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Juz’ 12 – The Prophet’s Burden

Today’s Juz’ covers Hud [11]:6 to Yusuf [12]:52.
The themes discussed in these ayat include (1) a defense of Muhammad’s prophetic role; (2) Noah—prophet to his people; (3) Hud—prophet to ‘Ad; (4) Salih—prophet to Thamud; (5) Lot—prophet to Sodom; (6) Shu‘ayb (Jethro)—prophet to Midian; and (7) the first part of the story of Joseph (Yusuf).

 

 

Ramadan Mubarak.

The ayat I have chosen for today highlight God’s desire to save all people—even those who resist him.

“So [Muhammad], We tell you the stories of the prophets to make your heart firm and in these accounts truth has come to you, as well as lessons and reminders for the believers. Say to those who do not believe, ‘Do whatever you can: we too are doing what we can,’ and ‘Wait: we too are waiting.’ All that is hidden in the heaven and earth belongs to God, and all authority goes back to Him. So [Prophet], worship Him, and put your trust in Him: your Lord is never unaware of what [all of] you are doing.” (Hud [11]:120-123)

 

These ayat conclude a sura devoted to the accounts of the eventful ministries of five prophets (Noah, Hud, Salih, Lot and Shu‘ayb [Jethro]). The passage shows that God never executes judgment on a people without first sending somebody to call them to repentance.

The prophetic task can sometimes be frustrating as the very ones who are the target of salvation will be so hardened, that the words of warning will never penetrate their hearts. Nonetheless, the one who warns must be steadfast in duty, knowing that the “Lord is never unaware of what [those who trust Him] are doing.” (Hud [11]:123) The biblical prophet Hazqiyal (Ezekiel) reminds us of the importance of maintaining a righteous witness even when it seems as if people are not paying attention.

 

Listen: 

“‘Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” and you give them no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.” (Ezekiel 3:17-19, NKJV)

 

Prayer:

In the name of God the merciful and compassionate, I thank you for calling me from darkness to light. Use me as an instrument to spread your redeeming love to those who are not yet on the righteous path. Help me not to be judgmental, but to be a loving channel of your saving grace. In Your holy name I pray, amen.