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One Letter: Powerful Message

November 8, 2008

Bismillah

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.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. serendipitouslife permalink
    November 9, 2008 2:39 pm

    JazakAllahkhairun for sharing this & for explaining it so well mashaAllah.

    Just for a better understanding, is it possible for you to share one more example of ’emphatic laam’/taákeed by laam?

    ps. Abbr. ‘SL’ is just fine.

  2. November 9, 2008 2:52 pm

    wa iyyaki ukhtee.

    Sure, here’s another example:

    إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

    Allah ta’ala uses a LOT of emphasis in this ayah, and we see laam ta’keed at the end: la-haafidhoon, surely ones who protect. This laam is meant for emphasis, to empower a statement. The English equivalent would be to say: certainly, indeed, for sure, surely…etc these words that show intensity.

    This ayah is referring to the Qur’an as well as the sunnah, Allah ta’ala uses 4 ta’keed here, to show that He will protect and preserve the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    If you translate the ayah word for word, it wouldn’t make much sense in English:

    إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
    إِنَّا- indeed We
    نَحْنُ – We
    نَزَّلْنَا- We sent down
    الذِّكْرَ – The Reminder
    وَإِنَّا – and indeed We
    لَهُ- for it
    لَحَافِظُونَ- certainly ones who guard and protect.

    SubhanAllah!

    There are many other examples of laam ta’keed in the Qur’an, this one is very special to me though.

    and Allah knows best.

  3. November 9, 2008 7:19 pm

    Amazing, ma sha Allah!

  4. November 11, 2008 6:29 am

    JazakAllahkhair for the extra (special) example.
    I’ll be mindful of laam ta’akeed from now on inshaAllah.

  5. November 28, 2008 8:24 am

    Bismillaah

    Jazaakum Allaahu khayran!
    Incredibly beneficial. This is an excellent example of the importance and benefit of Learning Arabic. Walhamdulillaah. May Allaah grant you from His Bounties AMEEN

  6. November 29, 2008 12:06 am

    Bismillaah
    Was Salaamu ‘alaykum

    I was praying and reciting one of my “favorite” sewar: Surah Waaqi’ah. When reciting the next to last ayah of this surah, I was reminded of this tremendously important article.
    This ayah, after everything Allaahu ta’alaa has said in this surah, is the one in which He REALLY brings home the essence of “certainty” with emphasis. Then I thought, “the Sister Amatullah more than likely has already seen it.” But I wanted to open the door for you to discuss this from the manner that you excelled in above.
    Alllahu Ta’alaa said:

    إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ حَقُّ الْيَقِينِ
    Inaa (surely/certainly) hadhaa (this) lahuwa (certainly it is) Haqq (truth/sure reality) al-yaqeen (The certainty).
    “Surely, this is an absolute Truth with certainty”
    Praise Be To Allaah Who Has Guided Us To Islaam And The Sunnah
    May Allaah Bless you AMEEN.

  7. November 29, 2008 12:14 am

    wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu Abu Jamiylah,

    Alhamdulillah. wa iyyakum, I ask Allah ta’ala to bless you with more, Ameen.

    SubhanAllah you picked a truly powerful ayah! When I read your comment, the ayah hit me as if it was the first time I read it. Allah ta’ala uses not only one, but two emphasis’s in that ayah…InshaAllah I will do some research and post a comment soon. May Allah ta’ala make us companions of His book, ameen.

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