Qur'an: A surah not to be read frequently

Q536 :An old man told me that one should not recite the surah entitled "A'bas" or "The frowning" very often. He gives the reason saying that the surah contains a reproach to the Prophet for having frowned on a blind man who came to him to seek guidance. Please comment.

A536 : It is true that the surah you have mentioned tackles the incident when a blind man, a companion of the Prophet, came to him requesting that the Prophet teach him a passage of the Qur'an. At the time, the Prophet was speaking to a few people who commanded high position in Makkah. The Prophet had high hopes to win them over to Islam. He felt that if they gave him a positive response, Islam would become much stronger in Makkah. Therefore, he wanted to devote all his attention to them at that time. The blind man, however, pressed his request time after time. The Prophet did not like that, but he did not express his displeasure in any words. He simply frowned, obviously unnoticed by the blind man. Allah then revealed this surah telling the Prophet that his attitude was not the right one. It was not up to him to make people follow divine guidance. It is Allah who guides whomsoever He pleases to the right path. The surah contains a strong reproach telling the Prophet [that] he could not refuse to teach anyone who sought to be taught. No person of high position is to be preferred to a humble person. To suggest that this surah should not be read often may be motivated by a noble feeling. A person may feel that he does not wish to read the reproach to the Prophet often. This feeling, however, is mistaken because it misses out on the lesson to be learned and concentrates on appearances and superficial elements. The message of the surah is one of the essential elements of the Islamic faith. All people are equal and all deserve to be called upon to believe in Allah and His messenger. None is to be preferred on account of his high position. None is to be ignored on account of his humbleness. That Allah has chosen to give this very important principle in the way He has, making use of the incident I had just described in order to drive the point home is His own prerogative. We read this surah in the same way as we read other parts of the Qur'an. Every portion is highly relevant and highly important. We cannot ignore any part of it for any consideration whatsoever. The old man who told you not to read this surah often might have spoken out of love for the Prophet. We should remember, however, that no matter how dearly we love the Prophet, Allah loves him more. If we were to ignore this surah our attitude represents a protest against its inclusion in the Qur'an. This is not up to us to do. Every part of the Qur'an is as important as the rest. The old man is mistaken and we treat this surah in the same way as we treat the other 113 surahs.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )