Theme of Juz Twelve – Stories of the Prophets
The twelfth Juz of the Qur’an comprises of two Surahs, Surah Hud and Surah Yusuf
. These two are Makkan Surahs focusing on the stories of the prophets. There are however a few interesting differences between them.
Surah Hud, like most story-centred Surahs, revolves around the perished nations but the focus here is on the role of the Prophet and the qualities of the true Prophets of Allah. This Surah is also a firm warning to those who reject the Messengers of their punishment in this world and the Afterlife. The importance of this Surah can be seen in the authentic narration which indicates that this is the Surah that caused the Prophet’s
hair to turn grey.
However, the Qur’an always balances hope and fear and so it is no surprise that this Surah is followed by another which is a message of hope. Surah Yusuf is one of the most popular Surahs in the Qur’an for several reasons: it contains one of the most beautiful stories in history, told in one Surah from beginning to end and is full of deep lessons and a strong sense of hope and optimism.
Surah Yusuf was revealed around the time of Ta’if which was the most difficult time in the life of Prophet Muhammad
, and so this Surah was revealed to give him hope. It is a lesson that the righteous before us also faced all kinds of challenges and difficult situations, yet all these situations built up to a great victory in the end. It was a sign that Prophet Muhammad
too will one day be victorious and gain power over those who oppressed him.
The stories of the Qur’an are not meant to be just a form of entertainment or history. They are deep moral stories which require reflection and implementation. Surah Hud and Surah Yusuf share this common feature of being Surahs of stories, but one comprises multiple stories of how Allah destroyed the disbelievers, and the other comprises just one story of how Allah gives victory to the believers.
These two themes complement each other and together form a strong balance between Hope in Allah’s Mercy and fear of displeasing Him.
Source: Themes of the Qur'an by Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar