Overview - Surah 34: Saba' ([The People of] Saba)

Surah Introduction

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The Surah answers some of the objections raised by the non-believers about Tawhid, Risalah and Akhirah.  It also speaks about Prophets David and Solomon and the Queen of Sheba to remind people about the consequences of evils as well as righteousness.

Sections:

  1. The Day of Judgment will surely come.
  2. Allah's favors on Prophets David and Solomon.  Allah's judgment on the people of Saba'.
  3. Shirk will be of no use on the Day of Judgment. Prophet Muhammad is sent for all people.
  4. The wrong leaders will leave their followers on the Day of Judgment, the discussion of their mutual recrimination.
  5. Material riches do not necessarily bring you closer to Allah.
  6. The truth will prosper.

Surah Saba' takes its name after the People of Saba', لَقَدْ كَانَ لِسَبَإٍ فِي مَسْكَنِهِمْ آيَةٌ ۖ جَنَّتَانِ عَن يَمِينٍ وَشِمَالٍ ۖ كُلُوا مِن رِّزْقِ رَبِّكُمْ وَاشْكُرُوا لَهُ ۚ بَلْدَةٌ طَيِّبَةٌ وَرَبٌّ غَفُورٌ "There was for [the tribe of] Saba' in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told], "Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord." (34:15)

There are 54 Ayat in this Surah.

Overview

Total Ayat54
Total Words *883
Root Words *229
Unique Root Words *7
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 58th (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation*
Events during/before this Surah*
N/A
Events during/after still to occur*
N/A
Names of Prophets Mentioned
Dawud, Sulayman
Surah Index
God (knows that beyond comprehension) , Angels, Astronomy (objects impacting Earth) , Birds, Charity, Children, David, Earthquake, Hell, Iblis, Jinn, Judgement (Day) , Knowledge, Metallurgy (molten copper) , Mountains, Nuclear physics (things smaller than an atom (originally meant as ant?)) , Qur’an, Resurrection (of humans) , Sheba, Solomon, Solomon (discovery of the death of) , Weather (wind)

Central Theme

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The Surah deals with those objections of the disbelievers which they were raising against the Prophet’s message of Monotheism (Tawhid), the Hereafter and about his Prophethood itself. This was mostly in the form of absurd allegations, taunts and mockery. These objections have been answered sometimes by citing them and sometimes without citing them while the discourse itself shows which objection is being answered at a particular place. The answers mostly take the form of instruction and admonition and argument but at some places the disbelievers have been warned also of the evil consequences of their stubbornness. In this connection the stories of the Sabaeans and the Prophets David and Solomon have been related to impress this lesson: “You have both these historical precedents before you. On the one hand there were the Prophets David and Solomon who had been blessed by God with great powers and such grandeur and glory as had been granted to hardly any people before them. In spite of this they were not proud and arrogant but remained grateful servants of their Lord. They were never rebellious. On the other hand there were the people of Saba who when blessed by God became proud and were consequently so thoroughly destroyed and dispersed as to be remembered only in myths and legends. With these precedents in view you may see and judge for yourselves as to which bind of the life is better: that which is built on belief in Monotheism (Tawhid), the Hereafter and the attitude of gratefulness to God or that which is based on disbelief, polytheism (shirk), denial of the Hereafter and the worship of the world.”

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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  • Wind ريح - In Surah al-Ahzab (33) and Surah Saba' (34) there is a mention of the usage of the 'wind' In Surah al-Ahzab,  إِذْ جَاءَتْكُمْ جُنُودٌ فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحًا وَجُنُودًا لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا "....We sent upon them a wind and armies [of angels] you did not see...." (33:9). In Surah Saba' وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ غُدُوُّهَا شَهْرٌ وَرَوَاحُهَا شَهْرٌ "And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind - its morning [journey was that of] a month - and its afternoon [journey was that of] a month..." (34:12)  
  • Purposes of sending the Prophet أَرْسَلْنَاكَAllah says in Surah al-Ahzab (33), يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا ﴿٤٥﴾ وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّـهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا "O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. And one who invites to Allah, by His permission, and an illuminating lamp." (33:45-46) In Surah Saba' (34) Allah says, وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا كَافَّةً لِّلنَّاسِ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ "And We have not sent you except to all mankind as a bringer of good tidings and a warner. But most of the people do not know." (34:28)
     
  • Relationship between the Leadership and the Masses. In Surah al-Ahzab (33), Allah says, "The Day their faces will be turned about in the Fire, they will say, "How we wish we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger. And they will say, "Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way. Our Lord, give them double the punishment and curse them with a great curse." (33:66-68). In Surah Saba' (33), Allah says, " And those who disbelieve say, "We will never believe in this Qur'an nor in that before it." But if you could see when the wrongdoers are made to stand before their Lord, refuting each other's words... Those who were oppressed will say to those who were arrogant, "If not for you, we would have been believers." Those who were arrogant will say to those who were oppressed, "Did we avert you from guidance after it had come to you? Rather, you were criminals." Those who were oppressed will say to those who were arrogant, "Rather, [it was your] conspiracy of night and day when you were ordering us to disbelieve in Allah and attribute to Him equals." But they will [all] confide regret when they see the punishment; and We will put shackles on the necks of those who disbelieved. Will they be recompensed except for what they used to do?" (34:31-33)
     
  • Both Surah Saba' (34) and al-Fatir (35) begin with the words "Alhamdulillah" All praise is for Allah....  
  • No control of even an atom/speck of dust. Allah Almighty says in Surah Saba', قُلِ ادْعُوا الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ ۖ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا لَهُمْ فِيهِمَا مِن شِرْكٍ وَمَا لَهُ مِنْهُم مِّن ظَهِيرٍ "Say, [O Muhammad], "Invoke those you claim [as deities] besides Allah." They do not possess an atom's weight [of ability] in the heavens or on the earth, and they do not have therein any partnership [with Him], nor is there for Him from among them any assistant." (34:22). In the following Surah, al-Fatir, Allah Almighty says, وَالَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ مَا يَمْلِكُونَ مِن قِطْمِيرٍ "....And those whom you invoke other than Him do not possess [as much as] the membrane of a date seed." (35:13)
     
  • Plotting/scheming. Allah Almighty says in Surah Saba' (34), وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا بَلْ مَكْرُ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَا أَن نَّكْفُرَ بِاللَّـهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَندَادًا "Those who were oppressed will say to those who were arrogant, "Rather, [it was your] conspiracy of night and day when you were ordering us to disbelieve in Allah and attribute to Him equals...." (34:33) In Surah al-Fatir, Allah Almighty says in two different Ayaat, وَالَّذِينَ يَمْكُرُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ ۖ وَمَكْرُ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُوَ يَبُورُ " ....but they who plot evil deeds will have a severe punishment, and the plotting of those - it will perish." (35:10) and  اسْتِكْبَارًا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَكْرَ السَّيِّئِ ۚ وَلَا يَحِيقُ الْمَكْرُ السَّيِّئُ إِلَّا بِأَهْلِهِ "[Due to] arrogance in the land and plotting of evil; but the evil plot does not encompass except its own people...." (35:43)
     
  • The Hour. There is a reference to the Hour and the end of Surah al-Ahzab (33) and the beginning of Surah Saba (34).

    يَسْأَلُكَ النَّاسُ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ ۖ قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِندَ اللَّـهِ ۚ وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّ السَّاعَةَ تَكُونُ قَرِيبًا "People ask you concerning the Hour. Say," Knowledge of it is only with Allah. And what may make you perceive? Perhaps the Hour is near." (33:63)

     وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَا تَأْتِينَا السَّاعَةُ ۖ قُلْ بَلَىٰ وَرَبِّي لَتَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ ۖ لَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا أَصْغَرُ مِن ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْبَرُ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
    "But those who disbelieve say, "The Hour will not come to us." Say, "Yes, by my Lord, it will surely come to you. [Allah is] the Knower of the unseen." Not absent from Him is an atom's weight within the heavens or within the earth or [what is] smaller than that or greater, except that it is in a clear register -" (34:3).

The Virtues of the Surah

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Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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123 Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat) *

Unique Root Words to this Surah only


7 unique root words that do not appear in any other Surah *

Top 10 Most Frequent Root Words used in this Surah

Root Word Frequency
in Surah
Frequency
in Qur'an
ق و ل 36 1722
ٱلَّذِى 26 1464
ب ي ن 16 523
ك و ن 16 1390
إِلَّا 15 663
ر ب ب 14 980
أ م ن 11 879
ع م ل 11 360
ك ف ر 10 525
ع ل م 9 854

Period of Revelation

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Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • The Day of Resurrection is sure to come for Allah's Judgement to reward the believers and punish the disbelievers.
  • Those who do not believe in the hereafter are doomed.
  • The mountains and birds used to sing Allah's praises with the Prophet Dawood.
  • Allah subjected the winds and Jinns to the Prophet Sulaiman.
  • Intercession before Allah can not avail anyone except for whom He permits.
  • Muhammad (pbuh) is sent as a Rasool for the whole of mankind.
  • Wealth and children are a test to whom they are given.
  • Whatever you spend in charity, Allah will pay you back in full.
  • The truth has come, falsehood neither originates nor restores anything.
  • On the Day of Judgement disbelievers will wish that they were believers.

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Miscellaneous Issues

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