Surah al-An`am (The Cattle) 6 : 49
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
When this passage is concluded with a statement outlining the task of God’s messengers. Their communities demand supernatural miracles but their duty is merely to convey a message, bringing happy news and giving stern warnings. They have no say in people’s fate, which is determined by the attitudes people choose to adopt for themselves.
This faith of Islam began by preparing mankind for a stage of maturity which would enable it to use fully God’s great gift. With such usage people recognise and understand the truth which the Qur’an reveals and to which it directs human intellect. Numerous signs pointing to this truth are present everywhere in the universe, as well as in the different stages of life and in every aspect of creation.
To attain such maturity requires a complete departure from the stage of physical miracles which confront those who deny the truth with what forces them to submit. Instead, the human intellect is directed to observe the final touches of what God creates in the whole universe. These are indeed miraculous, but they are permanent miracles upon which the whole universe is founded. The human mind is addressed with a superb book revealed by God, which is absolutely miraculous in its style, method and the social set-up it aims to create. This set-up remains unique, with nothing similar having ever existed previously or since.
The result is a plain concept, which has no complication or ambiguity, and a clear outline of the Prophet’s task and his terms of reference. According to this concept, all attributes of Godhead are given to God alone. Everything happens by God’s will. But within that framework, man is given freedom of action and is required to account for what he chooses. The divergent destinies of God’s obedient servants and those who disobey Him are described in perfect clarity. All legends and arbitrary concepts that have prevailed in jahiliyyah societies about the role of the Messenger are shown to be false. All this helps elevate mankind to maturity without letting it drift into the maze of abstract philosophies and futile arguments which continue to waste the energy of the human mind for generation after generation.
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.