The first part of Juz 17, Surah Al-Anbiyaa, is titled “the Prophets.” The leaders of Makkah had dismissed the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as a false prophet or a mere “poet.” Some doubted his intentions or his sanity. These verses set the record straight, that the Prophet teaches the same message of tawhid, Unity of God, that all previous prophets had also taught their people. A long line of prophets is discussed, the message being that they all were rejected by their people, yet their message lived on. The leaders of Makkah and other unbelievers are warned that their rumors and backbiting will not hurt the Prophet or the message of Islam in the least; on the contrary, they will be the ones facing punishment in the Hereafter. Rather than being a curse, it was a blessing to them that the Prophet was amongst them, to give them a warning and a chance to change their behavior for the better.
Surah Al-Anbiyaa 1 to 112
- [21:1] Allah warns us that the day of reckoning is approaching, while the people are heedless of it, they are too stubborn to come out of their bubble of heedlessness and work for the Hereafter. Elsewhere in the Quran, Allah says
“They think it (day of judgment) is far off, but we see it as near at hand”
- [21:4] Allah is the Hearing and the Knowing, whatever secrets we have kept in our hearts or whatever we say, He hears it all and nothing of it ever escapes His observation. He knows the minutest of details of all things hidden and open.
- [21:5] Do not argue on things you don’t have knowledge about. Instead, seek help from the people who have correct knowledge.
- [21: 10] The Quran is sent down for YOU, it’s a reminder, on how to deal with your day to day life challenges. Allah revealed His Book and sent His Messenger as a mercy for His servants, so that the person who reflects may be reminded. Thus, a man will benefit fromthe Book of Allah, it is a remembrance in which Allah revealed what He permits and prohibits.
- [21:16] The heavens and the earth were not created for play, everything that exists in this universe has a purpose, a reason for its existence. Then what makes you think that you have no purpose in life? To a muslim, the whole purpose of life is worship to the One True Almighty Allah under His conditions. Open your heart and your mind now and ask Allah, the Lord of the Heavens and the earth, to guide you to His true way, and then be ready to accept your true purpose of life.
- [21: 19] Allah doesn’t need our worship or our good deeds, He is needless and we all are dependant on Him. He has angels who worship Him and glorify Him night and day and they do not slacken to do so, and they obey His Orders and they do not disobey Him. However, Allah did not order them to worship Him due to a need or deficiency in Him; rather, Allah does not need His Slaves to worship Him as the obedience of an obedient person does not benefit Him (Allah) and the disobedience of a disobedient person does not harm Him. So whoever amongst the Slaves of Allah obeys Him, his obedience is for the benefit of his own self, and whoever disobeys Him, his disobedience to Allaah is against his own self.
- [21: 22] If there are two kings, the actions of each one being the same as those of the other, it would not be possible for them to manage the same city. It follows necessarily that if they acted together , the city would be ruined. When two actions of the same kind converge on one substratum, that substratum is corrupted necessarily. Thus the fact that the entire universe is highly organized in its form, is the clear proof that God is One (And for Allah is the highest example).
- [21: 24-25] All previous Prophets (peace be upon them) have called for true faith, they all called for the worship of Allah alone. Every Prophet told his people from the very beginning,
“Worship Allah, the Almighty. You have no other god but Him” (Surah al Araf: 59)
“And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger , (proclaiming): Serve Allah and shun false gods”(Surah An Nahl: 36)
- [21:26-28] Those that the disbelievers claim to be the “children” of Allah, such as angels, Ezra, Jesus etc, they are rather the honored servants of Allah. Without doubt the prophets were the best of the Allah’s creation, but still they were human beings, that Allah chose to deliver His message. We are in no position to attribute to them the characteristics that Allah Himself hasn’t attributed. They do not initiate any matter before Him or go against His commands; on the contrary, they hasten to do as He commands, and He encompasses them with His knowledge so that nothing whatsoever is hidden from Him.
- [21: 30-33] Those who deny His Divine nature and worship others instead of Him, do they not realize that Allah is the One Who is Independent in His powers of creation and is running the affairs of all things with absolute power. So how can it be appropriate to worship anything else beside Him or to associate others in worship with Him.
- [21-34] Life slips away second by second. Are you aware that every day brings you closer to death or that death is as close to you as it is to other people? Everyone who has ever appeared on this earth was destined to die. Today, we hardly come across the traces of many of these people who passed away. Allah Alone is the Ever-Living Who never dies, while the Jinn, mankind and angels, including those who carry Allah’s Throne, shall die. The Irresistible One and Only, will alone remain for ever and ever, remaining Last, as He was the First.
- [21: 35] Allah will test us over and over again. When a misfortune falls upon us, we think of it as a test or trial. But the fact of the matter is that even the blessings of Allah are His tests. Allah tests us with good things to see if we are thankful to Him or if we turn arrogant and forget to remember, or even thank Him. Remember that gratitude for blessings is a blessing which needs to be given thanks for, so that one will continue to enjoy the blessings of his Lord, thanking his Lord for those blessings and praising Him for helping him to be among those who give thanks.
- [21- 37] Being hasty and reckless is from Shaytan. Even though being hasty is in our nature, controlling it is important. Be tolerant, have patience and think well before you take any action as these are from the best of traits.
- [21: 47] Allah will call His creatures for account on the Day of judgment, nobody will be wronged on that day, and every one will be rewarded or punished according to his or her deeds, and even anything as small or as insignificant as a mustard seed will be brought forth.
- [21: 61-69] Prophet Ibrahim broke the idols of his people and the priests decided to burn him alive in a big furnace. The transgressors thought that the Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) would burn to death. But prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) came out of the fire safe as if nothing had touched him, Allah had cooled the fire for him, and make it a source of comfort and protection for him. When Allah could cool down the fire for Ibrahim (peace be upon him), what makes you think He could not answer your duaa? When we fear Him alone and put our trusts in Him, He opens the doors for us whose keys we thought don’t even exist.
- [21:78-79] We usually get caught up in problems due to the wrong decisions we take. So always ask Allah for wisdom and the sense to make a proper decision.
رَبِّ هَبْ لِي حُكْمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ[And he said], “My Lord, grant me authority and join me with the righteous.”(Dua of Ibrahim (a.s) from Surah Ash Shu’ara ayat 83)
- [21:83] You and all around you will go through tests and problems at one point or the other. So when you do stay calm and patient and call on Allah for help like Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him):
ُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ“Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.”
- [21:87] We should always accept our mistakes and seek forgivenwss from Allah. Like Yunus (peace be upon him), he called out:
“The prayer of Dhu’l-Noon when he was in the belly of the fish: ‘Laa ilaaha illa Anta, subhaanaka inni kuntu min al-zaalimeen (There is no god but You, glory to You, verily I was one of the wrongdoers).’ A Muslim never calls upon his Lord with these words concerning any matter, but his prayer is answered.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 3505; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1644)
- [21:91] Like Maryam (peace be upon him)…sisters who live a pure and chaste life fearing Allah and taking care of His rulings, Allah gives her the best rewards as a righteous husband and dutiful children in Dunya and Jannah in the Akhirah.
- [21: 74- 92] All the Prophets and legends before us, were tested, and they called out to Allah for help. We are slaves of Allah following trails set by Prophets before us. They encountered hard times, and so we will encounter hard times. They were tested, and so we will be tested. They bore patience, and so we must bear patience, because we are one Ummah, with one religion. It’s truly uplifting when we take these legends and towering figures as our role-models and guides, because despite the struggles, they remain the best men to walk the face of this planet and this is something to truly look up to and be proud of.
- [21:40] The passion of all these righteous people was:
- to race and strive in the way of Allah
- pray to Him in hope and fear
- submit to all His commands
Shouldnt we be following them too?
يُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُونَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا خَاشِعِينَ“Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.” (Surah Al- Anbiyaa : 90)
- [21: 95-96] It has been decreed that the people of each township that has been destroyed will never return to this world before the Day of Resurrection.
- [21:96] Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj are the biggest signs of Qiyamah. Read about them in Surah Al Kahf.
- [21: 97- 104] When Allah mentions the people of Hell and their punishment for their associating others in worship with Allah, He follows that with a description of the blessed who believed in Allah and His Messengers. These are the ones for whom the blessing has preceded from Allah, and they did righteous deeds in the world. Just as they did good in this world, Allah will make their final destiny and their reward good; He will save them from punishment and give them a great reward. May Allah make us from them, ameen. During this blessed month of Ramadan, lets memorize this wonderful duaa, and make the paradise pray for us! اللهم انى اسئلك الجنة و اعوذبك من النار Anas ibn Malik narrated the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
“Whoever asks for Paradise, three times, Paradise will say: “O Allah, admit him to Paradise.” And whoever asked to be saved from Hell, three times, Hell will say: “O Allah, save him from Hell.” (Sunnan Ibn Majah – Book 37, Hadith 4484)
- [21: 107] The Prophet ﷺ was a mercy to mankind. He ﷺ is the best role model for all humans. Among his outstanding virtues and characteristics, he was an extraordinary husband, a perfect father, and a unique grandfather. He was also a great statesman, judge, and spiritual leader.
- [21: 110] Allah knows the Unseen in its entirety; He knows what His creatures do openly and what they do secretly. He knows what is visible and what is concealed; He knows what is secret and hidden. He knows what His creatures do openly and in secret, and He will requite them for that, for both minor and major actions.
- [21: 111] Allah doesn’t punish us for our sins immediately- out of His mercy. He delays it to allow us to repent from our sins and turn back to Him. But this offer is for a limited time only, to turn to Him by our “appointed time”- beyond which we will find no escape. Now just because we live an easy and comfortable life, doesn’t necessarily mean that Allah is pleased with us, it could very well be that this period of comfort is proof AGAINST us.
English Compilation by Sr. Mariam Anwer (Quest for Paradise)