Sura al-Zukhruf

Priority: b, Quality: b
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This article is an introduction to the Sura al-Zukhruf; to read its text see text:Sura al-Zukhruf.
Sura al-Zukhruf
Sura Number43
Revelation Number63
Verse Count89
Word Count838
Letter Count4609\

Sūra al-Zukhruf (Arabic:سورة الزخرف) is the forty third sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura located in juz' twenty five. "Zukhruf" means "jewelry and ornaments" which is mentioned in the verse thirty five. This sura speaks about the Qur'an and the prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad (s), some proofs for the Unity of God and fighting with polytheism and destinies of some previous prophets and their people. According to some exegetical books, the main topic of this sura is warning to human beings.

Two of this sura's famous verses are the forth and the seventy forth, the first of which is about Umm al-Kitab (the Mother of the Book) and the Preserved Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfuz) and the second verse is about eternal residence of the dwellers of the hell there. Safety from the grave's punishment and entering the paradise are mentioned among the merits of the recitation of this sura in hadiths.


  • Naming

"Zukhruf" means "jewelry and ornaments" and is mentioned in the verse thirty five and this sura is named as "al-Zukhruf" because it points to valuelessness of worldly properties and ornaments in the verses thirty three to thirty five.[1]

  • Place and Order of Revelation

Sura al-Zukhruf is a Makki sura and in the order of revelation, it was the sixty third sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of compilation, It is the forty third sura of the Qur'an,[2] located in the juz' twenty five.

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

This sura has eighty nine verses, 838 words and 3609 letters and it is among Mathani suras regarding volume.[3] Sura al-Zukhruf is considered among Hawamim suras because it begins with "Ham-Mim" (حم) and is the forth sura which begins with an oath.[4]


According to Tafsir-i Nimuna, topics mentioned in Sura al-Zukhruf can be summarized in seven parts:

  1. The importance of the Qur'an and the prophethood of the Prophet (s);
  2. Some proofs for the Unity of God in the universe and reminding different blessings of God upon humans;
  3. Fighting with polytheism and rejecting attribution of wrong issues to God and rejecting blind imitations;
  4. Mentioning the destinies of previous prophets and their people;
  5. The resurrection and rewards of believers and warning sinners;
  6. Wrong criteria of faithless people which make them mistake;
  7. Giving Advice and consult;[5]

In Tafsir al-Mizan, Allama Tabataba'i considered the main topic of this sura, warning to human beings and wrote that it is emphasized in this sura that God's precedence has been to send prophets and warn humans, and the rejectors and the mockers among them were perished. In this sura, examples from the people of Prophet Abraham (a), Prophet Moses (a) and Prophet Jesus (a) are mentioned.[6]

Content of Sura al-Zukhruf[7]
The wrongness of actions and beliefs of polytheists and proving their failures
First talk: verses 1-14
Polytheists’ turning from monotheistic beliefs of the Qur’an
Second talk: verses 15-35
Polytheists’ excuses for worshipping angels
Third talk: verses 36-65
Wrongness of the manner and beliefs of polytheists
Fourth talk: verses 66-78
Destinies of God-worshippers and polytheists
Fifth talk: verses 79-89
Proving Tawhid and the failure of polytheists
First subject-matter: verses 1-4
The goal of sending the Qur’an, to make humans think
First subject-matter: verses 36-39
Polytheism, the result of following Satan
First subject-matter: verses 66-67
The consequence of polytheism is punishment
First subject-matter: verses 79-80
Futile efforts of polytheists in opposing the Prophet (s)
Second subject-matter: verses 5-8
Sins and mocking does not make an obstacle for preaching religion
Second subject-matter: verses 40-45
That polytheists cannot be guided
Second subject-matter: verses 68-73
The reward of the servants of God in the paradise
Second subject-matter: verses 81-83
God does not have any children or partner
Third subject-matter: verses 9-14
The necessity of worshipping blessing-giving God;
Third subject-matter: verses 46-56
Similarity of the manner of polytheists and followers of Pharaoh
Third subject-matter: verses 74-78
The punishment of those who fight the truth in the hell
Third subject-matter: verses 84-85
The Lord of all the worlds is only God
Fourth subject-matter: verses 57-65
Pugnacity and challenge of polytheists about Jesus Christ (a)
Fourth subject-matter: verses 86-87
No being has the right to make intercession without the permission of God
Fifth subject-matter: verses 88-89
The duty of the Prophet (s) against the polytheists

Famous Verses

Umm al-Kitab

The title "Umm al-Kitab" is used three times in the Qur'an.[8] Exegetes have interpreted this title in this verse as "the essence and basis of the Book". They referred to verses twenty one and twenty two of the Qur'an 85[9] and considered "Umm al-Kitab" referring to "al-Lawh al-Mahfuz".[10] Preserved tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfuz) is a book in which all the phenomena of the world are recorded and is safe from any change.[11]

Eternal Residence in the Hell

"Khulud" (immortality) means becoming immortal and long staying.[12] There are not much disagreements about the eternal life of the dwellers of the paradise among Islamic theologians and most of them accept that.[13] However, about the eternal residence in the hell, Shi'a theologians believe that it is only specific to disbelievers and if a believer commits a greater sin, although he will be punished, he will not be punished forever.[14]

Stories and Historical Reports

  • Moses' (a) invitation to Pharaoh, Pharaoh's arrogance, people's obedience to Pharaoh, their punishment (Verses 46 – 56);
  • People's challenges with Jesus son of Mary (a), bringing evident reasons by Jesus (a), invitation to monotheism, disagreement of groups (verses 56 – 65)

Merits and Benefits

It is transmitted from Imam al-Baqir (a) that whoever recites Sura al-Zukhruf regularly, God will keep him safe from insects of the earth and the pressure in the grave, until he stands before God and this sura will come and take this person to the paradise by the order of God.[15] Also, it is transmitted from the Prophet (s) that a person who recites Sura al-Zukhruf, he will be among those whom will be told on the Day of Judgement, "O My servants! Today you will have no fear, nor will you grieve. Enter the paradise without any reckoning.


External Links


  1. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1250.
  2. Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾān, vol. 2 p. 166.
  3. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1250.
  4. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1250.
  5. Makārim Shīrāzī, Barguzīda-yi tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 4, p. 357.
  6. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 18, p. 83.
  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. Qurʾān, 3:7; 13:39; 43:4.
  9. Indeed it is a glorious Quran, (21), in a preserved tablet.(22)
  10. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 9, p. 60; Zamakhsharī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 2, p. 534; Ālūsī, Rūḥ al-maʿānī, vol. 13, p. 245.
  11. Subḥānī, Maʿ al-Sḥīʿa al-imāmīyya, p. 119-120.
  12. Bayhaqī, Tāj al-maṣādir, vol. 1, p. 13.
  13. Mufīd, Risālat fī sharḥ ʿaqāʾid al-Ṣadūq, p. 53-54; Baghdādī, Kitāb uṣūl al-dīn, p. 238-333; Taftāzānī, Sharḥ al-maqāṣid, vol. 5, p. 134.
  14. Mufīd, Risālat fī sharḥ ʿaqāʾid al-Ṣadūq, p. 55; Fāḍil Miqdād, al-Lawāmiʿ al-ilāhīya, p. 441-443.
  15. Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 221.
  16. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 4, p. 843.


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