Dhu'l-Qa`dah 25, 1438
August 18, 2017

Special Publications
view special publications »

Upcoming Events
view upcoming events »

Discount Card
more info »

Search Archives

Home  »  Archives  »  Volume VIII - Issue 1  »  Surat `Abasa
October 2005Volume VIII - Issue 1Ramadan 1426

Surat `Abasa

“Nay; indeed it is an admonition” (Qur’an: 80:11).

Our beloved Prophet, salla Allahu `alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings be upon him), of highest moral character and most favorite to His Creator, commanded equality on the treatment of all humanity: the prestigious, the powerless, the affluent, the unfortunate, the Believers and the non-Believers.

As Muslims, we must understand how our adored Prophet (saws) led people to Islam and we must implement his example in our daily lives. His character was so impeccable that when he “frowned” to a blind man, Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (the Exalted and Glorified) reminded him that a frown is far from the dominion of Islam.

This incident led to the revelation of the eightieth surah (chapter) of the Holy Qur'an, Surat `Abasa, (He Frowned). The Prophet Muhammad (saws) was sitting with several of the important leaders of Makkah, intently engaged in conveying the message of Islam to them. A blind man named `Abdallah Ibn Umm Maktum approached him to seek Islamic guidance. The Prophet (saws) was repeatedly interrupted by Ibn Umm Maktum and finally turned slightly away from the blind man to continue talking to the leaders of Quraysh. Allah (swt) reprimanded the Prophet (saws) by commanding:

“And how can you (O Muhammad) know that he might become pure from sins? Or he might receive admonition and the admonition might profit him? As for him [leader in the Quraysh] who thinks himself self-sufficient, To him you attend; What does it matter to you if he will not become pure [from disbelief], But as to him [the blind man] who came to you running, And is afraid [of Allah and His punishment], Of him you are neglectful and divert your attention to another, Nay; indeed it is an admonition” (Qur'an 80:3-11).

Although it may seem as though Allah (swt) is expressing displeasure with His beloved Prophet (saws) for his unresponsive treatment of the blind man, in actuality, it is out of Allah's (swt) great love for the Prophet (saws) that He sent down the surah to guide him from this minor lapse. The Prophet (saws) was the most perfect man, and he did not regard the wealthy leaders of Quraysh as noble while viewing a poor blind man as contemptible. Instead, the Prophet (saws) understood that he needed influential leaders to spread the message of Islam and further his noble cause. His inspiration while calling humanity to Islam was sincerity and the will to promote his mission to all people.

This surah is a prime example of how closely Allah (swt) watched the Prophet's (saws) actions in relation to his character. His every move was closely critiqued to the extent that a simple frown to a blind man demanded correction. Thus, as Muslims, we are reassured that the sunnah (sayings and actions) of the Prophet (saws) is perfect because anything less would have been revealed by Allah (swt) in the Qur'an. Surat ‘Abasa also sheds light on the honesty of the Prophet (saws). If he were to conceal any of the revelations he received, would he not have chosen to omit this particular chapter? The fact that this surah is in place in the Qur'an is a clear indication of the Prophet's (saws) integrity and humbleness. He had such an immense love for Allah (swt) that he was only concerned with conveying the message of Allah (swt) and communicating the ideal moral character on this earth.

When understanding the whole surah in an objective manner, we conclude that there are certain guidelines for da'wah (calling to Islam). We must always be mindful of how we present ourselves and our deen (way of life) to others. Every person who seeks truth is important, even if he or she is powerless or deprived, and should thus be given priority. Nonetheless, we are required to proclaim and convey the teachings of Islam to all equally.

The Prophet's (saws) example should be implemented in our daily lives. He never treated people unjustly and always gave them the utmost respect and attention while conveying the message of Islam. When the Prophet (saws) frowned to the blind man, `Abdallah Ibn Umm Maktum was unable to see the frown, yet the Prophet (saws) was still reprimanded. This should be a lesson to us all that even if people cannot see our actions, Allah (swt) is watching each and every action, for verily, “Allah is ever Knower of all things” (Qur'an 33:54). ̹

ABOUL-NASR is a UC Irvine alumnus with a B.A. in Psychology and Social Behavior, and Criminology Law and Society.

Inside this Issue

Science & Technology

view archives »