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Surah Alaq : It’s Significance and Relevance |The First Surah of the Quran?

 The first Surah of the Quran is short, only 19 verses long. It’s called Surah Al-Alaq, an essential surah for several reasons. For one, it’s the first revelation that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received from Allah. It’s also a highly miracle-centric surah, filled with signs and wonders that attest to the Quran’s divine origins. Let’s take a closer look at this Surah.

Beginning of the Qur’anic Revelation

Surah Alaq

Surah Al-Alaq is significant because it was Muhammad’s first revelation (PBUH) from Allah. It came to him in a cave on Mount Hira while meditating. The exact date is unknown, but it is believed to have been around 610 CE. This event marks the beginning of his prophethood and the start of his mission to spread Islam to the world.

Reconciliation about which Surah ALLAH revealed first

Muslims, Bukhari, various authentic sources, and most ancient and modern scholars agree. However, Surah Al-Muddaththir, according to some scholars, was the first to be revealed, while Surah Al-Fatihah, also known as “The Opening,” was the second. These divergent points of view can be reconciled as follows:

ALLAH revealed Surah Mudassir after a break

The Holy Prophet experienced a brief pause following the revelation of Surah Al-Alaq or Iqra, during which he was extremely depressed. However, after some time had passed, the Angel Jibrail (c) appeared to him again, and he was confronted with the same circumstance as he was when the ALLAH revealed the first verses of Surah Iqra to him.

The angel gave him the first verses of Surah Al-Muddaththir on this particular occasion. According to this perspective, Surah Al-Muddaththir may have been the first Surah to be revealed following the brief pause.

ALLAH revealed Surah Fatiha as the first complete Surah

Surah Al-Fatihah was, in the opinion of some of the companions, the first Surah to be revealed. They probably intended to imply that this was the first Surah to be fully informed. Without a doubt, a few refrains (of Surahs Al-‘Alaq or Iqra, Al-Muzzammiland Al-Muddaththir) were uncovered prior.

Yet, the other sections of those Surahs were uncovered at later dates. Al-Fatihah is the first Surah that the Holy Prophet received in its entirety, all seven verses at once. [Mazhari]

The revelation of the first five Surahs of Surah Alaq

He received the revelation while he was in cave Hira, so the heavenly messenger came to him and said Il Read. I don’t know how to read, the Holy Prophet responded. Holy Prophet had the impression that he was telling him to read something written down.

The Holy Prophet replied accordingly because the Holy Prophet could not read or write.)

The angel released him and said, “Read,” after embracing and pressing him so hard that he was in extreme pain. I don’t know how to read, the Holy Prophet responded. Then he embraced and pressed him again, this time so hard that he felt extreme pain, before releasing him and saying, Read. The Holy Prophet said I don’t know how to read. Then he embraced the Holy Prophet then he released him and said,

Surah Alaq

Tafseer of Surah ALAQ By Marif ul Quran

اقرأ باسم ربك الذي خلق .] خلق الإنسان من علق {۲}. اقرأ

وربك الأكرم (٣)، الذي علم بالقلم ٠{٤}. علم الإنسان ما لم يعلم

Read with the Name of your Lord Who created [everything ], He created man from a clot of blood. Read, and your Lord is the most gracious, who imparted knowledge by means of the Pen. He taught man what he did not know. 

Tafseer of AYAH 1 of SURAH ALAQ

اقرأ باسم ربك الذي خلق

Read with the Name of your Lord, Who created (everything)

The word b-ismi rabbika in Surah Alaq

The phrase b-ismi rabbika in Surah Alaq refers to the fact that, while you, O Holy Prophet, may be ummiyy or uneducated at the time, As it became clear later on, Allah has the power to grant you the highest level of knowledge, the most elegant style of oration and eloquence, so that you would surpass and subdue the most educated or literate people.

[Mazhari].

Allah has many Beautiful Names, but the holy name Rabb is specifically chosen in this verse, most likely to support and emphasize the theme that Allah cherishes and sustains the Holy Prophet throughout all stages of his development until he is fully consummated. Despite his lack of literacy, he can make him read and recite.

The word al-ladhi khalaqa in Surah Alaq

The Divine attribute of takhliq [creating] is mentioned explicitly in the relative clause al-ladhi khalaqa [Who made], presumably because the first Divine favor is wujud or existence as a result of His drawing beings from the realm of non-existence into the realm of existence. 

Ayah 2 of Surah Alaq

خلق الإنسان من علق

Created man from a clot of blood.

The word khalaqal-insan in Surah Alaq

The preceding verse discussed the creation of a macrocosm, o the large or entire universe in general. The phrase khalaqal-insan in this verse refers to the creation of the microcosm’s best, noblest, or most honorable creation, Man. Looking closely, we notice that man is the epitome of the macrocosm or the immense universe. He is a miniature, analog, or representation of the vast and complex universe. Another reason for emphasizing man is that the purpose of Prophethood, Messengerhood, and Quranic revelation is the implementation of Divine ordinances, injunctions, and laws and acting on them: this is the essential peculiarity of humankind.

The word ` alaq in Surah Alaq

The plural of alaqatun is ‘alaq,’ which means congealed blood. The evolution of man has gone through several stages. His primordial creation is made up of four major elements: earth, water, fire, and air. His procreation begins with insignificant and humble sperm, transforming into congealed blood. It is the embryo’s primary state, which occurs after conception. Then it transforms into a lump of flesh, and the skeletal structure is formed. Alaqah is the middle stage of the creation process. The mention of alaqah covers the beginning and end of the creation process.

Verse [3]  Of Surah Alaq

إقرا وربك الا كرم

Read, and your Lord is the Most Generous

For two reasons, the command Iqra [Read] is repeated in this verse: The command in verse [1] was for the Holy Prophet to read or recite. It is to proclaim, convey, communicate, and teach or preach. It is not unimaginable that the command Iqra is repeated on purpose for emphasis.

The word al akram in Surah Alaq

The Divine attribute al-Akram the Most Gracious indicates that Allah did not make the world or man for any other reason, selfish motive, or His benefit. He did it out of His boundless grace, generosity, and kindness. He bestowed the great favor of existence on the universe without asking for it.

AYAH 4 of Surah Alaq

الذي علم بالقلم 

Who imparted knowledge by means of the Pen?)

The previous verse discussed the creation of man. The current verse refers to man’s education or literacy because the knowledge, as part of education and literacy, distinguishes man from all other animals and creatures and places him atop the creation. There are two methods, methods or media for imparting knowledge:

The oral or spoken method, as well as word of mouth; and the Pen or written method.

At the beginning of Surah, the command Iqra [Read] refers to the oral or spoken method. The current verse, which speaks more explicitly about knowledge transmission, speaks of the written form of recording and transmitting knowledge from generation to generation.

AYAH 5 Of Surah Al Alaq

Taught Man what he did not know.

“The preceding verse was concerned with a particular means of teaching, Pen, the written method.

AYAH 6 – [7 ]

كلا إن الإنسان ليطغى أن رآه استغنى

Man crosses the line because he believes himself to be self-sufficient.)

Although the verse immediately refers to a specific person, Abu Jahl, who insulted the Holy Prophet, the statement is general and draws man’s attention to one of his flaws. A man walks straight as long as he needs others, but when he believes he does not need anyone, he tends to transgress and develops a proclivity for wrongdoing, tyranny, and oppression.

It is typically the behavior of wealthy people, government officials, and those with many children, friends, or servants. They become self-assured and obsessed with the power they wield over their groups.

Abu Jahl is a prime example of this. He was one of Makkah’s well-to-do and prosperous citizens. All of his tribe’s members and the city’s residents respected and obeyed him. He became arrogant and insulted the noblest of creation, the leader of all the Prophets. The following verse warns such arrogant people of the negative consequences of their actions.

AYAH 8 Of Surah Alaq 

Indeed to your Lord is the Return.)

The apparent meaning is that they will return to the Lord after death, giving an account of their good and bad deeds and witnessing firsthand the evil consequences of arrogance. The in-depth meaning of the verse is that, despite having great natural powers and being created in the best of forms, man errs greatly if he believes he can ignore ALLAH’s help and guidance. He constantly needs Divine assistance because his capacities and capabilities, individually and collectively, are limited at best.

As a result, the proud and arrogant man is not self-sufficient. If he thinks deeply about it, he will realize that he requires Allah for every movement and pause. If He has not made any member of the human species dependent on another, he is at least dependent on Allah for all his needs. It is also a fallacy to believe that humans do not require one another. Allah created man as a social being, and as such, he cannot meet all of his needs on his own. Allah has created a social system or network in which all humans rely on one another to meet their needs at some point.

AYAH 9-10 Of Surah Al Alaq

Have you seen him who forbids a slave of Allah when he prays?

The verses from here to the end of the Surah allude to an incident. When the Holy Prophet was commanded to perform the salah, he began doing so privately at first, then publicly in the Sacred Mosque. Abu Jahl prevented him from performing salah and threatened that if he performed salah and prostrated, he would [God forbid!] trample on his neck.

As a result, the proud and arrogant man is not self-sufficient. If he thinks deeply about it, he will realize that he requires Allah for every movement and pause. If He has not made any member of the human species dependent on another, he is -at least dependent on Allah for all of his needs. It is also a fallacy to believe that humans do not require one another. Allah created man as a social being, and as such, he cannot meet all of his needs on his own. Allah has created a social system or network in which all humans rely on one another to meet their needs at some point.

Verse

ألم يعلم بأن الله يرى 

Does he not know that Allah is watching?

This verse responds to Abu Jahl’s threat and does not specify who He is watching. He is watching the pious individual performing the salah and the wretched, miserable individual obstructing the salah’s performance. In this case, the statement states that Allah is watching everything and everyone. It doesn’t specify what will happen at Resurrection because the horrific, terrible, and dreadful scenes are unimaginable.

AYAH 15 of Surah Al Alaq

گلالئن لم ينته لتشفعا بالناصية

No! If he does not desist, We will undoubtedly drag (him) by the forelock,

Verse [15- concluding part] (…We will certainly drag [him ] by the forelock.) The nasfaan is derived from the infinitive safuun, which means to seize and drag, and the word nasiyah means forelock, the front part of a person’s hair that falls forward over the forehead. When a person’s forelock is seized, he becomes helpless in the hands of the seizer.

(No! never obey him, and bow down in sajdah {Prostration), and come closer.) The Holy

When Abu Jahl prevents the Holy Prophet from praying, he is advised to ignore and disobey him. The Holy Prophet is asked to be consistent in his prayer and Prostration.

Acceptance of Supplication in Prostration Posture

According to Abu Dawud, on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (), the Messenger of Allah said, “The closest a servant can be to his Lord is when he is in prostration.”

As a result, they make numerous supplications [while prostrating].

Another authentic tradition states (that supplications should be accepted in the form of Prostration.)

Conclusion:

Surah Alaq is an important surah for Muslims because it was Muhammad’s first revelation (PBUH) received from Allah. It contains many miracles attesting to its divine origins and teaches some of the essential pillars of Islam, such as prayer, Zakat, and submission to Allah’s will. We should all take the time to study this Surah to understand its importance better and apply its lessons to our lives.


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