Sūrat al-Saff

Sūrah No. 61. Revealed in Madīnah, 14 verses. Sometimes referred to as Sūrah of (Nabī) ‘Īsā or Sūrat al-Hawāriyyūn.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

This is the third of the five Musabbihāt, Sūrahs that begin with glorification of Allah (Sūrahs al-Hadīd, al-Hashr, al-Saff, al-Jumu‘ah, and al-Taghābun).

The Holy Prophet a said: Whoever recites Sūrat ‘Īsā (i.e. al-Saff) Prophet ‘Īsā sends blessings on him and seeks forgiveness for him so long as he is in this world, and in the Hereafter, he will be his companion.

Note: Quranic Scholars say that the reward is connected to the contents of the Sūrah and requires that recitation be done with awareness, comprehension, reflection and having an intention of implementation.

General synopsis of contents

1) Need for harmony between speech and action (vv. 2-3)

2) Importance of unity (v. 4)

3) Opposition encountered by Prophet Mūsā (a) and Prophet ‘Īsā (a) (vv. 5-6)

4) Allah’s word will be uppermost. (vv. 8-9)

5) An invitation to trade with Allah. (vv. 10-13)

6) Inspiration from the Hawāriyyūn – the disciples of Nabi ‘Īsā. (v. 14)

Selected Lessons

1) Do not talk without action.

2) Join ranks with others to struggle in the way of Allah.

3) Have hope that Allah will give victory to His word despite the opposition of those who

reject faith.

4) Faith and action in this world reap eternal rewards in the Hereafter.

5) Be the helpers of Allah (in His mission) as seen in the examples of the Hawāriyyūn.

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) 61:2 – O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do?

2) 61:4 – Indeed, Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks, as if they were a compact structure.

Activities for self-study

Describe the trade with Allah mentioned in this Sūrah (vv.10-13). Who is the seller? The Buyer? What are the goods given and what is received in exchange? What is the profit gained?