In this short chapter of the Qur’an, entitled al-Duhā
, or “The Morning Hours”, Allah speaks directly to Prophet Muhammad and enumerates some of His blessings to him.
The chapter opens with the verses:
I swear by the morning hours, and by the night when it is still; your Lord has not forsaken you, nor is He displeased. And surely what comes after is better for you than that which has gone before. And surely your Lord will give you that which will make you well pleased. [Sūrah al-Duhā: 1-5]
In these opening verses of Sūrah al-Duhā
, Allah responds to the claims that were being made by the unbelievers and the Prophet’s enemies that Allah was displeased with him and had forsaken him. Rather, Allah assures him that He has already given him so much, in this world and the next, and further assures him that what is soon forthcoming is better than what has past.
Allah had indeed given the Prophet so much. He gave him the Qur’an which contains His words and guidance for humanity. He gave him followers who were steadfast and righteous, and the Prophet would continue to have followers in every generation to come. Allah gave him a community of believers which would endure until the end of time. Allah fortified him with the most noble character. As Allah says elsewhere in the Qur’an: “And indeed you possess an exalted standard of character.” [Sūrah al-Qalam
Indeed, Allah had given him the highest honor by making him the greatest of all prophets and the final prophet to humanity. He would carry the highest honor in the Hereafter and be the first to enter Paradise. He has the status in both this world and the next that no one else in creation could ever aspire to. In spite of all this, Allah still addresses Prophet Muhammad as His “servant”. For instance, Allah says: “Blessed is He who revealed the Criterion to His servant.” [Sūrah al-Furqān: 1] and “Glorified be He who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque whose precincts We have blessed.” [Sūrah al-Isrā’
Allah continues addressing Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Sūrah al-Duhā with the following words:
“Did He not find you an orphan and give you shelter? And find you wandering and gave you guidance? And find you destitute and made you to be free from want?” [Sūrah al-Duhā: 6-8]
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an orphan. His father died before he was born and his mother died when he was a small child. Yet Allah made sure he was always cared for. Allah nurtured and protected him until he became the man he was. Moreover, Allah protected him from all the deviance and immorality that was rife in pre-Islamic Arabian society.
Likewise, Allah blessed Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) with guidance. Prophet Muhammad did not know anything about the scriptures before Allah revealed the Qur’an to him. Allah guided him and taught him, though he lived in an environment steeped in misguidance, ignorance, and blindness, and those who followed him became the most noble nation on Earth and the leaders of history and civilization.
Regarding wealth, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived very simply. At the time of his death, he had no money and his shield was being held in mortgage by a Jewish man. The Prophet had even said: “We (prophets) leave no estate. Whatever we leave behind is charity.” [Sahīh al-Bukhārī
(3093) and Sahīh Muslim
`Umar came into the Prophet’s house and entered his private room, and what he saw made him weep. He found nothing but the simplest bedding on the floor, a few untanned animal skins, and a few handfuls of dried barley. There was nothing of the comforts that the people of his day were accustomed to. In spite of this, we can see that Allah says: “And (did He not) find you destitute and made you to be free from want?”
In fact, the whole world had been opened up to the Prophet (peace be upon him), all of its luxuries and comforts were at his disposal. Indeed, had he beseeched his Lord to give him a mountain of gold, Allah would have granted it. However, he was content with being a servant and Messenger.
Considerable wealth passed through his hands. He received camels, livestock, gold, and silver. Whatever came to him, he gave it away, dividing it among the people. `Uqbah gives us the following account:
I offered the afternoon prayer in congregation behind the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Madinah. When he finished praying, he stood up and hurried to his chambers, crossing through the ranks of people in his haste. The people were surprised by how hurried he was, and he noticed their surprise upon reentering the mosque, so he said: “I remembered we had some gold at home, and I disliked that it would remain too long in my keeping, so I went to order that it be given out.” [Sahīh al-Bukhārī (851)]
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never coveted possessions or kept any worldly things for himself. He loved to spend for the sake of Allah whatever wealth came to him. He used to say: “” [Sahīh al-Bukh arī
(1408) and Sahīh Muslim
In the final verses of Sūrah al-Duhā
, Allah reminds Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) of the duties that these blessings demand:
“Therefore, do not treat the orphan with harshness, nor drive away the one who asks, but proclaim the favor of your Lord.” [Sūrah al-Duhā: 9-11]
Allah reminds him that as he was once an orphan, he should treat the orphans with love and kindness. Just like Allah sheltered and nurtured him in his youth, he should shelter and care for the orphan children of his day.
Allah also reminds him never to shun or turn away the poor and weak who approach him with their needs, and never to behave towards them in a prideful manner. If there is something to give them, then it should be given. If not, then at least show them kindness and goodwill.
The instruction not to “drive away the one who asks” also applies to those who are asking for religious guidance. When someone asks for clarification regarding something about Allah’s religion, it is wrong to become angry or impatient, but rather it is a duty to teach that person, just like Allah taught the Prophet.
Finally Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is commanded to proclaim the great blessing and honor that Allah bestowed upon Him. This is not a command to be boastful, since these blessings are from Allah and not from oneself. It is rather a declaration of the Lord’s grace and generosity, since no one has any claim on Allah.