Surah al-An`am (The Cattle) 6 : 7

وَلَوْ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ كِتَٰبًا فِى قِرْطَاسٍ فَلَمَسُوهُ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ لَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓا۟ إِنْ هَٰذَآ إِلَّا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And even if We had sent down to you, [O Muhammad], a book written in a parchment and they touched it with their hands, the disbelievers would say, "This is not but obvious magic."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

What causes them to turn away from God’s revelations is not the lack of strong and clear evidence of their truthfulness. They are only being unreasonably stubborn. Their denial is firmly held as though it was a matter of principle. Such an attitude allows no consideration of any evidence or proof. Had God chosen to send down the Qur’ān to His Messenger by means other than revelation, which they cannot see, and put it on paper which they can feel and see, and had they touched this paper with their own hands, they would still reject the evidence of their own hands and eyes. They would emphatically claim: “This is nothing but plain sorcery.” 
 
This is an image of a singularly contemptible nature, one which invites strong hostility. With such a nature there is no room for argument or scholarly discussion. Yet we meet such people in all communities and across all generations. Depicting their nature in this way serves more than one purpose: it delineates to the rejecters themselves their spiteful attitude in its true colours, just like one who lifts the mirror in front of a person with an ugly face so that he can see himself and put a stop to his overbearing behaviour. It also gives the believers an added incentive to adhere strongly to the truth, uninfluenced by the general atmosphere of denial and rejection they see around them. They are, thus, more resilient in the face of oppression and persecution.
 
It also tells us how compassionate and forbearing God is, as He gives those rejecters a chance to mend their ways and does not smite them immediately for their stubbornness. All these elements were part of the weaponry available to the Muslim community in their fight against the unbelievers.

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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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

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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.

9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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