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Surah Al-Hadid – The Iron

by | Feb 24, 2022

Surah Al-Hadid is the fifty-seventh chapter of the Quran with 29 verses. Hadid, meaning ‘Iron,’ is named for the word Iron which occurs in the 25th verse.

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِٱلْبَيِّنَٰتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ وَٱلْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ ٱلنَّاسُ بِٱلْقِسْطِ ۖ وَأَنزَلْنَا ٱلْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَنَٰفِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُۥ وَرُسُلَهُۥ بِٱلْغَيْبِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ

We have already sent Our messengers with clear evidence and sent them the Book and the balance that the people may maintain injustice. And We sent down [i.e., created] Iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people, and so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.
(Al-Quran 57:25)

The Surah Al-Hadid is to facilitate the Muslims to spend in the cause of Allah. At the most crucial point of the history of Islam, when it was engaged in a life and death battle against Arab paganism, the Surah Al-Hadid was revealed to convince the Muslims to make monetary sacrifices individual and to make them realize that Islam did not simply consist in verbal commitment and some external practices.

Its essence and spirit is sincerity towards Allah and His Religion. The Faith of the one who was bereft of this spirit and who regarded himself and wealth as more precious to himself than Allah and His Religion was open and therefore of little worth in the sight of Allah.

How be Allah almighty praised in Surah Al-Hadid?

 At the start of the Surah Al-Hadid, Praise to Allah Almighty has been mentioned so that the listeners may fully realize who is addressing them. It is narrated in the Surah Al-Hadid, 

سَبَّحَ لِلَّهِ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ

Whatever is in the heavens and earth exalts Allah, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

لَهُۥ مُلْكُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ يُحْىِۦ وَيُمِيتُ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

His is the dominion of the heavens and earth. He gives life and causes death, and He is, over all things, competent.

هُوَ ٱلْأَوَّلُ وَٱلْءَاخِرُ وَٱلظَّٰهِرُ وَٱلْبَاطِنُ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden, and He is, of all things, Knowing.
(Al-Quran 57:1-3)

It has always been so that everything in the universe has declared the Truth that its Creator and Sustainer is free from every defect, error, and evil. He is glorified in His attributes, works, and commands, whether they relate to creating the religious law for humanity. It would represent that every particle in the universe has always been the proof of the glory of its Creator and Sustainer.

What does Surah Al-Hadid narrate about believing in Allah and His Messengers?

In Surah Al-Hadid, Allah asked to believe in the oneness of Allah and His messengers.

It is mentioned in Surah Al-Hadid,

ءَامِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَأَنفِقُوا۟ مِمَّا جَعَلَكُم مُّسْتَخْلَفِينَ فِيهِ ۖ فَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ مِنكُمْ وَأَنفَقُوا۟ لَهُمْ أَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ

Believe in Allah and His Messenger and spend out of that He has made you successors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward.

وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ ۙ وَٱلرَّسُولُ يَدْعُوكُمْ لِتُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِرَبِّكُمْ وَقَدْ أَخَذَ مِيثَٰقَكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

And why do you not believe in Allah while the Messenger invites you to believe in your Lord and He has taken your covenant if you should [indeed] be Believers?

هُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِۦٓ ءَايَٰتٍۭ بَيِّنَٰتٍ لِّيُخْرِجَكُم مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُمْ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

 It is He who sends down upon His Servant [Muhammad] verses of clear evidence that He may bring you out from darkness into the Light. And indeed, Allah is to you Kind and Merciful.
(Al-Quran 57:6-9)


Allah does not address the non-Muslims in Surah Al-Hadid, but the Muslims who had established the Faith and joined the ranks of the believers were not fulfilling the needs of the Faith and showing themselves as true believers should.

What Does Surah Al-Hadid say about Wealth for sake of Allah?

The unavoidable need of the Faith is that one should not forget spending one’s wealth for the sake of Allah. For the wealth indeed belongs to Allah, on which man has been given proprietary rights. As it is also narrated in Surah Al-Hadid,

وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلَّا تُنفِقُوا۟ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلِلَّهِ مِيرَٰثُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ لَا يَسْتَوِى مِنكُم مَّنْ أَنفَقَ مِن قَبْلِ ٱلْفَتْحِ وَقَٰتَلَ ۚ أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنفَقُوا۟ مِنۢ بَعْدُ وَقَٰتَلُوا۟ ۚ وَكُلًّا وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

 And why do you not spend in the cause of Allah while to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth? Not equal among you are those who spent before the conquest [of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterward and fought. But to all Allah has promised the best [reward]. And Allah, with what you do, is acquainted.

مَّن ذَا ٱلَّذِى يُقْرِضُ ٱللَّهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَٰعِفَهُۥ لَهُۥ وَلَهُۥٓ أَجْرٌ كَرِيمٌ

 Who would loan Allah a goodly loan so He will multiply it for him and have a noble reward?
(Al-Quran 57:10,11)

The eleventh verse of Surah Al-Hadid has two meanings, and both are pointed. Firstly, “The wealth that you have is not your personal property but has been given to you by Allah. Allah has given you right over it as His vicegerent. Therefore, you should have no uncertainty in spending it in the service of the absolute Master. It is not to withhold the Master’s wealth from being spent for the Master’s own sake.

Secondly, Neither has this wealth existed with you since ever nor will it remain in your residence forever; yesterday, it was in some other people’s possession. Allah made you their beneficiary and entrusted it to you, It will not remain with you forever, but some other people will succeed you as its proprietors; therefore, in this short-lived ownership, consume it in the cause of Allah so you will be rewarded in the Hereafter.

Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, 

 “My Lord gives abundantly to whomever of His servants He wills, and sparingly to whomever, He wills. Whatever you spend, He replenishes it by other provisions: He is the best of Providers.”

What does Allah say about believers in Surah Al-Hadid?

In Surah Al-Hadid, Allah asks the believer not to act like those followers of the earlier Books, whose lives have been spent in the world’s worship and whose hearts have solidified due to negligence over time. He cannot be a believer whose soul does not soften at the remembrance of Allah and does not bend to the Truth sent down by Him.  In Surah Al-Hadid it is narrated,

أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَن تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ ٱلْحَقِّ وَلَا يَكُونُوا۟ كَٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوا۟ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ مِن قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْأَمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَٰسِقُونَ

Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the Truth? And let them not be like those who were given the Book before, and a prolonged period passed over them, so their hearts hardened, and many of them are defiantly disobedient.

Allah sent His Messengers with clear indications and the Book and the Law of Justice. He also sent down Iron to use that power to establish the Truth and conquer falsehood. Thus, Allah likes to see who from among the people would grow to sustain and help His Religion even at the risk of their lives. These possibilities Allah has created for man’s advantage and development; otherwise, Allah does not need any partner or helper.

As in Surah Al-Hadid Allah says, 

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِٱلْبَيِّنَٰتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ وَٱلْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ ٱلنَّاسُ بِٱلْقِسْطِ ۖ وَأَنزَلْنَا ٱلْحَدِيدَ فِيهِ بَأْسٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَنَٰفِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُۥ وَرُسُلَهُۥ بِٱلْغَيْبِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ

 We have already sent Our messengers with obvious evidence and sent down with them the Book and the balance that the people may maintain [their affairs] in justice. And We sent down [i.e., created] Iron, wherein is great military might and benefits for the people so that Allah may make evident those who support Him and His messengers unseen. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.
(Al-Quran 57:25)


Allah asks believers in Surah Al-Hadid that 

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَءَامِنُوا۟ بِرَسُولِهِۦ يُؤْتِكُمْ كِفْلَيْنِ مِن رَّحْمَتِهِۦ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ نُورًا تَمْشُونَ بِهِۦ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

O you who have believed, fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will [then] give you a double portion of His mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
(Al-Quran (57:28)

What will happen with Hypocrites? 

In the Surah Al-Hadid, Allah indicates the results of Hypocrites. The hypocrites who protected and served only their welfares in the world and who were least concerned with the Truth or falsehood conquered will be segregated from the believers in the Hereafter. However, they might have lived in close association with them globally. They will be divested of the Light, and they will be counted among the disbelievers. 

Allah says in Surah Al-Hadid, 

يَوْمَ يَقُولُ ٱلْمُنَٰفِقُونَ وَٱلْمُنَٰفِقَٰتُ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱنظُرُونَا نَقْتَبِسْ مِن نُّورِكُمْ قِيلَ ٱرْجِعُوا۟ وَرَآءَكُمْ فَٱلْتَمِسُوا۟ نُورًا فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُم بِسُورٍ لَّهُۥ بَابٌۢ بَاطِنُهُۥ فِيهِ ٱلرَّحْمَةُ وَظَٰهِرُهُۥ مِن قِبَلِهِ ٱلْعَذَابُ

On the [same] Day, the hypocrite men and hypocrite women will say to those who believed, “Wait for us that we may acquire some of your light.” It will be said, “Go back behind you and seek the light.” And a wall will be placed between them with a door, its interior containing mercy, but on the outside of it is torment.

يُنَادُونَهُمْ أَلَمْ نَكُن مَّعَكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا۟ بَلَىٰ وَلَٰكِنَّكُمْ فَتَنتُمْ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَتَرَبَّصْتُمْ وَٱرْتَبْتُمْ وَغَرَّتْكُمُ ٱلْأَمَانِىُّ حَتَّىٰ جَآءَ أَمْرُ ٱللَّهِ وَغَرَّكُم بِٱللَّهِ ٱلْغَرُورُ

They will call to them, “Were we not with you?” They will say, “Yes, but you afflicted yourselves and awaited and doubted, and wishful thinking deluded you until there came the command of Allah. And the Deceiver [i.e., Satan] deceived you concerning Allah.

فَٱلْيَوْمَ لَا يُؤْخَذُ مِنكُمْ فِدْيَةٌ وَلَا مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ ۚ مَأْوَىٰكُمُ ٱلنَّارُ ۖ هِىَ مَوْلَىٰكُمْ ۖ وَبِئْسَ ٱلْمَصِيرُ

So today, no ransom will be taken from you or those who disbelieved. Your refuge is the Fire. It is most worthy of you, and wretched is the destination.
(Al-Quran 57: 13-15)

It means different kinds of suspicions that a hypocrite suffers from, and the same also is the actual reasons for his hypocrisy. He questions the presence of God, the Prophethood of the Prophet, the Qur’an existing Allah’s book, the Hereafter, its commitment, and its rewards and punishments, and he doubts whether the conflict between the Truth and falsehood. As for himself, he believes the only Truth is that one should enjoy life and its pleasures to the full. Unless a person is concerned about such doubts, he can never be a hypocrite.

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