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Surah Al-Qadr

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Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah Al-Qadr

Mecca Mecca (25)
5Total Ayat: 5
1Total Ruku: 1


The Surah has been so designated after the word al-qadr in the veryfirst verse.

Period of Revelation

Whether it is a Makki or a Madani revelation is disputed. Abu Hayyanin Al-Bahr al-Muhti has made the claim that the majority of scholarsregard it as a Madani Surah. Ali bin Ahmad al-Wahidi in his commentarysays that this is the first Surah to be sent down in Madinah. Contraryto this, Al Mawardi says that according to the majority of scholars itis a Makki revelation, and the same view has Imam Suyuti expressed inAl-Itqan. Ibn Mardayah has cited Ibn Abbas, lbn Az Zubair and HadratAishah as saying that this Surah was revealed at Makkah. A study of thecontents also shows that it should have been revealed at Makkah as weshall explain below.

Theme and Subject Matter

Its theme is to acquaint man with the value, worth and importance ofthe Quran. Its being placed just after Surah Al-Alaq in the arrangementof the Quran by itself explains that the Holy Book, the revelation ofwhich began with the first five verses of Surah Al-Alaq. was sent downin a destiny making night. It is a glorious Book and its revelationfor mankind is full of blessings.

At the outset, Allah says: "We havesent it down." That is, it is not a composition of Muhammad (upon whombe Allah's peace and blessing) himself, but We Ourself have revealedit.

Then, it is said that "We sent it down in the Night of Destiny."Night of Destiny lies two meanings and both are implied here. First,that it is the night during which destinies are decided; or, in otherwords, it is not an ordinary night like the other nights, but a nightin which destinies are made or marred. The revelation of this Book inthis night is not merely the revelation of a book but an event whichwill change the destiny of not only the Quraish, or of Arabia, but of,the entire world. The same thing has been said in Surah Ad-Dukhan forwhich please see Introduction to that Surah and E. N. 3 thereof. Theother meaning is that this is, a night of unique honor, dignity andglory; so much so that it is better than a thousand months. Thus, thedisbelievers of Makkah have been warned, as if to say: "You on accountof your ignorance regard this Book, which Muhammad (upon whom beAllah's peace and blessings) has presented, as a calamity foryourselves and complain that a disaster has befallen you, whereas thenight in which it was decreed to be sent down was such a blessed nightthat a task was accomplished in it for the well being of mankind,which had never been accomplished even during a thousand months ofhistory. This also has been said in verse 3 of Ad-Dukhan in another way,which we have explained in the introduction to that Surah.

Inconclusion, it has been stated that in this night the angels andGabriel descend with every decree (which in verse 4 of Surah Ad-Dukhan has been described as arm-hakim: wise decree) by the leave oftheir Lord, and it is all peace from evening till morning; that is,there is no interference of evil in it, for all decrees of Allah areintended to promote good and not evil. So much so that even if adecision to destroy a nation is taken, it is taken for the sake ofultimate good, not evil.

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