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وَالتِّينِ وَالزَّيْتُون

By the fig and the olive [95:1]

The above verse is the first line of Surat At-Tin. In this verse, Allah (SWT) uses waw al-qasim (وَ), which is used to take oath in the Quran.

My question is, why does Allah swear by the fig and the olive? What is the significance of these creations?

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Nouman Ali Khan says in his excellent Tafseer Juz 'Amma series that the four oaths at the beginning of this surah are significant because they are on items that have connections with the locations of the best of Creation - the five Messengers (ulul 'azmi min ar-rusul). Muhammad ash-Shanqeetee says in his tafseer that these oaths are not only referring to the actual fruits but also to the locations of their abundance, and this is the opinion of Ikrimah, al-Hasan and Mujahid. Ibn Kathir also mentions the opinion that this refers to locations.

  1. At-Teen - The fig has to do with Noah (as) and his ark - the area in which the ark landed is known for its figs. Imam al-Aloosi says Tafseer Rooh al-Ma'ani says "the fig" is aluding to an area where this is an abundance of fig, and this could mean the valley between Hamdan and Hilwan.
  2. Az-Zaytoon - ibn 'Abbas said "the olive" here is referring not just the the fruit the olive, but also to the Mount of Olives, a location prominently associated with the Prophethood of Jesus (as) (also in Rooh al-Ma'ani). And ibn 'Abbas says this alludes to the Masjid al-Aqsa, the region around which Jesus (as) was. This is also corroborated in the Bible - which says that Jesus (as) prayed on this Mount.
  3. Toori Sineen - this points to Musa (as) because it was on Mount Sinai that the Lord of the Worlds spoke to Musa (as) and he received revelation from Allah.
  4. Hadha al-Balad al-Ameen - this Peaceful City - this reference points to both the Prophet Ibrahim (as) and the Prophet Muhammad (saws) because Ibrahim (as) made the du'a that was recorded in Surat al-Baqarah:

    And [mention] when Abraham said, "My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits

    and the Prophet Muhammad (saws) was from that city as an answer to that du'a and the one that came two verses after it:

    Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."

The idea is that Allah SWT takes an oath by objects that point to these great men - and He says:

We have certainly created man in the best of stature

So Allah SWT is telling us that man was created in the best possible form, and is capable of great things - just look at these 5 people.

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i am ali masoudian from iran i read your question and i research about it in islamic books.

1- some of Islamic scientists hope that fig & olive are mountains in Dimashq (Damascus) and beyt al moqaddas and and they hope this land the place of rising of many prophets

2- final prophet Muhammad peace and blessing of Allah upon him said: if people say to each other that alight a fruit from heavenliness i would say it is a fig.

3- because the fig don't has core and its very very useful and fig eliminate many disease.

4- some of Islamic scientists hope that fig and olive are imam hassan and imam hossein peace be upon them.

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In my view the answer has two aspects.

One is to draw attention to the magnificence of Allah who has created these four things three of which are fruits whose usefulness for mankind is limitless. fourth is city and mention of Mecca is prophetic. This surah was revealed in Mecca when there was no peace for Muslims in it, but once Mecca came under control of Muslims, it has been an abode of peace. There had been some instances where due to some internal strife, there was a breach of peace but this was minor compared to Jerusalem (which also means city of peace in Hebrew) which was named so by Jews themselves.

As prophesied by the Prophet (saws) in certain Ahadith it will always remain a symbol of peace.

Second explanation is as these four things are related to four great prophets mentioned in Qur'an so believers are reminded that as those incidences related to those prophets have been fulfilled so what is being said in this surah will also be fulfilled. Fig is related to Adam (as)- he used fig leaves to cover his nakedness. olive is related to Noah (as), when he released dove it came back with an olive branch meaning that there is place to land the boat somewhere. Mecca is related to Abraham(as) and Mohammad(saws) it has been a city of peace, though for some time it was not for the greatest prophet of all time (saws) but ultimately it was given to Muslims. One finds such refs in bible as well like in Duet 33:2 , Gen 3:7 & 8:11

  • Welcome to Islam.SE, we suggest you read the FAQ. Answers here are required to be supported by Citations form Quran, Hadith, or any other reliable Islamic resource. Your answewr lacks citations, please provide more citations. – مجاهد Oct 1 '12 at 10:38
  • Please edit your answer to make things clear. Islam.SE is an expert Q&A community. Research your hadiths and include them as much as possible. Here you say that the Prophet has prophesied "it" to remain a symbol of peace. What is "it" and what hadith does this come from? – Irfan Oct 2 '12 at 7:25

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