Al-An'am[1] (Arabic: ٱلأنعام, al-ʾanʿām; meaning: The Cattle)[2] is the sixth chapter (sūrah) of the Quran, with 165 verses (āyāt). Coming in order in the Quran after al-Baqarah, Al 'Imran, an-Nisa', and al-Ma'idah, this surah dwells on such themes as the clear signs of Allah's Dominion and Power, rejecting polytheism and unbelief, the establishment of Tawhid (pure monotheism), the Revelation, Messengership, and Resurrection. It is a "Meccan surah", and it is believed to have been revealed in its entirety during the final year of the Meccan period of Islam.[3] This explains the timing and contextual background of the believed revelation (Asbāb al-nuzūl). The surah also reports the story of the Prophet Ibrahim,[4] who calls others to stop worshiping celestial bodies and turn towards Allah.

Sura 6 of the Quran
The Grazing Livestock
PositionJuzʼ 7—8
Hizb no.13—15
No. of Rukus20
No. of verses165
Bifolium from the Nurse's Qur'an (Mushaf al-Hadina) with fragment of the Surah Al-An'am. Kairouan, Zirid dynasty, 1020. Metropolitan Museum of Art

Groups of modern Islamic scholars from Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University in Yemen and Mauritania has issued fatwa that taken the interpretation from Ibn Kathir regarding Quran 61th verse of Al-An'am Quran 13:13 (Translated by Shakir) and a Hadith transmitted by Abu Hurairah and Ibn Abbas, that the Angel of death has assistants among angels who helped him in taking souls.[5]

Placement and coherence with other surahs

The idea of textual relation between the verses of a chapter has been discussed under various titles such as nazm and munasabah in non-English literature and coherence, text relations, intertextuality, and unity in English literature. Hamiduddin Farahi, an Islamic scholar of the Indian subcontinent, is known for his work on the concept of nazm, or coherence, in the Quran. Fakhruddin al-Razi (died 1209 CE), Zarkashi (died 1392) and several other classical as well as contemporary Quranic scholars have contributed to the studies.[6] The entire Qur'an thus emerges as a well-connected and systematic book.[7] Each division has a distinct theme. Topics within a division are more or less in the order of revelation. Within each division, each member of the pair complements the other in various ways. The seven divisions are as follows:

GroupFromToCentral theme
1Al-Fatiha [Quran 1:1]Al-Ma'ida [Quran 5:1]Islamic law
2Al-An'am [Quran 6:1]At-Tawba [Quran 9:1]The consequences of denying Muhammad for the polytheists of Mecca
3Yunus [Quran 10:1]An-Nur [Quran 24:1]Glad tidings of Muhammad's domination
4Al-Furqan [Quran 25:1]Al-Ahzab [Quran 33:1]Arguments on the prophethood of Muhammad and the requirements of faith in him
5Saba [Quran 34:1]Al-Hujraat [Quran 49:1]Arguments on monotheism and the requirements of faith in it
6Qaf [Quran 50:1]At-Tahrim [Quran 66:1]Arguments on afterlife and the requirements of faith in it
7Al-Mulk [Quran 67:1]An-Nas [Quran 114:1]Admonition to the Quraysh about their fate in the Herein and the Hereafter if they deny Muhammad


  1. George Sale translation
  2. Ibn Kathir (d. 1373). "Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English): Surah Al An'am". Quran 4 U. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  3. Ünal, Ali. (2008). The Qurʼan with annotated interpretation in modern English. Somerset, N.J.: Tughra Books. p. 267. ISBN 978-1-59784-144-3. OCLC 234244740.
  4. [Quran 6:74–80]
  5. Abdullaah Al-Faqeeh (2003). "Angel of death seizes many souls simultaneously; Fatwa No: 20657". Fatwa center of Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Yemen, and Mauritania Islamic educational institues. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  6. Hamiduddin Farahi, translated by Tariq Mahmood Hashmi (2008). Exordium to coherence in the Quran : an English translation of Fātiḥah Niẓām al-Qurʼān (1st ed.). Lahore: al-Mawrid. ISBN 978-9698799571.
  7. Esposito, John, ed. (2003), "Islahi, Amin Ahsan", The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-512558-4

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