An Introduction to Surat Al-Anbiyaa’ (The Prophets)
Name of the Surah:
The title of the surah has not been taken from any verse but it has been called so because the surah contains a continuous accounts of many prophets. Nevertheless, it is a symbolic name and not a title.
Period of Revelation:
Revealed in Makkah, this surah, as with all other parts of the Qur’an revealed in that period, deals with the issues of faith. It does so under three main headings: namely, God’s oneness, His message, and mankind’s resurrection.
Central Theme of the Surah:
The Surah discusses the conflict between the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the chiefs of Makkah, which was rampant at the time of its Revelation and answers the objections and doubts which were being put forward concerning his Prophethood and the Doctrines of Tawhed and the Hereafter.
Topics of the surah:
1- The objection of the disbelievers that a human being could not be a Messenger and therefore they could not accept Muhammad (peace be upon him) as a Prophet, has been refuted.
2- It illustrates the truth which is at the heart of the heavens and the earth and their constitution. It reflects the seriousness with which their affairs are conducted.
3- The surah concentrates people’s eyes, hearts and minds on the universe and its great phenomena: the heavens and the earth, mountains and valleys, night and day, sun and moon.
4- The surah draws our attention to the unity of the phenomena which govern life on earth and the unity of the source of life.
5- The surah presents a quick review of the single community that has followed God’s messengers. It pauses long to reflect on the stories of Abraham, David and Solomon, but makes only brief references to Noah, Moses, Aaron, Lot, Ishmael, Idris, Dhul-Kifl, Jonah, Zachariah, John and Jesus, (peace be upon them all).
6- The surah also includes some scenes of the Day of Judgment in which we find the same meanings and concepts reflected again as part of the reality of that great day.
Sayyed Abu A`la Maududi’s Tafhim Al-Qur’an.
Sayyid Qutb’s Fi Zhilal Al-Qur’an.