Al-Muzzammil

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Sura 73 of the Quran
المزمل
Al-Muzzammil
The Enshrouded One
ClassificationMeccan
Other namesBundled Up, Cloaked, The Mantled One, The Enwrapped One
PositionJuzʼ 29
No. of Rukus2
No. of verses20
No. of words200
No. of letters854

al-Muzzammil (Arabic: المزمل‎, “The Enshrouded One”, “Bundled Up”, “Enfolded”) is the seventy-third chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an, containing 20 verses (āyāt), which are recognized by Muslims as the word of God (Allah).

Al-Muzzammil takes its name from the reference to prophet Muhammad, in his cloak praying at night, in the opening verses of the chapter. Many commentators claim that “The Enfolded One” is a name for Muhammad, used throughout the Qur'an.[1]

In the beginning of this surah, God prepares Muhammad for an important revelation. In preparation for this revelation, God loosens the strict regulation on night prayer. Muhammad is then instructed to be patient for the disbelievers will be punished in Hell, as exemplified by a story of Pharaoh's punishment.

Content[edit]

In the beginning of Al-Muzzammil (Quran 73), God expounds upon the merits of night prayer in the First Meccan Period. Muhammad, and subsequently the Muslim community, is commanded to “stay up throughout the night, all but a small part of it, half, or a little less, or a little more; recite the Qur’an slowly and distinctly.”[2] During the First Meccan Period, the total Qur'anic revelation was brief enough to recite during the night. As such, it was expected of Muslims to recite the Qur'an in full during the night. The night prayer was of such importance, because the believer's focus on prayer and separation from any distraction was believed to “make a deeper impression”[3] on the believer.[4]

However, as time passed, the Qur'an continued to grow, and by the time ayat 20 was revealed, the Qur'an was too long to fully recite during the night. Consequently, God relaxes his prior command to recite the Qur'an at night. Muhammad is told to pray what is easy for him during the night (“recite as much of the Qur’an is easy for you”[5]), but to continue to pray throughout the day (“keep up the prayer [during the day], pay the prescribed alms, and lend God a good loan[6]).

Meccan vs. Medinan Sura[edit]

Quran 73 (Q73) is split between Mecca and Medina, with the majority of its ayat being revealed in Mecca (verses 1-19) and its final verse (verse 20) being revealed in Medina. In his famous “Geschichte des korans”, Theodor Nöldeke places this Sura in the First Meccan Period with the exceptions of ayat 10, 11 and 20 which were added at a later time.[7][8]

There are three major textual suggestions that Q73:20 is Medinan and not Meccan. Firstly, there is a clear discrepancy in the length of ayat 1-19 and verse 20, with the first 19 verses being short and verse 20 being a paragraph in length. This is a trend through the Qur'an; verses revealed in Mecca are shorter, as Muhammad is more focused on spreading the message of Islam, and the verses revealed in Medina are longer as Muhammad attempts to outline the ideal Muslim society. Secondly, there is a change in how Allah is referenced. In the first 19 ayat, Allah refers to himself mostly as “We” and “your Lord.” In ayat 20, there is a change in voice as Allah begins to refer to himself in the third person “He.” This grammatical shift is called an iltifat, and is used for rhetorical purposes to arouse the reader's attention.[9] The reference to fighting, further gives credence to it being Medinan. Finally, the Arabic verses 1-19 contain an end rhyme. Verse 20 breaks this end rhyme, suggesting that it was revealed at a different time.

Placement and coherence with other surahs[edit]

The idea of textual relation between the verses of a chapter has been discussed under various titles such as nazm and munasabah in non-English literature and coherence, text relations, intertextuality, and unity in English literature. Hamiduddin Farahi, an Islamic scholar of the Indian subcontinent, is known for his work on the concept of nazm, or coherence, in the Quran. Fakhruddin al-Razi (died 1209 CE), Zarkashi (died 1392) and several other classical as well as contemporary Quranic scholars have contributed to the studies.[10] This surah belongs to the last (7th) group of surahs which starts from Surah Al-Mulk (67) and runs till the end of the Quran. According to Javed Ahmad Ghamidi

The theme of this group is Warning the leadership of the Quraysh of the consequences of the Hereafter, and delivering glad tidings to Muhammad (sws) of the supremacy of the truth in Arabia. This theme gradually reaches its culmination through the arrangement of various surahs in this group.[11][12]

Phase From To Central theme
I Al-Mulk [Quran 67:1] Al-Jinn [Quran 72:1] Indhar (Warning)
II Al-Muzzammil [Quran 73:1] Al-Inshirah [Quran 94:1] Indhar-i ‘am (Augmented Warning)
III At-Tin [Quran 95:1] Quraysh (surah) [Quran 106:1] Itmam al-Hujjah (Conclusive Communication of the Truth)
IV Al-Ma'un [Quran 107:1] Al-Ikhlas [Quran 112:1] Hijrah and Bara’ah (Migration and Acquittal)
V Al-Falaq [Quran 113:1] Al-Nas [Quran 114:1] The Conclusion/The End

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sahl b. Abd Allāh al-Tustarī
  2. ^ Haleem, Qur’an 73:2-4, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/book/islam-9780192831934?sura=73&astart=1&asize=40
  3. ^ Haleem, Qur’an 73:6, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/book/islam-9780192831934?sura=73&astart=1&asize=40
  4. ^ Tafsir al-Jalalayn
  5. ^ Haleem, Qur’an 73:20, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/book/islam-9780192831934?sura=73&astart=1&asize=40
  6. ^ Haleem, Qur’an 73:20, http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/book/islam-9780192831934?sura=73&astart=1&asize=40
  7. ^ Nöledke, Geschichet des korans, https://archive.org/details/geschichtedesqor00nluoft
  8. ^ Oakwa, Chronology of Qur’anic Suras, http://www.unc.edu/~cernst/chronology.htm
  9. ^ Haleem, Grammatical Shift For The Rhetorical Purposes: Iltifāt And Related Features In The Qur'ān, http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Text/Grammar/iltifaat.html
  10. ^ Hamiduddin Farahi, translated by Tariq Mahmood Hashmi (2008). Exordium to coherence in the Quran : an English translation of Fātiḥah Niẓām al-Qurʼān (1st ed.). Lahore: al-Mawrid. ISBN 9698799575.
  11. ^ Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
  12. ^ https://www.javedahmedghamidi.org/#!/quran-home

External links[edit]

  • Explanation at quran.com [1]