Sura Insan (Human) No.76 (31 Verses)

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

(The Arabic meaning of 'Insan' is 'Human'. In the English language the words 'Mankind' and 'Man' are also used for 'Human' and we have used 'Man' in the text.)

Contents of the Sura:

In spite of its brevity, this Sura presents a deep, varied and comprehensive theme which can be divided into five sections:

1. Man's creation from a drop of mingled sperm; his guidance and his free-will.

2.The reward offered to the Righteous abrar (This part has a special occasion for its revelation in relation to the household of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) , ie. Ahlul-Bait; which will be discussed at a later point.)

3. The merits which cause one to deserve the rewards.

4. The importance of The Qur'an, the manner of conducting its principles and the demanding road of self-perfection.

5. The dominance of Allah's Will (even though man has limited free-will) .

There are different titles for this Sura. The most famous are "MAN" (Insan) , "TIME" (Dahr) and "HAS THERE COME" (Hal-ata) ; each of which is taken from one of the words at the beginning of the Sura; however, in the traditions we will discuss, here, about the virtue of the Sura, only Hal-ata is mentioned.

Was the Sura revealed In Medina?

The consensus of scholars and commentators is that all or at least part of the beginning verses, which explain the position or dignity of the Righteous and their good deeds, were revealed in Medina. The occasion of revelation about them, that is, the story of Ali, Fatima, Hassan, Hosain (P.B.U.TH.) and Fezza (their house-helper) ; and their vows, will be explained in detail at the appropriate time.

From among the famous scholars, we can mention Qartabi the well-known commentator who points out: " The consensus of scholars believe that the Sura has been revealed in Medina."(1)

In addition to this, we can also mention the following:

1. Hakim Ab-aI-Qasim Haskani has, in detail, quoted from Ibn-Abbas the number of verses, which were separately revealed in Mecca and Medina. He has considered it as a Medinan Sura which has been revealed after Sura Al-Rahman and before Sura Al-Taha .(2) Prof. Ahmad Zahid, the writer of 'Idah', has also quoted the same from Ibn-Abbas. (3)

2. Abu 'Abdullah Zanjani, in his book, Tharikh-i-Qur'an (The history of the Qur'an) has quoted from 'Nazm-ad-Dorar wa Tanasiq-aI-Ayat-I wa'l-Sowar' that a group of scholars have considered this Sura among the Medinan ones.(4)

3. From the same source, (Tharikh-l-Qur'an, quoting from Fihrist-I- Ibn Nadim) is quoted from Ibn-Abbaas that this Sura is considered the eleventh Medinan Sura.(5)

4. Suyuti, in his book 'Itqan' has quoted from Dalayl-al-Nabowwa by Beyhaqi, who has in turn quoted from 'Akrama that: " Sura Insan was revealed in Medina.(6)

5. In Durr al-Manthur, the same comment from Ibn-Abbas is quoted in different forms.(7)

6.Tafsir-i Kashshaf, a commentary, is where Zamakhshari has pointed out that the occasion of revelation, in the beginning verses, was about the vows taken by Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hosain (P.B.U.TH.) . (8)

7. There are still many other scholars, besides the aforementioned ones, who say that the beginning verses are about Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hosain (p.b.u.h.) .(9)

(1) Tafsir-i-Qartabi, vol. 10, p. 6909.

(2) Majma'-al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 405.

(3) Ibid

(4) Tarikh Qur'an, p. 55.

(5) Ibid

(6) Al-Mizan, vol. 20, p. 221.

(7) Ibid

(8) Kashshaf, vol. 4, p. 670.)

(9) Ihqaq-al-Haqq, vol. 3, p. 157-170.

This verifies that the Sura has been revealed in Medina (since we know that Hassan and Hosain (p.b.u.h.) were born in Medina) . Among these scholars' books we can mention the master Vahidi's 'Asbas al-Nozul', Baqavi's 'Ma'alim-at-Tanzil', Sebt Ibn-Jouzi's "Tathkirah", Ganji Shafi'i's 'Kifayat-at-Ta1ib' and so on. This verification is so reputable and well known that Mohammad Ibn-Idris Shafi'i has referred to it in his poem:

"How longs, how longs. Up until when.

Will you reproach me my love For this Sentle man?

Was not Fatima marries but only to him?

And was not Hal-ata revealed

About only but him?"

There are many other evidences supporting these views, some of which, will be pointed out later, when the occasion of revelation of the verses is discussed.

In spite of these facts, some enthusiasts still insist on counting the Sura among Meccan ones and rejectn all the narrations about the revelation of the Sura being revealed in Medina as well as the revelation of this Sura being about Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hosain (p.b.u.h.) .

The Virtue in studying Sura Insan (Man)

There is a tradition from the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) that says:"One who studies Sura Hal-ata will be rewarded Heaven and clothes of silk (in Heaven) by Allah."(1)

There is also a narration from Imam Baqir (p.b.u.h.) which says: "One of the rewards for a person who studies Sura Hal-ata every Thursday morning is that he will be with the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) on the Day of Judgment." (2)

(1) Majma'-al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 402.
(2) Ibid