Surah Al-Muzzammil (73): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Al-Muzzammil in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah المزمل ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Al-Muzzammil

Surah Al-Muzzammil
سُورَةُ المُزَّمِّلِ
Page 575 (Verses from 20 to 20)

Listen to Surah Al-Muzzammil (Arabic and English translation)

Tafsir of Surah Al-Muzzammil (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur\'an. He has known that there will be among you those who are ill and others traveling throughout the land seeking [something] of the bounty of Allah and others fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite what is easy from it and establish prayer and give zakah and loan Allah a goodly loan. And whatever good you put forward for yourselves - you will find it with Allah. It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

English Transliteration

Inna rabbaka yaAAlamu annaka taqoomu adna min thuluthayi allayli wanisfahu wathuluthahu wataifatun mina allatheena maAAaka waAllahu yuqaddiru allayla waalnnahara AAalima an lan tuhsoohu fataba AAalaykum faiqraoo ma tayassara mina alqurani AAalima an sayakoonu minkum marda waakharoona yadriboona fee alardi yabtaghoona min fadli Allahi waakharoona yuqatiloona fee sabeeli Allahi faiqraoo ma tayassara minhu waaqeemoo alssalata waatoo alzzakata waaqridoo Allaha qardan hasanan wama tuqaddimoo lianfusikum min khayrin tajidoohu AAinda Allahi huwa khayran waaAAthama ajran waistaghfiroo Allaha inna Allaha ghafoorun raheemun

The Obligatory Nature of TahaudPrayer Abrogated

At the beginning of the Surah, the command 'stand at night (for prayer) ' prescribed the night-prayer for Allah's Messenger ﷺ as well as for the general body of Muslims. It was also obligatory for the prayer to be long, but they had a choice in its length. They had to pray for half the night or one-third of the night or two-thirds of the night. A group of noble Companions in the performance of this duty mostly followed the ` azimah (preferred original rule of law). As a result, they spent almost two-thirds of the night in prayer. They performed this prayer every night. During the day they would invite people to Islam and preach and attend to their personal needs. Most of the Companions were either labourers or businessmen. The Messenger's as well as the Companions' feet would swell on account of the long prayers. Waking at night was extremely difficult, and Allah was fully aware of the entire set-up, but it was pre-decreed in His knowledge that the difficulty is temporary and a passing phase. The purpose of this exercise is riyaclah 'ascetic discipline' of the Holy Prophet and his Companions. In the initial stages, they were in a condition of disequilibrium. Therefore, they were required to exert themselves in spiritual struggle and ascetic discipline, thus:

اِنَّا سَنُلْقِيْ عَلَيْكَ قَوْلًا ثَـقِيْلًا 'We are going to send down to you a weighty discourse. [ 73:5] '. The Holy Prophet was going to be handed over the service of the Qur'an which is much more difficult than this ascetic discipline. According to the Pre-eternal knowledge of Allah, when the ascetic discipline was completed and with His grace perfect balance was attained, asceticism was replaced by moderation. As a result, the obligatory nature of night-prayer was repealed. According to Ibn ` Abbas, the above verses merely cancelled the obligatory nature of night-prayer, but the basic tahajjud prayer remained intact as obligatory, When the five daily prayers were prescribed on the night of mi`’ raj, the obligatory nature of tahajjud prayer too was cancelled. And Allah knows best!

Apparently, this obligation was cancelled for Allah's Messenger as well as for the entire 'Ummah. However, it is still a supererogatory and laudable deed in the sight of Allah. Furthermore, there is no time or recitation constraint. Every person may perform the prayer according to his own ability in the time available to him and recite the Qur'an as much of it as is easy for him.

The Concept of Abrogation in Shari'ah

Legislating laws and abrogating them to proclaim new ones in their place is a routine practice in human governments and institutions. However, abrogation occurs sometimes in a piece of human legislation because the legislators did not fully comprehend the situation at the time of formulating a certain law, and are forced to amend it when they realize that the situation has changed and the law is no longer applicable in the new circumstances. At other times, a law might be proclaimed in the government gazette in keeping with the prevailing circumstances, but the legislators might not have foreseen that the circumstances might change. When that happens, the old law will have to be repealed and a new one J will have to be legislated and promulgated. It is inconceivable that these two forms of repeal will ever apply to Divine injunctions. F A third situation is that when the legislator formulates a law, he e foresees that in time to come conditions will change, as a result the law .it will no longer apply in toto in the changed condition. So, when the conditions alter, as the legislator had foreseen, he legislates a new law and makes it public as he had forethought. This is the only form of Y abrogation that can take place, and has been taking place in Divine e injunctions. It has always been the case that a certain piece of Divine law c was intended, from the very beginning, to remain in force for a limited ie time, but Divine Wisdom chose not to disclose this time limit from the people. Because of the general wordings of the legislation, the general 1Q community of people thought it was an immutable law whereas Allah had is pre-decreed it as a temporary law for a limited period of time. When its of temporary period was over, the law was with withdrawn. People took this y' as the abrogation of law whereas in reality it merely defined the time oe period. In other words, at that time it is made publicly known to the vs people that the law was not an immutable one, but promulgated for a limited period of time. Thus the period is now over and the law is no ell longer applicable.

There are many verses of the

Qur'n that have been repealed, and or the commoners find it difficult to grasp the wisdom underlying the repeal,

Holy Prophet. The word nafilah literally denotes 'additional', meaning 'additional obligation'. But according to the overwhelming majority, the correct view is that the obligatory nature of tahajjud prayer has been abrogated for Allah's Messenger, as well as the general body of Muslims. However, it still remains an act of supererogation for all. The above verse contains the phrase X5, 1 Ali nafilatan lak 'an additional prayer for you'. The word nafilah is used in its technical sense of nafl 'supererogatory'. If tahajjud is a nafl prayer for all, then it is not clear why addressing the Holy Prophet the verse adds lak 'for you' as if it is a distinctively voluntary act for the Holy Prophet. Please see Ma` ariful Qur'an, Vol. 5/pp533-543 for fuller explanation, especially pp536-537 for whether tahajjud is a mere nafl (voluntary) or sunnah mu'akkadah (the emphasised practice of the Holy Prophet)

The verse that abrogates the obligatory nature of tahajjud prayer starts from – اِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ 'Your Lord knows _[ 73:20] ' and ends at فَاقْرَءُوْا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ۙ '…Now, recite as much of the Qur'an as is easy (for you) [ 73:20] ' This verse was revealed one year or eight months after the initial verses of this Surah. Thus the obligatory nature of night-prayer was abrogated after a year. Musnad of Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawad, Ibn Majah and Nasa'I record a narration of Sayyidah ` A'ishah who stated that at the commencement of this Surah, Allah had prescribed the night-prayer. The Messenger of Allah and the blessed Companions constantly and consistently carried out the obligation for a year. Allah held back the last part of the Surah in the sky for twelve months. It was revealed after a year which abrogated the obligatory status of night-prayer and made concession - reducing its status to supererogation. [ Ruh-ul-Ma’ ani ]

عَلِمَ اَنْ لَّنْ تُحْصُوْهُ (…He knows that you cannot do it regularly…73:20). The word ihsa' literally denotes 'to count'. Some commentators interpret this verse as follows: Allah had not fixed the exact time for night-prayer. They were given the option of choosing time between one-third of the night to two thirds of it. But when the Companions were preoccupied with the prayer, it was difficult for them to calculate whether they had stayed up half the night, or one-third of the night, or two-thirds of the night, because in those days there were no watches or clocks to measure the time. Even if there were, it was not in keeping with their conditions of involvement in prayers to look at the time repeatedly. They would be absorbed in their prayers, so as to be oblivious to their environment. This is the significance of the phrase lan tuhsuhu. Other scholars say that the word ihsa' connotes the act of counting', signifying that Allah knows that you will not be able to keep count of the constant prayers during the lengthy hours and hours of sleep. The word ihsa' is also used in this sense, as is used in a Hadith in connection with the beautiful names of Allah, thus:

من احصاھا دخل الجنۃ

"He who keeps count of them will enter Paradise" meaning, to act fully according to the attributes and qualities of Allah, as indicated in His beautiful names. For fuller explanation, please see Ma` ariful Qur'an, Vol. 5/pp272-273 under the following verse: وَاِنْ تَعُدُّوْا نِعْمَةَ اللّٰهِ لَا تُحْصُوْهَا

'…And if you count the bounties of Allah, you cannot count them all. [ 14:34] '

فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ (…therefore He turned to you in mercy…73:20). The word taubah originally means 'to turn'. Repentance for sins is also called taubah in Arabic, because the sinner turns away from his past sins and crimes. In this context, the word simply means 'to turn', that is, Allah took back the obligatory nature of the injunction of night-prayer. Then He says: فَاقْرَءُوْا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْاٰنِ ۭ (…Now, recite as much of the Qur'an as is easy … 73:20). That is, recite in tahajjud prayer which is no longer obligatory. It is supererogatory enjoying the status of sunnah or mustahab. No particular number of verses has been fixed for recitation of the Holy Qur'an in tahajjud prayer. So a worshipper may recite as much of it as is easy for him. This verse answers many legal questions that are available in books of jurisprudence.

وَاَقِيْمُوا الصَّلٰوةَ وَاٰتُوا الزَّكٰوةَ وَاَقْرِضُوا اللّٰهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۭ (And establish salah, and pay zakah, and advance to Allah a goodly loan….73:20). According to majority of the commentators, salah in this context refers to the five prescribed prayers that were made obligatory on the Night of Ascent (Mi` raj). This indicates that the night-prayer was obligatory for a year. In the meantime, the nocturnal journey took place, and the five daily prayers were prescribed. After that, the above verses were revealed and the obligatory nature of tahajjud prayer was abrogated. Towards the conclusion of the Surah, where it speaks of establishment of prayer, it refers to the five prescribed prayers. [ Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi and Al-Bahr-ul-Muhit ].

وَاٰتُوا الزَّكٰوةَ (…and pay zakah….73:20). Zakah refers to the prescribed zakah. However, it is popularly understood that zakah was prescribed two years after migration to Madinah whereas this verse is Makki and, as was said earlier, a consensus of scholarly opinion assigns the revelation of this Surah to the earliest period of the call. In response, some commentators express the view that this particular verse was revealed in Madinah. Ibn Kathir, however, says that zakah was prescribed in the earliest days of Islam, although its details, like exemption limit and the rate, were fixed in the second year of migration at Madinah. Even if the verse is treated as Makki, there should be no problem in taking the word zakah in its technical sense of prescribed zakah as Iruh-ul- Ma` ani explains in detail. Its full analysis will be found in this author's booklet entitled 'Nizam-e-Zakat'.

وَاَقْرِضُوا اللّٰهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۭ (…and advance to Allah a goodly loan….73:20). In other words, spend in the way of Allah as charitable donations. This would be as if one is advancing a loan to Allah who will multiply it many times and reward him most abundantly. This indicates Divine favour and grace towards him, and it also describes that Allah is the richest of all. The loan will not be lost, but will be richly returned. The command for Zakah has already been mentioned previously, therefore advancing a loan to Allah refers, according to most scholars, to other voluntary charitable donations in the cause of Allah as, for instance, spending on friends and relatives or utilizing for entertainment of guests or investing in the service of scholars and righteous people. Some scholars point out that besides the prescribed Zakah, there are other financial obligations imposed on man, such as maintenance of parents, wife and children. Thus the command to pay zakah in verse 20 covers the injunction of paying out the prescribed Zakah, while other financial obligations are covered by the words: '…advance to Allah a goodly loan [ 20] '.

وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوْا لِاَنْفُسِكُمْ مِّنْ خَيْرٍ (…whatever good you will send ahead for your own selves [ 73:20]. In other words, if man does good in his lifetime, it is better for him than advising someone else to do the good deed at the time of his death. This advice for doing good on behalf of the deceased includes financial worship and voluntary charitable donations. It also includes prescribed prayers, fasts and other prescribed worship or duties that were missed out or neglected, it is better to pay out the fidyah and/or kaffarah with one's own hands while he is living and be absolved of the responsibility rather than expecting the heirs to discharge it. They may do it or they may neglect to do it.

The Messenger of Allah once asked the blessed Companions: "Which of you holds his wealth to be dearer to himself than the wealth of his heirs?" They replied: "0 Allah's Messenger, there is not a single one of us who does not hold his wealth to be dearer to himself than the wealth of his heir." Allah's Messenger then said: "Consider carefully what you are saying." They submitted: "This is indeed our considered opinion. We do not know any better." He then said: "The wealth of one of you is only that which he sends forth, and the wealth of his heir is that which he leaves behind." [ Ibn Kathir from Abu Ya` la a1-Mawsili and said al-Bukhari transmitted it, reporting from Hafs Ibn Ghiyath and so on ].


The Commentary on

Surah Al-Muzzammil

Ends here