Read, ˹O Prophet,˺ in the Name of your Lord Who created—
created humans from a clinging clot.1
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous,
Who taught by the pen—
taught humanity what they knew not.1
Most certainly, one exceeds all bounds
once they think they are self-sufficient.
˹But˺ surely to your Lord is the return ˹of all˺.
Have you seen the man who prevents
a servant ˹of Ours˺ from praying?1
What if this ˹servant˺ is ˹rightly˺ guided,
or encourages righteousness?
What if that ˹man˺ persists in denial and turns away?
Does he not know that Allah sees ˹all˺?
But no! If he does not desist, We will certainly drag him by the forelock—
a lying, sinful forelock.1
So let him call his associates.
We will call the wardens of Hell.
Again, no! Never obey him ˹O Prophet˺! Rather, ˹continue to˺ prostrate and draw near ˹to Allah˺.
’Alaq, meaning the embryo resembles a leech.
Verses 1-5 are known to be the first ever revealed of the Quran. The Prophet (ﷺ) was retreating at a cave in the outskirts of Mecca when the angel Gabriel appeared to him, squeezing him tightly and ordering him to read. Since the Prophet (ﷺ) was unlettered, he responded, “I cannot read.” Ultimately, Gabriel taught him: “Read in the Name of your Lord …” Some scholars believe that this encounter is the fulfilment of Isaiah 29:12, which states, “Then the book will be given to the one who is illiterate, saying, ‘Read this.’ And he will say, ‘I cannot read.’”
Abu Jahl was a staunch leader of the Meccan opposition to Islam. There are many authentic stories of his abuse of the Prophet (ﷺ).
This refers to the frontal lobe of the brain, where reasoning is processed.