In the Name of Allah, Most Kind, Most Merciful
- By the sun and its brightness,
- And by the moon when it follows it
- And by the day when it shows up (the sun’s brightness),
- And the night when it veils it
- And by the sky and He Who built it,
- And by the earth and He who shaped it,
- And by the soul and He Who perfected it,
- And inspired it with what is wrong for it and what is good for
- Surely, he has succeeded who purifies it,
- And he has failed who corrupts
- The people of Thamood denied the Truth through their overwhelming arrogance,
- When the most wretched of them was sent forth [to hamstring the she-camel];
- The Messenger of Allah said: Do not harm Allah’s she-camel or [prevent her from] her drink [of water].
- But they denied him and hamstrung her. So their Lord brought upon them destruction for their sin and made them equal in destruction.
- And He does not fear the consequences of doing so.
Surat Ash-Shams begins with a series of oaths. It is important to note that the Arabic word for sun ash-Shams is feminine in Arabic. It therefore, takes the feminine pronoun ‘haa’. This Quranic tone gives pleasure to the reciter of this surah. One enjoys repeating it and drawing closer to Allah
Verses 8, 9 and 10 reveal a great psychological fact. Allah has given everyone a conscience or inner voice. This conscience enables man to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. The person who learns to listen to his inner voice finds that this voice becomes louder and audible; such a person achieves success, while the person who stifles this voice and remains unmindful to it fails.
The second part of the surah evokes the civilization of Thamood and the ruin of its great city. The Quran attributes the destruction of Thamood to their rejection of the call of their Prophet Salih, a rejection that led to the destruction of other peoples before Thamood as well.
The people of Thamood disobeyed their Prophet Salih. They rejected the truth that he came with, as the she-camel of Allah was his miracle, which Allah had brought forth from a rock as a sig for them and a proof against them. They transgressed against her in her drinking, for she had been allocated a day to drink and they had been allocated a day to drink. They slaughtered Allah’s she camel. Nothing was more sinful for them than the unjustified killing of the she camel. By slaying her, they disobeyed Allah and rebelled against Him; this of course led to their destruction. Modern civilizations have valuable lessons to learn from the ruined tribe of Thamood.