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    طه

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    Juz 16: “True Stories”

    AYAT 1-36

    In the past few surahs, Allah has presented numerous examples proving how those who believe in Him will succeed, and how those who reject Him fail. This recurring theme is further emphasized due to the extreme loss and suffering that the Prophet and his Companions were going through, as well as the generations of followers who are destined to come after him. As the stories become increasingly intricate and thorough, revealing the methods and Divine plan of Allah’s decree, they provide greater reassurance to the believers, inspiring them to continue adhering to His guidance. This surah is no different. In fact, while Surah al-Kahf introduces stories of lesser-known figures in history, and Surah Maryam highlights the stories of more widely recognized Prophets, Surah Taha goes into great depth about the details of Prophet Musa’s عليه السلام struggles. His hardships, when compared to those of all other Prophets, bear the greatest resemblance to those Prophet Muhammad ﷺ faced during his mission. Moreover, Allah uses this Surah to present the closest historical parallel of His Divine protection and victory, and how it is so evident that even his opponents of other Abrahamic faiths will acknowledge it. Allah opens this surah by declaring that, ultimately, this Qur’an will not be a source of disappointment for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and that his experience of success will be similar – and even greater – than the success of Prophet Musa عليه السلام.
    Starting from the early stage of their Prophethood, we learn that both Prophet Musa عليه السلام and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ shared the same isolation that initiated their first revelations; Prophet Musa عليه السلام was at the valley of Tuwa, while Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was in the cave of Ḥirā’.
    Starting from the early stage of their Prophethood, we learn that both Prophet Musa عليه السلام and Prophet Muhammad ﷺ shared the same isolation that initiated their first revelations; Prophet Musa عليه السلام was at the valley of Tuwa, while Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was in the cave of Ḥirā’. We also learn how daunting Prophet Musa’s عليه السلام task was: to return to Egypt and invite the Pharaoh to Islam thereby liberating the Children of Israel. The likelihood of him succeeding in this mission on his own seems impossible. But with Allah on his side, we find that success is inevitable. Similarly, the task of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to invite the Arabs to Islam and abandon the idols they had been worshipping for hundreds of years is an immense challenge, but with the help of Allah, his success is already written.

    AYAT 37-77

    In this section, Allah reminds Prophet Musa عليه السلام of how he had consistently remained under His protection since his childhood. If one considers the chances of a baby floating down a river on its own, and subsequently being found, raised, and protected in the household of the very man who had publicly ordered for babies like him to be killed, it would have been considered impossible. Nevertheless, this is the story of Prophet Musa عليه السلام which took place with Allah’s permission. And just as Allah protected him in the house of the Pharaoh as an infant, Prophet Musa عليه السلام should have no doubt that He will continue to protect him now as a Prophet.
    If one considers the chances of a baby floating down a river on its own, and subsequently being found, raised, and protected in the household of the very man who had publicly ordered for babies like him to be killed, it would have been considered impossible.
    Just as promised, Allah did indeed protect him and his brother Harun عليه السلام, and we learn that they confronted the Pharaoh with numerous miracles. However, none of them had any effect on his heart. To counter any potential doubts one may have that these miracles were inherently unconvincing, Allah reveals to us how the Pharaoh himself unintentionally proved how conclusive these miracles were. Pharaoh recruited magicians to counter Prophet Musa عليه السلام, who themselves confirmed that these miracles were indeed from Allah and submitted to Him! This is how Allah turns the plots of His opponents against them. Likewise, any plot that is waged against Prophet Muhammad ﷺ can be expected to fail in a similar manner.

    AYAT 78-98

    In this section, we see more parallels between the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and that of Prophet Musa عليه السلام. Like Prophet Musa عليه السلام, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was inspired to leave his homeland and migrate to a blessed land that would be safer for his followers. In addition, Prophet Musa عليه السلام went out to a remote location to speak to his Lord, and even requested to see Him (as mentioned in Surah al-Aʿraf) while Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was given the privilege of the Night Ascension. Moreover, Prophet Musa عليه السلام brought new Divine laws to his people and struggled against the hypocrites to establish the framework for a faith-based civilization. Many years later, the Prophet ﷺ did the same in Madinah.
    Just as promised, Allah did indeed protect him and his brother Harun عليه السلام, and we learn that they confronted the Pharaoh with numerous miracles. However, none of them had any effect on his heart.
    Lastly, we discover that the champions of disbelief – Pharaoh and Sāmirī – both face a tragic ending, while Musa عليه السلام and his true followers ultimately live on to reap their rewards in this life and the next.

    AYAT 99-135

    As we approach the end of the Surah, Allah reintroduces the theme of the Day of Judgment, as He has done in several surahs that have preceded this one. One of the wisdoms behind this is that the disbelief of the Prophet’s ﷺ opponents was primarily motivated and driven by their denial of the Resurrection and Divine reckoning. In the case of the polytheists, they didn’t believe in it at all, while the Jews and Christians had distorted the facts about its reality and fabricated details of its process. Allah describes the total authority He will command on that Day. Human beings will no longer have control over their movements or their words, and it will become evident that they are entirely at the mercy of Allah’s will.

    Lastly, Allah directs us to the story of Adam and Ḥawwā’ عليهم السلام. He reminds us that the strategy of materialism that Iblīs adopted to lead them to misguidance is the same strategy that he continues to use to deceive the generations after them. Allah wants for us to consciously and voluntarily reject that path, and so He gives us abundant signs to inspire us, and reveals stories of the people before us so that we can avoid repeating their mistakes. Yet, even when people insist on rejecting His guidance, He still gives them respite. By offering them this additional opportunity to reconsider, He leaves them with no excuse when the Day of Reckoning comes. He has given them a Messenger ﷺ, a Book of clear guidance, and details of what to expect. So, if anyone wants to prepare for that Day and succeed, he should pray and submit, and anyone who ignores the approach of that Day will learn the lessons, in the same way the Pharaoh has, when they experience their own demise.

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    مَا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَىٰ

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    إِلَّا تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَىٰ

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    تَنزِيلًا مِّمَّنْ خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ وَالسَّمَاوَاتِ الْعُلَى

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    الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَىٰ

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    لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَىٰ

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    وَإِن تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى

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    اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ لَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ

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    وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ

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