Surah al-An`am (The Cattle) 6 : 37
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And they said
most of them
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
The surah then refers to the unbelievers’ request that a sign in the form of something supernatural be sent down to the Prophet. What they requested was a physical miracle such as those given to earlier messengers. They were not satisfied with the permanent sign embodied in the Qur’an, which heralds the ultimate stage of mankind’s maturity. It makes a final address to man’s mature mind. Moreover, its significance is not limited to the generation that sees it, as is the case with material miracles; its miraculous message will continue to address the human intellect until the Day of Judgement.
As they made their requests for a miracle, they overlooked the divine law which brought immediate punishment to those who continued to deny divine messages after a miraculous sign had been given them. They simply did not appreciate God’s kindness by not responding to their request, when He knew that they would continue to deny Him, as earlier people had done. That would have sealed their fate. God wanted to give them an extended chance to believe in Him. Those who continue to reject faith may have children who grow up as believers. Needless to say, they did not thank God for His grace in giving them such an extended chance.
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.