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Surah Al-Ma'un

Ayat/pg: 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | All

Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah Al-Ma'un

Mecca Mecca (17)
7Total Ayat: 7
1Total Ruku: 1


The Surah has been so designated after the word al-ma`un occurring atthe end of the last verse.

Period of Revelation

Ibn Marduyah has cited Ibn Abbas (may Allah bless them both) as sayingthat this Surah is Makki, and the same also is the view of Ata andJabir. But Abu Hayyan in Al-Bahr al-Muhit has cited Ibn Abbas, Qatadahand Dahhak as saying that this Surah was revealed at Madinah. In ouropinion there is an internal piece of evidence in the Surah itselfwhich points to its being a Madani Revelation. It holds out a threatof destruction to those praying ones who are unmindful of theirPrayers and who pray only to be seen. This kind of hypocrites werefound only at Madinah, for it was there that Islam and the Muslimsgained such strength that Islam and the Muslims gained such strengththat many people were compelled to believe from expedience, had tovisit the Mosque, join the congregational Prayer and prayed only to beseen of others, so as to be counted among Muslims. Contrary to this is,at Makkah conditions were altogether different. No one had to pray tobe seen. There it was difficult even for the believers to pray incongregation; they prayed secretly and if a person prayed openly hedid so only at the risk of his life. This kind of hypocrites found inMakkah did not comprise those who believed and Prayed to be seen butthose who in their hearts had know, and acknowledged the HolyMessenger of Allah (upon whom be peace) to be on the true path, butwere avoiding to accept Islam in order to maintain their Position ofleadership and authority, or were not prepared to take the risk ofbeing afflicted with the kind of hardships with which they found thebelievers afflicted in the society around them. This condition of thehypocrites at Makkah has been described in vv. 10-11 of Surah Al-Ankabut. (For explanation, see E.N.'s 13 to 16 of Surah Al-'Ankabut).

Theme and Subject Matter

Its theme is to point out what kind of morals a man develops when herefuses to believe in the Hereafter. In vv. 2-3 the condition of thedisbelievers who openly belie the Hereafter has been described, and inthe last four verses the state of those hypocrites who apparently areMuslims but have no idea of the Hereafter, its judgment, and themeting out of rewards and punishments accordingly has been described.On the whole, tie object of depicting the attitude and conduct of twokinds of people is to impress the point that man cannot develop astrong, stable and pure character in himself unless he believes in theHereafter.

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