The nineteenth juz’ of the Qur’an contains Surah Al Furqan (The Criterion) from ayah 21 to completion, Surah Ash-Shu’ara (The Poets) and continues up to Surah An Naml (The Ants) ayah 55.
Surah Al Furqan, Surah Ash-Shu’ara and Surah An Naml are all Makkan Surahs.
“Have you not seen the one who has taken as as his ilah (god) his own vain desires? Would you then be a Wakil (watcher) over him? Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle – nay, they are even farther astray from the Path (i.e worse than cattle).” (Surah Al Furqan 25:43-44)
“And the (faithful) slaves of the Most Gracious (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the folish address them (with bad words), they reply back with mild words of gentleness.” (Surah Al Furqan 25:63)
“As for the poets, the erring ones follow them, See you not that they speak about every subject (praising people – right or wrong) in their poetry? And that they say what they do not do. Except those who believe and do righteous deeds, and remember Allah much and vindicate themselves after they have been wronged. And those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned.” (Surah Ash-Shu’ara 26:224-227)
Surah Al Furqan deals with doubts and objections that were being raised against the Qur’an during this period of hostility towards the Muslims in Makkah. Answers are given to their objections and warning of consequences for rejecting the truth. A contrast is made with the believers who follow The Criterion of right and wrong, spend their night in worship of their Lord, prostrate and standing, begging to be saved from the torment of Hell (25:64-65). They will be rewarded with the highest place in Paradise because of their patience (25:75).
Surah Ash-Shu’ara begin a new series of four Surahs which illustrate the contrast between the Prophets and the communities amongst which they appeared. We are told of Musa, (Moses) peace be upon him, and how he feared not being able to deliver the message well, because he had a speech impediment. He asked Allah to give him his brother Harun (Aaron) as a helper (26:13). Allah gave Prophet Musa Signs including victory over the sourcers who were amongst the most famed people of the time, but still Fir’aun (Pharoah) rejected them. We are reminded of the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, and he advised his father and his people against worshipping idols, testifying that it was Allah who created him, guided him, fed him and cured him (26:77-81). The story of Prophets Nuh (Noah), Salih, Lut (Lot), Shuaib, peace be upon them all, are again mentioned. Again and again people rejected the Message and Allah punished them for their stubborn ignorance. These stories are meant to provide encouragement and support to the believers who may feel that the odds are against them. Believers are reminded to be strong, as history has shown that truth will always triumph over evil.
The beginning of Surah An-Naml confirms that only those who the guidance of the Qur’an become worthy of the promises made in it. We return to the story of the Prophets Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Lut (Lot) and Sulaiman (Solomon), peace be upon them all. The story of Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba and her exchanges with Prophet Sulaiman, peace be upon him, are also related, and she was of those who submitted to Islam after seeing the Signs.