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We are currently meditating on Surah al-Alaq and in our previous meditation we discussed the second ayat ‘Khalaqal insaana min ‘alaq’ (Has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). We discussed how insignificant we are, as if a clot of blood has little significance, how can we assume that we, who were created from one, assume that we do?
In the third ayat, Allah (SWT) says
Although we are insignificant, Allah (SWT) has made us significant. He (SWT) has given us what he (SWT) has not given to any other creation in this world, the ability to read and, through this, to understand and strengthen our relationship with our Lord.
Allah (SWT) begins the first and the third ayat with the same command, to read. In this third ayat, Allah (SWT) is again emphasising the importance that we read. We discussed the reasons for this previously, as to read is a direct command, without our own interpretation, so that we follow the pure and true path that Allah (SWT) has decreed from us.
In the third ayat, Allah (SWT) is once again commanding us to read, which is reinforcing and emphasizing that message. More importantly, by beginning the third ayat with iqra, again, Allah (SWT) is giving this commandment an additional depth, by giving us the reason why we should read.
Allah (SWT) mentioned that he (SWT) created us from a clot of blood, an ‘alaq. He (SWT) then developed us to a lump of flesh, to a human form in the womb, to a baby when we are born, through our childhood, our adolescence, puberty and, finally to our adult form, where we become a fully developed human being, whom Allah (SWT) has perfected amongst creation as giving us the ability to read and to understand him.
Likewise, in the same way that Allah (SWT) has perfected our physical growth, from an ‘alaq to an adult, he (SWT) has also perfected our spiritual growth. By reading his word, the Quran Majid, we can understand him (SWT) greater and we can progress from a spiritual ‘alaq, that is worthless and insignificant, to one who has a strong bond with Allah (SWT), which is significant and important.
This can only be achieved through our close relationship with Allah (SWT), who is Akram (the most generous). It is only because Allah (SWT) has created our growth from an ‘alaq to an adult that we grow physically and it is only because Allah (SWT) has sent us the Quran Majid and those who he (SWT) has chosen to help us understand the Quran Majid, that we can grow from a spiritual ‘alaq to the perfection of creation, a human being who has a strong and obedient relationship with their Lord.
The only way that we can do this is through understanding Allah (SWT). We are all aware that Allah (SWT) has 99 names, of which Al-Akram is one of those names. Throughout the Quran Majid, we see many ayahs that end with one of the 99 names of Allah (SWT).
The third ayat of Surah al-Alaq is one of them, which ends with Akram. Allah (SWT) has purposefully ended these ayats with one of his (SWT) names so that, through the ayat that ends with this name, we can grasp a greater understanding of the significance of this name.
Akram is to be generous, but we can only understand generosity when it is placed within a context.
In this third ayat, Allah (SWT) is giving us the context of his (SWT) generosity, that is that he (SWT) has given us the path to go from an insignificant ‘alaq to one who has a strong bond with their Lord? How can we even measure this generosity and consequently, how can we be anything but obedient to such a generous Lord?
May Allah (SWT), who has perfected our physical form from an insignificant ‘alaq to an adult give us the wisdom and understanding so that we can grow spiritually towards being the most significant and perfect form of creation, one that has a strong relationship with their Lord, who is al-Akram. Aamin.