|No. of verses||42|
|No. of words||133|
|No. of letters||538|
- 1-11 Muhammad rebuked for frowning on a poor blind Muslim
- 12-15 The Quran written in honourable, exalted, and pure volumes
- 16-23 Man cursed for turning aside from his Creator
- 24-32 It is God who provides man with food
- 33-37 On the judgment-day men will desert their nearest relatives and friends
- 38-42 The bright and sad faces of the resurrection-day
Period of revelation
According to traditionalists of the Sunni origin, at one time Mohammad was earnestly engaged in persuading the chiefs of Makkah to accept Islam. A blind man approached him to seek explanation of some point concerning Islam. Muhammad disliked his interruption and ignored him. Thereupon God sent down this Surah. From this historical incident the period of the revelation of this Surah can be precisely determined.
Secondly, some of the traditions of the Hadith which relate this incident show that he had already accepted Islam, and some others show that he was inclined to accept it and had approached Muhammad in search of the truth. Aishah states that coming to Muhammad he had said: "O Messenger of God, guide me to the straight path." (Tirmidhi (d.892), Hakim (d.871), Ibn Hibban, Al-Tabari, Abu Ya'la). According to Abdullah bin Abbas, he had asked the meaning of a verse of the Qur'an and said to Muhammad: "O Messenger of God, teach me the knowledge that God has taught you" (Al-Tabari, Ibn Abu Hatim). These statements show that he had acknowledged Muhammad. Contrary to this, Ibn Zaid has interpreted the words "la'allahu yazzakka" of verse 3 to mean: la'allahu yuslim, "that perhaps he might become Muslim." (Al-Tabari) And God's own words: "What would make you know that he might reform, or heed the admonition, and admonishing might profit him?" and "The one who comes to you running, of his own will, and fears, from him you turn away", point out that by that time he had developed in himself a deep desire to learn the truth: he had come to Muhammad with the belief that he was the only source of guidance, and his desire would be satisfied only through him; his apparent state also reflected that if he was given instruction, he would benefit by it.
Thirdly, the names of the people who were sitting in Muhammad's assembly at that time, have been given in different traditions. In this list we find the names of Utba ibn Rabi'ah, Shaibah, Abu Jahl, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, Ubay ibn Khalaf, who were the bitterest enemies of Islam. This shows that the incident took place in the period when these chiefs were still on meeting terms with the Muhammad and their antagonism to Islam had not yet grown so strong as to have stopped their paying visits to him and having dialogues with him off and on. All these arguments indicate that this is one of the very earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah.
The Shia interpretations are unanimous on the view that the person that frowned away was not Muhammad, but an elite from Banu Umayya. According to them, these verses were descended about the man from Banu Umayya who was sitting with Muhammad. At the same time, Abdullah bin Umm Maktum entered, when the rich man saw the poverty stricken Abdullah he drew himself aside, not to get his dress dirty and contracted his facial expressions which got uneasy. In those verses God stated his acts and criticized and condemned them.
The tenses of grammar used
- "The Quranic Arabic Corpus - Word by Word Grammar, Syntax and Morphology of the Holy Quran". corpus.quran.com.
- Wherry, Elwood Morris (1896). A Complete Index to Sale's Text, Preliminary Discourse, and Notes. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Najafi, Shaikh Mohsin Ali. "Balagh ul Quran - Shaikh Mohsin Ali Najafi - بلاغ القرآن - شیخ محسن علی نجفی". www.balaghulquran.com.
- "Surah 'Abasa ". Surah 'Abasa .
- "Quran - Surah Abasa - Arabic, English Translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali". www.theonlyquran.com.
- Q80:1, 50+ translations, islamawakened.com
- Works related to The Holy Qur'an (Maulana Muhammad Ali)/80. Frowned at Wikisource
Media related to Abasa at Wikimedia Commons