An Introduction to Surat Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract)
Name of the Surah
The Surah was named after that word ‘The Rocky Tract’ that is mentioned in the following verse:
And certainly did the companions of Thamud (people of Prophet Salih) deny the messengers.(Al-Hijr 15:40)
Period of Revelation
This surah was revealed in Makkah, after the revelation of surat Yusuf (Joseph). The time was a very critical one, falling as it did between the ‘year of sorrow’ when the Prophet (peace be upon him) lost his wife Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) and his uncle Abu Ţalib and the year when the Prophet migrated to Al-Madinah. The surah thus reflects the needs and requirements of this difficult period.
Theme of the Surah
Thus the surah shares with other surahs revealed during the same period the same subject matter and general features. Likewise, it addresses the needs and requirements of that period when the Islamic message faced the ignorance, or jahiliyyah, that prevailed in Arabia. The same applies to any similar period in history. Indeed it even applies now.
Topics of the Surah
1- The surah then relates the story of Adam and Satan, following it to its conclusion when human life on earth comes to an end and people return to their Lord where the warnings given to them will be fulfilled.
2- The surah refers to some scenes from the universe: the heavens and the constellations, the expanded earth and the mountains set firm on it, the plants that demonstrate a balanced method of creation, the winds full of moisture, water and drinking, and the life, death and resurrection of all mankind.
3- The surah explains the law that God has set in operation concerning His message and people’s attitudes to it, either accepting and believing in it or rejecting it.
4- The surah relates the fates suffered by the peoples of Lot, Shu`aib and Salih.
Sayyed Abu A`la Maududi’s Tafhim Al-Qur’an.
Sayyid Qutb’s Fi Zhilal Al-Qur’an.