Sūrat al-‘Alaq, No. 96. Revealed in Makkah, 19 verses. Commentators of the Quran believe that this was the first sūra to be revealed to the Prophet sallal-lāhū ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam.
Merits of reciting the Sūra.
Imam al-Sādiq ‘alayhis-salām has said: Whoever recites Sūrat ‘Alaq during the day or at night and dies that day or night will die as a martyr and Allah will raise him as a martyr, and he will be brought back to life as one who fought in the way of Allah with the Messenger of Allah.
Such a status will be for those who understand and act on the contents of the sūra.
Synopsis of contents
1) The command to read and learn (verses 1-5)
2) Cause of rebellion of the human being (verses 6-8)
3) Those who hinder others from the right path (verses 9-14)
4) The punishment awaiting such people (verses 15-18)
5) Command for Sajdah (verses 19)
Some Lessons from the Sūra
1) Reading is the pathway to learning.
2) Reading and learning must be in the way of Allah, to gain closeness to Him.
3) Human beings rebel against Allah ‘azza wajall when they think they are needless.
4) Rebellious transgressors want to prevent others also from accepting faith.
Select verses for memorization in Arabic and English.
1) 96:1-5 – Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is Most Honorable, Who taught (to write) with the pen. Taught man what he knew not.
2) 96:6-7 – Indeed man becomes rebellious, when he considers himself without need.
Activity for self-study
Reading is the path to knowledge. Knowledge helps people make meaning of life and brings them closer to Allah subhānahu wata‘ālā. What are your reading habits? How can you read more, and read appropriate material for self-growth? Make a reading plan for the coming year – choose some categories of books you want to read, list some names for each category and plan your schedule. Many online resources help with the idea of making a personal reading plan. It is a good way to start the year after the month of Ramadan.
Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazi (Ed.) Tafsīr Namūne; M. H. Shakir, Holy Qur’an Translation; Ali Quli Qarai, The Qur’an With a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation.
Past lessons of Sūra Familiarization available at:
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