Surah Al-’Anbiya’, Chapter 21

(Revealed in Mecca)
No. 21 (112 verses in 7 sections)

The Content of the Surah

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

1. This Surah, as its name indicates, is the Surah of prophets, since there are mentioned the names of sixteen Divine prophets in it, some of whom are referred to by several main points of their qualities, while some others are only hinted to here.

These divine prophets are: Moses, Aaron, Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Noah, David, Solomon, Job, Idris (Inoch), Zul-Kifl, Yunus (Jonah), Zachariah, and Yahya (John).

2. The specialties of the Meccan Suras, the contents of which are upon the religious doctrine, and Origin and End in particular, are quitely seen in this Surah.

3. Another part of the Surah speaks about the triumph of ‘right’ upon ‘wrong’, Monotheism upon polytheism, and the troops of justice over the forces of ’Iblis.

The attractive matter is that this Surah has begun with some intensive warnings unto those mischievous people who are neglectful and unaware about the final reckoning and record, and its concluding part has also been completed with some other warnings in the same field.

The Virtue of Recitation of the Surah

A tradition has been narrated from the holy Prophet of Islam (S) who said:

“Whoever recites Surah Al-’Anbiya’ Allah will take his reckoning easy, (and also On the Day of Hereafter He will not reckon his deeds strictly), and every prophet whose name has been mentioned in the Qur’an will greet him and shake his hands.”1

It is clear that recitation is usually a preliminary stage for contemplation, and contemplation is a preliminary step for Faith and practice.

  • 1. Nur-uth-Thaqalayn, the Commentary, P. 412