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Abasa

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Surat Abasa () (He Frowned) is the 80th sura of the Qur'an with 42 Ayat. It is a Meccan sura (revealed in Mecca).

Analysis Edit

In the Sunni view this sura reprimands Muhammad for not paying attention to a poor blind man and pursuing a rich delegation of the Quraish chiefs trying to convert them to Islam. Reprimanding a prophet in a sacred text is unusual, yet according to Sunni scholars, it was Muhammad being reprimanded and not another figure.

The Blind man however earned a mention in the Qur'an, although not by name, whereas Caliphs and many other pious Muslims didn't earn that privilege. His name is Abdullah bin Umm-Maktum and then God goes on reminding the prophet that the poor blind man might have been ready to accept preaching about Islam. God then exclaims why those addressed were pursuing people who considered themselves not in need, including the need of assistance, yet that person attended to them and ignored the blind man.

In the Shia view, this surah is not a criticism of Muhammad, who according to Shi'ite theology is infallible, but rather, it is a completely separate group of people being reprimanded. The text of the Qur'an itself never mentions the name of Muhammad. Rather, the Sunni view is dependent on hadiths rejected by the Shia.

The Shia argument [1] is as follows:

<Since the ‘subject of the narration’ is not mentioned in the chapter, perhaps an intellectual argument can be presented by first examining the aim of the revelation of the chapter which is to reprimand one who prefers the affluent and wealthy over the weak and destitute among the believers, who elevates the people of the world and degrades the people of the Hereafter. Then the chapter continues to elude to the frailty of human creation and his extreme dependence in managing his affair, and despite all this, his ungratefulness vis-à-vis the blessings of his Lord and His magnificent control over his affairs. The chapter finally ends with a mention of the human being's resurrection and reprisal as a word of admonition.

Based on the above, is it intellectually plausible that it was the Prophet (s) who frowned at the blind man? As a matter of fact there is an apparent indication that the verses refer to other than the Prophet (s) for the act of frowning is not among the noble characteristics of the Prophet (s). Further, the description about the one who frowned does not resemble the noble traits of the Prophet (s) and especially after God has venerated his character traits at the onset of his apostleship and does that in the absolute sense as mentioned in chapter 68:4,

‘And indeed you possess a great character.’

It is also intellectually immoral to say that God did not prohibit him from such an act except in this case, as claimed by others. And a character trait (khulq) as mentioned in verse 68:4 is a habitual disposition (malakah) that cannot perform an act contrary to what it dictates.>

The last verses describe the horror people feel at the day of judgment and one can imply on that day only one's behavior that counts;

33. Then when there comes As-Sakhkhah (the second blowing of the Trumpet on the Day of Resurrection) 34. That Day shall a man flee from his brother, 35. And from his mother and his father, 36. And from his wife and his children. 37. Everyman that Day will have enough to make him careless of others. 38. Some faces that Day will be bright (true believers of Islâmic Monotheism), 39. Laughing, rejoicing at good news (of Paradise).40. And other faces, that Day, will be dust-stained.41. Darkness will cover them.42. Such will be the Kafarah (disbelievers in Allah, in His Oneness, and in His Messenger Muhammad etc.), the Fajarah (wicked evil doers).

TranslationEdit

1. He frowned and turned away,

2. Because there came to him the blind man (interrupting).

3. And what would make you know that he would purify himself,

4. Or that he might receive admonition, and the teaching might profit him?

5. As for him who thinks himself self-sufficient

6. To him you attend

7. What does it matter to you if he does not become purified?

8. But as for him who came to you running,

9. And is afraid( of Allah's punishment)

10. To him you are neglectful

11. No! Indeed these verses are a reminder

12. So whoever wills, let him pay attention to it

13. It is recorded in honered books

14. Exalted, purified,

15. Written by the hands of scribes-

16. Noble and righteous.

17. Cursed is the disbelieving man! How ungrateful he is!

18. From what thing did He create from?

19. From a sperm drop He created him and destined for him

20. That He made the way easy for him

21. Then He causes his death and puts him in the grave

22. Then, when it is His Will, He will resurrect him

23. No! Man has not accomplished what He commanded him

24. Then let man look at his food,

25. How we poured down water in torrents

26. And We split the earth in fragments,

27. And caused to grow within it grain

28. And grapes and clover,

29. And Olives and Dates,

30. And thick gardens,

31. And fruits and herbage

32. A provision for you and for your cattle.

33. But when the deafening cry comes,

34. That Day shall a man flee from his own brother,

35. And from his mother and his father,

36. And from his wife and his children.

37. Each one of them, that Day, will have enough concern (of his own) to make him careless of others.

38. Some faces that Day will be beaming,

39. Laughing, rejoicing.

40. And other faces that Day will be dust-stained,

41. Veiled in darkness,

42. Those are the disbelievers, the wicked.


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