Overview - Surah 92: al-Layl (The Night )

Surah Introduction

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It has basically the same theme as the previous Surah, but it tells us about the two ways of life: good way and evil way and the consequences of both ways. The Surah takes its name from the first Ayat, وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَىٰ "By the night when it covers" [92:1].

There are 21 Ayat in this Surah.

Overview

Total Ayat21
Total Words *71
Root Words *46
Unique Root Words *1
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 9th (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 4th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
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*
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
Charity, Charity (niggardliness) , Charity (not payment for favours received) , Hell, Humankind (created in pairs) , Life (path toward contentment made easy) , Materialism

Central Theme

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Its theme is to distinguish between the two different ways of life and to explain the contrast between their ultimate ends and results. In view of the subject matter this Surah consists of two parts, the first part consisting of v. 1-11 and the second of v. 12-21.

In the first part, at the outset it has been pointed out that the strivings and doings that the individuals, nations and groups of mankind are engaged in in the world, are, in respect of their moral nature, as divergent as the day is from the night, and the male from the female. After this, according to the general style of the brief Surahs of the Qur’an, three moral characteristics of one kind and three moral characteristics of the other kind have been presented as an illustration from among a vast collection of the strivings and activities of man, from which every man can judge which style of life is represented by one kind of the characteristics and which style of life by the other kind. Both these styles have been described in such brief, elegant, and pithy sentences that they move the heart and go down into memory as soon as one hears them. Characteristics of the first kind are that one should spend one’s wealth, adopt God-consciousness and piety, and acknowledge the good as good. The second kind of the characteristics are that one should be miserly, should least care for God’s pleasure and His displeasure, and should repudiate what is good and right. Then it has been stated that these two modes of action which are clearly divergent, cannot be equal and alike in respect of their results. But, just as they are divergent in their nature, so they are divergent in their results. The person (or group of persons) who adopts the first mode of action, God will make easy for him the correct way of life, so much so that doing good will become easy for him and doing evil difficult. On the contrary, he who adopts the second mode of life, God will make easy for him the difficult and hard way of life, so much so that doing evil will become easy for him and doing good difficult. This passage has been concluded with a most effective and touching sentence, saying: “This worldly wealth for the sake of which man is even prepared to risk his life: will not go down with him into the grave; therefore, what will it avail him after death?”

In the second part also three truths have been stated equally briefly. First, that God has not left man uninformed in the examination hall of the world, but He has taken on Himself the responsibility to tell him which one is the straight and right way out of the different ways of life. Here, there was no need to point out that by sending His Messenger and His Book. He has fulfilled His responsibility, for both the Messenger and the Book were present for guidance. Second, that the Master of both the world and the Hereafter is God alone. If you seek the world, it is He Who will give it, and if you seek the Hereafter, again it is He Who will give it. Now, it is for you to decide what you should seek from Him. The third truth that has been stated is that the wretched one who rejects the good, which is being presented through the Messenger and the Book, and turns away from it, will have a blazing fire ready for him. As for the God fearing person who spends his wealth in a good cause, without any selfish motive, only for the sake of winning his Lord’s good pleasure, his Lord will be pleased with him and will bless him with so much that he will be well pleased with Him.

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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  • Surah al-Layl [92] ends with the words وَلَسَوْفَ يَرْضَىٰ "And he is going to be satisfied." [92:21] and Surah ad-Duha [93] has the Ayat, وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَىٰ  "And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied." [93:5] 
  • Surah al-Layl [Night 92] and ad-Duha [Forenoon 93] are both periods in the 24 hour day.

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


1 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
إِذَا 3 409
ي س ر 3 44
أَمَّا 2 55
و ق ي 2 258
ح س ن 2 194
غ ن ي 2 73
ك ذ ب 2 282
م و ل 2 86
إِلَّا 2 663
ٱلَّذِى 2 1464

Period of Revelation

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Its subject matter so closely resembles that of Surah 91: ash-Shams (The Sun) that each Surah seems to be an explanation of the other. It is one and the same thing, which has been explained in Surah 91: ash-Shams in one way and in this Surah in another. This indicates that both these Surahs were sent down in about the same period.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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  •  أَنَّهُ قَالَ صَلَّى مُعَاذُ بْنُ جَبَلٍ الأَنْصَارِيُّ لأَصْحَابِهِ الْعِشَاءَ فَطَوَّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ فَانْصَرَفَ رَجُلٌ مِنَّا فَصَلَّى فَأُخْبِرَ مُعَاذٌ عَنْهُ فَقَالَ إِنَّهُ مُنَافِقٌ ‏.‏ فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ ذَلِكَ الرَّجُلَ دَخَلَ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَأَخْبَرَهُ مَا قَالَ مُعَاذٌ فَقَالَ لَهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ "‏ أَتُرِيدُ أَنْ تَكُونَ فَتَّانًا يَا مُعَاذُ إِذَا أَمَمْتَ النَّاسَ فَاقْرَأْ بِالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا ‏.‏ وَسَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الأَعْلَى ‏.‏ وَاقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ ‏.‏ وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَى

    'Mu'adh b. Jabal al-Ansari led his companions in the night prayer and prolonged it for them. A person amongst us said prayer (after having separated himself from the congregation). Mu'adh was informed of this, and he remarked that he was a hypocrite. When it (the remark) was conveyed to the man, he went to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and informed him of what Mu'adh had said. Upon this the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to him: Mu'adh, do you want to become a person putting (people) to trial? When you lead people in prayer, recite:" By the Sun and its morning brightness" (Surat ash-Shams)," Glorify the name of thy most high Lord" (Surat al-A`la) and" Read in the name of Lord" (Surat al-`Alaq), and" By the night when it spreads" (Surat al-Lail). ٍSahih Muslim

Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • For good people, Allah will facilitate the easy way and for the wicked, the hard way.
  • What benefit will one get from his wealth if he himself is doomed?

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Miscellaneous Issues

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