|The Rocky Tract
About Surah: Al-Hijr
Surah Al Hijr was revealed in middle Makki period and is named after the reference to the people of Al Hijr, or the rocky terrain, that is the settlements of Thamud, narrated towards the end of this surah.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was repeatedly asked for miracles or angels to prove his authenticity, but Allaah (SWT) responds to such demands by stating that angels are either sent for the purpose of revelation or punishment, and all messengers were similarly belied. There are enough signs given for those who want to accept the truth.
When Allaah (SWT) created Adam (AS) and ordered the angels to bow to him, Iblees refused out of arrogance and blamed Allaah (SWT) for his disobedience. Yet, upon his request to be allowed respite until the Day of Reckoning to misguide the children of Adam (AS) as vengeance, Allaah (SWT) yielded to his demand, while clarifying that the true servants of Allaah (SWT) would not be influenced by Satan.
Prophet Ibrahim (AS) receives angels as the bearer of the good news of a child that they will bear, who would grow up to be Is’haaq (AS), born of his wife Sara (AS). Simultaneously they are informed of the punishment that the nation of Lut (AS) was about to receive. Prophet Lut (AS) was sent to the people of Sodom who engaged in homosexuality among other evils, and their persistence on corruption brought about the severest punishment upon them – their dwelling were turned upside down and stones were showered upon them. The people of Thamud were similarly punished by a strong shriek for their refusal to accept the truth. They were skilled at carving houses out of huge rocks and thus were referred to as the people of the rocky terrain.
The surah concludes with Allaah (SWT) acknowledging the grief of the Prophet ﷺ at being mocked by the polytheists, yet asks him to turn away from them and remain committed to worshipping Allaah (SWT) until the end of his life.