Note: this is our 12th post in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma.

Islam is about social service and shukr (thankfulness).

Insha’Allah in this post, we’re going to discuss three points:

  1. The close relationship between Allah and His prophet
  2. A glimpse of Paradise
  3. A core theme of social services in Islam

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) received revelation prior to Surah Duhaa. Then for a while, nothing. Umm Jameelah, the wife of Abu Lahab, came to him and said: “I hope your shaytaan has finally left you.” Because the Arabs used to say, if someone was really good at something, that they had a shaytaan helping them. (No doubt like some of the musicians today.)

Still nothing came. The people began to talk … and they said, maybe his Lord has left him. Maybe He has abandoned him.

And so Allah revealed:

In Surah Duhaa, Allah says:


وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا سَجَى

مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَمَا قَلَى

Translation: By duhaa (the morning brightness after Fajr), and [by] the night when it covers with darkness, your Lord has not taken leave of you, [O Muúammad], nor has He detested [you].

[This hadith is found in Bukhari and Muslim, and is quoted in Tafseer ibn Katheer]

This shows us two things: first, that the people knew when revelation came; that it was a big deal, and everybody knew about it. And second, the immense love of Allah for His prophet. How close their relationship–that even something as small as this stress, Allah revealed verses on behalf of the prophet, to reassure him. Subhanallah!

What’s more, Allah swears by duhaa–by the brightness of the day right after the sun has come up–and by the night, as it covers up the day with darkness. (This shows the greatness of these creations–that Allah swears by them. Who would deny these things? Nobody!)

In ayahs four and five, Allah says:

وَلَلْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لَّكَ مِنَ الْأُولَى

وَلَسَوْفَ يُعْطِيكَ رَبُّكَ فَتَرْضَى

Translation: And the Hereafter is better for you than the first [life]. And your Lord is going to give you, and you will be satisfied.

Fa tardaa–and you will be satisifed. Think about it. What would make you satisfied? A wife? A car? A 3-story mansion, with a yacht, and a BMW, and a private helicopter, and …

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said in one hadith: “If the son of Adam (the human being) had two valley of money, he would wish for a third, for nothing can fill the belly of Adam’s son except dust, and Allah forgives him who repents to Him.” [Saheeh Bukhari]

Dust meaning–death. That he will not be satisfied until he dies; that’s the end of all those desires.

Yet Allah says here: tardaa, that he will be pleased with what Allah gives him in the hereafter. From other ahadith, we know that Allah will give the person equal to the WHOLE EARTH–and the person will say he’s pleased. And Allah will give more. And more. And more–until He’s given ten times the Earth and everything in it, to the lowest person in Paradise. Subhanallah! fa tardaa!

Then Allah continues:

أَلَمْ يَجِدْكَ يَتِيماً فَآوَى

وَوَجَدَكَ ضَالّاً فَهَدَى

وَوَجَدَكَ عَائِلاً فَأَغْنَى

Translation: Did He not find you an orphan and give [you] refuge? And He found you lost and guided [you]? And He found you poor and made [you] self-sufficient?

These are verses that apply to the Prophet (except daalan, which means “unaware,” not misguided, in his case), but they also apply to us. Maybe you weren’t yateem, but weren’t we all misguided, and Allah guided us? And weren’t we poor–born without a penny to our name, no bank account, debit card, credit card, chequing account–and he made us wealthy?

In fact, the Messenger of Allah (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) was so wealthy, that once, he had a whole valley full of sheep. This one guy was looking at it. So the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, do you like it? The man said, “yes.” The Prophet said: It’s yours. Take ALL of it.

So the man went home to his tribe, with this huge valley full of sheep (that’s like multi-millionaire right there), and he said: “become Muslim, because Muhammad does not fear poverty.” [Paraphrased]

And these verses are in a question form. Allah wants us to think about these things, and to answer these questions. Weren’t you poor, and we enriched you? It’s almost forcing the person to acknowledge the blessings and say, “yes yaa rabbi, yes o my Lord.”

So then what? What is the logical conclusion? Allah says:

فَأَمَّا الْيَتِيمَ فَلَا تَقْهَرْ

وَأَمَّا السَّائِلَ فَلَا تَنْهَرْ

وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ

Translation: So as for the orphan, do not oppress [him]. And as for the asker, do not repel [him]. And as for the favor of your Lord, report [it].

This is what it’s all about. Allah gave you these blessings. Why? So you can take care of the orphans, and those who ask; Islam is really entrenched in social-services.

Wallahu ta’ala ‘alam.

Arabic Analysis:

  • Ad-Duhaa (الضُّحَى): The time of day right after Fajr, when the sun is just rising, up until Dhur time. Well-known because of Salaatul-Duhaa, the nafl salah of that time.
  • Al-Layl (اللَّيْل): The night. Sometimes comes in the feminine form laylah (with ta-marbuwtah). Same meaning in either case.
  • Wadda’a ( وَدَّعَ): Left, abandoned; it’s baab-two, the more intensive form of wada’a.
  • Qalaa (قَلَى): He hated. Not to be confused with qaala (قال), which means “he said.”
  • Khayr (خَيْرٌ): It means “good.” Here, it’s ism tafdeel–the comparative particle. Here, it means “better.” The akhirah is khayr than the dunya.
  • Yateem (يَتِيم): Someone who is under the age of puberty and who’s father has passed away. Even if their mother is still alive, they’re yateem if their father is not; and once they hit puberty, they’re not yateem anymore, and all the rulings etc. change.
  • Saa’il (سَائِل): Is on the pattern of faa’il, the doer, or the one who does an action continuously. Saa’il is from sa’ala, to ask; it means “the asker.” Based on this ayah, some ‘ulama say, if someone is truly needy and they ask, don’t repulse them–don’t swear at them and hit them and that sort of thing. Do not repel them harshly.

Action Items:

  • Social Service. Make a pledge to yourself to do some sort of social service. Volunteer in a soup kitchen, donate to Orphan Run, something! If you’re in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), the AlMaghrib qabeelah there regularly engages in social services (feeding the poor, food drives, etc.), as do Young Muslims (blood-drives, feeding the poor, etc.) Hook up and help out regularly.
  • Reflect on Paradise. Reflect on the things you like in this life–good food, company, entertainment; and in the Akhirah, there is only MORE, and BETTER quality. Reflect on that. Think about it. Fa tardaa! Anything you could possibly desire … and more. Yours. For you.
  • Comment on your reflections. What one thing about Paradise really hits you in the heart and motivates you to work for it?


  • Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.