Sūrah Al-Jumuʿah, al-Munāfiqūn and at-Taghābun (Part 1)
Part 1 of observations of the parallels between Sūrah al-Jumuʿah, Sūrah al-Munāfiqūn and Sūrah at-Taghābun
A few weeks ago, we observed the mirror structure between Sūrah at-Taghābun (Mutual Gain and Loss) and the sūrah after it, Sūrah aṭ-Ṭalāq (Divorce). This week we will explore another structural relationship that Surah at-Taghābun appears to demonstrate, that is, its parallel with the two suwar before it, Sūrah al-Jumuʿah (The Congregation) and Sūrah al-Munāfiqūn (The Hypocrites). Together, these make up the 62nd through 64th suwar of the Quran.
You may recall that we already looked at the possible parallels between Sūrah al-Jumuʿah and Sūrah al-Munāfiqūn. You can check it out at the post below if you have not already.
Sūrah al-Jumuʿah begins almost exactly as Sūrah at-Taghābun does in that they both declare that “everything in the heavens and in the Earth praise Allah (yusabbiḥu lil-lāhi mā fis-samāwāti wa mā fil-ʾardi).” The rest of both ayāt are almost exact compliments of one another as they describe Allah ﷻ as “The King, The Holy, The Almighty, The Wise,” versus “He owns all dominion, He owns all praise and thanks, and He has control over all things.”
Sūrah al-Jumuʿah continues, “He is the One who” sent the Messenger ﷺ to “an unlettered people (ummīyīn),” to help guide them and those who will come after them because they were in “clear error beforehand.”
This is similar to what is said next in Sūrah at-Taghābun. Allah ﷻ says that, “He is the One who” created us, and some of us are disbelievers and others are believers. He knows what we conceal in our chests (of thoughts and beliefs) and thus knows the true state of our faith. He fashioned us in the wombs, which has a subtle connection to the “unlettered people” in Sūrah al-Jumuʿah. The Arabic for an unlettered person is said to come from the same root letters as “mother” because someone unlettered is said to be as illiterate as the one who was just born.
Next come two contrasting descriptions. In Sūrah al-Jumuʿah, Allah ﷻ informs us that Him sending the Messenger ﷺ to us was from His favors and that His favor is immense. On the other hand, in Sūrah at-Taghābun, Allah ﷻ speaks of those who kafarū (disbelieved/were ungrateful), and therefore tasted the evil consequences of their actions in this life and will have a painful punishment in the next life. Thus, we have an implicit connection between denying the Messenger ﷺ and being declared a disbeliever.
Both suwar then speak of those who were presented with the signs and proofs from Allah ﷻ, but denied and turned away from them.
Sūrah al-Jumuʿah speaks of the Jews who considered themselves saved on account of them being a chosen people. Allah ﷻ addresses them saying, “If you claim (zaʿam-tum) that you are allies of Allah, excluding the [other] people, then wish for death, if you should be truthful.” Similarly, the disbelievers in Sūrah at-Taghābun also falsely claim (zaʿama) that they will never be resurrected.
Connected to both of these false claims is the denial of being resurrected for Judgment. In both suwar Allah ﷻ emphatically reminds the listener that resurrection is coming, it is inevitable and we will be held to account for what we used to do.
Sūrah al-Jumuʿah concludes speaking to the believers and informing them of the obligation of the Friday prayer service on “yawm al-Jumuʿah (The Day of Gathering)”. Similarly, the first half of Sūrah at-Taghābun ends with Allah ﷻ telling the believers of “yawma yajmaʿa-kum li yawm al-jamʿ (the Day He will assemble you for the Day of Assembly).”
Next week we’ll continue with the parallels found between Sūrah al-Munāfiqūn and the second half of Sūrah at-Taghābun.
And Allah knows best - والله أعلم
Personal research and reflections