77 Surah Mursalat

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Context of the Sūrah and Relationship with the Previous Sūrah

This sūrah resembles Sūrah Dhāriyāt of the sixth group as regards its central theme, introductory passage and line of reasoning, and resembles Sūrah Rahmān as regards its mood and style. In Sūrah Dhāriyāt, oaths are sworn by the multifarious effects of winds to substantiate the Day of Judgement and punishment which will be meted out on that Day. The following verse of the sūrah: إِنَّمَا تُوْعَدُوْنَ لَصَادِقْ وَ إِنَّ الدِّيْنَ لَوَاقِعٌ (51: 5-6) (the threat of the punishment being sounded to you is true, and reward and punishment is bound to come, (51:5-6)) depicts its central theme. Similarly, in this sūrah too, after the multifarious effects caused by winds are presented in the form of oaths, it is stated  (77: 7)  إِنَّمَا تُوْعَدُوْنَ لَوَاقِعٌ (what you are being threatened with is certain to come, (77:7)).

Its resemblance in mood and style with Sūrah Rahmān stems from the fact that just as the verse فَبِأَيِّ آلآءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ (which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?) is repeated many times in the latter sūrah, similarly the verse وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلْمُكَذِّبِينَ (devastation shall on that Day be upon those who deny) is repeated many times in it. I have already explained in the tafsīr of Sūrah Rahmān that sūrahs which contain repetitive verses are generally addressed to those stubborn and obdurate people who try to deny a manifest truth mainly due to arrogance and haughtiness. For such people, arguments do not suffice; it is essential that after every argument they be warned of their crime and its fate. If this nature of the addressees is not taken into consideration, then just as the medicine given by a doctor who is not aware of the temperament of a sick person is not able to cure that person, similarly, the words of a person who is not aware of the nature of his addressee fail to produce any desired result. Variation in the temperament of people is a natural thing and thus keeping this into consideration is an essential requirement of the eloquence of a discourse. People who are not aware of this aspect think such repetitive verses to be mere repetition, whereas the connoisseurs of the Qur’ān know that such repetition has great majesty and grandeur.

Its relationship with Sūrah Dahr, the previous sūrah relates to the basis of arguments offered. Though the subject of both sūrahs is the same, the nature of arguments is different. In the previous sūrah, it is shown that the awareness of good and evil ordained in human nature substantiates reward and punishment; those who deny this obvious reality are warned while those who accept this testimony of their inner-self and set their lives according to it are given glad tidings. In this sūrah, the basis of arguments is the signs in the world around man. If there is any allusion to human nature as a basis of argumentation, it is merely in the form of a rudimentary reference.