The twenty-sixth juz’ of the Qur’an contains Surah Al-Ahqaf (The Curved Sand-hills) Surah Muhammad (Muhammad) or Surah Al-Qital (The Fighting), Surah Al-Fath (The Victory), Surah Al-Hujurat (The Dwellings) and Surah Qaf in their entirety and Surah Adh-Dhariyat (The Winds that Scatter) up to ayah 30.
Surah Al-Ahqaf, Surah Qaf and Surah Adh-Dhariyat were revealed in Makkah. Surah Muhammad and Surah Al-Hujurat were revealed in Madinah. Surah Al-Fath was sent down in Dhul Qa’dah 6 A.H. when the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was returning to Madinah after concluding the Treaty of Hudaibiyah.
From the Virtues of Surah Al-Fath
The Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him said,
“Last night, a Surah was revealed to me that is dearer to me than this life and all that it contains: ‘Verily, We have given you a manifest victory. That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future.'” (Recorded in Al-Bukhari)
Imam Ahmad recorded from Abdullah bin Mughaffal, may Allah be pleased with him, that Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, recited Surah Al-Fath on the (day) of the conquest of Makkah, riding on his she-camel. He recited it in a vibrating and pleasant tone. Mu’awiyah (a subnarrator) added: “Were I not afraid that the people would crowd around me, I would surely try to imitate and produce his recitation.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith through Shu`bah)
“And we have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him in hardship, and the bearing of him, and the weaning of him is thirty months, till when he attains full strength and reaches forty years, he says, ‘My Lord! Grant me the power and ability that I may be grateful for the favour which you have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds, such as please You, and make my offspring good. Truly I have turned to you in repentance, and truly, I am one of the Muslims (submitting to Your Will).” (Surah Al-Ahqaf 46:15)
“And whoever does not respond to Allah’s Caller, he cannot escape on earth, and there will be no Auliya (lords, helpers, supporters, protectors) for him besides Allah (from Allah’s punishment). Those are in manifest error.” (Surah Al-Ahqaf 46:32)
“Behold! You are those who are called to spend in the Cause of Allah, yet among you are some who are niggardly. And whosoever is niggardly, it is only at the expense of his own self. But Allah is Rich (Free of all needs) and you (mankind) are poor. And if your turn away (from Islam) He will exchange you for some other people and they will not be your likes.” (Surah Muhammad 47:38)
“He it is Who sent down As-Sakinah (calmness and tranquility) into the hearts of the believers, that they may grow more in Faith along with their (present) Faith. And to Allah belong the hosts of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is Ever-Knower, All-Wise.” (Surah Al-Fath 48:4)
“Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad) as a witness, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner. In order that you (on mankind) may believe in Allah and His Messenger and that you may assist and honour him and (that you) glorify (Allah’s) praises morning and afternoon.” (Surah Al-Fath 48:8-9)
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa. Verily Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Surah Al-Hujirat 49:13)
“And indeed We have created man, and We know what his own self whispers to him. And We are nearer to him than his jugular vein (by Our Knowledge).” (Surah Qaf 50:16)
“Verily, the Muttaqun (the pious) will be in the midst of Gardens and Springs (of Paradise), Taking joy in the things which their Lord has given them. Verily, they were before this Muhsinun (good-doers). They used to sleep but little by night, And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allah) for forgiveness.” (Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51:15-18)
Surah Al-Ahqaf is the final Surah in the series of Surahs that begin with the letters ‘Ha Mim‘. Like the Surahs before it, it points to the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the day and the night as Signs for people who have Faith and certainty. If Allah created this, can he not then give life to the dead? Reference is made to the Scripture of Musa (Moses) peace be upon him, and how a witness from amongst the Children of Israel testified that this Qur’an is from Allah like the Torah before it, but they were too proud to believe (46:10-12). We are enjoined to be dutiful to our parents, especially our mother who bore us in hardship. The Prophet Hud, peace be upon him, is mentioned and how he warned the people of Al-Ahqaf, the curved sand-hills in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula. They rejected the message of Tawhid, and asked him to the bring the punishment if he was truthful. Allah brought a devastating wind to destroy them for their arrogance, and Allah has power over all things (46:21-25). Mention is made of the jinn who heard the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, reciting Qur’an and returned as warners to their people (46:29-32). The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is enjoined to patience with the disbelievers.
Surah Muhammad was revealed in Madinah and contains instructions for warfare and the taking and freeing of captives. We are told that fighting is a test for the believers, and to reward those willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Allah. If Allah had willed he could have destroyed the disbelievers without the need for fighting (47:4). Paradise is described with its rivers of milk, honey and wine, a resting place for the Muttaqun, the pious (47:15). The believers are enjoined to strive hard for Allah’s cause, be patient, obey Allah and His Messenger and to be generous in giving charity.
Surah Al-Fath begins with the declaration that Allah has given the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, a manifest victory, so that He may forgive his past and future sins and complete his favour upon him. Allah sends down As-Sakinah, calmness and tranquility, into the hearts of his believing slaves, so that they may grow in Faith (48:4). Those who made Bai’ah to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, (in the Pledge of Ar-Ridwan), had the Hand of Allah over their hands, and whoever breaks that pledge will bring harm to themselves, and those that uphold it will have a great reward (48:10), and Allah knows what is in the hearts of men. The call to battle separates the true believers from the hypocrites, and those that believe will be rewarded with a great victory, the conquest of Makkah, and many spoils of war. This fullfills the vision of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in which he saw himself and his companions entering Makkah with their heads shaved and cut short (48:27).
Surah Al-Hujurat outlines the manners of the true believers. They should not be hasty in making decisions until Allah and His Messenger have ruled on a matter. They should not raise their voice to the Messenger as they do with one another, rather they should speak to him, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in humble tones. The believers should not convey the words of a Fasiq, a liar without first checking their facts, lest it be a cause for them to regret later (49:6). We should also not judge one another because it may be that others are better than us. We should avoid suspicion and spying and backbiting because it is like eating the flesh of you dead brother (49:12). We should fear Allah. Our nations and tribes are a Sign from Allah, and the most honourable amongst us is the one with the most Taqwa.
Surah Qaf reminds us that the heavens and the earth, the rain and the winds and our crops are Signs for those who believe. Many before us denied Allah’s Signs and theirs was a terrible end. Allah tells us that He is closer to us than our jugular vein (50:16) and that there are two angels with us, recording everything we do (50:17). We will be presented with our Book of Deeds on the Day of Judgement, and on that Day, Shaitan will distance himself from the actions he called us to do, may Allah curse him (50:27). On the Day of Judgement, Paradise will be brought near to the Muttaqun, the pious believer who feared Allah and turned to Him in repentance, and they will have all that they desired and more.
Surah Adh-Dhariyat testifies by the winds that scatter dust, and the clouds that bear the heavy weight of water, and ships that float with ease, and the angels who distribute provision and blessings, that the promise of Allah (Resurrection, reward and punishment) is true (51:1-7). Cursed is the one who turns away from the Message. The Muttaqun, who slept little because they were praying to their Lord, and begging him for forgiveness in the hours before dawn, will be rewarded with Paradise (51:15-18). We then begin the story of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) peace be upon him, and his visit from the angels, bearing glad tiding of a son despite his wife being barren, and Allah is All-Wise and All-Knowing.