Overview - Surah 13: ar-Ra`d (The Thunder )

Naming Convention of the Surah

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The word ar-Ra'd (thunder), which this Surah is named after, is used in the 13th Surah of the Qur'an, in the 13th Juzz and is the 13th Ayat.

This Surah has 43 Ayaat.


Total Ayat43
Total Words853
Root Words251
Unique Root Words2
Makki / MadaniMadani
Chronological Order* 96th (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 13th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
, 2nd Pledge of Aqabah, 1st Pledge of Aqabah, Death of Abu Talib - Death of Khadijah - Stoning at Ta'if - al-Isra wal Mi'raj - Night Journey, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 3, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 2, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 1, 2nd Migration to Abyssinia, Physical beating and torture of some Muslims - 1st Migration of Muslims to Abyssinia, 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*
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
Adversity (patience during) , God (knows that beyond comprehension) , Angels, Astronomy (celestial mechanics) (solar and lunar orbits), Behaviour (each group given a law and way of life) , Botany, Botany (two sexes to every plant) , Charity, Commandments (general religious) , Disbelievers, Disbelievers (God’s promise to) , Earth, Earth (rotation of) , Hell, Hydrology (scum) , Knowledge (study nature to acquire) , Metallurgy (slag) , Pregnancy, Prophet (those who came before had wives and children) , Qur’an (revealed in Arabic) , Resurrection (of humans) , Revelation, Revelation (every age has had its own) , Weather (lightning) , Weather (lightning) (striking people), Weather (rain) , Weather (thunder) ,

Central Theme

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Theme: Strength and Power of the Truth

The first verse enunciates the main theme of this Surah that is The Message of Muhammad is the very Truth but it is the fault of the people that they are rejecting it. This is the pivot on which the whole Surah turns. This is why it has been shown over and over again in different ways that the basic components of the Message, Monotheism (Tawhid), Resurrection and Prophethood are a reality: therefore they should believe sincerely in these for their own moral and spiritual good. They have been warned that they shall incur their own ruin if they reject them for disbelief (Kufr) by itself is sheer folly and ignorance. Moreover the aim of the Surah is not merely to satisfy the minds but also to appeal to the hearts to accept the Faith. Therefore it does not merely put forward logical arguments in support of the truth of the Message and against the people’s wrong notions. But at appropriate intervals it makes frequent use of sympathetic and earnest appeals to win over their hearts by warning them of the consequences of disbelief  and by holding out the happy rewards of Faith so that the foolish people should give up their stubbornness.

Besides this, the objections of the opponents have been answered without any mention of them and those doubts which are proving a hindrance in the way of the Message or were being created by the opponents have been removed. At the same time the Believers; who had been passing through a long and hard ordeal and were feeling tired and waiting anxiously for God’s assistance, have been comforted and filled with hope and courage.

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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  • Interesting note that the word Ra'd (thunder) is used in the 13th Surah in the 13th Juzz and is the 13th Ayat.

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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Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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  • The word Ra'd (thunder) is used in the 13th Surah in the 13th Juzz and is the 13th Ayat.
  • Tranquility of the Heart resides in the remembrance of Allah. الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ "Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured." (13:28)
Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat)

Unique Root Words to this Surah only

2 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
in Qur'an
أ ل ه 35 2851
ٱلَّذِى 27 1464
ق و ل 16 1722
ر ب ب 13 980
ك ف ر 11 525
أ ر ض 10 461
ك ل ل 10 377
إِلَىٰ 9 742
ع ق ب 9 80
ع ل م 8 854

Period of Revelation

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The internal evidence (v. 27-31 and v. 34-48) shows that this Surah was revealed in the last stage of the Mission of the Prophet at Makkah and during the same period in which Surah 7: al-A’raf (The Elevations), Surah 10: Yunus (Jonah) and Surah 11: Hud (Hud) and were sent down.

On the one hand the Prophet’s opponents had been scheming different devices to defeat him and his Mission and on the other his followers had been expressing a desire that by showing a miracle the disbelievers might be brought to the Right Way. In answer, God impressed on the Believers that it is not His way to revert people by this method and that they should not lose heart if He is giving the enemies of the Truth a rope long enough to hang themselves. Otherwise, He is able to show such signs as may bring the dead out of their graves and make them speak (v. 31). But even then these obdurate people will invent an excuse to explain this away. All this decisive evidence clearly proves that this Surah was revealed during the last stage of the Prophet’s Mission at Makkah.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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  • The Qur’an is the Revelation of God.
  • Trees, fruit, and vegetables are among the signs of Allah.
  • The consequences shown of previous nations who denied the verses/signs of God.
  • The importance of learning the Arabic language as it is the language of the Qur'an (13:37)
  • Virtue of the people of intellect, their traits and the reward of those who use their Aql [intellect].
  • The Sunnah [laws/patterns] of Allah in dealing with His Messengers.
  • Allah never changes the condition of a people unless they are willing to change themselves.
  • Those who do not respond to the call of Allah will have no way to escape from the fire of hell.
  • It is the remembrance of Allah that provides tranquility to hearts (13:28)
  • Messengers have no power to show any miracle except by the permission of Allah.

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Miscellaneous Issues

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