web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Ad-Duha*
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

When my husband and I sought the advice of my mother regarding the difficulties we were facing, she counseled us to perform the Duha or Forenoon Prayers. Naturally, one of the surahs that you have to recite is Surah 93, Ad-Duha, which means The Bright Morning Hours. The verses are so comforting, I beg your indulgence to reproduce them here, as translated by Muhammad Asad, with the commentaries in red.


IT IS SAID that after surah 89(Al-Fajr) was revealed, some time elapsed during which the Prophet did not receive any revelation, and that his opponents in Mecca taunted him on this score, saying, "Thy God has forsaken and scorned thee!" - whereupon the present surah was revealed. Whether or not we accept this somewhat doubtful story, there is every reason to assume that the surah as such, although in the first instance addressed to the Prophet, has a far wider purport: it concerns - and is meant to console - every faithful man and woman suffering from the sorrows and bitter hardships which so often afflict the good and the innocent, and which sometimes cause even the righteous to question God's transcendental justice.


(1) CONSIDER the bright morning hours,

(2) and the night when it grows still and dark.

The expression "bright morning hours" apparently symbolizes the few and widely-spaced periods of happiness in human life, as contrasted with the much greater length of "the night when it grows still and dark", i.e., the extended periods of sorrow or suffering that, as a rule, overshadow man's existence in this world (cf. 90 :4 ). The further implication is that, as sure as morning follows night, God's mercy is bound to lighten every suffering, either in this world or in the life to come - for God has "willed upon Himself the law of grace and mercy" (6: 12and54 ).

(3) Thy Sustainer has not forsaken thee, nor does He scorn thee:

Sc., ''as the thoughtless might conclude in view of the suffering that He has willed thee to bear".

(4) for, indeed, the life to come will be better for thee than this earlier part [of thy life]!

(5) And, indeed, in time will thy Sustainer grant thee [what thy heart desires], and thou shalt be well-pleased.

(6) Has He not found thee an orphan, and given thee shelter?

Possibly an allusion to the fact that Muhammad was born a few months after his father's death, and that his mother died when he was only six years old. Apart from this, however, every human being is an "orphan" in one sense or another, inasmuch as everyone is "created in a lonely state" (cf.6 :94), and "will appear before Him on Resurrection Day in a lonely state" (19:95).

(7) And found thee lost on thy way, and guided thee?

(8) And found thee in want, and given thee sufficiency?

(9) Therefore, the orphan shalt thou never wrong,

(10) and him that seeks [thy] help shalt thou never chide,

The term sa'il denotes" literally, "one who asks", which signifies not only a "beggar" but anyone who asks for help in a difficult situation, whether physical or moral, or even for enlightenment.

(11) and of thy Sustainer's blessings shalt thou [ever] speak.

Sc., "rather than of thy suffering".

*Readers who are not of Muslim faith : please forgive me -- I wasn't trying to shove things down your throat. Nevertheless, I hope, in some way, this piece could help you understand Islam a little better.


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