Theme of Juz Twenty Six –Ethics and Faith
The 26th Juz begins with a Makkan Surah, Surah Al-Ahqaaf
, followed by three Madinan Surahs, Surah Muhammad, Surah Al-Fath and Surah AlHujaraat
and ends off with two more Makkan Surahs, Surah Qaaf and Surah Az-Dhaariyaat.
So there is a dramatic shift in themes in this Juz.
The opening Surah, Surah Al-Ahqaaf is the last in the series of Surahs dealing with revelation as its core theme. So its content is very similar to the five Surahs before it, making them one set of Surahs focusing on a singular theme.
The theme shifts to Madinan topics in the next three Surahs. Surah Muhammad deals with Jihad and its laws. Revealed during the Madinan period when fighting the Makkans was a primary concern of the Ummah, the Surah is very strict in its emphasis on the laws of Jihad and its condemnation of those who reject these laws. The Surah ends strongly, declaring that if we don’t play our part as members of this Ummah, then Allah will replace us with people who will.
Surah Al-Fath revolves around the events of the treaty of Hudaibiyah and contains verses dealing with the events leading up to it as well as the results of it. The opening verse declares the treaty a great victory, even though the treaty seemed unjust towards the Muslims. This is because the treaty led to a period of peace in which tension between the average Makkan and the Muslims of Madinah died down, and this reopened the channels of Dawah.
Dawah is most effective during periods of peace, as the tension of war can cloud a person’s judgment. Part of the victory achieved was that this period of peace led to many of the Makkan leaders embracing Islam and becoming leaders of the Muslim army, including Khalid Ibn Waleed, Amr Ibn Al-Aas, Uthman Ibn Talha and Muawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyan. The conversions of such individuals shifted the tide in favour of the Muslims and eventually led to many more great victories for the Ummah.
Surah Al-Hujaraat is unique in its theme. It is a short eighteen verse Madinan Surah focusing entire on ethics and morals. The Islamic moral code is the backbone of the Ummah and without it, the Ummah becomes weak and disunited. The Surah places strong emphasis on obedience to leaders, reconciliation between warring parties and abstaining from all forms of gossip, backbiting, slander, racism, mockery, negative suspicions and claims of superiority. The strict adherence of the companions to this moral code is directly related to their victories and success in this world.
Surah Qaaf returns to the topic of the Makkan era with a focus on the Afterlife. The Surah contains vivid descriptions of the Last Day including a glimpse at the nature and size of the Hellfire. These verses should create in us an aversion to sinful behaviour. In modern society, the idea of the Hellfire is often mocked and many Muslims shy away from this topic.
However, the Qur’an discusses the Hellfire as often as it discusses Paradise, because it is this balance between hope and fear that propels us to be the best Muslims we can be. If fear is missing, it is easy to fall into sin at times of temptation, and if hope is missing then this can lead to despair and fatalism. So the Qur’an maintains this balance throughout its discussions.
The Juz ends towards the beginning of Surah Az-Dhariyaat which continues this theme of the Afterlife, which becomes the core focus of the next few Surahs of the Qur’an and will be discussed in more details in the next Juz.
Source: Themes of the Qur'an by Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar