Surah al-An`am (The Cattle) 6 : 63
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(of) the land
and the sea
you call Him
He saves us
surely we will be
the grateful ones
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
They are then called upon to listen to the voice of their very nature. Indeed, human nature recognizes the truth of Godhead and turns to God alone when it faces dangers and difficulties. The surah paints for them their nature when they are in distress, and describes how they go against its appeals when they go through a period of ease and comfort.
This is all portrayed in a short, fast, clear scene, producing a profound effect. They are reminded that great distress is not limited to the Day of Resurrection when they have to face their reckoning. They, indeed, go through periods of great distress in the deep darkness of land and sea. At such moments, they turn only to God, recognizing that only He can save them. Still they revert to their erring ways in periods of ease.
Such an experience is well known to everyone who has gone through a period of distress or witnessed and observed what people in distress feel. There are indeed many types of darkness involving perils of different types on land and at sea. It is not necessary that the night should spread its mantle for darkness to prevail: losing one’s way and danger are two types of darkness and what awaits people on land and at sea is screened from them by darkness. Wherever people find themselves in the midst of darkness they realize that they must turn only to God, praying to Him in earnest or appealing to Him in private. At such a moment, human nature sheds its burden and comes face to face with the truth implanted deep inside it, that is the truth of God’s oneness. Therefore, it turns to God alone, addressing Him without any partners, because it recognizes then the absurdity of idolatry and polytheism and the non-existence of any partners with God. At such a moment, those who are in distress are quick to make solemn pledges: “If He will but save us from this peril, we will most certainly be grateful.”
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.