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).