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Surah Quraish, Chapter 106

(Custodians of the Ka’aba)
Number of Verses: 4

Contents of the Surah

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

This Meccan Surah is, indeed, the supplement to the preceding one; Surah Fil. The verses of the Surah are a clear evidence for this idea. They describe the blessings the Quraish tribe were given to enjoy; might they be thankful to Him and worship Him, the Lord of the Sacred House (Ka'ba) from which they obtained all their honour and high social status.

As was said at the beginning of Surah Duha, which is considered one Surah with Surah Inshirah, the same as Surah Fil is with Surah Quraish, the unity and similarity of the matters, in both of them (Fil and Quraish), are so much so that they can be taken as an evidence for the unity of Surah Duha and Surah Inshirah.

That is why both of them must be recited together, one set or the other in one 'rak'at' of a prayer, as a complete Surah if one chooses them in his obligatory prayers.

For more explanation on this subject, books of jurisprudence (chapters on prayers and recitation) are at your disposal.

The Virtue of Studying Surah Quraish

On the virtue of reciting the Surah, a tradition is adequate to cite from the holy Prophet (S) who has been narrated to have said:

"He who recites it is rewarded ten 'good deeds' as many as the number of those who perform the ritual circumambulation of the Ka'ba, and spiritual retreat in the Sacred Mosque".1

Assuredly such a virtue is of a person who humbly worships Allah, Who is the Lord of Ka'ba, and protects the nobility of the House and hearkens to the message of the shrine with the ear of his soul and practices it.

Surah Quraish, Verses 1-4

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

لِإِيلَافِ قُرَيْشٍ

إِيلَافِهِمْ رِحْلَةَ الشِّتَاء وَالصَّيْفِ

فَلْيَعْبُدُوا رَبَّ هَذَا الْبَيْتِ

الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ

1. “For stabilizing and unifying the Quraish,"
2. “(We maintain for them) their trading caravans by winter and summer,"
3. “So let them worship the Lord of this House (Ka'ba),"
4. “Who fed them against hunger and secured them from fear.”

In the previous Surah (Fil) the story of the destruction of the possessors of the elephant and Abrahah's army, who came to Mecca intending to destroy the Ka'ba and obliterate that Sacred House, was stated. In the first verse of this Surah which is, in fact, the supplement to it, followed to the idea that

'We destroyed the companions of the elephant and made them like straw eaten up'

before the advent of the Prophet of Islam (S), it says:

"For stabilizing and unifying the Quraish"

The term /ilaf/ is an infinitive which means 'uniting together', and the term /ulfat/ means 'a gathering with intimacy and union'.

Some have construed / ilaf/, deriving from another root, to mean 'agreement, compact' which is not appropriate with the content of the Surah. So, the purpose of using it is for the familiarity and union amongst the Quraish tribe who, together with all the citizens of Mecca, had settled there because of the honour, importance and security of the Holy Ka'ba for which, every year, many people from Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula came to that city for pilgrimage, also taking profit from some commercial and literacy exchanges.

All of them were obtained under the existence of that peculiar security.

If the army of Abrahah, and the like, could have disturbed the security or were successful in destroying the Ka'ba, no other people would become familiar with the region.

"(We maintain for them) their trading caravans by winter and summer.”

The purpose of the unifying and familiarity of the Quraish may be due to their love for their sacred land. The political and economical importance of the Holy Shrine (Ka'ba), for the Quraish, then secure from the invasions of the hostile tribes in the Arabian Peninsula thus made them monopolize the trade of the area from the North to the South and vice-versa.

In the summer, they used to go to Syria which had moderate weather and in winter to Yemen where they enjoyed a warm climate, for the purposes of trade, and it was by Allah's Grace that they travelled safe and undisturbed on their journeys, otherwise, the routes were not safe and none could travel without being plundered and suffering death and destruction or suffering heavy losses. (Of course, for the same love, they did not leave Mecca to settle in these places).

It was the position of the Quraish with regard to their connection with their services to the Holy Ka'ba that they received, by the Will of Allah, the security and honour from the people. He planned to keep them safe, by His Grace, for the advent of Islam and the holy Prophet (S) to emerge from that tribe and in that sacred land.

But, the same tribe, the Quraish, whose protection, safety and honour was due to the Holy Ka'ba being in their city and they being its guardians, later became the prime enemies of Islam.

At the beginning, the main cause of their opposition, to the advent of Islam, was the fear of losing their supremacy in the political and economical fields; and later, vices in different forms were committed by the Ommayyid and Abbaside Kalifs who were of the Quraish tribe, for other worldly motives. They were so hideous that history will never forget them, although all of whatever they had, were from Islam; the command of Allah.

"So let them worship the Lord of this House (Ka'ba)”.
"Who fed them against hunger and secured them from fear".

When the Quraish had been granted such great blessings; security in trade for gaining profit and in life for being honoured, they should have gratefully worshipped the Lord of the Ka'ba, Who, inspite of their land being only a desert and thus unproductive, provides them with every kind of good food and the other provisions of life, through merchandise and the pilgrimage, which is brought to their very door. And Allah had protected them from the most formidable enemy, Abrahah.

This was an open admonition to the Quraish who, at the start of the ministry of the holy Prophet (S), had been the most persistent enemies of the apostle of Allah and the message of the Unity of the Lord which he preached. It was as well as a warning inviting their attention to the Mighty power of Allah Who could also destroy them and humiliate them as He did with their mighty foe, Abrahah.

Supplication

O Lord! Give us the success of worshipping You, being grateful for the blessings, and guarding this Great House.

O Lord! Increase the glory and respect of this important Islamic Center every day, and set it as a link for the connection between the Muslims in the world.

O Lord! Cut off the hands of all wicked enemies from it and banish away all those who abuse this great center.

  • 1. Majma-al-Bayan, vol. 10, p. 543, and Atyab-ul-Bayan, vol. 14, p. 235.

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