Theme of Juz Twenty – The Story of Musa
The Juz begins in Surah An-Nam
l and ends in Surah Al-Ankabut
but the bulk of the Juz comprises of Surah Al-Qasas
. All of these are Makkan Surahs with distinct themes. The theme of Surah An-Naml has already been discussed. Surah Al-Qasas revolves around the story of Prophet Musa
which is the story repeated most frequently in the Qur’an.
The theme here, similar to Surah Taha before it, is one of hope. The story shows how the Israelites when in a difficult situation under the tyranny of the Pharaoh and it seemed like a hopeless situation. However, Allah always gives tyrants certain time to change before causing their downfall.
The story begins by showing how Allah planted Prophet Musa
in the household of Pharaoh to cause his destruction from within. Musa grew up in Pharaoh’s palace and so he knew exactly the kind of evil that Pharaoh committed, he would also be familiar enough with Pharaoh on a personal level to be able to reach him with the Dawah better than others.
After growing up, events occurred which caused Prophet Musa
to go into exile, and he soon found himself living in Madyan, married and working as a shepherd. The story of Prophet Musa
in Madyan should be reflected over, as its lessons are too many to list here. One lesson that needs to be mentioned is that when Musa
found himself an exile in a strange land, Allah provided him with a family, home and a job. In this, there is a lesson for us regarding Rizq and how Allah provides for His righteous servants.
The story continues with Prophet Musa
receiving revelation, and going with his brother Harun to do Dawah to Pharaoh, and eventually the destruction of Pharaoh and his supporters. This story was very relevant to the Prophet Muhammad’s
situation in Makkah. It gave him and the Sahaba hope that they too will eventually gain victory over Abu Jahl and his supporters, as Allah gave victory to Musa
The Surah ends with the story of Qarun and a reminder of the test of wealth. Many of the followers of Musa
envied the wealth of Qarun, yet his wealth could not save him from Allah’s punishment. The lesson is that wealth is a test, and we will be questioned regarding how we earned it and how we spent it.
Surah Al-Ankabut begins with a very important set of verses reminding us that each and every one of us will be tested regarding the truthfulness of our faith and our firmness on our principles: “Does mankind think that they will be left alone upon saying we believe and that they will not be tested? Definitely, we have tested those before them so that Allah can expose the truthful among them and so that He can expose the liars.” (29:2-3)
Life is a test and we will all face multiple tests in life, and these tests expose those who are true to Allah and those who cave in to their desires or society. The verses then discuss the rewards for those who pass this test and the faith of the hypocrites who are exposed through it.
The Juz ends with a powerful parable, in which Allah compares people’s faith in other than Him to a spider’s web. A spider’s web is the weakest home and can be easily broken. Likewise, those who place their faith in idols, wealth, people or anything other than Allah are setting themselves up for disappointment in both worlds.
Source: Themes of the Qur'an by Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar