Sura al-Fath

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Fath; to read its text see text:Sura al-Fath.
Sura al-Fath
Sura Number48
Revelation Number112
Verse Count29
Word Count560
Letter Count2509\

Sūra al-Fatḥ (Arabic: سورة الفتح) is the forty eighth sura of the Qur'an. It is a Madani sura in the twenty sixth juz' of the Qur'an. It is named "Fath" because the opening of the sura talks about "fath mubin" (clear conquest). The sura is mainly about the eventual victory of Muslims, the rewards of faith, jihad, and sincerity, the forgiveness of mistakes by mujahidun, warning unbelievers and idle Muslims, and finally the global dominance of God's religion.

The first verse of the sura concerning a clear conquest (or victory) and the verse eighteen concerning the Pledge of al-Ridwan are well-known verses of Sura al-Fath.

There are hadiths concerning the virtues of the recitation of Sura al-Fath to the effect that one who recites the sura is like someone who had accompanied the Prophet (s) in the conquest or is like someone who had pledged his allegiance to the Prophet (s) in the Pledge of al-Ridwan.


  • Naming

The sura is named "Fath" (conquest or victory) because the verse opens with a reference to "fath mubin" (a clear conquest).[1]

  • Order and Place of Revelation

Sura al-Fath is a Madani Sura. In the order of revelation, it is the 112th sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the present order of compilation, it is the forty eighth sura in the twenty sixth juz' of the Qur'an.[2]

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

Sura al-Fath has twenty nine verses, 560 words, and 2509 letters. With respect to its size, it is one of Mathani Suras, which amounts to nearly one hizb.[3] The Sura counts as one of the Mumtahinat suras,[4] because its content is relevant to that of Sura al-Mumtahina (Qur'an 60).[5]

The sura is partly characterized by its prediction of certain future events all of which did come to be materialized (verses 1, 18, 19, and 27).[6]


The main theme of Sura al-Fath is a message of victory and conquest for Muslims and the favor God conferred upon His Messenger (s) and the believers.[7] The sura promises an increase in the population of monotheists and the bestowal of a peaceful heart on them. It also promises faith, jihad, and sincerity in the afterlife as well as the forgiveness of mistakes by those who do jihad on the path of God, it warns unbelievers, idle Muslims and hypocrites, and it portrays the transcendent position of the Prophet (s) and the goals of the revelation and his mission.[8]

Contents of the sura can be summarized as follows:

  • Giving good tidings of a conquest and emphasizing that the Prophet's dream of entering Mecca and performing Umra rituals was going to come true,
  • On the Prophet's position and his transcendent goal,
  • Unveiling the obstructions and sabotages of hypocrites and examples of their meaningless excuses for evading jihads,
  • Inappropriate requests of hypocrites,
  • People who are pardoned from attending jihads,
  • Characteristics of the followers of the Prophet (s).[9]
Content of Sura al-Fath[10]
Al-Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty, a test for believers
First topic: verses 1-7
Consequences of al-Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty
Second topic: verses 8-10
Obligations of believers in al-Hudaybiyya Peace
Third topic: verses 11-17
Reprehension of hypocrites who did not take part in the Islamic army
Forth topic: verses 18-21
The reward of believers who assisted the Prophet in al-Hudaybiyya Peace
Fifth topic: verses 22-28
The reason for al-Hudaybiyya Peace
Conclusion: verse 29
The reward of the true followers of the Prophet
First consequence: verses 1-3
Preparing the ground for future conquests of the Prophet
First obligation: verses 8-9
Supporting and dignifying the Prophet
First point: verse 11
Excuses cited by hypocrites in order to evade the war
First reword: verse 18
The spiritual reward of participants in the Pledge of Ridwan
First point: verses 22-24
The peace was not because of the weakness of the Islamic army
First point: verse 29
The picture of the Prophet’s companions in the Torah and the Gospel
Second consequence: verses 4-5
The intensification of the faith and confidence of believers
Second obligation: verse 10
Commitment to the Pledge of Ridwan
Second point: verses 11-12
Response to excuses and delusions of hypocrites
Second reword: verses 19-21
Acquisition of a great amount of booties after al-Hudaybiyya Peace
Second point: verses 25-26
The peace was in order to protect the lives of believers residing in Mecca
Second point: verse 29
The great reward of believers
Third consequence: verses 6-7
Failure of the enemies of Islam
Third point: verses 13-14
Afterlife punishment of faithless hypocrites
Third point: verses 27-28
Al-Hudaybiyya peace paved the path for the dream of the Conquest of Mecca coming true
Fourth point: verse 15
The deprivation of hypocrites from the booties of the Battle of Khaybar
Fifth point: verses 16-17
The repentance of hypocrites is possible if they take part in future battles

Historical Stories and Narrations

Some historical stories and narrations in the sura include:

  • The Prophet (s) not being accompanied by some Arabs (verses 11-17)
  • There being no war between believers and unbelievers after the peace (verse 24)
  • The Prophet's dream of entering al-Masjid al-Haram and performing Umrat al-Qada'. (verse 27)

Occasion of the Revelation of the First Verses

According to a hadith from Anas b. Malik, Sura al-Fath was revealed after al-Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty. Thus, after the peace treaty, Muslims were sorrowfully and sadly returning to Medina without having done the rituals of hajj, and some weak-kneed believers were dominated by reservations and doubts. It was then that the angel of revelation brought Sura al-Fath on the Prophet's heart. Then his face was filled with delight and told believers that a verse and a sura was revealed to him that was more lovable to him than the whole world.[11]

Well-Known Verses

The Verse of Clear Conquest

Qur'anic exegetes have offered different accounts of the conquest referred to in the verse. The majority of exegetes, including Abu l-Futuh al-Razi, al-Fayd al-Kashani, and Allama Tabataba'i, maintain that the verse refers to al-Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty, arguing that the verb in the verse is in the past form, which is only true of al-Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty.[12] Some others take it to refer to the Conquest of Mecca, others to the Conquest of Khaybar,[13] and still others to the eventual victory of Islam over polytheism and disbelief.[14] Some exegetes take it to refer to the opening of the mysteries of knowledge to the Prophet (s).[15]

The Verse of Pledge

The verse is said to imply God's happiness with true believers when they pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (s) on the condition that they do not disobey the Prophet (s) and his commands. Since the verse talks about God's ridwan (happiness or satisfaction) towards believers, it came to be known as the Verse of Ridwan as well.[16]

Ayat al-Ahkam

The verse twenty seven of Sura al-Fath is one of Ayat al-Ahkam (Jurisprudential Verses).[17]

The phrase, "with your heads shaved and [hair and nails] shortened," in the verse refers to halq (shaving the head) and taqsir (shortening the hair or nails), which are two practices in hajj al-'umra riuals, with which the pilgrims exits the state of ihram. The verse has been appealed to by some jurists as evidence that taqsir is optional: the person in ihram can either shave his head or cut his nail, and it is not obligatory to do both.[18]

Merits and Benefits

A remarkable number of virtues have been cited for the recitation of Sura al-Fath. For example, it is quoted that one who recites Sura al-Fath is like someone who accompanied the Prophet (s) in the Conquest of Mecca or is like someone who pledged his allegiance to him in the Pledge of the Tree.[19] It is also quoted that when the sura was revealed, the Prophet (s) told his companions: "a sura is now revealed to me that is more favorable and more lovable to me than everything on which the sun has shined."[20]

Imam al-Sadiq (a) was quoted as saying, "with the recitation of Sura al-Fath, protect your property, wives, and children against perish, harms, and damages. For whoever persists on reciting the sura will be referred to by a loud call on the Day of Resurrection that is heard by everyone: ‘enter him among my righteous servants, bring him in the Heaven of my blessings, and saturate him with the tasty and sealed drink mixed with Heavenly camphor'."[21]

The sura is said to have effects, such as protection against dangers, the disappearance of fears,[22] and safety against the evils of an unjust ruler.[23]

External Links


  1. Ṣafawī, "Sura al-Fatḥ", p. 772.
  2. Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾn, vol. 2, p. 168.
  3. Khurramshāshī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1251.
  4. Rāmyār, Tārīkh-i Qurʾān, p. 260, 596.
  5. Farhangnāma-yi ʿulūm-i Qurʾān, vol. 1, p. 2612.
  6. Ṣafawī, "Sura al-Fatḥ", p. 772.
  7. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 18, p. 252.
  8. Ṣafawī, "Sura al-Fatḥ", p. 772.
  9. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 22, p. 6-7.
  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. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 22, p. 7; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 165.
  12. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 18, p. 252.
  13. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 166.
  14. Mughnīya, al-Kāshif, vol. 7, p. 83.
  15. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 22, p. 10.
  16. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 2, p. 315.
  17. Kāẓimī, Masālik al-afhām, vol. 2, p. 248-255.
  18. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 22, p. 105.
  19. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 165.
  20. Muttaqī, Kanz al-ʿummāl, vol. 1, p. 290.
  21. Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 115.
  22. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 5, p. 77.
  23. Kafʿamī, al-Miṣbāḥ, p. 457.


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