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The Virtues of Surah Alif Lam Mim As-Sajdah

In the Book of the Friday prayer, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Prophet used to recite in Fajr on Fridays:

﴿ الٓمٓ تَنزِيلُ

(Alif Lam Mim. The revelation of...), As-Sajdah, and

﴿ هَلۡ أَتَىٰ عَلَى ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنِ

(Has there not been over man...) Al-Insan (76).'' This was also recorded by Muslim. Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir said, "The Prophet would never sleep until he recited:

﴿ الٓمٓ تَنزِيلُ

(Alif Lam Mim. The revelation of...), As-Sajdah, and

﴿ تَبَـٰرَكَ ٱلَّذِى بِيَدِهِ ٱلۡمُلۡكُ

(Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion) Al-Mulk (67).''

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

﴿ الٓمٓ تَنزِيلُ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ لَا رَيۡبَ فِيهِ مِن رَّبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ أَمۡ يَقُولُونَ ٱفۡتَرَٮٰهُ‌ۚ بَلۡ هُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ لِتُنذِرَ قَوۡمً۬ا مَّآ أَتَٮٰهُم مِّن نَّذِيرٍ۬ مِّن قَبۡلِكَ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَہۡتَدُونَ

(1. Alif Lam Mim.) (2. The revelation of the Book in which there is no doubt, is from the Lord of all that exists.) (3. Or say they: "He has fabricated it'' Nay, it is the truth from your Lord, so that you may warn a people to whom no warner has come before you, in order that they may be guided.)

The Qur'an is the Book of Allah in which there is no Doubt

We discussed the individual letters at the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah, and there is no need to repeat it here.

﴿ تَنزِيلُ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ لَا رَيۡبَ فِيهِ

(The revelation of the Book in which there is no doubt,) means, there is no doubt whatsoever that it has been revealed

﴿ مِن رَّبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

(from the Lord of all that exists.) Then Allah tells us about the idolaters:

﴿ أَمۡ يَقُولُونَ ٱفۡتَرَٮٰهُ‌ۚ

(Or say they: "He has fabricated it''): they say, he has fabricated it, i.e., he has made it up by himself.

﴿ بَلۡ هُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ لِتُنذِرَ قَوۡمً۬ا مَّآ أَتَٮٰهُم مِّن نَّذِيرٍ۬ مِّن قَبۡلِكَ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَہۡتَدُونَ

(Nay, it is the truth from your Lord, so that you may warn a people to whom no warner has come before you, in order that they may be guided.) means, in order that they may follow the truth.

﴿ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمَا بَيۡنَهُمَا فِى سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ۬ ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَوَىٰ عَلَى ٱلۡعَرۡشِ‌ۖ مَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ مِن وَلِىٍّ۬ وَلَا شَفِيعٍ‌ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ يُدَبِّرُ ٱلۡأَمۡرَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ثُمَّ يَعۡرُجُ إِلَيۡهِ فِى يَوۡمٍ۬ كَانَ مِقۡدَارُهُ ۥۤ أَلۡفَ سَنَةٍ۬ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ ذَٲلِكَ عَـٰلِمُ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَٱلشَّهَـٰدَةِ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ

(4. Allah it is He Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them in six Days. Then He Istawa over the Throne. You have none, besides Him, as a protector or an intercessor. Will you not then remember) (5. He directs the command from the heavens to the earth; then it will go up to Him, in one Day, the space whereof is a thousand years of your reckoning.) (6. That is He, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.)

Allah is the Creator and Controller of the Universe

Allah tells us that He is the Creator of all things. He created the heavens and earth and all that is between them in six days, then He rose over the Throne -- we have already discussed this matter elsewhere.

﴿ مَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ مِن وَلِىٍّ۬ وَلَا شَفِيعٍ‌ۚ

(You have none, besides Him, as a protector or an intercessor) means, only He is the Sovereign Who is in control of all affairs, the Creator of all things, the Controller of all things, the One Who is able to do all things. There is no Creator besides Him, no intercessor except the one to whom He gives permission.

﴿ أَفَلَا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ

(Will you not then remember) -- this is addressed to those who worship others apart from Him and put their trust in others besides Him -- exalted and sanctified and glorified be He above having any equal, partner, supporter, rival or peer, there is no God or Lord except Him.

﴿ يُدَبِّرُ ٱلۡأَمۡرَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ثُمَّ يَعۡرُجُ إِلَيۡهِ

(He directs the command from the heavens to the earth; then it will go up to Him,) means, His command comes down from above the heavens to the furthest boundary of the seventh earth. This is like the Ayah,

﴿ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبۡعَ سَمَـٰوَٲتٍ۬ وَمِنَ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مِثۡلَهُنَّ يَتَنَزَّلُ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ بَيۡنَہُنَّ

(It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof. The command descends between them,) (65:12) Deeds are raised up to the place of recording above the lowest heaven. The distance between heaven and earth is the distance of five hundred years traveling, and the thickness of the heaven is the distance of five hundred years. Mujahid, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said, "The distance covered by the angel when he descends or ascends is the distance of five hundred years, but he covers it in the blink of an eye.'' Allah says:

﴿ فِى يَوۡمٍ۬ كَانَ مِقۡدَارُهُ ۥۤ أَلۡفَ سَنَةٍ۬ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ ذَٲلِكَ عَـٰلِمُ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَٱلشَّهَـٰدَةِ

(in one Day, the measurement of which is a thousand years of your reckoning. That is He, the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen,) meaning, He is controlling all these affairs. He sees all that His servants do, and all their deeds, major and minor, significant and insignificant, ascend to Him. He is the Almighty Who has subjugated all things to His control, and to Whom everybody submits, and He is Most Merciful to His believing servants. He is Almighty in His mercy and Most Merciful in His might. This is perfection: might combined with mercy and mercy combined with might, for He is Merciful without any hint of weakness.

﴿ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَحۡسَنَ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ خَلَقَهُ ۥ‌ۖ وَبَدَأَ خَلۡقَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنِ مِن طِينٍ۬ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسۡلَهُ ۥ مِن سُلَـٰلَةٍ۬ مِّن مَّآءٍ۬ مَّهِينٍ۬ ثُمَّ سَوَّٮٰهُ وَنَفَخَ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِهِۦ‌ۖ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرَ وَٱلۡأَفۡـِٔدَةَ‌ۚ قَلِيلاً۬ مَّا تَشۡڪُرُونَ

(7. Who made everything He has created good and He began the creation of man from clay.) (8. Then He made his offspring from semen of despised water.) (9. Then He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him the soul; and He gave you hearing, sight and the sense of deduction. Little is the thanks you give!)

The Creation of Man in Stages

Allah tells us that He has created everything well and formed everything in a goodly fashion. Malik said, narrating from Zayd bin Aslam:

﴿ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَحۡسَنَ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ خَلَقَهُ ۥ‌ۖ

(Who made everything He has created good) means, "He created everything well and in a goodly fashion.'' When Allah mentions the creation of the heavens and the earth, He follows that by mentioning the creation of man. Allah says:

﴿ وَبَدَأَ خَلۡقَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنِ مِن طِينٍ۬

(and He began the creation of man from clay.) meaning, He created the father of mankind, Adam, from clay.

﴿ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسۡلَهُ ۥ مِن سُلَـٰلَةٍ۬ مِّن مَّآءٍ۬ مَّهِينٍ۬

(Then He made his offspring from semen of despised water.) means, they reproduce in this fashion, from a Nutfah which comes from the loins of men and from between the ribs of women.

﴿ ثُمَّ سَوَّٮٰهُ

(Then He fashioned him in due proportion,) means, when He created Adam from clay, He created him and gave him shape and made him upright.

﴿ وَنَفَخَ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِهِۦ‌ۖ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمۡعَ وَٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرَ وَٱلۡأَفۡـِٔدَةَ‌ۚ

(and breathed into him the soul; and He gave you hearing, sight and the sense of deduction.) means, reason.

﴿ قَلِيلاً۬ مَّا تَشۡڪُرُونَ

(Little is the thanks you give!) means, for these strengths with which Allah has provided you; the one who is truly blessed is the one who uses them to worship and obey his Lord, may He be exalted and glorified.

﴿ وَقَالُوٓاْ أَءِذَا ضَلَلۡنَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ أَءِنَّا لَفِى خَلۡقٍ۬ جَدِيدِۭ‌ۚ بَلۡ هُم بِلِقَآءِ رَبِّہِمۡ كَـٰفِرُونَ قُلۡ يَتَوَفَّٮٰكُم مَّلَكُ ٱلۡمَوۡتِ ٱلَّذِى وُكِّلَ بِكُمۡ ثُمَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمۡ تُرۡجَعُونَ

(10. And they say: "When we are lost in the earth, shall we indeed be created anew'' Nay, but they deny the meeting with their Lord!) (11. Say: "The angel of death, who is set over you, will take your souls. Then you shall be brought to your Lord.'')