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How Well Do You Know Surah Mulk

How well do you know Surah Mulk? Learn more about the themes of the chapter and the merits of reciting it.

How well do you know Surah Mulk? Learn more about the themes of the chapter and the merits of reciting it.

SURAH mulk: AN OVERVIEW

Surah Mulk is the 67th chapter of the Holy Qu’ran. It is one of the shorter chapters, comprising of only 30 verses. Surah Mulk translates to ‘control’ or ‘sovereignty’ describing God’s overall authority over the Earth, the universe at large and the events that will transpire in the hereafter. The Surah was revealed early on in the Prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) and is a Meccan Surah. The Surah lays down the gauntlet for the disbelievers describing how God has total power over them and everything else in the world, both in this life and the next. The Surah tries to warn the disbelievers they will regret the day they are raised from the ground – unless they repent and change their ways.

Merits of reciting surah mulk

Reciting or listening to Surah Mulk has numerous benefits.

Intercession For Forgiveness

If you recite the Surah, it will persistently ask God to forgive you until you are forgiven.

The Prophet said: “Indeed there is a Surah in the Qur’an of thirty Ayat, which intercedes for a man until he is forgiven. It is [Surah] Tabarak Alladhi Biyadihil-Mulk.”

(Tirmidhi)

Protection From the Punishment of the Grave

An amazing story narrated by Ibn Abbas, recorded in Tirmidhi.

“One of the companions of the Prophet pitched a tent on a grave without knowing that it was a grave. Suddenly he heard a person from the grave reciting Surah al-Mulk till he completed it. So he went to the Prophet and said: ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, I pitched my tent on a grave without realising that is a grave. Then suddenly I heard a person from the grave reciting Surah al-Mulk till he completed it.’ The Messenger of Allah said: ‘It is the defender, it is the deliverer – it delivers from the punishment of the grave.”

themes in surah mulk

Allah (SWT) uses this chapter to illustrate again and again His total dominion over everything. He emphasises this in various different ways.

The Creator of Everything

The Surah begins with an overall declaration of God power and total control:

Exalted is He who holds all control in His hands, who has power over all things.”

(67:1)

Allah (SWT) is not talking about His literal hands. God does not possess hands as we do nor is He made up of anything material. God clarifies this in verse four of chapter 112 where He says: “Nor is there anything equivalent to Him.” We are made up of matter but according to this verse, there is nothing conceivable that is equivalent to Him. Therefore, His ‘hand’ cannot be anything like ours.  Allah (SWT) is beyond material creation but uses words we can understand to get His message across to us.

The Creator of Death and Life

For centuries scholars of Islam have wondered why God mentions death before life in verse two:

who created death and life to test you (people) and reveal which of you does the best – He is the Mighty, the Forgiving.”

(67:2)

The whole purpose of our existence is summarised here. God creates us to test us through various commands and prohibitions to see who is the best at following their deen. In the hereafter, we are placed in our relevant rank based on how we lived our life. One explanation to suggest why death is mentioned before life is that ‘death’ refers to our death in this world and ‘life’ refers to our real eternal life after we die. Eternal life cannot begin unless death occurs ergo it’s mentioned before life.

The Perfection In All Created Things

In the next few verses Allah (SWT) talks about how He created everything in supreme perfection and challenges the disbelievers to try and find a flaw:

You will not see a flaw in what the Lord of Mercy creates. Look again! Can you see any flaw? Look again, and again! Your sight will turn back to you, weak and defeated.”

(67: 3-4)

The world works in perfect order day after day. There is not a single crack in the sky nor an inconsistency to be found in creation. God rhetorically asks the disbelievers to find a flaw knowing they won’t find anything –  almost suggesting what is stopping the disbelievers from believing.

God’s Power Over Everything

Numerous verses in this chapter talk about God’s power over everything and His all-encompassing knowledge. He warns the disbelievers that He knows about all their scheming, their secrets and everything in between:

Whether you keep your words secret or state them openly, He knows the contents of every heart.”

(67:13)

God presents logic to prove this claim when the following verse states: How could He who created not know His own creation?

God uses many examples to get the point across. In verse 15, He mentions how he expanded the Earth and made it a source of provision for all, where He could easily make the Earth swallow its inhabitants or send strong winds to destroy its people. In verse 19, God uses the example of the wings of the bird, asking people (rhetorically) who keeps the wings afloat? In another verse, God asks if the Earth swallows all the water who can provide more water?

Time and again God is asking such questions in the hope people will use their reason and accept the truth.

surah mulk is a message to disbelievers

Despite all these examples, the disbelievers are defiant. When the resurrection is mentioned, they ask when will it happen? (verse 25). In verse 21, God describes how the disbelievers continue in their insolence, outright rejecting the obvious truth unfolding in front of their eyes.

Ultimately, this leads to the remorse of the disbelievers on the Day of Judgement. The keeper of hell will ask them whether a warner came to them. They will reply in the affirmative, confess their sins and regret not listening to the prophets. This conversation is recorded between verses 9-11.

Lessons we can learn from surah mulk

Surah Mulk is a timely and emphatic reminder of God’s ultimate governance over the affairs of this worldly life and the afterlife. Anything we say or do, whether in secret or in open, does not go unnoticed. It is in our best interest to submit to God, the Creator of our provisions and comfort, which He can take away at any time.

God may sound ‘harsh’ in this Surah but that’s only because He is largely addressing the disbelievers who persist in defiance despite the clear truths being presented to them (the Prophet is in their midst)! Forgiveness is promised for those who seek and struggle in the straight path: There is forgiveness and a great reward for those who fear their Lord though they can’t see Him” (67:12)

 

 

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