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Sura al-Rum

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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Rum; to read its text see text:Sura al-Rum.
Sura al-Rum
al-'Ankabut← →Luqman
سوره روم.jpg
Sura Number 30
Juz' 21
Revelation Number 84
Makki/Madani Makki
Verse Count 60
Word Count 820
Letter Count 3472

Sūra al-Rūm (Arabic: سورة الروم) is the thirtieth and a Makki sura of the Qur'an in its twenty first juz'. Its appellation as "al-Rum" (Rome) is because it predicted the defeat of Romans from Persian and then in a near future the defeat of Persians from Romans. The word, "al-Rum", appears at the beginning of the sura after the disjoined letters (al-huruf al-muqatta'a).

Sura al-Rum talks about the promise of divine victory and the journey in the world and in one's self or soul. It also explains some legislative (tashri'i) and existential (takwini) laws, such as marriage, innate love and mercy within human beings, helping those in need, and prohibition of usury.

A well-known verse in the sura is al-Fitra Verse concerning the divine nature and the type of the human creation. According to this verse, people have an innate or intrinsic tendency to God and religion.


  • Naming

The appellation of the sura as "al-Rum" (Rome) comes from its second verse in which the defeat of Romans from Persians and then the defeat of Persian from Romans after a few years is predicted.[1]

  • Order and Place of Revelation

Sura al-Rum is a Makki Sura. In the order of revelation, it is the eighty fourth sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the present order of compilation, it is the thirtieth sura of the Qur'ab, located in the twenty first juz'.[2]

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

Sura al-Rum is the sixtieth sura that opens with disjoined letters (al-huruf al-muqatta'a). It has sixty verses, 820 words, 3472 letters, and with regard to its length, it counts as one of the Mathani Suras, which approximately equals to one hizb of the Qur'an.[3]


The main themes of the sura include God's decisive promise to help the religion and believers, journey in the world and journey inside one's soul, the resurrection and separation of groups and fates, call to monotheism, the human innate nature, the correlation between people's actions and events in the world, effects of human actions on the emergence of seditions and corruptions, disagreements, divisions, groupings, and languages, as well as their negative impacts on the religion and the society.[4]

The sura explains some laws of creation and divine traditions, such as marriage, innate love and mercy among human beings, the contrast of the day and the night, languages and colors, rains and the revival of the dead earth, and the skies and the Earth being held in the space. It also emphasizes on some rulings, such as the prohibition of usury and the obligation of helping those in need as well as one's relatives.[5]

Content of Sura al-Rum[6]
Proof for God’s power to realize His promise of the victory of believers and the defeat of unbelievers
Introduction: verses 1-7
The inevitability of the realization of all divine promises
First reason: verse 8
The purposefulness of the system of creation
Second reason: verses 9-19
God's tradition of the punishment of unbelievers
Third reason: verses 20-26
Signs of the human life being planned by God
Fourth reason: verses 27-39
God's oneness in the creation of the world
Fifth reason: verses 40-47
God's power to create and provide the human livelihood
Sixth reason: verses 48-53
God's power to revive the Earth
Seventh reason: verse 54
God's power to administer human conditions from childhood to an old age
Conclusion: verses 55-60
God's promise is true, although it is denied by unbelievers
First point: verses 9-10
The destruction of unbelievers in earlier nations
First sign: verse 20
The creation of human beings from clay
First point: verse 27
The easiness of the creation of the world for God
First point: verse 40
God’s oneness in the creation and providing the livelihood of human beings
First point: verses 48-50
The revival of the Earth as a sign for God’s power in reviving the dead
Fist point: verses 55-57
The tendency of unbelievers to the falsehood in this world and the afterlife
Second point: verses 11-16
Rewards for believers and punishment of unbelievers on the Day of Resurrection
Second sign: verse 21
Creation of spouses
Second point: verses 28-29
An example for God’s oneness in the creation
Second point: verses 41-42
Consequences of sins and polytheism
Second point: verses 51-53
Polytheists not learning the lesson from their observation of God’s power
Second point: verses 58-59
Obstinacy of unbelievers against Quranic teachings
Conclusion: verses 17-19
God’s power to revive human beings
Third sign: verse 22
Differences of human beings
Third point: verses 30-32
The harmony between monotheism and the human innate nature
Third point: verses 43-46
The command to believe in monotheism and abandon polytheism
Third point: verse 60
There is no doubt about the truth of God’s promise
Fourth sign: verse 23
Planning for sleeping times and human activities
Fourth point: verses 33-35
The human tendency towards God during hardships as evidence for the innateness of monotheism
Fourth point: verse 47
God’s uniform tradition of helping believers and punishing unbelievers
Fifth point: verse 24
Fifth point: verses 36-39
The right way of facing up to hardships and divine blessings
Sixth point: verses 25-26
The sky and the Earth obeying God

Occasion of the Revelation of the First Verses

The first verses of Sura al-Rum are said to be revealed after a war between Persia and Rome. For, after the victory of Persians over Romans, polytheists of Mecca believed that it is was evidence that they were right, since Persians were Majus and polytheists, whereas Romans were Christians and People of the Book, and just as Persians defeated Romans, polytheists of Mecca will eventually defeat Muslims, and Islam will totally disappear. Although their reasoning was baseless, it gave a hard time to Muslims because of widespread propagations. Thus, the first verses of Sura al-Rum were revealed, which gave the good tidings of the future victory of Romans over Persians. The revelation of these verses were so encouraging for Muslims that some of them bet with polytheists on the prediction.[7]

Well-Known Verses

Main article: Qur'an, 30:30

Verse thirty of Sura al-Rum is known as al-Fitra Verse. It is concerned with the divine nature and the type of the human creation. According to this verse, the human tendency to God and religion is innate and comes from their intrinsic nature.[8] Allama Tabataba'i takes the "religion" in this verse to refer to Islam.[9]

Main article: Qur'an, 30:6

According to these verses, God's promise is always the truth, that is, God never breaks His promises. In his interpretation of these verses, 'Allama Tabataba'i believes that in certain urgent circumstances it is even good or right to break one's promise, and so the wrongness of breaking the promise is not essential. However, since there is no factor that renders the breaking of a promise urgent for God, then it is always bad or wrong for God to break a promise. Moreover, breaking a promise indicates an imperfection, which is impossible in the case of God. Thus, God always acts upon His promises.[10]

In these verses, Muslims are reminded of the necessity of journeys and tours of remnants of past nations and learning lessons from their fates.[11]

In these verses, after references to the origin, the resurrection, and recompenses of believers and polytheists, God exalts and praises Himself. Some exegetes have interpreted the exaltation as times of prayers, and others have interpreted it as exaltation at all times.[12]

God points out the creation of human spouses as one of His signs. Spouses give peace and perfection to the human life. The verse also refers to love God has created between spouses.[13]

Main themes of the verse include the call to patience over catastrophes in the hope for the realization of the divine promise, and staying on the right path despite the disbelief of others.[14]

Jurisprudential Verses

Some exegetes take usury here to be the forbidden usury. However, others take it to refer to a halal usury which is given to wealthy people as a gift in the hope to get more money from them.[15] In his al-Kashif, Muhammad Jawad Mughniya believes that the verse can have both denotations. Thus, it means that neither of the two – the consumer of a haram usury and a gift-giver in the hope of more interest – are rewarded by God. However, the first person will be punished and the second will be neither punished nor rewarded. To the contrary, if one donates for the sake of God, then God will increase their possessions in this world and their rewards in the afterlife.[16]

Merits and Benefits

About the merits of this sura, it is said that if one recites Sura al-Rum, the rewards he will be given are ten times greater than the number of all angels who have exalted God between the Earth and the sky, and he will regain whatever he has lost during the day or the night.[17] In Thawab al-a'mal, a hadith is cited from Imam al-Sadiq (a) according to which the reward for the recitation of Sura al-Rum and Qur'an 29 on the twenty third night of the Ramadan month is the Heaven. He then goes on to say that "I am certain that the two suras have a great place for God."[18]

According to some books of hadiths, if one recites verses seventeen and eighteen of Sura al-Rum in the afternoon, he will not miss any good (or benefit) during the coming night and he will be protected against all evils during the night, and if one recites these verses three times in the morning, he will likewise secure these effects.[19] The reciter of the two verses (seventeen and eighteen of Sura al-Rum) is promised the Heaven.[20]

External Links


  1. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 16, p. 360.
  2. Ṣafawī, "Sūra al-Rūm", p. 734.
  3. Ṣafawī, "Sūra al-Rūm", p. 734.
  4. Ṣafawī, "Sūra al-Rūm", p. 734.
  5. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 16, p. 355; Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 155.
  6. 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.
  7. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 16, p. 359-560; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 8, p. 460-461.
  8. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 16, p. 481.
  9. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 178.
  10. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 156.
  11. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 197.
  12. Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 16, p. 382; Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 160-161.
  13. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 166.
  14. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 16, p. 207.
  15. Mughnīya, al-Kāshif, vol. 6, p. 145.
  16. Mughnīya, al-Kāshif, vol. 6, p. 145.
  17. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 8, p. 459.
  18. Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 109.
  19. Ṣadūq, al-Amālī, p. 674.
  20. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 8, p. 468.


  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1371 Sh.
  • Mughnīya, Muḥammad Jawād al-. Tafsīr al-Kāshif, Qom: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1424 AH.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Al-Amālī. Qom: Muʾassisat al-Biʿtha, 1417 AH.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Thawāb al-aʿmāl wa ʿiqāb al-aʿmāl. Edited by Muḥammad Riḍā Anṣārī. Qom: Nasīm-i Kawthar, 1382 Sh.
  • Ṣafawī, Salmān. 1396 Sh. "Sūra al-Rūm". Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān.
  • Ṭabāṭabāyī, Mūhammad Ḥusayn al-. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Second edition. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1974.
  • 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.