Sūrat al-Sāffāt

Sūrat al-Sāffāt, No. 37. Revealed in Makkah, 182 verses.

This Sūrah like all Sūrahs revealed in Makkah discuss the fundamental principles of Tawhīd (Oneness of God) and Ma‘ad (the Hereafter). It’s short and expressive verses counter the rejecters of faith and prove the invalidity of their arguments.

The sūrah takes its name from the word those ranged in ranks (verse 1) which refers to the angels.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

Whoever recites Sūrat al-Sāffāt every Friday will remain protected from all afflictions, all difficulties will be averted from him in this world, he will be given the amplest sustenance, and Allah will not let any evil affect his wealth, children, or his body, from the accursed Shaytān, or a tyrant ruler.

Allah will cause him to die as a martyr and raise him as a martyr and make him enter Heaven with the martyrs. Imam Ja‘far al-Sādiq (a) (Tafsīr Majma‘ al Bayān).

Note: Tafsīr Namūneh says these amazing rewards are because one who reads and understands the contents of this Sūrah will be pure in his faith and remain alert to the Shaytān and other forms of evil.

General synopsis of contents

1) The role of the angels of Allah Y and the fate of the devils.

2) The rejecters of faith on the Day of Judgement – their conversations, blaming one another,

3) The rewards awaiting the pious on the Day of Judgment.

4) The Day of Judgement and facing the consequences of rejecting faith.

5) Stories of some of the past Prophets. brief accounts with vivid details.

6) Rejection of the notion of personal connection between the Allah and the angels and Jinn.

7) The final victory of truth over falsehood for the followers of the Holy Prophet a, as it did for all other Prophets.

Selected Lessons

1) A sign from Allah is a cause of wonder for believers with receptive hearts but an object of mockery for those with hardened hearts. (v. 12)

2) Conversations of the disbelievers and believers in the Hereafter will reveal their internal attitudes (vv. 28-32, 51-57)

3) Turning to God alone and not depending on society for affirmation is the way of true believers (v. 99)

4) A good name in posterity, as in a good reputation that remains after you die, is a gift for those who are virtuous (vv. 78, 108, 119, 129)

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) Q 37:57 – Had it not been for my Lord’s blessing, I too would have been among those brought there [in Hell]

2) Q 37:61 – Let all workers work for the like of this!

3) Q 37:84 – when he came to his Lord with a sound heart.

Activities for self-study

The story of Prophet Ibrahim (a) – verses 83-113 – is discussed is certain detail in this sūrah. Read these verses and write down the qualities of this great Prophet. What are the lessons he can teach us?