This Surah consists of 15 verses, 54 sentences, 247 letters and 1 Ruku'.
The Sura has been so designated after the word Ash-shams with which it opens.
The subject matter and the style show that this Surah too was revealed in the earliest period at Makkah at a stage when opposition to the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) had grown very strong and intense.
Its theme is to distinguish the good from the evil and to warn the people, who were refusing to understand this distinction and insisting on following the evil way, of the evil end.
In view of the subject matter this Surah consists of two parts. The first part consists of vv. 1-10, and the second of vv. 11-15. The first part deals with three things:
1. That just as the sun and the moon, the day and the night, the earth and the sky, are different from each other and contradictory in their effects and results, so are the good and the evil different from each other and contradictory in their effects and results; they are neither alike in their outward appearance nor can they be alike in their results.
2. That Allah after giving the human self powers of the body, sense and mind has not left it uninformed in the world, but has instilled into his unconscious by means of a natural inspiration the distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, and the sense of the good to be good and of the evil to be evil.
3. That the future of man depends on how by using the powers of discrimination, will and judgement that Allah has endowed him with, he develops the good and suppresses the evil tendencies of the self. If he develops the good inclination and frees his self of the evil inclinations, he will attain to eternal success, and if, on the contrary, he suppresses the good and promotes the evil, he will meet with disappointment and failure.
In the second part, citing the historical precedent of the people of Thamud, the significance of Apostleship has been brought out. A Messenger is raised in the world, because the inspirational knowledge of good and evil that Allah has placed in human nature is by itself not enough for the guidance of man, but on account of his failure to understand it fully man has been proposing wrong criteria and theories of good and evil and thus going astray. That is why Allah sent down clear and definite Revelation to the Prophets (peace be upon them) to augment man's natural inspiration so that they may expound to the people as to what is good and what is evil. Likewise, the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him) was sent to the people of Thamud, but the people overwhelmed by the evil of their self, had become so rebellious that they rejected him. And when he presented before them the miracle of the she camel, as demanded by themselves, the most wretched one of them, in spite of his warning, hamstrung it, in accordance with the will and desire of the people. Consequently, the entire tribe was overtaken by a disaster.
While narrating this story of the Thamud nowhere in the Surah has it been said "O people of Quraish, if you rejected your Prophet, Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings), as the Thamud had rejected theirs, you too would meet with the same fate as they met."The conditions at that time in Makkah were similar to those that had been created by the wicked among the people of Thamud against the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him). Therefore, the narration of this story in those conditions was by itself enough to suggest to the people of Makkah how precisely this historical precedent applied to them.
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
91 : 1
1. Waalshshamsi waduhaha
By the sun and his effulgence,
91 : 2
2. Waalqamari itha talaha
And the moon when she follows him,
91 : 3
3. Waalnnahari itha jallaha
And the day when it reveals him,
91 : 4
4. Waallayli itha yaghshaha
And the night when it conceals him,
91 : 5
5. Waalssama-i wama banaha
And the heaven and Him Who built it,
91 : 6
6. Waal-ardi wama tahaha
And the earth and Him Who spread it,
91 : 7
7. Wanafsin wama sawwaha
And the soul and Him Who formed it,
91 : 8
8. Faalhamaha fujooraha wataqwaha
And inspirited it with the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong for it!
91 : 9
9. Qad aflaha man zakkaha
Verily he that keeps it cleansed is sure to attain redemption,
91 : 10
10. Waqad khaba man dassaha
Whereas he that pollutes it is sure to earn damnation!
91 : 11
11. Kaththabat thamoodu bitaghwaha
The tribe of Thamud vituperated their messenger by dint of sheer arrogance!
91 : 12
12. Ithi inbaAAatha ashqaha
When the meanest of them rose, -
91 : 13
13. Faqala lahum rasoolu Allahi naqata Allahi wasuqyaha
And the messenger of Allah said : 'The she camel belongs to Allah so let her drink!' -
91 : 14
14. Fakaththaboohu faAAaqarooha fadamdama AAalayhim rabbuhum bithanbihim fasawwaha
Yet they defied him and disabled her, so Allah brought on them damnation because of their sinfulness and wiped them out!
91 : 15
15. Wala yakhafu AAuqbaha
He fears not reprisals! (R)
1. And by the sun and its brightness;
2. And by the moon as it follows it (the sun);
3. And by the day as it shows up (the sun's) brightness;
4. And by the night as it conceals it (the sun);
5. And by the heaven and Him Who built it;
6. And by the earth and Him Who spread it,
7. And by Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul, etc.), and Him Who perfected him in proportion;
8. Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him;
9. Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allāh ordered, by following the true Faith of Islāmic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds).
10. And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e. disobeys what Allāh has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islāmic Monotheism or by following polytheism, etc. or by doing every kind of evil wicked deeds).
11. Thamūd (people) denied (their Prophet) through their transgression (by rejecting the true Faith of Islāmic Monotheism, and by following polytheism, and by committing every kind of sin).
12. When the most wicked man among them went forth (to kill the she-camel).
13. But the Messenger of Allāh [Sālih (Saleh) <><>] said to them: "Be cautious! Fear the evil end. That is the she-camel of Allāh! (Do not harm it) and bar it not from having its drink!"
14. Then they denied him and they killed it. So their Lord destroyed them because of their sin, and made them equal in destruction (i.e. all grades of people, rich and poor, strong and weak, etc.)!
15. And He (Allāh) feared not the consequences thereof.
YUSUFALI: By the Sun and his (glorious) splendour;
PICKTHAL: By the sun and his brightness,
SHAKIR: I swear by the sun and its brilliance,
YUSUFALI: By the Moon as she follows him;
PICKTHAL: And the moon when she followeth him,
SHAKIR: And the moon when it follows the sun,
YUSUFALI: By the Day as it shows up (the Sun's) glory;
PICKTHAL: And the day when it revealeth him,
SHAKIR: And the day when it shows it,
YUSUFALI: By the Night as it conceals it;
PICKTHAL: And the night when it enshroudeth him,
SHAKIR: And the night when it draws a veil over it,
YUSUFALI: By the Firmament and its (wonderful) structure;
PICKTHAL: And the heaven and Him Who built it,
SHAKIR: And the heaven and Him Who made it,
YUSUFALI: By the Earth and its (wide) expanse:
PICKTHAL: And the earth and Him Who spread it,
SHAKIR: And the earth and Him Who extended it,
YUSUFALI: By the Soul, and the proportion and order given to it;
PICKTHAL: And a soul and Him Who perfected it
SHAKIR: And the soul and Him Who made it perfect,
YUSUFALI: And its enlightenment as to its wrong and its right;-
PICKTHAL: And inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it.
SHAKIR: Then He inspired it to understand what is right and wrong for it;
YUSUFALI: Truly he succeeds that purifies it,
PICKTHAL: He is indeed successful who causeth it to grow,
SHAKIR: He will indeed be successful who purifies it,
YUSUFALI: And he fails that corrupts it!
PICKTHAL: And he is indeed a failure who stunteth it.
SHAKIR: And he will indeed fail who corrupts it.
YUSUFALI: The Thamud (people) rejected (their prophet) through their inordinate wrong-doing,
PICKTHAL: (The tribe of) Thamud denied (the truth) in their rebellious pride,
SHAKIR: Samood gave the lie (to the truth) in their inordinacy,
YUSUFALI: Behold, the most wicked man among them was deputed (for impiety).
PICKTHAL: When the basest of them broke forth
SHAKIR: When the most unfortunate of them broke forth with
YUSUFALI: But the Messenger of Allah said to them: "It is a She-camel of Allah! And (bar her not from) having her drink!"
PICKTHAL: And the messenger of Allah said: It is the she-camel of Allah, so let her drink!
SHAKIR: So Allah's messenger said to them (Leave alone) Allah's she-camel, and (give) her (to) drink.
YUSUFALI: Then they rejected him (as a false prophet), and they hamstrung her. So their Lord, on account of their crime, obliterated their traces and made them equal (in destruction, high and low)!
PICKTHAL: But they denied him, and they hamstrung her, so Allah doomed them for their sin and rased (their dwellings).
SHAKIR: But they called him a liar and slaughtered her, therefore their Lord crushed them for their sin and levelled them (with the ground).
YUSUFALI: And for Him is no fear of its consequences.
PICKTHAL: He dreadeth not the sequel (of events).
SHAKIR: And He fears not its consequence.