Tafsir Surah Abasa - Part 1
Sha’n e Nuzul
It is famous among the interpreters in the private and the public: A group of the leaders of the Qureish such as Taba bin Rabi’a, Abu Jahl, Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib and a sect of other people were in the presence of the prophet Muhammad sallahi alaihi va ala alehi and the messenger was engaged in his prophetic speech to invite them towards the Islam and he was hopeful that they may get impressed by his words (certainly those kind of people by accepting the Islam they may be able to bring the other group towards the Islam and surely their hindrances for Islam would have been ceased and in both ways it was in the favour of Islam). Meanwhile Abdullah bin Maktum who was a blind and according to his appearance, a poor man, entered the circle of speech and requested the prophet to recite the ayaat of Quran for him and instruct him. And he was repeating his words incessantly and not keeping quiet and maintaining the silence. He was unaware that with whom the prophet was exactly engaged in the discussion.
He interrupted the prophet peace be upon him so much that the prophet peace be upon him got annoyed and its effects appeared upon his sacred face and he told to himself: What will these Arab leaders think that the followers of the prophetpeace be upon him are blinds and the slaves hence he turned his face from him and continued his speech for that group.
At those moments these ayaat descended and the Mighty God about this kind of thinking got angry with the prophet peace be upon him. After this incident the prophet peace be upon him always respected that blind man and seeing him he used to tell him: Marhaba! Praise is, to the one, in the favour of whom, my Provider God got angry with me and then he said: Do you have any wish to fulfil? And the prophet peace be upon him use to appoint him as his representative in the city of Medina when he was away during Islamic wars.
The second background of the descent شان نزول of Sura e Abasa was that these ayaat were descended about the man from Bani Umayyeh who was sitting with prophet peace be upon him. At the same time Abdullah bin Maktum entered, when the rich man saw the poverty stricken Abdullah he drew himself aside, not to get his dress dirty and contracted his facial expressions, got uneasy. In the above ayaat the Merciful God stated his acts and criticised and condemned it.
This circumstance of a revelation شان نزول is defined in the narration of imam Baqir alaihis salam. The great shia research scholar late Sayyid Murtuza had accepted this circumstance of revelation.
But the fact which clearly proves that nothing is told about the prophet peace be upon him himself in the ayaat 8 to 10 it is said in it: The one who continuously comes to you in hurry for hearing the ayaat of Allah and fears the Beneficent God and you become heedless of him.
As stated by sayyid Murtuza there are some indications in the ayaat which are not concerned to the prophet’s person.
To be grimed faced and stern was not the part of the prophet’s character particularly not the prophet of Islam. He was always talking to the people with a smiling and open face even with the enemies, with this kind of attitude; most certainly he was not treating the believers.
By: Makarim Shirazi in Tafsir Namuneh
Translated from Farsi into English by: Fatima Zabeth Beenesh
This Sura is descended in Mecca and had 42 ayaat.
The background of the descent of Sura e Abasa
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