Suratut-Teen: The Chapter of the Fig
Revelation Period: Makkan
Chapter Number: 95
Number of verses: 8

In the name of Allah, The Most Beneficient, The Most Merciful
1. By the Fig and the Olive.
2. And by the Mount of Sinai.
3. And (by) this City of Security (I.e. Makkatul Mukkaramah).
4. Verily We have created man in the best of statures (composition).
5. Then we reduced him to the lowest of the low.
6. Except those who believe (Imaan) and do righteous deeds. For them is a reward without end.
7. Then what is it that causes you (O disbelievers) to deny the Day of Resurrection?
8. Is Allah not the best of judges?

Primarily this Suraah addresses two aspects viz: The honour that Allah Ta’ala has afforded the human species and the rewards of Imaan and righteous actions which follow there from.
The Suraah begins with Allah Ta’ala taking an oath of four objects in verses 1-3. Two of these objects are trees i.e. the fig tree and the olive tree. The third object is the Mount of Sinai and the fourth object is the City of Makkah.
Allah Ta’ala has specified these two trees because just as the Mount of Sinai and the City of Makkah, they also possess abundant blessings. Some commentators say that the fig and olive symbolise, in this context, the lands in which these trees predominate which are the countries bordering on the Eastern part of the Mediterranean, especially Palestine and Syria. Most of the Prophets lived and preached the message of Islaam in these lands. Thus the oaths on these four objects comprehend all the holy places where Allah Ta’ala’s chosen servants were born and raised as Prophets. Mount Sinai stresses specifically the messengership of Nabi Moosa (A.S.) where Allah Ta’ala spoke to him. The city of Security refers to Makkatul Mukkarramah, the residence and birth place of the last and final Messenger, Muhammad (S.A.W.).

In verse 4 Allah Ta’ala moves the subject to the creation of man, the masterpiece of Allah Ta’ala’s creation. In this verse Allah Ta’ala highlights the honour and esteem that He had endowed upon the human species of His creation. This very first honour that Allah Ta’ala had given man was that he was created in the best of forms and compositions. This unique creation is exclusive to man and no other form of creation has been blessed with it. In the multitudes of Allah Ta’ala’s creation the Human being reigns as the most supreme for indeed he has been endowed with capabilities and faculties like no other creation. That is why all other forms of creation are referred to as ‘lower’ forms.

In verse 5 Allah Ta’ala brings to fore the latter years of man’s life. In the previous verse, it was stated that man was created in the best form and with the best composition and is the most beautiful of all Allah Ta’ala’s creation. In the prime of his life man is brimming with strength and vigour and all his faculties are functioning to their optimum. As opposed to that, this verse highlights the change in his condition when he begins to age. He physically grows weaker and his health begins deteriorating all the time. His attractive facial features begin to slowly fade away and he now begins to look less appealing. Even his physical energy and stamina is on the decline. On the other hand, other forms of creation are useful right up to their ends. Man utilises them for milk, for mounting, for transportation and for a host of other tasks. Even when they die or are slaughtered, they are still of benefit to mankind i.e. their meat is eaten, uses for their hides and other parts of their bodies are still found. However, when it comes to man, his demise means the end of usefulness and the beginning of uselessness. When he is dead, he now becomes known as a corpse. He even loses the honorary title of man. His only best place now is underground, away from all forms of the other creation.

In verse six, Allah Ta’ala draws an exception to the above despicable stage. However, it does not mean that believers will not attain the decrepit old age. It would not be correct to exclude the believers from old age because some of them are also overcome by the senility of old age. What is meant in this verse is that they do not suffer a big harm due to their physical and mental deterioration. Only those who spent their entire energies on improving their physical conditions will suffer from being made the lowest of the low. As far as the believers are concerned they will be given an unfailing and limitless reward. Even in their old age they will not become useless. Our aged grandparents who we witness spending most of their time in various acts of Ibaadah during their days and even nights is ample and glaring proof of their usefulness despite their old age. They are now accumulating and amassing the wealth of the hereafter.
In verse seven Allah Ta’ala poses a question to those who deny the day of Resurrection, saying to them, “What is it that makes you deny the day of Ressurection after you having seen all the favours of Allah Ta’ala upon you?”
The Suraah ends with the rhetorical question of “Is Allah not the best of the Judges?”


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