The Reason for the Revelation of Surah Ad-Duha
Imam Ahmad recorded from Jundub that he said,
"The Prophet became ill, so he did not stand for prayer for a night or two. Then a woman came and said,
`O Muhammad! I think that your devil has finally left you.'
So Allah revealed,
وَالَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَى
مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَمَا قَلَى
By the forenoon.By the night when it darkens. Your Lord has neither forsaken you nor hates you.
Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i, Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir, all recorded this Hadith.
This Jundub (who narrated it) is Ibn `Abdullah Al-Bajali Al-`Alaqi. In a narration from Al-Aswad bin Qays, he said that he heard Jundub say that Jibril was slow in coming to the Messenger of Allah . So the idolators said,
"Muhammad's Lord has abandoned him.''
So Allah revealed,
وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَى ﴿٢﴾
مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَمَا قَلَى ﴿٣﴾
By the forenoon. By the night when it darkens. Your Lord has neither forsaken you nor hates you.
Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn Abbas,
"When the Qur'an was revealed to the Messenger of Allah, Jibril was delayed from coming to him for a number of days (on one occasion). Therefore, the Messenger of Allah was affected by this. Then the idolators began to say, `His Lord has abandoned him and hates him.' So Allah revealed, مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَمَا قَلَى Your Lord has neither forsaken you nor hates you.''
In this, Allah is swearing by the forenoon and the light that He has placed in it. وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَى By the night when it darkens (Saja).
meaning, it settles, darkens and overcomes them.
This was said by Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ibn Zayd and others. This is a clear proof of the power of the Creator of this (light) and that (darkness).
This is as Allah says,
وَالَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَى
وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّى
By the night as it envelops. By the Day as it appears. (92:1-2)
Allah also says,
فَالِقُ الإِصْبَاحِ وَجَعَلَ الَّيْلَ سَكَناً وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ حُسْبَاناً ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ
(He is the) Cleaver of the daybreak. He has appointed the night for resting, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. Such is the measuring of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. (6:96)
Allah then says, مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ Your Lord has neither forsaken you,
meaning, `He has not abandoned you.'
وَمَا قَلَى nor hates (Qala) you. meaning, `He does not hate you.'
The Hereafter is Better Than This First Life
وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُولَى ﴿٤﴾
And indeed the Hereafter is better for you than the present.
meaning, the abode of the Hereafter is better for you than this current abode.
For this reason the Messenger of Allah used to be the most abstinent of the people concerning the worldly things, and he was the greatest of them in his disregard for worldly matters. This is well known by necessity from his biography. When the Prophet was given the choice at the end of his life between remaining in this life forever and then going to Paradise, or moving on to the company of Allah, he chose that which is with Allah over this lowly world. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
"The Messenger of Allah was lying down on a straw mat and it left marks on his side. Then when he woke up he began to rub his side. So I said,
`O Messenger of Allah! Will you allow us to spread something soft over this straw mat'
مَالِي وَلِلدُّنْيَا، إِنَّمَا مَثَلِي وَمَثَلُ الدُّنْيَا كَرَاكِبٍ ظَلَّ تَحْتَ شَجَرَةٍ ثُمَّ رَاحَ وَتَرَكَهَا
I have nothing to do with this world. The parable of me and this world is like a rider who rests in the shade of a tree, then he passes on and leaves it.''
At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah both recorded this Hadith by way of Al-Mas`udi.
At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''
The Numerous Bounties of the Hereafter are waiting for the Messenger of Allah
Then Allah says,
وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَى ﴿٥﴾
And verily, your Lord will give you so that you shall be well-pleased.
meaning, in the final abode Allah will give him until He pleases him concerning his followers, and in that which He has prepared for him from His generosity.
From this will be the River of Al-Kawthar, which will have domes of hollowed pearls on its banks, and the mud on its banks will be the strongest fragrance of musk, as will be mentioned.
Imam Abu `Amr Al-Awza`i recorded that Ibn `Abbas said,
"The Messenger of Allah was shown that which his Ummah would be blessed with after him, treasure upon treasure. So he was pleased with that. Then Allah revealed, وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَى (And verily, your Lord will give you so that you shall be well-pleased).
So, Allah will give him in Paradise one million palaces, and each palace will contain whatever he wishes of wives and servants.''
This was recorded by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim from his route of transmission. This chain of narration is authentic to Ibn `Abbas, and statements like this can only be said from that which is Tawqif.
A Mention of some of Allah's Favors upon the Messenger Enumerating His Favours upon His Messenger, Muhammad
أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيمًا فَآوَى ﴿٦﴾
Did He not find you an orphan and gave you a refuge?
This refers to the fact that
- his father died while his mother was still pregnant with him,
- and his mother, Aminah bint Wahb died when he was only six years old.
- After this he was under the guardianship of his grandfather, Abdul-Muttalib, until he died when Muhammad was eight years old.
- Then his uncle, Abu Talib took responsibility for him and continued to protect him, assist him, elevate his status, honor him, and even restrain his people from harming him.
When he was forty years of age and Allah commissioned him with the Prophethood. Even with this, Abu Talib continued to follow the religion of his people, worshipping idols. All of this took place by the divine decree of Allah and His decree is most excellent. Until Abu Talib died a short time before the Hijrah.
After this (Abu Talib's death) the foolish and ignorant people of the Quraysh began to attack him, so Allah chose for him to migrate away from them to the city of Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj among those who helped him (in Al-Madinah). Allah caused his Sunnah to be spread in the most perfect and complete manner. Then, when he arrived at their city, they gave him shelter, supported him, defended him and fought before him (against the enemies of Islam) -- may Allah be pleased with all of them. All of this was from Allah's protection for him, guarding over him and caring for him.
Then Allah says,
وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالًّا فَهَدَى ﴿٧﴾
He found you unaware and guided you.
This is similar to Allah's saying,
وَكَذَلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ رُوحاً مِّنْ أَمْرِنَا مَا كُنتَ تَدْرِى مَا الْكِتَـبُ وَلاَ الإِيمَـنُ وَلَـكِن جَعَلْنَـهُ نُوراً نَّهْدِى بِهِ مَن نَّشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا
And thus We have sent to you a Ruh from Our command. you knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith. But We have made it a light wherewith We guide whosoever of our servants We will... (42:52)
وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلًا فَأَغْنَى ﴿٨﴾
And He found you poor and made you rich.
meaning, `you were poor having dependents, so Allah made you wealthy and independent of all others besides Him.'
Thus, Allah combined for him the two positions:
- the one who is poor and patient,
- and the one who is wealthy and thankful.
In the Two Sahihs it has been recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,
لَيْسَ الْغِنَى عَنْ كَثْرَةِ الْعَرَضِ، وَلَكِنَّ الْغِنَى غِنَى النَّفْس
Wealth is not determined by abundance of possessions, but wealth is the richness of the soul.
In Sahih Muslim, it is recorded from Abdullah bin Amr that the Messenger of Allah said,
قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ أَسْلَمَ وَرُزِقَ كَفَافًا وَقَنَّعَهُ اللهُ بِمَا آتَاه
Whoever accepts Islam, is provided with his basic needs, and Allah makes him content with what He has given him, then he will be successful.
How should this Bounty be responded to
Then Allah says,
فَأَمَّا الْيَتِيمَ فَلَا تَقْهَرْ ﴿٩﴾
Therefore, treat not the orphan with oppression.
`just as you were an orphan and Allah sheltered you, then do not oppress the orphan.'
In other words,
`do not humiliate him, scorn him or despise him. Rather, you should be kind and gentle to him.'
"Be like a merciful father to the orphan.''
وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ ﴿١٠﴾
And repulse not the one who asks.
`just as you were astray and Allah guided you, then do not scorn the one who asks for knowledge seeking to be guided.'
Ibn Ishaq said, وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ (And repulse not the one who asks).
"This means do not be oppressive, arrogant, wicked, or mean to the weak among Allah's servants.''
"This means respond to the poor with mercy and gentleness.''
وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ ﴿١١﴾
And proclaim the grace of your Lord.
`just as you were poor and needy, and Allah made you wealthy, then tell about Allah's favor upon you.'
Abu Dawud recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,
لَا يَشْكُرُ اللهَ مَنْ لَا يَشْكُرُ النَّاس
Whoever is not thankful to the people, then he is not thankful to Allah.
At-Tirmidhi also recorded this Hadith and he said, "Sahih''.
Abu Dawud recorded from Jabir that the Prophet said,
مَنْ أُبْلِيَ بَلَاءً فَذَكَرَهُ فَقَدْ شَكَرَهُ، وَمَنْ كَتَمَهُ فَقَدْ كَفَرَه
Whoever overcomes some test (i.e., calamity) and mentions it (to others), then he is indeed thankful. And whoever conceals it, then indeed he was ungrateful.
Abu Dawud was alone in recording this Hadith.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Ad-Duha, and unto Allah is due all praise and thanks.