Theme of Juz Sixteen – Stories of the Prophets
Starting in the middle of the story of Musa and Khidr in Surah Al-Kahf,
this Juz also features Surah Maryam and Surah Taha
. The common theme between these three Makkan Surahs is apparent, they all deal with the stories of the Prophets and the righteous people of the past.
Surah Maryam is one of the most poetic Surahs in the Qur’an, the only Surah named after a woman, and it has an emphasis on Allah’s mercy. The name Ar-Rahman (Most Merciful to all of Creation) appears in this Surah sixteen times and Allah mentions His mercy multiple times starting with the second verse, “Mention the mercy of Your Lord to His servant Zakariyyah.” (19:2
This Surah contains the stories of the miraculous births of Prophets Yahya
(to elderly parents) and Eesa
(to a virgin mother) and these miracles were from the mercy of Allah to His Righteous servants. The next story is about Prophet Ibrahim
and the gentle way in which he did Dawah to his father, teaching us to be kind to our parents regardless of their faults and beliefs.
The Surah then mentions many of the prophets that Allah sent to this world, and the sending of prophets and revelation is from the greatest mercies of Allah, without which we would be lost in desire and sin.
After mentioning the Prophets and their followers and praising them, Allah then warns of a historical trend, “And there came after them a generation who neglected the Salah and followed their desires and soon they will be thrown in the Fire, except for those who repented, believe and do righteous deeds. They will have Paradise and will not be oppressed in any way.” (19:59-60)
This is a strong reminder to us not to become that generation that abandons Salah and follows their desires. Rather, we should repent and follow the prophets to attain Allah’s Mercy.
Surah Taha revolves around the theme of hope and optimism when delivering the message of Islam in difficult situations. “We did not reveal the Qur’an to you be a cause of your distress, rather it is a reminder to the one who fears (His Lord).” (20:2-3)
Dawah is a difficult task as it means opposing society, challenging the status quo and facing trials and difficulties on the road to reforming society. The Prophet Muhammad
faced a huge task in Makkah to change society and this Surah was revealed to console him through the story of Prophet Musa
who faced a similar test.
The bulk of this Surah is the story of Prophet Musa
and the challenges he faced in his Dawah to Pharaoh and the people of Egypt. The lesson is that prophets before faced great challenges and overcame them with the help of Allah, so we too should be ready to face such challenges when propagating Allah’s Deen and Allah will assist us in our mission too.
The Surah also contains the powerful Dua of Prophet Musa
which we all should memorize and say whenever we need courage to speak for the sake of Allah, “he said, My Lord, expand my chest for me (make me brave), and make this task easy for me, and remove the knot from my tongue so that they understand my speech.” (20:25-28)
Dawah cannot be done effectively without sound knowledge, and the more we know, the better we become at propagating Allah’s Deen. So towards the end of this Surah, Allah teaches us another importance dua, “My Lord, increase my knowledge.” (20:114)
Source: Themes of the Qur'an by Abu Muawiyah Ismail Kamdar