ACCORDING to Suyuti, this surah was revealed very shortly after surah 12 (Yasuf): in other words, during the last year before the Prophet's exodus to Medina. The supposition (mentioned by Razi) that verse 87 was revealed at Medina lacks any factual corroboration and may, therefore, be safely dismissed. As in most surahs of this period, the main theme of Al-Hijr is the evidence of God's creative activity and of the guidance vouchsafed by Him to man through revelation - especially the revelation of the Qur'an, which, as verse 9 predicts, will for all times remain impervious to corruption. The title, derived from the mention in verse 80 of the Arabian region known as Al-Hijr, obviously 'suggested itself to the Prophet's Companions because of the many legends attached to that place-namesince 'time immemorial. That it is a place-name and not a description ("rocky tract" or according to some, "forbidden tract") is evident from the fact that an ancient township of that name, long since non-existent, is mentioned by Ptolemy as "Hegra" and by Pliny as "Egra". Consequently, I have left this title untranslated.
Alif. Lam. Ra.1 THESE ARE MESSAGES of revelation - of a discourse clear in itself and clearly showing the truth.2