Surah: 021 Al-Anbiya
This is a Makki Surah, revealed in the middle Makki period. It is named Al Anbiya, the Prophets, as this surah is dominated by the narrations of various prophets and messengers from Allaah(SWT). As per reports from the Prophet ﷺ, it is said that Allaah (SWT) raised one hundred and twenty-five thousand prophets, of which three hundred and thirteen were messengers. It should be noted that messengers are a rank greater than the prophets, in that they receive revelation from Allaah (SWT) and are assigned to a specific people. A prophet is usually sent as an aide or a successor to a messenger and is required to follow the revelation brought by the previous messenger. The religion of all the prophets and messengers was the same, which is Tawheed, belief, and worship of one God only, but some specific laws that were revealed to them were different.
In every age, prophets were questioned and ridiculed by the people with similar accusations, such as why the prophet was an ordinary human being like others. Ibrahim (AS) attempts to reason with his people about the futility of worshipping idols by destroying the statues but they decide to punish him for his rebellion. They build a huge fire and catapult Ibrahim (AS) into it, but Allaah (SWT) orders the fire to be coolness for him. So Ibrahim (AS) was rescued from his people, and he was blessed with Is’haaq (AS) as a son, and Yaqub (AS) was his grandson. Lut (AS), who was the nephew of Ibrahim (AS), accepted his message and he was also made a prophet for the people of Sodom.
Other prophets who are mentioned in this surah include Musa(AS), Harun(AS), Noah(AS), Dawud(AS), Sulaiman(AS), Ayub(AS), Ismail(AS), Idrees(AS), Dhul Kifl(AS), Yunus(AS), Zakariyah (AS), Yahya(AS) and Isa (AS).
It is interesting to note that among the mention of all these prophets, reference is made to Maryam (AS) as well, even though she is not named, and this fact was used by the scholar Ibn Hazm (RA) to argue that women in the past had been granted prophethood, and he believe Maryam (AS) was a prophetess of Allaah (SWT).
Towards the conclusion, Allaah (SWT) states that even in the previous revelation, Zaboor to Dawud (AS), He Had revealed that the earth will be inherited by the righteous people, while this present revelation, Qur’an, is a warning to those who submit and worship Allaah (SWT).