The ninth juz’ of the Qur’an contains the last part of Surah Al-A’raf (The Heights), from ayah 88, and the first part of Surah Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War) up to ayah 40.
The first part of this juz’, Surah Al-A’raf, was revealed just before the migration to Madinah. The second part of this juz’, Surah Al-Anfal was revealed directly after the Battle of Badr.
“Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, whom they find written of with them in the Tawrah (Law) and Injil (Gospel) – he commands them to go good and forbids them from evil; he makes lawful for them the good things, and forbids them from the evil things, he releases them from their heavy burdens and from the fetters that were upon them. So those who believe in him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, it is they who be successful.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:157)
“As to those who hold fast to the Book (act on its teachings) and perform Salah, certainly We shall never waste the reward of those who do righteous deeds.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:170)
“So when the Quran is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive Mercy. And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words, in the mornings and in the afternoons, and be not of those who are neglectful.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:204-205)
“And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the the land, and were afraid that men might kidnap you, but He provided a safe place for you, strengthened you with His help, and provided you with good things (for livelihood) so that you might be grateful. Oh you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your Amanat (things entrusted to you).” (Surah Al-Anfal 8:26-27)
Surah Al-A’raf continues from the previous juz’, with a reminder that previous generations of believers faced the same difficulties as the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his followers. The stories of previous Prophets continue, including Shu’aib, Musa (Moses), and Harun (Aaron), peace be upon them all. The unbelievers were given many chances, and Allah gave them lessons to learn humility, but they continued to reject Allah and His Prophets. Allah sent punishments down on them in the form of earthquakes, droughts, failed crops, plagues, locusts, and floods, but this did not deter them from their arrogance. They would cry out to Allah in the worst of times, promising to believe and follow Him, but then when times improved, they would return to their old pagan ways.
The message through these ayat is that we would be wise to learn from the past. We should give glory to Allah, and heed His guidance, so that we do not fall into the same ruin as those who came before us. As Allah says, “Evil as an example are people who reject Our signs and wrong their own souls” (7:177).
The lesson continues with other examples – expectant parents anticipating the arrival of their baby, who call upon the Lord with gratefulness, but then abandon faith after the child’s birth. Or those who repeatedly ask and wonder about the timing of the Day of Judgment, when will it come? As if they are anticipating it with joy. Muslims are further advised to be forgiving, but to keep away from ignorant or arrogant people (7:199).
SurahAl-Anfal, was revealed directly after the Battle of Badr, in the second year after the Hijrah. This was the first battle in which the pagans of Makkah attacked the Muslim community in Madinah. The opening verses remind believers to fear Allah and follow the guidance of the Messenger when it comes to enemy booty. They are reminded that some people hesitated when called upon to defend the community, worried that they might get injured or killed. Allah reminds us that He is with the believers, and that Allah alone can protect and help. Those who have joined the military ranks are commanded never to turn their backs, but to fight for justice and stay the course. We make our plans, but Allah is the best of planners (8:30).