Sura Al-Alaq : The initiation of inscription process and owner of knowledge

Sura Al-Alaq is the 96th sura of Holy Quran. The first five ayats of this sura are the first revealed ayats of Islam’s Holy Book. Some scholars call the sura as “Iqra” since it is the first word of the sura and some call it “Al-Qalem” since it mentions “reading and writing by pen” but the majority of Muslim scholars agree on its name as “Sura Al-Alaq”

By starting the Holy Book as “Read” it is obvious about the emphasizing of education and scientific studies in Islamic aqeedah. However, the fourth ayats indicates something important for mankind on their quest to evaluate knowledge:

Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-

Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:

Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-

He Who taught (the use of) the pen,-

Taught man that which he knew not. (Sura Al-Alaq 96/1-5)

That man should not forget that Allah(j.j) is the One who has taught mankind to use the pen, to teach about how to obtain, preserve and share knowledge. Unfortunately, throughout centuries mankind used knowledge as a weapon and acted as if he is the sole owner of it and claimed that himself achieved his epistemological status, thus leading him into arrogance.

However, Holy Quran strongly suggests us not be in vain just because we can learn, produce and share information. We should never forget that our mental faculties are one of the greatest gift Allah(j.j) has ever allocated and granted to us.

We should also note that in some translations of Holy Quran in English, the word recite is used instead reading or proclaim. Some mufassirs suggests that this “iqra” command is given to Prophet Muhammad(saw) by Allah(j.j) as if to say “We will reveal Quran to you and thou shall recite it loudly to mankind to invite them to it”

In some other translation, the word Honorable is used instead of Bountiful, to translate “Al-akramu”. In both cases, we are reminded to consider “knowledge” as some sort of gift, something precious.

In the rest of the sura, which was revealed later on, is about a personality who tries to prohibit the believer from performing his duties against Allah(j.j), the typical tyranny by the usual rebellious type. Perhaps this is to form the relationship between the person who reads and writes in the name of Allah(j.j) and the person who is swimming in vain and ignorance.

The person who reads and studies and knows that knowledge is a gift from Allah(j.j) will stay away from such personality patiently and solemnly, something mankind needs desperately today, where masses are engulfed in “non-valuable knowledge gain” and act as if they are the only ones who can possess and process that knowledge.

Holy Quran was initiated in its revelation to Prophet Muhammad(saw) by indicating that all knowledge come from Allah(j.j) and goes back to Him and is for Him.





You must be logged in to post a comment Login