Sura al-Ahzab

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Ahzab; to read its text see text:Sura al-Ahzab.
Sura al-Ahzab
سوره احزاب.jpg
Sura Number33
Juz'21 and 22
Revelation Number90
Verse Count73
Word Count1037
Letter Count5787\

Sūra al-Aḥzāb (Arabic: سورة الأحزاب) is thirty third sura of the Qur'an. It is a Madani sura, located in juz's twenty first and twenty second. Since a significant part of this sura is about the battle of Ahzab (also called Khandaq), this sura is named al-Ahzab. Sura al-Ahzab is about not following disbelievers and obeying God, some laws of the Age of Ignorance, duties of the wives of the Prophet (s), the story of the Prophet's (s) marriage with Zaynab bt. Jahsh and the issue of hijab.

Sura al-Ahzab has many famous verses, including a verse which calls the Prophet's (s) wives, "Ummahat al-Mu'minin", introduces the Prophet (s) as an exemplar, and the al-Tathir verse, the al-Khatamiyya verse, the Salawat verse and the al-Amana Verse. About the merits of the recitation of this sura, it is transmitted that if a person recites it, he will be safe from the punishment of the grave, and that he will be with the Prophet (s) and his wives on the Day of Judgment.


  • Naming

This sura is named al-Ahzab, because a significant part of it is about the battle of Ahzab (also called the battle of Khandaq).[1] The word "al-ahzab" meaning "confederates" is mentioned twice in this sura.[2][3].

  • Order and Place of Revelation

Sura al-Ahzab is a Madani sura and the ninetieth sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of compilation,[4] This is thirty third sura, located in juz's 21 and 22.

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

Sura al-Ahzab has seventy three verses, 1307 words and 5787 letters. Regarding volume, it is among Mathani suras.[5]


Sura al-Ahzab speaks about miscellaneous issues such as ideological issues, religious rulings, stories, historical examples and especially the battle of Ahzab or Khandaq.[6] Some of the important issues mentioned in this sura, according to Tafsir-i Nimuna, are as follows:

  • Obeying God and not following disbelievers
  • The battle of Ahzab and the miraculous victory of Muslims over disbelievers
Content of Sura al-Ahzab[8]
Duties of believers toward the Prophet (s)
Introduction: verses: 1-3
The Prophet (s) should only obey God's order
First duty: verses 4-8
Obeying the Prophet's (s) religious orders
Second duty: verses 9-27
Companionship of the Prophet (s) in fighting the enemies
Third duty: verses 28-35
Duties of the Prophet's (s) wives
Fourth duty: verses 36-40
Submission against the Prophet's (s) decisions
Fifth duty: verses 41-48
Servitude of God and accepting the good news of the Prophet (s)
Sixth duty: verses 49-52
Accepting the rulings in marriage specific to the Prophet (s)
Seventh duty: verses 53-55
Observing the Prophet's (s) privacy
Eighth duty: verses 56-62
Not harassing the Prophet (s) and the believers
Ending: verses 63-73
Following the Prophet (s) is the only way of salvation
First issue: verse 4
Not divorcing wives through Zihar
First issue: verses 9-11
Unseen helps in the battle of Ahzab
First duty: verses 28-29
Avoiding luxuriousness
First issue: verse 36
Not disobeying the order of God and the Prophet (s)
First issue: verses 41-44
Remember God a lot
First issue: verse 49
'Idda and dowry of divorced women
First issue: verse 53
Not entering the Prophet's (s) house without permission
First issue: verses 56-58
Punishment of harassing the Prophet (s) and the believers
First issue: verse 63
Proximity of the Day of Judgment
Second issue: verses 4-5
Discrediting the law of son adoption
Second issue: verses 12-20
Measures of the hypocrites in the battle of Ahzab
Second duty: verses 30-31
Avoiding sins
Second issue: verse 37
The rule about the Prophet's (s) marriage with the wife of his adopted son
Second issue: verses 45-48
The Prophet's (s) good news for believers
Second issue: verse 50
The list of women the Prophet's (s) marriage with whom is permissible
Second issue: verse 53
Not staying at the Prophet's (s) house
Second issue: verse 59
The influence of observing hijab in avoiding the harassment of women
Second issue: verses 64-68
The consequence of disobeying the Prophet (s)
Third issue: verse 6
Respecting the Prophet's (s) wives
Third issue: verses 21-23
Determination of believers in the battle of Ahzab
Third duty: verse 32
Observing limits when dealing with non-mahrams
Third issue: verses 38-40
The Prophet (s) should only act upon his duty
Third issue: verse 51
The Prophet's (s) duty in observing the wives' turns
Third issue: verses 53-55
Observing the privacy of the Prophet's (s) wives
Third issue: verses 60-62
Warning those who spread rumors and harass the Prophet (s)
Third issue: verses 69-71
The fruit of obeying the Prophet (s)
Fourth issue: verse 6
Continuing to observe the law of inheriting relatives
Fourth issue: verse 24
Believers' reward and punishment of hypocrites
Fourth duty: verses 33-34
Acting upon religious rulings
Fourth issue: verse 52
Prohibition of marriage for the Prophet (s)
Fourth issue: verses 72-73
Following the divine trust is the only way of salvation
Note: verses 7-8
The religion of the Prophet of Islam (s) is the religion of all prophets
Fifth issue: verses 25-27
Failure of disbelievers and their advocates in the battle of Ahzab
Result: verse 35
Reward of faithful men and women

Famous Verses

Verse of Ummahat al-Mu'minin

Verse six of sura al-Ahzab introduces the wives of the Prophet (s) as the mothers of believers. It is said that, by mentioning this issue, this verse intended to mention the necessity of respecting the wives of the Prophet (s) and prohibition of marriage with them.[9]

Verse of Uswa

According to al-Mizan, this verse has mentioned one of the rulings of the Prophet's (s) mission. Based on this rule, Muslims should follow the Prophet (s) in speech and in action, and take example of him for struggling in the way of God.[10]

Verse of Tathir

This part of verse 33 is known as the verse of al-Tathir. In Shi'a and Sunni sources, it is mentioned that it was revealed about the Companions of Kisa'.[11] In this verse, it is mentioned that God desires to repel all impurity from the Ahl al-Bayt (a). To prove the infallibility of Imams (a), Shi'a scholars brought argument from this verse.[12]

Verse of Khatamiyya

This verse calls the Prophet of Islam (s) "Khatam al-Nabiyyin" (Seal of Prophets). They say that, the word "khatam" means "something by which they end something."[13] Muslim scholars believe that according to this verse, the Prophet of Islam (s) is the last messenger of God and no other prophet would come after him.[14]

Verse of Salawat

Reciting this verse is advised as one of the recommended practices after Maghrib prayer. In Shi'a mosques of Iran, after each prayer, a person recites this verse loudly and people repeat Salawat after him three times in a loud voice. In hadiths from Shi'a and Sunni sources, it is mentioned that upon sending Salawat to the Prophet (s), Salawat should be sent to his households too.[15]

Verse of Hijab

This verse and some other verses[16] are known as the verses of hijab. According to exegetes, this verse orders Muslim women to observe perfect hijab and explains that this action is better for them, because doing so, they will be less harassed by men.[17]

Verse of Amana

About the word of "amana" in this verse, exegetes have discussed a lot and have expressed different views in this regard. In the exegetical books, examples such as divine wilaya, intellect, free will, knowledge of God and religious duties are mentioned for the meaning of "amana".[18]

Stories and Historical Accounts

  • Battle of Ahzab: Coming of enemies, unseen assistance of God, doubt of some Muslims, God's warning about escaping, disbelievers' return and the end of the battle, trial of the People of the Book who were allied with disbelievers (verses 9 – 23)

Merits and Benefits

Based on a hadith in Majma' al-bayan, if a person recites Sura al-Ahzab and teaches it to his family, he will be safe from the punishment of the grave.[19] It is transmitted from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that those who recite this sura a lot, will be with the Prophet (s) and his wives on the Day of Judgment.[20]

External Links


  1. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 17, p. 183.
  2. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 1246.
  3. They suppose the confederates (Ahzab) have not left yet, and were the confederates to come [again], they would wish they were in the desert with the Bedouins asking about your news.(verses 20), But when the faithful saw the confederates, they said, ‘This is what Allah and His Apostle had promised us (verse 21)
  4. Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qur’an, vol. 2, p. 166.
  5. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qur’ān, vol. 2, p. 1246.
  6. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 273.
  7. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 17, p. 184-185.
  8. 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.
  9. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 277.
  10. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 288.
  11. See: Tirmizī, Sunan, vol. 5, p. 699; Ṣadūq, Maʿānī l-akhbār, vol. 2, p. 403.
  12. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 311; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 8, p. 560.
  13. Motahhari, Majmūʿa-yi āthār, vol. 3, p. 155.
  14. See: Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 325; Motahhari, Majmūʿa-yi āthār, vol. 3, p. 155.
  15. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 17, p. 418.
  16. Qur’ān, 33:53; 24:31.
  17. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 17, p. 427-428.
  18. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 17, p. 451-452.
  19. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 8, p. 524.
  20. Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 110.


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