Sūrah at-Taghābun and Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq
Observations on the relationship between Sūrah at-Taghābun and Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq
Sūrah at-Taghābun (Mutual Loss and Gain) and Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq (Divorce) are the 64th and 65th suwar in the Quran’s compiled order, respectively. It appears that when their subject matter is juxtaposed, a mirror structure forms:
Be sure to read through the translations of each sūrah (here and here) before proceeding. They are relatively short and should only take a minute or two of your time. It will make the below analysis easier to follow.
[A] and [A’]
Sūrah at-Taghābun begins as Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq ends; praising and describing Allah ﷻ. Both describe His ownership and creation of the “heavens and earth (as-samāwāt wal-’ard)” and Him being “in control of everything ('alā kulli shay’in qadīr).” Sūrah at-Taghābun describes Allah ﷻ as knowing “what you conceal and what you reveal,” which has its complement in Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq wherein Allah ﷻ says that He “has encompassed all things in knowledge.”
[B] and [B’]
Both suwar have at their center a mention of burdens and hardship. Sūrah at-Taghābun informs us that “absolutely no calamity strikes, except by the permission of Allah.” One obvious question after hearing this is, “Why is Allah burdening me with a calamity?” which is responded to in the next sūrah, Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq, when Allah ﷻ says, “Allah does not require of any soul beyond what He has given it. After hardship, Allah will bring about ease.”
On speaking of the disbelievers, He says in both suwar that they “tasted the bad consequences of their actions (fadhāqū/fadhāqat wabāla ‘amri-him/hā)” and will given a painful/terrible/intense “punishment ('adhāb)” because they rejected the Messengers of Allah sent to them.
Finally, both suwar end this section speaking about the believers. Sūrah at-Taghābun implores the listener to “believe in Allah, His Messenger, and the Light (nūr) We sent down.” Likewise, in Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq, Allah says that, “Allah has indeed revealed to you a Reminder, and a messenger reciting to you Allah’s revelations, making things clear so that He may bring those who believe and do good out of darkness and into light (nūr).”
Allah ﷻ also says in Sūrah at-Taghābun that “whoever believes in Allah, He guides his heart,” which has a complementary āyah in Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq when Allah ﷻ says, “And whoever believes in Allah and does good will be admitted by Him into Gardens under which rivers flow, to stay there for ever and ever. Allah will have indeed granted them an excellent provision.”
[C] and [C’]
At the center of this mirror structure is a focus on family and provisions. Sūrah at-Taghābun mentions that for some, their spouse and children can be enemies to them and thus warns us to be vigilant. But it follows it up with an enjoinment to forgive, forget and pardon to gain Allah’s forgiveness. Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq begins by speaking about what can happen when that enmity between spouses - sometimes caused by the struggles of parenthood - goes unchecked. The couple may separate, but in doing so, they are reminded to be good to one another and fear Allah ﷻ in their dealings.
Both suwar also mention provisions in this section. Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq tells those who are conscious of Allah ﷻ that He will provide for them from sources they could never imagine and will make a way out for them from difficulties they are having. Sūrah at-Taghābun adds more details and asks the believer to trust Allah ﷻ and to give for His sake. In return, they will be repaid in multitudes and granted forgiveness. Both tie trusting Allah ﷻ to gaining His provisions in a blessed manner.
And Allah knows best - والله أعلم
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Personal notes and reflection