Surah Al-Alaq is the 96th Chapter (Surah) of The Holy Quran is known as the first Surah that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in Mecca at cave of Hira located at Mountain Jabal al-Nour. This Surah addresses Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) to read or proclaim the message.
Surah Al-Alaq contains 19 Ayats in total, but the first ever to be revealed were these Five Verses:
“Recite in the name of your Lord who created – Created man from a clinging substance. Recite and your Lord is the most Generous – Who taught by the pen – Taught man that which he knew not.” [Quran, 96: 1-5]
In the above mentioned Ayats of this Blessed Chapter, Allah SWT directs every human to get familiar with His Instructions by taking His name, as He is the One who produced humans from a clot of blood. Then, Allah SWT tells about His Kindness that He has bestowed upon all human beings. He educated man by giving it conscious, knowledge and understanding, and things that were unknown to him before.
Prophet Muhammad is first commanded: Iqra!. The literal translation is Read, Recite!. The very first Ayat of Surah Alaq emphasizes on reading and understanding the meaning of the Holy Quran. Below is a a brief explanation on each of the five initial Verses.
1) Reading In The Name Of Allah SWT
The very first Ayat emphasizes on reading and interpreting the meaning of the Holy Quran with the Assistance of the Most Merciful. Before the recital process of every other tasks, a Muslim requires saying “Bismillah-ir Rahman-ir Rahim” which translated, means “Starting with the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful”, which is the declaration of dependence on one God Almighty for accomplishment of all matters of life.
2) Creation Of A Man From A Clot Of Blood
Alaq is an Arabic word that means “Clinging” or “Attachment”. This Verse sheds some light on the process of creation of every human in the womb of its mother.
3) Reading In The Name Of Allah Who Is Most Generous
The third Ayat of this divine Chapter stresses on seeking knowledge and remembering the countless Blessings of Allah SWT as He refers Himself here as The Most Generous. One should be grateful that the Gracious God has blessed him with the ability to read and get familiar with His commands in the Holy Quran, which will essentially lead to success in this world and Hereafter.
4) The One Who Taught By Pen
Allah SWT signifies towards His Blessings upon the human’s ability to learn, obtain and preserve knowledge with the help of a pen. Humans do not only have the capability to read and understand information, but can also write them.
5) Knowing About Things Known Before
The final Ayat of the First Revelation, is about letting one know about the great importance of the Holy Quran and its teachings. The Holy Quran contains information which was never known to the human being before. It reveals the many unknown matters of life, of earth and the entire universe.
Virtue of Surah Al-Alaq
Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) said that whoever recites this Surah in the daytime or at night, and then passes away, in the Day of Judgement, he will be counted amongst the martyrs who died while fighting on the side of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon him). Martyr also means that one is killed because of their religious beliefs or at war, which in Malay, it is known as “syahid” or “mati syahid”.
When Should One Recite This Surah?
It is recommended to recite this Surah while traveling and it acts as a safety from accidents. If recited on a treasure or what you value, it is believed that it will remain safe.