This Surah takes its name from the word (ar-Ra'ad) (thunder) that occurs in v. 13. It is merely the symbolic name of the Surah and does not in any way mean that the Surah deals with the scientific problems connected with thunder.

Period of Revelation

The internal evidence (vv. 27-31 and vv. 34-48) shows that this Surah was revealed in the last stage of the Mission of the Holy Prophet at Makkah and during the same period in which Surahs Yunus, Hud and Al- A'araf were sent down. The manner of speech indicates that a long time had passed since the Holy Prophet had been conveying the Message. On the one hand, his opponents had been contriving different devices to defeat him and his Mission, and, on the other, his followers had been expressing a desire that by showing a miracle the disbelievers might be brought to the Right Way. In answer, Allah impressed on the Believers that it is not His way to convert people by this method and that they should not lose heart, if He is giving the enemies of the Truth a rope long enough to hang themselves. Otherwise, He is able to show such signs as may bring the dead out of their graves and make them speak (v. 31), but even then these obdurate people will invent an excuse to explain this away. All this decisive evidence clearly proves that this Surah was revealed during the last stage of the Prophet's Mission at Makkah.

Central Theme

The first verse enunciates the main theme of this Surah, that is, "The Message of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) is the very Truth, but it is the fault of the people that they are rejecting it." This is the pivot on which the whole Surah turns. This is why it has been shown over and over again in different ways that the basic components of the Message -- Tauhid, Resurrection and Prophethood-are a reality: therefore they should believe sincerely in these for their own moral and spiritual good. They have been warned that they shall incur their own ruin if they reject them, for kufr by itself is sheer folly and ignorance. Moreover, the aim of the Surah is not merely to satisfy the minds but also to appeal to the hearts to accept the Faith. Therefore it does not merely put forward logical arguments in support of the truth of the Message and against the people's wrong notions, but at appropriate intervals it makes frequent use of sympathetic and earnest appeals to win over their hearts by warning them of the consequences of kufr and by holding out the happy rewards of Faith so that the foolish people should give up their obduracy.

Besides this, the objections of the opponents have been answered without any mention of them, and those doubts which are proving a hindrance in the way of the Message or were being created by the opponents have been removed. At the same time, the Believers; who had been passing through long and hard ordeal and were feeling tired, and waiting anxiously for Allah's succor, have been comforted and filled with hope and courage.

Source: Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Quran


وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلًا مِّن قَبْلِكَ وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ أَزْوَاجًا وَذُرِّيَّةً ۚ وَمَا كَانَ لِرَسُولٍ أَن يَأْتِيَ بِآيَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۗ لِكُلِّ أَجَلٍ كِتَابٌ

Sahih International

And We have already sent messengers before you and assigned to them wives and descendants. And it was not for a messenger to come with a sign except by permission of Allah . For every term is a decree.


اور (اے محمدﷺ) ہم نے تم سے پہلے بھی پیغمبر بھیجے تھے۔ اور ان کو بیبیاں اور اولاد بھی دی تھی ۔اور کسی پیغمبر کے اختیار کی بات نہ تھی کہ خدا کے حکم کے بغیر کوئی نشانی لائے۔ ہر (حکم) قضا (کتاب میں) مرقوم ہے

يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ ۖ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ

Sahih International

Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms, and with Him is the Mother of the Book.


خدا جس کو چاہتا ہے مٹا دیتا ہے اور (جس کو چاہتا ہے) قائم رکھتا ہے اور اسی کے پاس اصل کتاب ہے

وَإِن مَّا نُرِيَنَّكَ بَعْضَ الَّذِي نَعِدُهُمْ أَوْ نَتَوَفَّيَنَّكَ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَاغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ

Sahih International

And whether We show you part of what We promise them or take you in death, upon you is only the [duty of] notification, and upon Us is the account.


اور اگر ہم کوئی عذاب جس کا ان لوگوں سے وعدہ کرتے ہیں تمہیں دکھائیں (یعنی تمہارے روبرو ان پر نازل کریں) یا تمہاری مدت حیات پوری کر دیں (یعنی تمہارے انتقال کے بعد عذاب بھیجیں) تو تمہارا کام (ہمارے احکام کا) پہنچا دینا ہے اور ہمارا کام حساب لینا ہے


أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا نَأْتِي الْأَرْضَ نَنقُصُهَا مِنْ أَطْرَافِهَا ۚ وَاللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ لَا مُعَقِّبَ لِحُكْمِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

Sahih International

Have they not seen that We set upon the land, reducing it from its borders? And Allah decides; there is no adjuster of His decision. And He is swift in account.


کیا انہوں نے نہیں دیکھا کہ ہم زمین کو اس کے کناروں سے گھٹاتے چلے آتے ہیں۔ اور خدا (جیسا چاہتا ہے) حکم کرتا ہے کوئی اس کے حکم کا رد کرنے والا نہیں۔ اور وہ جلد حساب لینے والا ہے

وَقَدْ مَكَرَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَلِلَّهِ الْمَكْرُ جَمِيعًا ۖ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَكْسِبُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ۗ وَسَيَعْلَمُ الْكُفَّارُ لِمَنْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ

Sahih International

And those before them had plotted, but to Allah belongs the plan entirely. He knows what every soul earns, and the disbelievers will know for whom is the final home.


جو لوگ ان سے پہلے تھے وہ بھی (بہتری) چالیں چلتے رہے ہیں سو چال تو سب الله ہی کی ہے ہر متنفس جو کچھ کر رہا ہے وہ اسے جانتا ہے۔ اور کافر جلد معلوم کریں گے کہ عاقبت کا گھر (یعنی انجام محمود) کس کے لیے ہے

وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَسْتَ مُرْسَلًا ۚ قُلْ كَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَمَنْ عِندَهُ عِلْمُ الْكِتَابِ

Sahih International

And those who have disbelieved say, "You are not a messenger." Say, [O Muhammad], "Sufficient is Allah as Witness between me and you, and [the witness of] whoever has knowledge of the Scripture."


اور کافر لوگ کہتے ہیں کہ تم (خدا کے) رسول نہیں ہو۔ کہہ دو کہ میرے اور تمہارے درمیان خدا اور وہ شخص جس کے پاس کتاب (آسمانی) کا علم ہے گواہ کافی ہیں