Surat Al-A’laa



In the Name of Allah, Most Kind, Most Merciful

  1. Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High,
  2. Who creates then gives form,
  3. Who determines, and then guides,
  4. Who brings out the pasture,
  5. Then makes it dark stubble;
  6. We will make you recite [the Quran], and you will not forget,
  7. Except what Allah wills. Surely, He knows what is declared and what is hidden;
  8. We will make easy for you the easy way,
  9. So remind, if the reminder benefits;
  10. He who has fear will be reminded,
  11. But the wretched will avoid it,
  12. The one who will be thrown into the Great Fire,
  13. Where he will neither die nor live;
  14. Indeed. he who makes himself pure will succeed,
  15. who remembers the Name of his Lord and performs the prayer.
  16. But no. you prefer the life of this world,
  17. Even though the Hereafter s better and more lasting;
  18. Indeed, this is in the earlier Scriptures,
  19. The Scriptures of Ibraaeem and Musa.

Ths surah which wos revealed in Makkah, consists of nineteen verses and may be divided into five parts:

1. The first five verses of this beautiful surah describe Allah’s qualities as the Lord, the Sustainer and Cherisher of the whole universe. He is the Most High, the Exalted and Most Powerful. Man’s capabilities are limited. He cannot fully perceive His Greatness. Allah created everything in perfect harmony. He provides everything for His creation in suitable measures, and He guides everything to its final destiny. We should glorify His Name.

Allah’s creation has an order and a plan. He has not created anything in vain. He has provided guidance for human beings through His Messengers and has set a natural law for His creation. He brings forth beautiful green pastures from the dead earth; he sends down water from the sky and the plants of the earth come into being. Then these green fields turn into stubble and straw – dry chaff scattered by the winds. Allah has absolute power over everything… (Verses 1-5)

2. The Prophet (pbuh) is asked to remind people of Allah’s Message the Quran. Allah assures and comforts the Prophet (pbuh) that although he did not know how to read and write, the words of the Quran will be engraved on his memory. Allah assures him that he would not forget anything from the Quran. Allah has made the Quran easy to remember. He knows what is apparent and what is hidden. He is All-Seeing. He is All-Hearing. He is All-Knowing. Man may hide things from others and from himself, but Allah knows these hidden, most intimate details. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Allah wants things to be easy for us and not difficult. (Verses 6-8)

3. This surah mentions that people are of two kinds:

(1)   Those who fear Allah, and

(2)   those who do not fear Him and are heedless of His commands. In fact, these are the most wretched people because they reject Allah’s Messengers and do not follow the Truth.

The role of Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) however, is to remind people of the truth. The Prophet’s message will be heeded by those who fear Allah and are mindful of Him. However, the wretched disbelieves will stubbornly reject it. Their final place then will be the Fire of Hell where they will neither die nor live. They will suffer in it a tremendous and a lasting punishment. (Verses 9-13)

4. However, those who purify themselves by following what Allah revealed to the Prophet (pbuh) give the purifying dues (zakah), remember the Name of Allah and perform the prayers will indeed be happy on the Day of Judgement. Here this surah mentions that most people prefer this life to the life to come although the Hereafter is better and never-ending. (Verses 14-17)

5. Finally, the surah ends by saying that this message is not new. The central message of the Most High is the same one that was revealed to Prophet Ibraaheem and Musa.

It is related that the Prophet used to recite this surah in the first rak’ah and Surat Al-Ghaashiyah in the second rak’ah of the two Eed prayers and the Friday prayer.

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