Benefits of Surah Al Qalam

Benefits and Insights of Surah Al Qalam 

Surah Al Qalam, a chapter rich in significance, offers profound insights into life’s intricacies and guidance. Delving into its verses illuminates the benefits of Surah Al Qalam, shedding light on its historical context and unique features.

Table of Contents

The Special Relationship Between Disjointed Letters and Quranic Chapters

Considering the aforementioned points, it becomes evident that chapters commencing with disjointed letters share a unique coherence in content and context, distinct from other chapters in the Quran. This is underscored by the thematic resemblance observed in the initial verses of many such chapters.

Upon closer examination of these similarities, it becomes apparent that a special correlation exists between these letters and the thematic essence of the chapters they introduce. For instance, Surah al-A‘raaf, prefaced by the letters ‘alif laam mim saad’ (المص), encapsulates the themes of chapters beginning with both ‘alif laam mim’ (الم) and ‘saad’ (ص) within its verses. This pattern is discernible across various chapters, further reinforcing the interconnectedness of these chapters and their introductory letters.

Surah Al Qalam and Disjointed Letters

It can thus be inferred that these disjointed letters hold divine secrets shared solely between God and His Prophet. Their meanings remain veiled from ordinary comprehension, yet we may discern a special connection between them and the chapters’ contents where they occur.

Through diligent study and exploration of the parallels between these letters and the chapters they preface, further secrets may unfold, offering deeper insights into the divine wisdom encapsulated within.

The Sacred Oath of the Pen: Surah Al Qalam

ن ۚ وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ ﴿1﴾

The opening verse of Surah Al Qalam begins with the solemn oath, “Nun. By the Pen and what they write.” The term “Qalam” signifies the instrument used for writing, highlighting the profound significance of recorded knowledge.

Derived from “Satara,” the verb “yasturun” alludes to the act of writing, emphasizing the preservation of knowledge and events through written records. This oath underscores the divine blessing bestowed upon humanity through the gift of writing, enabling the documentation of hidden truths and the passage of time.

Surah Al Qalam commences with this oath to remind believers of the pivotal role of writing tools and recorded knowledge in divine guidance. Through writing, humanity can access timeless wisdom, bringing distant events and hidden truths into the present moment. Thus, the Pen symbolizes the power of knowledge and the profound impact of recorded history on human understanding and spiritual growth.

The Divine Sanity: Prophet Muhammad in Surah Al Qalam

مَا أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ ﴿2﴾

In Surah Al Qalam, verse 2 declares, “By your Lord’s blessing, you are not, crazy.” This verse elucidates the divine blessing of Prophethood bestowed upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). His elevated status as a Prophet negates any possibility of insanity or intellectual dysfunction.

The blessing referred to here is none other than Prophethood itself. This divine appointment serves as a clear indication of the Prophet’s soundness of mind and intellect. Indeed, God would not have chosen someone for this sacred position if there were any doubt regarding their sanity.

Essentially, the confirmation of the Prophet’s sanity is intertwined with the validation of his Prophethood. The reasons that establish his role as a Prophet also affirm his mental clarity. Without this assurance, the establishment of Divine guidance, crucial for the functioning of society, would be jeopardized.

The Prophet’s Ever-Continuing Grace in Surah Al Qalam

وَإِنَّ لَكَ لَأَجْرًا غَيْرَ مَمْنُونٍ ﴿3﴾

Surah Al Qalam, verse 3, assures the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), stating, “And yours indeed will be an everlasting reward.” 

The term “mamnun” (ممنون) originates from the root word “mann” (منّ), denoting something that is discontinued or interrupted. However, in this verse, the negative form of the word implies the opposite, conveying the idea of uninterrupted or continuous reward.

This verse serves as a reassurance to the Prophet, urging him to endure the trials and tribulations of Prophethood. Despite the challenges he faces, his rewards from God are eternal and uninterrupted. His sacrifices and struggles in the path of God are not in vain, as they are met with everlasting grace and divine favor.

The Noble Character of the Prophet in Surah Al Qalam

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴿4﴾

In Surah Al Qalam, verse 4, it is proclaimed, “And indeed you possess a great character.”

The term “khuluq” (خُلُق) encompasses the habitual disposition of the soul, influencing one’s actions and behaviors. These habits may manifest as either virtues or vices, yet when used in their absolute sense, they signify virtues and good character.

While this verse praises the Prophet Muhammad’s noble character in isolation, within the context of the Surah, it specifically alludes to his exemplary social ethics. His character is defined by virtues such as steadfastness in truth, patience in the face of persecution, forgiveness, tolerance, and generosity.

Surah Al Qalam highlights the Prophet’s profound moral integrity and ethical conduct, emphasizing his role as a paragon of virtuous behavior. Through his actions and teachings, he exemplifies the highest standards of morality, serving as a guiding light for humanity.

The Importance of Ethics in Islam

The Quran emphasizes the moral character and ethics of the Prophet Muhammad, referring to it as “khuluqin azim” (glorious character). This underscores the paramount importance of moral conduct in Islam.

Several narrations further elucidate the significance of ethical behavior in Islam:

1. “Good character is the cornerstone of all virtuous acts.” This narration highlights the centrality of moral excellence in Islam, emphasizing its pivotal role in shaping one’s actions and interactions.

2. “The foundation of belief is [adopting a] good character and adorning oneself with the truth.” This narration underscores the inseparable connection between faith and moral conduct. A person’s adherence to truthfulness and virtuous behavior is integral to their practice of Islam.

Surah Al Qalam’s Conclusive Message

فَسَتُبْصِرُ وَيُبْصِرُونَ ﴿5﴾
You will see and they will see,
بِأَييِّكُمُ الْمَفْتُونُ ﴿6﴾
Which one of you is crazy.

Verses 5 and 6 of Surah Al Qalam draw a definitive conclusion from the preceding verses, affirming the Prophet’s sanity, prophethood, noble character, and assured reward from God. The verses assert that the truth of his message will soon become unmistakably clear, distinguishing between those who embrace guidance and those who persist in denial and accusation.

These verses pose a rhetorical question, challenging the deniers to reflect on their accusations against the Prophet. They will soon witness the clarity of truth, realizing who truly embodies sanity and righteousness.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ ﴿7﴾

Moreover, verse 7 underscores the omniscience of God regarding human guidance and misguidance. God, as the ultimate source of guidance, possesses the perfect knowledge of those who stray from His path and those who adhere to it. Since guidance originates from God Himself, He alone knows the true state of each individual’s spiritual journey.

Surah Al Qalam’s Call to Uphold Truth

فَلَا تُطِعِ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ ﴿8﴾
So do not obey the deniers,
وَدُّوا لَوْ تُدْهِنُ فَيُدْهِنُونَ ﴿9﴾

Verses 8 and 9 of Surah Al Qalam build upon the preceding discourse, urging believers not to yield to the demands of deniers. The verses caution against compliance with those who seek to manipulate the truth for their own ends.

The term “dahana” (دهن), meaning oil, metaphorically implies sugar-coating or blandishment. “Mudahina” (مداهنة) refers to the act of sugar-coating or compromising the truth. These verses elucidate the deniers’ desire for the Prophet to compromise his beliefs in exchange for their cooperation.

The deniers sought to manipulate the Prophet into accommodating their beliefs, hoping to reach a compromise that would serve their interests. They aimed to persuade him to soften his stance on matters of faith, promising reciprocity in return.

Historical accounts corroborate this narrative, indicating that the disbelievers proposed such compromises to the Prophet. They urged him to cease his objections to their gods, promising to reciprocate by refraining from objections to his beliefs.

Surah Al Qalam’s Warning Against Immorality

Surah Al Qalam condemns various forms of vice and immorality, urging believers to refrain from following those who embody such qualities.

وَلَا تُطِعْ كُلَّ حَلَّافٍ مَّهِينٍ ﴿10﴾

Verse 10 cautions against obeying “any vile swearer,” referring to individuals who excessively swear oaths without regard for truth or reverence for God. Such individuals lack respect for the sanctity of divine names and demonstrate a disregard for moral integrity.

هَمَّازٍ مَّشَّاءٍ بِنَمِيمٍ ﴿11﴾

Furthermore, the Surah warns against the “scandal-monger, talebearer” in verse 11. These individuals actively seek faults in others and engage in gossip and backbiting, thereby sowing discord and corrupting relationships.

مَّنَّاعٍ لِّلْخَيْرِ مُعْتَدٍ أَثِيمٍ ﴿12﴾

Verse 12 identifies those who “hinder all good” and are “sinful transgressors.” These individuals obstruct goodness and engage in excessive sin, perpetuating oppression and immorality.

Surah Al Qalam’s Condemnation

عُتُلٍّ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ زَنِيمٍ ﴿13﴾

Verse 13 portrays such individuals as “callous and, on top of that, baseborn.” The term “‘Utull” (عُتُلّ) encompasses various interpretations, including someone who exhibits immorality and cruelty, showing great enmity towards truth. Additionally, it may denote someone who indulges in excess but deprives others of basic necessities, or one who orchestrates imprisonment and torture through deceitful schemes.

Furthermore, the verse refers to these individuals as “baseborn” or “illegitimate.” The term “zaneem” (زنیم) describes a person without clear lineage or ancestry, lacking affiliation with any nation. This characterization highlights their moral depravity and lack of integrity.

The Pitfalls of Wealth and Children

أَن كَانَ ذَا مَالٍ وَبَنِينَ ﴿14﴾

Surah Al Qalam unveils the underlying reason for the moral degradation of certain individuals: their wealth and children. Verse 14 attributes their immoral behavior to the privilege of wealth and the responsibilities of parenthood.

The possession of wealth and children led these individuals to rebel against God. Instead of expressing gratitude for their blessings and utilizing them for righteous purposes, they became ungrateful and estranged from God. Consequently, vices flourished within them, leading to their moral downfall.

This verse serves as a rebuke, condemning their ingratitude and moral decay resulting from their material abundance. It underscores the dangers of wealth and parenthood when not accompanied by gratitude and responsibility towards God.

Surah Al Qalam’s Warning

سَنَسِمُهُ عَلَى الْخُرْطُومِ ﴿16﴾

Surah Al Qalam, verse 16, ominously proclaims, “Soon We shall brand him on his snout.”

This verse foretells a divine punishment for the deniers on the Day of Judgment. They will bear a mark on their noses, serving as a symbol of their abjectness and disgrace. This mark will be a clear indication of their rejection of divine guidance and their arrogance in disbelief.

On the Day of Resurrection, this mark will be prominently displayed on the faces of the deniers, ensuring that they are readily recognized by all. It will serve as a perpetual reminder of their rejection of truth and their defiance against God’s commandments.

Surah Al Qalam’s Parable of the Garden

Verses 17-33 of Surah Al Qalam present a cautionary tale aimed at the wealthy elites of the Prophet’s time. The story revolves around the affluent owners of a garden who rebelled against God’s commandments.

In this parable, the garden serves as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Despite being blessed with abundance, the owners become arrogant and disobedient. They refuse to acknowledge God’s sovereignty and fail to fulfill their obligations towards the less fortunate.

As a consequence of their arrogance and ingratitude, God sends a calamity that destroys their garden, leaving it barren and desolate. This serves as a stark reminder of the transient nature of worldly wealth and the importance of humility and gratitude before God.

The parable serves as a warning to the wealthy of the time, urging them to reflect on their actions and attitudes towards God and their fellow human beings. It emphasizes the need for humility, gratitude, and compassion, lest they suffer the same fate as the owners of the garden.

A Warning Against Greed and Injustice

The narrative in Surah Al Qalam recounts the story of a man who owned a bountiful garden and annually distributed its fruits to the needy. Upon his demise, his heirs, driven by greed, plotted to withhold the garden’s bounty from the poor, save for one dissenting voice among them.

Despite the objections, the majority of the heirs, motivated by stinginess, conspired to secretly gather the fruits early in the morning to prevent the poor from receiving their rightful share. However, upon arriving at the garden, they were met with a devastating sight: the once lush garden lay in ruins, reduced to ashes.

Initially bewildered, they eventually realized that their misdeeds had led to divine punishment. Recognizing their deviation from their father’s righteous path, they acknowledged their own deprivation as a consequence of their attempt to deprive the needy. The dissenting son, who had warned them from the outset, seized the opportunity to remind them of their wrongdoing.

Their encounter with divine wrath served as a stern admonition, prompting them to engage in self-reproach and mutual rebuke for their reprehensible actions. This narrative serves as a cautionary tale, illustrating the consequences of greed, injustice, and disobedience to divine commandments. It underscores the importance of upholding principles of generosity, compassion, and righteousness in dealings with others, lest one incurs divine retribution.

Lessons from Surah Al Qalam

The narrative in Surah Al Qalam offers profound insights into divine wrath and its manifestations, serving as a cautionary tale for humanity.

Divine wrath, as illustrated in the Quran, can manifest in various forms: upon individuals, as seen in the case of Pharaoh; upon their wealth, as demonstrated by the heirs of the garden; or upon both, exemplified by Qarun, whose earth was caused to swallow him and his abode.

From this story, several lessons emerge:

1. The narrative admonishes the stingy, emphasizing the importance of generosity and charity. This theme is reiterated throughout the chapter, highlighting the detrimental effects of hindering goodness.

2. It underscores the significance of upholding the noble practices of our ancestors, urging continuity in virtuous deeds and traditions.

3. The story serves as a stark reminder that sins lead to deprivation. It is narrated that Divine sustenance is proportionally withheld from those who transgress.

4. It emphasizes that the value of wealth is contingent upon its ethical utilization. When wealth becomes a distraction from divine remembrance, it loses its worth and may incur divine retribution.

5. Lastly, the narrative underscores the obligatory nature of helping the poor and needy. Unlike recommended acts, neglecting this duty may result in divine punishment.

Reflections from Surah Al Qalam

Surah Al Qalam, through the story of the garden’s inheritors, imparts a timeless lesson for all humanity. It reveals a fundamental truth about the nature of divine tests and the consequences of arrogance and ingratitude.

God tests individuals through blessings like wealth and children. Yet, often, these very blessings become the catalysts for rebellion and arrogance. Man, in his pride, may forget his dependence on God, viewing material possessions and personal power as substitutes for divine guidance. Consequently, he strays from the path of righteousness, oblivious to the impending consequences of his actions.

However, divine punishment serves as a wake-up call for the heedless. In their moment of reckoning, they realize the folly of their ways and lament their past arrogance. They yearn for divine mercy, pledging to express gratitude for blessings bestowed upon them.

Moreover, the narrative suggests that disgrace or downfall in society can serve as a transformative lesson for others. Sometimes, individuals or groups must face public disgrace to serve as cautionary tales, prompting societal reflection and cultural change.

The Severity of the Hereafter’s Punishment

The Quran emphasizes that the punishment awaiting in the Hereafter surpasses any affliction in this world. Unlike worldly punishment, which may have an end and potential remedies, the torment of the Hereafter is eternal and all-encompassing.

In the Hereafter, there is no escape from the consequences of one’s actions. The punishment extends beyond the physical realm, impacting every aspect of an individual’s existence. It is a perpetual state of suffering, with no respite or cessation.

Conversely, the punishment in this world, though severe, can sometimes be mitigated or rectified. It may end with the demise of the individual, offering a temporary reprieve from suffering.

The Inequality of Muslims and Wrongdoers in the Hereafter

أَفَنَجْعَلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ كَالْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿35﴾
Shall We treat those who submit [to Us] as [We treat] the guilty?
مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ ﴿ ﴿36﴾
What is the matter with you? How do you judge!

Surah Al Qalam addresses the claim of the deniers of the Hereafter, who assert equality or superiority over Muslims in the afterlife. Verses 35 and 36 emphatically refute this notion, questioning the logic behind such an assertion.

The verse “Shall We treat those who submit [to Us] as [We treat] the guilty?” challenges the idea of equating Muslims, who submit to God’s will, with wrongdoers who deny His existence. It highlights the inherent injustice in such a comparison.

Moreover, the subsequent verse, “What is the matter with you? How do you judge!” serves as a rebuke, questioning the flawed reasoning behind the deniers’ claim. It implies that such a judgment is illogical and inconsistent with sound intellect.

The Deniers’ Unsupported Claims

أَمْ لَكُمْ كِتَابٌ فِيهِ تَدْرُسُونَ ﴿37﴾

Do you possess a scripture in which you read

إِنَّ لَكُمْ فِيهِ لَمَا تَخَيَّرُونَ ﴿38﴾

Surah Al Qalam challenges the baseless assertions of the deniers regarding their supposed superiority or equality in the Hereafter. Verses 37 and 38 refute their claims by questioning the existence of any written proof to substantiate their beliefs.

The verse “Do you possess a scripture in which you read” challenges the deniers to produce any divine scripture that supports their claims. It highlights the absence of any written evidence or revelation to validate their assertions.

Furthermore, the subsequent verse, “That you shall have in it whatever you choose?” questions the validity of their claims by insinuating that their beliefs are based on wishful thinking rather than divine guidance. It suggests that their assertions lack substance and are merely products of their own desires.

The Deniers’ Unsupported Claims

أَمْ لَكُمْ أَيْمَانٌ عَلَيْنَا بَالِغَةٌ إِلَىٰ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ۙ إِنَّ لَكُمْ لَمَا تَحْكُمُونَ ﴿39﴾

Do you have a pledge binding on Us until the Day of Resurrection, that you shall indeed have whatever you decide?

Surah Al Qalam continues to challenge the assertions of the deniers regarding their imagined superiority in the Hereafter. Verse 39 questions the basis of their claims by highlighting the absence of any verbal commitment or pledge from God to fulfill their desires until the Day of Resurrection.

The verse “Do you have a pledge binding on Us until the Day of Resurrection, that you shall indeed have whatever you decide?” underscores the lack of any divine commitment or promise to grant the deniers their wishes. It emphasizes the impossibility of such a pledge, indicating that God’s decrees are not subject to human whims and desires.

Furthermore, the word “ayman” with its attribute “balighah” refers to solemn vows that are unbreakable and enduring until the Day of Resurrection. This further emphasizes the gravity and permanence of any pledge made by God, highlighting the absurdity of the deniers’ claims.

Challenging the Deniers’ Claims

Surah Al Qalam continues to dismantle the assertions of the deniers by posing two rhetorical questions to expose the absurdity of their claims. 

سَلْهُمْ أَيُّهُم بِذَٰلِكَ زَعِيمٌ ﴿40﴾
Ask them, which of them will aver [any of] that!

The verse “Ask them, which of them will aver [any of] that!” challenges the deniers to provide evidence or custodianship over their claim of equality with the believers. By framing the question in the third person form, the verse emphasizes the lack of credibility in the deniers’ assertions. It highlights the irrationality of their claim and implies that only a deluded individual would assert such falsehood.

أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ فَلْيَأْتُوا بِشُرَكَائِهِمْ إِن كَانُوا صَادِقِينَ ﴿41﴾
Do they have any ‘partners’ [that they claim for Allah]? Then let them produce their partners, if they are truthful.

Similarly, the verse “Do they have any ‘partners’ [that they claim for Allah]? Then let them produce their partners, if they are truthful” refutes the deniers’ belief in partners or intercessors besides God. It challenges them to produce any such partners to validate their claims. The rhetorical nature of the question implies the impossibility of their claim and exposes the fallacy of their beliefs.

A Portrayal in Surah Qalam

يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَن سَاقٍ وَيُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ ﴿42﴾
The day when the catastrophe occurs and they are summoned to prostrate themselves, they will not be able [to do it].

Surah Al Qalam vividly depicts the immense challenges and hardships that will befall the deniers on the Day of Judgment. The verse “The day when the catastrophe occurs and they are summoned to prostrate themselves, they will not be able [to do it]” paints a stark picture of the overwhelming difficulties that await them.

The metaphorical phrase “yukshafu ‘an saaq” (revealing one’s shins) symbolizes the severity and intensity of the trials that will unfold on the Day of Judgment. It evokes imagery of individuals rolling up their sleeves in preparation for battle, indicating the magnitude of the challenges that will confront them.

This portrayal serves as a warning to the deniers, illustrating the gravity of their denial and the consequences they will face in the Hereafter. It underscores the inevitability of accountability and the inability of the deniers to escape the hardships that await them.

Reflections from Surah Qalam

خَاشِعَةً أَبْصَارُهُمْ تَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌ ۖ وَقَدْ كَانُوا يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ وَهُمْ سَالِمُونَ ﴿ ﴿43﴾
With a humbled look [in their eyes], they will be overcast by abasement. Certainly, they were summoned to prostrate themselves while they were yet sound.

Surah Qalam portrays the state of the guilty disbelievers on the Day of Judgment with vivid imagery and profound insight. The verse “With a humbled look [in their eyes], they will be overcast by abasement. Certainly, they were summoned to prostrate themselves while they were yet sound” encapsulates the profound sense of shame and humiliation that will engulf the disbelievers on that fateful day.

The lowering of their eyes in shame signifies their recognition of their wrongdoing and their acknowledgment of their ultimate accountability before their Lord. This forced abasement underscores the consequences of their arrogance and defiance in the face of divine guidance.

The mention of their previous soundness highlights the opportunities they squandered in the world to heed the calls to prostrate themselves in submission to God. Despite being physically capable, they chose to reject the invitations of the prophets and persist in their disobedience.

The verse serves as a poignant reminder of the consequences of disbelief and disobedience. It underscores the importance of humility and submission to God’s will, as failure to do so will lead to profound regret and humiliation on the Day of Judgment.

Ultimately, Surah Qalam provides profound insights into the state of the disbelievers and serves as a powerful admonition for all individuals to heed the calls to faith and obedience before it is too late.

Understanding Surah Qalam’s Message

فَذَرْنِي وَمَن يُكَذِّبُ بِهَـٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ ۖ سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿44﴾
So leave Me with those who deny this discourse. We will draw them imperceptibly [into ruin], whence they do not know.

Surah Qalam delves into the gradual descent of those who deny the truth, revealing a profound aspect of divine justice. The verse “So leave Me with those who deny this discourse. We will draw them imperceptibly [into ruin], whence they do not know” elucidates the method by which God exacts punishment upon the disbelievers.

“Istidraj,” or the gradual lowering of one’s rank, serves as a mechanism through which divine retribution unfolds. God showers blessings upon the deniers, each blessing serving as a distraction that veils their ingratitude and fosters heedlessness. As these individuals become ensnared in the allure of worldly pleasures, they neglect to acknowledge the source of these blessings and forget the One who bestowed them.

The phrase “whence they do not know” underscores the subtlety of this descent into ruin. The disbelievers perceive these blessings as markers of success and happiness, oblivious to the underlying consequences of their ingratitude and defiance. Unbeknownst to them, each blessing contributes to their ultimate downfall, leading them further away from the path of righteousness.

Surah Qalam thus serves as a powerful reminder of the consequences of denial and ingratitude. It urges individuals to remain vigilant against the seductive allure of worldly distractions and to recognize the true source of blessings. By heeding this message, one can safeguard themselves against the stealthy descent into ruin and strive towards spiritual elevation and fulfillment.

Insights from Surah Qalam

وَأُمْلِي لَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ كَيْدِي مَتِينٌ ﴿45﴾
I will grant them respite, for My devising is indeed sure.

Surah Qalam sheds light on the concept of divine respite, offering profound insights into God’s mercy and justice. The verse “I will grant them respite, for My devising is indeed sure” underscores the idea of God’s patience and His intricate plan for humanity.

“Imla,” or granting respite, signifies God’s decision to delay the consequences of disbelief. This respite allows individuals to continue their worldly pursuits and indulge in sin, oblivious to the impending consequences of their actions. God’s granting of respite is rooted in His mercy, offering individuals an opportunity to recognize their errors and seek redemption.

The verse emphasizes the strength of God’s plan, referred to as “kayd.” This plan is meticulously crafted, ensuring that divine justice is executed with precision and certainty. Despite the delay in punishment, God’s plan remains unwavering and infallible, ultimately leading to the fulfillment of His divine decree.

The shift from the plural pronoun “we” to the singular pronoun “I” highlights the personal agency of God in granting respite. Unlike other actions attributed to angels, the decision to delay the appointed term rests solely with God, underscoring His sovereignty and authority.

Surah Qalam thus invites reflection on the concept of divine respite and the unseen workings of God’s plan. It serves as a reminder of God’s mercy and patience, urging individuals to seize the opportunity for repentance and redemption before the appointed time arrives.

A Reflection from Surah Qalam

أَمْ تَسْأَلُهُمْ أَجْرًا فَهُم مِّن مَّغْرَمٍ مُّثْقَلُونَ ﴿46﴾
Do you ask them for a reward, so that they are weighed down with debt?

Surah Qalam presents a series of rhetorical questions aimed at challenging the baseless claims of deniers regarding their equality with believers in the Hereafter. One such question, “Do you ask them for a reward, so that they are weighed down with debt?” underscores the integrity and sincerity of the Prophet’s mission.

This verse highlights the Prophet’s selflessness and commitment to his divine calling. Despite facing opposition and ridicule from deniers, he does not seek any material reward or compensation for his efforts. The question serves to refute the notion that the Prophet’s message is driven by personal gain or worldly desires.

By posing this question, Surah Qalam exposes the fallacy of the deniers’ arguments and reaffirms the Prophet’s unwavering dedication to his mission. His sole objective is to convey the message of truth and guidance, free from any ulterior motives or selfish interests.

Challenging Claims: Deniers’ Knowledge of the Unseen

أَمْ عِندَهُمُ الْغَيْبُ فَهُمْ يَكْتُبُونَ ﴿47﴾
Do they possess [access to] the Unseen, so that they write it down?

The verse in Surah Qalam challenges the deniers’ claim to possess knowledge of the Unseen, implying mastery over fate and destiny. It questions whether they have the ability to dictate outcomes and determine the course of events according to their desires. 

The concept of the Unseen encompasses hidden knowledge, including matters of destiny and divine decree. By asking whether the deniers can write down the Unseen, the verse emphasizes the impossibility of such a claim. It suggests that only God has control over the Unseen and the ability to decree fate.

A Reference to Prophet Yunus (Jonas) in Surah Qalam

فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلَا تَكُن كَصَاحِبِ الْحُوتِ إِذْ نَادَىٰ وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌ ﴿48﴾

So submit patiently to the judgment of your Lord, and do not be like the Man of the Fish who called out as he choked with grief.

Patience and the Allusion to Prophet Yunus in Surah Qalam

Allah has extended the call to patience to the Prophet numerous times in the Quran, emphasizing its necessity in guiding people. In Surah Qalam, verse 45 serves as a warning to the disbelievers, affirming that God has a decisive plan for them, urging the Prophet to maintain patience rather than curse them. This indicates the depth of the Prophet’s distress caused by the stubbornness and denial of the polytheists.

The term “makzum” describes someone whose throat constricts with anger, a sensation of being unable to release it. When God advises the Prophet not to resemble the “Companion of the Fish,” an allusion to Prophet Jonah, it serves as a caution against succumbing to anger. Prophet Jonah, overwhelmed with frustration towards his people, sought hastened punishment upon them. However, his impatience led to his ordeal of being swallowed by a fish, wherein he eventually repented and acknowledged his error.

By referencing Prophet Jonah’s story, God reminds the Prophet of the perils of impatience and hastiness. The Prophet is urged to exercise restraint, avoiding the same fate as Jonah, who, despite his initial anger, ultimately found redemption through patience and repentance.

Prophet Jonah’s Redemption in Surah Qalam

لَّوْلَا أَن تَدَارَكَهُ نِعْمَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ لَنُبِذَ بِالْعَرَاءِ وَهُوَ مَذْمُومٌ ﴿49﴾
Had it not been for a blessing that came to his rescue from his Lord, he would surely have been cast on the bare shore, being blameworthy.

In Surah Qalam, verse 49 reflects on the blessing bestowed upon Prophet Jonah (Yunus) by God. It ponders the outcome had it not been for this divine intervention. The specific blessing referenced here is twofold: both material and spiritual.

The material blessing manifests in the form of divine rescue. Despite Prophet Jonah’s dire circumstances—being cast into the sea and swallowed by a fish—God’s grace prevented him from perishing. Instead of being stranded on a desolate shore, left to face blame and condemnation, he was rescued from imminent demise.

Moreover, there is a profound spiritual blessing intertwined with this narrative: the grace of repentance. God’s mercy extends beyond physical salvation to encompass spiritual redemption. Prophet Jonah’s journey, fraught with trials and errors, culminated in an acknowledgment of his faults and a sincere plea for forgiveness. This act of repentance, facilitated by God’s grace, transformed his narrative from one of condemnation to one of redemption.

Thus, the blessing of repentance emerges as a central theme in the story of Prophet Jonah. It serves as a reminder of God’s infinite mercy and compassion, offering hope and redemption to all who seek it sincerely. Through this lens, Surah Qalam underscores the transformative power of repentance and the boundless grace of the Divine.

Prophet Jonah’s Fate: Harmonizing Verses in Surah Qalam

Surah Qalam sheds light on the fate of Prophet Jonah (Yunus) and the divine blessing that intervened in his life. The verse underscores the pivotal moment of acceptance of his repentance while engulfed in the belly of the fish. This acceptance averted his condemnation and ensured his rescue, highlighting the transformative power of sincere repentance.

However, apparent conflict arises when comparing this narrative with other verses in the Quran, particularly regarding the duration of Prophet Jonah’s stay within the fish. Verse 143 of another chapter suggests that had he not been among those who glorify God, he would have remained in the fish’s belly until the Day of Resurrection.

The reconciliation lies in understanding the sequence of events. Before his ordeal, Prophet Jonah was indeed among those who glorified God. This status spared him from eternal captivity within the fish. Subsequently, when he found himself engulfed in the belly of the fish due to his anger, his repentance and glorification within this confinement prevented his ejection while being blameworthy.

Thus, there is no inherent conflict between the verses. Instead, they offer complementary perspectives on Prophet Jonah’s journey, emphasizing the significance of repentance, divine mercy, and the transformative power of sincere devotion.

Surah Qalam’s Narrative

In Surah Qalam, the narrative of Prophet Jonah (Yunus) reaches its culmination with the divine response to his repentance. Verse 50 symbolizes the profound transformation brought about by sincere remorse and turning back to God.

The phrase “So his Lord chose him” signifies the restoration of Prophet Jonah’s prophethood. Despite his initial departure from his mission, his repentance paved the way for God to reinstate him as a chosen prophet, reaffirming his divine purpose and calling.

Furthermore, “And made him one of the righteous” highlights the spiritual elevation resulting from repentance. Through the acceptance of his sincere plea for forgiveness, Prophet Jonah’s past faults were erased, and he was bestowed with righteousness. This designation signifies not only his personal redemption but also his recognition as a model of virtue and piety among the righteous.

Thus, Surah Qalam emphasizes the transformative power of repentance, illustrating how sincere remorse can lead to divine favor, spiritual elevation, and the restoration of one’s noble purpose in the sight of God.

Intense Hostility of the Disbelievers: Surah Qalam’s Portrayal

In the concluding verses of Surah Qalam, the severity of the disbelievers’ anger towards the Prophet is vividly depicted. Their reaction upon hearing the Quranic verses is described as nearly consuming him with their hostile glances. This intense animosity is expressed through the metaphorical language of devouring with eyes, indicating their burning resentment and desire for the Prophet’s destruction.

The disbelievers’ accusation of the Prophet being insane further underscores their hostile attitude and rejection of the divine message. Despite the Prophet’s role as a messenger to all nations, they dismiss the Quran as the ramblings of a madman, refusing to acknowledge its significance as a reminder for humanity.

Through these verses, Surah Qalam highlights the challenging environment in which the Prophet conveyed the message of Islam, facing vehement opposition and hostility from those who rejected his message. Despite the disbelievers’ attempts to discredit him, the Prophet persevered in delivering the Quran as a timeless reminder for all nations, steadfast in his mission despite the adversities he faced.

Summary of Surah Qalam

Surah Qalam, also known as Surah Nun or Nun wa al-Qalam, is the 68th chapter of the Quran and addresses the accusations of disbelief and madness directed at the Prophet Muhammad by his opponents. The chapter begins and ends with a discussion on this theme.

In response to these accusations, the Surah praises the Prophet’s noble character and the continuous blessings bestowed upon him by God. It contrasts these attributes with the negative characteristics of the disbelievers, listing nine traits associated with them.

Following this, the Surah presents a cautionary tale as a warning to the disbelievers, emphasizing the consequences of their actions and the lessons to be learned from past events.

The subsequent verses refute the deniers’ claims of equality with Muslims in the Hereafter, highlighting their lack of evidence or justification for such assertions.

The Surah then recounts the story of Prophet Jonah (Yunus) as an example of patience and repentance, offering guidance to the Prophet Muhammad through Jonah’s experiences.

Finally, the Surah concludes with a depiction of the disbelievers’ intense hostility towards the Prophet, as they dismiss the Quranic message and label him as insane when he recites the verses to them.

Overall, Surah Qalam serves as a reminder of the Prophet’s steadfastness in the face of opposition and emphasizes the importance of patience, repentance, and faith in the divine message.

In Surah Al-Qalam, Allah swears by the pen at the beginning of the chapter for several profound reasons:

1. Symbol of Knowledge and Wisdom: The pen symbolizes knowledge, learning, and the act of recording. Allah emphasizes the importance of knowledge and its role in human civilization. Knowledge allows humans to recognize divine signs and understand Allah’s message.

2. Affirmation of the Prophet’s Prophethood: The pen oath refutes baseless accusations against Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) by affirming his truthfulness and sanity. Writing and recording are associated with clarity and precision, reinforcing the credibility of the Prophet.

3. Preservation of the Divine Message: Pens are crucial for preserving knowledge, including divine scriptures like the Quran. Allah highlights the importance of accurately preserving and conveying the divine message for future generations.

4. Elevation of Human Status: Humans are distinguished by their capacity for knowledge and learning, as highlighted by the reference to the pen. This signifies the elevated status of humans among all creatures.

5. Moral and Ethical Responsibilities: With knowledge comes responsibility. The ability to record deeds and actions means humans are accountable for their conduct. The reference to the pen serves as a reminder of this moral accountability.

Overall, swearing by the pen in Surah Al-Qalam underscores the significance of knowledge, affirms the Prophethood of Muhammad, emphasizes the importance of preserving divine teachings, elevates the status of humans, and highlights their moral responsibilities. It sets the tone for the rest of the chapter, emphasizing the importance of wisdom, learning, and ethical conduct.

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