About Surah Al-Anbiya

Surah Al-Anbiya is the 21st surah (chapter) of The Glorious Quran. Name of the surah means The Prophets. It has 112 ayaat (verses) and was revealed in the holy city of Makkah i.e., before Prophet ﷺ migrated to the city of Medina. This surah can be found in juz / paara 17.

Quick Summary

Surah #
The Prophets
No. of ayaat
Revelation place
makkah Makkah
Revelation order
7 (Ayaah 10, 29, 41, 50, 75, 93, 112)
Hizb break(s)
4 (Ayaah 1, 28, 50, 82)
Juz / Paara
Juz 17 (Ayaat 1-112)
Manzil (⅐ of Quran)
Pages ^
322 - 331(Open)
^ Qur'an printed at King Fahd Glorious Quran Printing Complex in Al Madinah Al Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


Like the previous sûrah, this is another Meccan sûrah that aims at reassuring the Prophet ( ﷺ ) by reminding him of Allāh's grace and support to His prophets, including Abraham, Job, Jonah, Zachariah, and Jesus. The Prophet ( ﷺ ) is said to be sent as a mercy to the whole world (verse 107). Warnings of the horrors of Judgment Day are dispersed throughout the sûrah and are carried over to the next sûrah.

Details from Tafheem-ul-Qurʾān


The name of this Surah has not been taken from any verse but it has been called Al-Anbiyaa because it contains a continuous account of many Anbiyaa (Prophets). Nevertheless, it is a symbolic name and not a title.

Period of Revelation

Both the subject matter and the style of the Surah indicate that it was sent down in the third stage of the life of the Holy Prophet at Makkah.(See Introduction to Chapter 6).

Subject and


This Surah discusses the conflict between the Holy Prophet and the chiefs of Makkah, which was rampant at the time of its Revelation and answers those objections and doubts which were being put forward concerning his Prophethood and the Doctrines of Tauhid and the Hereafter. The chiefs of Makkah have also been rebuked for their machinations against the Holy Prophet and warned of the evil consequences of their wicked activities. They have been admonished to give up their indifference and heedlessness that they were showing about the Message. At the end of the Surah, they have been told that the person whom they considered to be a "distress and affliction" had in reality come to them as a blessing.

Main Themes

In vv. 1-47, the following themes have been discussed in particular:

The objection of the disbelievers that a human being could not be a Messenger and therefore they could not accept Muḥammad ﷺ as a Prophet, has been refuted. They have been taken to task for raising multifarious and contradictory objections against the Holy Prophet and the Qur'an. Their wrong conception of life has been proved to be false because it was responsible for their indifferent and heedless attitude towards the Message of the Holy Prophet. They believed that life was merely a sport and pastime and had no purpose behind or before it and there was no accountability or reward or punishment. The main cause of the conflict between the disbelievers and the Holy Prophet was their insistence on the doctrine of shirk and antagonism to the Doctrine of Tauhid So the doctrine of skirk has been refuted and the Doctrine of Tauhid reinforced by weighty and impressive though brief arguments. Arguments and admonitions have been used to remove another misunderstanding of theirs. They presumed that Muḥammad ﷺ was a false prophet and his warnings of a scourge from God were empty threats, just because no scourge was visiting them in spite of their persistent rejection of the Prophet. In vv. 48-91, instances have been cited from the important events of the life stories of the Prophets to show that all the Prophets, who were sent by God, were human beings and had all the characteristics of a man except those which were exclusive to Prophethood. They had no share in Godhead and they had to implore Allāh to fulfil each and every necessity of theirs. Along with these two other things have also been mentioned:

All the Prophets had to pass through distress and affliction; their opponents did their worst to thwart their mission, but in spite of it they came out successful by the extraordinary succour from Allāh. All the Prophets had one and the same "way of life', the same as was being presented by Muḥammad ﷺ, and that was the only Right Way of Life and all other ways invented and introduced by mischievous people were utterly wrong. In vv. 92-106, it has been declared that only those who follow the Right Way, will come out successful in the final judgment of God and those who discard it shall meet with the worst consequences. In vv. 107-112, the people have been told that it is a great favour of Allāh that He has sent His Messenger to inform them beforehand of this Reality and that those, who consider his coming to be an affliction instead of a blessing, are foolish people.