Al-Masad (Arabic: المسد, (meaning: "Twisted Strands" or "The Palm Fiber"[1]) is the 111th chapter (sūrah) of the Quran. It has 5 āyāt or verses and recounts the punishments that Abū Lahab and his wife will suffer in Hell.[1]

۝[2] May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he.
۝ His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained.[3]
۝ He will burn in a Fire of flame [4]
۝ and his wife also, bearing wood,
۝ having on her neck [5] a rope of twisted strands.[4]
Sura 111 of the Quran
The Palm Fiber
Alternate titles (Ar.)ٱلتَبَّت
Other namesAt-Tabbat, Lahab
PositionJuzʼ 30
No. of verses5
No. of words29
No. of letters81

A study on Quranic manuscripts within the Vatican Library noted the titles Lahab (Flame);[6] masad;[7] al-ḥaṭab;[8] and Abī Lahab.[9][10] In the 1730s the chapter title was known as Abu Laheb by translator George Sale.

Text and meaning

Text and transliteration

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ۝
Bismi l-lāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm(i)
تَبَّتْ يَدَآ أَبِى لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ ۝١
¹ Tabbat yadā ’abī lahabi w-watab(ba)
مَآ أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُ مَالُهُۥ وَمَا كَسَبَ ۝٢
² Mā ’aghnā ‘anhu māluhū wamā kasab(a)
سَيَصْلَىٰ نَارًا ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ ۝٣
³ Sayaṣlā Nāran dhāta lahab(in)
وَٱمْرَأَتُهُۥ حَمَّالَةَ ٱلْحَطَبِ ۝٤
Wamra’atuhū ḥammālata l-ḥaṭab(i)
فِى جِيدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِّن مَّسَدٍۭ ۝٥
Fī jīdihā ḥablu m-mi m-masad(im)

بِسۡمِ اِ۬للَّهِ اِ۬لرَّحۡمَٰنِ اِ۬لرَّحِيمِ ۝
Bismi l-lāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīm(i)
تَبَّتۡ يَدَآ أَبِے لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ ۝١
¹ Tabbat yadā ’abī lahabi w-watab(ba)
مَآ أَغۡنَٜىٰ عَنۡهُ مَالُهُۥ وَمَا كَسَبَ ۝٢
² Mā ’agh ‘anhu māluhū wamā kasab(a)
سَيَصۡلَىٰ نَارًا ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ ۝٣
³ Sayaṣ Nāran dhāta lahab(in)
وَامۡرَاَتُهُۥ حَمَّالَةُ اَ۬لۡحَطَبِ ۝٤
Wamra’atuhū ḥammālatu l-ḥaṭab(i)
فِے جِيدِهَا حَبۡلٌ مِّن مَّسَدٍۭ ۝٥
Fī jīdihā ḥablu m-mi m-masad(im)


1 Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab (an uncle of the Prophet), and perish he!
2 His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained.
3 He will be burnt in a Fire of blazing flames!
4 And his wife too, who carries wood (thorns of Sadan which she used to put on the way of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), or use to slander him).
5 In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad (palm fibre).

Translation:Noble Quran, 1999

1 May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined, and ruined is he.
2 His wealth will not avail him or that which he gained.
3 He will [enter to] burn in a Fire of [blazing] flame
4 And his wife [as well] – the carrier of firewood.
5 Around her neck is a rope of [twisted] fiber.

Translation:Saheeh International, 1997

1 Perish the hands of the Father of Flame! Perish he!
2 No profit to him from all his wealth, and all his gains!
3 Burnt soon will he be in a Fire of Blazing Flame!
4 His wife shall carry the (crackling) wood - As fuel!-
5 A twisted rope of palm-leaf fibre round her (own) neck!

Translation:Yusuf Ali, 1934

1 The power of Abu Lahab will perish, and he will perish.
2 His wealth and gains will not exempt him.
3 He will be plunged in flaming Fire,
4 And his wife, the wood-carrier
5 Will have upon her neck a halter of palm-fibre.

Translation:Pickthall, 1930

Abu Lahab

Verse 1 mentions Abu Lahab (father of flame). Quranite Sam Gerrans chooses to maintain the literal translation, "father of flame", denoting the type of person made perfectly clear from the context of the chapter.[11]

Traditional Islam names Abu Lahab as an adversary of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.[12] This surah takes its name from verse 5 in which the phrase “ḥablun min masad” (meaning “a rope of palm fibre”) occurs that mentions the palm fibre rope that in hellfire shall be twisted around the neck of the wife of Muhammad's uncle, who bitterly opposed Islam; for she took great pride in wearing an ostentatious necklace she became known for and would slip by night to strew thorns and prickly plants in Muhammad's path to injure his feet.[13][14][15] Thus, regarding the timing and contextual background of the revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl), it is believed an earlier "Meccan surah".

Quranic commentary (ahadith)

Since this is the only place in the Quran where an enemy of Islam has been condemned by name, the study of hadith is pivotal to grasp the special trait of the character of this person, which became the basis of this condemnation by name, as ḥadīṯ (حديث) is literally "speech"; recorded saying or tradition of Muhammad validated by isnad; with sira these comprise the sunnah and reveal shariah.

  • Narrated Ibn Abbas: Abu Lahab said, "May you perish! Is it for this that you have gathered us?" So there was revealed: 'Perish the hands of Abu Lahab'.[16][17][18]
  • Narrated Ibn Abbas: When the Verse: 'And warn your tribe of near-kindred (26:214), was revealed, the Prophet (Mohammed) ascended the Safa (mountain) and started calling, "O Bani Fihr! O Bani `Adi!" addressing various tribes of Quraish till they were assembled. Those who could not come themselves, sent their messengers to see what was there. Abu Lahab and other people from Quraish came and the Prophet then said, "Suppose I told you that there is an (enemy) cavalry in the valley intending to attack you, would you believe me?" They said, "Yes, for we have not found you telling anything other than the truth." He then said, "I am a warner to you in face of a terrific punishment." Abu Lahab said (to the Prophet) "May your hands perish all this day. Is it for this purpose you have gathered us?" Then it was revealed: "Perish the hands of Abu Lahab (one of the Prophet's uncles), and perish he! His wealth and his children will not profit him...." (111.1-5)[19][20][21][22][23][24][25]
  • Narrated Jundub bin Sufyan: Once Muhammad became sick and could not offer his night prayer (Tahajjud) for two or three nights. Then a lady (the wife of Abu Lahab) came and said, "O Muhammad! I think that your satan has forsaken you, for I have not seen him with you for two or three nights!" On that Allah revealed: 'By the fore-noon, and by the night when it darkens, your Lord (O Muhammad) has neither forsaken you, nor hated you.' (93.1-3[26]).[27][28][29]
  • According to Ibn /jarir: One day Abu Lahab asked Muhammad: "If I were to accept your religion, what would I get?" Muhammad replied: "You would get what the other believers would get." He said: "Is there no preference or distinction for me?" Muhammad replied: "What else do you want?" Thereupon he said: "May this religion perish in which I and all other people should be equal and alike!".[30]
  • Rabiah bin Abbad ad- Dill related: "I was a young boy when I accompanied my father to the face of Dhul-Majaz. There I saw Muhammad who was exhorting the people, saying: 'O people, say: there is no deity but God, you will attain success.' Following behind him I saw a man, who was telling the people, `This fellow is a liar: he has gone astray from his ancestral faith.' I asked; who is he? The people replied: He is his uncle, Abu Lahab."[31][32][14]
  • Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi was a widely read and very influential, a 20th-century Islamist political philosopher, journalist, Islamic scholar, Muslim revivalist leader (1903–1979), in his tafsir Tafhim al-Qur'an relates[33] In Makkah Abu Lahab was the next door neighbor of Muhammad. Their houses were separated by a wall. Besides him, Hakam bin As (Father of Marwan), Uqbah bin Abi Muait, Adi bin Hamra and Ibn al-Asda il-Hudhali also were his neighbors. These people did not allow him to have peace even in his own house. Sometimes when he was performing the prayer, they would place the goat's stomach on him; sometimes when food was being cooked in the courtyard, they would throw filth at the cooking pot. Muhammad would sometimes come out and say: "O Bani Abdi Manaf, what kind of neighborliness is it?" Abu Lahab's wife, Umm Jamil (Abu Sufyan's sister), had made it a practice to cast thorns at his door in the night so that when he or his children came out of the house at dawn, they should run thorns in the foot.[34]
  • When Muhammad's son Qasim ibn Muhammad died in 605, Abu Lahab came out of his house screaming and dancing. And he says Batara Muhammadun – Muhammad has had his lineage cut off.[32][35] Ata ibn Abi Rabah reported the same happening when the second son of Muhammad died.[36]


  1. Lumbard, Joseph (April 2015). 111, The Palm Fiber, al-Masad, The Study Quran. San Francisco: HarperOne.
  2. Arabic script in Unicode symbol for a Quran verse, U+06DD, page 3, Proposal for additional Unicode characters
  3. Sahih International translation
  4. Sam Gerrans translation
  5. Sale translation
  6. Vat. Ar. 202; Barb. Or. 72
  7. Vat. Ar. 204; Vat. Ar. 230; Borg. Ar. 64
  8. Vat. Ar. 709
  9. Vat. Ar. 931
  10. Gözeler, Esra. Ankara Üniversitesi, A Study on Qurʾ ān Manuscripts in the Vatican Library
  11. Footnote 8900, Q111:1; Gerrans, S; Quran: Complete Revelation
  12. Quran 111
  13. "The Quran".
  14. "111. Surah al Lahab (The Flame) - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - the Meaning of the Qur'an".
  15. "QTafsir Tafsir Ibn Kathir Mobile".
  16. Sahih Bukhari, Prophetic Commentary on the Qur'an (Tafseer of the Prophet); USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 497
  17. Arabic reference كتاب التفسير: Book 65, Hadith 4973
  18. Sahih Bukhari, Book 23: Book of Funerals (Al-Janaa'iz): (98) Chapter: Talking about the wicked among the dead كتاب الجنائز (98) باب ذِكْرِ شِرَارِ الْمَوْتَى Sahih al-Bukhari 1394. In-book reference: Book 23, Hadith 149; USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 2, Book 23, Hadith 477 (deprecated numbering scheme)
  19. Sahih Bukhari, Prophetic Commentary on the Qur'an (Tafseer of the Prophet); USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 293
  20. Sahih Bukhari, Arabic reference: كتاب التفسير: Book 65, Hadith 4770
  21. Sahih Bukhari, USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 325 Arabic reference: Book 65, Hadith 4801
  22. Sahih Bukhari, USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 495 Arabic reference: Book 65, Hadith 4971
  23. Sahih Bukhari, USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 496 Arabic reference: Book 65, Hadith 4972
  24. Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Chapters on Tafsir - كتاب تفسير القرآن عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم Grade: Sahih (Darussalam); English reference: Vol. 6, Book 44, Hadith 3363; Arabic reference: Book 47, Hadith 3689
  25. Sahih Muslim Book#1 The Book of Faith كتاب الإيمان ; Chapter#89: Regarding the saying of Allah, the most High: "And warn your tribe of near kindred." (89) باب فِي قَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى: {وَأَنْذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الأَقْرَبِينَ}. In-book reference: Book 1, Hadith 416; USC-MSA web (English) reference
  26. "The Quran".
  27. Sahih Bukhari, Prophetic Commentary on the Qur'an (Tafseer of the Prophet) - كتاب التفسير » Hadith USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 6, Book 60, Hadith 475; Arabic reference: Book 65, Hadith 4950
  29. Sahih Bukhari, Book of Virtues of the Qur'an Book#كتاب فضائل القرآن 66 Virtues of the Qur'an: (1) Chapter: How the Divine Revelation used to be revealed and what was the first thing revealed (1) باب كَيْفَ نُزُولُ الْوَحْىِ وَأَوَّلُ مَا نَزَلَ
  30. hadith by Ibn Jarir According to Ibn Zaid
  31. (Musnad Ahmad, Al-Bayhaqi)
  32. Abul A'la Maududi's tafsir work The Meaning of the Qur'an
  33. Lahore: Islamic Publications, Ltd. (1981)
  34. Al-Bayhaqi, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Asakir, Ibn Hisham
  35. Ibn Jarir Ibn Sa'd and lbn Asakir have related that Abdullah bin Abbas said this.
  36. "108. Surah al Kauthar (The Abundance) - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - the Meaning of the Qur'an".
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