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Ayat Al-Kursy – Quran Arabic

by | Mar 6, 2022

Ayat Al-Kursy is the 255th Ayat in the longest Surah (Al-Baqara, the Cow) and is also the only place that Kursy is mentioned in the Quran. Kursy is often translated as chair or throne; but it is more like a “tabouret”, a kind of stool, a pouf. It is also known as the greatest Ayat in the Quran. And for good reason, it is an Ayat that deals greatly with monotheism and is full of meaning. Let’s explore deeper.

Ayat Al-Kursy is often sectioned into ten parts :

(Intro)   Allah, there is no god but He,

(part 1) the Ever-Living (Al-Hay), the Self-Subsisting (Al-Qayyum). 

(part 2) Neither slumber (Sinatun) seizes Him, nor sleep (Nawm).

(part 3) To Him belongs all that is in the Heavens and all that is in the Earth. 

(part 4) Who is there who might intercede with Him save with His leave?

(part 5) He knows what lies before them (Bayna Aydeehim) and what lies after them (Khalfahum).

(part 6) Whereas they cannot attain to anything of His knowledge save what He wills them to attain. 

(part 7) His Dominion (Kursiyuhu) overspreads the Heavens and the Earth,

(part 8) and their upholding wearies Him not,

(part 9) and He is the All-High (Al-A’liy), the Supreme (Al-‘Adheem).

Intro: Allah brings forward the subject of the Ayat: Himself, Allah. Then, He poses the main idea of it: Monotheism, the oneness of Allah. And all that comes after encompasses this idea.

Part 1: He is the Ever-Living (Al-Hay), the Self-Subsisting (Al-Qayyum), the meaning of both are close but different in the manner that Ever-Living means Eternal, but Self-Subsisting implies that he does not need sustenance, He does not rely on anything nor anyone. Al-Qayyum is an attribute that means through which others exist. This dichotomy is unique to Allah; He is the only one who does not need anyone/thing and all life relies on him to exist and live.

Part 2: Sinatun and Nawm have subtle differences, but major ones at the same time. If I tell you to hold two bottles in your hands and stand all night; the bottles would most likely fall from your hands and break. It’s not like you fell unconscious on your face, it’s just that you dozed off a little: this does not happen to Allah. Another way of seeing this is when someone says he’s resting his eyes; he might daydream, but he’s not completely disconnected from reality; this does not happen to Allah. Or, the difference between listening and hearing. Listening is active hearing, paying attention with your ears and your mind. As for hearing, your senses are working, but they are not in sync with your cognition. It is like when you catch a kid in class looking out the window and ask him to repeat the last words the teacher said, every student can do that; but if you ask him what was the subject at hand, he is completely oblivious; this does not happen to Allah. In sum, If Allah would dare to slumber (praise be to Allah), chaos would ensue in the Heavens and Earth.

Part 3: He owns all that exists, He is the sole possessor of everyone and everything in Heavens and Earth.

Part 4: No one can intercede for anyone except with his permission. On the day of judgment, you can’t speak on behalf of anyone; not for your mother, son, brother… no one. Except if Allah wills. No believer, no prophet, no angel can intercede; it is only by the will of Allah that anything will happen.

Part 5: Basically, Allah knows what His creatures do, past, present, and future; what happened before and what will happen after; what is obvious and what is hidden. He knows all, forever.

Part 6: So no knowledge can be attained without his will; none given, none revealed or discovered, except with his authority. Allah has given scriptures and methods to man, He has revealed instinct to his creatures, He has allowed us to explore, discover and extrapolate through experience and intellect which has all been given to us. He decides what, when, to whom, how, and how much will be revealed of His knowledge.

Part 7: His Kursy (as we have explained before) also refers to His dominion, His dominance, His power, His kingdom, His sovereignty, His rule over all that exists in its vastness.

Part 8: It is of no burden, nor is it tiresome for Him to continuously be maintaining Heavens and Earth. We get bored or fed up of our duties; whether it be chores, school, work or even play; This does not happen to Allah.

Part 9: He is the All-High, the Supreme. The difference between both is close but distinct. It is like saying a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square; Al-‘Adheem is like that to Al-A’liy. Let’s use a sport comparative; I can say that so and so is the best player in the world, yet this does not mean that he cannot lose. Supreme (Al-‘Adheem), involves dominance; the Strongest who cannot be beaten.

Now, with the Ayat explained, where I want to stress my point is not only on the content but the style and structure of this verse. It is the obvious proof that no man is capable of such thought out structure spurred out of spontaneity that supports that much meaning. We have mentioned this before (chapters on Great Speech is Divine and The Human Contradiction), but here is an obvious example of how Allah combines structure and content that is unmatchable by anyone or anything.

There is a symmetry present throughout the Ayat once the subject of monotheism has been presented.

In parts 1 and 9, each contains two qualities/attributes of Allah, with the latter in both parts specifying a greater degree of might and dominance than the former.

In parts 2 and 8, they deal with rest; Glory to Allah, he does not rest. As to us, try going two days without sleep; pink elephants with purple polka dots will appear and gibberish will slur through your lips before falling face-first in your gargle of spit. Just out of general knowledge, the record for sleeplessness that was set about 50 years ago lasted 11 days (and nights). However, what comes after this period is incoherence and a long quiet replenishing slumber, exactly the opposite of what Allah has described; He does not get fatigued in preserving/maintaining Heavens and Earth.

In parts 3 and 7, entitlement is in play, two types to be precise: Maalik and Malik. These two words in Arabic are of the same root and resemble one another except in their differences. Maalik has to do with ownership (like in part 3), while Malik has to do with kingship (like in part 7). It is possible to own something without being king, just as one can be king without owning all in his domain. Yet, for Allah, He rules (Malik) all and all belong (Maalik) to Him.

In parts 4 and 6, it deals with will; does Allah allow something to happen or not. In the hereafter, it has to do with intercession; in life, it has to do with knowledge.

In part 5, Allah links the past with the future, the here with the hereafter, the ephemeral with the eternal, the known with the unknown. This 5th part is the mirror of the first half and the second half of the Ayat. An Ayat that has the theme that Allah has chosen for it: La Ilaha Illa Huwa (there is no god but He).

To imply this kind of organization that resembles a closed loop and is complimentary at the same time is mind-boggling. No one can come up with this in an oral manner instantaneously; not the greatest poet, nor the most avid linguist. And even for sake of argument, if it was humanly possible; to advance this and believe that it was done over and over again throughout the whole Quran is an insult to one’s intellect and moreover, to Allah the All-Mighty.

Oddly enough, just after this verse on monotheism, with all its grandeur and its meaning, comes the verse of “choice”. Allah gives us the right and responsibility of choosing our path despite clearly depicting true belief.

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. The right course has become clear from the wrong. So whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy handhold with no break in it. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.

Surah Al-Baqarah (2 – 256)

You can’t force a belief on someone; social conduct is one thing, but belief is specific to the heart. It is a choice. Nonetheless, belief gives you the strongest grasp.

And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.

Surah Al-Kahf (18 – 29) Once the line of monotheism and disbelief are clear, it is up to oneself to decide.

Is there Anything Bad in the Quran? – Existential Questions

Is there Anything Bad in the Quran? – Existential Questions

When I mean bad, I mean something that everyone will agree to as fundamentally wrong. I don’t mean what is acceptable to modern standards, but fundamentally evil. Not only there is no evil within what is ordained, but it can only be depicted as righteous and good when looked at as a whole. Here are some Islamic principles that are listed in the Quran:

Say, “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited to you. [He commands] that you not associate anything with Him, and to parents, good treatment, and do not kill your children out of poverty; We will provide for you and them. And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.”

And do not approach the orphan’s property except in a way that is best until he reaches maturity. And give full measure and weight in justice. We do not charge any soul except [with that within] its capacity. And when you testify, be just, even if [it concerns] a near relative. And the covenant of Allah fulfill. This has He instructed you that you may remember.

And, [moreover], this is My path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.

Surah Al-Anam (6 – 151-153)

Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

Surah An-Nahl (16 – 90)

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.

And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.”

Your Lord is most knowing of what is within yourselves. If you should be righteous [in intention] – then indeed He is ever, to the often returning [to Him], Forgiving.

And give the relative his right, and [also] the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully.

Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.

And if you [must] turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word.

And do not make your hand [as] chained to your neck or extend it completely and [thereby] become blamed and insolvent.

Indeed, your Lord extends provision for whom He wills and restricts [it]. Indeed He is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.

And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin.

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.

And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right. And whoever is killed unjustly – We have given his heir authority, but let him not exceed limits in [the matter of] taking life. Indeed, he has been supported [by the law].

And do not approach the property of an orphan, except in the way that is best, until he reaches maturity. And fulfill [every] commitment. Indeed, the commitment is ever [that about which one will be] questioned.

And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with an even balance. That is the best [way] and best in result.

And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.

And do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height.

All that – its evil is ever, in the sight of your Lord, detested.

That is from what your Lord has revealed to you, [O Muhammad], of wisdom. And, [O mankind], do not make [as equal] with Allah another deity, lest you be thrown into Hell, blamed and banished.

Surah Al-Isra (17 – 23-39)

Most of the accusations come from people who do not agree with the standard of morality or virtue that is ordained in Islam. For instance, the Hijab for women; not being allowed to have a sip of wine or not even having a girlfriend… These practices have become customary in “modern” civilizations, yet they are considered illicit in Islam. Society is always faced with dumbing down standards and laws to curtail the desires of the majority. But the fundamental question remains; what makes it right now but made it wrong before (and vice versa)? This type of thinking induces decadence. Virtues and morals become trivial, unattainable utopias, unrealistic… mockeries.

This was the same discourse used by the people of Lot thousands of years ago when they wanted him and his family out of their city.

But the answer of his people was only that they said, “Evict them from your city! Indeed, they are men who keep themselves pure.”

Surah Al-Aaraf (7 – 82)

Wow! Accused of being too pure… It’s like someone who says: “Ah! He gets on my nerves because he is too polite.” or: “look at her; she thinks she is so superior! She doesn’t even want to dress like us.” and the classic: “Look at that geek; he thinks that his A+ is going to stop him from that face pounding.” What is it that makes that person’s conduct wrong in the first place; what did he do to deserve this reprimand? Is it high self-esteem (or lack of it)? Is it because a person is different (where his difference is not accepted)? Is it because of jealousy (or more likely envy)?

It is sad to see that we have reached a point where righteous conduct is ridiculed and marginalized. Someone who gives his seat on the bus is looked at awkwardly; a student who says Mam and Sir is called a suck-up; a 16-year-old virgin is made fun of. But, as we have seen, this attitude has been present for millennia, all depending on the context and stage in which a society is to be found.

But in the end…

And it will be said to those who feared Allah, “What did your Lord send down?” They will say, “[That which is] good.” For those who do good in this world is good; and the home of the Hereafter is better. And how excellent is the home of the righteous –

Surah An-Nahl (16 – 30)


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