Jan 18, 2011

The linguistic excellence of Ayat Al Kursi Part 3

لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ

Neither drowsiness overtaken Him nor sleep

Both of the states of سِنَةٌ drowsiness and نَوْمٌ sleep are negated. The negation is made with the repetition of لاَ. It was possible to say it without the second لاَ i.e.

لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَ نَوْمٌ

so why was لاَ repeated.

Let us take an example to illustrate the point further. If one was to say using one لاَ :

مُحَمَّدٌ لاَ يَدْرُسُ الاقتصاد و الكيمياء

Muhammad doesn’t study economics or chemistry

The meaning of this statement is that Muhammad doesn’t study economics or chemistry together. So the negation is for both of them being studied together only. However it is possible that he is studying one of these subjects alone and if so the statement above would still hold true. If Muhammad was infact not studying either one then one would add a second لاَ

مُحَمَّدٌ لاَ يَدْرُسُ الاقتصاد و لاَ الكيمياء

So this would negate Muhammad studying economics or chemistry together or either subject being studied on its own. This is a more complete negation.

Similarly , the word choice in Ayat Al Kursi is very precise and denotes both or either of the states of drowsiness and sleep being negated for Allah (swt).

So If it was written with only one لاَ  i.e.

لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَ نَوْمٌ

Then this would imply the possibility that Allah (swt) sleeps without becoming drowsy or that he gets drowsy without going to sleep. A’uthubillah!

So the words of the Qur’an have been worded perfectly as not to leave room for those critics who want to find fault with it. 

Let us now look at an example in the Quran of لاَ being used only once

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لاَ تَخُونُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ

O you who believe! be not unfaithful to Allah and the Messenger . . .

The question is now asked: Why was there only the first لاَ unlike the verse in ayat Al kursi?
RasulAllah (saw) is the ambassador and spokesperson for Allah (swt). He does not speak from his own desire but everything he commands is in fact the command of Allah (swt). So by omitting the لاَ after the Messenger, it implies that being unfaithful to the Messenger is in fact being unfaithful to Allah (swt) and vice versa. In other words there is no distinction whether one betrays the Messenger or Allah (swt). By adding the second لاَ this connection between Allah (swt) and RasulAllah would not be implied. SubhanAllah!

We will continue with Ayat Al kursi in my next post after taking a slight detour to explain the negation in this section.

By Nabeel Alkhalidy


  1. Masha-allah..luking foward to more...

  2. Salam

    For one la, I cant see why it would mean what you said. So if one were to say "Muhammad is not studying ecnomics or Chemistry" but he is actually studying economics only, it would be incorrect to say he's studying neither in this way in English. Perhaps the Arabic grammer is different here? If I were to say now I'm not on my phone or on the internet, and I'm in fact on the internet, that'd be a lie in English. Please elaborate. Jazakallah

  3. Salaams, Got the same point as 'Anonymous July 26, 2012 at 2:06 AM'. As s/he mentioned maybe the Arabic grammer is different but from an English point of view your example of 'Economics or Chemistry' does not hold true. Also if you are going to put an article to increase people's knowledge then at least do it full heartedly and answer the questions being raised.. JazakAllah.