What Surahs and ayat are included in the Fourth Juz’?
The fourth juz’ of the Qur’an starts from ayah 93 of the third chapter Surah Ali Imran (The Family of Imran) and continues to ayah 23 of the fourth chapter Surah An Nisa’ (The Women).
When were the ayat of this juz’ revealed?
The ayat of this section were largely revealed in the early years after the migration to Madinah. Much of this section relates directly to the Muslim community’s defeat at the Battle of Uhud in the third year after the migration.
From the Vitues of Surah An Nisa’
Al Hakim recorded in his Mustadrak, that ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “There are five Ayat in Surah An Nisa’ that I would prefer to the life of this world and all that is in it: ‘Surely, Allah wrongs not even the weight of an atom’ (4:40); ‘If you avoid the great sins which you are forbidden to do’ (4:31); ‘Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up worth Him (in worship), but he forgives except that (anything else) to whom He wills’ (4:48); ‘If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you’ (4:64); and ‘And whoever does evil or wrongs himself, but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful’ (4:110) (Recorded in Al-Hakim 2:305)
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s favor on you, for you were enemies of one another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren, and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah make His Ayat clear to you, that you may be guided.” (Surah Ali Imran 3:103)
“Everyone shall taste death. And only on the day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is moved away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception.” (Surah Ali Imran 3:185)
“You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in yourselves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allah; but if you persevere patiently, and have Taqwa, then verily, that will be a determining factor in all your affairs.” (Surah Ali Imran 3:186)
What are the main themes of this juz’?
The mid-portion of Surah Ali-Imran discusses the relationship between Muslims and the ‘People of the Book’, the Christians and Jews. The Qur’an points out similarities between those who follow ‘the religion of Abraham’, and repeats several times that while some People of the Book are righteous, there are many who have gone astray. Muslims are urged to stand together for righteousness, repel evil, and hold together in unity.
The remainder of Surah Al-Imran points out lessons to be learned from the Battle of Uhud, which was an extremely disappointing loss to the Muslim community. During this battle, Allah tested the believers and it became clear who was selfish or cowardly, and who was patient and disciplined. Believers are urged to seek forgiveness for their weaknesses, and not to lose heart or despair. Death is a reality, and every soul will be taken at its appointed time. One should not fear death, and those who died in battle have mercy and forgiveness from Allah. The chapter ends with reassurances that victory is found through sabr (patience) and Taqwa (fear) of Allah, and that the enemies of Allah will not prevail.
The fourth chapter of the Qur’an is Surah An Nisa’. This chapter’s title translates ‘The Women’, and it deals with many issues regarding women, including family life, marriage, and divorce. Parts of this Surah were revealed shortly after the Muslims’ defeat at the Battle of Uhud and deal largely with practical issues resulting from that, like how to care for orphans and widows from the battle, and how to divide the inheritance of those who had died.