by Abdur Rahman
DUHA = Late Morning
Duha is the time and sunlight of late morning.
The previous Surah was Al-Layl, and it spoke about night first, then mentioned day. In this Surah, daytime is mentioned first, and night comes later.
In this Surah, Allah Almighty is addressing Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), acknowledging that the prophet is facing hardships but perseveres. Allah is consoling him, that the next life will be much better, and He reminds him that He has helped the Prophet (pbuh) through all his troubles in life, and that He is guiding the Prophet (pbuh) and the people.
Tempory Suspension of Revelation
In the beginning of the prophethood, the revelation stopped for some time, which saddened Allah’s Messenger (pbuh). So much so, that Um-Jameel (Abu Lahb’s wife) mocked him, saying, “Your master has abandoned you!”.
The Prophet (pbuh) was affected by this break in the Revelation, and became much concerned that if he fails, humanity will be doomed, since the message won’t reach the people. He also thought that maybe he was at fault, and that’s why the Revelation had stopped.
The pause in the revelation was like the still dark night, and this the revelation of Surah Ad-Duha was like the soothing morning light, which addressed the prophet’s (pbuh) concerns, and consoled him.
1) By the Glorious Morning Light,
2) And by the Night when it is still—
3) Thy Guardian-Lord hath not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased
4) And verily the Hereafter will be better for thee than the present
5) And soon will thy Guardian-Lord give thee (that wherewith) thou shalt be well-pleased
6) Did He not find thee an orphan and give thee shelter (and care)?
7) And He found thee wandering, and He gave thee guidance
8) And He found thee in need, and made thee independent
9) Therefore, treat not the orphan with harshness,
10) Nor repulse the petitioner (unheard);
11) But the bounty of the Lord— rehearse and proclaim!
Translation by Yousuf Ali
Allah Almighty swears by the morning light. The morning light “Duha” is soft, and the time of hustle, bustle and all activity. It is an energetic moment, and Allah is speaking softly, directly to His beloved Messenger (pbuh).
Allah Almighty swears by the night, when it is still. The night time when all is still, it is moment of peace and relaxation, when all are asleep after a hard day’s work. This is also a soft moment, signifying Allah’s love for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Allah Almighty assures that He had not left the Prophet (pbuh), nor was HE displeased with him.
Allah has always been pleased with His Messenger (pbuh), and He has never abandoned him. The rumors are baseless. The language suggests that Allah is the Master, Provider and Carer, He is the One giving gifts, and taking care of the Messenger (pbuh), which implies the love Allah has for His Messenger (pbuh). Thus, why would He ever be displeased with him?
Allah Almighty informs the Prophet (pbuh) that what follows will be much better than the present. This can mean both the future, and the afterlife, but in both cases Allah is saying that the tough part is done, and things will only get better from here on. Islam will grow, the Holy Kaaba will be reclaimed, the Muslims will increase in number and spread all over the world.
Also, many rewards are awaiting Muhammad (pbuh) in the afterlife, which are especially for him.
Allah says in Surah Ala’: While the Hereafter is better and more enduring. 87:17
Allah Almighty informs the Prophet (pbuh) that He will give him, and that will satisfy him.
Allah Almighty emphasizes that there will be good in the future, no matter what hardships or obstacles are in the way, the end result will be positive and satisfying. Allah Almighty is the GIVER, and when HE gives, HE gives a lot. Allah Almighty says that HE will give HIS Messenger PBUH everything he desires, both in this life and the next.
Allah Almighty asks Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)that didn’t HE find him an orphan, and then gave him shelter and care? Allah Almighty is giving assurance to His beloved Messenger (pbuh) by reminding him that HE provided him with shelter and care when he was an orphan. Orphans have no one to look after them, except Allah, and indeed Allah SWT did provide for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Initially, Prophet (pbuh) was given in the loving care of his grandfather and after his death, his uncle Abu Talib took the responsibility of raising the Prophet (pbuh). Abu Talib was like a rock wall for Prophet (pbuh) and protected him from the harshness and brutality of pagans.
Allah Almighty informs Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that He found him wandering, and gave him guidance.
Even before getting the Prophethood, Muhammad (pbuh) was known for being “Sadiq” an “Ameen”. He was truthful and trustworthy, and was already the best of men. Yet he sought the Truth, away from society’s depravity and sinful ways. And so Allah Almighty gave him the Divine Guidance. (Are you seeking to go deeper into divine guidance? Let Understand Quran Academy help you— sign up for Read Quran here!)
Allah Almighty continues to inform Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that HE found him in need, and made him independent.
Allah Almighty had already blessed Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with an excellent character even before Prophethood, and his manners and reliability in business affairs made Khadija (RA) propose to him. After their marriage, Prophet PBUH started to take care of her business which made him prosper.
Allah Almighty says do not oppress orphans. Allah Almighty has informed Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) of HIS Favors, and now makes some Demands. First being not to treat orphans with harshness. Since Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself was an orphan, he knew that they crave love and kindness. It is for this reason that we are instructed to treat the orphans with gentleness.
Sahl ibn Sa’d reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The one who cares for an orphan and myself will be together in Paradise like this,” and he held his two fingers together.[Bukhari]
Allah Almighty says that we should not repel a petitioner. Allah (swt) forbids to rebuke or unleash a river of insults at a person who asks something, but to be patient and hear him. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not only give to the beggar himself but he also encouraged his companions to do the same.
Narrated Abu Burda bin Abu Musa, that his father said, ‘Whenever a beggar came to Allah’s Apostle or he was asked for something, he used to say (to his companions), “Help and recommend him and you will receive the reward for it”; and Allah will bring about what He will through His Prophet’s tongue.”’[Bukhari]
Treat others as you would like to be treated by Allah (swt). If you are being merciful to Allah’s creation, you can expect the same from Allah for yourself.
Narrated Jarir bin ‘Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind.’[Bukhari]
Allah Almighty says that when it comes to the favors of your Lord, then proclaim it.
Allah Almighty has favored Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) because He is close to him, and these favors are wisdom, prophethood, and its teachings. So he should now go to the people and proclaim it— so let’s spread the Word!