QURAN SUMMARY: LAHAB

Surah Lahab Background And Summary of Main Topics.

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

NAME: المسد, اللهب, Al-Masad, Al-Lahab.

This Surah has two names. Names taken from Verse 1  and 5 where there is a mention of the word ”Lahab” and “Masad” respectively.

١  تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ
1  May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he.

٥  فِي جِيدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِنْ مَسَدٍ
5  Around her neck is a rope of [twisted] fiber.

ENGLISH NAME: Palm Fiber, The Flame.

CHAPTER NUMBER: 111

SURAH LAHAB TOTAL VERSES: 5

SURAH LAHAB TOTAL WORDS: 23

TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 22

TOTAL LETTERS: 81

REVELATION PERIOD:

Meccan, Approx. 616 – 618 AD.

MAIN CHARACTERS:

God, Abu Lahab, Abu Lahab’s Wife.

SURAH LAHAB MAIN TOPICS:

Woe And Curse Of God On Abu Lahab And His Wife For Opposing Muhammad.

SURAH LAHAB KEY VERSES:

١  تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ

1  May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he.

٢  مَا أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ

2  His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained.

SUMMARY OF TOPICS

1-3(Woe And Curse Of God On Abu Lahab, His wealth will not avail him, He Will Burn In Fire), 4-5(And His Wife Who Is Actually a Carrier of Fire woods, Will Bear same Consequences as of Abu Lahab).

SURAH LAHAB BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACKGROUND

This Surah has 5 verses. This Surah has two names Surah Lahab اللهب and Masad المسد . It takes its name from verse 1 and 5 where the word “اللهب” and “المسد” meaning “The Flame” and “Palm Fiber” appears respectively. This Surah was revealed in Mecca most probably in a later stage of Muhammad’s preaching in Mecca when persecution of him and his followers had started.

This Surah was revealed to condemn the behavior of one of the relatives of the Prophet who stood against his message. Abu Lahab was the uncle of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. His name was Abdul Uzza bin Abdul Muttalib. He was called Abu Lahab because of the brightness of his face. The Arabic word “Lahab” means flames, and this was his nickname because he was of radiant reddish color. Abu Lahab and his wife were one of the most hostile opponents of Muhammad and the ideas he propagated.

The reason for cursing Abu Lahab is because Abu Lahab was the only one in Muhammad’s close family that even though he belonged to the same clan, he joined with the opposing Quraysh instead. Not only this when the whole family of Prophet was under social boycott Abu Lahab was was with rival tribes in signing the document imposing a complete social boycott on the clan of Hashim to starve them out.

Bukhari recorded from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet went out to the valley of Al Batha and he climbed the mountain. Then he cried out, يَا صَبَاحَاه

O people, come at once. So the Quraysh gathered around him. Then he said, أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ حَدَّثْتُكُمْ أَنَّ الْعَدُوَّ مُصَبِّحُكُمْ، أَوْ مُمَسِّيكُمْ أَكُنْتُمْ تُصَدِّقُونِّي If I told you all that the enemy was going to attack you in the morning, or in the evening, would you all believe me. They replied, “Yes.” Then he said, فَإِنِّي نَذِيرٌ لَكُمْ بَيْنَ يَدَيْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيد Indeed, I am a warner sent to you all before the coming of a severe torment. Then Abu Lahab said, “Have you gathered us for this May you perish!” Thus, God revealed, تَبَّتْ يَدَآ أَبِى لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ Perish the hands of Abu Lahab and perish he.

Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded from Abu Az Zinad that a man called Rabiah bin Abbad from the tribe of Bani Ad Dil, who was a man of pre Islamic ignorance who accepted Islam, said to him, “I saw the Prophet in the time of pre Islamic ignorance in the market of Dhul Majaz, and he was saying,

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، قُولُوا: لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ تُفْلِحُوا.  O, people! Say there is no god worthy of worship except Allah, and you will be successful. The people were gathered around him, and behind him, there was a man with a bright face, squinty eyes and two braids in his hair. He was saying, “Verily, he is an apostate and a liar!” This man was following him (the Prophet ) around wherever he went. So, I asked who was he, and they (the people) said, “This is his uncle, Abu Lahab.”

His wife was among the leading women of the Quraysh, and she was known as Umm Jamil. Her name was Arwah bint Harb, and she was the sister of Abu Sufyan. She was supportive of her husband in his disbelief, rejection, and stubbornness. She used to place thorns in the path of the Prophet of God. Therefore, she will be helping to administer his punishment in the fire of Hell on the Day of Judgement. Thus, Allah says, وَامْرَأَتُهُ حَمَّالَةَ الْحَطَبِ – فِى جِيدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِّن مَّسَد ٍ. “Who carries wood,” meaning, she will carry the firewood and throw it upon her husband to increase that which he is in of torment.