Sura Fuṣṣilat (Arabic: سوره فُصِّلَتْ) is the forty first sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura and has an obligatory prostration. It is located in juz's twenty four and twenty five. The word "fussilat" meaning "elaborated" is mentioned in verse three of this sura and that is why this sura was named and known for it. Sura Fussilat is mostly about disbelievers turning from the Qur'an. Unity of God, the prophethood of the Prophet of Islam (s), the Day of Judgement and mentioning the destinies of the people of 'Ad and Thamud are among other topics mentioned in this sura.
One of the famous verses in this sura is verse thirty four which invited the Prophet (s) to have the best of manner against ill treatments of disbelievers. Also, verses forty one and forty two which exegetes have considered as evidences for integrity of the Qur'an are among the famous verses of this sura. About the merits of the recitation of this sura, it is transmitted from the Prophet (s) that whoever recites Sura Fussilat, will be given rewards ten times more than the number of the letters in this sura.
This sura was named "Fussilat" meaning "elaborated" is mentioned about the Qur'an in verse three. Sura Fussilat has also been called the sura of Sajda (prostration) and Masābih (stars) as well; because, it is among the four 'Aza'im suras (suras which have obligatory prostration) and that the word "masābih" is mentioned in verse twelve of this sura.
- Place and Order of Revelation
Sura Fussilat is a Makki sura; and in the order of revelation, it was sixty first sura revealed to the Prophet (s). This sura is now forty first sura of the Qur'an and is located in juz's twenty four and twenty five.
- Number of Verses and Other Features
This sura has fifty four verses, 796 words and 3364 letters; and regarding volume, it is among Mathani suras and is little more than one hizb (one-fourth of a juz'). Sura Fussilat is also among Hawamim, which are the suras beginning with disjoined letters (Muqatta'a letters) of Ham-Mim. Verse thirty seven of this sura has an obligatory prostration,  meaning that its recitation or hearing requires the person to perform a prostration. Recitation of the suras which have obligatory prostration is not permissible in obligatory prayers.
Sura Fussilat mostly speaks about disbelievers turning away from the Qur'an and it repeats it in three places of this sura. Toward the end of this sura, it speaks about the divine origin of the Qur'an. Other topics mentioned in this sura are: Unity of God, prophethood of the Last of Prophets (s), revelation, attributes and characteristics of the Qur'an, the hereafter and the description of the Day of Judgement , testimonies of the eyes, ears, skin and all the limbs of the dwellers of the hell against them and the destinies of the people of 'Ad and Thamud.
Goodness against ill treatments
|“||Good and evil [conduct] are not equal. Repel [evil] with what is best. [If you do so,] he between whom and you was enmity, will then be as though he were a sympathetic friend.||”|
|— Qur'an 41:34|
In this verse, a moral and social advice is mentioned. Therefore, this verse has been discussed in the discussions of ethics by exegetes and teachers of ethics. Although the two words of "hasana" (goodness) and "sayyi'a" (offense) have broad meanings and include every goodness and badness, in this verse, they refer to goodness and badness in preaching religion. This verse advises the Prophet (s) to answer badness with goodness and does not take revenge, so that he (s) becomes successful.
Integrity of the Holy Qur'an
|“||Those who reject the Reminder when it comes to them... Indeed, it is an august Book: falsehood cannot approach it, at present or in future, a [revelation gradually] sent down from One all-wise, all-laudable.||”|
|— Qur'an, 41:41-42|
Immutability of the Qur'an is among the beliefs of most Muslims, according to which they believe that the Qur'an available now to Muslims is exactly the Qur'an revealed to the Prophet (s) and nothing has been added to it or omitted from it. Exegetes and theologians refer to some verses and hadiths to reject any alteration in the Qur'an. Verse forty one and forty two of Sura Fussilat are among these verses.
Returning the Consequence of Actions to the Person
|“||Whoever acts righteously, it is for [the benefit of] his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is to its detriment, and your Lord is not tyrannical to His servants.||”|
|— Qur'an, 41:46|
This verse discusses a general rule about humans' actions which the Qur'an has emphasized on, several times. It suggests that if disbelievers do not believe in the Qur'an and in the words of the Prophet (s), no harms would reach God or His Prophet (s), but disbelievers themselves will lose out.
Stories and Historical Reports
The punishment of the people of 'Ad and Thamud, the Prophets' (s) invitations, rejecting the Prophets' (a) invitations by their people, arrogance of the people of 'Ad, coming of the tornado and perishing the people of 'Ad, inviting Thamud toward guidance, coming of the lightening of punishment is mentioned in verses thirteen to seventeen.
Merits and Benefits
About the merits of recitation of this sura, it is transmitted from the Prophet (s) that whoever recites Sura Fussilat, he will be given rewards ten times more than the number of the letters in this sura. Also, it is transmitted from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that recitation of Sura Fussilat brings about brightness of face and happiness to the reciter on the Judgement Day; and he will live in this world in a manner that he will be praised by everyone and envied for his good state.
It is recommended to recite Sura Fussilat in recommended prayers, especially the fifth rak'a of night prayer in the eve of Friday and also in the eve of Friday and the first rak'a of the two-rak'a prayer performed inside the Ka'aba on the red stone between the two pillars.
- [this is] a Book whose signs have been elaborated for a people who have knowledge, an Arabic Quran
- Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1249.
- We have adorned the lowest heaven with stars, and guarded them.
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- Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1249.
- prostrate to Allah who created them, if it is Him that you worship.
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- Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 20, p. 308.
- But if they turn away, say, ‘I warn you of a thunderbolt, like the thunderbolt of ‘Ad and Thamud. (13) When the apostles came to them, before them and in their own time, saying, ‘Worship no one except Allah!’ They said, ‘Had our Lord wished, He would have sent down angels [to us]. We indeed disbelieve in what you have been sent with. (14) As for [the people of] ‘Ad, they acted arrogantly in the earth unduly, and they said, ‘Who is more powerful than us?’ Did they not see that Allah, who created them, is more powerful than them? They used to impugn Our signs; (15) so We unleashed upon them an icy gale during ill-fated days, in order that We might make them taste a humiliating punishment in the life of the world. Yet the punishment of the Hereafter will be surely more disgraceful, and they will not be helped. (16) As for [the people of] Thamud, We guided them, but they preferred blindness to guidance. So the bolt of a humiliating punishment seized them because of what they used to earn. (17)
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