Benefits and Virtues of Surah 91 Ash-Shams

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91. Ash-Shams

91.1 It was narrated that Jabir (رضي الله عنه) said

“Mu’adh bin Jabal Al-Ansari (رضي الله عنه) led his companions in the ‘Isha’ prayer and he made it long. A man among us went away and prayed by himself. Mu’adh was told about that and he said: ‘He is a hypocrite.’ When the man heard about that, he went to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and told him what Mu’adh had said to him. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: ‘Do you want to be a cause of Fitnah (trial, tribulation), O Mu’adh? When you lead the people in prayer, recite “By the sun and its brightness,”[Ash-Shams 91] and “Glorify the Name of your Lord the Most High,” [Al-A’la 87] and “By the night as it envelopes,” [Al-Lail 92] and “Recite in the Name of your Lord.’”[Al-‘Alaq 96]

Sunan Ibn Majah Vol. 1, Book 5, Hadith 986

91.2 It was narrated from Abdullah bin Buraidah, from his father (رضي الله عنهم), that

The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to recite ‘By the sun and its brightness’ and similar surahs in Isha’.

Sunan an-Nasa’i 999

91.3 It was narrated that Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) said

“I have never prayed behind anyone whose prayer more closely resembled that of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) than so-and-so. We prayed behind that person and he used to make the first two rak’ahs of Zuhr lengthy and the last two shorter, and he would make ‘Asr shorter; in Maghrib he would recite the short Mufassal surahs. In Isha’ he recited: ‘By the sun and its brightness and similar surahs, and in Subh he recited two lengthy surahs.”

Sunan an-Nasa’i 983

91.4 Abu al-Aswad reported that ‘Imran b Husain (رضي الله عنهم) asked him:

What is your view, what the people do today in the world, and strive for, is it something decreed for them or preordained for them or will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teaching which they did not act upon? I said: Of course, it is something which is predetermined for them and preordained for them. He (further) said: Then, would it not be an injustice (to punish them)? I felt greatly disturbed because of that, and said: Everything is created by Allah and lies in His Power. He would not be questioned as to what He does, but they would be questioned; thereupon he said to me: May Allah have mercy upon you, I did not mean to ask you but for testing your intelligence.

Two men of the tribe of Muzaina came to Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and said: Allah’s Messenger, what is your opinion that the people do in the world and strive for, is something decreed for them; something preordained for them and will their fate in the Hereafter be determined by the fact that their Prophets brought them teachings which they did not act upon. and thus they became deserving of punishment? Thereupon, he said: Of course, it happens as it is decreed by Destiny and preordained for them, and this view is confirmed by this verse of the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious:

﴾ ونفس وما سواها ﴿

Consider the soul and Him Who made it perfect

﴾ فألهمها فجورها وتقواها ﴿

Then breathed into it its sin and its piety (91:7-8)

Sahih Muslim 2650

91.5 Ibn Kathir (رحمه الله) related about

﴾ ونفس وما سواها ﴿

And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it (91:7)

That the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said, “Every child that is born, is born upon the Fitrah (innate disposition to monotheism), but his parents make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Zoroastrian. This is just as the animal is born, complete with all of its parts. Do you notice any mutilation in it?”

In Sahih Muslim, it has been narrated from `Iyad bin Himar Al-Mujashi`i (رضي الله عنه) that the Messenger of Allah said, “Allah the Mighty and Majestic says, ‘Verily I created My servants Hunafa (as monotheists), but then the devils came to them and distracted them from their religion’.”

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

91.6 Ibn Kathir (رحمه الله) related about

﴾ ونفس وما سواها ﴿

And [by] the soul and He who proportioned it

﴾ فألهمها فجورها وتقواها ﴿

And inspired it [with discernment of] its wickedness and its righteousness (91:7-8)

At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn `Abbas (رضي الله عنه) said, “The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to stop whenever he recited this Ayah. Then he would say,

اللهم آت نفسي تقواها ، أنت وليها ومولاها ، وخير من زكاها

O Allah! Give my soul its good. You are its Guardian and Master, and the best to purify it.

Another Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Zayd bin Arqam (رضي الله عنه) said that the Messenger of Allah said,

اللهم إني أعوذ بك من العجز والكسل، والهرم والجبن والبخل وعذاب القبر

اللهم آت نفسي تقواها ، وزكها أنت خير من زكاها، أنت وليها ومولاها

اللهم إني أعوذ بك من قلب لا يخشع، ومن نفس لا تشبع، وعلم لا ينفع، و دعوة لا يستجاب لها

O Allah! Verily, I seek refuge with You from weakness, laziness, senility (of old age), cowardliness, stinginess and the torment of the grave. O Allah! Give my soul its good and purify it, for You are the best to purify it. You are its Guardian and Master. O Allah! Verily, I seek refuge with You from a heart that is not humble, a soul that is not satisfied, knowledge that does not benefit and a supplication that is not answered.

Zayd then said, “The Messenger of Allah used to teach us these (words) and we now teach them to you.”

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

91.7 Imam Tabarani (رحمه الله) narrated from Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه)

That the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ordered him to recite Wallayli Itha Yaghsha (Surah 92) and Washshamsi Waduhaha (Surah 91) in the morning prayer.

(Majma az-Zawa’id 2/299, Dur al-Manthur)

91.8 Imam Bayhaqi (رحمه الله) narrated from Uqba bin Aamir (رضي الله عنه)

That the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ordered us to perform the two Rak’ahs of Chast (forenoon) prayer with the Surahs Washshamsi Waduhaha (Surah 91) and Wadduha Wallayli Itha Saja (Surah 93).

(Shuayb ul Iman, Dur al-Manthur)

91.9 Imam Tabarani (رحمه الله) narrated from Numan bin Bashir (رضي الله عنه)

That the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) used to recite Sabbihi Isma Rabbika Al-Aala (Surah 87) and Washshamsi Waduhaha  (Surah 91) in the Eid prayer.

(Dur al-Manthur)

91.10 Ibn `Umar (رضي الله عنه) reported

When the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and his Companions reached Al-Hijr, the dwellings of the Thamud people, he admonished his Companions (saying), “Do not pass by these people who are being tormented, without weeping, lest the punishment should befall you as it had befallen them.”

Riyad as-Salihin Book 7, Hadith 61

91.11 Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar (رضي الله عنه)

The people landed at the land of Thamud called Al-Hijr along with Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and they took water from its well for drinking and kneading the dough with it as well. [When Allah’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) heard about it] he ordered them to pour out the water they had taken from its wells and feed the camels with the dough, and ordered them to take water from the well whence the she-camel [of Prophet Salih (عليهم السلام)] used to drink.

Sahih al-Bukhari 3379

91.12 ‘Abdullah bin Zam’ah (رضي الله عنه) reported

That he heard the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) giving a speech when he mentioned the she- camel [of Prophet Salih (عليه السلام)] and the man who had killed her. Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said:

 ﴿ إذ انبعث أشقاها ﴾

“When the most wicked man among them went forth (to kill the she-camel).’ (91:12)

signifies that a distinguished, wicked and most powerful chief of the people jumped up to kill the she- camel.” Then he (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) made mention of women and said, “Some of you beat your wives as if they were slaves, and then lie with them at the end of the day”.

Then he (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) admonished them against laughing at another’s passing of wind, saying, “Why does any of you laugh at another doing what he does himself”

Riyad as-Salihin Book 1, Hadith 274

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