Al-Inshirah or Ash-Sharh is the 94th surah (chapter) of Al-Qur’an. It consists of 8 ayat (verses) that were all revealed in Mecca.
THIS SURAH, revealed almost immediately after the preceding one, appears to be a direct continuation of the latter. Indeed, some renowned scholars of the first century after the hijrah—e.g., Ta’us ibn Kaysan, or the Caliph Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz (known as “the Second Umar”)—regarded Ad-Duha and Ash-Sharh as one surah, and used to recite them in prayer accordingly, that is, without separating the one from the other by a second invocation “In the name of God” (Razi). Whether this view is accepted or not, there is no doubt that the present surah, like the preceding one, is addressed in the first instance to the Prophet and, through him, to every true follower of the Qur’an.
بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
Surah Al-Inshirah Ayat 1
أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ
Alam nashrah laka sadrak
1. HAVE WE NOT opened up thy heart,1
1 Lit., “thy breast” or “bosom”.
Surah Al-Inshirah Ayat 2
وَوَضَعْنَا عَنْكَ وِزْرَكَ
Wa wa d’ana ‘anka wizrak
2. and lifted from thee the burden
Surah Al-Inshirah Ayat 3
الَّذِي أَنْقَضَ ظَهْرَكَ
Allazee anqada zahrak
3. that had weighed so heavily on thy back?2
2 I.e., “the burden of thy past sins, which are now forgiven” (Tabari, on the authority of Mujahid, Qatadah,
Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd). In the case of Muhammad, this relates apparently to mistakes committed before his call to prophethood (ibid.), and is obviously an echo of Ad-Dhuha : 7—’Has He not found thee lost on thy way, and guided thee?”
Surah Al-Inshirah Ayat 4
وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ
Wa raf ‘ana laka zikrak
4. And [have We not] raised thee high in dignity?3
3 Or: “raised high thy renown”. The primary meaning of the term dhikr is “reminder” or “remembrance”; and, secondarily, “that by which something [or “someone”] is remembered”, i.e., with praise: hence, it
signifies “fame” or “renown”, and, tropically—as in the present context—”eminence” or “dignity”.
Surah Al-Inshirah Ayat 5
فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
Fa inna ma’al usri yusra
5. And, behold, with every hardship comes ease:
Surah Al-Inshirah Ayat 6
إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
Inna ma’al ‘usri yusra
6. verily, with every hardship comes ease!
Surah Al-Inshirah Ayat 7
فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانْصَبْ
Fa iza faragh ta fansab
7. Hence, when thou art freed [from distress], remain steadfast,
Surah Al-Inshirah Ayat 8
وَإِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَارْغَبْ
Wa ilaa rabbika far ghab
8. and unto thy Sustainer turn with love.
Source: The Message of the Quran by Muhammad Asad