Ash-Shūrā (Arabic: الشورى, al shūrā, "Council, Consultation") is the 42nd chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an (Q42) with 53 verses (āyāt). Its title derives from the question of "shūrā" (consultation) referred to in Verse 38. The term appears only once in the Quranic text (at Q42:38). It has no pre-Quranic antecedent.[1]

Sura 42 of the Quran
Other namesConsultation, The Counsel
PositionJuzʼ 25
No. of Rukus5
No. of verses53
Opening muqaṭṭaʻātḤā Mīm; ʿAin Sīn Qāf حم عسق

Regarding the timing and contextual background of the believed revelation (asbāb al-nuzūl), it is an earlier "Meccan surah", which means it has been revealed in Mecca, rather than later in Medina.


  • 1-2 The Almighty reveals his will to Muhammad
  • 3 Angels intercede with God on behalf of sinful man
  • 4 Muhammad not a steward over the idolaters
  • 5 The Quran revealed in the Arabic language to warn Makkah
  • 6-10 God the only helper, creator, and preserver, the all-knowing
  • 11-13 Islam the religion of all the former prophets
  • 14 Muhammad commanded to declare his faith in the Bible
  • 15 Disputers with God shall be severely punished
  • 16-17 God only knows the hour of the judgment
  • 18-19 The Almighty will reward the righteous and the wicked according to their deeds
  • 20 Sinners only spared through God’s forbearance
  • 21-22 Rewards of the just and of the unjust
  • 23 Muhammad charged with imposture
  • 24-27 The sovereign God forgives and blesses whom he will
  • 28-33 God’s power manifested in his works
  • 34-41 A true believer’s character decided
  • 42-45 The miserable fate of those whom God causes to err
  • 46 Sinners exhorted to repent before it is too late
  • 47 Muhammad only a preacher
  • 48-49 God controls all things
  • 50-51 Why God reveals himself by inspiration and through apostles
  • 52-53 Muhammad himself ignorant of Islam until he had received the revelation of the Quran [2]

Q42:23 Verse of affection

Q42:51 Revelation in Islam

In Islamic tradition, Quran 42:51 serves as the basis of understanding for Revelation in Islam (waḥy).

"It is not fitting for a man that Allah should speak to him except by inspiration, or from behind a veil, or by the sending of a messenger to reveal, with Allah's permission, what Allah wills".[3]

Based on this verse, Islamic scholars have described three ways in which God's revelation can reach His chosen individuals, especially prophets.[4]

  • An inspired message – not a word but an idea – can enter the heart of the chosen individuals either in the state of consciousness or in dream.[5]
  • The second mode, it is said, is the word heard by the person spoken to, as from behind a veil.[5]
  • In the third mode, the revelation is sent from God through archangels like Gabriel and is delivered to the prophets. It is the highest form of revelation, and Muslims believe the whole Quran was revealed in this mode.[4][5]


  1. al-Baghdādī, Aḥmad Mubārak and Wheeler, Brannon M.,“Consultation”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 06 July 2020
  2. 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.
  3. Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation 42:51
  4. Muhammad Shafi Usmani, Maariful Quran, see commentary on 42:51
  5. Ali, Muhammad (1936). The Religion of Islam. Lahore. p. 70.
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