Sūrat al-Ahqāf

Sūrah No. 46, Revealed in Makkah, 35 verses.

The Sūrah gets its name from the word ahqāf mentioned in verse 21, a reference to the sandy plains of the people of ‘Ād. It is the last of the seven Hawāmim Sūrahs (that begin with the letters and mīm)

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

Whoever recites Sūrat al-Ahqāf every night, or every Friday, Allah will not make him face any terror in this world and will keep him secure from terror on the Day of Judgment. Imam Ja‘far Sādiq (a) (Tafsīr Majma‘ al-Bayān).

General synopsis of contents

1) Greatness of the Quran

2) The hereafter and justice of Allah

3) Rights of parents

4) Story of the people of Ād

5) The jinn who heard the Quran

6) Counseling the Prophet a to be patient like the past Prophets.

Selected Lessons

1) If there was a god other than Allah, we would have received revelation from that

god too (v. 4). Imam Ali (a) also talks about this: If there had been a partner with your

Lord, his messengers too should have come to you, and you would have seen signs of his authority and power and have known his deeds and qualities. But He is only One God as He has described Himself (Letter 31, Nahjul Balāgha)

2) Those who reject faith give many excuses (vv. 7, 8, and 11)

3) Believers pray for their parents as well as their progeny (v. 15)

4) Allah accepts the best deeds of the virtuous and overlooks their misdeeds – the ultimate reward (v. 16)

5) There are believers from among the Jinn (vv. 29-31)

Important Messages

1) Determination and persistence are necessary to spread God’s word, even in the face of stubborn resistance.

2) Opposition to the truth often stems from indifference, apathy, and stubbornness.

3) Warnings are more necessary for heedless and stubborn people than giving hope.

4) Physical and mental maturity are the foundations of spiritual maturity.

5) The best form of gratitude is through action.

6) Jinn, like human beings, have intelligence, responsibility, and accountability.

7) Patience is most necessary for those in positions of authority.

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) 46:13 – Those who say, ‘Our Lord is Allah,’ and then remain steadfast, they will have no fear,

nor will they grieve.

2) 46:19 – For everyone there are degrees [of merit] pertaining to what he has done: He will

recompense them fully for their works, and they will not be wronged.

Activities for self-study

1) Study verse 15 of this Sūrah. What does it tell you about the relationship with God and relationship with family?

2) Ponder over the conversation of the people of Ād with their Prophet (vv. 21-24). How does it describe the attitude of the Prophet and that of his people?