Overview - Surah 51: ad-Dhariyat (The Scattering Winds)

Surah Introduction

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The Surah gives the good news of the emergence of a new community. It also warns the opponents of the truth that their time is about to end and the judgment of Allah is near. 

Sections:

  1. Falsehood is about to end.  The righteous shall be rewarded.  The character of the righteous people.
  2. Prophet Ibrahim and his angel visitors. The fate of the people of Prophet Lot.  Prophet Moses and the fate of Pharaoh. People of 'Ad and Thamud and the people of Prophet Noah -peace be upon them all.
  3. Hasten to Allah.  Do not associate anyone in the divinity of Allah. Remind, the reminding will help the Believers.  The Judgment of Allah is near.

The Surah takes its name from the first Ayat, وَالذَّارِيَاتِ ذَرْوًا "By those [winds] scattering [dust] dispersing" (51:1)

There are 60 Ayat in this Surah. 

Overview

Total Ayat60
Total Words *360
Root Words *147
Unique Root Words *0
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 67th (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
Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa
Surah Index
‘Aad, Abraham, Astronomy (stars) , Charity, Cosmology (expanding Universe) , Creation of everything (in opposite duality) , Earth, Hell, Hud, Jinn, Judgement, Judgement (Day) , Moses, Noah, Pharaoh, Pharaoh (punishment of) , Prayer, Prayer (times of day of) , Religion (divergence of opinion) , Resurrection (of soul) , Thamud, Weather (wind)

Central Theme

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The Surah mostly deals with the Hereafter, and in the end it presents the invitation to Monotheism (Tawhid). In addition, the people have also been warned that refusal to accept the message of the Prophets and persistence in the concepts and creeds of ignorance have proved to be disastrous for those nations themselves which have adopted this attitude and way of life in the past.

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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  • What has been promised.
    إِنَّمَا تُوعَدُونَ لَصَادِقٌ "Indeed, what you are promised is true." (51:5)
    فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن يَوْمِهِمُ الَّذِي يُوعَدُونَ "And woe to those who have disbelieved from their Day which they are promised." (51:60) This is the last Ayat of the Surah.

Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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  • Surah adh-Dhariyat and Surah at-Tur have Ayat towards the end that speak about the Dhalimeen. 
    فَإِنَّ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا ذَنُوبًا مِّثْلَ ذَنُوبِ أَصْحَابِهِمْ فَلَا يَسْتَعْجِلُونِ "And indeed, for those who have wronged is a portion [of punishment] like the portion of their predecessors, so let them not impatiently urge Me." (51:59)
    وَإِنَّ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا عَذَابًا دُونَ ذَٰلِكَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ  "And indeed, for those who have wronged is a punishment before that, but most of them do not know." (51:47)  
  • Surah adh-Dhariyat and Surah at-Tur instruct the Prophet to turn away from the Disbelievers
    فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ فَمَا أَنتَ بِمَلُومٍ  وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَىٰ تَنفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ "So leave them, [O Muhammad], for you are not to be blamed. And remind, for indeed, the reminder benefits the believers." (51:54-55)
    فَذَرْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يُلَاقُوا يَوْمَهُمُ الَّذِي فِيهِ يُصْعَقُونَ "So leave them until they meet their Day in which they will be struck insensible -" (52:45)

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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  • The usage of the the words وَفِي "and in....." in the beginning of a number of Ayat
    وَفِي أَنفُسِكُمْ ۚ أَفَلَا تُبْصِرُونَ "And in yourselves. Then will you not see?" (51:21)
    وَفِي مُوسَىٰ إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَاهُ إِلَىٰ فِرْعَوْنَ بِسُلْطَانٍ مُّبِينٍ "And in Moses [was a sign], when We sent him to Pharaoh with clear authority." (51:38)
    وَفِي عَادٍ إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّيحَ الْعَقِيمَ "And in 'Aad [was a sign], when We sent against them the barren wind." (51:41)
    وَفِي ثَمُودَ إِذْ قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَمَتَّعُوا حَتَّىٰ حِينٍ "And in Thamud, when it was said to them, "Enjoy yourselves for a time." (51:43)

Period of Revelation

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The subject matter and the style clearly show that it was sent down in the period when persecution had not yet started. Although the Prophet’s invitation was being resisted and opposed with denial and ridicule and false accusations stubbornly. Therefore, this Surah also seems to have been revealed in the same period in which the Surah 50: Qaf (Qaf) was revealed.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • Surely the Day of Judgement shall come to pass, only the perverse persons turn away from this truth.
  • The same angels who gave good news, of having a son, to Ibrahim annihilated the nation of homosexuals.
  • There is a lesson in the stories of Pharoah, 'Ad, Thamud and people of Nuh.

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Miscellaneous Issues

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Scientific References

وَالسَّمَاءَ بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ "And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander." (51:47)

The Expanding Universe

It was only after the development of the radio telescope in 1937, that the expansion of the universe was observed and established. This discovery is regarded as one of the greatest in the history of astronomy.

During these observations, Hubble established that the stars emit a light that turns redder according to their distance. The wavelengths of receding bodies prolonged in the spectrum of light waves would shift to red, while, if the bodies approached each other, the wavelengths would shorten, shifting to blue. The light that came from galaxies that shifted to red showed that the galaxies were receding. In line with this observation, Hubble discovered a striking law: the speed of galaxies that receded was directly proportional to the distance between galaxies. The farther away a galaxy stood, the more its speed of recession accelerated. The result was tested again and again. In short, galaxies were moving further and further away, all the time.

A universe where everything constantly moves away from everything else implied a constantly expanding universe. The debate now is not whether the universe is expanding but rather at what rate. In 2011, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists for the ‘discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae’.