Overview - Surah 77: al-Mursalat (Those Sent Forth)

Naming Convention of the Surah

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The Surah takes its name from the first Ayat, وَالْمُرْسَلَاتِ عُرْفًا "By those [winds] sent forth in gusts" [77:1].

There are 50 Ayat in this Surah.

Overview

Total Ayat50
Total Words181
Root Words82
Unique Root Words2
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 33rd (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 8th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
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*
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
Earth, Grave, Hell, Judgement (Day) , Judgement (Day) (messengers called together), Judgement (Day) (scattered like dust), Judgement (Day) (rent asunder), Judgement (Day) (effaced), Mountains, Qur’an (sent forth in waves (gradually)) , Water,

Central Theme

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Its theme is to affirm the Resurrection and Hereafter and to warn the people of the consequences which will ultimately follow the denial and the affirmation of these truths. In the first seven verses, the system of winds has been presented as an evidence of the truth that the Resurrection which is being foretold by the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad must come to pass. The reasoning is that the power of All-Mighty God Who established this wonderful system on the earth, cannot be helpless in bringing about the Resurrection and the express wisdom which underlies this system bears full evidence that the Hereafter must appear, for no act of an All-Wise Creator can be vain and purposeless, and if there was no Hereafter, it would mean that the whole of one’s life was useless and absurd.

The people of Makkah repeatedly asked, “Bring about the Resurrection with which you threaten us; only then shall we believe in it.” In v. 8-15, their demand has been answered, saying: “Resurrection is no sport or fun so that whenever a jester should ask for it, it should be brought forth immediately. It is indeed the Day of Judgment to settle the account of all mankind and of all its individuals. For it God has fixed a specific time, it will take place and when it takes place with all its dreads and horrors, it will confound those who are demanding it for fun today. Then their cases will be decided only on the evidence of those Messengers whom these deniers of the truth are repudiating with impunity. Then they will themselves realise how they are responsible for their dooms.” In v. 16-28 arguments have been given continuously for the occurrence and necessity of the Resurrection and Hereafter. In these it has been stated that man’s own history, his own birth, the structure of the earth on which he lives, bear the testimony that the coming of Resurrection. The establishment of the Hereafter are possible as well as the demand of God Almighty’s wisdom. History tells us that the nations which denied the Hereafter ultimately became corrupted and met with destruction. This means that the Hereafter is a truth which if denied and contradicted by a nation by its conduct and attitude, will cause it to meet the same doom, which is met by a blind man who rushes headlong into an approaching train. And it also means that in the kingdom of the universe only physical laws are not at work but a moral law also is working in it, under which in this very world the process of retribution is operating. But since in the present life of the world retribution is not taking place in its complete and perfect form, the moral law of the universe necessarily demands that there should come a time when it should take its full course and all those good works and evil deeds, which could not be rewarded here, or which escaped their due punishment should be fully rewarded and punished. For this it is inevitable that there should be a second life after death. If man only considers how he takes his birth in the world, his intellect, provided it is sound intellect, he cannot deny that for the God Who began his creation from an insignificant sperm drop and developed him into a perfect man, it is certainly possible to create the same man once again. After death the particles of man’s body do not disappear but continue to exist on the same earth on which he lived his whole life. It is from the resources and treasures of this very earth that he is made and nourished and then into the same treasures of the earth he is deposited. The God who caused him to emerge from the treasures of the earth, in the first instance, can also cause him to re-emerge from the same treasures after he has been restored to them at death. If one only considers the powers of God, one cannot deny that He can do this; and if one considers the wisdom of God, one also cannot deny that it is certainly the very demand of His wisdom to call man to account for the right and wrong use of the powers that He has granted him on the earth; it would rather be against wisdom to let him off without rendering an account.

Then, in v. 28-40, the fate of the deniers of the Hereafter has been depicted and in v. 41-45 of those who affirming faith in it in their worldly life, endeavored to improve their Hereafter, and abstained from the evils of disbelief and thought, morality and deed, conduct and character which might be helpful in man’s worldly life, but are certainly ruinous for his life Hereafter. In the end, the deniers of the Hereafter and those who turn away from the worship of God, have been warned as if to say: “Enjoy your short-lived worldly pleasure as you may, but your end will ultimately be disastrous.” The discourse concludes with the assertion that the one who fails to obtain guidance from a Book like the Qur’an, can have no other source in the world to afford him Guidance.

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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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Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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The Surah that follows Surah Mursalat is An-Naba’. In this Surah, al-Mursalat, one Ayat is repeated ten times, وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِلْمُكَذِّبِينَ "Woe, that Day, to the deniers.". In this surah (Naba) it seems as though Allah is responding to the deniers of the Day of Judgment, by saying in this Surah,  كَلَّا سَيَعْلَمُونَ "No! They will come to know." They will know the reality of what they where lying about. This in response to the Ayat that is being repeated in Surah Mursalat.

Also in Surah Mursalat Allah says وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا يَوْمُ الْفَصْلِ "And what can make you know what is the Day of FASL (separation)?" but Allah does not tell us what this Day of FASL (separation) is and rather  answers this question in Surah Naba’ إِنَّ يَوْمَ الْفَصْلِ كَانَ مِيقَاتًا "Indeed, the Day of FASL is an appointed time."

In Surah Mursalat, we (mentioned) find two groups of people. One group is the people of Taqwa إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي ظِلَالٍ وَعُيُونٍ the other are the مُكَذِّبِينَ the deniers. And we find the same two groups in Surah An-Naba.

It is as if Surah An-Naba is explaining in detail what was mentioned in Surah Mursalat.

The Virtues of the Surah

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  • Surah al-Mursalat [77] is one of the Surahs that aged the Prophet due to inensity/pressure/repurcussions of the implications of the words.  

     قَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ‏:‏ يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، قَدْ شِبْتَ، قَالَ‏:‏ شَيَّبَتْنِي هُودٌ، وَالْوَاقِعَةُ، وَالْمُرْسَلاتُ، وَعَمَّ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ، وَإِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ

    It has been reported that once Abu Bakr  said to the Prophet, ‘O Messenger of Allah, you have become old.’ The Prophet said, ‘I have become old [due to] [Surah] Hud, al-Waqiah [56], al-Murasalat [77], Amma yatasailoon [an-Naba 78] and Waidha ash-Shamsu kuwirat [at-Takweer 81].” Tirmidhee no. 3297

Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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  • The following Ayat is repeated 10 times in this Surah,  وَيْلٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْمُكَذِّبِينَ "Woe, that Day, to the deniers." 
 
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
Frequency
in Qur'an
ك ذ ب 11 282
إِذَا 5 409
ي و م 5 405
ق د ر 3 132
ف ص ل 3 43
ج ع ل 3 346
ك و ن 3 1390
ظ ل ل 3 33
إِلَىٰ 3 742
ط ل ق 2 23

Period of Revelation

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Its subject matter bears full evidence that it was revealed in the earliest period at Makkah. If this Surah is read together with the two Surahs preceding it, namely Surah 75: al-Qiyamah (The Resurrection) and Surah 76: al-Insan (Man) and the two Surahs following it, namely Surah 78: an-Naba’ (The News) and Surah 79: an-Nazi’at (The Extractors), it becomes obvious that all these Surahs are the Revelations of the same period and they deal with one and the same theme, which has been impressed on the people of Makkah in different ways.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • Allah swears in the name of life giving winds, rain and angels that the Day of Judgement will be established.
  • On that Day, the disbelievers will be asked to walk towards hell which they used to deny, and the righteous will be given all that they desire.
  • A warning to the disbelievers and a question as to what statement after this Qur'an (the last revelation) will they believe?

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Miscellaneous Issues

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