QURAN SUMMARY: AL ANAM

Surah Anam Background And Summary of Main Topics.

Surah Anam Statistics: Total Number of Verses, Revelation Period, Main Characters, Theme And Key Verses.

NAME:  الأنعام, Al-An’am.

Name taken from Verse 136 138 and 139 where superstitions regarding lawfulness and unlawfulness of some cattle are discussed.

١٣٦  وَجَعَلُوا لِلَّهِ مِمَّا ذَرَأَ مِنَ الْحَرْثِ وَالْأَنْعَامِ نَصِيبًا فَقَالُوا هَٰذَا لِلَّهِ بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَهَٰذَا لِشُرَكَائِنَا ۖ فَمَا كَانَ لِشُرَكَائِهِمْ فَلَا يَصِلُ إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ فَهُوَ يَصِلُ إِلَىٰ شُرَكَائِهِمْ ۗ سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ

136  And the polytheists assign to Allah from that which He created of crops and livestock a share and say, “This is for Allah,” by their claim, “and this is for our partners [associated with Him].” But what is for their “partners” does not reach Allah, while what is for Allah – this reaches their “partners.” Evil is that which they rule.

But It does not mean that this name is the actual topic discussed in the whole Surah. It is just a reference and mark/symbol to distinguish this Surah from others as is with most other Surahs of Quran. While there are diversified topics discussed in these Surahs.

ENGLISH NAME: Cattle.

CHAPTER NUMBER: 6

SURAH ANAM TOTAL VERSES: 165

SURAH ANAM TOTAL WORDS: 3,056

TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 1,364

TOTAL LETTERS: 12,726

REVELATION PERIOD:

Meccan, Approx. 618 – 620 AD. 

MAIN CHARACTERS:

God, Disbelievers, People Of Book, Muhammad, Inaam/Cattle, False deities, Ibrahim/Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Nuh, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aron, Zechariah, John, Jesus, Elias, Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, Lut, Satan, Jinn, Humans.

SURAH ANAM MAIN TOPICS:

People Of Book Recognize It I.E Quran/Muhammad As They recognize Their Sons, God vs False deities, God Takes Your Souls While Sleeping, Ibrahim Story, Ibrahim curiosity about Stars, Moon and Sun, Ibrahim final conclusion that all these beings cannot be deities, Allah’s Name Makes a huge difference, Eat That food i.e Halal, Superstitions Related To Inaam/Cattle.

SURAH ANAM KEY VERSES:

٢٠  الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَعْرِفُونَهُ كَمَا يَعْرِفُونَ أَبْنَاءَهُمُ ۘ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُوا أَنْفُسَهُمْ فَهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

20  Those to whom We have given the Scripture recognize it as they recognize their [own] sons. Those who will lose themselves [in the Hereafter] do not believe.

٦٥  قُلْ هُوَ الْقَادِرُ عَلَىٰ أَنْ يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابًا مِنْ فَوْقِكُمْ أَوْ مِنْ تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِكُمْ أَوْ يَلْبِسَكُمْ شِيَعًا وَيُذِيقَ بَعْضَكُمْ بَأْسَ بَعْضٍ ۗ انْظُرْ كَيْفَ نُصَرِّفُ الْآيَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَفْقَهُونَ

65  Say, “He is the [one] Able to send upon you affliction from above you or from beneath your feet or to confuse you [so you become] sects and make you taste the violence of one another.” Look how We diversify the signs that they might understand.

٦٨  وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنْسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ

68  And when you see those who engage in [offensive] discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversation. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not remain after the reminder with the wrongdoing people.

١٠٣  لَا تُدْرِكُهُ الْأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الْأَبْصَارَ ۖ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ

103  Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted.

١٠٨  وَلَا تَسُبُّوا الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ فَيَسُبُّوا اللَّهَ عَدْوًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَّا لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ عَمَلَهُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِمْ مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

108  And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do.

١١٦  وَإِنْ تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَخْرُصُونَ

116  And if you obey most of those upon the earth, they will mislead you from the way of Allah. They follow not except assumption, and they are not but falsifying.

١٦٠  مَنْ جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا ۖ وَمَنْ جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَىٰ إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

160  Whoever comes [on the Day of Judgement] with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [to his credit], and whoever comes with an evil deed will not be recompensed except the like thereof; and they will not be wronged.

SUMMARY OF TOPICS

1-4(Creation), 7-9( if God Sent Down An Angel, the Matter Would Have Been Decided, Even if Angel Were Sent, It Would Have Been Sent in Man’s Shape, Same Doubt), 12(God Prescribed for Himself Mercy), 20(People of Book Recognize It I.E Quran/Muhammad as They Recognize Their Sons), 25(Those Who Have Coverings on Their Hearts & Ears Say This Quran Is Not but Stories of the Old), 27-31(Their Regret When They See the Unseen & Fire, Their Desire To Go Back, “Oh, Would That We Could Be Returned and Not Deny the Signs of our Lord and Be Among the Believers), 32(Earth/ Life of This World Is Pastime), 33-35(O Muhammad Do Not Grieve Over What They Say, and if Their Evasion Is Difficult for You Go Seek a Tunnel Into the Earth or a Stairway Into the Sky To Bring Them a Sign), 38(all Creature & Birds Have Communities), 39-58(Admonition, Warnings: if Allah Should Take Away Your Hearing and Your Sight and Set a Seal Upon Your Hearts, Which Deity Other Than Allah Could Bring Them Back to You?), 59(With God Are the Keys of the Unseen, Not a Leaf Falls but That He Knows It), 60(Death at Night, God Takes Your Souls While Sleeping), 61(God Has Appointed Guardians Over You), 65( God Is Able To Send Upon You Affliction From Above You or From Beneath Your Feet or To Confuse You in Sects and Make You Taste the Violence of One Another), 68(Turn Away From Those in Offensive Talks About God’s Verses Until They Change Topic), 74-82(Ibrahim Story, Ibrahim Curiosity About Stars, Moon and Sun, Ibrahim Final Conclusion That All These Beings Cannot Be Deities), 84-86(Mention Of Isaac, Jacob, Nuh, David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aron, Zechariah, John, Jesus, Elias, Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, Lut), 94(all Will Come to Us Alone, no Bonds), 98(2 Places for You, Dwelling /Habitation & Repository/Storage), 103 (Vision Can’t Comprehend God), 107(Prophet Is Not a Watchman or Guardian),108(Do Not Insult Those They Invoke Other Than Allah, Lest They Insult Allah), 112(Satan, Jinn & Humans, Enemy Of Every Prophet), 116( Majority of Those on Earth Are Wrong, They Only Follow Guess And Assumptions), 118-119(Allah’s Name Makes a Huge Difference, Eat That Food, Halal/Allowed and Haram/ Forbidden), 123(We(God) Placed Big Criminals in Every Region/Town), 125(Whoever God Wants To Misguide He Makes his Chest Tight as Ascending to the Sky), 130( Prophets in Jinns & Humans), 135-144( Superstitions Related to Inaam/Cattle), 145-152( O Prophet Says That I Tell You What Exactly Is Lawful/Halal or Forbidden/Haram, on Jews Extra Prohibition/ Haram due to Their Own attitudeVerse:146, 10 Commandments Verse 151-152), 159(Prophet Has no Concern With Those Who Made Sects), 160(Good Deeds Will Be Made10 Times, While Evil Deeds Will Not Be Recompensed Except the Like Thereof), 161(Say I Am Guided to a Straight Path-the Religion of Ibrahim)

SURAH ANAM BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACK GROUND

This Surah has 165 verses divided into 20 Rukus/Sections. It was revealed in Makkah. It is one of the longest Makki Surahs and first of the Makki Surahs in Quran’s compilation order. According to a tradition of Ibn Abbas: Asma, a daughter of Yazid and a first cousin of Hadrat Muaz-bin Jabl says: “At the time of the revelation of this Surah, the Holy Prophet was mounting on a she-camel and I was holding her nose string. The she camel started to feel the weight so profoundly that it seemed as if her bones would break under it. As per traditions, the whole Surah was revealed at one sitting at Makkah. As this Surah revealed in a later stage of Makki life of Prophet Muhammad after organized persecutions of him and his followers started and many of his companions flew to Abyssinia to get refuge there. Thus it was a time of great discomfort and grief, but God raised a hope by changing the hearts of people of Yathrib (Madina) to accept his message. So these were the circumstances in which this Surah was revealed.

Ibn Abbas said, “Surat Al- Anam was revealed in Makkah at night accompanied by 70 thousand angels, raising their voices in glorification of God”

Ali bin Abi Talib(a.s) said: It will not be recited on a patient but that Allah would cure him

وَ إِنْ يَمْسَسْكَ اللهُ بِضُرٍّ فَلاَ كَاشِفَ لَهُ إِلاَّ هُوَ وَ إِن يَمْسَسْكَ بِخَيْرٍ فَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدُيرٌ.

In Tafsir by Ayyashi and Tafsir-ul-Burhan,  Ayyashi narrated that Imam Sadiq (as) said: “Surah Anam was revealed at the time while 70 thousand angels were accompanying it, because there has mentioned the name of God in seventy occurrences of it. If people knew how much virtue lies in its recitation, they would never leave it out.”

Like other Surahs revealed in Mecca, we find the emphasis on monotheism or the Oneness of God. The Surah discusses the various angles of the major pillars of the Islamic belief: Oneness of God, Prophethood and Life-after-death and shows their practical application to human life. Side by side it refutes the polytheists and Pre-Islamic superstitions concerning animals and countered it with Islamic values and beliefs.