Overview - Surah 55: ar-Rahman (The Most Merciful )

Surah Introduction

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The Surah clearly indicates that Prophet Muhammad is Allah’s Prophet and Messenger for both human beings as well as Jinns.  Allah's many blessings and favors are mentioned in this Surah.  Human beings and Jinn are invited to remember these favors and not to deny Allah's blessings.

Sections:

  1. The various bounties of Allah.
  2. Everything is finite, but Allah is infinite. Everyone depends on Allah.  The warnings to the guilty.
  3. The rewards for the righteous.

This Surah takes its name after the name of Allah mentioined in the first Ayat, الرَّحْمَـٰنُ "The Most Merciful" (55:1). This is the only Surah of the Qur'an that begins with a name of Allah, in this case, ar-Rahman.

There are 78 Ayat in this Surah.

Overview

Total Ayat78
Total Words *351
Root Words *110
Unique Root Words *9
Makki / MadaniMadani
Chronological Order* 97th (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
Astronomy (celestial mechanics) (solar and lunar orbits), Astronomy (sunrise) , Astronomy (sunset) , Date palms, Earth, Grain, Heaven (several) , Heaven (virgin mates of modest gaze) , Hell, Humankind, Humankind (creation of) (from clay), Hur al-Ayn, Jinn, Jinn (created of fire) , Judgement (Day) (flash of fire followed by smoke), Judgement (Day) (red like burning oil), Judgement (Day) (rent asunder), Pearls, Pomegranates, Qur’an, Ruby, Sea, Ships, Trees, Water (two great bodies of)

Central Theme

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This is the only Surah of the Qur’an in which besides men, the Jinn - who are the other creation of the earth endowed with freedom of will and action - have been directly addressed. Both men and Jinn have been made to realise the wonders of God’s power, His countless blessings, their own helplessness and accountability before Him, and have been warned of the evil consequences of His disobedience and made aware of the best results of His obedience. At several other places in the Qur’an there are clear pointers to show that like the men, the Jinn too are a creation who have been endowed with freedom of will and action and are accountable, who have been granted the freedom of belief and unbelief, of obedience and disobedience, and among them too there are the believers and the unbelievers, the obedient and the rebellious, as among human beings. And among them too there exist such groups as have believed in the Prophets sent by God and in the Divine Books. This Surah clearly points out that the message of the Prophet and the Qur’an is meant both for men and for Jinn and that his Prophethood is not restricted to human beings alone.

Although in the beginning of the Surah the address is directed only to human beings, for to them only belongs the vicegerent of the earth, among them only have the Messengers of God been raised, and in their tongues only have the Divine Books been revealed, yet from verse 13 onwards both the men and the Jinn have been addressed and one and the same invitation has been extended to both.

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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  • The Ayat revolve around the manifestation of the Rahmah [mercy] of Allah.

Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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  • The Surah begins with the name of Allah and ends guiding the reader to glorify His name:

    الرَّحْمَـٰنُ "The Most Merciful." (55:1)

    تَبَارَكَ اسْمُ رَبِّكَ ذِي الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ "Blessed is the name of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor." (55:78)

Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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  • There are 55 Ayat in Surah al-Qamar. Surah ar-Rahman is Surah no. 55.
  • Surah al-Qamar ends with mentioning that the Believers will be with the King. Surah ar-Rahman begins with who this King is - He is ar-Rahman [the Most Merciful]

    فِي مَقْعَدِ صِدْقٍ عِندَ مَلِيكٍ مُّقْتَدِرٍ "In a seat of truth (i.e. Paradise), near the Omnipotent King (Allah, the All-Blessed, the Most High, the Owner of Majesty and Honour) (54:55)

    الرَّحْمَـٰنُ "The Most Merciful." (55:1)
  • Both Surah al-Qamar and ar-Rahman end with the mention of Paradise. 
  • Both Surah ar-Rahman and al-Waqiah end with similar Ayat
    تَبَارَكَ اسْمُ رَبِّكَ ذِي الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ "Blessed is the name of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor." (55:78)

    فَسَبِّحْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الْعَظِيمِ "So exalt the name of your Lord, the Most Great." (56:96)

The Virtues of the Surah

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  • حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ وَاقِدٍ أَبُو مُسْلِمٍ السَّعْدِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ مُسْلِمٍ، عَنْ زُهَيْرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْمُنْكَدِرِ، عَنْ جَابِرٍ، رضى الله عنه قَالَ خَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى أَصْحَابِهِ فَقَرَأَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُورَةَ الرَّحْمَنِ مِنْ أَوَّلِهَا إِلَى آخِرِهَا فَسَكَتُوا فَقَالَ ‏ "‏ لَقَدْ قَرَأْتُهَا عَلَى الْجِنِّ لَيْلَةَ الْجِنِّ فَكَانُوا أَحْسَنَ مَرْدُودًا مِنْكُمْ كُنْتُ كُلَّمَا أَتَيْتُ عَلَى قَوْلِهِِ ‏:‏ ‏(‏ فبأَىِّ آلاَءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ ‏)‏ قَالُوا لاَ بِشَيْءٍ مِنْ نِعَمِكَ رَبَّنَا نُكَذِّبُ فَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ حَدِيثِ الْوَلِيدِ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ عَنْ زُهَيْرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّ

    Muhammad bin Al Munkadir narrated that, "Jabir [may Allah be pleased with him] said: “The Messenger of Allah came out to his Companions, and recited Surat Ar-Rahman from its beginning to its end for them, and they were silent. So he said: ‘I recited it to the Jinns on the ‘Night of the Jinns,’ and they had a better response to it than you did. Each time I came to Allah’s saying: ‘Which of your Lords favor do you deny.’ They said: “We do not deny any of Your favors our Lord! And Yours is praise.” Tirmidhee no. 3291

Special Features of the Surah

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  • This Surah address both Mankind and Jinn together -  فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ  "So which of the favors of your Lord would you [both] deny?" (55:16)

Important key and unique words of the Surah

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  • The following Ayat has been repeated 30 times in this Surah,  فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ "So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?" (55:16)
  • (55:33) is the longest Ayat of this Surah with 16 words,

     يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَن تَنفُذُوا مِنْ أَقْطَارِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَانفُذُوا ۚ لَا تَنفُذُونَ إِلَّا بِسُلْطَانٍ "O company of jinn and mankind, if you are able to pass beyond the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass. You will not pass except by authority [from Allah]" (55:33)
 
Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat) *

Unique Root Words to this Surah only


9 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
ر ب ب 36 980
ك ذ ب 32 282
أ ل و 31 37
ج ن ن 8 201
أ ن س 6 97
س م و 5 381
ح س ن 4 194
م ر ج 4 6
و ز ن 4 23
ب ي ن 4 523

Period of Revelation

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Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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Miscellaneous Issues

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