This is the second post in our series of Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma.

trees sway in the sunlight

The first five ayaat of Surah Iqraa are:

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ

اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ

الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ

عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

Word-for-word translations are pretty common these days (like this one, which has Surah Iqraa), so I’m going to touch lightly on that, and do a bit more grammar. Ready? Here goes!

  • Iqraa (اقْرَأْ): Arabic has three types of verbs: past tense (he recited), present tense (he recites), and commands (recite!) Iqraa is a command to recite. (For all you nerds, it’s in baab one.) So Allah is COMMANDING us to read and recite.
  • Rabbuka or rabbika? In verse 1, Allah says “rabbika”; and in verse 3, Allah says “rabbuka.” What’s the difference between these two, in meaning? Nothing! Rabbuka, rabbika, and rabbaka all mean the exact same thing. (They’re just different cases of grammar.)
  • Rabbika (رَبِّكَ): Rabb in Arabic means the one who created you, who sustains you, who provides for you; the definition of this word takes pages! The “ka” hear means you (single person, male); so rabbuka means “your Rabb,” kitaabuka means “your book,” masjiduka means “your masjid,” etc.
  • Khalaqa (خَلَقَ): Khalaqa means “he created;” In fact, khalaqa means created from nothing. Only Allah can create out of nothing–humans just take existing “stuff” and recompose it. That’s not khalaqa; only ALLAH can create from nothing.
  • Wa (وَ): Wa means and. Occasionally, you may see am (أم), which is the same as wa, except am is used in questions.
  • ‘Allama (عَلَّمَ): ‘Allama means “he taught.” It appears in quite a few places in the Qur’an, so it’s a good word to know. The words ‘ilm (knowledge), mu’allim (teacher), ‘aalim (scholar), ‘ulamaa (scholars) all come from the same root–the letters ‘ayn, laam, and meem.

That should shed some light, insha’Allah, on the meaning of this verse.

Action Steps:

  • Memorize these five ayaat! With this word-for-word translation, and some of the material above, you have no excuse left! Just memorize by meaning.
  • Comment when you’ve memorized these five. When you’ve completed memorizing the ayaat, walhamdulillah, post a comment and share it with the community! Together, insha’Allah, we’ll build up our knowledge + understanding + action + memorization of these surahs.