Abasa  (He Frowned)


This Surah consists of 42 verses, 130 sentences, 533 letters and 1 Ruku’.


It takes its name from the word abasa with which it opens.

Period of Revelation

The commentators and traditionists are unanimous about the occasion of the revelation of this Surah. According to them, once some big chiefs of Makkah were sitting in the Holy Prophet's assembly and he was earnestly engaged in trying to persuade them to accept Islam. At that very point, a blind man, named Ibn Umm Maktum, approachcd him to seek explanation of some point concerning Islam. The Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) disliked his interruption and ignored him. Thereupon Allah sent down this Surah. From this historical incident the period of the revelation of this Surah can be precisely determined.


In the first place, it is confirmed that Hadrat Ibn Umm Maktum was one of the earliest converts to Islam. Hafiz Ibn Hajar and Hafiz Ibn Kathir have stated that he was one of those who had accepted Islam at a very early stage at Makkah.


Secondly, some of the traditions of the Hadith which relate this incident show that he had already accepted Islam and some others show that be was inclined to accept it and had approached the Holy Prophet in search of the truth. Hadrat Aishah states that coming to the Holy Prophet he had said: "O Messenger of Allah, guide me to the straight path." (Tirmidhi, Hakim, Ibn Hibban, Ibn Jarir, Abu Ya'la. According to Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas, he had asked the meaning of a verse of the Quran and said to the Holy Prophet: "O Messenger of Allah, teach me the knowledge that Allah has taught you." Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abu Hatim). These statements show that he had acknowledged the Holy Prophet (upom whom be peace) as a Messenger of Allah and the Quran as a Book of Allah. Contrary to this, Ibn Zaid has interpreted the words la allahu yazzakka of verse 3 to mean: la allahu yuslim: "maybe that he accepts Islam." (Ibn Jarir) And Allah's own words: "What would make you know that he might reform, or heed the admonition, and admonishing might profit him?" and "The one who comes to you running, of his own will, and fears, from him you turn away", point out that by that time he had developed in himself a deep desire to learn the truth: he had come to the Holy Prophet with the belief that he was the only source of guidance and his desire would be satisfied only through him; his apparent state also reflected that if he was given instruction, he would benefit by it.


Thirdly, the names of the people who were sitting in the Holy Prophet's assembly at that time, have been given in different traditions. In this list we find the names of `Utbah, Shaibah, Abu Jahl, Umayyah bin Khalaf, Ubayy bin Khalaf, who were the bitterest enemies of Islam. This shows that the incident took place in the period when these chiefs were still on meeting terms with the Holy Prophet and their antagonism to Islam had not yet grown so strong as to have stopped their paying visits to him and having dialogues with him off and on. All these arguments indicate that this is one of the very earliest Surahs to be revealed at Makkah.

Theme and Subject Matter

In view of the apparent style with which the discourse opens, one feels that in this Surah Allah has expressed His displeasure against the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) for his treating the blind man with indifference and attending to the big chiefs exclusively. But when the whole Surah is considered objectively, one finds that the displeasure, in fact, has been expressed against the disbelieving Quraish, who because of their arrogant attitude and indifference to the truth, were rejecting with contempt the message of truth being conveyed by the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace). Then, besides teaching him the correct method of preaching, the error of the method that he was adopting at the start of his mission has also been pointed out. His treating the blind man with neglect and disregard and devoting all his attention to the Quraish chiefs was not for the reason that he regarded the rich as noble and a poor blind man as contemptible, and, God forbid, there was some rudeness in his manner for which Allah reproved him. But, as a matter of fact, when a caller to Truth embarks on his missinn of conveying his message to the people, he naturally wants the most influential people of society to accept his message so that his task becomes easy, for even if his invitation spreads among the poor and weak people, it cannot make much difference. Almost the same attitude had the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) also adopted in the beginning, his motive being only sincerity and a desire to promote his mission and not any idea of respect for the big people and hatred for the small people. But Allah made him realize that that was not the correct method of extending invitation to Islam, but from his mission's point of view, every man, who was a seeker after truth, was important, even if he was weak, or poor, and every man, who was heedless to the truth, was unimportant, even if he occupied a high position in society. Therefore, he should openly proclaim and convey the teachings of Islam to all and sundry, but the people who were really worthy of his attention, were those who were inclined to accept the Truth, and his sublime and noble message was too high to be presented before those haughty people who in their arrogance and vanity thought that they did not stand in need of him but rather he stood in need of them.


This is the theme of vv. 1-16. From verse 17 onward the rebuke directly turns to the disbelievers, who were repudiating the invitation of the Holy Messenger of Allah (upon whom be peace). In this, first they have been reproved for their attitude which they had adopted against their Creator, Providence and Sustainer. In the end, they have been warned of the dreadful fate that they would meet in consequence of their conduct on the Day of Resurrection.





Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

Context of Revelation : The following verses were revealed when the Prophet was holding a crucial conversation with certain influential leaders of his own tribe who could have turned the tide in favour of Islam, if they were convinced of its virtues, resulting in the entire tribe embracing the new religion. At such a critical juncture, a blind man arrived and interrupted the conversation with a question of his own and insisted upon a response at once. In view of the significance of the meeting in hand, the Prophet frowned at him and continued with his conversation, but it resulted in this reprimand :

80 : 1


1. AAabasa watawalla

He frowned and turned his face away -

80 : 2

2. An jaahu al-aAAma

Because it was a blind man who approached him!

80 : 3

3. Wama yudreeka laAAallahu yazzakka

How can you (Mohammed) tell whether or not his query would help him grow in faith, -

80 : 4

4. Aw yaththakkaru fatanfaAAahu alththikra

Or that he would take heed and benefit from the Admonishment?

80 : 5

5. Amma mani istaghna

As for him who considers himself beyond the scope Admonishment, -

80 : 6


6. Faanta lahu tasadda

You give him priority -

80 : 7

7. Wama AAalayka alla yazzakka

Even though it is no concern of yours whether he heeds it or not!

80 : 8

8. Waamma man jaaka yasAAa

But as for him who approaches you with sincerity, -

80 : 9

9. Wahuwa yakhsha

And fears Allah -

80 : 10

10. Faanta AAanhu talahha

You ignore him for the sake of the others!

80 : 11

11. Kalla innaha tathkiratun

By no means should it be so! For verily this is but an Admonishment, -

80 : 12

12. Faman shaa thakarahu

So let those who will pay heed to that -

80 : 13

13. Fee suhufin mukarramatin

Which is inscribed on venerable scrolls, -

80 : 14

14. MarfooAAatin mutahharatin

Exalted and sanctified!

80 : 15

15. Bi-aydee safaratin

Written down by scribes -

80 : 16

16. Kiramin bararatin

Who are munificent and righteous!

* * *

80 : 17

17. Qutila al-insanu ma akfarahu

Man destroys himself with his ingratitude!

80 : 18

18. Min ayyi shay-in khalaqahu

From what substance does He create him?

80 : 19

19. Min nutfatin khalaqahu faqaddarahu

From a drop of liquid! He creates him and He evolves him -

80 : 20

20. Thumma alssabeela yassarahu

Then He paves the way for his arrival, -

80 : 21

21. Thumma amatahu faaqbarahu

Then causes him to die and lay buried inside a tomb -

80 : 22

22. Thumma itha shaa ansharahu

Then, when He will, He brings him back to life!

80 : 23

23. Kalla lamma yaqdi ma amarahu

Yet never has he done that which he is commanded to do!

80 : 24

24. Falyanthuri al-insanu ila taAAamihi

Let man cast his look upon the things which he eats -

80 : 25

25. Anna sababna almaa sabban

How We send downpours of rain water; -

80 : 26

26. Thumma shaqaqna al-arda shaqqan

Then We soak the earth to let it crack; -

80 : 27

27. Faanbatna feeha habban

And cause the grain to grow from it;

80 : 28

28. WaAAinaban waqadban


And grapes and green vegetation;

80 : 29

29. Wazaytoonan wanakhlan

And the olive and the date palm;

80 : 30

30. Wahada-iqa ghulban

And gardens with dense foliage;

80 : 31

31. Wafakihatan waabban

And fruits and pastures;

80 : 32

32. MataAAan lakum wali-anAAamikum

As provision for you and your cattle!

80 : 33

33. Fa-itha jaati alssakhkhatu

But when the Shout reverberates -

80 : 34

34. Yawma yafirru almaro min akheehi

On the Day when man flees from his own brother -

80 : 35

35. Waommihi waabeehi

And from his mother and from his father -

80 : 36

36. Wasahibatihi wabaneehi

And from his wife and from his children!

80 : 37

37. Likulli imri-in minhum yawma-ithin sha/nun yughneehi

Every man on that Day will have enough worries of his own to think about the others!

80 : 38

38. Wujoohun yawma-ithin musfiratun

Some faces on that Day will be radiant, -

80 : 39

39. Dahikatun mustabshiratun

Laughing and rejoicing in anticipation of the good news that awaits them;

80 : 40

40. Wawujoohun yawma-ithin AAalayha ghabaratun

And other faces on that Day will be smeared with soot -

80 : 41

41. Tarhaquha qataratun

And sunk in oblivion!

80 : 42

42. Ola-ika humu alkafaratu alfajaratu

Those are the disbelievers, the pernicious! (R)

1. (The Prophet (Peace be upon him)) frowned and turned away,

2. Because there came to him the blind man (i.e. 'Abdullâh bin Umm-Maktűm, who came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) while he was preaching to one or some of the Quraish chiefs).

3. But what could tell you that per chance he might become pure (from sins)?

4. Or that he might receive admonition, and that the admonition might profit him?

5. As for him who thinks himself self-sufficient,

6. To him you attend;

7. What does it matter to you if he will not become pure (from disbelief, you are only a Messenger, your duty is to convey the Message of Allâh).

8. But as to him who came to you running.

9. And is afraid (of Allâh and His Punishment),

10. Of him you are neglectful and divert your attention to another,

11. Nay, (do not do like this), indeed it (these Verses of this Qur'ân) are an admonition,

12. So whoever wills, let him pay attention to it.

13. (It is) in Records held (greatly) in honour (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfűz).

14. Exalted (in dignity), purified,

15. In the hands of scribes (angels).

16. Honourable and obedient.

17. Be cursed (the disbelieving) man! How ungrateful he is!

18. From what thing did He create him?

19. From Nutfah (male and female semen drops) He created him, and then set him in due proportion;

20. Then He makes the Path easy for him;

21. Then He causes him to die, and puts him in his grave;

22. Then, when it is His Will, He will resurrect him (again).

23. Nay, but (man) has not done what He commanded him.

24. Then let man look at his food,

25. That We pour forth water in abundance,

26. And We split the earth in clefts,

27. And We cause therein the grain to grow,

28. And grapes and clover plants (i.e. green fodder for the cattle),

29. And olives and date-palms,

30. And gardens, dense with many trees,

31. And fruits and Abba (herbage, etc.),

32. (To be) a provision and benefit for you and your cattle.

33. Then, when there comes As-Sâkhkhah (the Day of Resurrection's second blowing of Trumpet),

34. That Day shall a man flee from his brother,

35. And from his mother and his father,

36. And from his wife and his children.

37. Everyman, that Day, will have enough to make him careless of others.

38. Some faces that Day, will be bright (true believers of Islâmic Monotheism).

39. Laughing, rejoicing at good news (of Paradise).

40. And other faces, that Day, will be dust-stained;

41. Darkness will cover them,

42. Such will be the Kafarah (disbelievers in Allâh, in His Oneness, and in His Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him), etc.), the Fajarah (wicked evil doers).  

YUSUFALI: (The Prophet) frowned and turned away,
PICKTHAL: He frowned and turned away
SHAKIR: He frowned and turned (his) back,

YUSUFALI: Because there came to him the blind man (interrupting).
PICKTHAL: Because the blind man came unto him.
SHAKIR: Because there came to him the blind man.

YUSUFALI: But what could tell thee but that perchance he might grow (in spiritual understanding)?-
PICKTHAL: What could inform thee but that he might grow (in grace)
SHAKIR: And what would make you know that he would purify himself,

YUSUFALI: Or that he might receive admonition, and the teaching might profit him?
PICKTHAL: Or take heed and so the reminder might avail him?
SHAKIR: Or become reminded so that the reminder should profit him?

YUSUFALI: As to one who regards Himself as self-sufficient,
PICKTHAL: As for him who thinketh himself independent,
SHAKIR: As for him who considers himself free from need (of you),

YUSUFALI: To him dost thou attend;
PICKTHAL: Unto him thou payest regard.
SHAKIR: To him do you address yourself.

YUSUFALI: Though it is no blame to thee if he grow not (in spiritual understanding).
PICKTHAL: Yet it is not thy concern if he grow not (in grace).
SHAKIR: And no blame is on you if he would not purify himself

YUSUFALI: But as to him who came to thee striving earnestly,
PICKTHAL: But as for him who cometh unto thee with earnest purpose
SHAKIR: And as to him who comes to you striving hard,

YUSUFALI: And with fear (in his heart),
PICKTHAL: And hath fear,
SHAKIR: And he fears,

YUSUFALI: Of him wast thou unmindful.
PICKTHAL: From him thou art distracted.
SHAKIR: From him will you divert yourself.

YUSUFALI: By no means (should it be so)! For it is indeed a Message of instruction:
PICKTHAL: Nay, but verily it is an Admonishment,
SHAKIR: Nay! surely it is an admonishment.

YUSUFALI: Therefore let whoso will, keep it in remembrance.
PICKTHAL: So let whosoever will pay heed to it,
SHAKIR: So let him who pleases mind it.

YUSUFALI: (It is) in Books held (greatly) in honour,
PICKTHAL: On honoured leaves
SHAKIR: In honored books,

YUSUFALI: Exalted (in dignity), kept pure and holy,
PICKTHAL: Exalted, purified,
SHAKIR: Exalted, purified,

YUSUFALI: (Written) by the hands of scribes-
PICKTHAL: (Set down) by scribes
SHAKIR: In the hands of scribes

YUSUFALI: Honourable and Pious and Just.
PICKTHAL: Noble and righteous.
SHAKIR: Noble, virtuous.

YUSUFALI: Woe to man! What hath made him reject Allah;
PICKTHAL: Man is (self-)destroyed: how ungrateful!
SHAKIR: Cursed be man! how ungrateful is he!

YUSUFALI: From what stuff hath He created him?
PICKTHAL: From what thing doth He create him?
SHAKIR: Of what thing did He create him?

YUSUFALI: From a sperm-drop: He hath created him, and then mouldeth him in due proportions;
PICKTHAL: From a drop of seed. He createth him and proportioneth him,
SHAKIR: Of a small seed; He created him, then He made him according to a measure,

YUSUFALI: Then doth He make His path smooth for him;
PICKTHAL: Then maketh the way easy for him,
SHAKIR: Then (as for) the way-- He has made it easy (for him)

YUSUFALI: Then He causeth him to die, and putteth him in his grave;
PICKTHAL: Then causeth him to die, and burieth him;
SHAKIR: Then He causes him to die, then assigns to him a grave,

YUSUFALI: Then, when it is His Will, He will raise him up (again).
PICKTHAL: Then, when He will, He bringeth him again to life.
SHAKIR: Then when He pleases, He will raise him to life again.

YUSUFALI: By no means hath he fulfilled what Allah hath commanded him.
PICKTHAL: Nay, but (man) hath not done what He commanded him.
SHAKIR: Nay; but he has not done what He bade him.

YUSUFALI: Then let man look at his food, (and how We provide it):
PICKTHAL: Let man consider his food:
SHAKIR: Then let man look to his food,

YUSUFALI: For that We pour forth water in abundance,
PICKTHAL: How We pour water in showers
SHAKIR: That We pour down the water, pouring (it) down in abundance,

YUSUFALI: And We split the earth in fragments,
PICKTHAL: Then split the earth in clefts
SHAKIR: Then We cleave the earth, cleaving (it) asunder,

YUSUFALI: And produce therein corn,
PICKTHAL: And cause the grain to grow therein
SHAKIR: Then We cause to grow therein the grain,

YUSUFALI: And Grapes and nutritious plants,
PICKTHAL: And grapes and green fodder
SHAKIR: And grapes and clover,

YUSUFALI: And Olives and Dates,
PICKTHAL: And olive-trees and palm-trees
SHAKIR: And the olive and the palm,

YUSUFALI: And enclosed Gardens, dense with lofty trees,
PICKTHAL: And garden-closes of thick foliage
SHAKIR: And thick gardens,

YUSUFALI: And fruits and fodder,-
PICKTHAL: And fruits and grasses:
SHAKIR: And fruits and herbage

YUSUFALI: For use and convenience to you and your cattle.
PICKTHAL: Provision for you and your cattle.
SHAKIR: A provision for you and for your cattle.

YUSUFALI: At length, when there comes the Deafening Noise,-
PICKTHAL: But when the Shout cometh
SHAKIR: But when the deafening cry comes,

YUSUFALI: That Day shall a man flee from his own brother,
PICKTHAL: On the day when a man fleeth from his brother
SHAKIR: The day on which a man shall fly from his brother,

YUSUFALI: And from his mother and his father,
PICKTHAL: And his mother and his father
SHAKIR: And his mother and his father,

YUSUFALI: And from his wife and his children.
PICKTHAL: And his wife and his children,
SHAKIR: And his spouse and his son--

YUSUFALI: Each one of them, that Day, will have enough concern (of his own) to make him indifferent to the others.
PICKTHAL: Every man that day will have concern enough to make him heedless (of others).
SHAKIR: Every man of them shall on that day have an affair which will occupy him.

YUSUFALI: Some faces that Day will be beaming,
PICKTHAL: On that day faces will be bright as dawn,
SHAKIR: (Many) faces on that day shall be bright,

YUSUFALI: Laughing, rejoicing.
PICKTHAL: Laughing, rejoicing at good news;
SHAKIR: Laughing, joyous.

YUSUFALI: And other faces that Day will be dust-stained,
PICKTHAL: And other faces, on that day, with dust upon them,
SHAKIR: And (many) faces on that day, on them shall be dust,

YUSUFALI: Blackness will cover them:
PICKTHAL: Veiled in darkness,
SHAKIR: Darkness shall cover them.

YUSUFALI: Such will be the Rejecters of Allah, the doers of iniquity.
PICKTHAL: Those are the disbelievers, the wicked.
SHAKIR: These are they who are unbelievers, the wicked.