Jan 17, 2011

The linguistic excellence of Ayat Al Kursi Part 2

Let us begin the Analysis:
اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ

Allah – There is no deity except him

The verse starts off by with the oneness of Allah and the negation of any partners. This is the most fundamental belief of Islamic Monotheism. 

What follows are two predicates [1] for Allah (swt):

(1) الْحَيُّ – The Ever-Living  
If one were to use this attributes for someone other than Allah (swt), we would say for example  الرَجُل حيٌّ The man is living. In this case the predicate حيٌّ is indefinite.

All the names of Allah begin with  الْ with the meaning of “ The one known possessing the attribute in the most complete and perfect way..”. So الْحَيُّ is the one known who embodies the attribute of living in the most complete and perfect manner. Allah (swt) doesn’t die nor has he been in a state on non existence. We on the other hand can die and have come into existence from nothing and in fact we are not even in control of our own life which for some can be cut short unexpectedly.

(2) الْقَيُّومُ – The sustainer of [all] existence

This attribute comes from the verb قَامَ meaning to undertake, carryout and execute. The one who performs this act and embodies it is called قَاءِمٌ i.e the caretaker. Now قَيُّوم on the other hand is on a pattern of a noun called sigha mubalagha [2] or in English we call it an exaggerated form or hyperbole.  Using this form changes the meaning to mean the caretaker who takes care of every matter to the highest degree possible. So الْقَيُّوم  is the one known who is the sustainer of all existence. 

(To be continued) 

[1] They can also both considered adjectives
[2] sigha mubalagha have a number of different forms . قَيُّوم  is on the pattern of فَيعُول and is originally قَيوُومٌ but due morphological reasons it changes to قَيُّوم

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