NAME: الروم, Ar-Rum.
Name taken from Verse 2 where there is a mention of “Ar-Rum”.
٢ غُلِبَتِ الرُّومُ
2 The Byzantines have been defeated
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: Romans, Byzantium.
CHAPTER NUMBER: 30
SURAH RUM TOTAL VERSES: 60
SURAH RUM TOTAL WORDS: 817
TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 451
TOTAL LETTERS: 3,472
Meccan, Approx. 615 – 617 AD.
God, Romans, Believers, Prophet Muhammad.
SURAH RUM MAIN TOPICS:
Prediction of Romans Defeat & Glad tidings, Last Day Punishment & Rewards, God’s Signs Everywhere, Riba/Usury, Cloud and Rain Formation, Time Stayed on Earth Will look like an hour.
SURAH RUM KEY VERSES:
٢ غُلِبَتِ الرُّومُ
2 The Byzantines have been defeated
٣ فِي أَدْنَى الْأَرْضِ وَهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ غَلَبِهِمْ سَيَغْلِبُونَ
3 In the nearest land. But they, after their defeat, will overcome.
٤ فِي بِضْعِ سِنِينَ ۗ لِلَّهِ الْأَمْرُ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَمِنْ بَعْدُ ۚ وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ
4 Within three to nine years. To Allah belongs the command before and after. And that day the believers will rejoice
٣٠ فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفًا ۚ فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
30 So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.
٣٢ مِنَ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا ۖ كُلُّ حِزْبٍ بِمَا لَدَيْهِمْ فَرِحُونَ
32 [Or] of those who have divided their religion and become sects, every faction rejoicing in what it has.
٥٥ وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ يُقْسِمُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ مَا لَبِثُوا غَيْرَ سَاعَةٍ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ كَانُوا يُؤْفَكُونَ
55 And the Day the Hour appears the criminals will swear they had remained but an hour. Thus they were deluded.
٥٦ وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ وَالْإِيمَانَ لَقَدْ لَبِثْتُمْ فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْبَعْثِ ۖ فَهَٰذَا يَوْمُ الْبَعْثِ وَلَٰكِنَّكُمْ كُنْتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
56 But those who were given knowledge and faith will say, “You remained the extent of Allah ‘s decree until the Day of Resurrection, and this is the Day of Resurrection, but you did not used to know.”
SUMMARY OF TOPICS
1-4(Romans Prediction Of Defeat And Good Tiding For Both Romans And Muslims That They Will Be Conqueror Soon On Persians And Meccan’s Respectively), 5-6(Promise Upon God, Allah Does Not Fail In His Promise), 9(Have They Not Traveled Through The Earth And Observed How Was The End Of Those Before Them? They Were Greater In Power), 10-16(Last Day Punishment Rewards, Hell Paradise), 17-18( Namaz/Prayer Timings),19( God Brings The Living Out Of The Dead And Brings The Dead Out Of The Living), 20-27(His Signs In Your Spouses/Mates, In Heavens Earth Creation, In Diverse Languages In Different Colors Etc), 30(The Nature Made By Allah In Which He Has Made Men Is True Religion), 39(Difference In Riba/Usury/Interest And Zakat), 41(Pollution/Corruption Has Spread In Land And Waters), 48( Process Of Raining; Winds Clouds Then Spread On Sky Then Fragments Then Rain), 55-56(How Long Stayed In Earth; Swear They Did Not Tarry But An Hour), 60(Be Patient; Surely The Promise Of Allah Is True And Let Not Those Who Have No Certainty Hold You In Light Estimation.)
SURAH RUM BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACK GROUND
This Surah has 60 verses divided into 6 Rukus/Sections. This Surah was revealed in Mecca same time as of Surah Taha almost six to seven years before Prophet Muhammad’s migration to Yathrib (Madina) around 615 AD. This was the time when the opposition of Meccans turned from verbal accusations and abuse to physical and socio-economic torture and bans. This is the time when many Muslims migrated to nearby country of Abyssinia. One more thing that helps in understanding its time period of revelation is the prediction regarding Romans (Eastern Roman Or Byzantines Empire) defeat by the Persian Empire in the first four verses. The Byzantines Empire regions which were near Arabia were gone from there hands during these years and were taken back by them around 623-627 AD.
The Surah starts with a precise prediction that although the Romans have been defeated, but within a few years, they will again become victorious. The Surah here is referring to the Byzantine-Sassanid War of 602–628. When Emperor Maurice was killed by the usurper Phocas, Khosrau II waged war to revenge his death. Although the Persians were victorious during the first stages of the war, capturing much of the Egypt, Levant and even Anatolia. However, the coming to power of Heraclius ultimately drove to the Persians downfall.
But on the face of it, the initial defeat of the Romans (Byzantine Empire) had much impact on Arabia. In those days in Mecca everywhere was the talk of this matter. There were no fast and speedy ways of communication those days but as this was not a small war but a war that lasted for many years thus by people traveling in trade caravans all the matter spread. These were the days when Prophet Muhammad and his early followers were under severe persecution, and few of them took refuge in the nearby country of Abyssinia which was a Christian country and an ally of Romans. So Meccans take this victory as a way to mock and ridicule Muslims that just as the People of Book who believe in God were defeated by Persians same, you were also come to your end by our hands and also that now soon they will get their brats back who were in refuge in Abassinya.
So this Surah actually gives three predictions which fulfilled in a time span of 10-12 years. First is that Romans will be back and defeat their opponent which fulfilled starting from 623 AD with the initial victories of Romans and ends with the final defeat of Persians in the battle of Nineveh in 627AD. The other thing in verse is that Muslims will be happy that day: it is fulfilled by the rejoicing of Muslims on seeing the Quran’s claim and prediction coming true and their opponent’s claims turning wrong. Third: the same time Muslims won their first battle of Badr in 623AD at the start of Romans victories and then in 628AD Muslims conquered Mecca after Romans decisively defeated Persians in the battle of Nineveh in 627AD.
The Surah urges people to ponder on God’s Signs which are everywhere around in this Universe and reflect on their own creation and the heavens and earth. The Surah emphasizes that God is in control of everything and tells about the Last Day Punishment & Rewards.