What chapter(s) and verses are included in Juz 4?:
The fourth juz of the Quran starts from verse 93 of the third chapter (Al Imran 93) and continues to verse 23 of the fourth chapter (An Nisaa 23).
When were the verses of this juz revealed?:
The verses of this section were largely revealed in the early years after the migration to Madinah, as the Muslim community was setting up its first social and political center. Much of this section relates directly to the Muslim community's defeat at the Battle of Uhud in the third year after the migration.
"And hold fast, together, by the Rope which Allah stretches out for you, and be not divided among yourselves. And remember with gratitude Allah's favor on you. For you were enemies, and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His Grace, you became brethren. And you were on the brink of the Pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make His Signs clear to you, that you may be guided." 3:103
"O you who believe! Persevere with patience and constancy. Vie in such perseverance. Strengthen each other, and fear Allah, that you may prosper." 3:200
What is the main theme of this juz?:
The mid-portion of Surah Al-Imran discusses the relationship between Muslims and the "People of the Book" (i.e. Christians and Jews). The Qur'an points out similarities between those who follow "the religion of Abraham," and repeats several times that while some People of the Book are righteous, there are many who have gone astray. Muslims are urged to stand together for righteousness, repel evil, and hold together in unity.
The remainder of Surah Al-Imran points out lessons to be learned from the Battle of Uhud, which was an extremely disappointing loss to the Muslim community. During this battle, Allah tested the believers and it became clear who was selfish or cowardly, and who was patient and disciplined. Believers are urged to seek forgiveness for their weaknesses, and not to lose heart or despair. Death is a reality, and every soul will be taken at its appointed time. One should not fear death, and those who died in battle have mercy and forgiveness from Allah. The chapter ends with reassurances that victory is found through Allah's strength, and that the enemies of Allah will not prevail.
The fourth chapter of the Quran (An Nisaa) then begins. This chapter's title means "Women," as it deals with many issues regarding women, family life, marriage, and divorce. Chronologically, the chapter also falls shortly after the Muslims' defeat at the Battle of Uhud. So this first part of the chapter largely deals with practical issues resulting from that defeat -- how to care for orphans and widows from the battle, and how to divide the inheritance of those who had died.