surah shams english

Surah Shams, Surah Al Shams, Surah Ash Shams


سورة الشمس

وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا ﴿1﴾ وَالْقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَاهَا ﴿2﴾ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا جَلَّاهَا ﴿3﴾ وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَاهَا ﴿4﴾ وَالسَّمَاءِ وَمَا بَنَاهَا ﴿5﴾ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا طَحَاهَا ﴿6﴾ وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا ﴿7﴾ فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا ﴿8﴾ قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا ﴿9﴾ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ دَسَّاهَا ﴿10﴾ كَذَّبَتْ ثَمُودُ بِطَغْوَاهَا ﴿11﴾ إِذِ انْبَعَثَ أَشْقَاهَا ﴿12﴾ فَقَالَ لَهُمْ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ نَاقَةَ اللَّهِ وَسُقْيَاهَا ﴿13﴾ فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَعَقَرُوهَا فَدَمْدَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ بِذَنْبِهِمْ فَسَوَّاهَا ﴿14﴾ وَلَا يَخَافُ عُقْبَاهَا ﴿15﴾


Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

  1. Wash shamsi wa duhaa haa
  2. Wal qamari izaa talaa haa
  3. Wannahaari izaa jallaa haa
  4. Wallaili izaa yaghshaa haa
  5. Wassamaaa’i wa maa banaahaa
  6. Wal ardi wa maa tahaahaa
  7. Wa nafsinw wa maa sawwaahaa
  8. Fa-alhamahaa fujoorahaa wa taqwaahaa
  9. Qad aflaha man zakkaahaa
  10. Wa qad khaaba man dassaahaa
  11. Kazzabat Samoodu bi taghwaahaaa
  12. Izim ba’asa ashqaahaa
  13. Faqaala lahum Rasoolul laahi naaqatal laahi wa suqiyaahaa
  14. Fakazzaboohu fa’aqaroohaa fadamdama ‘alaihim Rabbuhum bizambihim fasaw waahaa
  15. Wa laa yakhaafu’uqbaahaa


With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful.

  1. I swear by the sun and his broad light,
  2. and by the moon when she follows him,
  3. and by the day when it shows his brightness,
  4. and by the night when it envelops him,
  5. and by the sky, and the One who built it,
  6. and by the earth, and the One who spread it,
  7. and by the soul, and the One who made it well,
  8. then inspired it with its (instincts of) evil and piety,
  9. success is really attained by him who purifies it,
  10. and failure is really suffered by him who pollutes it.
  11. (The People of) Thamud denied the truth because of their transgression,
  12. when rose up the one who was most wretched of them.
  13. So, the Messenger of Allah said to them, :Be careful of Allah‘s she-camel and her right to drink.
  14. But they rejected him and killed her, so their Lord sent eradicating torment upon them because of their sin, and made it equal for all.
  15. And He has no fear of its consequence.


Allah swears by the objects and phenomena mentioned in verses [1-7], which gives these creations an added significance and draws man’s attention to them. Man ought to reflect on these phenomena and try to appreciate their value and the purpose of their creation. The first oath is taken by:

وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا. The phrase and his broad light’ is, though conjoined to ‘by the sun’ by means of the conjunctive particle ‘and’, the context indicates that ‘broad light’ is in adjectival position qualifying shams ‘the sun’, that is to say, ‘I swear by the sun when it is in the time of forenoon. The word duha is that part of the day when the sun rises [ early in the morning ] and goes up slightly higher [ on the sky ], and its light spreads on the earth. Man observes it to be near to himself and observes it fully on account of lack of heat.

The second oath is taken by:

وَالْقَمَرِ‌ إِذَا تَلَاهَا  This signifies one of two things: [1] The moon following the sun is seen clearly during the middle of the lunar months when the full moon rises to dominate the sky with its radiance after sunset. [2] The phrase ‘when she follows him’ could signify just as the sun is seen in full in broad light, so does the moon, following the sun, becomes full. The third oath is taken by:

وَالنَّهَارِ‌ إِذَا جَلَّاهَا  The attached pronoun ha ‘its’ may possibly refer to the earth or the world, although neither of the nouns precedes it. Such usage in Arabic is commonplace, especially if the phenomenon, such as the earth or the world, with which man is generally familiar. In such a case Arabs commonly refer to the phenomenon simply by using a pronoun without making prior reference to it. The addressee understands the meaning by implication. The Qur’an has many examples of, and bears ample testimony to, this grammatical phenomenon.

The verse thus signifies ‘by the day and by the world or the earth which the day has brightened up’. In other words, ‘by the day when it is fully bright’. Another possibility, which is more pertinent to the context, is that the pronoun ‘its’ refers to the ‘sun’ in which case it signifies ‘by the day when it brightens up the sun’. This relation of attribution, in this case, would be a metaphorical relationship. Although the sun is usually understood to be the cause of the day to come out, here the day is said to brighten up the sun. Thus the verse would signify ‘when the sun is seen brightened up because the day is out.

The fifth oath is:

وَالسَّمَاءِ وَمَا بَنَاهَا Most clearly the context suggests that the ma may be taken as infinitival particle [masdariyyah], signifying ‘by the sky and its make ‘ as elsewhere in the Qur’an غَفَرَ‌ لِي رَ‌بِّي ‘…how my Lord has forgiven me [36:27] ‘ (1)

It should be kept in mind that the translation of the text is not based on this construction. It is based on taking ‘ma’ as mousulah in the sense of ‘the one’ as adopted by Maulana Thanawi, and explained by the author in the following verse. word taswiyah means, to proportion, balance, perfect. The meaning of this word has been explained in the previous Surah.

The sixth oath is:

وَالْأَرْ‌ضِ وَمَا طَحَاهَا The ma in this phrase too stands for masdariyyah or infinitival particle, signifying ‘by the earth and its expanse’. The word tahwun means ‘to spread’. Thus in the two verses above attention has been focused on the great Designer and Architect of the sky and earth [ that is, the universe ], and on the perfection and complete freedom from flaw or defect in the design and creation of the universe.

Sayyidna Qatadah and others reported this interpretation. Kashshaf, Baidawi and Qurtubi preferred this interpretation. Some of the commentators have taken ma in the sense of man ‘the One Who’ and refer it to ‘Allah’, signifying ‘by the sky and its Maker and by the earth and One who spreads it. Thus far, all the oaths were taken by the created objects and phenomena. In between is taken oath by Allah. And Allah knows best! The seventh oath is taken thus:

فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَ‌هَا وَتَقْوَاهَا The word ilham denotes ‘to cast into the heart’. The word fujur denotes ‘open transgression’. The meaning of taqwa is well-known. This sentence is linked with the seventh oath وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا and by the soul, and the One who made it well, [ 91:7] ‘, signifying that Allah has equipped man with human soul which has the capacity to distinguish between good and bad, and right and wrong.

In other words, in his make-up Allah has built in him a special ability to choose freely the righteous path or the sinful path. Whichever way he takes out of his own free will, he will be rewarded or punished. This interpretation is deducible from a traceable Hadith which is transmitted by Muslim on the authority of Sayyidna ` Imran Ibn Husain (رض) .

The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was sitting in the company of his followers. They asked him a question regarding Divine Destination. In response, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) recited this verse. This verse will allay the doubt about Divine Destination only if the words ‘then inspired it with its (instincts of) evil and piety, [ 91:8] ‘ are taken in the sense that human soul has been inspired with conscience to distinguish between right and wrong, and has also been granted the ability to do good as well as the ability to commit sin. Man is not a creature of pure force or coercion. He has free will to choose his path of good or evil. He, in fact, has the option to do good or refrain from sin. The choice is his, for which he is rewarded or punished.

Sayyidna Abu Hurairah and Ibn ` Abbas (رض) report that whenever the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) recited the verses [ 91:7-8] under comment would stop and recite the following supplication aloud:

اللهم آت نفسي تقواها، أنت وليها ومولاها وأنت خير من زكاها.

‘0 Allah! Give my soul its good. You are its Guardian and Master, and the best to purify it.’

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّاهَا ﴿٩﴾ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّاهَا ﴿١٠ This is the subject of the seven oaths. The primitive meaning of tazkiyah is ‘inner cleanliness’, signifying ‘he who obeyed Allah and purified his inner and outer selves.’ Verse [ 10] signifies ‘he who caused his soul to sink in the swamp of sins will be deprived’. The word dassa is derived from the basic word dass’ which denotes ‘to bury in the ground’ as for instance it occurs elsewhere in the Qur’an, thus:

﴿أَمْ يَدُسُّهُ فِي التُّرَ‌ابِ﴾

…or put it away into the dust? [ 16:59] ‘

Some of the commentators have analysed that the pronouns of zakka ‘He purified’ and dassa ‘He caused to pollute’ as referring to ‘Allah’, signifying that ‘he is successful indeed whose soul Allah has purified and he has failed whose soul Allah pollutes ‘. This verse has divided the entire mankind into two groups: [ 1] successful; and [ 2] unsuccessful. An example of the second group has been cited to show how it rejected the message of Allah and consequently how Allah destroyed them. Such a group will receive severe punishment in the Hereafter. Sometimes, however, an installment of punishment is meted out to them in this world as in the case of Thamud. Their story is recounted fully in Surah A` raf [ S.7:73-79; S.11:61-68; S. 26:141-159; S.27:45-53; S..41:17-18; S.54:23-32; and S. 69:4-5]. Here a brief reference is made to that story and their punishment.

فَدَمْدَمَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَ‌بُّهُم بِذَنبِهِمْ فَسَوَّاهَا  The word damdama refers to such tormenting scourge as is unleashed on a person or a nation again and again, until it destroys or crushes them completely. Fa-sawwaha signifies that the scourge overtook the entire nation, men, women, children, and young and old.

In conclusion, the verse says: وَلَا يَخَافُ عُقْبَاهَا ‘Allah has no fear of its consequence’. It means that Divine torment that destroys a nation completely cannot be compared to the torment inflicted by the greatest king of this world, because a tyrant king who destroys his people on a large scale, fears for his life, lest the survivors or the supporters of the people destroyed should revenge on him and rebel against him. Whoever destroys others is himself in danger of avenge. Those who attack others must necessarily bear the brunt of counter-attack except Allah. When a people incur Divine punishment and are thus destroyed, Allah has no fear from any one.

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