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Sūrahs Dhuhā-Alam Nashrah (93-94)
Qur'anic Exegesis
Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
(Tr. by:Dr. Shehzad Saleem)


These two sūrahs form a pair since they discuss the same subject. The Prophet (sws) is the addressee of both the sūrahs and has been comforted and solaced in them. A study of their contents shows that they were revealed in Mecca in the phase of `Inzār-i-Aam' (general admonition). In this phase of his mission, the Prophet (sws) was discharging his duty of warning the Quraysh in general of the dire consequences of their defiant attitude.

Central Theme

Both the sūrahs have the same central theme: they comfort and assure the Prophet (sws) on the hardships he was encountering during the phase of `Inzār-i-Aam' and give him glad tidings of great success in the future.

Subject Analysis

Sūrah Dhuhaa

By citing the dark night and the bright day as evidence, the Prophet (sws) is assured that just as the material characteristics of this world need the interaction of the night and day for their manifestation, human nature reaches its pinnacle after passing through the test periods of grief and joy. The difficulties he is facing in his mission are only to train and develop him. This does not at all mean that his Lord has abandoned him or is angry with him. He should rest assured that in the coming future he shall succeed in his mission and shall be pleased with the results.

Evidence is presented on the above stated premise from the various phases of the Prophet's life and some of the favours, material as well as spiritual, of the Almighty on the Prophet (sws) are mentioned.

An explanation is given of the way to fulfil the responsibilities these favours impose and in this manner a subtle reference is made to the attitude of the Quraysh who had become arrogant and defiant after receiving the favours of their Lord.

Sūrah Alam Nashrah

Evidence is presented from the various favours received by the Prophet (sws) from the Almighty in the various phases of his mission on the fact that the difficulties he is facing in this phase of his mission shall certainly come to an end.

With reference to the above mentioned premise, glad tidings are given to the Prophet (sws) that a period of great ease and comfort awaits him after this phase of hardship and affliction.

An indication is made of the completion of the great mission he had been assigned by the Almighty and of the direction he was given to prepare himself for the final meeting with the Almighty.


Sūrah Dhuhā1

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.

The day bears witness when it brightens and the night when it spreads its darkness [that sorrow and joy are also needed to train and discipline a person2. So O Prophet!] your Lord has neither abandoned you nor is he displeased with you3 and the days to come shall be a lot better for you than these initial ones. Very soon shall your Lord give you [so much that] you shall be pleased4.

Did He not find you an orphan and gave you shelter5 ? And found you wandering and guided you6 ? and found you in need and [gave you the contentment of heart and thus] enriched you7 ? So, treat not the orphan with harshness8 and scold not the one who asks9 and proclaim this favour [of Guidance] the Lord has given you10.

Sūrah Alam Nashrah11

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful.

Have We not opened up your heart for you12? and relieved you of the burden which weighed your back13? and for your sake exalted your fame14?

Therefore, with this difficulty [which you are now facing O Prophet!] there is a great ease [which awaits you]15. With this difficulty, there is a great ease [which awaits you]16.

So, when you are free [from this task], labour hard [in worship] and seek your Lord with all fervour17.



1. The various oaths mentioned in the Quran are meant to present an evidence which substantiates a claim. The muqsim bihi (object of oath) serves as an evidence for the point made in the muqsim alaih (complement of oath), which sometimes is stated just after the muqsim bihi and at other times is suppressed when it is too obvious to be expressed. In this particular sūrah, the objects of oath are the two opposing phenomena of nature presented in their ultimate form in the first two verses. The complement of oath is the succeeding verse: `Your Lord has not abandoned you nor is he displeased with you'. In other words, the bright day and the dark night substantiate the claim stated in this verse. 

2. It is evident that the whole material world as well as all the life forms in it are indebted to day and night for their existence and sustenance. This universe, as a whole, somehow or the other needs the bright day and dark night for all its potentials to materialize. Just as these opposing phenomena are beneficial to the material world, the opposing states of grief and joy are beneficial to the spiritual world. They help in the development of human character and inculcate in him the qualities of patience, endurance, and self-discipline. If the Prophet (sws) is facing difficulties in his mission, it does not mean that the Almighty has forsaken him or is unhappy with him. It is only a test period meant to develop and perfect his capabilities. The Prophet's personality, it must be kept in consideration, had three dimensions. One of these dimensions is that he was a human being in whom moral attributes reached their culmination; in this capacity, he was to set a moral example for his followers. Consequently, he had to undergo a period of training and education which could help him in achieving this object. This test period was also to serve another purpose necessary for his mission: to bring to light his true followers.

3. It must be realized that the Prophet (sws) in this phase of his mission was facing tremendous hostility and resistance from the people of the Quraish. Since a great many of them were continuing to persist with their pagan beliefs, it was but natural for him to conclude that perhaps there was some fault in his own strategy that the required results were not being achieved. This fault, he reckoned, had invited the displeasure of the Almighty. It is on this state of mind that the Prophet (sws) has been consoled and comforted and asked to dispel such doubts.

4. A further note of assurance is sounded to the Prophet (sws) by giving him glad tidings of success in the near future. It is a historical fact that it was not long before all Arabia, from the southern coasts to the Syrian frontiers of the Byzantine empire and the Iraqi frontiers of the Persian empires in the north, and from the Persian Gulf in the east to the Red sea in the west came under the control of the newly founded Islamic state.

5. Evidence is presented from the life of the Prophet (sws) on what has been said in the words: `the days to come [O Prophet!] shall be a lot better for you than these initial ones'. The first thing mentioned is how the Almighty took care of him as an orphan. To be an orphan, no doubt, is a state of great affliction but in a degenerated society, like the one the Prophet (sws) had encountered in his early youth, the life of orphans is even more miserable. However, in these circumstances, the Prophet's grandfather and uncle brought him up with great love and affection. The mere existence of these emotions in one's relatives in such an evil society can only be a special favour of the Almighty. As such, the verse also upbraids this wicked attitude of the Quraish, and brings out the sharp contrast between the Almighty's benevolence and their callousness.

6. After mentioning the material favour bestowed upon the Prophet (sws) by the Almighty, a mention is now made of the greatest spiritual reward given to him: Divine Guidance. It must be kept in consideration that all the Prophets of Allah before their Prophethood believe in the universal truths inherent in human nature and lead immaculate moral lives. However, they are unaware of the requirements and details of Divine Guidance. In spite of believing in God, they are in need to know the attributes of the Almighty and what these attributes require of them. They do not know the rights of the Almighty on His servants and the way to fulfil them. They are also unfamiliar with the details of how to please the Almighty in the minutest of spheres. Unless these questions are answered, no strong relationship with the Almighty can be established. The Prophet (sws) also had faced these questions in his early life. It was a mere blessing of the Almighty that he was bestowed with Divine Guidance.

7. The enrichment implied here is spiritual not material. If a person has a lot of wealth but his heart is devoid of faith he is, in fact, a needy and a deprived person. True wealth is the wealth of guidance which leads to the cognizance of the Almighty. This verse, according to linguistic considerations, must be understood in the light of the last verse of the sūrah as both correspond in nature and complement one another.

8. This is the right imposed on the Prophet (sws) by the favour bestowed on him by the Almighty mentioned earlier in the words: `Did He not find you an orphan and gave you shelter'.

9. This verse complements verse seven of the sūrah: `And found you wandering and guided you'. Consequently, the person `who asks' mentioned in the verse is not the one who asks for money, but one who asks for guidance.

10. The Prophet (sws) is urged to go on with his duty of imparting the truth revealed to him irrespective of the hostilities of the enemy. The word `haddith' (proclaim) is not at all suitable for the favour of wealth as most people have interpreted. The favour of Divine Guidance is implied here.

11. This sūrah begins after Sūrah Dhuhaa without any prior introduction, and the subject raised in the verse `Did We not find you an orphan and gave you shelter' and in the subsequent verses of the previous sūrah has been brought to a completion in this sūrah. The sūrah naturally springs from the previous one and there exists a great amount of similarity between the two. The only difference it seems, is that in Sūrah Dhuhaa the bounties and blessings of the Almighty cited as a means to comfort and assure the Prophet (sws) belonged to the period prior to his Prophethood and extending a little after it; whereas, in this sūrah the favours which were showered by the gracious Lord on him when the message of Islam had spread in Mecca have been recounted.

12. In the previous sūrah, a mention has been made of the mental worries and anxieties which the Prophet (sws) faced while he was in quest for the truth. However, once he had been divinely blessed with the truth, his anxieties were smothered and his apprehensions were allayed. An indication has been made in this verse of the contentment and peace of mind the Prophet (sws) found himself in after he started receiving Divine Guidance. To open someone's heart means to create in him a correct recognition of the truth, which is the outcome of true faith. This also is a means to develop in a person trust and faith in God which is the fountainhead of resolve and determination.

13. This verse alludes to the second phase of the Prophet's anxieties which began soon after he had started preaching the truth revealed to him. The whole Arabian society turned against him and he had to face tremendous opposition at their hands. The way the Almighty had provided him with Guidance quite naturally induced him to think that if one soul is able to appreciate and understand it why is it that others are finding a difficulty in accepting it. Moreover, when he saw that the more effort he made in calling them towards it, the more they evaded his calls, he was driven into thinking that probably his efforts were lacking both in approach and intensity. This led him to double his efforts, but when the situation did not change his worries increased twofold.

14. It was not long before the Prophet (sws) won many companions in Mecca, and his once feeble voice became a reverberating roar.

15. The difficulty of the Prophet (sws) referred to here is that although the message of Islam had received acclaim in Mecca, yet the breakthrough needed in this regard was still to come. It should be borne in mind that the leaders of Quraish, who were the first invitees of this religion persisted to oppose it. In fact, their hostility increased with increase in its followers. However, during the Haj season, the pilgrims who came to Ka`ba became a constant source of spreading its teachings in the whereabouts of Mecca, particularly among the Ansaar of Medina. The great ease referred to in the verse, obviously, points to the great success the Islamic mission subsequently achieved with the conquest of Mecca in the eighth year of Hijrah.

16. The repetition merely emphasizes the point made in the previous verse. 

17. The core and essence of Islam is one's relationship with the Almighty. The strength of this relationship depends on His continuous remembrance in one's routines. The responsibility of da`wah is a requisite of faith and as such is actually an obligation which must be fulfilled. The Prophet (sws) is directed in this verse to labour hard in seeking the Almighty, once his assigned task of da`wah is finished. In complying with this final directive the Prophet (sws) began to spend more and more time in worship. Such was the extent of his involvement that some people even inquired from him that when all his sins had been forgiven, why was he taking so much pains in worship. The Prophet (sws) is said to have replied: `Should not I become a grateful servant of my Lord.'

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