Bismillahi, Wal Ahamdulillahi, Was-salatu was-salamu ‘ala Rasulillah, sal-lal-lahu ‘alyhi wa sallam

In the name of Allah, and exaltations be to Allah, and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, (peace and blessings be upon him).

Structure:

  • Verses 1-47 : Allah’s power and the disbelievers’ stubbornness and recompense
    • 1-21 Signs for Allah’s omnipotence and the disbelievers dismissal
    • 22-32 The deniers’ different positions on the Day of Resurrection
    • 33-39 A solace to the Prophet
    • 40-47 The polytheists’ attitudes in ease and hardship and their recompense
  • Verse 48-94 : The Prophet’s mission and guidance
    • 48-58 The Prophets’ mission and peoples’ different responses to them
    • 59-67 Allah’s might and profound knowledge
    • 68-73 Turning away from the mockers
    • 74-83 Ibrahim’s dialogue with his father and people
    • 84-94 Prophets are good example to be followed
  • Verse 95-117 : Fair discourse with disbelievers
    • 95-107 Proofs from universe and life for the oneness of Allah
    • 108-117 Prohibition of reviling false gods versus rigidity of disbelievers 
  • Verse 118-121 : Lawful and unlawful slaughtered animals
  • Verse 122-144 : Comparison between state of believers and disbelievers
    • 122-127 People living in darkness and others leading lightened lives
    • 128-135 Scenes from the Hereafter
    • 136-144 Fabricated lies of the disbelievers
  • Verse 145-165 : Guidelines
    • 145-147 Prohibited meat for Muslims and Jews
    • 148-150 Dispelling disbelievers’ misconceptions
    • 151-153 Principal virtues and vices in Islam
    • 154-157 Heavenly books
    • 159-160 Death and Day of Resurrection
    • 161-165 Worshipping Allah sincerely and being thankful to him

Revelation:

  • Revealed in on revelation
  • During the last year of the Prophet’s stay in Makkah
  • 165 verses
  • Title is derived from references in verses 136-138 to pre-Islamic practices concerning animals

Key Themes and Messages:

  • Refutation of Shirk (polytheism) and guidance towards Tawhid (Oneness of God)
  • Reality of life after death and the Day of Judgement
  • Clarification of self-imposed prohibitions that were falsely attributed to Allah
  • Answers to objections raised against the person and the mission of the Prophet
  • Comfort and encouragement is provided to the Prophet and his followers who were at that time in a state of anxiety and despondency
  • Admonition, warnings and threats are given to the disbelievers to give up their apathy and haughtiness
  • Prohibition of dividing the religion into sects
  • Allah requires the believers to declare : “My prayers, my devotion, my life and my death are all for Allah.”

Selected Verses:

6:12 Allah has decreed mercy upon Himself

… قُل لِّمَن مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قُل لِّلَّهِ كَتَبَ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ

Say, “To whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and earth?” Say, “To Allah .” He has decreed upon Himself mercy ….

6:32 Dunya and Akihrah

وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَلَلدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ

And the worldly life is not but amusement and diversion; but the home of the Hereafter is best for those who fear Allah , so will you not reason?

6:38 Animal kingdom is also divided into nations

… وَمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا طَائِرٍ يَطِيرُ بِجَنَاحَيْهِ إِلَّا أُمَمٌ أَمْثَالُكُم

And there is no creature on [or within] the earth or bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you ….

6:63 Need for Allah

قُلْ مَن يُنَجِّيكُم مِّن ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ تَدْعُونَهُ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً لَّئِنْ أَنجَانَا مِنْ هَٰذِهِ لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ

Say, “Who rescues you from the darknesses of the land and sea [when] you call upon Him imploring [aloud] and privately, ‘If He should save us from this [crisis], we will surely be among the thankful.’ “

6:97 Why stars were created

وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ النُّجُومَ لِتَهْتَدُوا بِهَا فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ قَدْ فَصَّلْنَا الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

And it is He who placed for you the stars that you may be guided by them through the darknesses of the land and sea. We have detailed the signs for a people who know.

6:121 Eating non-slaughtered meat

… لَا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ

And do not eat of that upon which the name of Allah has not been mentioned …

6:125 Who does Allah guide?

فَمَن يُرِدِ اللَّهُ أَن يَهْدِيَهُ يَشْرَحْ صَدْرَهُ لِلْإِسْلَامِ وَمَن يُرِدْ أَن يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ كَذَٰلِكَ يَجْعَلُ اللَّهُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

So whoever Allah wants to guide – He expands his breast to [contain] Islam; and whoever He wants to misguide – He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. Thus does Allah place defilement upon those who do not believe.

6:160 One good deed rewarded at least ten times

مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَىٰ إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

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.

6:162 Our living and dying is for Allah

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah , Lord of the worlds.

Virtues:

Jabir said: “When Surah Al-An’am was sent down, the Messenger of Allah pronounced Tasbeeh (saying subhana Allah i.e. ‘Glorified be Allah’); then he said, ‘Angels that blocked the horizon accompanied this surah ‘i.e. to bid farewell to it upon its descent.'”

[Hakim 3226]

Sources:

Online:

Altafsir.com (Tafsir)

Alim.org (Tafsir)

Sunnah.com (For Hadith references)

islamawakened.com (For Quranic text, transliteration, and translation)

Books:

Tafsir Al Jalalayn Jalalu’d-Din as-Suyuti (Author), Jalalu’d-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Mahalli

Journey through the Qur’an – Sharif Hasan al-Banna

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