"Alif Laam Raa. A
book which we have revealed to you (Muhammad) so that you may lead the
people from out of the darknesses into the light by their Lord's leave to
the path of the All-Mighty, the Praiseworthy." [Qur'an 14:1]
Surah 14 -
The Sura takes its name from v. 35 in which mention has been made of
Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham). But it does not mean that it contains the life
story of Prophet Abraham. The name is merely a symbol lid the names of many
other suras i. e. the Sura in which Abraham's mention has been made.
Period of Revelation
It appears from the tone of the Sura that it belongs to that group of
the Suras which were revealed during the last stage of the Makkan period.
For instance v. 13 ("The disbellevers warned their Messengers 'you shall
have to return to our community or we will assuredly expel you from our
land'") clearly indicates that the persecution of the Muslims was at its
worst at the time of the revelation of this Sura and the people of Makkah
were bent on expelling the Believers from there like the disbelievers of the
former Prophets. That is why in v. 14 they have been warned We will destroy
these evil doers and the Believers have been comforted as were the believers
before them and after them settle you in the land Likewise the stern warning
contained in the concluding portion (vv. 43-52 also confirms that the Sura
relates to the last stage of the Makkan Period.
Central Theme and Purpose
This Sura is an admonition and a warning to the disbelievers who were
rejecting the Message of the Holy Prophet and devising cunning schemes to
defeat his Mission. But warning reproof censure and reproach dominate
admonition. This is because a good deal of admonition had already been made
in the preceding Suras but in spite of this their obduracy enmity antagonism
mischief persecution etc. had rather increased.
Chapter Introductions to the Qur'an
by Syed Abul A'la Maududi