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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Scholars' Viewpoint: Linguistic Miracle of Ayat ul Kursi


The The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has been quoted as saying: "Everything has its pinnacle and the pinnacle of the Quran is Surah al-Baqarah. In it there is an ayah which is the greatest in the Qur'an: Ayat al-Kursi" [at-Tirmidhi]

And for this emphasis by none other than the last of the Prophets of Allah that most of the Muslims around the world have memorized this ayat and can be seen hung in the houses, markets or even engraved in  almost all masjids / mosques around the world.

While it is being called the ayah which is the greatest in the Qur'an, for many linguistic scholars, it is also a linguistic miracle from Allah for its every word is meaningful and so rich in its substance. One of the miracles of Ayat ul Kursi is that it is concentric. The ayah is made up of nine sentences, and each sentence is paired with the one concentrically opposite to it, with the fifth sentence being at the centre of the circle.

Here is the Arabic text of the Ayat ul Kursi with English translation:

اللّٰهُ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ الۡحَـىُّ الۡقَيُّوۡمُ  لَا تَاۡخُذُهٗ سِنَةٌ وَّلَا نَوۡمٌ​ؕ لَهٗ مَا فِى السَّمٰوٰتِ وَمَا فِى الۡاَرۡضِ​ؕ مَنۡ ذَا الَّذِىۡ يَشۡفَعُ عِنۡدَهٗۤ اِلَّا بِاِذۡنِهٖ​ؕ يَعۡلَمُ مَا بَيۡنَ اَيۡدِيۡهِمۡ وَمَا خَلۡفَهُمۡ​ۚ وَلَا يُحِيۡطُوۡنَ بِشَىۡءٍ مِّنۡ عِلۡمِهٖۤ اِلَّا بِمَا شَآءَ ۚ وَسِعَ كُرۡسِيُّهُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ​​ۚ وَلَا يَـُٔوۡدُهٗ حِفۡظُهُمَا ​ۚ وَ هُوَ الۡعَلِىُّ الۡعَظِيۡمُ‏ 

Allah, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting by Whom all subsist, there is no god but He. Neither slumber seizes Him, nor sleep; to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth.280 Who is there who might intercede with Him save with His leave? He knows what lies before them and what is hidden from them, whereas they cannot attain to anything of His knowledge save what He wills them to attain. His Dominion overspreads the heavens and the earth, and their upholding wearies Him not. He is All-High, All-Glorious.

Coming over to the wisdom contained in these verses. One of the miracles of Ayat ul Kursi is that it is concentric. The ayah is made up of nine sentences, and each sentence is paired with the one concentrically opposite to it, with the fifth sentence being at the centre of the circle. Here is how it is:

Two sentences contain two names of Allah.
اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ
Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence.
وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ
And He is the Most High, the Most Great.

Following two sentences deny human attributes from Allah:
لَا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلَا نَوْمٌ
Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep.
وَلَا يَئُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا
and their preservation tires Him not.

In the two sentences below, the first verse affirms Allah’s ownership over the heavens and the earth, the second affirms Allah’s kingship over the heavens and the earth:
لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ
To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth
وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ
His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth,

Next two verses mention something impossible by humans with an exception that depends on His will/permission:
مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِندَهُ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِهِ
Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission?
لَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ
and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills.

يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ
He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them.
In fact, He knows what is before this sentence and what is after it.

Now watch the video below on the Linguistic Miracle of Ayat ul Kursi as explained by Nouman Ali Khan, born to a Pakistani family, is an American Muslim speaker and Arabic instructor who founded the Bayyinah Institute for Arabic and Qur’anic Studies, after serving as an instructor of Arabic at Nassau Community College. He has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan.
We have shared this video for our readers to go deeper inside what has been explained. For Qur'an was revealed in a grammar of Arabic which was not even known to even the Arabs of the time. Even today, the linguistic of Qur'an has not been understood by scholars in its totality. The Divine Message that the Qur'an contains thus needs to be very carefully read, understood and acted upon over and over again as after every reading new vistas will be opened for us.

May Allah help us understand His Divine commandments clearly and help us to lead our lives according to these. Aameen.

Author's Note: The views expressed in the video above are that of the concerned scholar. We have shared these view as added information in better understanding of Islam. The reader may or may not agree with the view owing to their own perception. If any one differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

For more Scholarly views and videos, please read our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam.
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