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Surah Al-Masad: Prophet & Islamophobic Uncle

Their Enmity to the Prophet and Islam

The Surah relates to us some of the enmity of Abu Lahab and his wife, Umm Jamil, toward the Prophet (peace be upon him). They hated the Prophet and left no stone unturned in their endeavor to discredit and hurt him.

The above hadith shows how adamant Abu Lahab was in his enmity. He himself once said,

“Even if what my nephew (the Prophet) says is true, I will save myself from the painful torment on the Day of Judgment with my wealth and my children.”

But the Qur’an answers him as saying, {His wealth and his children shall avail him nothing.} (Al-Masad 111:2)

He even ordered his two sons to renounce their engagement to the Prophet’s two daughters as they were engaged to them before his prophetic assignment.

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Many accounts from the Biography of the Prophet (Seerah) demonstrate Umm Jamil’s unrelenting enmity toward the Prophet too.

She was a loyal aide to her husband in this matter and did her best to inflict harm upon the Prophet (peace be upon him).

So, as she was supportive of her husband’s disbelief and obstinacy, she will be helping to administer his punishment in Hellfire.

She will carry the firewood and throw it upon him to increase his torment using the twisted rope of palm fibre around her neck.

The Qur’an states that she would be geared up for the task! [Qu’ran 111:4-5]


A Final Word

Amazingly, the Arabic term, tabba, is used twice in the same verse but with two different senses:

The first appearance of the term is used as a prayer: “May the hands of Abu Lahab be ruined,

This prayer has been already answered, as is implied by the second appearance, wa tabba: “and ruined is he.

So, the battle is won by the One Who cannot be defied or challenged, Allah the Almighty.

The rest of the Surah mainly describes Abu Lahab’s and his wife’s fate for what they have done.

Al-hamdulillah, it was a short battle that was won with ease.

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About Dr. Ali Al-Halawani
Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation Studies. He is an author, translator, and writer based in Canada. To date, Al-Halawani authored over 400 original articles on Islam and Muslims, most of which can be accessed on and other famous websites. He has recently started to self-publish his articles and new books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle. You can reach him at [email protected].