Surah Ash-Sharh Ayat 3 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 3
Which had weighed upon your back
The which did gall thy back?-
that had well-nigh broken your back?
Which weighed down your back?
Which weighed down thy back;
Which weighed down your back,
that weighed so heavily on your back,
Quran 94 Verse 3 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Ash-Sharh ayat 3, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(94:3) that had well-nigh broken your back?
2. Some of the commentators have interpreted this to mean that before Prophethood, in the days of ignorance, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had happened to commit certain errors because of which he was feeling disturbed, and Allah by sending down this verse consoled and satisfied him, saying that He had forgiven him those errors. But in our opinion it is a grave mistake to interpret this verse thus. In the first place, the word vizr does not necessarily mean a sin, but it is also used for a heavy burden. Therefore, there is no reason why it should in every case be taken in the bad sense. Secondly, the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) life before Prophethood was also so clean and pure that it had been presented in the Quran as a challenge before the opponents. So much so that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was made to point out to the disbelievers: I have already lived a lifetime among you before the revelation of this Quran. (Surah Younus, Ayat 16). And he was also not the type of a person who would commit a sin secretly. God forbid, had he been such a man, Allah would not have been unaware of it, and would not have made him proclaim the thing before the people openly, which He made him proclaim in the above-mentioned verse of Surah Younus, if his person carried the blot of a sin committed secretly. Thus, in fact, in this verse vizr means a heavy burden and it implies the burden of distress, anguish and anxiety that was difficult on his sensitive nature when he saw his nation deeply sunk in ignorance and barbarism. Idols were being worshipped, the community was engrossed in idolatry and polytheistic customs and practices, filth of immorality and indecency prevailed all around, wickedness and corrupt practices were rampant in society, the powerful were suppressing the powerless, girls were being buried alive, tribes were subjecting one another to surprise attacks, and sometimes the wars of vengeance continued for a hundred years at a stretch. No one’s life, property and honor was safe unless he had a strong band at his back. This grieved the Prophet (peace be upon him) but he could find no way to cure the malady. This same anxiety was weighing down his back. Allah by showing him the way to guidance removed its burden from him. Then as soon as he was appointed to the office of Prophethood, he came to know that belief in the doctrine of Tauhid, the Hereafter and Prophethood was the master-key by which each corruption in human life could be eradicated and the way to reform opened in every aspect of life. This guidance from Allah relieved him of his burden and he felt re-assured that by means of it he would not only be able to cure the maladies of Arabia but also of all mankind outside Arabia as well.
The tafsir of Surah Ash-Sharh verse 3 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Ash Sharh ayat 1 which provides the complete commentary from verse 1 through 8.
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