Quran Study: A Discussion on Surah Al Insan
Name: It gets its name from the first line. It is the 76th Surah in the Noble Quran.
Revelation: Most scholars state that it was revealed in Makkah, because of the way that it is written, but it is also stated that Line 8-10 was revealed in Medina.
Theme: This Surah is to remind Men and Women about who they are and why Allah made them. From the start Allah describes how we were at one time nothing but a small piece of flesh that our parents didn’t even know about. No one spoke about us; no one knew we were even there. Then, Allah made us into our forms so that He could bring us into the world to test us. He made us see and hear, gave us guidance to see if we would listen to Him, and follow him or reject Him and His Messengers (AS).
“Has there also passed on man a period of the endless time when he was not yet a thing worthy of mention? Indeed, We created man from a mixed sperm drop, to try him, and therefore We made him capable of hearing and seeing. We showed him the way, whether to be grateful or disbelieving.” (The Noble Quran, Surah Al Insan: 1-3)
He then describes how He will punish the ones that rejected His message and did whatever they wanted and how He will reward all those that believe in His Book and Messengers. Those who kept their vows, feared the Day of Judgment, and spent from their wealth, not for the praise or rewards of the people, but only for the sake of Allah SWT and the reward that He will give for good deeds.
These will be the people who fulfill their vows (in the world), and fear the Day whose evil shall be wide-spread, and who feed, out of love for Allah, the poor and the orphan and the captive, (saying), “We are feeding you only for the sake of Allah: we neither seek any reward from you nor thanks. We dread from our Lord the torment of the Day, which will be a long, dismal Day of affliction.” (The Noble Quran, Surah Al Insan: 7-10)
Allah then gives three beautiful statements and advice to the Prophet Muhammad SAW, which are really indirectly to the disbelievers:
- “Prophet, it is We Ourself Who have sent down this Qur’an piecemeal to you.” (The Noble Quran. Surah Al Insan: 23)
Allah is saying that he sent the Quran. And Allah goes on saying that he sent it in His order. And what is that order? It goes with the word piecemeal means a little at a time, piece-by-piece and bit-by-bit. So it would be easy to understand.
- “So be patient with regard to the command of your Lord, and do not obey any wicked or disbelieving person from among them.” (The Noble Quran, Surah Al Insan: 24)
Allah says be patient even when this path gets really hard, even when people aren’t nice to you and even when you feel lonely and lost. He says don’t trust the wicked and disbelieving people, because they will try to change your mind and take you away from Islam and the path to Allah SWT.
- “Remember the name of your Lord morning and evening, prostrate yourself before Him in the night, and glorify Him during the long hours of night.” (The Noble Quran, Surah Al Insan: 25-26)
So Allah is saying that remember Him all the time and even in the latest hours of the night. This will help us to stay connected to Him and on the right path. We don’t want to be left in the dark, like the people that Allah says:
Those whose eyes had been within a cover [removed] from My remembrance, and they were not able to hear.” (Quran 18:101)
Then Allah describes the people who disbelieve in His Signs as people who love the world and only what they can get from it. They want everything to come easy for them and want to get immediate rewards and comfort. They ignore the call from Allah and they don’t think about the Hereafter and what Allah has promised mankind.
“These people only love the quickly attainable (world), and neglect a heavy Day that is coming ahead. It is We Who have created them and strengthened their joints, and whenever it be Our will We can change their forms.” (The Noble Quran, Surah Al Insan: 27-28)
Allah says that they don’t realize that He made them strong and made it so that they can do all the things they are doing in the world, but they don’t care and they don’t think about Allah. He says that if He wanted He could change their forms at any time, Maulana Maududi describes this “form changing” Ayat as having three potential meanings:
- That Allah can destroy us and bring people who believe in Him.
- He can take our health and make us unhealthy and that we have strength, but Allah can us weak if He wills.
- He can recreate us in any form He desires after death.
This is indeed an admonition. Now whoever wills, let him adopt the way to his Lord, but you cannot will it unless Allah wills. Indeed Allah is All-knowing, All Wise. He admits into His mercy whomever He wills, and for the wrongdoers He has prepared a painful torment. (The Noble Quran Al Insan: 29-31)
Allah ends this Surah by saying that this is a reminder for all of mankind. It says that everyone is free to decide what they believe and how they act, but nothing can happen without Allah letting it happen, for the believer and disbeliever too. We don’t have full control over anything, Allah is in control and whether we want to do good or evil, He lets it happen or not happen. He controls the results of our actions and what will happen in the Hereafter. We can never say for sure, because He is the Master and it is His choice who he gives Mercy to and who He doesn’t, but He also repeats that for the people who have done wrong according to His decision, He will punish them for sure.
English Translation of Surah Al Insanin Audio / MP3