1. Closer and closer to mankind comes their Reckoning: yet they heed not and they turn away.
2. Never comes [aught] to them of a renewed Message from their Lord, but they listen to it as in jest,-
3. Their hearts toying as with trifles. The wrong-doers conceal their private counsels, [saying], “Is this [one] more than a man like yourselves? Will ye go to witchcraft with your eyes open?”
4. Say: “My Lord knoweth [every] word [spoken] in the heavens and on earth: He is the One that heareth and knoweth [all things].”
5. “Nay,” they say, “[these are] medleys of dream! – Nay, He forged it! – Nay, He is [but] a poet! Let him then bring us a Sign like the ones that were sent to [Prophets] of old!”
6. [As to those] before them, not one of the populations which We destroyed believed: will these believe?
7. Before thee, also, the messengers We sent were but men, to whom We granted inspiration: If ye realise this not, ask of those who possess the Message.
8. Nor did We give them bodies that ate no food, nor were they exempt from death.
9. In the end We fulfilled to them Our Promise, and We saved them and those whom We pleased, but We destroyed those who transgressed beyond bounds.
10. We have revealed for you [O men!] a book in which is a Message for you: will ye not then understand?
1. The sūrah is distinguished by a very powerful opening that shakes the careless who are preoccupied with the petty concerns of this world while the reckoning draws ever closer to them. Signs and indicators are given to them while they continue to turn their backs on divine guidance. The situation is grave, yet they remain totally unaware of its seriousness.
2. The surah deals with the stories of Prophets (May Allah be pleased with them all) that Allah (SWT) sent to humanity, and their role in reminding people. Those Prophets (May Allah be pleased with them all) are the best creatures Allah (SWT) created; they guided the world to righteousness and happiness. Surat Al-Anbiya moves in the same pattern, it shows the message of each Prophet (May Allah be pleased with them all) and how each of them called his people to the right path of Allah (SWT), how he worshiped Allah (SWT) and prayed for Him humbly. Finally, the surah proves, as we will see, the unity of all Prophets’ missions (May Allah be pleased with them all).
3. The very first mission of Prophets (May Allah be pleased with them all) is to awaken people from their unawareness, because it has always been the cause of misleading people over ages and everywhere, and the causes of the rejection of all the previous Prophets’ (May Allah be pleased with them all) messages. It is such a dangerous illness that infects people and societies, taking them away from Allah (SWT).
People are either pious worshipers of Allah (SWT), or dissolute disobedient ones, but the real danger lies in the intermediate type, those unaware, careless people who are away from obeying Allah (SWT). Therefore, the surah starts by a tough warning from this disease and its symptoms
source: In the shade of the Quran and Reflections of the Quran