The seventh juz’ of the Qur’an contains the last part of Surah Al-Ma’idah, from ayah 82, and the first part of Surah Al-An’am up to verse 110.
The verses of Surah Al-Ma’idah were largely revealed in the early years after the Muslims migrated to Madinah, when the Prophet, peace be upon him, was striving to create unity and peace among a diverse collection of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian city-dwellers and various nomadic tribes.
The latter part of this juz’, in Surah Al-An’am, were actually revealed in Makkah prior to the migration to Madinah. Although these verses pre-date the ones before it, the logical argument flows. After discussion of earlier revelations and relationships with People of the Book, the arguments now turns to paganism, and the pagans’ rejection of the Unity of Allah.
From the Virtues of Surah Al-An’am
Ibn ‘Abbas, may Allah be pleased with Him, said:
“All of Surat Al-An’am was revealed in Makkah at night, accompanied by seventy thousand angels, raising their voices in glorification of Allah.” (Recorded in At-Tabarani 12:125)
“Oh you who believe! Make not unlawful the good things which Allah has made lawful for you, and transgress not. Verily, Allah does not like the transgressors.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah 5:87)
“Say: ‘Shall I take as a guardian any other than Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? And it is He Who feeds but is not fed.’ Say: ‘Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit. “And be not you of the idolaters.” (Surat Al-An’am 6:14)
“And We send not the Messengers but as givers of glad tidings and as warners. So whosoever believes and does righteous good deeds, upon them shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve. But those who reject Our Ayat, the torment will strike them for their rebelling.” (Surat Al-An’am 6:48-49)
“Such is Allah, your Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but He, the Creator of all things. So worship Him (alone). And He is the Guardian over all things. No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision. He is the Most Subtle, All-Aware with all things.” (Surat Al-An’am 6:102-103)
The continuation of Surah Al-Ma’ida follows in the same vein as the first part of the Surah, detailing issues of dietary law, marriage, and criminal punishments. Muslims are advised to avoid intoxicants, gambling, sorcery, superstitions, breaking oaths, and hunting in the Sacred Precinct (Makkah) or during pilgrimage. Muslims should write their wills, witnessed by honest people. Believers should also avoid going to excess, making lawful things unlawful. Believers are instructed to obey Allah, and obey the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him.
The beginning of Sura Al-An’am picks up the topic of Allah’s creation, and the many signs of Allah which are present for those who are open-minded. Many previous generations rejected the truth brought by their Prophets, despite the evidence of truth in Allah’s creation. Ibrahim (Abraham) peace be upon him, was a prophet who tried to teach those who worshipped false gods. A series of Prophets after him continued to teach this truth. Those who reject faith wrong their own souls, and will be punished for their blasphemy. Unbelievers say that the believers listen to “nothing but tales of the ancients” (6:25). They ask for proofs and continue to reject that there is even a Judgment Day. When the Hour is upon them, they will call out for a second chance, but it will not be granted.
Ibrahim and the other Prophets gave “reminders to the nations,” calling upon people to have faith and leave false idols. Some chose to believe, and others rejected. The Qur’an was revealed to bring blessings and to “confirm the revelations that came before it” (6:92). The false gods that pagans worship will be of no use to them in the end. The juz’ continues with reminders of Allah’s bounty in nature: the sun, moon, stars, rain, vegetation, fruits, etc. Even animals (6:38) and plants (6:59) follow the laws of nature that Allah has written for them, so who are we to be arrogant and reject faith in Allah?
As hard as it is, believers are asked to bear the rejection of unbelievers with patience and not take it personally (6:33-34). Muslims are advised not to sit with those who ridicule and question faith, but just to turn away and give advice. In the end, each person is responsible for his or her own conduct, and they will face Allah for judgment. It is not for us to “watch over their doings,” nor are we “set over them to dispose of their affairs” (6:107). In fact, Muslims are advised not to ridicule or hate the false gods of other faiths, “lest they out of spite, revile Allah in their ignorance” (6:108). Rather, believers should leave them be, and trust that Allah will ensure fair judgment for all.