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Sura Al-Anbya (Sura 21: Revelation Order 73)

Listening to the reminder paying no attention

  • The reckoning for the people is closer but they are in heedlessness turning away (21:1). When a reminder comes to them from their Lord, that is new, they listen to it paying no attention (21:2). Their minds are distracted, and those who are wicked ask privately: “Is he not a human being like you? Would you accept this magic while you see?” (21:3). He said, “My Lord knows what is said in the heaven and the earth. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.” (21:4). They said, “No, these are just evil dreams, no, he made it up, no, he is a poet. Let him bring us a sign like what was sent before.” (21:5). We did not destroy any town before, that believed. So will they believe? (21:6). We did not send before you except men to whom we inspired. So ask the people of the reminder, if you do not know (21:7). And We did not make their bodies that do not need to eat, nor were they immortal(21:8). Then we fulfilled the promise to them; so we saved themand whomever we willed but we destroyed the transgressors (21:9).Certainly, we have sent down to you a scripture wherein is your reminder. Do you not understand? (21:10).

Note: God has confirmed that Quran is the reminder of these people like the reminder that was sent down for the previous generationswhile the people listen to it paying no attention. The messengers are humans who have been sent with divine inspiration. So, it is neither made up nor what are in it are evil dreams. In fact, it is a reminder for a people who have understanding as the reckoning of people is approaching. According to the prediction, the world will end on 2280. Hence, the survival of the world after the revelation of the Quran is about 17,00 years.

Destruction of the wicked generations

  • And how many a town have we destroyed as they were wicked, and we placed other people after them? (21:11). So when they perceived our retribution, they were fleeing from it (21:12). Do not flee but come back to the luxury given to you and to your homes, so that you may be questioned (21:13). They said, “Woe to us! We were really wicked.” (21:14). Such was their screaming that continued until we completely wiped them out (21:15).

Note: The destruction of many previous wicked generations should serve as warning for the subsequent generations of people.

Glorifying God night and day

  • And we did not create the heavens and the earth, and what is between them for amusement (21:16). If we intended to be takenan amusement, we could have taken it from what with us, if we wished to do (21:17). No, we cast the truth against the falsehood, in order to distort it, so it vanishes. And woe to you for what you ascribe (21:18). whoever belongs to Him in the heavens and the earthand whoever is closer to Him are not arrogant to worship Him, nor do they tire (21:19). They glorify Him night and day, they do not cease (21:20).

Note:God has created the heavens and the earth for a specific purpose, which is not clear to many but for sure, it is not for amusement. It is His plan to support truth against falsehood to vanish it. However, everything that belongs to God in the universe and those who are closer to Him, glory Him night and day.

No god except God in the heavens and the earth

  • Or have they taken gods from the earth who can raise? (21:21). If there were gods in both of them besides God, there would have been ruined. Glory be to God; the Lord of the throne, far above what they attribute (21:22).

Note: There is no other gods besides God in the heavens and the earth, otherwise, it would be a great disaster. So, all glory be to God, the Lord of the universe being possessor of the throne.

Quran is the reminder for the followers of Quran and the previous scripture

  • He cannot be questioned about what He does, while they will be questioned (21:23). Or have they taken gods besides Him? Say: “Bring your proof. This is a reminder for those with me and a reminder for those before me.” But, most of them do not know the truth, so they turn away (21:24).

Note: Quran is a reminder for those believe in it and also for those who believe in the previous scripture but most people who do not know the truth turn away from it.

The core message sent with all messengers is the same

  • And we did not send any messenger before you except our inspiration to him that ‘there is no god except Me’,so you shall worship Me(21:25). But they said, “The Most Gracious has taken a son!” Glory be to Him. No, they are honored servants (21:26). They do not proceed with any word ahead of Him, and they act according to His command(21:27). He knows their past and their future. They do not intercede, except for him accepted by Him, and they are worried from fear of Him (21:28). And whoever of them says, “I am a god besides Him.” Then we will requite him Hell; Thus, we requite the wicked (21:29).

Note: God has not sent any messenger without inspiration and the core message has always been the same that you shall worship Him. There is no distinction between them as all of them are His honored servants. They do not have their own mission while they act according to His command. They will not intercede rather they will be worried from fear of Him.

Creation of the universe with all needed to support life

  • Do those who disbelieved not see that the heavens and the earth were a single unit, then we parted them? And we made every living thing from water. Will they not then believe? (21:30). And we placed mountains in the earth, lest it tumbles with them, and we placed wide pathways in it so that they may be guided (21:31). And we made the sky a protective ceiling, yet they turn away from its signs (21:32). And He is the One who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon; each is floating in an orbit (21:33). We did not give immortality to anyone before you; so if you are going to die, then how would they be immortal? (21:34). Every soul will taste death, and we test you with the evil and the good in the trial, and to us you will be returned (21:35).

Note: God has created the universe with all that are needed to support life in the earth as well as to test us. Both adversity and prosperity are included in the test giving mortality to each soul. Then each soul will be returned to Him with what it has earned. The Big Bang theory and the evolution of life in the earth are fully supported.

The promised day will come to the disbelievers suddenly

  • And when those who disbelieve see you, they ridicule you: “Is this the one who mentions of your gods?” whilethey are disbelievers in the reminder of the Most Gracious (21:36). The human being is naturallyimpatient. I will show you My signs; do not ask Me to hasten (21:37). And they say, “When will this promise come to pass, if you are truthful?” (21:38). If those who disbelievedknew that when they will not be able to protect the Fire from their faces, nor from their backs, nor will they be helped (21:39). No, it will come to them suddenly, then they are stunned. They will neither be able to avoid it, nor will they be given any respite (21:40).

Note: The promised day must come but it will come to the disbelievers suddenly when they cannot protect them from the Fire nor will they be helped nor will they be given respite.

There is consequence of ridiculing messengers

  • Messengers before you have been ridiculed, andthose who ridiculed them incurred the retribution for their ridiculing (21:41).Say, “Who can protect you from the Most Gracious during the night or during the day?” No, they are turning away from the reminder of their Lord (21:42). Or do they have gods who can protect them from us? They cannot even help themselves, nor can they be protected from us (21:43). We have provided for these people and their ancestorsuntil they reached to an old age. Do they not see that we bring the earth closer to its end? Can they then be the winners? (21:44). Say, “I am warn you only with the revelation.” But the deaf cannot hear the call, when they are warned (21:45). When a trace of your Lord’s retribution touches them, they will say, “We were really wicked.” (21:46). We will set up the scales of justice on the Day of Resurrection. So no soul will be dealt with any injustice. Even if it were the weight of a mustard seed, we will bring in it. And we are the most efficient reckoners (21:47).

Note: Ridiculing messengers or turning away from the reminder when it comes from the Most Gracious has occurred among all generations of people disregarding the warning behaving like a deaf while the scale of justice will be set up to bring them into equitable judgment.

Reminder and guidance before the Quran

  • And we gave Moses and Aaron the statute book, a light, and a reminder for the righteous (21:48). Who reverence their Lord in the unseen, and they care about the Hour (21:49).And this is a blessed reminder that we sent down. Will you then be the deniers of it? (21:50). And before that, we gave Abraham his guidance and we were aware of him (21:51).

Note: Quran is a reminder but before it Moses and Aaron were given the reminder and before them Abraham was given guidance for the righteous.

The history of some messengers

  • When he said to his father and his people, “What are these statues to which you are devoted?” (21:52). They said, “We found our fathers worshippers of them.” (21:53). He said, “Indeed, you and your fathers were in far astray.” (21:54). They said, “Have you come to us with the truth, or you are a mocker?” (21:55). He said, “No, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them, and I am of those who bear witness to that.(21:56). And by God, I have a plan to deal with your statues after you go away, turning back.” (21:57). He broke them into pieces, except for the largest of them so that they may refer to it on their return (21:58). They said, “Who has done this to our gods? He is really one of the wicked.” (21:59). They said, “We heard a youth mentioning of them; he is called Abraham.”(21:60). And they said, “Bring him before the eyes of the people so that they may be witnesses.” (21:61). They said, “Have you done this to our gods, O Abraham?” (21:62). He said, ” No, someone did it.Here is the largest one of them, so ask them, if they can speak.” (21:63). Then they were taken back and said to themselves, “Indeed, you yourselves are the wicked.” (21:64). Then they were returned with their ideas: “You know full well that they do not speak.” (21:65). He said, “Do you then worship besides God what does not benefit you any how nor harm you? (21:66). Fie on you and on what you worship beside God! Do you not understand?” (21:67). They said, “Burn him and support your gods, if you are to do anything.” (21:68). We said, “O fire, be cool and safe for Abraham.” (21:69). Thus, they schemed against him, but we made them the worst losers (21:70). And we saved him, and we saved Lot, to the land that we blessed for the peopletherein(21:71).

Note: Abraham asked his people not to worship statuses but they rejected his call. Then he broke all their statues except the biggest one. When he was accused of doing this, he told them to ask the broken ones pointing to the biggest one which was still there. When they presented their logic that they cannot speak, he asked them then why you worshiped those other than God that cannot harm or benefit you. Then God saved him when his people placed in the fire to burn him. He also saved Lot but destroyed his wicked people.

  • And we granted him Isaac, and Jacob as a gift, and we made each of them righteous (21:72). We made them leaders who guided with our commandments, and we inspired them to do righteous work, to observe the contact prayer and to give the alms, and they were worshipers of us (21:73). And Lot, we granted him wisdom and knowledge, and we saved him from the town that used to do wicked things; indeed, they were a people of evil, disobedient (21:74). And we admitted him into our mercy as he was among the righteous (21:75). And, before that, Noah called and we responded to him. We saved him and his family from the great disaster (21:76). And we supported him against the people who denied our revelations. They were evil people, so we drowned them all (21:77). And David and Solomon, when they gave judgment in the case of the crop when it was damaged by sheep of a people, and we were witness to their judgment.(21:78). So we gave Solomon the correct understanding, and we gave both of them wisdom and knowledge. And we committed the mountains and the birds to glorify our praises with David. This is what we did (21:79). And we taught him the making of armor for you to protect you in your battle. Will you then be thankful? (21:80). And to Solomon, the gusting wind blown by his command to the land which we had blessed in, and we are aware of everything (21:81). And of the devils who would dive for him and would do other tasks, while we were their guardians(21:82). And Job when called his Lord: “Adversity has afflicted me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful ones.” (21:83). So we responded to him and we removed the adversity what was on him and we gave him his family back and others with them as a mercy from us and a reminder to the worshippers (21:84). And Ismail, Idris and Dhul-Kifl; all of them were patient (21:85). We admitted them into our mercy, they were of the righteous ones (21:86). And Dhul-Nun, abandoned his mission in protest thinking that we could not control him. Then he called in the darkness: “There is no god other than You. Glory be to You. I am indeed, a wicked.” (21:87). So we responded to him, and saved him from the distress; thus, we save the believers (21:88). And Zachariah called his Lord: “My Lord, do not leave me without an heir, and You are the best inheritor.” (21:89). So we responded to him and granted him John; we cured his wife for him. They used to hasten to do good, and they would call us in joy and fear. And they were reverent to us (21:90). And the one who protected her chastity, so we blew into her from our spirit, and we made her and her son a sign for all the people (21:91).

Note: Here is a short account of His favors upon His chosen. Abraham was given Isaac and Jacob as a gift, who were made imams. Noah was saved from a great disaster. David and Solomon were given good judgment, and mountains and birds were given under disposal of David while the devils and winds were given under disposal of Solomon. The affliction was removed from Job. Ismail, Idris and Dhul-Kifl were admitted into His mercy. Dhul-Nun who called in the darkness was saved from the distress. Zachariah was granted John. She and her son were made a sign for all the people referring to Mary and Jesus without mentioning them by name. It is noteworthy that Jesus has been mentioned 25 times by name in the Quran which is exactly equal to the number of times Adam has been mentioned by name which confirms that the creation of Jesus is as same as the creation of Adam as per God is concern.

One god/one community/one religion

  • This is your community, one community and I am your Lord, so you shall worship Me(21:92). But they divided themselves into their affair. All will return to us (21:93).So whoever does good work while he is a believer, then his effort will not be ignored and we are recording for him (21:94). It is forbidden for a town that we have destroyed that they will not return (21:95).

Note: Those who obey God and worship Him is one community. But we have divided ourselves into different communities. We will be accountable to Him on our return to Him.

Gog and Magog

  • Until when Gog and Magog have appeared, and they will descend from every height (21:96). And the truthful promise has approached when those who disbelieved stare in horror: “Woe to us! we had been heedless to it. Indeed, we were wicked.” (21:97).

Note: The appearance of Gog and Magog is a sign that the truthful promise has approached. Thus, their appearance is connected with the end of the world, and is one of many signs when the world will come to an end. It is noteworthy that Gog and Magog occur in suras 18:94consisting of 110 verses and 21:96 consisting of 112 verses, precisely 17 verses before the end of each sura, representing 17 lunar centuries (1700 AH) while there is a prediction from the Quran that the world will come to an end on 1710 AH (2280 AD).It also indicates that Gog and Magog are corruptors of earth who will be allowed to continue their evil activities at least 10 years before the end of the world. However, on the day, the disbelievers will realize that they were heedless to it while they will stare in horror.

Final destination

  • You and what you worship besides God will be fuel of Hell; you will enter it (21:98). If those were gods, they would not have entered it and all will abide in it forever (21:99). They will sigh therein, and they will not hear therein (21:100). But for those who deserved the reward from us, they will be protected from it (21:101). They will not hear any sound of it, and they will be in what their soul desiresabiding forever (21:102). The great horror will not grieve them, but the angels will receive them: “This is your day, which you were promised.” (21:103).

Note: Those who have worshiped other than God will be fuel of Hell wherein they will abide forever while those who have deserved reward from God will be protected from it as well as will be received by the angels.

Recreation of the universe

  • On the day, we will fold the heavenlike the folding of a book. As we initiated the first creation, we will repeat it. This is a promise from us and we will fulfill it (21:104). And we have mentioned in the Psalms, after the reminder that the earth shall be inherited by My righteous worshipers (21:105).

Note: On the day of judgment the universe will be recreated while the earth will be inherited by the righteous worshipers.

God’s help is sought by His worshippers

  • This is a message for a people who are worshipers (21:106). And we have not sent you except a mercy for all the people (21:107). Say, “It has been revealed to me that your god is one god, so will you submit to Him?” (21:108). If they turn away, then say, “I have warned you sufficiently, and I do not know whether what you are promised is near or far.(21:109). He knows which is spoken publicly and He knows what you conceal.(21:110). And I do not know but it may be a test for you and an enjoyment for a while.” (21:111). He said, “My Lord, judge with truth and our Lord is the Most Gracious, whose help is sought against what you attribute.” (21:112).

Note: Quran is a message for a people of worshippers while this is a mercy for all the people. So, anyone can use it to have mercy of God on him while the role of the prophet was to deliver the message containing warning for the people but he had no idea about the promised day whether it is near or far. God is the Most Gracious, whose help is sought by His worshippers.

Conclusion

There are 112 verses in the sura Al-Anbya (The Prophets) and the most significant aspects that are covered in the sura are: (1) listening to the reminder paying no attention, (2) history of destruction of the wicked generations, (3) glorifying God night and day, (4) There is no god except God in the heavens and the earth, (5) Quran is a reminder for the followers of it as well as the followers of the previous scripture, (6) core message sent with all messengers in the same, (7) creation of the universe with all needed to support life in the earth, (8) promise day will come suddenly to the disbelievers, (9) consequence of ridiculing messengers, (10) reminder and guidance before Quran, (11) A short history of some messengers, (12) one god/one community/one religion, (13) Gog and Magog, (14) final destination, (15) recreation of the universe and (16) role of messenger.

In the history of messengers what has been highlighted are: Abraham was given Isaac and Jacob as a gift and he was saved from fire, Lot was saved from the evil and disobedient people while his people were destroyed, Noah was saved from the great disaster while his people were drowned, mountains and birds were given under disposal of David while the devils and winds were given under disposal of Solomon, the affliction was removed from Job, Dhul-Nun was saved from the distress, Zachariah was given John, and Jesus and his mother were made a sigh for all the people.

God has created the universe with all that are needed to support life in the earth to test us that support modern science research findings: the Big Bang Theory and origin of life from water. On the day of judgment the universe will be recreated and the earth will be inherited by His worshippers.

Zul-Qarnain is only mentioned in sura 18 while Gog and Magog are mentioned in suras 18 and 21 connected to the end of the world. The advent of Zul-Qarnain, and appearance of Gog and Magog is a final sign that the world is coming to an end. In addition to the year of the end of the world, there are mathematical confirmations for both the advent of Zul-Qarnain just before the end of the world with every means and the appearance of Gog and Magog ten years before the end of the world. We are blessed to predict that the world will end on 2280. Hence, the survival of the world after the revelation of the Quran is about 1700 years.

Quran has repeatedly been mentioned as a reminder in this sura and also a mercy for all the people while the previous scripture was also a reminder for the respective generations of people before it. Thus, Quran is not only a reminder for the followers of it but also the followers of the previous scripture which confirms one god, one community and one religion for all the people of the world. God may help us all to work towards this goal just following only one divine source to make this happen when our reckoning is not too far from now as we are blessed to know its time.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (8/12/2016).