الآية رقم (19) - صُحُفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى

(19) - (The scriptures of Abraham and Moses. (19))

The scriptures of the Prophets Ibraheem and Mosa (Peace be upon them) contain preaching, wisdoms and advices about avoiding greediness in the worldly life and keep remembering pf Allah (swt).

Hence, believing that the hereafter is better and more lasting bring happiness to humans.

This meaning in the last verses of this Surah provide the ways and keys of reassurance, tranquility and happiness. For, if a person suffered from injustice, tiredness or illness, or lost a dear to him, he has to know that the hereafter is better and more enduring. Allah (swt) says:

 {وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ}

(And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.) (Al-Baqara: 155)

This is what included in all the former scriptures so Allah (swt) affirmed it.


الآية رقم (18) - إِنَّ هَذَا لَفِي الصُّحُفِ الْأُولَى

(18) - (Indeed, this is in the former scriptures, (18))

All the former scriptures contain doctrines, signs and bestowments from Allah (swt) to His creatures and the previous verses of:


  { بَلْ تُؤْثِرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا (16) وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَىٰ }

(But you prefer the worldly life, (16) While the Hereafter is better and more enduring. (17))

Are mentioned in the former scriptures, of them are:

الآية رقم (17) - وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى

(17) - (While the Hereafter is better and more enduring. (17))

In the Hereafter there is eternity and resident bliss. As for this worldly life, no one is immortal in it. Allah (swt) says:

 {إِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ وَإِنَّهُم مَّيِّتُونَ}

(Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die.) (Az-Zumar: 30)

Is it reasonable to prefer what perishes over what remains?  Of course not, so, the hereafter is better and more lasting, in it there is no sadness whereas in this life there is sadness, loss, disease, death, and pain.

الآية رقم (16) - بَلْ تُؤْثِرُونَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا

(16) - (But you prefer the worldly life, (16))

The problem of people is that they know that worldly life is a temporary stage of time, and that it ends with death. However, they prefer it to the Hereafter and choose its unpleasing and perishable bliss rather to Hereafter. Ali Ibn Abi Talib (May Allah honour his face) said:

“The world traveled while it was arranged and the Hereafter traveled while it was coming. Each one of them has sons, so be among the sons of the Hereafter and do not be among the children of the world. Today the work, no reckoning, and the reward tomorrow, and no work.”[1]

[1] Sahih Al-Bukhari.

الآية رقم (15) - وَذَكَرَ اسْمَ رَبِّهِ فَصَلَّى

(15) - (And mentions the name of his Lord and prays. (15))

Mentioning the name of Allah (swt) expels the evil whispers of humans and devils. Moreover, it is basic in all the worshipping deeds. When Allah (swt) is mentioned the devil withdraws. For such Allah (swt) says:

  {فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُم مَّنَاسِكَكُمْ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَذِكْرِكُمْ آبَاءَكُمْ أَوْ أَشَدَّ ذِكْرًا}

(And when you have completed your rites, remember Allah like your [previous] remembrance of your fathers or with [much] greater remembrance.) (Al-Baqara: 200)

Allah (swt) also says:

 { فَإِذَا قَضَيْتُمُ الصَّلَاةَ فَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِكُمْ }

(And when you have completed the prayer, remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides.) (An-Nisaa: 103)

Remembering Allah (swt) means to be always with Him and does not forget Him. They are not mere words said by tongues. Your heart has to be shaken and feels of Allah’s watching, caring, giving and fearing of Him (swt) as well.

فَصَلَّى  (prays): It is mentioned that the prayer meant here is Eid prayer. But we take the general meaning which is the prayer as a whole which includes bowing, prostration, standing and reading.

الآية رقم (14) - قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّى

(14) - (He has certainly succeeded who purifies himself. (14))

الآية رقم (13) - ثُمَّ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلَا يَحْيَى

(13) - (Neither dying therein nor living. (13))

This fire is the greatest because who will enter it will neither die nor live.

الآية رقم (12) - الَّذِي يَصْلَى النَّارَ الْكُبْرَى

(12) - ([He] who will [enter and] burn in the greatest Fire, (12))

The greatest fire is the hell. There is fire in this worldly life but when it is called “greatest” then it refers to fire of the hereafter where its dwellers will be punished permanently and will never die.

الآية رقم (11) - وَيَتَجَنَّبُهَا الْأَشْقَى

(11) - (But the wretched one will avoid it . (11))

The wretch is the one who sold his faith for worldly goods and did not beneficiate from the reminder.

الآية رقم (10) - سَيَذَّكَّرُ مَن يَخْشَى

(10) - (He who fears [Allah] will be reminded. (10))

He who fears Allah (swt) and who knows that he is going to meet Him, will return to his instinct and faith.

الآية رقم (9) - فَذَكِّرْ إِن نَّفَعَتِ الذِّكْرَى

(9) - (So remind, if the reminder should benefit. (9))

The job of the Prophet (saws) is to remind people of what they have forgotten of the instinct matters, because man has faith in common sense before Messages, but the Messages came to refresh this instinct and make it go according to the correct faith.

الآية رقم (8) - وَنُيَسِّرُكَ لِلْيُسْرَى

(8) - (And We will ease you toward ease. (8))

Our religion is a religion of ease and facilitating the good.

لِلْيُسْرَى  (ease): The Islamic law that is easy, tolerant, straight and just. The Prophet (saws) said:

“Make things easy and do not make them difficult”[1]

And some scholars said that it means: we will ease to you the path to heaven.

[1] Sahih Al-Bukhari, book of knowledge, hadith No (69).

الآية رقم (7) - إِلَّا مَا شَاء اللَّهُ إِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ الْجَهْرَ وَمَا يَخْفَى

(7) - (Except what Allah should will. Indeed, He knows what is declared and what is hidden. (7))

Everything is determined by Allah’s will. Allah (swt) says:

{ وَلَا تَقُولَنَّ لِشَيْءٍ إِنِّي فَاعِلٌ ذَٰلِكَ غَدًا}

(And never say of anything, “Indeed, I will do that tomorrow,”.) (Al-Kahf: 23)

Allah (swt) knows what the creatures do openly and what they hide, whether it be statements or deeds. None of that is hidden from Him. Allah says:

  {وَإِن تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى}

(And if you speak aloud – then indeed, He knows the secret and what is [even] more hidden.) (Ta-Ha: 7)

The secret is between two persons whereas the hidden is what is kept inside the heart of the person.

الآية رقم (6) - سَنُقْرِؤُكَ فَلَا تَنسَى

(6) - (We will make you recite, [O Muhammad], and you will not forget, (6))

This is informing and promising and not ordering. This worldly life is full of distractions that may keep the humans occupied with. So that Allah (swt) says “we will make you recite” hence, the Prophet (saws) has not forgotten any verse has been revealed to him.

الآية رقم (5) - فَجَعَلَهُ غُثَاء أَحْوَى

(5) - (And [then] makes it black stubble. (5))

And makes it dry remnants, scattered by the winds and black after it had been green.

Referring here to the plant’s life carries a hidden meaning that every plant will end to harvest, similarly, every human will have an end.

الآية رقم (4) - وَالَّذِي أَخْرَجَ الْمَرْعَى

(4) - (And who brings out the pasture (4))

The pasture is every plant which is beneficial to humans and animals.

الآية رقم (3) - وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَى

(3) - (And who destined and [then] guided (3))

When we put the seed in the soil and water it, it splits into two halves and a root out of it goes downward and a delicate bud goes upward. The root remains fed from the two cotyledons until it is able to absorb its food from the soil and when it becomes an integrated plant it absorbs the elements it needs and not others. Allah (swt) says:

وَفِي الْأَرْضِ قِطَعٌ مُّتَجَاوِرَاتٌ وَجَنَّاتٌ مِّنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَزَرْعٌ وَنَخِيلٌ صِنْوَانٌ وَغَيْرُ صِنْوَانٍ يُسْقَىٰ بِمَاءٍ وَاحِدٍ وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ فِي الْأُكُلِ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَۖ

(And within the land are neighboring plots and gardens of grapevines and crops and palm trees, [growing] several from a root or otherwise, watered with one water; but We make some of them exceed others in [quality of] fruit. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason..) (Ar-Ra’d: 4)

Thus, the Holy Qur’an is addressing the minds, so that it says: “it is watered with one water” because water dissolves all the elements. But who teaches the plant which elements to be absorbed and which are to be left!? Does it have a brain to think and to choose?! Of course not. The One who teaches the plant is:

{ الَّذِي أَعْطَىٰ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَىٰۖ}

(He who gave each thing its form and then guided [it]..) (Taha: 50)

This is of Allah’s ability, as the plant absorbs beneficial substances and leaves harmful ones. This process is done with infinite precision that even the owners of thoughtful minds cannot perform. So how can plants do this? This is one of the aspects of this verse:

 وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَىٰ

(And who destined and [then] guided (3))

Another example about this verse: If a tree is unwatered and the soil dries beneath it, the tree feels a danger, consequently, it dispenses with matters for the most important ones; it makes its leaves fall first to provide food for the stem and branches, then sacrifices the branches for the sake of stem, then sacrifices the stem for the sake of roots, and as long as the root is intact, then any chance of water comes after that, it can regain strength and recover and germination returns.

As such process is found in humans without any of their intentions. Allah (swt) does not prevent His bestowments from the humans in the matters that man has no ability to do them. To explain, food compensates the heat and the energy spent in movement, then it builds cells and muscles, and then stores the excess in a form of fat. If a person is prevented from food, he nourishes himself through self-food from stored and accumulated fats. The strange thing is that fat is one substance, but when it decomposes to nourish the body, it turns into all the nutrients that the body needs. If the fat runs out, the body moves to take food from the muscles and then from the bones as if the body sacrifices all that it possesses for the survival of the brain and mind like a tree that sacrifices all its parts for the sake of roots.

These actions are done in humans’ bodies without their knowing or managing, they are done by one law, which is:

 وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَىٰ

(And who destined and [then] guided (3))

Modern science has reached a lot of discoveries that indicate the signs of creation.  The Head of New York Academy of Sciences has mentioned them in his book which talks in general about the meaning of:

 وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَىٰ

(And who destined and [then] guided (3))

In this book there is a mention about the wonders of the bees and ants’ kingdoms. As such, the beehive is subjected to very precise engineering standards. Such as, the maid has a special room, the males have private rooms, and the queen has a private room as well and each of them has a food suitable for the task they perform.

If we put a piece of sugar or dates in a place where there are no ants, then, after a short time we find that a group of ants come and walk around this piece while doing nothing, just exploring. After that, a group of ants come to carry the piece to the beehive. It is noticed that if this piece is bigger, the group of ants would be bigger.

If we also contemplate the falcon and the power of its vision that surpasses modern tools and the hoopoe bird that can see what is there under the ground and extracts its food from it, it never eats from the surface of the earth.

Throughout the story of the prophet Sulayman (Peace be upon him) we notice the accuracy of the Quranic expression. What attracted the hoopoe bird’s attention of Allah’s power is:

  {يُخْرِجُ الْخَبْءَ }

(brings forth what is hidden.) (An-Naml: 25)

This is the power of the hoopoe bird which Allah (swt) has willed for it, so it talks about what concerns him.

This alerts every person with reason and intellect that during his trip to Allah (swt), his walking towards Him is either by the favours of Allah (swt) himself or by virtues that Allah (swt) has bestowed upon man.

Hence, the Ihsan (kind treatment) and the bestowments of Allah (swt) are all signs and aspects that have to be ponder upon by the intellectual man to avoid arrogance with his abilities.

الآية رقم (2) - الَّذِي خَلَقَ فَسَوَّى

(2) - (Who created and proportioned (2))

Meaning, Allah (swt) created that which has been created, and He fashioned every creation in the best of forms:

 {مَّا تَرَىٰ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ مِن تَفَاوُتٍ}

(You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency.) (Al-Mulk: 3)

The process of plants’ germination is an example of this guidance and measures.

الآية رقم (1) - سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الْأَعْلَى

(1) - (Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High, (1))

The addressed is the Messenger Muhammad (saws) and everyone who follows him.

سَبِّحِ (Exalt): Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High by negating the existence of any counterpart to Him in actions, sayings, and attributes:

 {لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ ۖ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ}

(There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.) (Ash-Shura: 11)

When we read the verses which talk about glorifying Allah (swt) we find that Allah (swt) has been exalted since eternity, even before those who are glorifying Him were created. Hence, glorifying and exalting for Allah (swt) existed before the creation.

However, our praise to Allah (swt) does not benefit him, rather we are the beneficiaries.

The word “exalt” (glorify) in the Holy Qur’an comes sometimes in a past tense:

 { سَبَّحَ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ}

(Whatever is in the heavens and earth exalts Allah, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise..) (Al-Hadid: 1)

And sometimes it is mentioned in the present form:

{ يُسَبِّحُ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ الْمَلِكِ الْقُدُّوسِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَكِيمِ}

(Whatever is in the heavens and earth is exalting Allah, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.) (Al-Jumu’a: 1)

So, praising to Allah (swt) do spreads in every place in this universe and every time; in the past, at present and in the future by everything and everyone:

 {وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ}

(And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting.) (Al-Israa: 1)

Being (do not understand their way of exalting) indicates that it is a real glorifying since every creature has a certain way of glorifying that is understood by just those whom Allah (swt) has favoured and bestowed them of His light. Allah (swt) says about Dawud (Peace be upon him):

 {إِنَّا سَخَّرْنَا الْجِبَالَ مَعَهُ يُسَبِّحْنَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِشْرَاقِ}

(Indeed, We subjected the mountains [to praise] with him, exalting [Allah] in the [late] afternoon and [after] sunrise.) (Saad: 18)

{ يَا جِبَالُ أَوِّبِي مَعَهُ وَالطَّيْرَ ۖ وَأَلَنَّا لَهُ الْحَدِيدَ}

(“O mountains, repeat [Our] praises with him, and the birds [as well].” And We made pliable for him iron,) (Saba: 10)

Meaning that the mountains are exalting Allah (swt) with Dawud (peace be upon him) and with others but what distinguished Dawud is that Allah (swt) has taught him the language of everything, thus, his praising agreed with the praising of everything and the birds.

Moreover, Allah (swt) has taught also Sulayman (peace be upon him) the language of ants and birds, so that he could speak to them and understand their speech.

Therefore, this verse:

 {سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الْأَعْلَى}

(Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High, (1))

means that all the universe is glorifying Allah (swt), so, be in harmony with the universe around you and do not deviate from this system of praising.

The following verses are clarifying this exalting, as if saying “glorify the name of your Lord because he has done so and so”.

الْأَعْلَى (The Most High): Higher than everything and greater than everything. This word is a superlative adjective. Allah (swt) describes Himself as (The Most High) and describes some of his creation by (haughty), as such the cursed Iblis. Allah (swt) said to Iblis:

{ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ الْعَالِينَ}

(“Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?”) (Saad: 75)

Hence, Allah (swt) is the Most High because He is the creator of everything, consequently, He is the Most High over His creation.

تفسير سورة الأعلى

Surah Al-A’laa

This Surah is named so because the name of Allah (swt); Al-A’laa is mentioned in it. As mentioned in Musnad Imam Ahmad, the Messenger of Allah (saws) liked this Surah[1].

Nu’man bin. Bashir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

“the Messenger of Allah (saws) used to recite on two ‘Ids and in Friday prayer:

” Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High “, and:” Has there come to you the news of the overwhelming event”. And when the ‘Id and Jumu’a combined on a day he recited these two (surahs) in both the prayers..” [2]

Uqbah ibn Amir (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

“When ” Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High” was revealed, the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “Use it when bowing” and when “Glorify the name of your most high Lord” was revealed, he said: “Use it when prostrating yourself”. [3]

[1] Musnad Imam Ahmad, Musnad Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with him), hadith No (742).

[2]Sahih Muslim, Book of Jum’ah, Chapter: What is to be recited in Jumu`ah prayer, hadith No (878).

[3] Sunan Abi Dawud, book of prayers, Chapter: What A Person Should Say In His Ruku’ And Prostration, hadith No (869).