What chapter(s) and verses are included in Juz’ 9?:
The ninth juz’ of the Qur’an contains parts of two chapters of the Quran: the last part of Surah Al-A'raf (from verse 88) and the first part of Surah Al-Anfal (to verse 40).
When were the verses of this juz’ revealed?:
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 (the "Spoils of War") was revealed directly after the Battle of Badr.
- "Those who follow the apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own scriptures -- in the law and the Gospel. For he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil. He allows them as lawful what is good and pure, and prohibits them from what is bad and impure. He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him, it is they who will prosper." 7:157
- "As to those who hold fast by the Book and establish regular prayer, never shall We allow the reward of the righteous to perish." 7:170
- "When the Quran is read, listen to it with attention, and hold your peace, so that you may receive Mercy. And bring your Lord to remembrance deep in your soul, with humility and in reverence, without loudness in words, in the mornings and evenings. Do not be of those who are unheedful. Those who are near to their Lord, disdain not to worship Him. They celebrate His praises, and bow down before Him." 7:204-206
- "Call to mind when you were a small group, despised throughout the land, and afraid that men might despoil and kidnap you. But He provided you with a safe asylum, strengthened you with His aid, and gave you good things for sustenance, that you might be grateful. Oh you who believe! betray not the trust of Allah and the Messenger, nor misappropriate knowingly things entrusted to you." 8:26-27
What is the main theme of this juz’?:
Sura Al-A'raf continues from the previous section, with a reminder that previous generations of believers faced the same difficulties as the Prophet Muhammad and his followers.
The stories of previous prophets continue, including: Shu'aib, Moses, and Aaron. 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 verses 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).
The next surah (chapter), 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 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).