Surah Fussilat (Explained in Detail) 41 : 51

وَإِذَآ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى ٱلْإِنسَٰنِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَـَٔا بِجَانِبِهِۦ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ ٱلشَّرُّ فَذُو دُعَآءٍ عَرِيضٍ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And when We bestow favour upon the human being, he turns away and distances himself; but when evil touches him, then he is full of extensive supplication.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Man is so insistent in his requests, urging and repeating, appealing for what he feels to be good for him. Indeed, he never tires of this. Yet should misfortune befall him, even in the slightest way, he loses hope and sinks into despair. He feels his burden too heavy, thinks that God's grace has abandoned him. All this comes about because his relationship with God is not strong enough in his heart.

Yet should God grant him something of His grace after he has suffered some harm, he will be so elated that he will forget how this grace was given to him, and he will not give due thanks. On the contrary, he will consider that he has deserved this grace and that he should have it forever. He will even dismiss the Day of Judgement thinking that it will never come: "I do not think that the Last Hour will ever come." (Verse 50) He will boast of his own position, thinking that he deserves favouritism with God. He will even go further than this, denying the Day of Judgement and, thus, disbelieving in God. Nevertheless, he thinks that should he be returned to God, he will have a secure position with Him: "Even i f I were to be taken back to my Lord, the best reward awaits me with Him." (Verse 50) This betrays no small degree of arrogance. Here the surah issues a suitable warning to those who are so arrogant: "We shall most certainly give the unbelievers a fill account of what they did, and We shall most certainly give them a taste of severe suffering." (Verse 50)

Man is always moving to extremes. If God bestows His grace on him, he blows his own trumpet and behaves with arrogance. When harm or misfortune befalls him, he sinks low and collapses. He will pray insistently, prolonging his prayer. How accurate this description of man's inner thoughts is! No wonder; it is a description by God who created man and knows the subtle workings of his mind. He knows that man will continue to follow round and circular ways, unless he is guided to the right path.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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According to authentic hadith, it was sent down after the affirmation of the Faith by Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet and before the affirmation of the Faith by Umar. Muhammad bin Ishaq, the earliest biographer of the Prophet, has related on the authority of Muhammad bin Ka’b al-Qurzi (a  famous Companion), that one day some of the Quraysh chiefs were sitting in their assembly in the Masjid al-Haram, while in another corner of the Mosque there was the Prophet sitting by himself. This was the time when Hamza had already embraced Islam and the people of the Quraysh were feeling upset at the growing numbers of the Muslims. On this occasion, Utbah bin Rabi’ah (the father-in-law of Abu Sufyan) said to the Quraysh chiefs: “Gentlemen, if you like I would go and speak to Muhammad and put before him some proposals; maybe that he accepts one of them, to which we may also agree, and so he stops opposing us.” They all agreed to this, and Utbah went and sat by the Prophet. When the Prophet turned to him, he said: “Nephew, you know the high status that you enjoy in the community by virtue of your ancestry and family relations, but you have put your people to great trouble: you have created divisions among them and you consider them to be fools: you talk ill of their religion and gods, and say things as though all our forefathers were pagans. Now listen to me and I shall make some suggestions. Consider them well: maybe that you accept one of them.” The Prophet said: “Abul Walid, say what you want to say and I shall listen to you.” He said, “Nephew, if by what you are doing, you want wealth, we will give you enough of it so that you will be the richest man among us; if you want to became an important man, we will make you our chief and will never decide a matter without you; if you want to be a king, we will accept you as our king; and if you are visited by a Jinn, whom you cannot get rid of by your own power, we will arrange the best physicians and have you treated at our own expense.” ‘Utbah went on speaking in this strain and the Prophet went on listening to him quietly. Then he said, “Have you said, O Abul Walid, what you had to say?” He replied that he had. The Prophet said: “Well, now listen to me.” Then pronouncing Bismillah ir Rahman-ir-Rahim he began to recite this very Surah, and Utbah kept on listening to it, putting his hands behind his back and leaning on them as he listened. Coming to the verse of prostration (v. 37) the Prophet prostrated himself; then raising his head, said, “This was my reply, O Abul Walid, now you may act as you please.” Then Utbah arose and walked back towards the chiefs, the people saw him from afar, and said: “By God! Utbah’s face is changed. He does not look the same man that he was when he went from here.” Then, when he came back and sat down, the people asked, “What have you heard?” He replied, “By God! I have heard something the like of which I had never heard before. By God, it’s neither poetry, nor sorcery, nor magic. O chiefs of the Quraysh, listen to what I say and leave this man to himself. I think what he recites is going to have its effect. If the other Arabs overcome him, you will be saved from raising your hand against your brother, and the others will deal with him. But if he overcame Arabia, his sovereignty would be your sovereignty and his honour your honour.” Hearing this the chiefs spoke out: “You too, O father of Walid, have been bewitched by his tongue.” Utbah replied, “I have given you my opinion; now you may act as you please.” (Ibn Hisham, vol. I, pp. 313-314).

8. Reasons for Revelation

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9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

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