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Surah Al-Anbiyaa

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Maududi's Commentry (Tafseer) on Surah Al-Anbiyaa

Mecca Mecca (73)
112Total Ayat: 112
7Total Ruku: 7


The name of this Surah has not been taken from any verse but it hasbeen called Al-Anbiyaa because it contains a continuous account ofmany Anbiyaa (Prophets). Nevertheless, it is a symbolic name and not atitle.

Period of Revelation

Both the subject matter and the style of the Surah indicate that it wassent down in the third stage of the life of the Holy Prophet atMakkah.(Sea Introduction to Chapter VI).

Subject and Topics

This Surah discusses the conflict between the Holy Prophet and thechiefs of Makkah, which was rampant at the time of its Revelation andanswers those objections and doubts which were being put forwardconcerning his Prophethood and the Doctrines of Tauhid and theHereafter. The chiefs of Makkah have also been rebuked for theirmachinations against the Holy Prophet and warned of the evilconsequences of their wicked activities. They have been admonished togive up their indifference and heedlessness that they were showingabout the Message. At the end of the Surah, they have been told thatthe person whom they considered to be a "distress and affliction" hadin reality come to them as a blessing.

Main Themes

In vv. 1-47, the following themes have been discussed in particular :

  1. The objection of the disbelievers that a human being could not bea Messenger and therefore they could not accept Muhammad (peace beupon him) as a Prophet, has been refuted.

  2. They have been taken totask for raising multifarious and contradictory objections against theHoly Prophet and the Qur'an.

  3. Their wrong conception of life hasbeen proved to be false because it was responsible for theirindifferent and heedless attitude towards the Message of the HolyProphet. They believed that life was merely a sport and pastime andhad no purpose behind or before it and there was no accountability orreward or punishment.

  4. The main cause of the conflict between thedisbelievers and the Holy Prophet was their insistence on the doctrineof shirk and antagonism to the Doctrine of Tauhid. So the doctrine ofskirk has been refuted and the Doctrine of Tauhid reinforced by weightyand impressive though brief arguments.

  5. Arguments and admonitionshave been used to remove another misunderstanding of theirs. Theypresumed that Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a false prophet and hiswarnings of a scourge from God were empty threats, just because noscourge was visiting them in spite of their persistent rejection ofthe Prophet.

In vv. 48-91, instances have been cited from theimportant events of the life stories of the Prophets to show that allthe Prophets, who were sent by God, were human beings and had all thecharacteristics of a man except those which were exclusive toProphethood. They had no share in Godhead and they had to imploreAllah to fulfill each and every necessity of theirs.

Along with thesetwo other things have also been mentioned:

  1. All the Prophets had topass through distress and affliction; their opponents did their worstto thwart their mission, but in spite of it they came out successfulby the extraordinary succour from Allah.

  2. All the Prophets had oneand the same "way of life', the same as was being presented byMuhammad (Allah's peace be upon him), and that was the only Right Wayof Life and all other ways invented and introduced by mischievouspeople were utterly wrong.

In vv. 92-106, it has been declared thatonly those who follow the Right Way, will come out successful in thefinal judgment of God and those who discard it shall meet with theworst consequences.

In vv. 107-112, the people have been told that itis a great favour of Allah that He has sent His Messenger to informthem beforehand of this Reality and that those, who consider hiscoming to be an affliction instead of a blessing, are foolish people.

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110. An-Nasr
111. Al-Lahab
112. Al-Ikhlaas
113. Al-Falaq
114. An-Nas
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