QURAN SUMMARY: AL ALA

Surah Ala Background And Summary of Main Topics.

Surah Ala Statistics: Total Number of Verses, Revelation Period, Main Characters, Theme And Key Verses.

NAME:  الأعلى, Al-A’la.

Name taken from Verse 1 where there is a mention of the word ”A’la”.

١  سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الْأَعْلَى
1  Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High,

But It does not mean that this name is the actual topic discussed in the whole Surah. It is just a reference and mark/symbol to distinguish this Surah from others as is with most other Surahs of Quran. While there are diversified topics discussed in these Surahs.

ENGLISH NAME: The Highest/The Most High.

CHAPTER NUMBER: 87

SURAH ALA TOTAL VERSES: 19

SURAH ALA TOTAL WORDS: 72

TOTAL UNIQUE WORDS WITHOUT REPETITION: 67

TOTAL LETTERS: 296

REVELATION PERIOD:

Meccan, Approx. 613 – 615 AD.

MAIN CHARACTERS:

God, Prophet Muhammad, Abraham, Moses, Wrongdoers.

SURAH ALA MAIN TOPICS:

God Created and Guided Everything, On God Is the Responsibility Of Memorization And Recitation Of Quran, Those Will Benefit Who Take Heed Others Will Put In Fire.

SURAH ALA KEY VERSES:

٤  وَالَّذِي أَخْرَجَ الْمَرْعَىٰ

4  And who brings out the pasture

٥  فَجَعَلَهُ غُثَاءً أَحْوَىٰ

5  And [then] makes it black stubble.

٦  سَنُقْرِئُكَ فَلَا تَنْسَىٰ

6  We will make you recite, [O Muhammad], and you will not forget,

١٢  الَّذِي يَصْلَى النَّارَ الْكُبْرَىٰ

12  [He] who will [enter and] burn in the greatest Fire,

١٣  ثُمَّ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلَا يَحْيَىٰ

13  Neither dying therein nor living.

SUMMARY OF TOPICS

1(Exalt the Name of your Lord, the Most High), 2-5(God Created, Proportioned, Destined and Guided Everything) 6-8(God Has Taken The Responsibility Of Memorization And Recitation Of Quran To The Prophet), 9-15 (God Commands Prophet to Remind The Reminder, Those Will Benefit Who Take Heed Others Will Put In Fire), 16-19(Hereafter is Better and more Enduring: This is the Truth Which Is Also There in The Former Scriptures)

SURAH ALA BRIEF COMMENTARY & BACKGROUND

This Surah has 19 verses. It takes its name from verse 1: “سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الْأَعْلَى” (Exalt the name of your Lord, the Most High) where the word “الأعلى” meaning “The Highest/The Most High” appears. This Surah was revealed in Mecca most probably during the early days of Muhammad’s proclamation of his prophethood. A reference of it can be seen in verse 6 and 7 where suddenly the topic changed, and the prophet was assured of proper preservation of the Divine revelation. Showing that it must be a time period when Prophet was not used to of receiving Divine revelation, and that points to the early days of prophethood. There are three instructions of this kind in Quran one here in Surah Ala and the others two are in Surah Taha 20:114 and Surah Qiyamah 75:16-19

In Bukhari there is a Hadith regarding the explanation of such verses of these Surahs:

Book: Revelation – كتاب بدء الوحى

Global Id: 5 (4)

In-book reference: Book 1, Hadith 5

English translation: Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 4

حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُوسَى بْنُ أَبِي عَائِشَةَ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، فِي قَوْلِهِ تَعَالَى ‏{‏لاَ تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ‏}‏ قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُعَالِجُ مِنَ التَّنْزِيلِ شِدَّةً، وَكَانَ مِمَّا يُحَرِّكُ شَفَتَيْهِ ـ فَقَالَ ابْنُ عَبَّاسٍ فَأَنَا أُحَرِّكُهُمَا لَكُمْ كَمَا كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُحَرِّكُهُمَا‏.‏ وَقَالَ سَعِيدٌ أَنَا أُحَرِّكُهُمَا كَمَا رَأَيْتُ ابْنَ عَبَّاسٍ يُحَرِّكُهُمَا‏.‏ فَحَرَّكَ شَفَتَيْهِ ـ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى ‏{‏لاَ تُحَرِّكْ بِهِ لِسَانَكَ لِتَعْجَلَ بِهِ* إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ‏}‏ قَالَ جَمْعُهُ لَهُ فِي صَدْرِكَ، وَتَقْرَأَهُ ‏{‏فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ‏}‏ قَالَ فَاسْتَمِعْ لَهُ وَأَنْصِتْ ‏{‏ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا بَيَانَهُ‏}‏ ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا أَنْ تَقْرَأَهُ‏.‏ فَكَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ إِذَا أَتَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ اسْتَمَعَ، فَإِذَا انْطَلَقَ جِبْرِيلُ قَرَأَهُ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم كَمَا قَرَأَهُ‏.‏

Ibn Abbas in the explanation of the statement of God “Move not your tongue to make haste therewith.” said “God’s Apostle used to bear the revelation with great trouble and used to move his lips quickly with the Inspiration.” Ibn Abbas moved his lips saying, “I am moving my lips in front of you as God’s Apostle used to move his.” Said moved his lips saying: “I am moving my lips, as I saw Ibn Abbas moving his.” Ibn Abbas added, “So God revealed ‘Move not your tongue concerning (the Quran) to make haste therewith. It is for Us to collect it and to give you the ability to recite it, which means that God will make him remember the portion of the Quran which was revealed at that time by heart and recite it. The statement of God: And when we have recited it to you (O Muhammad through Gabriel) then you follow its recital means to listen to it and be silent. Then it is for Us (God) to make it clear to you. Afterward, God’s Apostle used to listen to Gabriel whenever he came, and after his departure, he used to recite it as Gabriel had recited it.”

This Surah is also called الْمُسَبِّحَاتِ‎ Surah as it begins with the glorification of Allah. The collective name of الْمُسَبِّحَاتِ‎ assigns to the following 6 Surahs Hadid, Hashr, Saff, Jumuah, Taghabun and Surah Ala.

Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nasai and Ibn Majah all recorded in their books that the Prophet of God PBUH used to recite

سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى  and  هَلۡ أَتَٮٰكَ حَدِيثُ ٱلۡغَـٰشِيَةِ

Surah Ala nd Surah Ghashiyh for the two Eid prayers and also in Friday prayers. If one of the festivals fell on a Friday