Benefits and Virtues of Surah 94 Ash-Sharh

virtues-benefits-surah-al-inshirah

94. Ash-Sharh

94.1 Mufti Shafi Usmani (رحمه الله) related about

﴾ ألم نشرح لك صدرك ﴿

Did We not expand for you, [O Muhammad], your breast? (94:1)

The word Sharh literally denotes ‘to open, to cause the bosom to be widely opened’. [In the present context] it is to cause the bosom to be wide open to comprehend the Divine mysteries. The verse signifies that Allah illuminated his bosom with wisdom, Divine light and peace and made it spacious, vast and wide as is said in another verse:

﴾ فمن يرد الله أن يهديه يشرح صدره للإسلام ﴿

So whoever Allah wants to guide – He expands his breast to [contain] Islam (6:125)

The Holy Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) bosom was expanded to receive the knowledge and wisdom and the gracious morals and ethical qualities, which the greatest philosophers could not match. As a result of this expansion of heart, tawajjuh ilal-makhluq (attentiveness to the creation) did not disturb his attentiveness to and concentration on Allah. Some of the authentic Traditions report that the angels, with Allah’s permission, physically opened the blessed chest of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).

(Ma’ariful Quran)

94.2 Anas bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) reported that

Gabriel (عليه السلام) came to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) while he was playing with his playmates (in his childhood when he lived among Banu Sa’d). He took hold of him and lay him prostrate on the ground and tore open his breast and took out the heart from it and then extracted a blood-clot out of it and said:

That was the part of Satan in thee. And then he washed it with the water of Zamzam in a golden basin and then it was joined together and restored to it place. The boys came running to his mother, i. e. his nurse, and said: Verily Muhammad has been murdered. They all rushed toward him (and found him all right) His color was changed, Anas said. I myself saw the marks of needle on his breast.

Sahih Muslim 162 c

94.3 Narrated Abu Dhar (رضي الله عنه)

Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said, “While I was at Mecca the roof of my house was opened and Gabriel descended, opened my chest, and washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a golden tray full of wisdom and faith and having poured its contents into my chest, he closed it.

Then he took my hand and ascended with me to the nearest heaven, when I reached the nearest heaven, Gabriel said to the gatekeeper of the heaven, ‘Open (the gate).’ The gatekeeper asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered: ‘Gabriel.’ He asked, ‘Is there anyone with you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Yes, Muhammad I is with me.’ He asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel said, ‘Yes.’ So the gate was opened and we went over the nearest heaven and there we saw a man sitting with some people on his right and some on his left. When he looked towards his right, he laughed and when he looked toward his left he wept. Then he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.’ I asked Gabriel, ‘Who is he?’ He replied, ‘He is Adam and the people on his right and left are the souls of his offspring. Those on his right are the people of Paradise and those on his left are the people of Hell and when he looks towards his right he laughs and when he looks towards his left he weeps.’

Then he ascended with me till he reached the second heaven and he (Gabriel) said to its gatekeeper, ‘Open (the gate).’ The gatekeeper said to him the same as the gatekeeper of the first heaven had said and he opened the gate. Anas said: “Abu Dhar added that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) met Adam, Idris, Moses, Jesus and Abraham (عليهم السلام), he (Abu Dhar) did not mention on which heaven they were but he mentioned that he [the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)] met Adam on the nearest heaven and Abraham on the sixth heaven. Anas said, “When Gabriel along with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) passed by Idris, the latter said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.’ The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) asked, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, ‘He is Idris.”

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) added, “I passed by Moses and he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious brother.’ I asked Gabriel, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, ‘He is Moses.’ Then I passed by Jesus and he said, ‘Welcome! O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ I asked, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, ‘He is Jesus. Then I passed by Abraham and he said, ‘Welcome! O pious Prophet and pious son.’ I asked Gabriel, ‘Who is he?’ Gabriel replied, ‘He is Abraham. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) added, ‘Then Gabriel ascended with me to a place where I heard the creaking of the pens.”

Ibn Hazm and Anas bin Malik said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said, “Then Allah enjoined fifty prayers on my followers when I returned with this order of Allah, I passed by Moses who asked me, ‘What has Allah enjoined on your followers?’ I replied, ‘He has enjoined fifty prayers on them.’ Moses said, ‘Go back to your Lord (and appeal for reduction) for your followers will not be able to bear it.’ (So I went back to Allah and requested for reduction) and He reduced it to half. When I passed by Moses again and informed him about it, he said, ‘Go back to your Lord as your followers will not be able to bear it.’ So I returned to Allah and requested for further reduction and half of it was reduced. I again passed by Moses and he said to me: ‘Return to your Lord, for your followers will not be able to bear it. So I returned to Allah and He said, ‘These are five prayers and they are all (equal to) fifty (in reward) for My Word does not change.’ I returned to Moses and he told me to go back once again. I replied, ‘Now I feel shy of asking my Lord again.’

Then Gabriel took me till we ” reached Sidrat-il-Muntaha (Lote tree of; the utmost boundary) which was shrouded in colors, indescribable. Then I was admitted into Paradise where I found small (tents or) walls (made) of pearls and its earth was of musk.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 349

94.4 Ibn Kathir (رحمه الله) related about

﴾ ووضعنا عنك وزرك ﴿

And removed from you your burden (94:2)

This means

﴾ ليغفر لك الله ما تقدم من ذنبك وما تأخر ﴿

That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future (48:2)

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

94.5 Narrated `Abbas bin Malik (رضي الله عنه)

Malik bin Sasaa said that Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) described to them his Night Journey saying, “While I was lying in Al-Hatim or Al-Hijr, suddenly someone came to me and cut my body open from here to here.” I asked Al-Jarud who was by my side, “What does he mean?” He said, “It means from his throat to his pubic area,” or said, “From the top of the chest.” The Prophet (ﷺ) further said, “He then took out my heart. Then a gold tray of Belief was brought to me and my heart was washed and was filled (with Belief) and then returned to its original place.

Then a white animal which was smaller than a mule and bigger than a donkey was brought to me.” (On this Al-Jarud asked, “Was it the Buraq, O Abu Hamza?” I (i.e. Anas) replied in the affirmative). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said, “The animal’s step (was so wide that it) reached the farthest point within the reach of the animal’s sight. I was carried on it, and Gabriel set out with me till we reached the nearest heaven. When he asked for the gate to be opened, it was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has Muhammad been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’

The gate was opened, and when I went over the first heaven, I saw Adam there. Gabriel said (to me). ‘This is your father, Adam; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me till we reached the second heaven. Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel answered, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel answered in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ The gate was opened. When I went over the second heaven, there I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and `Isa (i.e. Jesus) who were cousins of each other. Gabriel said (to me), ‘These are John and Jesus; pay them your greetings.’ So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the third heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the third heaven there I saw Joseph. Gabriel said (to me), ‘This is Joseph; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fourth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed, what an excel lent visit his is!’ The gate was opened, and when I went over the fourth heaven, there I saw Idris. Gabriel said (to me), ‘This is Idris; pay him your greetings.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fifth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked. ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is! So when I went over the fifth heaven, there I saw Harun (i.e. Aaron), Gabriel said, (to me). This is Aaron; pay him your greetings.’ I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me to the sixth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked. ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked, ‘Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. It was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ When I went (over the sixth heaven), there I saw Moses. Gabriel said (to me),’ This is Moses; pay him your greeting. So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.’ When I left him (i.e. Moses) he wept. Someone asked him, ‘What makes you weep?’ Moses said, ‘I weep because after me there has been sent (as Prophet) a young man whose followers will enter Paradise in greater numbers than my followers.’ Then Gabriel ascended with me to the seventh heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, ‘Who is it?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Gabriel.’ It was asked,’ Who is accompanying you?’ Gabriel replied, ‘Muhammad.’ It was asked, ‘Has he been called?’ Gabriel replied in the affirmative. Then it was said, ‘He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!’ So when I went (over the seventh heaven), there I saw Abraham. Gabriel said (to me), ‘This is your father; pay your greetings to him.’ So I greeted him and he returned the greetings to me and said, ‘You are welcomed, O pious son and pious Prophet.’

Then I was made to ascend to Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (i.e. the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) Behold! Its fruits were like the jars of Hajr (i.e. a place near Medina) and its leaves were as big as the ears of elephants. Gabriel said, ‘This is the Lote Tree of the utmost boundary) . Behold ! There ran four rivers, two were hidden and two were visible, I asked, ‘What are these two kinds of rivers, O Gabriel?’ He replied,’ As for the hidden rivers, they are two rivers in Paradise and the visible rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.’

Then Al-Bait-ul-Ma’mur (i.e. the Sacred House) was shown to me and a container full of wine and another full of milk and a third full of honey were brought to me. I took the milk. Gabriel remarked, ‘This is the Islamic religion which you and your followers are following.’ Then the prayers were enjoined on me: They were fifty prayers a day. When I returned, I passed by Moses who asked (me), ‘What have you been ordered to do?’ I replied, ‘I have been ordered to offer fifty prayers a day.’ Moses said, ‘Your followers cannot bear fifty prayers a day, and by Allah, I have tested people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel (in vain). Go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your followers’ burden.’ So I went back, and Allah reduced ten prayers for me. Then again I came to Moses, but he repeated the same as he had said before. Then again I went back to Allah and He reduced ten more prayers. When I came back to Moses he said the same, I went back to Allah and He ordered me to observe ten prayers a day. When I came back to Moses, he repeated the same advice, so I went back to Allah and was ordered to observe five prayers a day. When I came back to Moses, he said, ‘What have you been ordered?’ I replied, ‘I have been ordered to observe five prayers a day.’ He said, ‘Your followers cannot bear five prayers a day, and no doubt, I have got an experience of the people before you, and I have tried my level best with Bani Israel, so go back to your Lord and ask for reduction to lessen your follower’s burden.’ I said, ‘I have requested so much of my Lord that I feel ashamed, but I am satisfied now and surrender to Allah’s Order.’ When I left, I heard a voice saying, ‘I have passed My Order and have lessened the burden of My Worshipers.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 3887

94.6 Imam Suyuti (رحمه الله) related about

﴾ ورفعنا لك ذكرك ﴿

And raised high for you your repute (94:4)

That Hadhrat Anas (رضي الله عنه) narrated that Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said when I was done with the earthly and heavenly affairs, I said, “O my Lord!, No Prophet passed before me but You bestowed upon him honor and majesty. You made Abraham (عليه السلام) Your Friend and You talked with Moses (عليه السلام) and You subdued the mountains for David (عليه السلام) and restrained the winds & devils for Solomon (عليه السلام) and for Jesus (عليه السلام) You gave life to the dead. And what You have made for me?”

So Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) Said, “Did I not bestow upon you a better thing than all of these?That when My Name is mentioned, your name will also be reminded. And I have made the breasts of your Ummah so wide and spacious that they will recite the Qur’an by heart and this blessing has not been given to any other people. And I have given you a treasure from the treasures of my throne that is

لا حول ولا قوۃ الا باللہ

There is no power and no strength except Allah.”

(Abu Naim in Dalail, Dur al-Manthur)

94.7 Mufti Shafi Usmani (رحمه الله) related about

﴾ ورفعنا لك ذكرك ﴿

And raised high for you your repute (94:4)

The meaning of raising the name of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is that his blessed name is remembered together with the name of Allah in all the symbols of Islam, like the Kalimah, the Adhan, the Iqamah, and in sermons from the minarets and pulpits [throughout the world]:

 أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله

I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship except Allah

أشهد أن محمدا رسول الله

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

(Ma’ariful Quran)

94.8 On the authority of Abu Abbas Abdullah bin Abbas (رضي الله عنه) who said:

One day I was behind the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) [riding on the same mount] and he said, “O young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, then ask Allah [alone]; and if you seek help, then seek help from Allah [alone]. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already prescribed for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.” It was related by at-Tirmidhi, who said it was a good and sound Hadeeth. Another narration, other than that of Tirmidhi, reads: Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. Recognize and acknowledge Allah in times of ease and prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. And know that what has passed you by [and you have failed to attain] was not going to befall you, and what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and

 ﴾ إن مع العسر يسرا ﴿

hardship with ease (94:6)

40 Hadith Nawawi 19

94.9 It has been reported from the Prophet

Whoever recites in the Fajr Ash-Sharh (Surah 94) and Al-Feel (Surah 105) will never become blind.

(Al Da’eefa 67)

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