Sura al-Ahqaf

Priority: b, Quality: b
From wikishia
This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Ahqaf; to read its text see text:Sura al-Ahqaf.
Sura al-Ahqaf
Sura Number46
Revelation Number66
Verse Count35
Word Count648
Letter Count2668\

Sūra al-Aḥqāf (Arabic: سورَة الأحْقاف) is the forty sixth sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki Sura in the twenty sixth juz'. "Ahqaf" literally means a sandy desert, and it refers to the land of the People of 'Ad—people of the Prophet Hud (a). Sura al-Ahqaf is concerned with the day of resurrection, the fate of believers and unbelievers on the day of resurrection, the world not being created purposelessly, and God being able to resurrect the dead. The sura recommends people to do good to their parents.

According to some hadiths, the verse fifteen of this sura was revealed about Imam al-Husayn (a). And there is a hadith about the virtues of this sura, according to which if one recites Sura al-Ahqaf every night or every Friday, then God will immune him from fears in this world, and will protect him against terrors of the day of resurrection.


  • Naming

The sura is known as "al-Ahqaf" because it is about the story and the land of the People of 'Ad, that is, people of the Prophet Hud (a).[1] The land they lived in was a sand desert, and this is why it was called "Ahqaf" (means sand desert).[2] The term, "ahqaf", occurs in the verse twenty one of the sura.

  • Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Ahqaf is a Makki sura, and in its order of revelation, it was the sixty sixth sura revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (s). In the traditional order of compilation, it is the forty sixth sura,[3] located in juz' twenty six of the Qur'an.

  • Number of Verses and Words

Sura al-Ahqaf has thirty five verses, 648 words, and 2668 letters. With respect to its length, it counts as one of the Mathani suras, which covers exactly one hizb of the Qur'an.[4]


Sura al-Ahqaf involves issues such as the resurrection and the condition of believers and unbelievers in the Afterlife, a recommendation to do good to one's parents, that the creation of the sky and the Earth, and the whole world, were not created purposelessly, that God has the power to bring the dead into life and survive their souls just as He was able to create the sky and the Earth.[5]

According to 'Allama Tabataba'i in his Tafsir al-mizan, the sura was revealed to warn polytheists who not only denied, but also mocked Islam, the Prophet (s) and the Qur'an.[6]

Content of Sura al-Ahqaf[7]
Consequences of the negligence of the Qur'an's warnings
The first instance: Verses 1-6
Introduction: revelation of Quranic doctrines from God
The second speech: Verses 7-14
Polytheists’ pretexts for opposing the Quranic warnings
The third speech: Verses 15-32
Instances of certain responses to passionate warnings
The fourth speech: Verses 33-35
Inevitability of the occurrence of the resurrection and the punishment of unbelievers
Introduction: Verses 1-2
Revelation of Quranic doctrines from God
First pretext: Verse 7
The Qur'an is magic
First instance: Verses 15-16
Polite acceptance of the warnings of one’s parents
First subject-matter: Verse 33
Proof of God’s power to bring the dead into life and bring out the resurrection
First reason: Verse 3
Ignorance of the purpose of the creation
Second pretext:
Verses 8-10

The Qur'an is made up by the Prophet
Second instance: Verses 17-20
Humiliation of the preachers and rejection of the warnings
Second subject-matter: Verse 34
Polytheists’ acknowledgment of the truth of the resurrection upon seeing the Hell
Second reason: Verse 4
The delusion that God has a partner in His creation
Third pretext:
Verses 11-14

The Qur'an is a myth going back to early people
Third instance: Verses 21-28
Blameworthy behaviors of the People of 'Ad towards the warnings of prophets
Third subject-matter: Verse 35
The punishment of unbelievers is imminent
Third reason: Verses 5-6
The delusion that the idols would support polytheists in the Afterlife.
Fourth instance: Verses 29-32
Praiseworthy behaviors of some jins towards the Prophet Muhammad’s warnings.

The Verse fifteen about Imam al-Husayn (a)

According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), the verse fifteen of Sura al-Ahqaf ("...His mother has carried him in travail, and bore him in travail, and his gestation and weaning take thirty months...") was revealed about Imam al-Husayn (a). Lady Fatima (a) carried and gave birth to al-Husayn (a) with hardship because she had heard her father, the Prophet (s), that al-Husayn (a) will be killed by some Muslims. Moreover, the period of al-Husayn's (a) gestation and weaning was thirty months, to which the verse refers.[8]

Merits and Benefites

According to a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), if one recites Sura al-Ahqaf every night or every Friday, then God will immune him from fears in this world, and will protect him against terrors of the day of resurrection.[9] There is also a hadith from the Prophet (s) according to which, if one recites Sura al-Ahqaf, then he will be given ten rewards for every sand in the world, and he will be forgiven ten sins, and he will be given ten more degrees (in the Afterlife).[10]

Some features of the Sura, as described in hadiths, include: if one writes down the sura and wash the writing with the water of Zamzam and then drink it, he will be well-reputed and popular and will have a good memory;[11] or if one writes down the sura and hangs it from his neck or that of his child or infant, or writes it and then washes the writing and drinks the remaining water, then he will have a strong and healthy body, the child will be protected against dangers, and the infant in its cradle will be a source of happiness.[12]

Stories and Historical Accounts

A number of jins heard the Qur'an, went to their people, and then called them to Islam (verses 29-32).


See Also

External Links


  1. Khurramshāhī, ‘’Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān’’, vol. 2, p. 1250-1251.
  2. Makārim Shīrāzī, ‘’Tafsīr-i nimūna’’, vol. 21, p. 295-296.
  3. Maʿrifat, ‘’Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾān’’, vol. 2, p. 166.
  4. Khurramshāhī, ‘’Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān’’, vol. 2, p. 1250-1251.
  5. Khurramshāhī, ‘’Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān’’, vol. 2, p. 1250-1251.
  6. Ṭabāṭabāyī, ‘’al-Mīzān’’, vol. 18, p. 185.
  7. 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.
  8. Kulaynī, ‘’al-Kāfī’’, vol. 1, p. 464.
  9. Makārim Shīrāzī, ‘’Barguzīda-yi tafsīr-i nimūna’’, vol. 4, p. 422.
  10. Ṭabrisī, ‘’Majmaʿ al-bayān’’, vol. 9, p. 136.
  11. Nūrī, ‘’Mustadrak al-wasāʾil’’, vol. 4, p. 313.
  12. Baḥrānī, ‘’al-Burhān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān’’, vol. 5, p. 35.
  13. When We dispatched toward you a team of jinn listening to the Quran, when they were in its presence, they said, ‘Be silent!’ When it was finished, they went back to their people as warners.(29) They said, ‘O our people! Indeed, we have heard a Book, which has been sent down after Moses, confirming what was before it. It guides to the truth and to a straight path.(30) O our people! Respond to Allah’s summoner and have faith in Him. He will forgive you some of your sins and shelter you from a painful punishment.’(31) Those who do not respond to Allah’s summoner cannot frustrate [Allah] on the earth, and they will not find any protectors besides Him. They are in manifest error. (32)


  • Baḥrānī, Sayyid Hāshim b. Sulaymān. ‘’Al-Burhān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān’’. Qom: Bunyād-i Biʿthat, 1416 AH.
  • Khurramshāhī, Bahāʾ al-Dīn. ‘’Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān pazhūhī’’. Tehran: Dūstān-Nāhīd, 1377 Sh.
  • Kulaynī, Muḥammad b. Yaʿqūb al-. ‘’Al-Kāfī’’. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1407 AH.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. ‘’Barguzīda-yi tafsīr-i nimūna’’. Edited by Aḥmad ʿAlī Bābāyī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1382 Sh.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. ‘’Tafsīr-i nimūna’’. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1374 Sh.
  • Maʿrifat, Muḥammad Hādī. ‘’Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾān’’. [n.p]: Markaz Chāp wa Nashr-i Sāzmān-i Tablīghāt, 1371 Sh.
  • Nūrī, Mīrzā Ḥusayn al-. ‘’Mustadrak al-wasāʾil’’. [n.p]: Muʾassisat Āl al-Bayt, 1408 AH.
  • Ṭabāṭabāyī, Mūhammad Ḥusayn al-. ‘’Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān’’. Translated to Farsi by Mūsawī Hamidānī. Fifth edition. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1374 Sh.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al-. ‘’Majmaʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān’’. Edited by Hāshim Rasūlī & Yazdī Ṭabāṭabāyī. Third edition. Tehran: Intishārāt-i Nāṣir Khusru, 1372 Sh.