Overview - Surah 98: al-Bayyinah (Clear Evidence)

Surah Introduction

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The Surah tells us that Prophet Muhammad came with a clear message and a Divine Book.  This Book (the Qur’an) contains the basic message of all the Prophets of Allah. It also draws attention to the different ends of those who follow the right path and those who turn away from the truth.

This Surah takes its name after the first Ayat, لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ مُنفَكِّينَ حَتَّىٰ تَأْتِيَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَةُ " Those who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists were not to be parted [from misbelief] until there came to them clear evidence -" [98:1]

There are 8 Ayat in this Surah.

Overview

Total Ayat8
Total Words *94
Root Words *45
Unique Root Words *0
Makki / MadaniMadani
Chronological Order* 100th (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
No Prophets names are mentioned in this Surah
Surah Index
Charity, Commandments (general religious) , Hell, Qur’an (clear ordinances) , Religion, Religion (divergence of opinion) , Revelation

Central Theme

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Having been placed after Surah 96: al-‘Alaq (The Clinging Substance) and Surah 97: al-Qadr (The Decree) in the arrangement of the Qur’an is very meaningful. Surah 96: al-‘Alaq contains the very first revelation, while Surah Surah 97: al-Qadr shows as to when it was revealed, and in this Surah it has been explained why it was necessary to send a Messenger along with this Holy Book.

First of all, the need of sending a Messenger has been explained, saying: The people of the world, be they from among the followers of the earlier scriptures or from among the idolaters, could not possibly be freed from their state of unbelief, until a Messenger was sent whose appearance by itself should be a clear proof of his apostleship, and he should present the Book of God before the people in its original, pristine form, which should be free from every mixture of falsehood corrupting the earlier Divine Books; and which should comprise sound teachings.

Then, about the errors of the followers of the earlier Books it has been said that the cause of their straying into different creeds was not that God had not provided any guidance to them, but they strayed only after a clear statement of the Right Creed had come to them. From this it automatically follows that they themselves were responsible for their error and deviation. Now, if even after the coming of the clear statement through this Messenger, they continued to stray, their responsibility would further increase.

In this very connection, it has been stated that the Prophets who came from God and the Books sent down by Him, did not enjoin anything but that the way of sincere and true service to God be adopted, apart from all other ways, no one else’s worship, service or obedience be mixed with His, the prayer (salat) be established and the financial obligation (Zakah) be paid. From this also it automatically follows that the followers of the earlier scriptures, straying from this true religion, have added unrelated things to it, which are false, and God’s Messenger has come to invite them back to the same original faith.

In conclusion, it has been pointed out clearly that the followers of the earlier Books and the idolaters who would refuse to acknowledge this Messenger are the worst of creatures: their punishment is an everlasting Hell; and the people who would believe and act righteously, and would spend life in the world in awe of God, are the best of creatures: their reward is eternal Paradise wherein they will live forever. God became pleased with them and they became pleased with God.

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 Virtues of the Surah

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  • عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم لأُبَىٍّ‏.‏ ‏"‏ إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَمَرَنِي أَنْ أَقْرَأَ عَلَيْكَ ‏{‏لَمْ يَكُنِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا‏}‏ ‏"‏‏.‏ قَالَ وَسَمَّانِي قَالَ ‏"‏ نَعَمْ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَبَكَى

    Narrated Anas bin Malik: "The Prophet (ﷺ) said to Ubay (bin Ka`b). "Allah has ordered me to recite to you:--'Those who disbelieve among the people of the Scripture and among the idolators are not going to stop (from their disbelief.') (Sura 98) Ubay said, "Did Allah mention me by name?" The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Yes." On that, Ubay wept."  Bukhari 

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) *

Period of Revelation

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Where it was revealed, at Makkah or Madīnah, is also disputed. Ibn Zubair and Ata bin Yasar hold the view that it is Madīnan. Ibn Abbas and Qatadah are reported to have held two views, first that it is Makkan, second that it is Madīnan. A’isha regards it as a Makkan Surah. As for its contents, there is nothing in it to indicate whether it was revealed at Makkah or at Madīnah.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • The People of the Book were also commanded to establish Salah and pay Zakah as it is commanded in The Qur'an.

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Miscellaneous Issues

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