What Surahs and ayat are included in the Twentieth Juz’?
The twentieth juz’ of the Qur’an contains Surah An Naml (The Ants) from ayah 56 to 93. Surah Al-Qasas (The Narration) in its entirety and Surah Al-Ankabut (The Spider) up to ayah 45.
When were the ayat of this juz’ revealed?
Surah An Naml, Surah Al Qasas and Surah Al-Ankabut are all Makkan Surahs.
“Is not He (better than your gods) Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and has placed firm mountains therein, and has set a barrier between the two seas (of salt and sweet water)? Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Nay, but most of them know not!” (Surah An Naml 27:61)
“But those who have been given (religious) knowledge said: ‘Woe to you! The reward of Allah (in the hereafter) is better for those who believe and righteous good deeds, and this none shall attain except those who are As-Sabirun (patient in following the truth).”.” (Surah Al-Qasas 28:80)
“Do people think they will be left to say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested?” (Surah Al-Ankabut 29:2)
“And we have enjoined on man to be good and dutiful to his parents; but if they strive to make you join with Me (in worship) anything (as a partner) of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not. Unto Me is your return and I shall tell you what you used to do.” (Surah Al-Ankabut 29:8)
“Say: Travel in the land and see how (Allah) originated the creation, and then Allah will bring forth the creation of the Hereafter (i.e resurrection after death). Verily Allah is able to do all things.” (Surah Al-Ankabut 29:20)
What are the main themes of this juz’?
Surah An Naml continues in this juz’ with the story of the Prophet Lut (Lot) peace be upon him, and how all his family was saved from the destruction of the raining stones except his wife, who was destined to be of those who remained behind. Allah draws the attention of the disbelievers to the fact that He created the heavens and the earth, sends down rain from the sky, makes the wind blow, causes trees to grow, and answers the call of the one who is in distress, while their gods have done nothing (27:60-65). We are reminded again of Judgement Day and what will be the end for those who deny Allah’s Signs.
Surah Al-Qasas was revealed just after Surah An Naml continues with the subject of the Revelation and its reception by those to whom to was sent. Its main theme is refuting the doubt and objections raised by the disbelievers. The story of Musa (Moses), peace be upon him is returned to again, this time highlighting how Allah, in His infinite wisdom, destined that he would be raised in the house of Fir’aun, and brought his mother near to him as his wet nurse (28:7-13). We are told of the incident when Musa intervened in a fight, accidentally killing a man, and was forced to flee the city. Later, whilst travelling in the desert with his family, he, peace be upon him, received the Nine Signs from Allah. Even with these signs the people still rejected Musa’s call, just as they pagans were rejecting the Prophethood of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying “Why is he not given the like of what was given to Musa?” (28:48). The reward of Paradise is described for those who believe, do good deeds and are patient.
Surah Al-Ankabut was revealed just before the migration to Abassinyah, and strengthens the believers by telling them that Allah tested those before them. The believers are enjoined not to obey their parents in disobedience to Allah, because many of the new Muslims were facing pressures from their families at this difficult time. Allah knows best those who truly believe and those who are hypocrites (29:11). When we strive to do good deeds we are only striving for our selves, and Allah is not in need of any of his creation. We are told the story of Nuh (Noah) peace be upon him, and how he preached to the mostly disbelieving people for 950 years! (29:14) Prophet’s Lut (Lot), Inrahim (Abraham), Ishaq (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob) and Shu’aib are mentioned, peace be upon them all. Throughout history the same scenario has been replayed, the Message was brought and the people who denied it were punished in this life, and they will be punished in the Hereafter.