Meal Seç / Sure Seç

In the name of god, the most gracious, The dispenser of grace: (1)

1 - According to most of the authorities, this invocation (which occurs at the beginning of every surah with the exception of surah 9) constitutes an integral part of "The Opening" and is, therefore, numbered as verse I. In all other instances, the invocation "in the name of God" precedes the surah as such, and is not counted among its verses. - Both the divine epithets rahman and rahrm are derived from the noun rahmah, which signifies "mercy", "compassion", "loving tenderness" and, more comprehensively, "grace". From the very earliest times, Islamic scholars have endeavoured to define the exact shades of meaning which differentiate the two terms. The best and simplest of these explanations is undoubtedly the one advanced by Ibn al-Qayyim (as quoted in Mandr I, 48): the term rahman circumscribes the quality of abounding grace inherent in, and inseparable from, the concept of God's Being, whereas rahrm expresses the manifestation of that grace in, and its effect upon, His creation-in other words, an aspect of His activity.

THIS SURAH, revealed almost immediately after the preceding one, appears to be a direct continuation of the latter. Indeed, some renowned scholars of the first century after the hijrah - e.g., Ta'us ibn Kaysan, or the Caliph Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (known as "the Second Umar") -regarded Ad-Duha and Ash-Sharh as one surah, and used to recite them in prayer accordingly, that is, without separating the one from the other by a second invocation "In the name of God" (Razi). Whether this view is accepted or not, there is no doubt that the present surah, like the preceding one, is addressed in the first instance to the Prophet and, through him, to every true follower of the Qur'an.
1. HAVE WE NOT opened up thy heart, (1)

1 - Lit., "thy breast" or "bosom".

2. and lifted from thee the burden
3. that had weighed so heavily on thy back? (2)

2 - I.e., "the burden of thy past sins, which are now forgiven" (Tabari, on the authority of Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd). In the case of Muhammad, this relates apparently to mistakes committed before his call to prophethood (ibid.), and is obviously an echo of 93:7 - 'Has He not found thee lost on thy way, and guided thee?"

4. And [have We not] raised thee high in dignity? (3)

3 - Or: "raised high thy renown". The primary meaning of the term dhikr is "reminder" or "remembrance"; and, secondarily, "that by which something [or "someone"] is remembered", i.e., with praise: hence, it signifies "fame" or "renown", and, tropically - as in the present context- "eminence" or "dignity".

5. And, behold, with every hardship comes ease:
6. verily, with every hardship comes ease!
7. Hence, when thou art freed [from distress], remain steadfast,
8. and unto thy Sustainer turn with love.