Sūrat al-Qasas

Sūrah No. 28. Revealed in Makkah, 88 verses.

This Sūrah was revealed at a time when the Muslims faced great pressure from the enemies who were more in number and possessed worldly power. The situation was very similar to that of the Banu Israel and the people of Fir‘awn and more than half of this Sūrah narrates those stories to console and reassure the Muslims.

The Sūrah takes its name from the story Prophet Musa (a) narrated to Prophet Shu‘ayb (a) about his departure from Egypt (verse 25).

This Sūrah is the third of three Sūrahs (al-Shu‘arā’, al-Naml, and al-Qasas) that are known as the Tawāsin because of the abbreviated letters at the beginning of the Sūrahs.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

Whoever recites TāSīnMīm Qasas will be given the reward of ten times the number of those who believed in Musa (a) and those who rejected him, and there will be no angel in the Heavens and the earth except that it will bear witness for him on the Day of Judgment that he was truthful.  Holy Prophet a (Tafsīr Majma‘ al Bayān).

Note: Tafsīr Namūneh says that the reward is for one who recites and understands the Sūrah and follows the path of Prophet Musa (a) is aligned in action with the believers of that time and against the likes of Fir‘awn and Qārūn.

General synopsis of contents

1) Stories of Prophet Mūsā (a).

  1. a) His birth and the situation at that time.
  2. b) Prophet Musa’s encounter with the Egyptian leading to him leaving Egypt
  3. c) Meeting the daughters of Prophet Shu’ayb and his stay with the Prophet.
  4. d) The fire and conversation with God.
  5. e) Confrontation with the Pharaoh

2) A reminder for the people and the descriptions of those who reject the Prophet

and those who believe in the truth.

3) Story of Qārūn

Selected Lessons

1) Allah strengthens a believer’s heart and gives comfort and solace. He fulfills His promise always (vv. 10,13)

2) A believer seeks help from God at every step he takes (vv. 21, 22, 24)

3) Apprehension is natural when it comes to fulfilling responsibilities towards God (v. 34)

4) Following of desires and disregarding the guidance sent by God is the path of those who are astray (v. 50)

5) This world and all in it, is transient glitter while what is with Allah Y will last (v. 60).

Important Messages

1) God’s plan can unfold in ways which are not perceptible to those who are involved in it.

2) There is a difference between negative fear and apprehension at carrying out a responsibility. The latter is a sign of belief.

3) Narrating the details of stories of the past is one of the miracles of Quran.

4) True believers do not want superiority on earth.

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) 28:5 – And We desired to show favor to those who were abased in the land, and to make them imams, and to make them the heirs.

2) 28:14 – When he [Mūsā] came of age and became fully matured, We gave him judgement and knowledge, and thus do We reward the virtuous.

3) 28:70 – He is Allah, there is no god except Him. All praise belongs to Him in this world and the Hereafter. All judgement belongs to Him, and to Him you will be brought back.

Activities for self-study

1) Read verses 50-55. What are the qualities of those who believe as described in this Sūrah?

2) Choose one of the stories of Prophet Mūsā (a) in this Sūrah. Write out the information given, and make note of words used, attitudes shown, and lessons learned from the story.