Overview - Surah 44: ad-Dukhan (Smoke)

Surah Introduction

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The Surah warns about the punishment of Allah. When the punishment will come then no one can avert it.  The division between the righteous and wicked in the Hereafter will be the final decision of Allah.


  1. The Qur'an is the book of warning.
  2. The Day of Judgment is a certainty.
  3. Allah will punish the wrongdoers and He shall reward the righteous.

This Surah takes its name from the Ayat, فَارْتَقِبْ يَوْمَ تَأْتِي السَّمَاءُ بِدُخَانٍ مُّبِينٍ "Then watch for the Day when the sky will bring a visible smoke." (44:10)

The following Surahs all have the letters, Ha-Meem as their opening Ayaat and interestingly what is common to all of them is their mentioning of the Prophet Musa. These Surahs are;

Surah 40: al-Ghafir
Surah 41: Fussilat
Surah 42: Shurah
Surah 43: Zukhruf
Surah 44: Dukhan
Surah 45: Jathiyah
Surah 46: al-Ahqaaf

There are 59 Ayat in this Surah.


Total Ayat59
Total Words *346
Root Words *129
Unique Root Words *0
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 64th (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 9th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 3, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 2, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 1, 2nd Migration to Abyssinia, Physical beating and torture of some Muslims - 1st Migration of Muslims to Abyssinia, Public Invitation to Islam - Persecution of Muslims; antagonism - ridicule - derision - accusation - abuse and false propaganda., Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam
Events during/after still to occur*
Death of Abu Talib - Death of Khadijah - Stoning at Ta'if - al-Isra wal Mi'raj - Night Journey,1st Pledge of Aqabah,2nd Pledge of Aqabah,,Migration from Makkah to Madinah - Building of Masjid Nabi in Madinah - Treaty with Jews of Madinah - Marriage of Prophet to Aishah,Change of Qiblah from Jerusalem to Makkah - Battle of Badr,Battle of Uhud,,Battle of Ahzab - Expedition of Banu Quraydhah,Treaty of Hudaiybiyah - Letters to Kings and Rulers,,Conquest of Makkah - Battle of Hunain,Hajj led by Abu Bakr - Expedition of Tabuk,Farewell Hajj by Prophet - Death of Prophet - End of Divine Revelation
Names of Prophets Mentioned
No Prophets names are mentioned in this Surah
Surah Index
God (grants life and death) , Astronomy (motion of objects in the Universe) , Children (of Israel) , Death, Hell, Hur al-Ayn, Judgement (Day) , Judgement (Day) (will bring forth a pall of smoke), Moses, Pharaoh, Pharaoh (punishment of) , Qur’an (bestowed on a blessed night) , Qur’an (easy to understand) , Revelation, Silk, Tubba

Central Theme

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The introduction to the address revealed on this occasion for the admonition and warning of the people of Makkah contained some important points, which are as follows:

1.         “You, O People of Makkah, are wrong in thinking that the Qur’an is being composed by Muhammad . This Book by itself bears the clear testimony that it is not the composition of a man but of God, Lord of the worlds.”

2.         “You are making a wrong estimate of the worth of this Book. You think it is a calamity that has descended on you, whereas the Hour when God, out of sheer mercy, decided to send His Messenger and His Book to you was highly blessed.”

3.         “You are foolishly involved in the misunderstanding that you will fight this Messenger and this Book and will win, whereas the fact is that the Messenger has been raised and the Book sent down in that particular Hour when God decides the destinies, and God’s decisions are not so weak that they may be changed to a person’s liking, nor are they based on ignorance and folly that there may be the likelihood of a mistake or error or weakness in them. They are rather the firm and unalterable decisions of the Ruler of the Universe, Who is All Hearing, All Knowing and All Wise. Therefore, they cannot be treated lightly.

4.         “You yourselves acknowledge that God alone is the Master and Lord of the earth and heavens and of everything in the Universe and also admit that life and death are only in His power, yet you insist on making others your deities, for which the only argument you offer is that, that had been the practice since the time of your forefathers, whereas if a person has the conviction that God alone is the Master, Sustainer and Giver of life and death, he can never entertain the doubt that there can be other gods also beside Him, who can be worthy of worship. If your forefathers had committed this folly, there is no reason why you also should continue committing it blindly. As a matter of fact, their Lord too was only One God, Who is your Lord, and they also should have worshipped only Him, Whom you should worship.”

5.         “The only demand of God’s Providence and Mercifulness is not this that He should feed you, but also this that He should arrange guidance for you. For this very guidance He has sent His Messenger and His Book.”


After this introduction, the question of the famine that was raging in Makkah has been discussed. As already mentioned, this famine had occurred on the Prophet’s prayer, and he had prayed for it, so that when the calamity befell it would break the stubbornness of the disbelievers and then they would listen to the rebuke. It looked as if this expectation was being fulfilled to some extent, for some of the most stubborn enemies of the Truth, on account of the severity of the famine, had cried out: “O Lord, avert this torment from us and we will believe.” At this, on the one hand, the Prophet has been foretold: “These people will not learn any lesson from such calamities. When they have turned away from the Messenger, whose life, character, works and speech clearly show that he is God’s true Messenger, how will a mere famine help remove their disbelief?” On the other, the unbelievers have been addressed, so as to say: “You lie when you say that you will believe as soon as the torment is removed from you. We shall just remove it to see how sincere you are in your promise. There is a graver disaster about to fall upon you. You need a much more crushing blow: minor misfortunes cannot set you right.”

In this very connection, a reference has been made a little below to Pharaoh and his people, implying that those people also had met with precisely the same trial as the chiefs of the disbelieving Quraysh are now afflicted. To them also a similar noble and honourable Messenger had come; they also had seen those express pointers and signs which clearly showed that he had been appointed by God; they also had gone on witnessing one sign after the other but they did not give up their stubbornness, till at last they made up their mind to put an end to the Messenger’s life, and they met their doom, which has since become a lesson for the people forever.

After this the theme of the Hereafter has been taken up, which the disbelievers of Makkah vehemently denied. They said: “We have never seen anyone rising back to life after death. Raise our forefathers back to life, if you are true in your claim about the life hereafter.” In response to this, two arguments for the Hereafter have been presented briefly:

1.         That the denial of this creed has always proved destructive for the morals

2.         That the universe is not a plaything of a thoughtless deity, but it is a wise system and no work of wisdom is ever vain or useless.

Then the disbelievers’ demand to bring their forefathers back to life has been answered, thus: “This cannot be done every day to meet the demand of the individuals, but God has appointed a time when He will resurrect all mankind simultaneously and will subject them to accountability in His Court. If one has to protect oneself there, one should think about it here. For no one will be able to save himself there by his own power, nor by the power of anyone else.”

In connection with this Court of God, mention has been made of the fate of those who will be declared as culprits and of the rewards of those who will be declared as successful. The discourse has been concluded with this warning: “This Qur’an has been revealed in a simple language, in your own tongue, so that you may understand it; yet if you do not understand it and insist on seeing your evil end, you wait; Our Prophet too is waiting. Whatever is to happen, will happen at its own appointed time.”

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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  • The previous Surah [ash-Shurah] and this Surah both begin حم [the disjointed letters] Ha Mim as their first Ayat. 
  • The previous Surah and this Surah both begin with the mention about Revelation. In this previous Surah, we have a mention that Book has orginated from the Mother of the Book "And indeed it is, in the Mother of the Book with Us, exalted and full of wisdom."  (43:4). In this Surah we have mention of when thei Revelation came down  إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ "Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]." (44:3)

The Virtues of the Surah

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  • There is mention that the Qur'an was revealed on Layl tul Qadr [Night of Power] (44:3)
  • The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) recited 'Ha- Mim Ad-Dukhan' in Maghrib. [an-Nisa'ee]

Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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

Period of Revelation

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Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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  • أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ الْمُقْرِئُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي قَالَ، حَدَّثَنَا حَيْوَةُ، وَذَكَرَ، آخَرَ قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا جَعْفَرُ بْنُ رَبِيعَةَ، أَنَّ عَبْدَ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنَ هُرْمُزَ، حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ مُعَاوِيَةَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ عُتْبَةَ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ حَدَّثَهُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَرَأَ فِي صَلاَةِ الْمَغْرِبِ بِـ ‏{‏ حم ‏}‏ الدُّخَانِ

    Mu'awiyah bin Abdullah bin Ja'far narrated that Abdullah bin 'Utbah bin Mas'ud told him that: "The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) recited 'Ha- Mim Ad-Dukhan' in Maghrib." an-Nisa'ee no. 988 [Sahih]

  • حَدَّثَنَا نَصْرُ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الْكُوفِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا زَيْدُ بْنُ حُبَابٍ، عَنْ هِشَامٍ أَبِي الْمِقْدَامِ، عَنِ الْحَسَنِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ مَنْ قَرَأَ حم الدُّخَانَ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْجُمُعَةِ غُفِرَ لَهُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ

    Narrated Abu Hurairah: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "Whoever recites Ha Mum Ad-Dukhan during Friday night, he shall be forgiven." Tirmidhee no. 2889 [Da'eef - weak isnad]


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Miscellaneous Issues

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