Surah ahqaf (English Pronunciation: Al-Ahqaf, Arabic:الأحقاف; Meaning: “Dunes”, “the winding sand tracts” or “the sand hills”) which is referring to the present location of “The Al-Ahqaf region is located in “Hadramout” between Yemen, Oman and The United Arab Emirates in the Empty Quarter Desert. Archeologists pointed to this area as the residence of Prophet Hud’s (PUH) former nation the “People of Aad”, where their dwelling palaces and houses are monuments engraved in the rocks and still exist in this place now in this area as a witness to their previous existence thousands of years ago.

Surah al ahqaf is giving an example to the disbeliever enemies of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), as well as reminding Mankind about the consequences of defying Allah and his Messengers and that there will be a horrifying punishment for infidels in the end, like what had happened with “The Aad People” when they mocked at Prophet Hud (PUH) and accused him of being insane when he was trying to remind them that they will be resurrected after death and they will be judged for their doings by Allah The Almighty, and so they deserved the punishment and were destroyed by severe destructive wind.

Why was surah ahqaf revealed?

Al ahqaf was revealed for a reason, it was reported under the authority of “Abdullah bin Abbas” the Prophet’s companion may Allah be pleased with him, who mentioned: “As the suffering increased among the companions of the Prophet peace be upon him that in Mecca, Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) told his companions he saw that he will emigrate to a land of palms, water. And when the Prophet told them, they became very happy and optimistic hearing that good news as they saw in that a big relief from the distress they faced from the harm of the disbelievers of Mecca.

So the Muslims waited for a while then they began to worry as doubt started to sneak into their hearts. They asked The Prophet (PBUH) When will we migrate to the land that you saw?
The Prophet remained silent out of respect, so Allah revealed this verse: “ Say, I was not different from all other Messengers, and I do not know what is done to me or to you. I only follow what is revealed to me, and I am but a plain warner”. Accordingly, and after Muslims stopped doubting, Allah rewarded them by emigration to Medina the land of palms, water, and trees as they were promised.

Where was surah ahqaf revealed?

The incidents that preceded Surah al ahqaf were very clear and well known to all Islamic Scholars because of the severity of the events that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and his companions faced. The Infidels of Mecca and their allies persecuted Prophet Muhammed and his companions and besieged them. They made a strict boycott among all the tribes not to trade or deal with them. As a result, Muslims were exposed to a lack of food and other living necessities and even were obliged to eat trees’ leaves out of hunger.

Accordingly, It was very easy for Scholars to determine that al ahqaf was revealed in Mecca in the 10th year of the Prophecy and before His migration (PBUH) and his companions to Medina, except the verse No.10 as all the Scholars confirmed that it was revealed in Medina.

When was surah ahqaf revealed?

surah ahqaf was revealed in the tenth year of the prophecy and turned into a year of excessive abuse and misery within the life of the Prophet. The Quraish tribe and her allies persevered in their boycott of the Muslims for three years, and the Prophet and his circle of relatives and associates were in a critical situation. At the end of this siege, Abu Talib, the uncle of the Prophet who had been defending him for 10 long years, died followed by the death of his beloved wife Lady Khadija- may Allah be pleased with her -, and this year was named “The Year Of Grief” due to the grief of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and the sorrow felt deeply in the hearts of the believers and their great suffering.

Scholars identified that surah ahqaf was revealed at the end of this same year; “The Year of Grief”, which was the 10th year of the Prophethood and the beginning of the 11th year before the migration of the Prophet(PBUH) and his companions to Medina.

surah ahqaf read online 

surah ahqaf read online 
surah ahqaf read online

Why the surah was named al ahqaf?

Verse No.21 of surah al ahqaf is telling: “And mention, [O Muḥammad], the brother of Aad [Prophet HUD], when he warned his people in [the region of] al ahqaf – and warners had already passed on before him and after him – [saying], “Do not worship except Allah. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a terrible day.”

The word al ahqaf is a plural Arabic word meaning “the dunes of sand” or “the sand hills”, which refers to a certain location in the Empty Quarter desert between Yemen and Oman specifically in a desert valley in the south of the present-day Arabian Peninsula.

It was proven by the Arab Archeologists that this valley is to be the previous residence of Prophet Hud’s (PUH) folk; The Aad People. The people of Aad lived in the al ahqaf region.

What is the main theme of surah al ahqaf?

Each surah in the Holy Quran is delivering certain messages to Mankind across ages. Messages to Muslims and Non-Muslims as well. After reading surah ahqaf carefully we can figure out its main theme.

Like all other Makki surahs, it calls for the correct belief in the oneness of Allah, to believe the message of all Messengers, and to believe in the Resurrection Day, its reward, and punishment.

Confirming the authenticity of the message of our Messenger(PBUH) and the truthfulness of what he brought from his Allah, Glory be to Him.

A statement that life in this world is for a certain purpose and that Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth.

Stating that the disbelievers are careless about the warnings they have been warned about.

Mentioning the arrogant reaction and the refusal of the heads of Infidelity against the revelation and believers.

Surah al ahqaf clarifies the misguidance of the disbelievers, and their fault in worshiping idols, which neither harm nor benefit, nor see nor hear.

Al ahqaf falsified that the Holy Quran is nothing but sorcery as the infidels claimed.

Recommended honoring and respect of Parents and warned the disbelievers that if they continue to disbelieve they would be punished like the former Resurrection Day.

Mentioning that a group of Jinn believed when they heard the Holy Quran recited by the Messenger (PBUH) and transferred it to their people assuring that it is like what had been revealed to Muses (PBUH) urging them to believe.

Surah ahqaf clarifies that Allah, who created the heavens and the earth, was not affected by fatigue or weakness, and that He alone is capable of reviving them after their death, and their reckoning for what they committed, presenting a picture of the people of Hud’s destruction in villages not far Mecca.

Al ahqaf was concluded with the support of the Messenger of Allah, and Allah commanded His Messenger to be patient with the denial of his people, and their harm to him.

Is surah al ahqaf makki or madani?

Surah ahqaf is a Mekki surah revealed in the “Year Of Grief” when Prophet Muhammed’s Uncle and Wife passed away, except for verse 10 as some of the commentators believe that Verse 10 is a Madani, and some others added verses 15 and 35 to be Madani also.

In which para is surah al ahqaf?

Surah al ahqaf is the 46th chapter in the Holy Quran located in Para (Juz’) No.26. Revelation Number 65 with 35 Verses count. It was revealed after Surah Al Jathiyah and before Surah Al Dhariyat.

How to memorize surah al ahqaf?

To memorize al ahqaf there is a magnificent way which is by drawing a mental Map:
All you have to do is to draw a diagram for surah ahqaf following the next steps:

a) Label each consecutive group of verses that deliver a meaning together inside a box.
b) Repeat the previous step for the following groups of verses.
c) Connect the boxes to get a Flow Chart for the whole surah al ahqaf.
d) Start with the 1st box and recite the 1st group of verses many times until you learn them by heart.
e) Repeat the previous step for the following groups of verses.

And here is an example of how you go:
Group 1 Verses Box: Al Ahqaf introduction
a) Verses 1-3 [The Holy Quran is the true word of Allah].
b) Verses 4-11 [Refutation of the allegations of the disbelievers].
c) Verse 12 [Moses book of revelation].
d) Verses 13-14 [Heaven’s owners].

Group 2 Verses Box: The commandment of Parents’ Honoring
a) Verses 15-16 [He who is good to his parents and his reward].
b) Verses 17-20 [He who is bad to his parents becomes a loser in life and afterlife].

Group 3 Verses Box: The Story of Aad People
Verses 21-28 [Prophet Hud’s (PUH) message to the people of Aad and their punishment after their abusive reaction].

Group 4 Verses Box: Jinn incident
Verses 29-3 [The good reaction of Jinn after they heard the Quran recited by Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)].

Group 5 Verses Box: Surah al ahqaf ending

Verses 33-35 [Conclusion of al ahqaf chapter].

-This method is proven to be a great way of helping to memorize.

Surah ahqaf benefits

It was not stated that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) had mentioned certain benefits for reciting surah ahqaf in particular. We are ordered not to believe in something he hadn’t delivered to us.

On the other hand, reciting the Holy Quran in general comes with great benefits for all of us.
1- Source of Guidance and Light in our daily life.

2- Giving Answers to questions of life.

3- Healing for body and soul.

4- Keeping us stable against life trials.

5-The one who is proficient in the recitation of the Quran will be with the honorable angels in heaven, and he who recites the Quran and finds it difficult to recite, doing his best to recite it in the best way possible, will have two rewards as mentioned by Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

6- Mindset correction.

dua surah ahqaf

dua surah ahqaf
dua surah ahqaf

Hadith on surah al ahqaf

There is no particular Hadith surah al ahqaf that mentioned it specially. But a Hadith is stating the reward of reciting from the holy Quran.

Ibn Masud (mAbpwh) reported that the Messenger (PBUH) said: “Whoever recites a letter from the Book of Allah will be credited with a good deed, and the good deed receives a ten-fold reward. I am not saying that ” (Alif-Lam-Mim [A-L-M]) is one letter!, but Alif[A] is a letter, Lam[L] is a letter and Mim[M] is a letter.”[At- Tirmidhi].

Surah ahqaf summary

Al ahqaf was descended to Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in the “Year Of Grief” when he lost his Uncle and his beloved wife Khadija, in the same period of persecution of Muslims by the infidels of Quraish.

Surah ahqaf was sent at this time of sorrow and grief to deliver certain messages to Muslims and disbelievers as well:
It told the disbelievers that the Idols that they worshiped were not even aware of their prayers to them. The Holy Quran is the word of Allah and not the word of the Prophet. The Prophet is but a plain warner. The Quran confirms the revelation of the Torah given to Prophet Moses. Those who treat their parents with kindness shall be rewarded and those who rebuke their parents shall be punished. No deity can save people from the wrath of Allah. A group of jinn embraced Islam after hearing The Quran. Pass the Message of Allah and bear with disbelievers patiently.

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