This Surah takes its name from the word (ar-Ra'ad) (thunder)
that occurs in v. 13. It is merely the symbolic name of the
Surah and does not in any way mean that the Surah deals with
the scientific problems connected with thunder.
Period of Revelation
The internal evidence (vv. 27-31 and vv. 34-48) shows that
this Surah was revealed in the last stage of the Mission of
the Holy Prophet at Makkah and during the same period in which
Surahs Yunus, Hud and Al- A'araf were sent down.
The manner of speech indicates that a long time had passed
since the Holy Prophet had been conveying the Message. On the
one hand, his opponents had been contriving different devices
to defeat him and his Mission, and, on the other, his followers
had been expressing a desire that by showing a miracle the
disbelievers might be brought to the Right Way.
In answer, Allah impressed on the Believers that it is not
His way to convert people by this method and that they should
not lose heart, if He is giving the enemies of the Truth a
rope long enough to hang themselves. Otherwise, He is able
to show such signs as may bring the dead out of their graves
and make them speak (v. 31), but even then these obdurate people
will invent an excuse to explain this away. All this decisive
evidence clearly proves that this Surah was revealed during
the last stage of the Prophet's Mission at Makkah.
The first verse enunciates the main theme of this Surah, that
is, "The Message of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) is
the very Truth, but it is the fault of the people that they
are rejecting it." This is the pivot on which the whole Surah
This is why it has been shown over and over again in different
ways that the basic components of the Message -- Tauhid, Resurrection
and Prophethood-are a reality: therefore they should believe
sincerely in these for their own moral and spiritual good.
They have been warned that they shall incur their own ruin
if they reject them, for kufr by itself is sheer folly and
ignorance. Moreover, the aim of the Surah is not merely to
satisfy the minds but also to appeal to the hearts to accept
the Faith. Therefore it does not merely put forward logical
arguments in support of the truth of the Message and against
the people's wrong notions, but at appropriate intervals it
makes frequent use of sympathetic and earnest appeals to win
over their hearts by warning them of the consequences of kufr
and by holding out the happy rewards of Faith so that the foolish
people should give up their obduracy.
Besides this, the objections of the opponents have been answered
without any mention of them, and those doubts which are proving
a hindrance in the way of the Message or were being created
by the opponents have been removed. At the same time, the Believers;
who had been passing through long and hard ordeal and were
feeling tired, and waiting anxiously for Allah's succour, have
been comforted and filled with hope and courage.