The Surah takes its name from the two letters of the alphabet
with which it begins.
Period of Revelation
A study of the style shows that it was either sent down during
the last stage of the middle Makkan period, or it is one of
those Surahs, which were sent down during the last stage of
the Holy Prophet's stay at Makkah.
Subject Matter and Theme
The object of the discourse is to warn the Quraish of the consequences
of not believing in the Prophethood of Muhammad (may Allah's
peace and blessings be upon him) and of resisting and opposing
it with tyranny, ridicule and mockery. The aspect of the warning
is dominant and conspicuous although along with repeatedly
giving the warnings, arguments also have been given for the
correct understanding by the people.
Arguments have been given for three things: (1) For Tauhid,
from the signs of the universe and from common sense; (2) for
the Hereafter, from the signs of the universe, from common
sense and from man's own existence itself; and (3) for the
Prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad, from the fact that he
was facing all kinds of hardships in the preaching of his message
without any selfish motive, and from this that whatever he
was inviting the people to was rational and reasonable, accepting
which was in the people's own interest.
On the strength of these arguments, themes of reprobation,
reproof and warning have been presented repeatedly in a highly
forceful manner, so that hearts are shaken up and those which
have any capacity for accepting the truth left in them should
not remain unmoved.
Imam Ahmad, Abu Daud, Nasai, Ibn Majah and Tabarani have related
on the authority of Hadrat Ma'qil bin Yasar that the Holy Prophet
said:"Surah Ya Sin is the heart of the Qur'an."This is similar
to describing the Surah Al Fatiha has the Umm al Qur'an (the
essence or core of the Qur'an), because Al Fatihah contains
the sum and substance of the teaching of the whole Quran. The
Surah Ya Sin has been called the throbbing heart of the Qur'an
because it presents the message of the Qur'an in a most forceful
manner, which breaks the inertness and stirs the spirit of
man to action.
Again Imam Ahmad, Aba Da'ud and Ibn Majah have related from
the same Ma'qil bin Yasar that the Holy Prophet said: "Recite
Surah Ya Sin to the dying ones among you." The object is not
only to revive and refresh the whole Islamic creed in the mind
of the dying person but also bring before him, in particular,
a complete picture of the Hereafter so that he may know what
stages he would have to pass through after crossing the stage
of this worldly life. In view of this, it would be desirable
that along with the recitation of the Surah Ya Sin its translation
also is made for the benefit of the person who does not know
Arabic so that the purpose of the admonition is duly fulfilled.