A Simplified Explanation of Sūrah Al-ʿAlaq from Al-Tafsīr Al-Muyassar


Verse 1

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ ١

Recite, O Prophet, that which has been revealed to you of the Qurʾān, starting with the name of your Lord, the only One who created–

Verse 2

خَلَقَ الْإِنْسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ ٢

the One who created every person from a piece of thick, red blood.

Verse 3

اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ ٣

Recite, O Prophet, that which has been revealed to you; truly, your Lord is always bestowing good, [is] immense in generosity….

Verse 4

الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ ٤

…the One who taught His creation to write with the pen–

Verse 5

عَلَّمَ الْإِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ ٥

He taught Man that which he did not know and took him out of the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge.

Verse 6

كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَيَطْغَىٰ ٦

In reality, Man crosses the limits set by Allāh….

Verse 7

أَنْ رَآهُ اسْتَغْنَىٰ ٧

…when wealth makes him arrogant;

Verse 8

إِنَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ الرُّجْعَىٰ ٨

so then every great, oppressive wrongdoer should know that the final destination is [back] to Allāh; then He will requite every person for his deeds.

Verse 9

أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يَنْهَىٰ ٩

Have you seen more astonishing than the wrongdoing of this man, Abū Jahl, the one who forbids….

Verse 10

عَبْدًا إِذَا صَلَّىٰ ١٠

…a slave of Ours, Muḥammad ﷺ, when he prays to his Lord?

Verse 11

أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ كَانَ عَلَى الْهُدَىٰ ١١

Have you considered–if the one being forbidden from praying were upon guidance–how could [the wrongdoer] then tell him to stop?

Verse 12

أَوْ أَمَرَ بِالتَّقْوَىٰ ١٢

Or if he were telling others to act with due fear [of Allāh], would [this wrongdoer then] tell him to stop that?

Verse 13

أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ ١٣

Have you considered if this one who is doing the forbidding has disbelieved in that which he has been called to [accept] and turned away….

Verse 14

أَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ يَرَىٰ ١٤

…has he not learned that Allāh sees everything he does?

Verse 15

كَلَّا لَئِنْ لَمْ يَنْتَهِ لَنَسْفَعًا بِالنَّاصِيَةِ ١٥

The matter is not as Abū Jahl claims; [by Allāh,] if this [person] does not turn back [with repentance] from his [defiant] opposition and his harms, We will seize him by his forehead, grabbing a hold of him violently, and he will be flung into the Fire.

Verse 16

نَاصِيَةٍ كَاذِبَةٍ خَاطِئَةٍ ١٦

His forehead is a lying forehead in what it says, so it is as if lies and wrongs emanate from it.

Verse 17

فَلْيَدْعُ نَادِيَهُ ١٧

Then let this great, oppressive wrongdoer bring the people he is close to, the ones he calls upon when he badly needs help.

Verse 18

سَنَدْعُ الزَّبَانِيَةَ ١٨

We will call the Angels of Punishment.

Verse 19

كَلَّا لَا تُطِعْهُ وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِبْ ١٩

The matter is not as Abū Jahl claims; he will not, O Messenger, be able to commit any offense against you, so do not obey him in that which he has called you to of abandoning prayer; and fall in prostration to your Lord and get closer to Him by endearing yourself to Him through acts of obedience to Him.

Source: Al-Tafsīr Al-Muyassar. King Fahd Qurʾān Printing Complex. Madīnah: 1434 H.