Sūra al-Nūr (سورة النور) is the twenty forth sura of the Qur'an. It is a Madani sura located in juz' eighteen. This sura is called "al-Nur" because the word "nur" is mentioned in this sura seven times and it contains al-Nur verse. Sura al-Nur also contains many rulings such as the punishment for adultery, attributing adultery to someone (Qadhf) and hijab as an obligation for women.
Also, in this sura, the Event of Ifk, some issues about marriage, slander, libel and accusation are mentioned and spreading atrocities are prohibited. About the blessings of recitation of this sura, there are narrations suggesting that whoever recites Sura al-Nur, God will give him rewards ten times more than the number of all men and women believers in the past and in the future. It is also mentioned in narrations that it is among the rights of a daughter upon her father to teach her Sura al-Nur.
This sura is named al-Nur because the word "nur" is mentioned in this sura seven times and it also contains al-Nur verse (verse 35). This verse begins with the word "Allah" and the word "Nur" is mentioned in it five times.
- Order and Place of Revelation
- Number of Verses
After verse eleven of Sura al-Nur, the glorious Qur'an mentions the story of slandering a Muslim and criticizes people for it. From the appearance of the verses of the Qur'an, aside from the commentaries and occasions of revelation proposed for them, it can be understood that the person who was subject to slander was a famous person and a member of the Prophet's (s) family and the slanderers were a group of people. Two contexts of revelation have been suggested for these verses:
- 'Ayisha slandered Mariya al-Qibtiyya. In these verses, slanderers are threatened to receive a great punishment and also believers are prohibited from accepting rumors without reasons and investigation.
|“||"Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is a niche wherein is a lamp—the lamp is in a glass, the glass as it were a glittering star—lit from a blessed olive tree, neither eastern nor western, whose oil almost lights up, though fire should not touch it. Light upon light. Allah guides to His Light whomever He wishes. Allah draws parables for mankind, and Allah has knowledge of all things."||”|
|— Qur'an 4:59|
In some commentaries, with regards to available narrations, this verse is interpreted as referring to the Ahl al-Bayt (a). It is narrated from Imam al-Rida (a) that we are the niche wherein is the lamp of Muhammad (s) and God guides whomever He wishes through our wilaya.
It is also mentioned in al-Mizan that Imam al-Sadiq (a) was asked about al-Nur verse and Imam (a) answered, "it is a parable God has made about us the Ahl al-Bayt (a), that the Prophet (s) and Imams (a) are among the signs of God, by which people are guided toward the Unity of God, the good of religion, recommended actions and obligations." To explain this understanding, 'Allama Tabataba'i suggested that this narration referred to some examples, but the verse apparently includes people other than the Ahl al-Bayt (a), such as the prophets (a) and the friends of God as well.
Verses of Rulings
Verses two to eight of Sura al-Nur are mentioned among the verses of ruling.
- Verse two refers to adulterers and mentions the punishment for such persons, a hundred stroke of lashes. Scholars of jurisprudence have discussed under this verse about whom is meant by adulterer in this verse and what are the conditions of administering the punishment.
- Verse three considers marriage of a believer with an adulterer prohibited. It is mentioned in commentaries that the adulterer in this ruling refers to a person who is famous for doing this action, not a person who has repented.
- Verses four to eight speak about the slander of adultery and mentions the rulings for Qadhf and Li'an.
- Another verses of ruling in this sura is verse thirty one which is about hijab. It orders women to modesty and covering their jewelry and mentions whom women can meet without hijab.
- Verse sixty excludes old women from this ruling with some conditions.
- Also verses thirty two and thirty three are counted among verses which infer rulings. These verses order men and women about marriage and mention that if they do not have the requirements for it, they need to observe modesty and chasteness.
Merits and Benefits
About the merits of Sura al-Nur, it is narrated from the Prophet (s) that whoever recites Sura al-Nur, God will give him rewards ten times more than the number of all men and women believers in the past and in the future.
It is also narrated from the Prophet (s) that it is among the rights of a daughter upon her father to teach her Sura al-Nur. It is also narrated from Imam Ali (a) that he (a) ordered, "teach Sura al-Nur to your women in which there is good advice." It is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a), "guard your property and sexual desire by recitation Sura al-Nur and protect your women with this sura, because whoever recites this sura every day or every night, none of his households would commit adultery; and after his death, seventy thousand angels will follow his body in funeral, pray for him and ask for his forgiveness until he is buried in the grave."
Several blessings and benefits are narrated about recitation of this sura such as preventing nocturnal emission, return of an escaped person (if the verse forty of this sura is recited) and healing the weakness of eye, for which one needs to write the verse thirty five of this sura, wash it and rub its water on his eyes.
- Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1243.
- Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 168.
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- Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 15, p. 127-128.
- To critique this opinion, See: Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 15, p. 101-130;Makārim Shīrāzī, al-Amthāl, vol. 11, p. 40-41.
- See: Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-nabawīyya, vol. 2, p. 297-302; Wāqidī, al-Maghāzī, p. 426-435; Bukhārī, Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, vol. 5, p. 223-227.
- To critique this opinion, See: Makārim Shīrāzī, al-Amthal, vol. 11, p. 41; Subḥānī, Furūgh-i abadīyyat, p. 666.
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