111 - Soorah al-Masad - (The Palm Fiber) - [Makkee]
In the Name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
[111:001] Perish the two hands of Abû Lahab (an uncle of the Prophet [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam]) and perish he!
[111:002] His wealth and his children will not benefit him!
[111:003] He will be burnt in a Fire of blazing flames!
[111:004] And his wife too, who carries wood (thorns of Sa'dân which she used to put on the way of the Prophet [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam], or used to slander him).
[111:005] In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad (palm fiber).
(V.111:1) Narrated Ibn 'Abbâs [radhi-yAllâhu 'anhu]: "When the Verse, 'And warn your tribe (O Muhammad ) of near kindred.' (V.26:214) was revealed, Allâh's Messenger [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam] went out, and when he had ascended As-Safâ mountain, he shouted, 'Ya Sabâhâh!'* The people said, 'What is that?' Then they gathered around him, whereupon he said, 'Do you see? If I inform you that cavalrymen are proceeding up the side of this mountain, will you believe me?' They said, 'We have never heard you telling a lie.' Then he said, 'I am a plain warner to you of a coming severe punishment.' Abu Lahab said, 'May you perish! You gathered us only for this reason?' Then Abu Lahab went away. So (Sûrat Al-Masad) 'Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab!' (V.111:1) was revealed." [Sahih Al-Bukhari, 6/4971 (O.P.495)]
* "Ya Sabâhâh!" is an Arabic expression used when one appeals for help or draws the attention of others to some danger.
(V.111:4) 'And his wife too, who carries wood.' Mujâhid said, 'Carries the wood' means that she used to slander (the Prophet ) and goes about with calumnies.
(V.111:5) "In her neck is a twisted rope of palm fiber, [i.e. the chain which is in the Fire (of Hell)]." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Interpretation, Sûrat 111, Chapter 4).
[Imâm Qurtubî says in the Tafsîr of the (V.17:45):]
Narrated Sa'îd bin Jubâir [radhi-yAllâhu 'anhu]: "When Sûrah No. 111 (Sûrat Al-Masad) was revealed, the wife of Abu Lahab came looking out for the Prophet [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam] while Abu Bakr [radhi-yAllâhu 'anhu] was sitting beside him. Abu Bakr said to the Prophet [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam]: 'I wish if you get aside (or go away) as she is coming to us, she may harm you.' The Prophet [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam] said: 'There will be a screen set between me and her.' So, she did not see him . She said to Abu Bakr: 'Your companion is saying poetry against me.' Abu Bakr said: 'By Allâh he does not say poetry.' She said: 'Do you believe that.' Then she left. Abu Bakr said, 'O Allâh's Messenger! She did not see you.' The Prophet [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam] said: 'An angel was screening me from her.' " [This Hadîth is quoted in Musnad Abû Ya'la]
It is said that if the Verse (V.17:45) is recited by a real believer (of Islâmic Monotheism) he will be screened from a disbeliever. (Allâh knows better.)