Overview - Surah 94: ash-Sharh (The Expansion )

Surah Introduction

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The Surah tells us that the Believers should not give up under difficulties and stress. There will be ease after difficulties. It takes its name after the first Ayat, أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ "Did We not expand for you, your chest?" [94:1].

There are 8 Ayat in this Surah.

Overview

Total Ayat8
Total Words *27
Root Words *18
Unique Root Words *0
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 12th (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
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Central Theme

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The aim and object of this Surah too is to console and encourage the Messenger. This was by itself a great revolution in his own life of which he had no idea in his life before Prophethood. No sooner had he started preaching the message of Islam than the same society which had esteemed him with unique honour, turned hostile to him. The same relatives and friends, the same clansmen and neighbours, who used to treat him with the highest respect, began to shower him with abuse and criticism. No one in Makkah was prepared to listen to him; he began to be ridiculed and mocked in the street and on the road; and at every step he had to face new difficulties. Although gradually he became accustomed to the hardships, even much severer ones, yet the initial stage was very discouraging for him. That is why first Surah 93: adh-Dhuha was sent down to console him, and then this Surah.

In it, at the outset, God says: “We have favoured you, O Prophet, with three great blessings; therefore you have no cause to be disheartened. The first is the blessing of ‘opening up of the breast’ (Sharh Sadr), the second of removing from you the heavy burden that was weighing down your back before the call, and the third of exalting your renown the like of which has never been granted to any man before."

After this, the Lord and Sustainer of the universe has reassured His Servant and Messenger that the period of hardships which he is passing through, is not very long, but following close behind it there is also a period of ease. This same thing has been described in Surah 93: adh-Dhuha, saying: “Every later period is better for you than the former period, and soon your Lord will give you so much that you will be well pleased.”

In conclusion, the Prophet has been instructed, so as to say, “You can develop the power to bear and resist the hardships of the initial stage only by one means, and it is this: ‘When you are free from your occupations, you should devote yourself worship, and turn all your attention exclusively to your Lord’.” This same instruction has been given to him in much greater detail in Surah 73: al-Muzzammil (The Enwrapped One) 1-9.

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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  • Longing for Allah [وَإِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَارْغَب]  is amongst the best ways for the chest to expand [أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ]

Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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

Period of Revelation

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Its subject matter so closely resembles that of Surah 93: adh-Dhuha (The Morning Brightness) that both these Surah seem to have been revealed in about the same period under similar conditions. According to Abdullah bin Abbas, it was sent down in Makkah just after Surah 93: adh-Dhuha.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • Allah expanded the breast of the Prophet, relieved his burden and exalted his fame.

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Miscellaneous Issues

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