Jan 15, 2011

The linguistic excellence of Ayat Al Kursi

The linguistic excellence of Ayat Al Kursi by Nabeel Al Khalidy

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said speaking about this verse: 

Everything has its pinnacle and the pinnacle of the Quran is Surah al-Baqarah. In it there is an ayah which is the greatest in the Qur'an: Ayat al-Kursi

In this series of articles I plan on sharing with you the linguistic subtleties of this verse which many readers might not be familiar with. I will get into some discussion of Arabic grammar so it is hoped that one understands the basics. If not then I invite you to the following Channel which offers a complete Arabic curriculum.

The verse started off by with the oneness of Allah and the negation of any associates. This is the most fundamental belief of a Muslim.

اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ

Allah – There is no deity except him

Notice that The way this is ordered is different to the shahadah (The testification of faith ) which one utters when one enters the fold of Islam.

أشْهَدُ أنْ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ

I testify that “ There is no deity except Allah”

The way it is worded in Ayat Al Kursi has Lafthul Jalalah ( اللّهُ ) as the subject ( mubtada)   of a nominal sentence ( jumla ismiya). One will notice that every sentence that follows this verse can serve as a predicate ( khabar) because they each have a pronoun that refers back to اللّهُ . I have highlighted each predicate with a different color. 

In other words one could break down the verse as follows. 

الله لا تأخذه سنة ولا نوم، الله له ما في السموات وما في الأرض، الله من ذا الذي يشفع عنده إلا بإذنه، الله يعلم مابين أيديهم وما خلفهم، الله لا يحيطون بعلمه إلا بما شاء، الله وسع كرسيّه السموات والأرض، الله لا يؤده حفظهما وهو العلي العظيم.

I have highlighted the pronoun that refers back to mubtada in each of the sentences [1]. The pronoun in يعلم is هو and hidden (mustatir) and is understood from the verb.

So each sentence serves as information about Allah (swt). We will start the detailed analysis of the verse in my next post Insh'Allah

[1] In a Nominal sentence (jumla ismiya) if the predicate (khabar) is also a sentence then there needs to be a pronoun in it that refers back to the subject ( mubtada). An example of this is in the sentence
ُمُحَمَّدٌ      ُمُحَمَّدٌ أبُوهُ كَرِيمٌ is the subject, so what is the news (khabar) about Muhammad? it is     أبُوهُ كَرِيمٌ  " His father is generous" which is a jumla. The pronoun that refers back to the subject is the word "his" which is the translation of the pronoun  هُ in  أبُوهُ


  1. Asalamu alaikum

    May Allah reward you greatly in spreading this beneficial knowledge. I am looking forward to the next parts eagerly.

    Allah Hafiz