The name of this Surah has not been taken from any verse but
it has been called Al-Anbiyaa because it contains a continuous
account of many Anbiyaa (Prophets). Nevertheless, it is a symbolic
name and not a title.
Period of Revelation
Both the subject matter and the style of the Surah indicate
that it was sent down in the third stage of the life of the
Holy Prophet at Makkah.(Sea Introduction to Chapter VI).
Subject and Topics
This Surah discusses the conflict between the Holy Prophet
and the chiefs of Makkah, which was rampant at the time of
its Revelation and answers those objections and doubts which
were being put forward concerning his Prophethood and the Doctrines
of Tauhid and the Hereafter. The chiefs of Makkah have also
been rebuked for their machinations against the Holy Prophet
and warned of the evil consequences of their wicked activities.
They have been admonished to give up their indifference and
heedlessness that they were showing about the Message. At the
end of the Surah, they have been told that the person whom
they considered to be a "distress and affliction" had in reality
come to them as a blessing.
In vv. 1-47, the following themes have been discussed in particular
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.
They have been taken to task for raising multifarious and contradictory
objections against the Holy Prophet and the Qur'an.
Their wrong conception of life has been proved to be false
because it was responsible for their indifferent and heedless
attitude towards the Message of the Holy Prophet. They believed
that life was merely a sport and pastime and had no purpose
behind or before it and there was no accountability or reward
The main cause of the conflict between the disbelievers and
the Holy Prophet was their insistence on the doctrine of shirk
and antagonism to the Doctrine of Tauhid. So the doctrine of
skirk has been refuted and the Doctrine of Tauhid reinforced
by weighty and impressive though brief arguments.
Arguments and admonitions have been used to remove another
misunderstanding of theirs. They presumed that Muhammad (peace
be upon him) was a false prophet and his warnings of a scourge
from God were empty threats, just because no scourge was visiting
them in spite of their persistent rejection of the Prophet.
In vv. 48-91, instances have been cited from the important
events of the life stories of the Prophets to show that all
the Prophets, who were sent by God, were human beings and had
all the characteristics of a man except those which were exclusive
to Prophethood. They had no share in Godhead and they had to
implore Allah to fulfill each and every necessity of theirs.
Along with these two other things have also been mentioned:
All the Prophets had to pass through distress and affliction;
their opponents did their worst to thwart their mission, but
in spite of it they came out successful by the extraordinary
succour from Allah.
All the Prophets had one and the same "way of life', the same
as was being presented by Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him),
and that was the only Right Way of Life and all other ways
invented and introduced by mischievous people were utterly
In vv. 92-106, it has been declared that only those who follow
the Right Way, will come out successful in the final judgment
of God and those who discard it shall meet with the worst consequences.
In vv. 107-112, the people have been told that it is a great
favour of Allah that He has sent His Messenger to inform them
beforehand of this Reality and that those, who consider his
coming to be an affliction instead of a blessing, are foolish