Sūrat al-Shams, No. 91. Revealed in Makkah, 15 verses. This sūra revolves around the important principle of refining and purifying the soul. The oaths in this sūra encompass collectively the oaths found in the Quran.
Merits of reciting the Sūra.
The Prophet sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam has said: Whoever recites Sūrat al-Shams is like he who has given charity all the things that the sun and the moon shine upon.
Note: A believer who absorbs the message of the sūra and purifies the soul will have this status and reward.
Synopsis of contents
1) Oaths on the truth that only purified souls will be successful (verses 1-8)
2) Success and failure of the soul (verses 9-10)
2) An example of a people who disobeyed Allah ‘azza wajall and rejected His Prophet, a result of the lack of purification of the soul (verses 11-19)
Some Lessons from the Sūra
1) The system in nature has been designed by the Creator who has a purpose behind it.
2) Purification of the soul is the criteria for success in life of this world.
3) Human beings destroy themselves through their own deeds.
Select verses for memorization in Arabic and English
1) 91:7-8 – And (by) the soul and He who made it perfect. And inspired it to understand what is right and wrong for it.
2) 91:9-10 – He will indeed be successful who purifies it, and he will indeed fail who corrupts it.
Activities for self-study
Purification of the soul has been mentioned in different verses of the Quran. Check the following verses and note how purification is mentioned in each of them:
a) Role of the Prophet (s) – 2:129, 3:164, 62:2
b) Allah (swt) purifies people (helps them attain it when they try) – 4:49, 24:21
c) Reward of those who purify themselves – 20:76
Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazi (Ed.) Tafsīr Namūne; M. H. Shakir, Holy Qur’an Translation; Ali Quli Qarai, The Qur’an With a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation.
Past lessons of Sūra Familiarization available at:
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