One Letter: Powerful Message
The subtleties in the Qur’an are simply amazing. One letter can show such emphasis, empower a statement and send a powerful message to the listeners.
An example of this is in Suratul Waaqi’ah, Allah ta’ala says:
أَفَرَأَيْتُمُ الْمَاءَ الَّذِي تَشْرَبُونَ أَأَنْتُمْ أَنْزَلْتُمُوهُ مِنَ الْمُزْنِ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنْزِلُونَ لَوْ نَشَاءُ جَعَلْنَاهُ أُجَاجًا فَلَوْلَا تَشْكُرُونَ
Tell Me! The water that you drink. Is it you who cause it from the rainclouds to come down, or are We the Causer of it to come down? If We willed, We verily could make it salt (and undrinkable), why then do you not give thanks (to Allah)? (56:68-70)
أَفَرَأَيْتُمْ مَا تَحْرُثُونَ أَأَنْتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَّارِعُونَ لَوْ نَشَاءُ لَجَعَلْنَاهُ حُطَامًا فَظَلْتُمْ تَفَكَّهُونَ
Tell Me! The seed that you sow in the ground. Is it you that make it grow, or are We the Grower? Were it Our Will, We could certainly crumble it to dry pieces, and you would be regretful. (56:63-65)
Why does Allah ta’ala say لَجَعَلْنَاهُ “la-ja’alnaahu” when referring to the plants, but only جَعَلْنَاهُ “ja’alnaahu” when referring to the rain?
The ‘laam’ in the first set of ayaat is known as a “ta’keed” in Arabic, an emphasis, which is why it is translated as “certainly”. This laam in English is known as the “Emphatic Laam”.
The farmer who sows the seed works very hard on his land and plants. They cultivate their land, they wake up early to harvest, they work until the night to tend to their plants–so much hard work and effort they put into their land. Allah ta’ala uses the emphatic laam to show that He is the One who makes the seed grow, and He can destroy it, even after ALL of the hard work and effort the farmer puts into the land.
In the other ayah referring to rain, Allah ta’ala does not use the emphatic laam because no one on earth can say they bring rain from the sky–we all acknowledge that this power only lies with Allah azza wa jal. But with cultivation, Allah ta’ala sends a powerful reminder and wake up call: you may put in the work, but We are the Ones who Grow the seeds and certainly, it is easy for Us to destroy it.
Allahu Akbar. Only ONE harf (letter) shows this much, subhanAllah! May Allah ta’ala make us companions of the Qur’an, Ameen.
Here is a very nice video of powerful recitation of Suratul Waaq’iah recited by Abu Bakr ash Shatri, please note that the hadeeth in the beginning is weak as classified by Shaykh Albaani rahimahullah.