Tafsir of the first Ayahs of Surah Al-`Alaq

Q 6: What is the Tafsir (explanation/exegesis) of Allah’s saying (the meanings of which are translated as): Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not. ?


A: These Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) are the first Ayahs revealed to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) while in Hira’ Cave marking the beginning of Wahy (Revelation) to the Prophet (peace be upon him). In these Ayahs, Allah (Exalted be He) commands Prophet Muhammad to read! To read starting by mentioning the Name of his Lord or to seek help, to be able to read, by mentioning the Name of the Lord, the Giver of all Good, Who bestowed upon him all blessings and created all things. He is the Creator of Adam’s offspring from a clot, a lump of congealed blood, produced from a Nutfah (mixed drops of male and female sexual discharge), which then develops into a little lump of flesh, then into bones, until the completion of man’s creation. Thus, Allah praises Himself for He Alone is the Creator of everything. He then mentions man’s creation in particular out of honor for humanity, reminding them of the blessing of writing and learning abilities bestowed on them. Then, Allah enjoins Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) once more to read emphasizing the paramount importance of reading (knowledge) and urging Muslims to care about it. Again, Allah (Glorified be He) praises Himself, for He is the Lord and King of everything. (Part No. 4; Page No. 347) He Alone is the All-Generous, the All-Munificent, Who blessed the unlettered Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon him), with Prophethood, proclamation of Allah’s Message, and the Miraculous Qur’an. Out of His Perfect Generosity and Grace, Allah has enabled man to write with the pen, teaching humanity countless things that were unknown to them. But for Allah’s Grace and blessing, humanity would not have known all these fields of knowledge. Thus, Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators, Whose Mercy embraces everything and He is the most Wise Judge.

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