Sūrat Yā Sīn
|Position||Juz' 22, 23|
|Structure||5 rukus, 83 verses|
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Yā Sīn (Arabic: سورة يس) is the 36th 'chapter' of the Qur'an with 83 ayat, and is one of the Meccan suras. It is often referred to as "the Heart of the Qur'an" in accordance with a well-known hadith of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. The sura focuses on establishing the Qur'an as a divine source, and it warns of the fate of those that mock God's revelations and are stubborn. The sura tells of the punishments that plagued past generations of nonbelievers as a warning to present and future generations. Additionally, the sura reiterates God's sovereignty as exemplified by His creations through signs from nature. The sura ends with arguments in favor of the existence of Resurrection and God's sovereign power. The name of the chapter comes from the two letters of the first verse of the chapter, which has caused much scholarly debate, and which Tafsir al-Jalalayn, a Sunni Tafsir, interprets by saying "God knows best what He means by these."
Heart of the Qur'an
It has been proposed that Sura Yā Sīn is the "heart of the Qur'an." This comes from the idea that everything has a heart, and that sura Yā Sīn is the “heart of the Qur’an.” Again, the meaning of “the heart” has been the basis of much scholarly discussion. The eloquence of this sura is traditionally regarded as representative of the miraculous nature of the Qur'an. It presents the essential themes of the Qur'an, such as the sovereignty of God, the unlimited power of God as exemplified by His creations, Paradise, the ultimate punishment of nonbelievers, resurrection, the struggle of believers against polytheists and nonbelievers, and the reassurance that the believers are on the right path, among others. Sura Yā Sīn presents the message of the Qur'an in an efficient and powerful manner, with its quick and rhythmic verses.
Sections and themes of Ya Sin
There are three main themes of Sura Yā Sīn: Tawhid, the oneness of Allah, Risalah, that Muhammad is a messenger sent by God to guide His creations through divine revelation, and the reality of al-aakhirah. 36:70 “This is a revelation, an illuminating Qur’an to warn anyone who is truly alive, so that God’s verdict may be passed against the disbelievers.”  The sura repeatedly warns of the consequences of not believing in the legitimacy or the revelation of Muhammad, and encourages believers to remain steadfast and resist the mockery, oppression, and ridicule they receive from polytheists and nonbelievers. The arguments arise in three forms: a historical parable, a reflection on the order in the universe, and lastly a discussion of resurrection and human accountability.
The chapter begins with an affirmation of the legitimacy of Muhammad. For example, verses 2-6, "By the wise Qur'an, you [Muhammad] are truly one of the messengers sent of a straight path, with a revelation from the Almighty, the Lord of Mercy, to warn a people whose forefathers were not warned, and so they are unaware." The first passage, verses 1-12, focuses primarily with promoting the Qur'an as guidance and establishing that it is God's sovereign choice who will believe and who will not. It is stated that regardless of a warning, the nonbelievers cannot be swayed to believe. 36:10 “It is all the same to them whether you warn them or not: they will not believe.”
Sura Yā Sīn then proceeds to tell the tale of the messengers that were sent to warn nonbelievers, but who were rejected. Although the messengers proclaimed to be legitimate, they were accused of being ordinary men by the nonbelievers. 36:15-17 They said, 'Truly, we are messengers to you,' but they answered, 'You are only men like ourselves. The Lord of Mercy has sent nothing; you are just lying." Upon his death, the third messenger entered Paradise, and lamented the fate of the nonbelievers. 36:26 "He was told, 'Enter the Garden,' so he said, 'If only my people knew how my Lord has forgiven me and set me among the highly honored. This sura is meant to warn the nonbelievers of the consequences of their denial, but verse 36:30 implies that regardless, the nonbelievers will not see. Alas for human beings! Whenever a messenger comes to them they ridicule him.  But ultimately, it is God's will who will be blind and who will see.
The following passage addresses the signs of God's supremacy over nature. This is presented by the sign of revived land, the sign of day and night, the sign of the arc and the flood, and the sign of the sudden blast that arrives on the day of judgement. 36:33-37 The sign of revived land follows, "There is a sign for them in this lifeless earth: We give it life and We produce grains from it for them to eat; We have put gardens of date palms and grapes in the earth, and We have made water gush out of it so that they could eat its fruit. It is not their own hands that made all this. How can they not give thanks? Glory be to Him who created all the pairs of things that the earth produces, as well as themselves and other things they do not know about.” The disbelievers do not recognize God’s power in the natural world, although He is the one Creator.
The sura further addresses what will happen to those who reject the right path presented by Muhammad and refuse to believe in Allah. On the last day, the day of reckoning, the nonbelievers will be held accountable for their actions and will be punished accordingly. God warned the nonbelievers of Satan, and yet Satan led them astray. 36:60-63 “Children of Adam, did I not command you not to serve Satan, for he was your sworn enemy, but to serve Me? This is the straight path. He has led great numbers of you astray. Did you not use your reason? So this is the fire that you were warned against.” Although God warned them against following Satan, the nonbelievers were deaf, and so now they will suffer the consequences of their ill judgements. 36:63 So this is the Fire that you were warned against. Enter it today, because you went on ignoring [my commands]."
The sura proceeds to address the clear nature of the revelation and assure that Muhammad is a legitimate prophet. 36:69 states, “We have not taught the Prophet poetry, nor could he ever have been a poet.”  Sura Ya Sin concludes by reaffirming God’s sovereignty and absolute power. 36:82-83 “When He wills something to be, His way is to say, “Be”—and it is! So glory be to Him in whose Hand lies control over all things. It is to Him that you will all be brought back.”  It is to God, the one Creator who holds everything in His hands, that everything returns. The closing passage is absolute and powerful and carries an essential message of the Qur'an.
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- The Qur'an. A new translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem. Oxford University Press. 2004. Pg.281
- The Qur'an. A new translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem. Oxford University Press. 2004. Pg. 282
- The Qur'an. A new translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem. Oxford University Press. 2004. Pg.282
- The Qur'an. A new translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem. Oxford University Press. 2004. Pg. 283
- Surah Ya Sin (Complete text in Arabic with English and French translations)
- Read Surat al-Yasin in arabic, english translation and transliteration
- Learn Surah Yaseen on MountHira.com with Arabic audio, Arabic text, English translation and English transliteration of the Arabic text
- The Noble Qur'an translation
- Ya-Sin with English Translation and Audio
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