الَّذِیۡ عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ ۙ﴿۴﴾

The One Who taught to write with the pen.

Tafsir al-Qurtubi                                                                                                                         تفسیر القرطبی                                                    

عَنْ قَتَادَةَ قَالَ: الْقَلَمُ نِعْمَةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى عَظِيمَةٌ، لَوْلَا ذَلِكَ لَمْ يَقُمْ دِينٌ، وَلَمْ يَصْلُحْ عَيْشٌ.

Sayyiduna Qatadah – may Allah be pleased with him – is reported to have said:  Pen is a great blessing from Allah Almighty, for if it did not exist, no religion would have been established and the living conditions would not have been good.

وَعَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، أَأَكْتُبُ مَا أَسْمَعُ مِنْكَ مِنَ الْحَدِيثِ قَالَ: نَعَمْ فَاكْتُبْ، فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ

It is narrated that Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with them – said:  O Allah’s Messenger, can I write whatever I hear from your speech?  He replied, “Yes, write, for Allah Almighty taught with the pen.”

عَنْ أَبِي عُمَرَ قَالَ: خَلَقَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَرْبَعَةَ أَشْيَاءَ بِيَدِهِ، ثُمَّ قَالَ لِسَائِرِ الْحَيَوَانِ: كُنْ فَكَانَ:

الْقَلَمَ

 وَالْعَرْشَ

 وَجَنَّةَ عَدْنٍ

وَآدَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ.

Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Umar – may Allah be pleased with them – is reported to have said:  Allah Almighty created four things with his hands and for the rest of the species, He commanded it to be and it became;

  1. The pen
  2. The ‘Arsh
  3. The Paradise of Eden
  4. Sayyiduna Adam – peace be upon him.

وَفِيمَنْ عَلَّمَهُ بِالْقَلَمِ ثَلَاثَةُ أَقَاوِيلَ:

أَحَدُّهَا: أَنَّهُ آدَمُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، لِأَنَّهُ أَوَّلُ مَنْ كَتَبَ، قَالَهُ كَعْبُ الْأَحْبَارِ.

 الثَّانِي: أَنَّهُ إِدْرِيسُ، وَهُوَ أَوَّلُ مَنْ كَتَبَ. قَالَهُ الضَّحَّاكُ.

 الثَّالِثُ: أَنَّهُ أَدْخَلَ كُلَّ مَنْ كَتَبَ بِالْقَلَمِ، لِأَنَّهُ مَا عُلِّمَ إِلَّا بِتَعْلِيمِ اللَّهِ سُبْحَانَهُ.

And as to whom He taught to write with the pen; there are three views in this regard:

  1. It was Sayyiduna Adam – peace be upon him – who wrote for the first time, which is the view of Sayyiduna Ka’b al-Ahbar – may Allah be pleased with him.
  2. It was Sayyiduna Idrees – peace be upon him – who wrote for the first time, which is the view of Sayyiduna Dhahhak – may Allah be pleased with him.
  3. It encompasses all who write with pen, for they would not have been able to do so if Allah Almighty did not teach them.

صَحَّ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِنْ حَدِيثِ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: لَمَّا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ الْخَلْقَ كَتَبَ فِي كِتَابِهِ- فَهُوَ عِنْدَهُ فَوْقَ الْعَرْشِ: إِنَّ رَحْمَتِي تَغْلِبُ غَضَبِي

The Sahih Hadeeth of the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – is narrated from Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah – may Allah be pleased with him:  He said, “When Allah Almighty created the entire creation He wrote in His book which is with Him above the ‘Arsh, “Indeed My Mercy overcomes My Anger.”

وَثَبَتَ عَنْهُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ أَنَّهُ قَالَ:أَوَّلُ ما خلق الله: القلم، فقال له اكتب، فَكَتَبَ مَا يَكُونُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، فَهُوَ عِنْدَهُ فِي الذِّكْرِ فَوْقَ عَرْشِهِ

It is proven from Sayyiduna Rasoolullah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – that he stated:  The first thing Allah Almighty created was the pen, he then commanded it to write and it wrote all that was to transpire till the Day of Judgment, and it is kept by Him above the ‘Arsh.

فَالْأَقْلَامُ فِي الْأَصْلِ ثَلَاثَةٌ:

 الْقَلَمُ الْأَوَّلُ: الَّذِي خَلَقَهُ اللَّهُ بِيَدِهِ، وَأَمَرَهُ أَنْ يَكْتُبَ.

 وَالْقَلَمُ الثَّانِي: أَقْلَامُ الْمَلَائِكَةِ، جَعَلَهَا اللَّهُ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ يَكْتُبُونَ بِهَا الْمَقَادِيرَ وَالْكَوَائِنَ وَالْأَعْمَالَ.

وَالْقَلَمُ الثَّالِثُ: أَقْلَامُ النَّاسِ، جَعَلَهَا اللَّهُ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ، يَكْتُبُونَ بِهَا كَلَامَهُمْ، وَيَصِلُونَ بِهَا مَآرِبَهُمْ.

In reality, there are three types of pens:

  1. The pen Allah Almighty created with His hand and commanded it to write.
  2. Pens of the angels which Allah Almighty made in their hands which wrote the fates and the occurrences and actions.
  3. People’s pens which Allah Almighty bestowed in their hands.  They write their speech with it and reach their goals through it.

Tafsir Qurtubi (Al-Jame’ Li Ahkaam al-Quran) Imam Shamsuddin Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Qurtubi t D. 671 A.H.

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