PRE READ – The endless ocean : Ilm-ut-Tafseer
This is a Makkan surah and the surah starts with laam. This harf (letter) is used to explain that which comes after it i.e. “for the ilaaf (security) of Quraysh.” This, however, leaves the beginning part of this surah hanging. What is “for the ilaaf (security) of Quraysh”?
The answer is found is the previous surah where Allah (SWT) tells us how he dealt with the elephant “for the security of the Quraysh”. Therefore Ka’b ibn Ubay had these two surah in his mushaf as one surah without a basmala between them.
It has also been said that the laam at the beginning here i.e. “for the ilaaf (security) of Quraysh”, is answered by the later verse “so pray to your Lord” i.e. Allah has provided security (physical and financial) to the Quraysh – so pray to your Lord, the One through whom this was made possible.
Hashim (the Prophet Muhammad’s great grand-father) started the trade journeys which gave them financial security and during a severe drought he went and bought old bread, tore it up (hashama – tear up, hence his name) and added it to water and camels which were his own which he slaughtered making thareed – favourite dish of the Prophet (SAW).
The trading trips were in winter to Yemen and summer to The Shaam (Levant) and so this surah is to remind the Quraysh to worship the Lord of this house who fed them (hungry before the trade routes) and gave them security from fear (of the elephant)
Both of these surahs Al-Fil or Al-Quraish remind Quraish about the favours of Allah on them – no one else but Allah did this and they should therefore worship Allah alone.
لِإِيلَافِ قُرَيْشٍ – 106:1
For the accustomed security of the Quraysh –
- Li-ee-lafi ( لِإِيلَافِ ) : For (the) familiarity
- Quraysh ( قُرَيْشٍ ) : (Of the) Quraysh
إِيلَافِهِمْ رِحْلَةَ الشِّتَاءِ وَالصَّيْفِ – 106:2
Their accustomed security [in] the caravan of winter and summer –
- ee-lafi-him ( إِيلَافِهِمْ ) : Their familiarity
- Rih-latha ( رِحْلَةَ ) : (with the) Journey
- Ash-shithaa-i ( الشِّتَاءِ ) : (of) winter
- Wa-sawyf ( وَالصَّيْفِ ) : and summer
فَلْيَعْبُدُوا رَبَّ هَٰذَا الْبَيْتِ – 106:3
Let them worship the Lord of this House,
- Fal-ya-budu ( فَلْيَعْبُدُوا ) : So let them worship
- Rabba ( رَبَّ ) : (the) Lord
- Haaza-al-bayth ( هَٰذَا الْبَيْتِ ) : (of) this house
الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ – 106:4
Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe, [saving them] from fear.
- Al-lazi ( الَّذِي ) : The one who
- Ath-thaw-ama-hum ( أَطْعَمَهُم ) : Feeds them
- Min-jew-in ( مِّن جُوعٍ ) : Against hunger
- Wa-amana-hum ( وَآمَنَهُم ) : and gives them security
- Min-gawf ( مِّنْ خَوْفٍ ) : Against fear
Tafseer of Surah-Al-Quraysh was completed on the 25th of January 2018 at the Islamic Center Coffee Hall, Milton Keynes by Ustadh Mohamed