QURAN SUMMARY: ABASA

Surah Abasa Background And Summary of Main Topics.

Surah Abasa Statistics: Total Number of Verses, Revelation Period, Main Characters, Theme And Key Verses.

NAME: عبس, Abasa.

Name taken from Verse 1 where there is a mention of the word ”Abasa”.

١  عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ
1  The Prophet frowned and turned away

But It does not mean that this name is the actual topic discussed in the whole Surah. It is just a reference and mark/symbol to distinguish this Surah from others as is with most other Surahs of Quran. While there are diversified topics discussed in these Surahs.

ENGLISH NAME: He Frowned.

CHAPTER NUMBER: 80

SURAH ABASA TOTAL VERSES: 42

SURAH ABASA TOTAL WORDS: 133

TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 116

TOTAL LETTERS: 552

REVELATION PERIOD:

Meccan, Approx. 610 – 616 AD.

MAIN CHARACTERS:

God, Prophet Muhammad, A Blind Man, Mankind.

SURAH ABASA MAIN TOPICS:

God Teaches Prophet Muhammad That In Preaching Preference Should Be Given To The Seekers Of Guidance, God’s Favors On Man, Description and Scene of The Last Day.

SURAH ABASA KEY VERSES:

١  عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ

1  The Prophet frowned and turned away

٢  أَنْ جَاءَهُ الْأَعْمَىٰ

2  Because there came to him the blind man, [interrupting].

٥  أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَىٰ

5  As for he who thinks himself without need,

٦  فَأَنْتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّىٰ

6  To him you give attention.

٧  لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِنْهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ شَأْنٌ يُغْنِيهِ

37  For every man, that Day, will be a matter adequate for him.

٣٨  وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ مُسْفِرَةٌ

38  [Some] faces, that Day, will be bright –

٣٩  ضَاحِكَةٌ مُسْتَبْشِرَةٌ

39  Laughing, rejoicing at good news.

٤٠  وَوُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَلَيْهَا غَبَرَةٌ

40  And [other] faces, that Day, will have upon them dust.

SUMMARY OF TOPICS

1-2(Prophet Muhammad Frowned & Turned Away, Because there came to him the blind man (Ibne Umme Maktoum)), 3-10(God Teaches That In Preaching Preference Should Be Given To The Seekers Of Guidance Not To Powerful/Influential People), 11-16(Quran Preserved In Honored Pages, Written By Nobles), 17-32(God Created Man Guided him Than Causes his Death, God’s Favors On Man: Water, Fruits & vegetation, But He Is Ungrateful, Look At Your Food, Cattle And Other Blessings Of God And Honor His Commands), 33-42(Last Day description: Man Will Flee From His Relatives, Only One Issue In His Mind- Which Is about His Ownself, That Day Some Faces Bright & Some Faces Dark And Dusty)

SURAH ABASA BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACKGROUND

This Surah has 42 verses. It takes its name from verse 1: “عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ” ( (He frowned and turned away) where the word “عبس” meaning “He Frowned” appears. This Surah was revealed in Mecca most probably during the early days of Muhammad’s proclamation of his prophethood.

The Surah starts with the event of a blind man who came to the Prophet to seek knowledge, while the chiefs of Makkah were sitting with him. It teaches that in the matter of preaching and guidance, preference should be given to those who seek it. Those who will accept this message they will benefit from it.  However, those who deny that, they are bringing wrong to their own selves.

Many ahadith and traditions mention that one day the Propet of God PBUH was addressing some prominent chiefs of the Quraysh while hoping that they would accept Islam. While he was speaking, a blind man came to him and said, “O Prophet of God, teach me the knowledge that God has taught you. The Prophet asked him to wait for a moment so he could complete his conversation. He frowned in the face of him and turned away from him in order to speak with the Quraysh leaders. Thus, Allah revealed the first verses of this Surah. Tirmidhi, Hakim, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Jarir, Abu Yala, Abdullah bin Abbas all narrates that this man was Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum.

Shia Muslims interpret it differently and consider that the person who frowned was not Prophet but a leader of Quraysh from Banu Ummayah Clan. They base their plea on the ground that being harsh and frowned face cannot be the character of Prophet, then as per verse 5 and 6 of this Surah giving attention to the rich and turning away from poor is not suiting to the nature and morality of Prophet. Further as in Surah Qalam verse 4 Quran itself saying that  وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ And indeed, you are of a high moral character. Thus all hadiths and traditions should be rejected if it opposes even a single verse of the Quran.

Shia Muslims are quite wrong in their interpretation as the whole context of the Surah is showing that it was revealed regarding Prophet Muhammad. Though I agree with that, all traditions and ahadith should be rejected if they oppose Quran but here its not at all contradicting with Quran as the whole Quran is full of such minor mistakes of Prophets, and further Quran also says that all Messengers were just human beings and God’s mere slaves. Surah Yusuf verse 24 وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِ ۖ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلَا أَنْ رَأَىٰ بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهِا  shows that both wife of Aziz and Prophet Yusuf desired each other, had Yusuf not perceived a sign from his Lord he too would have advanced towards her.

Also Just read again and again the following verses 5-10 of Surah Abasa as they clearly show that they are not addressing a pagan Meccan chief. Further, this is not only one incident where God is correcting Prophet on some minor mistake, but you can see such incidents on many other places in the Quran like Surah Tahrim, Surah Ahzab, etc

٥  أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَىٰ5  As for he who thinks himself without need,

٦  فَأَنْتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّىٰ6  To him you give attention.

٧  وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلَّا يَزَّكَّىٰ7  And not upon you [is any blame] if he will not be purified.

٨  وَأَمَّا مَنْ جَاءَكَ يَسْعَىٰ8  But as for he who came to you striving [for knowledge]

٩  وَهُوَ يَخْشَىٰ9  While he fears [Allah],

١٠  فَأَنْتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّىٰ10  From him you are distracted.