Overview - Surah 14: Ibrahim (Abraham )

Surah Introduction

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The basic theme of the Surah is Allah's guidance through His prophets. The purpose of this guidance is to take the people from darkness to light.  Many people in the past had doubts about their prophets.They laughed at them and they threatened to kill them or expel them from their towns. However, the lasting word is the "good word." The Surah also mentions Prophet Ibrahim's prayer when he established the city of Makkah.


  1. The purpose of the Qur'an is to lead humankind to light.
  2. Prophets and their people.
  3. Non-believers threatened the Prophets, but Allah's promise to the Prophets.
  4. Satan misleads the disbelievers in this world, but in the hereafter he would leave them in the lurch.
  5. The ingratitude of people
  6. Prophet Ibrahim's prayer for Makkah, for its people and for his own children
  7. Allah is aware of what the wrongdoers are doing, their respite and end.

The Surah derives its name from Ibrahim, the father of all prophets who came after him.

There are 52 ayat in this Surah.


Total Ayat52
Total Words *830
Root Words *234
Unique Root Words *4
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 72nd (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 11th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
1st Pledge of Aqabah, Death of Abu Talib - Death of Khadijah - Stoning at Ta'if - al-Isra wal Mi'raj - Night Journey, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 3, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 2, Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 1, 2nd Migration to Abyssinia, Physical beating and torture of some Muslims - 1st Migration of Muslims to Abyssinia, Public Invitation to Islam - Persecution of Muslims; antagonism - ridicule - derision - accusation - abuse and false propaganda., Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam
Events during/after still to occur*
2nd Pledge of Aqabah,,Migration from Makkah to Madinah - Building of Masjid Nabi in Madinah - Treaty with Jews of Madinah - Marriage of Prophet to Aishah,Change of Qiblah from Jerusalem to Makkah - Battle of Badr,Battle of Uhud,,Battle of Ahzab - Expedition of Banu Quraydhah,Treaty of Hudaiybiyah - Letters to Kings and Rulers,,Conquest of Makkah - Battle of Hunain,Hajj led by Abu Bakr - Expedition of Tabuk,Farewell Hajj by Prophet - Death of Prophet - End of Divine Revelation
Names of Prophets Mentioned
Nuh, Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Musa
Surah Index
Abraham, God (replaces humans with another) , Astronomy (celestial mechanics) (solar and lunar orbits), Charity, Commandments (general religious) , Disbelievers, Earth (changed into another earth) , Earth (rotation of) , Hell, History (study it) , Hydrology, Iblis, Isaac, Ishmael, Judgement (Day) , Ka’bah, Moses, Noah, Pharaoh, Prayer (of Abraham) , Prophet (prophecy in language of target population) , Prophet (purpose of) , Revelation, Sea, Ships, Thamud, Weather (rain) , Weather (wind)

Central Theme

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Theme 1: The fundamental message of all prophets is the same.

Theme 2: Allah, ‘He is the one who takes people out of the various levels darknesses into the Light through revelation.’

Its subject matter, namely faith, revelation and the divine message, God’s Oneness,  resurrection, reckoning and reward permeate Makkan surahs. Just as every surah in the Qur’an has its distinctive character, this surah adopts a unique approach in presenting its material, with highlights and shading that accentuate the principles and issues it tackles. These may not be different from the principles and issues other surahs illustrate, but they are tackled here from a different angle so as to generate special effect and emphasis. Furthermore, certain aspects are added and others omitted, giving the reader and the listener the overall impression that they deal with new issues and principles. [Ref: Qutb, Fi Dhilal]

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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  • The general ambience of the Surah derives from its name, Ibrahim, the father of all prophets who came after him. He was a blessed man, most grateful to God, most clement, tender-hearted, and devout. All the connotations of these attributes are felt throughout this Surah, in its main issues, general approach, mode of expression as also in its rhythm.

Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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The surah begins with an outline of the mission of God’s Messenger and the book revealed to  him: “This is a book which We have bestowed on you from on high so that you might bring forth all mankind, by their Lord’s leave, from darkness into the light, to the path of the Almighty, the One to whom all praise is due.” It concludes with the same point, highlighting the truth of God’s oneness which is at the heart of the divine message: “This is a message to all mankind. Let them be warned thereby, and let them know that He is the One and only God. Let those who are endowed with insight take heed.”

Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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Surah Yunus, Hud, Yusuf and now Ibrahim begin the Surah with the letters Alif Lam Ra. The following surah, al-Hijr will also begin with the same letters.

The Virtues of the Surah

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Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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123 Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat) *

Unique Root Words to this Surah only

4 unique root words that do not appear in any other Surah *

Top 10 Most Frequent Root Words used in this Surah

Root Word Frequency
in Surah
in Qur'an
أ ل ه 38 2851
ر ب ب 17 980
ٱلَّذِى 15 1464
ق و ل 15 1722
إِلَىٰ 12 742
أ ر ض 11 461
ر س ل 10 513
ق و م 10 660
ظ ل م 9 315
س م و 9 381

Period of Revelation

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It appears from the tone of this Surah that it belongs to a group of Surahs which were revealed during the last stages of the Makkan period. For instance ayah 13: “And those who disbelieved said to their messengers, “We will surely drive you out of our land, or you must return to our religion.” So their Lord inspired to them, “We will surely destroy the wrongdoers.” clearly indicates that the persecution of the Muslims was most intense at the time of the revelation of this Surah and that the people of Makkah were bent on expelling the Muslims, just like the disbelievers of the former Prophets.

Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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  • Allah never sent a Rasool [Messenger] for the guidance of a nation except one who spoke the language of those people.
  • If every human being becomes a disbeliever, it makes no difference to Allah.
  • The message of all Prophets and Messengers was the same.
  • Allah increases his blessings if a person shows gratitude.
  • Allah has based the creation of the heavens and the earth on Truth.
  • Shaitan has no power except to seduce human beings.
  • Greeting in paradise will be "Assalam-u-Alaikum" which means: "peace be upon you."
  • A quotation from the prayers of the Prophet Ibrahim which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) made a part of Muslims' daily Salah (prayers).

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Miscellaneous Issues

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