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Surah An-Nasr

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

Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah An-Nasr

Madina Madina (114)
3Total Ayat: 3
1Total Ruku: 1


The Surah takes its name from the word nasr occurring in the firstverse.

Period of Revelation

Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas states that this is the last Surah of theQuran to be revealed, i. e. no complete Surah was sent down to the HolyProphet after it. (Muslim Nasai, Tabarani, Ibn Abi Shaibah, IbnMarduyah). According to Hadrat Abdullah bin Umar, this Surah was sentdown on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage in the middle of theTashriq Days at Mina, and after it the Holy Prophet rode his she cameland gave his well known Sermon. (Tirmidhi, Bazzar, Baihaqi, Ibn AbiShaibah, Abd bin Humaid, Abn Yala, Ibn Marduyah). Baihaqi in Kitab al-Hajj has related from the tradition of Hadrat Sarra bint-Nabhan theSermon which the Holy Prophet gave on this occasion. She says:

"At theFarewell Pilgrimage I heard the Holy Prophet say: O people, do youknow what day it is? They said: Allah and His Messenger have the bestknowledge. He said: This is the middle day of the Tashriq Days. Thenhe said: Do you know what place it is? They said: Allah and HisMessenger have the best knowledge. He said: This is Masharil-Haram.Then he said: I do not know, I might not meet you here again. Beware,your bloods and your honors are forbidden, until you appear beforeyour Lord, and He questions you about your deeds. Listen: let the onewho is near convey it to him who is far away. Listen: have I conveyedthe message to you? Then, when we returned to Madinah, the Holy Prophetpassed away not many days after that."

If both these traditions areread together, it appears that there was an interval of three monthsand some days between the revelation of Surah An-Nasr and the HolyProphet's death, for historically the same was the interval betweenthe Farewell Pilgrimage and the passing away of the Holy Prophet.

IbnAbbas says that when this Surah was revealed, the Holy Prophet saidthat he had been informed of his death and his time had approached.(Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Mundhir, Ibn Marduyah). In the othertraditions related from Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas, it has been statedthat at the revelation of this Surah the Holy Prophet understood thathe had been informed of his departure from the world.(Musnad Ahmad,Ibn Jarir, Tabarani, Nasai, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Marduyah).

Mother ofthe Believers, Hadrat Umm Habibah, says that when this Surah wasrevealed the Holy Prophet said that he would leave the world that year.Hearing this Hadrat Fatimah wept. Thereat he said: "From among myfamily you will be the first to join me."Hearing this she laughed.(IbnAbi Hatim, Ibn Marduyah). A tradition containing almost the same themehas been related by Baihaqi from Ibn Abbas.

Ibn Abbas says: "HadratUmar used to invite me to sit in his assembly along with some of theimportant elderly Companions who had fought at Badr. This was notliked by some of them. They complained that they also had sons whowere like the boy. Why then was he in particular invited to sit in theassembly? (Imam Bukhari and Ibn Jarir have pointed out that such athing was said by Hadrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf). Hadrat Umar said thatthe boy enjoyed the position and distinction because of his knowledge.Then one day he invited the Companions of Badr and called me also tosit with them. I understood that he had invited me to the assembly toprove his contention. During the conversation Hadrat Umar asked theCompanions of Badr: "What do you say about Idha jaa nasrullahi wal-fath?" Some said: "In it we have been enjoined to praise Allah and askfor His forgiveness when His succor comes and we attain victory."Someothers said that it implied the conquest of cities and forts. Somekept quiet. Then Hadrat Umar said: "Ibn Abbas, do you also say thesame?"I said no. He asked: "What then is your view?"I submitted thatit implied the last hour of Allah's Messenger (upon whom be peace); init he was informed `that when Allah's succor came and victory wasattained, it would be a sign that his hour had come; therefore, he,should praise Allah and ask for His forgiveness. Thereat Hadrat Umarsaid "I know naught but what you have said."In another tradition thereis the addition that, Hadrat Umar said to the Companions: "How can youblame me when you yourselves have seen why I invite this boy to jointhe assembly?" (Bukhari, Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Jarir, IbnMarduyah, Baghawi, Baihaqi, Ibn al-Mundhir).

Theme and Subject Matter

As is shown by the above traditions, Allah in this Surah had informedHis Messenger (upon whom be peace) that when Islam attained completevictory in Arabia and the people started entering Allah's religion ingreat numbers, it would mean that the mission for which he had beensent to the world, had been fulfilled. Then, he was enjoined to busyhimself in praising and glorifying Allah by Whose bounty he had beenable to accomplish such a great task, and should implore Him toforgive whatever failings and frailties he might have shown in theperformance of the service. Here, by a little consideration one caneasily see the great difference that there is between a Prophet and acommon worldly leader. If a worldly leader in his own lifetime is ableto bring about a revolution, which has the aim and objective of hisstruggle, this would be an occasion for exultation for him. But herewe witness quite another phenomenon. The Messenger of Allah in a briefspace of 23 years revolutionized an entire nation as regards itsbeliefs, thoughts, customs, morals, civilization, ways of living,economy, politics and fighting ability, and raising it from ignoranceand barbarism enabled it to conquer the world and become leader ofnations; yet when he had accomplished this unique task, he was notenjoined to celebrate it but to glorify and praise Allah and to prayfor His forgiveness, and he busied himself humbly the implementationof that command.

Hadrat Aishah says: "The Holy Messenger (upon whom bepeace) often used to recite Subhanak-Allahumma wa bi-hamdikaastaghfiruka wa atubu ilaika (according to some other traditions,Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdi-hi as- taghfirullaha wa atubu ilaihi) beforehis death. I asked: O Messenger of Allah, what are these words thatyou have started reciting now? He replied: A sign has been appointedfor me so that when I see it, I should recite these words, and it is:Idha jaa nasrullahi wal-fathu." (Musnad Ahmad, Muslim, Ibn Jarir, lbnal-Mundhir, Ibn Marduyah). In some other traditions on the samesubject Hadrat Aishah has reported that the Holy Prophet often recitedthe following words in his ruku and sajdah: Subhanak-Allahumma wa-bihamdika, Allahumma- aghfirli. This was the interpretation of the Quran(i. e. of Surah An-Nasr) that he had made.(Bukhari, Muslim Abu Daud,Nasai, Ibn Majah, Ibn Jarir).

Hadrat Umm Salamah says that the HolyProphet (upon whom be peace) during his last days very often recitedthe following words sitting and standing, going out of the house andcoming back to it: Subhan Allahi wa-bi hamdi-hi. I one day asked: "Whydo you recite these words so often? O Messenger of Allah". He replied:I have been enjoined to do so. Then he recited this Surah." (Ibn Jarir).

According to Hadrat Abdullah bin Masud, when this Surah was revealed,the Messenger of Allah (upon whom be peace) frequently began to recitethe words Subhanak-Allahumma wa bi-hamdika, Allahumm-aghfirli,subhanaka Rabbana wa bi-hamdika, Allahumm-aghfirli, innaka anta at-Tawwab al-Ghafur.(Ibn Jarir, Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Abi Hatim).

Ibn Abbashas stated that after the revelation of this Surah the Holy Messenger(upon whom be peace) began to labour so intensively and devotedly hardfor the Hereafter as he had never done before.

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