Surah al-An`am (The Cattle) 6 : 86
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
The surah goes on to provide us with a glimpse of the procession of the faithful, (verses 84-87) led by the noble messengers, from the time of Noah and Abraham to the last of all prophets and messengers, Muhammad (peace be upon them all). This procession is shown to be continuous, uninterrupted, particularly since the time of Abraham and the prophets among his offspring. Those prophets are not given here in chronological order, which is the case elsewhere in the Qur’an, because it is the fact that the procession has been a continuous one that is given importance here, not its historical order.
These verses mention altogether seventeen messengers and prophets in addition to Noah and Abraham. There is also a reference to others among `their forefathers, offspring and brethren’. The verses which name these prophets are concluded with the comments, “Thus do We reward those who do good.” (Verse 84) “Every one of them did We favour above all people.” (Verse 86) “We chose them and guided them to a straight path.” (Verse 87) All these comments endorse the nobility of this group of honourable prophets and the fact that they have been chosen by God and have been guided to the right path. All this, however, is made by way of an introduction to the three statements that follow.
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.