ABASA


Makkah Period

Revealed in Makkah in the early years of Islam, this sūrah of 42 verses takes its name from the verb, ‘ABaSa (he frowned), in the first verse. It stresses that everyone, whatever their family origin or social status, is equal with respect to the communication of God’s Message. It invites people to reflect on some works of God’s Power and warns against the Day of Resurrection.


  1. He (a disbelieving, haughty man) frowned and turned away,
  2. Because (while he was talking with the Messenger) the blind man approached him.
  3. What would inform you (O haughty one) but that he might grow in purity (by doing good deeds)?
  4. Or that he might grow mindful (of God’s Message), and the reminder benefit him?
  5. As for him who deems himself to be independent (not needy of Divine guid- ance because of pride in his wealth and status),
  6. You (O Messenger) attend to him (so that he may accept Islam and reform),
  7. Though you are not accountable if he does not grow in purity (through ac- ceptance of faith and fulfilling its obligations and responsibilities).
  8. But as for him who came to you eagerly,
  9. And he was in awe of God,
  10. You divert your attention from him.1
    1. Particularly in the early period of conveying Islam, God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, thought that if the leaders of the Quraysh accepted Islam, the other people would more easily enter it. So without ever neglecting others, he preached Islam to the lead- ers with great eagerness. One day, when he was busy with one of those leaders, ‘Abdullāh ibn Umm Maktūm, a blind Muslim, may God be pleased with him, came near that group of leading unbelievers in order to listen to the Messenger and benefit from him. However, a hypocritical one among the group felt great discomfort and frowned disdainfully at the coming of that blind Muslim, while attending eagerly to the unbelievers as if he had wished their conversion. The verses were revealed on this occasion.
 

1141                                                   Abasa (He Frowned)                                            Surah 80

  1. No indeed! It surely is a reminder and an admonition (that suffices for all who come to it with an open heart).
  2. So whoever wills receives admonition and takes heed.
  3. (It is recorded) in scrolls greatly honored,
  4. exalted (in God’s sight) and perfectly purified (of falsehood, vanity, and inconsistency);
  5. (Borne) by the hands of angel-envoys,
  6. Noble and virtuous.2

2. As stated in some verses and pointed out in the corresponding notes (i.e., 32: 11, note 8; 37: 1–3, note 1), like other Archangels, such as Azrā’il (the Angel of Death), Gabriel also has aides. So the scrolls referred to in verses 13–14 are the heavenly pages on which the Qur’ānic Revelations are recorded, and the envoys are the aides of Gabriel who accompa- nied him while carrying them to the

  1. Human is ruined – for how thankless and disbelieving he is!
  2. (Does he never consider) from what thing He has created him?
  3. From a drop of (seminal) fluid; He has created him and fashioned him in measured proportions (for his shape and for his life).
  4. Thereafter He has made the path (to God) easy for him,
  5. Thereafter He causes him to die and buries him.
  6. Thereafter, when He wills, He raises him again to life.
  7. No indeed! Human has not fulfilled what God enjoined on him.
  8. Then, let human consider his food (and so reflect on his Lord’s Mercy and the truth of Resurrection),
  9. That We pour down the water in abundance;
  10. Then We split the earth in clefts;
  11. And so We enable grain to grow therein,
  12. And grapes, and edible plants,
  13. And olive-trees and date-palms,
  14. And gardens dense with foliage,
 
  1. And (diverse other) fruits and herbage,
  2. As a means of livelihood for you and your animals.
  3. But when the piercing cry (heralding the Resurrection) sounds;
  4. On that Day when a person flees from his brother,
  5. And from his mother and father,
  6. And from his spouse and his children;
  7. everyone on that Day has concern of his own enough to make him heedless (of anything else).
  8. Some faces will on that Day be radiant with happiness
  9. Smiling, rejoicing at good tidings.
  10. And some faces will on that Day be dust-stained;
  11. veiled in darkness:
  12. Those are the unbelievers, shameless and dissolute.