation or from behind a veil, or send a messenger who reveals by His permission whatever He wishes." is considered to have been taken place as an answer to Jews who considered their disbelief in the Prophet (s) due to him not seeing God. This verse considered speaking of humans with God only through revelation or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger.[14]

Famous Verses

Verse of Mawadda

Main article: Al-Mawadda Verse

This verse considered the love of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) as the reward of the Prophet (s). In the interpretation of this verse, Allama Tabataba'i mentioned that although it is emphasized several times in the Qur'an that he (s) did not ask any reward for his mission and considered people's acceptance of his call as the reward for his mission;[15] in this verse, God assigned a reward for the Prophet's (s) mission and with regards to other verses as well, it can be deduced that asking for the reward in this verse, like other verses, is people's acceptance of the Prophet's (s) invitation along with his mission.[16]

It is reported that after the event of Karbala, when Imam al-Sajjad (a) was in Syria as a captive, recited verse twenty three of Sura al-Shura in answer to disrespect of a man from Damascus.[17]

Verse of al-Shura

Main article: Al-Shura Verse

This verse mentions some of the attributes of believers such as establishing the prayer, consultation in their affairs and giving in the way of God among the examples of accepting the call of God.[18] In a hadith from the Prophet (s), consultation is mentioned as a way for reaching goodness and growth.[19]

Verses of Rulings

Verse forty of Sura al-Shura: "The requital of evil is an evil like it, so whoever excuses and conciliates, his reward lies with Allah" is considered among the verses of rulings.[20] This verse is considered a proof of permission for retaliation[21] and the forgiveness mentioned in this verse is considered only permissible when the oppressor repents for his wrongdoing; otherwise, forgiveness would rather cause his boldness.[22]

Merits and Benefits

About the merits of recitation of Sura al-Shura, it is transmitted from the noble Prophet (s) that whoever recites this sura, angels praise him and ask forgiveness and mercy for him.[23]

In a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), it is mentioned, "whoever recites Sura al-Shura, will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment with a bright and shining face like the sun to go before God, and then God says, ‘O my servant! You continued recitation of Sura Ham-Mim ‘Ayn-Sin-Qaf while you did not know its reward, but if you knew what reward it would have, you would never become tired of its recitation; but, today, I will give you the reward for it.’ Then, He orders to escort that person into the paradise and surround him with especial blessings of the paradise."[24]

About the benefits of this sura, it is transmitted that whoever writes this sura and keep it with himself, will be safe from the evils of people.[25]

External Links


  1. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 20, p. 343.
  2. Khurramshāhī, "Sura-yi Shurā," vol. 2, p. 1249.
  3. Ṣafawī, "Sura-yi Shurā," p. 746.
  4. Rūḥbakhsh, Dānishnāma-yi sūrahā-yi Qur'ānī, p. 269.
  5. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 18, p. 6.
  6. Khurramshāhī, "Sura-yi Shurā," vol. 2, p. 1249.
  7. Ṣafawī, "Sura-yi Shurā," p. 746.
  8. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 18, p. 6.
  9. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 20, p. 343.
  10. 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.
  11. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān, p. 389.
  12. Abu l-Futūḥ Rāzī, Rawḍ al-jinān wa rūḥ al-jinān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 17, p. 121.
  13. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān, p. 390.
  14. Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurān, p. 390.
  15. Qur'an 34:47; Qur'an 6:90; Qur'an 12:104; Qur'an 25:57.
  16. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 18, p. 43.
  17. Suyūṭī, Al-Durr al-manthūr, vol. 6, p. 7.
  18. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 18, p. 63.
  19. Ḥuwayzī, Nūr al-thaqalayn, vol. 4, p. 584.
  20. Ardibīlī, Zubdat al-bayān, p. 467.
  21. Ṣādiqī Tihrānī, al-Furqān, vol. 26, p. 237.
  22. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 20, p. 466.
  23. Abū l-Futūḥ al-Rāzī, Rawḍ al-Jinān wa Rawḥ al-Janān, vol. 17, p. 96.
  24. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 20, p. 344.
  25. Baḥrānī, Al-Burhān, vol. 4, p. 801.


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