Surah al-An`am (The Cattle) 6 : 26
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
In order to give more credence to their false description of the Qur’ān and to turn people away from it, a man like Mālik ibn al-Nađr, who had learnt some Persian epics about Rustom and other Persian legendary heroes, used to sit at a short distance from the Prophet when he recited the Qur’ān. After the Prophet Muĥammad (peace be upon him) had finished, Mālik ibn al-Nađr used to say to his audience: “If Muĥammad could tell you some fables of the ancients, I can tell you better ones.” He would then relate to them some of the epics and histories he had learnt, hoping that in this way, he could prevent them from listening to the Qur’ān. Indeed, the chiefs of Makkah who commanded a position of authority and respect used to forbid others to listen to the Qur’ān, and they tried to stay away from its reading so that they did not submit to its powerful logic and irrefutable argument. In other words, they feared to be influenced by it: “They forbid [others] to listen to it and go far away from it. They ruin none but themselves, though they do not perceive it.”
In this battle between the powerful authority of truth and the feeble structure of falsehood, it was not enough that a man like Mālik ibn al-Nađr sat down to relate the epics and histories of the ancients. Instead, the Quraysh chiefs forbade their followers from listening to the Qur’ān and they also distracted themselves lest they too be unable to resist its influence. A story mentioned in the history of the Prophet about al-Akhnas ibn Sharīq, Abū Sufyān ibn Ĥarb and `Amr ibn Hishām, and their secret listening to the Qur’ān is well known.
All this effort which they exerted to refrain and prevent others from listening to the Qur’ān and allowing themselves to be influenced by it or respond to it was a recipe for disaster: “They ruin none but themselves, though they do not perceive it.” Whom would a person ruin if all his efforts were geared towards preventing himself and others from listening to proper guidance and following the right way that ensures salvation?
2. Linguistic Analysis[ edit ]
4. Miscellaneous Information[ edit ]
5. Connected/Related Ayat[ edit ]
6. Frequency of the word[ edit ]
7. Period of Revelation[ edit ]
According to Ibn Abbas, the whole of the Surah was revealed at one sitting at Makkah [during the night]. Asma bint Yazid says, ‘During the revelation of this Surah the Prophet was riding on a she-camel and I was holding her nose-string. The she-camel began to feel the weight so heavily that it seemed as if her bones would break under it.’ We also learn from other narrations that it was revealed during the last year before the migration (Hijrah) and that the Prophet dictated the whole of the Surah the same night that it was revealed. [Mawdudi]
8. Reasons for Revelation[ edit ]
After determining the period of its revelation it is easier to visualize the background of the Surah. Twelve years had passed since the Prophet had been inviting the people to Islam. The antagonism and persecution by the Quraysh had become most savage and brutal and the majority of the Muslims had to migrate to Abyssinia. Additionally, the two great supporters of the Prophet, Abu Talib and his wife Khadijah were no longer there to help him, so he was deprived of all worldly support. In spite of this he carried on his mission. As a result of this all the good people of Makkah and the surrounding clans gradually began to accept Islam but there the community as a whole was still bent on obstinacy and rejection. Therefore if anyone showed an inclination towards Islam they were subjected to taunts and derision, physical violence and social boycott.
It was in these dark circumstances that a ray of hope gleamed from Yathrib, where Islam began to spread freely by the efforts of some influential people of the tribes of Aws and Khazraj, who had embraced Islam at Makkah. At that time, none but God knew the great hidden potential in this.
To a casual observer it appeared as if Islam was a weak movement, with no material backing, except for some limited support from the Prophet's own family and a few poor followers. Obviously the latter could not give much help because they themselves were being persecuted.