Overview - Surah 45: al-Jathiyah (Kneeling )

Naming Convention of the Surah

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The Surah takes its name with the mention of kneeling in the Ayat, وَتَرَىٰ كُلَّ أُمَّةٍ جَاثِيَةً ۚكُلُّ أُمَّةٍ تُدْعَىٰ إِلَىٰ كِتَابِهَا الْيَوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ "And you will see every nation kneeling [from fear]. Every nation will be called to its record [and told], "Today you will be recompensed for what you used to do." (45:28).

The following Surahs all have the letters, Ha-Meem as their opening Ayaat and interestingly what is common to all of them is their mentioning of the Prophet Musa. These Surahs are;

Surah 40: al-Ghafir
Surah 41: Fussilat
Surah 42: Shurah
Surah 43: Zukhruf
Surah 44: Dukhan
Surah 45: Jathiyah
Surah 46: al-Ahqaaf

There are 37 Ayat in this Surah. 

Overview

Total Ayat37
Total Words488
Root Words140
Unique Root Words0
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 65th (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 9th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
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*
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
God (wills no wrong to His creation) , Astronomy (motion of objects in the Universe) , Beasts, Behaviour (forgive non-believers) , Children (of Israel) , Earth (rotation of) , Hell, Judgement, Judgement (Day) , Life (good things made lawful) , Record of personal deeds, Religion, Religion (divergence of opinion) , Resurrection (Day) , Resurrection (of soul) , Revelation, Sea, Ships, Weather (rain) , Weather (wind) ,

Central Theme

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Theme 1: Warning against Pride and Arrogance. 

Theme 2: It answers the doubts and objections of the disbelievers of Makkah about Monotheism (Tawhid) and the Hereafter and warns them for their attitude that they had adopted against the message of the Qur’an.

The discourse begins with the arguments for Monotheism. In this connection, reference has been made to the countless Signs that are found in the world, from man’s own body to the earth and the heavens, and it is pointed out that everywhere around him man finds things which testify to Monotheism which he refuses to acknowledge. If man sees carefully the variety of animals, the day and night, the rainfall and the vegetation thereby, the winds and his own creation, and ponders over them intelligently, without prejudice, he will find these Signs sufficiently convincing of the truth that this universe is not Godless, nor under the control of many gods, but it has been created by One God, and He alone is its Controller and Ruler. However, the case of the person who is determined not to acknowledge and wants to remain involved in doubts and suspicions is different. He cannot be blessed with the faith and conviction from anywhere in the world.

A little below, in the beginning of the second section, it has been reiterated that the things man is exploiting in the world, and the countless forces and agencies that are serving his interests in the universe, did not come into being just accidentally, nor have they been provided by the gods and goddesses, but it is One God alone, Who has supplied and subjected these to him from Himself. If only a person uses his mind properly and rightly, his own intellect will proclaim that God alone is man’s real Benefactor and He alone deserves that man should pay obeisance to Him.

After this, the disbelievers of Makkah have been taken to task and reproved for their stubbornness, arrogance, mockery and insistence on disbelief with which they were resisting the invitation of the Qur’an; they have been warned that this Qur’an has brought the same blessing which had been granted to the children of Israel before, by virtue of which they became distinguished above all the people of the world. Then, when they failed to recognise the true worth of this blessing and disputed their religion and lost it, this blessing now has been sent to them. This is such a code of guidance which shows the clear highway of Religion to man. The people who would turn it down by their own folly, would only prepare for their own doom, and only such people would become worthy of God’s assistance and mercy who would adopt obedience to it and lead a life of piety and righteousness.

In this connection, the followers of the Prophet have been instructed that they should forbear and pardon the absurd and foolish behaviour towards them of the people fearless of God, for if they showed patience, God Himself would deal with their opponents and would reward them for their fortitude.

Then, there is a criticism of the erroneous ideas that the disbelievers hold about the Hereafter. They said that life was only this worldly life and there was no life hereafter. Man dies in the course of time just as a watch stops functioning suddenly. The body is not survived by any soul, which might be seized and then breathed again into the human body some time in the future. In this regard, they challenged the Prophet, saying: “If you lay a claim to this, then raise our dead forefathers back to life.” In answer to this, God has given the following arguments:

1.         “You do not say this on the basis of any knowledge but are uttering this grave thing on the basis of conjecture. Do you really have the knowledge that there is no other life after death, and the souls are not seized but are annihilated?”

2.         “Your claim rests mainly on this: that you have not seen any dead person rising back to life and returning to the world. Is this basis strong enough for a person to make a claim that the dead people will never rise to life? When you do not experience and observe a thing, does it mean that you have the knowledge that it does not exist at all?

3.         It is utterly against reason and justice that the good and the bad, the obedient and the disobedient, the oppressor and the oppressed, should be made equal. Neither a good act should bear a good result nor an evil act an evil result; neither the grievances of the oppressed be redressed nor the oppressor be punished, but everyone should meet with the same fate ultimately. Whoever has formed this view about the universe of God, has formed a wrong view. The unjust and wicked people adopt this view because they do not want to face the evil results of their deeds, but this world of God is not a lawless kingdom; it is rather a system based on the Truth, in which there can be no question of the injustice of regarding the good and the bad as equal.

4.         That the creed of the denial of the Hereafter is highly destructive of morals. This is adopted only by such people as are the slaves of their lusts, and for the reason that they should have full freedom to serve their lusts. Then, when they have adopted this creed, it goes on making them more and more perverse till at last their moral sense becomes dead and all avenues of guidance are closed against them.

After giving these arguments God says most emphatically: “Just as you did not become living of your own accord, but became living by Our power, so you do not die of your own accord, but die when We send death on you. A time is certainly coming when you will all be gathered together. If you do not believe in this because of your ignorance and folly today, you may not; when the time arrives, you will see for yourself that you are present before your God and your whole book of conduct is ready accurately, which bears evidence against each of your misdeeds. Then you will come to know how dearly has your denial of the Hereafter and your mockery of it cost you.”

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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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The Surah begins with mentioning pride/arrogance/seeking greatness as the reason for turning away from the Ayat [signs] of Allah,

 يَسْمَعُ آيَاتِ اللَّـهِ تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ يُصِرُّ مُسْتَكْبِرًا كَأَن لَّمْ يَسْمَعْهَا ۖ فَبَشِّرْهُ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ "Who hears the verses of Allah recited to him, then persists arrogantly as if he had not heard them. So give him tidings of a painful punishment."(45:8)

The Surah ends by stating that true greatness belongs to Allah alone.

وَلَهُ الْكِبْرِيَاءُ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ "And to Him belongs [all] grandeur within the heavens and the earth, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise." (45:37)

Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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  • The previous Surah [ad-Dukhan] and this Surah and the following Surah [al-Ahqaf] both begin حم [the disjointed letters] Ha Mim as their first Ayat.

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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The period of the revelation of this Surah also has not been mentioned in any authentic hadith, but its subject matter clearly shows that it was revealed consecutively after Surah 44: ad-Dukhan (Smoke). The close resemblance between the contents of the two Surahs makes them appear as twins.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • If the disbelievers do not believe in Allah and His revelations then in what report will they believe!
  • Allah has subjected the seas and all that is between the heavens and the earth for human beings.
  • Israelites made sects in their religion after the knowledge has come to them through the Torah.
  • Allah is the protector of righteous people.
  • He that makes his own desires as his god, Allah will let him go astray and set a seal upon his ears and heart.
  • Allah's address to the disbelievers on the Day of Judgement.

Tafsir Zone

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Miscellaneous Issues

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