Sūrah Yā-Sīn (Yā-Sīn) can be divided into six passages or distinct subject matter. We’ll begin our discussion by looking at the connection within each passage individually, then by looking at the connection between all passages as a whole.
Passage #1 - Quran and Our Record
This passage highlights the writings of Allah ﷻ and covers āyāt 1-12.
This section highlights two contrasting, but otherworldly, documents. The first is the Quran which is a document that was sent down from the heavens to the earth. The second is our book of deeds which are written on earth and then presented to Allah ﷻ above the seven heavens.
These passages share meaning as well as wording. Both use “tundhir (you warn)” to address the Messenger ﷺ. First the Messenger ﷺ is told that he received revelation in order to warn people (B) and later (B’) he is told that only those who are fearful of Allah ﷻ can be warned.
Here we find another shared phrase. Both parts say "lā yu'minūn (they don’t believe)” in reference to the disbelievers. At first we’re told that they simply don’t believe (C), but by the conclusion (C’) we learn that despite the warnings, they’ll never believe.
The center informs us of the consequences of their stubbornness to believe even when the truth has been made clear.
It’s important to note that in the Quran, Allah ﷻ highlights three avenues for guidance:
1. From the front – by reflecting on the physical world in front of us
2. From the back – by reflecting on history behind us
3. From above – by reflecting on revelation. Since we are incapable of observing certain realities before death - the Day of Judgment, Paradise, Hell, etc – these can only come from Allah ﷻ.
In this section, Allah ﷻ says for those who disbelieve that He has put a wall in front of them and behind them, and He has put collars on their neck. They look up, yet they have been covered and they cannot see. Guidance has been cut-off for them in all three of the aforementioned directions.
Thus, they are blinded from all sides and therefore cannot see guidance properly. In the following sections (and subsequent posts), we’ll explore how Allah ﷻ expands upon this notion of the avenues for guidance further.
واللَّهُ أَعلَم - And Allah knows best
Khan, Nouman. “Surah Yasin” YouTube, uploaded by Quran Weekly, July 25, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHPW7nn9Wmb66OICiQfWwlSUU4rM1rY3D.