Overview - Surah 73: al-Muzammil (The Enwrapped One)

Surah Introduction

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The Surah emphasizes prayers and the reading of the Qur'an in prayers.  It tells the Prophet and all those who stand to preach the message of Allah to take their strength from the word of Allah.  Read the Qur'an and spend your wealth in the path of Allah.

This Surah takes its name from the first Ayat, يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ " O you who wraps himself [in clothing]," [73:1].

There are 20 Ayat in this Surah.


Total Ayat20
Total Words *199
Root Words *95
Unique Root Words *0
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 3rd (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 1st-3rd year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam
Events during/after still to occur*
Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam ,Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam ,Public Invitation to Islam - Persecution of Muslims; antagonism - ridicule - derision - accusation - abuse and false propaganda.,Physical beating and torture of some Muslims - 1st Migration of Muslims to Abyssinia,2nd Migration to Abyssinia,Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 1,Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 2,Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 3,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
Apostasy (do not ask for speedy doom for apostates) (God alone will punish them), Charity, Commandments (general religious) , Earth (condition of at the time of resurrection) , Hell, Judgement (Day) (childrens’ hair turns grey), Judgement (Day) (will be convulsed and become like a moving sand-dune), Judgement (Day) (rent asunder), Pharaoh, Prayer (times of day of) , Prophet (keeps awake 2/3 1/2 or 1/3 of the night praying) , Qur’an, Qur’an (recite as much as you may do with ease) , Resurrection (of soul)

Central Theme

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Theme 1: Striving in Ibadah

In the first seven verses the Prophet has been commanded to the effect: “Prepare yourself to shoulder the responsibilities of the great Mission that has been entrusted to you; its practical form is that you should rise during the hours of night and stand up in Prayer for half the night, or for a little more or less of it.”

In v. 8-14, he has been exhorted to the effect: “Devote yourself exclusively to that God Who is the Owner of the whole universe, entrust all your affairs to Him with full satisfaction of the heart. Bear with patience whatever your opponents may utter against you. Do not be intimate with them. Leave their affair to God: He Himself will deal with them.”

Then, in v. 15-19, those of the people of Makkah, who were opposing the Prophet have been warned, so as to say: “We have sent a Messenger to you just as We sent a Messenger to the Pharaoh. Just consider what fate the Pharaoh met when he did not accept the invitation of the Messenger of God. Supposing that you are not punished by a torment in this world, how will you save yourselves from the punishment for disbelief on the Day of Resurrection.”

This is the subject matter of the first section. The second section, according to a hadith from Sa’id bin Jubair, was sent down ten years later and in it the initial Command given in connection with the Tahajjud Prayer, in the beginning of the first section, was curtailed. The new Command enjoined, “Offer as much of the Tahajjud Prayer as you easily can, but what the Muslims should particularly mind and attend to is the five times obligatory Prayer a day, they should establish it regularly and punctually; they should discharge their Zakah dues accurately; and they should spend their wealth with sincere intentions for the sake of God. In conclusion, the Muslims have been exhorted, saying: “Whatever good works you do in the world, will not go waste, but they are like the provision which a traveler sends up in advance to his permanent place of residence. Whatever good you send up from the world, you will find it with God, and the provision thus sent up is much better than what you will have to leave behind in the world, and with God you will also get a much better and richer reward than what you have actually sent up before.”

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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  • In Surah Jinn [72], the listening of the Jinns to the Qur'an was mentioned that how they were influenced when they listened to the Qur'an. In Surah al-Muzzammil [73], the Muslims have been advised to listen and recite it. 
  • Surah al-Muzzammil [73] and al-Mudathir [74] both begin with addressing the Prophet.
  • Surah al-Muzzammil [73] and al-Mudathir [74]  both have similar Ayat speaking of the Qur'an being a reminder
    إِنَّ هَـٰذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ ۖفَمَن شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا "Indeed, this is a reminder, so whoever wills may take to his Lord a way." [73:19]

    كَلَّا إِنَّهُ تَذْكِرَةٌ فَمَن شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ  "No! Indeed, the Qur'an is a reminder. Then whoever wills will remember it." [74:54-55]

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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(73:20) is the longest Ayat of this Surah with 78 words,

 إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَىٰ مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ۚ عَلِمَ أَن لَّن تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ ۚ عَلِمَ أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُم مَّرْضَىٰ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يَضْرِبُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَبْتَغُونَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّـهِ ۙ وَآخَرُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ ۚ وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَقْرِضُوا اللَّـهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا ۚ وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّـهِ هُوَ خَيْرًا وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْرًا ۚ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّـهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ "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. " (73:20)

Period of Revelation

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The two sections of this Surah were revealed in two separate periods. The first section (v. 1-19) is unanimously a Makkan Revelation and this is supported both by its subject matter and by the hadith. As for the question, in which specific period of the life at Makkah it was revealed, it is not answered by the tradition, but the internal evidence of the subject matter of this section helps to determine the period of its revelation.

Firstly, in it the Prophet has been instructed to the effect: “Arise during the night and worship God so that you may develop the capability to shoulder the heavy burden of Prophethood and to discharge its responsibilities.” This shows that this Command must have been given in the earliest period of the Prophethood when training was being imparted to the Prophet by God for this office.

Secondly, a Command has been given in it that the Qur’an be recited in the Prayer for half the night, or thereabouts (Tahajjud Prayer). This Command by itself points out that by that time at least so much of the Qur’an had been revealed as could be recited for that long.

Thirdly, in this section the Prophet has been exhorted to have patience at the excesses being committed by his opponents and the disbelievers of Makkah have been threatened with the torment. This shows that this section was revealed at a time when the Prophet had openly started preaching Islam and the opposition to him at Makkah had grown active and strong.

About the second section (v. 20) although many of the commentators have expressed the opinion that this too was sent down at Makkah, yet some other commentators regard it as a Madīnan Revelation and this same opinion is confirmed by the subject matter of this section. For it mentions fighting in the way of God, and obviously, there could be no question of it at Makkah; it also contains the Command to pay the financial obligation (Zakah) and it is fully confirmed that the Zakah at a specific rate and with an exemption limit (nisab) was enjoined at Madīnah.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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  • Abdullah ibn Abbas said, "[Recitation of the Qur'an in Tahajjud] is more suitable for pondering over the Qur'an and understanding it."
  • Allah ordered the Prophet not to stand in prayer the whole night.
  • Remembering Allah much.
  • Those who oppose the Prophet will be treated with heavy fetters and blazing fire.
  • The Qur'an is a reminder for those who want to find the Right Way.
  • Read from the Qur'an as much as you easily can.
  • Whatever you spend in the way of Allah, you will find it in the Hereafter.

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Miscellaneous Issues

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