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SURAH AL-A'LA (THE MOST HIGH) OF THE GLORIOUS QUR'AN
There is a disagreement among writers of exegesis whether this Surah was revealed in Makkah or Madinah because in the later part of the Surah, Salat and Zakat has been discussed. Allama Sayyied Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai preferred that the first part be considered Makki and the later part as Madani.
There are 19 Ayahs of this Surah. It may be divided into two parts; one part is addressed to the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) himself about praise of Allah and the duties of Prophet Hood. Seven Great Names of Allah are mentioned; the other part deals with God fearing faithful and hard hearted unbelievers.
According to the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.): “Whoever recites this Surah, he will be rewarded ten virtues for every word revealed on Prophet Ibrahim, Prophet Musa, and Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.a.s.)”. One of the Companions of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s.) says that he performed prayers in the lead of Imam Ali (a.s.), he always recited this Surah and said: “If you were aware of the blessings of this Surah you would have read it ten times. As if you have their (Suhuf) Holy Writ. The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) loved this Surah” It may be noted that maximum benefits may be accrued if we understand the contents of this Surah and practice in our life!
In the Name of Allah, the
Beneficent, the Merciful
(Muhammad), Glorify the name of your Lord, the Most High, Who has created
(all things), decreed their
destinies, and provided them
with Guidance. It is He who has
caused the grass to grow, then
caused it to wither away. We
shall teach you (the Qur’an) and
you will not forget it unless
Allah Wills it to be otherwise.
He knows all that is made public
and all that remains hidden. We
shall make all your tasks easy.
Therefore, keep on preaching as
long as it is of benefit. Those
who have fear of Allah will
benefit but the reprobate will
turn away and suffer the heat of
the Great Fire wherein they
neither live nor die. Lasting
happiness will be for those who
purify themselves, remember the
name of the Lord, and pray to
him. However, (the unbelievers)
prefer the worldly life even
though the life hereafter will
be better and will last forever.
This is what is written in the
ancient heavenly Books, the
Scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa.
This Surah is normally recited in the Eid Congregations.
The Guidance referred above is Cosmogonic (Takwini). But Allah has provided the Legal Guidance (Tashri’i) through Prophets and Revelations. The famous Zoologist Cressy Morrison in his “The Secret of Cosmogony of Man” has narrated many examples of the birds that travel thousands of miles to migrate and after many months retrace their passage and find their native habitast. Some of the birds like bats find their way at night like radar systems. Different insects have microscopic eyesight. Similarly, dogs have been given abnormal sense of smelling to identify objects.
referred to in Ayah 14 may point
towards polytheism, physical as
well as spiritual purification.
Avoid all sinful acts
and perform virtuous deeds.
It may also mean to pay Zakat
Fitra to purify one’s wealth and
It is stated in many traditions that the love of the worldly life is the cause of all sins!
There is a Tradition narrated by Abu Dharr that he asked the Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) about the number of prophets, he replied 124,000. He asked: “How many Messengers?” The Noble Prophet (s.a.w.a.s.) replied: “three hundred thirteen. Four Prophets among them were Arabs; Prophet Hud, Prophet Saleh, Prophet Shoaib, and your Prophet.” Abu Dharr asked: “O Prophet of God! How many Books did Allah revealed?” He (s.a.w.a.s.) replied: “One hundred and four books; ten books on Adam, fifty books on Shees, thirty books on Idrees, ten on Ibrahim, Taurait on Musa, Injeel on I’sa, Zubur on Daud and Furqan on the Prophet of Islam.”
The Infallible Imam Zain-al-Abedin (a.s.) said: “Causes of sins were;
disobedience by Shaitan, greed
caused Tak-e-Aula by Adam,
jealousy, love of women, love of
world, love for power, love of
comforts, love of superiority,
love of wealth.”
The Glorious Qur’an Translation by Ayatollah Nasir Makaram Shirazi
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