Theme of Juz Nineteen – Stories of the Prophets
The 19th Juz begins in the middle of Surah Al-Furqaan
which we already discussed previously. The rest of this Juz comprises Surah Ash-Shu’araa
and the bulk of Surah An-Naml
. These are two Makkan Surahs focusing on the stories of the prophets.
The stories of the perished nations are told in a very poetic structure in Surah Ash-Shu’araa which also addresses the topic of good and bad poets. Each story is told with the same repeated messages which include the following:
1. These nations denied the messengers by rejecting their messenger, showing us that belief in Allah is not enough, we must believe in all His messengers and follow the one sent to us.
2. The messengers did not ask for any worldly favors, they did the Dawah for the sake of Allah and expected nothing from the people in return.
3. Allah destroyed nations of the past for rejecting the message and He can do the same to current nations.
4. Allah made the perished nations and their stories signs for us to reflect on
5. Majority of people rejecting these messengers so we shouldn’t feel bad when they reject us too
6. Allah is Al-Azeez (Most Mighty) and with that Might, He punishes the corrupt, but He is also Ar-Raheem (Most Merciful) and that Mercy is for the
Source: Themes of the Qur'an by Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar
The stories covered in this Surah include that of Prophets Musa, Ibrahim, Nuh, Hud, Saalih, Lut and Shuaib (Alayhum Salam) and each story has its own unique lessons about the kind of sins that earn the anger of Allah.
Surah An-Naml begins with the story of how Prophet Musa
received his first revelation but then shifts into the stories of Prophet Dawud and his son Prophet Sulaiman (Alayhuma Salam), with the focus on Prophet Sulaiman
and the amazing kingdom Allah has blessed him with.
The story is unique and discusses fascinating things like his power over the Jinn, his ability to communicate with birds and ants and the story of the queen of Sheba. This story is different from those in the previous Surah in many ways.
The previous Surah focused on Prophets who were rejected by their people and Allah destroyed the nations for it. This is a story of a Prophet who ruled the world and people accepted his message. The importance of using power and authority for good is very clear, and there is an emphasis on being grateful to Allah when He blesses us with worldly success.
This story is followed by the stories of Prophet Saalih and Prophet Lut (Alayhuma Salam) to remind us again of what happens to those who oppose the message of Allah.
An interesting theme in this Surah is seeing the power of Allah in the abilities He has given to His non-human creation. This Surah mentions the staff of Musa
that turned into a snake, the ant that was worried about its nation, the bird who could not understand why people committed Shirk, the Jinn who could move thrones over large areas of land in a short time, the camel that was created from a rock and the Angels that levelled the cities in which homosexuality was practised. This is the power of Allah who creates what He wills.
“And say: All praise is for Allah. Soon He will show you His signs and you will recognize them. And Your Lord is not unmindful of what you do.” (27:93)