Most people born into Muslim families are taught the basic reading of the Quran, and also some if not all of the last ten surahs of the Quran. These surahs are short and very easy to memorize, and thus new Muslims are encouraged to learn a few from among these as well. However, while the surahs may be short in terms of words, they are deep in meaning.
Each surah is worth a multi-article series, so trying to delve into their meanings in one article is near impossible! This article will aim to show how these 10 surahs combined can summarize the life of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and also his message!
For a word-by-word analysis, and to learn the meanings of many of these Surahs, enrol in UnderstandQuran’s 50% and 70% of the Quranic words courses which go into these surahs not only in terms of their word meanings but some of the lessons from it as well!
Surah Feel and Surah Quraysh
These two surahs of the Quran talk about the tribe in which the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was born. Surah Feel talks of how Allah showed favour upon Quraysh by destroying for them their enemy Abraha and his army of elephants through a miracle of Allah. Allah protected His house and destroyed the oppressor.
That very year, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was born. It is very symbolic that the Prophet’s birth coincided with Allah destroying an oppressor. Tyranny and oppression are extinguished by the light of Islam, the message of the Prophet, and justice and peace is achieved through Islam!
In Surah Quraysh, Allah reminds the people of Quraysh about His many blessings upon them. He mentions how He has placed them as head of Allah’s House, and how He allows the Quraysh to be revered by all those in Arabia. Allah makes specific mention of the fact that the Quraysh can go on trade caravans to both the East and the West, in both winter and summer, in peace and safety.
In spite of the lawlessness of Arabia, the fact that they were the custodians of the House of Allah meant that they were not harmed by anyone, and this was a great mercy from Allah. Therefore Allah reminds them to turn in worship and obedience to Allah alone as part of thankfulness for His blessings.
Surah Maun lists the qualities of the people of Quraysh in their opposition to the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Allah starts by mentioning that they disbelieve in the faith of God, and in the Day of Judgement.
Allah further mentions that they abused the rights of orphans and did not feed the needy. Their worship and dua, which was already full of shirk, is singled out because they do it only to be seen by people and to show off. They are threatened with Wail, a valley in the Hellfire! Through this Allah also reminds the Muslims that their prayers should also be done properly and in sincerity to Allah alone!
The Quraysh not only disbelieved in the Prophet, but opposed him as well. Many of them mocked him, and even rejoiced at the death of his son! This was when Allah reminded the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam that He has for the Prophet Al-Kauthar, a river in paradise. It is the river from which believers will be given a drink on the Day of Judgement.
The word also means “an abundance of goodness”, and most certainly has the Prophet been given an abundance of goodness. Straight after, Allah orders the Prophet to keep up his prayers and to sacrifice for the cause of Allah. And Allah ends the surah by making it clear that whoever is opposed to the Prophet will be cut off from all that is good!
Surah Kaafiroon, Surah Nasr, and Surah Lahab
Surah Kaafiroon is a defiant message from Allah that there can never be any mixing in the religion of Allah. The Prophet is ordered to firmly reject the worship of anything other than Allah, and tells the disbelievers that there will be no mixing of faith— to them is their faith and to us is ours!
As Surah Kaafiroon gives the vibe of a struggle between the worship of Allah and the worship of other than Allah, Allah proceeds to give us a glimpse of what is going to be the end result of each of the paths that are chosen.
Surah Nasr is a guarantee from Allah that victory will come for the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and the Prophet is told of the multitudes of people who will accept Islam. However, the believers are reminded to remain humble at victory and to glorify Allah, seek His forgiveness and turn back to Him!
Surah Lahab gives the other side of the coin. Allah gives an example of one of the worst of enemies of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam, Abu Lahab, and tells us of his and his wife’s abode in hell. Cursed is the life of the one who opposes the Prophet, and cursed his afterlife!
Surah Ikhlaas, Falaq, and Naas
After a lot of mention of the life of the Prophet and an example of the struggle that may ensue between belief and disbelief, between imaan and kufr, Allah reminds us all of the central message.
Surah Ikhlaas is the most comprehensive definition of who Allah is, and knowing it well is enough for us to be safe from disbelief and shirk. The belief in Allah and devotion to Him faces attacks from two different angles— external and internal (from within our own selves).
Surah Falaq teaches a dua to seek refuge in Allah from all the attacks from external sources— from the evil of all of creation, from black magic, and from jealousy. Surah Naas teaches a dua to seek refuge in Allah from all the attacks from inside our own selves, and to seek refuge in Shaytan who wants to arouse in ourselves doubts and desires which might destroy our belief in Allah!