About Surah: Al-Anaam
This is a late Makki surah, and it’s named Al An’aam, the Cattle, as it mentions the livestock that was used by the Quraysh, the polytheists of Makkah, to associate partners with Allaah (SWT).
It is Allaah (SWT) Who Has created everything, heavens and the earth, all are a sign for those who want to take heed.
They continuously demanded miracles and angels from the Prophet ﷺ. Angels are sent when punishment has to be carried out, as was done for previous nations. And if the angel was sent as a prophet as they wanted, then he would still appear in the form of a human, so that would beat the purpose of their demand itself.
If the disbelievers were to touch a book that was sent by Allaah (SWT) from the heavens, yet they would allege it to be magic, which was their accusation against the Qur’an as they could not comprehend how an illiterate man like the Prophet ﷺ present a work as that.
Allaah (SWT) comforts the Prophet ﷺ that the disbelievers do not reject him, but rather the message of the Qur’an, and similarly, previous messengers were rejected by their nations.
Ibraheem (AS) sincerely sought the truth, and so Allaah (SWT) guided him to Tawheed and saved him from polytheism. Mentioning him and a number of other prophets, Allaah (SWT) that they were chosen for his guidance, but if they engaged in polytheism then all their good would be rendered useless.
The polytheists had a number of innovations with respect to their livestock, such as dedicating some to Allaah (SWT) and some to their idols or prohibiting the young ones of the cattle upon their womenfolk to consume from. They are informed that the only foods prohibited are the ones that die prior to slaughtering, blood, pork, or those slaughtered in the name of other than Allaah (SWT). And the Jews were prohibited certain foods in addition to these as a punishment for their disobedience.
Before the revelation of the Qur’an, the Arabs used to envy the position of the People of the Book and the fact that they received revelation from Allaah (SWT). Now that the Qur’an was revealed to them, they were denying it.
The surah concludes with reminders that our prayers and every form of worship should be for Allaah (SWT) alone. And that Allaah (SWT) granted some people positions over others in order to test them.