Sūrat al-Mursalāt

Sūrah No. 77, Revealed in Makkah, 50 verses.

The Sūrah gets its name from the emissaries mentioned in the first verse.

The verse Woe to the deniers on that day! is repeated ten times in this Sūrah, each time after a new detail about the Day of Judgment. Tafsīr Namūne says this repetition is reminiscent of Sūrat al-Rahmān except that Sūrat al-Rahmān talks about blessings while this Sūrah talks about the punishment awaiting the rejecters of faith.

It is reported that once the Prophet a was told ‘you have aged quickly, O Messenger of God’ and he replied ‘Sūrahs Hūd, al-Wāqi‘ah, al-Mursalāt, and ‘Ammā Yatasā’alūn(Naba’) have aged me.’ Note that all these four Sūrahs talk about the Day of Judgment and the frightening events of that day.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

Whoever recites Sūrat Mursalāt it will be written that he is not one of the polytheists.

The Holy Prophet a

Whoever recites it Allah will make him familiar to [a companion of] Muhammad a.

Imam Ja‘far al-Sādiq (a). (Both Hadīths from Tafsīr Majma‘ al-Bayān)

Note: This reward is for one who ponders over the contents and is affected by the descriptions of the Day of Judgement and keeps them in mind.

General synopsis of contents

1) Oaths and reminders of the Day of Judgment

2) The fate of past peoples

3) Creation of the human being

4) Blessings of Allah Y on the earth

5) Punishment for those who reject faith

Selected Lessons

1) The oaths at the beginning of the Sūrah show the important various roles of the angels (vv. 1-5)

2) Awe inspiring signs in nature will occur before the Day of Judgment (vv. 8-10)

3) No-one will be able to argue or blame others on that day (vv. 35-36)

4) Not being from those who pray and bow to God has been singled out as a sign of the rejecters of faith (v. 48)

Important Messages

1) The various roles of the angels are proofs of the responsibility and accountability of human actions.

2) Vivid details of the Day of Judgment are to help a believer visualize and keep in mind the happenings of that day.

2) People will reap the results of their deeds on that day. The juxtaposition of punishment and reward is to allow man to choose between the two.

3) The origins of man remind him of his helplessness and lowliness.

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) 77:7 – What you are promised will surely befall.

2) 77:25-26 – Have We not made the earth a receptacle, for the living and the dead?

3) 77:50 – So what discourse will they believe after this?

Activities for self-study

1) What does this Sūrah say about the creation of the human being? Read verses 20-23.

2) Each of the repeated verse Woe to the deniers on that day! comes after a detail on the Day of Judgment. Write out the ten different details that precede these verses.