What Surahs and ayat are included in the Twenty-first Juz’?
The twenty-first juz’ of the Qur’an contains Surah Al-Ankabut (The Spider) from ayah 46 to 69, Surah Ar-Rum (The Romans), Surah Luqman (Luqman) and Surah As-Sajdah (The Prostration) in their entirety and Surah Al-Ahzab (The Confederates) up to ayah 30.
When were the ayat of this juz’ revealed?
Surah Ar-Rum was revealed in Makkah during the time when the Persians were defeating the Romans in the neighbouring Byzantine occupied territories, around 6 years before the Hijrah. Surah Luqman, Surah As-Sajdah and Surah Al-Ahzab were also revealed during the Makkan period.
From the Virtues of Surah As-Sajdah
In the Book of the Friday Prayer, Al-Bukhari recorded that Aby Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to recite in Fajr on Fridays: ‘Alif, Lam, Mim. The revelation of…’ As-Sajdah, and ‘Has there not been over man…’ Al-Insan.”
Imam Ahmad recorded from Jabir, may Allah be pleased with him: “The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon, would never sleep until he recited: ‘Alif, Lam, Mim The revelation of…’ As-Sajdah, and ‘Blessed be he in Whose hand is the dominion’ Al-Mulk.'”
“Is it not sufficient for them that we have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) which is recited to them? Verily herein is mercy and a reminder (or an admonition) for a people who believe.” (Surah Al-Ankabut 29:51)
“And among His Signs is this that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” (Surah Ar-Rum 30:21)
“O my son! If it be (anything) equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle (in bringing out that grain), Well-Aware (of its place).” (Surah Luqman 31:16)
“And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink wherewith to write), with seven seas behind it to add to its (supply), yet the Words of Allah would not be exhausted. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (Surah Luqman 31:27)
“Only those believe in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs) who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud.” (Surah As-Sajdah 32:15)
“Say: ‘Who is he who can protect you from Allah if He intends to harm you, or intends mercy on you?’ And they will not find, besides Allah, for themselves any Wali (protector, supporter) or any helper.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:17)
What are the main themes of this juz’?
Surah Al-Ankabut revealed just before the migration to Abassinyah, continues in this juz’ with its message of strengthening the believers in the face of adversity, by reminding them that Allah tested those before them.
Surah Ar-Rum begins with the revelation that the Romans have been overcome, but they will be victorious again, ‘within three to nine years’ (30:4). This true prediction is one of the many evidences for the Qur’an being the word of Allah. We are shown the evidence of Allah’s Signs in his creation: the love between spouses; the differences in our languages and colours; our sleep; the day and the night; the rain; the wind and all the things in His creation are at His command. If He can do all of this then do you think He cannot resurrect you? (30:25)
Surah Luqman reminds the believers that whoever earnestly seeks righteousness will be guided, unlike those who seek vanity, who will suffer the torment of punishment. It contains the beautiful advice of the Prophet Luqman, peace be upon him, to his son, calling him to worship Allah alone, and to join no partners with Him, to establish the prayer, and to enjoin all that is good and forbid evil, to be patient and not to have pride, and to lower his voice, ‘Allah likes not the arrogant boaster’ (31:13-19).
Surah As-Sajdah continues with the theme of the Signs of Allah in His creation, and addressing the doubts of the disbelievers. Only those who believe are humble enough to prostrate when they see the Signs of their Lord. They forsake their beds to call on their Lord in fear and hope, and spend in charity out of what he has bestowed on them (32:15-16).
Surah Al-Ahzab relates to the events of the Battle of the Trench, the raid on Banu Quraythah and the Prophet’s marriage to Zaynab, which all took place in the fifth year after Hijrah. In these first 30 ayat clarification is given that an adopted son does not become like a real son and should not be named after his father (33:4-5), which revealed concerning Zaid bin Harithah, may Allah be pleased with him. Allah reminds the believers about the fear in their hearts during the battle of Al-Ahzab, when the enemy came from above them and below them, and how the hypocrites harboured doubts about the promise of Prophet, peace be upon him, but, ‘flight will not avail you if you flee from death or killing’ (33:16) because Allah is the disposer of all affairs.