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Introduction to The Seventh Group


When we started the teaching series, we had indicated in the introduction that the Qur-aan consists of seven distinct groups of Soorahs{footnote}This is based on the research done by Amin Ahsan Islahi and his teacher Hameeduddeen Faraahi.{/footnote}. Each group of Soorahs starts with one or more Makkan Soorahs and ends with one or more Madeenan Soorahs. Each group covers the life cycle of the Islamic movement, but from a different perspective. Similarly each group talks about Towĥeed, Risaalah and Aakhirah and contains some commands of Allaah. However, in addition to these common features, each group has its own central theme that is particularly emphasized in all Soorahs of that group.

The seventh group of Soorahs starts with Soorah Al-Mulk (Soorah 67) and ends with Soorah An-Naas (Soorah 114) – forty eight (48) Soorahs in total.

The Makkan Soorahs contained in this group are those revealed at the earliest stage of the prophetic mission. They were composed of short, rhythmic verses that were easy on the tongue but extremely powerful in their impact and that were effectively packed with profound messages. Initially, the Soorahs were short, containing only a few verses each. Thus they could be easily remembered and repeated by the listeners. As the Prophet ŝall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (ŜA‘WS) recited them to people, they would be instantly picked up by friends and foes alike and would become the talk of the town. As time passed, the length of the Soorahs increased gradually. These Soorahs shook up the Arabian society quite intensely and polarized Arabs into two factions: those who believed in them became passionately devoted fans of Islam, while others became furiously aggressive foes.

The emphasized theme in this group of Soorahs is the belief in the Day of Resurrection and the life Hereafter (Aakhirah). Arabs believed in Allaah, though not in an appropriate manner. They did not believe in Towĥeed – accepting Allaah as One and Unique God Who does not have any sons, daughters or partners -- but believed in him nonetheless. However, they had lost the concept of the Aakhirah altogether. That was the area where most of the work was needed to bring them to the guidance of Islam. Hence, this was the most emphasized aspect of the early revelations. In them, the imagery of the condition that people will witness on the Last Day and in the Hereafter was vividly presented to help people visualize the reality of Aakhirah. In addition to informing them about various aspects of Aakhirah, its inevitability was expounded through rational evidence based on natural signs that people can easily observe around them. Soorah after Soorah was revealed to inculcate the belief in Aakhirah – each Soorah explaining it in a different style, from a different angle, emphasizing a different aspect and using a different rationale, logic or approach. Subsequent Soorahs built upon the concepts introduced by the earlier Soorahs and answered new questions and objections raised by those who did not want to believe in it.

As mentioned earlier, the Qur-aan is comprised of the instructions and guidance that Allaah provided for building excellence in human personality and human society. Looking at this group from that perspective and using the example of constructing a building, we can say that this group was designed to dig into the human psyche and lay strong foundations for the edifice of excellence to be built thereupon. They provide strong reasons for people to excel in their dealings and behaviour for the pleasure of Allaah and to stay away from anything bad in order to avoid His displeasure.

The ancillary theme of this group is to warn the disbelievers of the punishment from Allaah in this world and in the Hereafter for their disbelief. This message was reinforced through generally-known historical anecdotes of previous nations. They were aware of the destruction of other nations but they never pondered over them. These Soorahs aimed at helping them connect the cause to the consequences by indicating that the destruction of earlier nations was a punishment for their rejection of the messengers of Allaah sent to them. These revelations also helped them understand that the universal disaster that will happen on the Last Day is as easy and as natural to occur as the occurrence of the local disasters.

 

 

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