The eighth juz’ of the Qur’an contains the last part of Surah Al-An’am (The Cattle), from ayah 111, and the first part of Surah Al-A’raf (The Heights), up to ayah 87.
The first part of this juz’, Surah Al-An’am, was revealed in its entirety in one sitting in Makkah prior to the migration to Madinah. Surah Al-A’raf is also a Makkan Surah from the same period.
From the Virtues of Surah Al-An’am
The Prophet, peace and blessings be on him, said, ‘The Quran was revealed in one fifth part, whoever memorised it in one fifth parts would not forget it. Except for Surah al An’am, which was revealed in its entirety, seen off by seventy angels from each heaven until they delivered it to the Prophet. Never has it been recited over a sick person, without Allah granting him a cure.” (Recorded in Baihaqi)
“Say: ‘Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited from you: Join not anything in worship with Him; be kind and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them. Come not near to immoral sins, whether committed openly or secretly; and kill not anyone who Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. This He has command you, that you may understand.’” (Surah Al-An’am 6:151)
“Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you have no concern with them in the least. Their affair is only with Allah, Who then will tell them what they used to do.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:159)
“Say: ‘Verily, my Salah, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of all that exists. He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:162-163)
“O Children of Adam! Take your adornment to every masjid, and eat and drink, but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not the wasteful.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:31)
“Indeed, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over the Throne. He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of all that exists!” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:54)
After discussion of earlier revelations and relationships with People of the Book, the argument now turns to paganism, and the pagans’ rejection of the Unity of Allah.
Sura Al-An’am reminders the believers to avoid people who are stubborn and rebellious. They may seem successful in some areas of this life, but they will receive their due punishment from Allah on the Day of Judgment. Even if they were to see the most incredible of miracles, they would not be convinced of the Truth.
Allah, all praises be to Him, has sent a series of Messengers with the Truth. He tells us that He would not destroy a people without first giving them a chance to believe, a warning brought by a Messenger (6:131). Throughout the Quran, and here, warnings are addressed specifically to pagans. They ascribe “partners” with Allah and create traditions and rituals with no basis in faith: “…forging lies against Allah. They have indeed gone astray and heeded no guidance” (6:140). There is also a specific warning against those who “break up their religion into sects” (6:159).
Despite all the pessimism and superstitions of the unbelievers, Allah’s decrees will come to pass. Muslims are advised to always follow the Straight Way of Allah with full dedication.
Continuing this theme in Surah A’raf, we are reminded of previous generations of Prophets who faced the same difficulties as the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his followers. The stories of several Prophets are told: Adam, Nuh (Noah), Hud, Saleh, Lut (Lot), and Shu’aib, peace be upon them all. They were all initially resisted and rejected, but in the end the truth prevailed. We would be wise to learn from the past.