NAME: الشمس، Ash-Shams۔
Name taken from Verse 1 where there is a mention of the word ”Shams”.
١ وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا
1 By the sun and its brightness
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: The Sun.
CHAPTER NUMBER: 91
SURAH SHAMS TOTAL VERSES: 15
SURAH SHAMS TOTAL WORDS: 54
TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 48
TOTAL LETTERS: 253
Meccan, Approx. 616 – 620 AD.
God, Human Soul, Thamud, Messenger of God(Salih), She-camel.
SURAH SHAMS MAIN TOPICS:
God Put In Soul Two Capacities Of Right And Wrong Which Is Responsible For Final Outcome, Thamud’s Transgression And Their End.
SURAH SHAMS KEY VERSES:
٢ وَالْقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَاهَا
2 And [by] the moon when it follows it
٧ وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا
7 And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it
٨ فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا
8 And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness,
SUMMARY OF TOPICS
1-7( Swear By Sun, Moon, Day, Night, Sky, Earth And The Soul), 8-10(God Put In Soul Two Capacities Of Right And Wrong, He Who Purifies It- has succeeded, And He Who Corrupts It- Has Failed), 11-15 (Thamud’s Transgression, Prophet Salih Asked Them Not To Harm the She Camel of God, But they denied him, God Destructed Thamud For Their Sins)
SURAH SHAMS BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACKGROUND
This Surah has 15 verses. It takes its name from verse 1: “وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا” (By the sun and its brightness) where the word “الشمس” meaning “The Sun” appears. This Surah was revealed in Mecca most probably in a later stage of Prophet Muhammad’s preaching in Mecca when persecution had become severe.
The Surah begins with Oath of the celestial beings and the phenomenon of nature and then narrates that as there is a contrast between sun, moon, night, day, heaven and earth, so is between good and evil. As everything created is in pairs, this world also is incomplete unless it is viewed together with its other part, the Day of Judgement. God put in soul two capacities of Right and Wrong, which is responsible for the final outcome.
Nasai recorded a narration from Jabir that Muadh prayed a prayer and a man came and followed him in the prayer. Muadh made the prayer long, so the man went and prayed alone at the side of the Mosque. When Muadh was informed of this, he said, “He is a hypocrite.” Then Muadh informed the Prophet of God PBUH of what happened. The Prophet then asked the man, and he replied, “Prophet of God PBUH! I came to pray with him, but he made the prayer too long for me. So I left him and prayed at the side of the Mosque. Then I went to feed my she camel.” The Prophet of God PBUH then said,
أَفَتَّانٌ يَا مُعَاذُ؟ أَيْنَ أَنْتَ مِنْ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى وَٱلشَّمۡسِ وَضُحَٮٰهَا وَٱلۡفَجۡرِ وَٱلَّيۡلِ إِذَا يَغۡشَىٰ
Are you causing trouble O Muadh? Why don’t you recite Glorify the Name of your Lord the Most High, By the sun and its brightness, By the dawn, and By the night as it envelops.