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Interpretation of Sura an-Nur - Verse 1 - Punishment for Adultery Prescribed Commentary

Adopted from the book: "The Light of the Holy Qur'an - Interpretation of Sura an-Nur" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani & a Group of Muslim Scholars"

The law relating to the punishment for adultery - False charge of adultery - The dealing with the accusation of adultery by the husband against his wife

In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

1. "(This is) a Sura which We have sent down and which We have enjoined, and in it We have sent down clear signs, so that you might remember."


The Qur'anic word 'Sura' is an appellation taken by Allah for a collection of verses in the holy Qur'an. What we know is that the name of this Sura is Nur, and it is because of Nur verse, No. 35, which is one of the most conspicuous verses of the Sura. Furthermore, the content of the Sura is especially luminous. It grants men and women in families and societies the light of chastity and virginity. It gives tongues and speeches the light of piety and veracity. It gives hearts and souls the light of monotheism, theism, belief in the resurrection, and resignation to the godly invitation of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.).

The first verse of the Sura concisely indicates all of the discussions in the Sura. It says:

"(This is) a Sura which We have sent down and which We have enjoined, and in it We have sent down clear signs, so that you might remember."

The Arabic word /surah/ is derived from the word /sur/, meaning the height of a building. Then it was applied to the high walls that were built around cities for protecting against enemies' attacks. And since these walls separated city from the surrounding regions, this word gradually has been applied to a section or a part of something, including a section or piece of the Qur'an separated from the rest of it.

Some philologists have also said that the word /surah/ is applied to high, beautiful, erected buildings as well as various parts of a big structure. With the same proportion, it is applied to the various, parts of the Qur'an which are separated from each other. 2

Anyway, this sentence refers to the fact that all ordinances and subjects of this Sura, including rules, rites, and doctrines, are extraordinarily important, because all of them have been sent down by Allah.

Specially the sentence /faradnaha/ ("...We have ... which We have enjoined ...") emphasizes this meaning, considering that the meaning of the word /farada/ is 'assertion'.

Using the holy phrase /'ayatin bayyinat/ (clear signs) may point to some facts about monotheism, origin, resurrection, and prophecy, which are presented in it. This phrase is for the clause /faradna/ (We enjoined) which points to the ordinances and commandments which are stated in this verse. In other words, one refers to 'beliefs' and the other one refers to 'religious ordinances'.

Another possibility is that the purpose of /'ayatin bayyinat/ (clear signs) is some reasons that are mentioned for the obligatory commandments that are presented in this Sura.

The sentence /la'allakum tauakkaran/ ('... so that you might remember.') again illustrates this fact in minds that all beliefs and doctrines and all practical programs of Islam are rooted in the very innate disposition of humans. Thus, their explanation is a kind of admonition and remembrance.

In this holy verse, there are three signs that indicate the magnificence of Sura An Nur:

A) The word 'surah' that is in the beginning, is the sign of greatness.

B) The Arabic nunnation of the word 'surah' is for greatness.

C) The Qur'anic word /'anzalna/ (We have sent down) has been mentioned twice in due verse.


2. Lisan ul-'Arab, Vol. 4, article 'sur'

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