Al-Mani (The Preventer)
All praises and glory be to Allah, who is known by the Beautiful Name al-Mani, the Preventer. He is the One who has the power to prevent and to give. There is no one who can give what He prevents and no one who can prevent what He will give. Everything that is good and of benefit should be sought from Him, and everything that we wish to be protected from, we should seek protection from Him because he is al-Mani, the Preventer. The following hadith qudsi (you can find the full commentary here) reminds us of this in the most beautiful way:
On the authority of Abu Dharr al-Ghifaari, may Allah be pleased with him, from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, from among the sayings he relates from His Lord, may He be glorified, that He said, “O My servants, I have forbidden wrongdoing for Myself and I have made it forbidden for you. Therefore, do not wrong one another. O My servants, all of you are lost except those whom I have guided. Therefore, seek guidance from Me and I will guide you. O My servants, all of you are hungry except those whom I have fed. Therefore, seek food from Me and I will feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked except those whom I have clothed. Therefore seek clothing from Me and I will clothe you. O My servants, you sin by day and by night, and I forgive all sins. Therefore seek forgiveness from Me and I will forgive you. O My servants, you will not be able to harm Me so as to bring any harm to Me and you will be able to benefit Me so as to bring any benefit to Me. O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were as pious as the most pious heart of anyone among you, it would not add anything to My dominion. O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were as wicked as the most wicked heart of anyone among you it would not decrease anything from My dominion. O My servants, if the first and the last of you and the human and the jinn of you were to gather together on [the same sector] of land and all asked Me and if I were to give everyone of them what he asked, that would not decrease what I have any more than a needle decreases what is in the ocean when it is put into it. O My servants, it is but your deeds that I reckon for you. Then I recompense you for them. The one who finds good is to give praises to Allah. The one who finds other than that should not blame anyone but himself.” (Recorded in Muslim)
Al-Matin (The Powerful)
“Indeed Allah is the Provider, Owner of Strength, al-Matin (the Powerful).” (Surah adh-Dhariyat :57)
All praises be to Allah who is known by the Beautiful Name al-Matin, the Powerful. He is the One to Whom belongs might, honour and power in its entirety. His is the might, power and strength of conquest and of prevention. He has prevented any of His creation from having any power over Him, or knowledge of Him, except as He wills. He is Omnipotent over everything that is in existence. The whole of creation is subservient to His ultimate power, and is constantly indebted to Him. He is al-Matin, the Powerful, and we are in need of Him for everything, so let’s call on Him by this Beautiful Name.
” And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them…” (Surah Al-Araf :180)
Al-Mubdi’ (The Starter) Al-Mu’id (The One Who Repeats Creation)
“He is the One Who started the creation and He will repeat it.” (Surah Yunus :4)
“Allah originates the creation and then repeats it.” (Surah al-Buruj : 13)
All praises be to Allah who is known by the Beautiful Names al-Mubdi‘, the Starter, and al-Mu’id, the One Who Repeats Creation. He is al-Mubdi’, Who began the creation in order to test the people as to which of them is best in deeds. He is al-Mu’id, who repeats the creation as many times as He wills. He also is the One who will recall the creation in order to reward those who did good and punish those who did evil. He warns those who takes others as gods:
“Is not He [better than your false gods] Who originates creation and shall thereafter repeat it, and Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth?” (Surah an-Naml :64)
So when we see a new born baby or a plant shoot growing, we should think of their creator, Allah, and praise Him with His Beautiful Names al-Mubdi’ and al-Mu’id.
What Surahs and ayat are included in the Seventeenth Juz’?
The Seventeenth Juz’ contains Surah Al-Anbiya’ (The Prophets) and Surah Hajj (The Pilgrimage).
When were the ayat of this juz’ revealed?
Surah Al-Anbiya’ was revealed in Makkah and Surah Al-Hajj was also revealed in Makkah at least in part, some scholars hold that parts of it may have been revealed in Madinah.
From the Virtues of Surah Al-Anbiya’
Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdur-Rahman bin Yazid said that Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Banu Israil (Surah Al-Isra’), Al-Khaf, Maryam, Ta Ha and Al-Anbiya’ – they are among the earliest and the most beautiful Surahs and they are my treasure.”
“Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united piece, then We parted them? And We have made from water every living thing? Will they not then believe?” (Surah Al-Anbiya’ 21:30)
“And We shall set up Balances of Justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We to take account.” (Surah Al-Anbiya’ 21:47)
“And (remember) the Day when We shall roll up the heaven like a scroll rolled up for books. As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise binding upon Us. We shall do it.” (Surah Al-Anbiya’ 21:104)
“O mankind! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily, We have created you (i.e. Adam) from dust, then from Nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge) them from a clot then from a little lump of flesh – some formed and some unformed – that We may make (it) clear to you. And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants, then (give you growth) that you may reach you age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies (young), and among there is he who is brought back to miserable old age, so that he know nothing after having known. And you see the earth barren, but when We send down water (rain) on it, it is stirred (to life), and it swells and puts forth every kind (of growth). That is because Allah: He is the Truth and it is he Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who is able to do all things.” (Surah Al Hajj 22:5-6)
“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj).” (Surah Al-Hajj 22:27)
What are the main themes of this juz’?
Surah Al-Anbiya’ discusses the theme of how the Prophets, peace be upon them all, were human beings, who had to struggle to spread the Message against all kinds of evil. As the Surah opens, we are told of how the people rejected the Message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, saying: “These are mixed up false dreams! Nay he has invented it! Nay, he is a poet! Let him then bring us an Ayah (sign as proof) like the ones that were sent before!” (21:5). This is a common response to the call of the Prophets throughout the ages, and those that disbelieved before us were destroyed. We are reminded of the Day of Judgment and how everything will be taken into account.
Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), peace be upon him, questioned his people about why they worshipped idols, and plotted to destroy the idols as way of displaying how powerless they were. When the people asked who had destroyed their idols, Ibrahim told them that the biggest of the idols had done it, and that they should ask it if it can speak! If it can’t speak or aid them then why do they worship it? They tried to throw him in the fire for his insolence, but Allah made the fire cool for Ibrahim, peace be upon him (21:52-70). The Prophets Lut (Lot), Nuh (Noah), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Sulaiman (Solomon), Ayyub (Job), Yunus (Jonah), Zakariyyah (Zacharaiah) and Yayha (John) are also mentioned, peace be upon them all. The promise of Judgement Day is returned to again and again warning that punishment is near, even if people do not believe that it is coming. On that Day the disbelievers will stare fixedly in horror saying “Woe to us! We were indeed heedless of this…” (21:97)
Surah Al Hajj continues the theme of looking at the Signs of creation, including our own, as evidence of the existence of Allah, and the coming resurrection. If He can create you once, He can resurrect you just as easily, and verily the Day of Judgment is true, but man is proud and arrogant, and disbelieving. Even of those who believe, there are some who worship Allah as if ‘upon the edge‘ so that is something good happens they are content, but if something difficult comes they return to disbelief, and they lose both this life and the Hereafter (22:11). The Hajj Pilgrimage is then proclaimed (22:27) and the Muslims are called forth from all parts of the earth to fulfil their proscribed duties including circumambulation of the ‘Ancient House’ the Ka’bah, and the sacrifice of an animal, and it is ‘neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him’ (22:37). We are commanded to strive hard in Allah’s Cause and He has not laid upon us any hardship in the religion (22:78).