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Sab' Tiwal

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Tiwal or Sabʿ al-Ṭiwāl (Arabic: السبع الطوال, meaning the seven Lengthy suras) is a title for seven long suras at the beginning of the Qur'an, which are according to a hadith, named by the Prophet (s). These seven suras which are all Madani except al-An'am and al-A'raf are: al-Baqara, Al 'Imran, al-Nisa', al-Ma'ida, al-An'am, al-A'raf and al-Tawba.

Some have considered Sura Yunus instead of al-Tawba and some others have considered suras al-Anfal and al-Tawba together as one of the seven Tiwal suras.

Meaning

"Tiwal" is an arabic word meaning "long"[1]. It seems that the cause of naming these seven suras as "Tiwal suras" is because of their great lengths in comparison to other suras of the Qur'an[2]

Naming

According to a hadith, naming these seven suras as Tiwal was made by the Prophet (s),

"I am given Tiwal suras instead of the Torah, and Sunan suras instead of the Gospel, Mathani suras instead of the Psalms and I am prioritized over them by Mufassal suras which are 68 ones; and the Qur'an is superior to other books of past prophets"[3].

Tiwal Suras

The seven suras at the beginning of the Qur'an (after Sura al-Fatiha) which are known as Tiwal suras are: al-Baqara, Al Imran, al-Nisa', al-Ma'ida, al-An'am, al-A'raf and al-Tawba. Some scholars have counted Sura Yunus instead of Sura al-Tawba; and some others have considered Sura al-Anfal and Sura al-Tawba together as one of sab' al-tiwal[4].

  • Sura Al 'Imran is the second sura among Tiwal suras which is Madani and has 200 verses.
  • Sura al-Nisa' is the third sura among Tiwal suras which is Madani and has 176 verses.
  • Sura al-Ma'ida is the fourth sura among Tiwal suras which is Madani and has 120 verses.
  • Sura al-A'raf the same as Sura al-An'am is a Makki sura which is considered among Tiwal suras due to its volume and has 206 verses.
  • Sura al-Tawba which is the seventh sura among Tiwal suras is a Madani sura and has 129 verses.

Some have considered Sura Yunus instead of al-Tawba and some others have considered Suras al-Anfal and al-Tawba together as one of the seven Tiwal suras.

Notes

  1. Ṭurayḥī, Majmaʿ al-baḥrayn, vol. 5, p. 414.
  2. Farhangnama-yi ulum-i Qur'an (the article Suwar-i sab'-i tiwal).
  3. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 601.
  4. Maʿrifat, ʿUlūm-i Qurʾāni, p. 114.

References

  • Ḥusaynī, Tihrānī. Mihr-i tābān. Mashhad: Nūr-i Malakūt-i Qurʾān, 1426 AH.
  • Jurjāni, Ḥusayn b. Ḥasan. Jalāʾ al-adhhān wa jalāʾ al-aḥzān. Tehran: Intishārat-i Dānishgāh-i Tehran, 1377 Sh.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. Al-Kāfī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1407 AH.
  • Maʿrifat, Muḥammad Hādī. ʿUlūm-i Qurʾāni. Qom: Muʾassisa Farhangi Tamhīd, 1387 Sh.
  • Suyūṭī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Abī Bakr al-. Al-Durr al-manthūr fī tafsīr al-maʾthūr. Qom: Maktabaṭ Āyat Allāh al-Marʿashī, 1404 AH.
  • Ṭurayḥī, Fakhr al-Dīn b. Muḥammad al-. Majmaʿ al-baḥrayn. Edited by Sayyid Aḥmad Ḥusaynī. Tehran: al-Maktaba al-Murtaḍawīyya, 1375 Sh.