The Pen is Allah’s signs and the first thing created by Allah. The holy Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, where was our Lord before He created His creation?” He said: “Nothing existed but Him, with nothing beneath Him and nothing above Him.”(Tirmidhi) Think about how amazing that is, basically it tells us that there is nothing but Allah that is truly worthy; creation needs Allah and nothing else because in the beginning there was Allah while there was nothing else. Allah says in the Quran: “Allah is the Creator of all things and He is the Guardian over all things.” (Quran 39:62) So everything besides Allah was created by Him, is under His dominion and His disposal, and He brought it into existence. Jubayr (R.A), a contemporary of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) describes himself, saying, “I was one of the greatest enemies of the Prophet,” and he said, “I hated him more than any other human being on the face of this earth,” but then something strange happened. “One time I walked into the mosque and I heard the Prophet reciting verses from Surah at-Toor (Quran 52:35-36), ‘Were they created from absolutely nothing or are they themselves suggesting that they are the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather they have absolutely no idea, they are at confusion!’” Jubayr (R.A) says that at that moment when the Prophet said that, even though he wouldn’t officially accept Islam until later on in his life, “faith entered my heart. I knew at that point that there is absolutely no way that there is no God!” If you just sit with yourself and you go through the process of elimination of the possibilities of how we and everything else around us is here, you will find that there is no other way to explain it except by God. Regarding the creation of the water, throne (Arsh) and the footstool (Kursi), Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Nothing existed but Him, with nothing beneath Him and nothing above Him. Then He created His Throne above the water.” (Tirmidhi, IbnMajah). The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) tells us that there was Allah first and nothing else. Then, Allah created the water and the Throne (Arsh). They were created independent of any angels and were created before the creation of the heavens and the earth. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “There was Allah, and there was nothing else besides Him, and His Throne was over the water. He wrote all things in the Book (in heaven) and He created the heavens and the earth.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) Allah mentions many times in the holy Quran that He is the Lord of the Glorious Throne, because it is one of the foremost and most magnificent of his creations. The Kursi is a Footstool that is like a stair to the Throne and God is above the Throne, yet nothing is hidden from Him. In the greatest verse of the Quran, known in Arabic as Ayah al-Kursi, or the “Verse of the Footstool,” before God mentions His Footstool, He mentions His knowledge.” (Quran 2:255).His Kursi, the Footstool, alone has all of the heavens and the earth under it (Quran 2:255). The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “The Footstool in relation to the Throne is no more than a ring of iron thrown into an open desert on earth.” (afsirTabari) Also, Ibn Abbas (R.A) said that if the Kursi, the Footstool, encompasses the entire heavens and earth, then what about the Throne?We have absolutely no indication of how great is the Throne in size and obviously we cannot estimate the greatness of God Himself.God is not distant; He stresses throughout the Quran that He is with us wherever we may be. In Surah al-Hadid (Chapter 57), immediately after God tells us that He rose above His Throne, He tells us that He knows everything that goes in and out of the earth, everything that descends from the heaven and what ascends therein, in short, He knows the minutest details of everything (Quran 57:4). We know Allah is above His Throne, but He is Omnipotent and His knowledge encompasses everything. Moreover, Allah talks about the great angels that carry the Throne. They are huge magnificent creatures from the best of God’s angels. On the Day of Judgement, God tells us there will be eight angels that will bear His Throne (Quran 69:17). The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “I was permitted to speak about one of the angels of God, the Almighty, the All-Powerful, who is one of the bearers of the Throne and (to tell you) that the distance between his earlobe and his shoulder is a journey of seven hundred years.” (Abu Dawud) It was also narrated with this wording, “The distance is (like) that of a bird flying for seven hundred years.” (IbnAbi ‘Asim)God tells us that those angels who bear His Throne and those around it glorify His praises, believe in Him and ask for forgiveness for those who believe. They pray for them saying “Our Lord, You have encompassed all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who have repented and followed Your way and protect them from the punishment of Hellfire.” (Quran 40:7)They are glorifying God and declaring the perfection of God to show that God is independent of the Throne and is independent of those who bear the Throne. God does not need the Throne; God does not need those who bear the Throne.After the creation of the water and the Throne, Allah created the Pen. When the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says that Allah created the Pen, he says that His Throne was settled upon water, that there was a layer of water under the Throne of God.”God ordained the measures of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth while His Throne was over the water.”(Saheeh Muslim) What are the dimensions of the Pen? How does it look? We have absolutely no idea.The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “God said to the Pen: ‘Write.’ It said: ‘O Lord, what should I write?’ He said: ‘Write down the decrees of all things until the Hour begins.’” (Abu Dawud).
“The Pen that carries out Allah and His Messenger’s orders: This is the pen used by the Jurists and the Muftis. It serves in maintaining people’s honor, property, lineage and rights. The people who push this pen are obliged to follow Allah’s orders between His slaves. Rulers and kings are endowed with these pens and the scholar fulfils the primary duty of this pen.”
Al-Qurtubi said, “Idris, upon him be peace, was the first to write with the pen, the first to sew and stitch his clothing, and the first to study knowledge of the stars, their calculations, and their movements.” (Tafsīral-Qurṭubī 19:56) Writing, a process of using symbols (letters of the alphabet, punctuation and spaces) to communicate thoughts and ideas in a readable form isn’t something alien to Muslims or Islam. In fact, putting pen to paper features heavily in Islamic history, and it’s a major reason why we have bound copies of the words of Almighty Allah (SWT) today, as well as traditions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).The act of writing things down, preserved experiences and knowledge. From stories of old and what is to come long after we’ve expired our time on Earth, the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) penned knowledge before modern research discovered the myriad of benefits of putting pen to paper, which include: improving memory, gaining clarity, retaining information, maintaining physical well-being, and increasing creativity.In fact, Allah (SWT) in His infinite knowledge and wisdom taught us more than 1400 years ago that it’s through the pen that we gain knowledge. Holy Quran says, “Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.” [Quran: Chapter 96, Verses 3-5]This verse of Quran is humbling as it teaches us two key points: (i) We inherently possess no knowledge and know nothing until He grants us knowledge. This isreinforced by the fact that Prophet Adam (A.S) knew nothing of creation until Allah (SWT) taught him their names. (ii) We are set apart from other creatures in that we are possessors of knowledge, and He has taught us to propagate and preserve what we know through the art of writing through the use of a pen. Through writing, we learn, expand, and grow — one generation to another.The significance of writing is great and every single one of us can reap its benefits whether we consider ourselves to be writers or not. The researchers reported that the physical act of writing with a pen or pencil increases activity in certain sections of the brain, and research conducted at the University of Texas discovered that journaling increases the strength of T-lymphocytes, which are the immune cells that help our body fight off infection.So, if there was ever a great time to whip out your favourite notebook and pen, it would be when you’re feeling unwell. It’s important to note that these benefits come from the action of writing by hand as opposed to typing on a keyboard or touchscreen device, which has become all too common in our digital age.If you’re in the habit of writing everything digitally (especially on your phone), make a pledge to switch to writing things on paper. When you feel overwhelmed and feel like your life needs an overhaul, pause, put pen to paper, and unload. Muslims – in theory – have traditions that value the power of the pen. Islam was revealed to save people from bloodshed and misuse of the sword. The first instruction was not to slay, fight or combat (all defensive measures to fend off aggressors against faith, homeland, intellect, dignity, progeny and property.)Chapter 68 in the Quran is named “Al-Qalam” (the pen). It opens up with the verse: “By the pen and what they inscribe.”In Chapter 96 of the Quran one finds another reference to the high value placed on the might of the pen; “Who taught by the pen. Taught mankind that which he knew not” (96:4-5).Reading, writing and reasoning are all part and parcel of the way of life Islam is all about. In Chapter 55 we find “Allah – Most Gracious! It is He Who has taught the Quran. He has created man. He has taught him eloquence [intelligence]” (55:1-4)The didactic ethos of numerous Quranic injunctions on the pen, knowing and reasoning, seem to be lost today in the heap of ignorance. Islam never began with jihad (a holy war). The miracle of the Prophet Muhammad is that he knew when to retreat (via Hijra or emigration) to build values of solidarity, peaceful coexistence with all kinds of “otherness” (such as in Medina and hostile Arab tribes), create know-how, and voluntarism in faith and membership of community, along with moderation (Wasatiyya). Islam values pen, Allah says,“ Nun ,By the pen and what the (angels) write (in the Records of men).” [Al-Qalam :1] Allah says, “Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous,Who has taught (the writing) by the pen [the first person to write was Prophet Idrees (Enoch)],Has taught man that which he knew not.”[ Al-Alaq 3-5]. Allah says, Neither did you (O Muhammad ) read any book before it (this Qur’an), nor did you write any book (whatsoever) with your right hand. In that case, indeed, the followers of falsehood might have doubted.[ Al-Ankabut 48]Allah says, “ You were not with them , when they cast lots with their pens as to which of them should be charged with the care of Maryam.” [Al Imran 44]Allah swears by the Pen. The pen is one of Allah’s Signs and the first thing He created. Allah’s Qadr, legislation and revelation all are recorded by the pen. Furthermore, the pen has played a major role in preserving the sciences of Islam along with defining what is beneficial for the Muslims in this life and in the Hereafter.The various leading roles of the Pen are (a) The Pen for the Qadr: This is the pen Allah used to write the destiny of creation. (b) The Pen for Revelation: This pen is used to record Allah’s words given to His Prophets and His Messengers, along with their companions. This pen passes Judgment on the World. The scholar serves this pen’s judgment to the people in power to execute its law. The Prophet (SallAllahualayhiwasalam) ascended on the night of Isra to a place where he heard the pens squeaking. These pens are those that write whatever affairs Allah decides for the entire the World. (c) The Pen that carries out Allah and His Messenger’s orders: This is the pen used by the Jurists and the Muftis. It serves in maintaining people’s honor, property, lineage and rights. The people who push this pen are obliged to follow Allah’s orders between His slaves. Rulers and kings are endowed with these pens and the scholar fulfils the primary duty of this pen. (d) The Doctor’s Pen: This pen looks after people’s health. It repels anomalous physical conditions. In fact this is among the most beneficial pens after the pen for spiritual medicine. Mankind needs this pen and those who write with it. (e) The Pen for the Kings, their deputies, and state politicians: The one who uses this pen, along with those who share in its usage are among the most powerful writers. (f) The Pen for the Judges: This pen guarantees rights and executes orders. It safeguards blood and protects property. Therefore when an oppressor takes something wrongfully this pen returns it to the rightful owner. The judges’ pen establishes justice and settles disputes. (g) The Pen for Witnesses: This pen protects people’s right and preserves whatever rights are lost.The key role of this pen is to protect the blood, the off-spring, the linage, the property, and the rights of mankind. Whenever this pen is corrupt the world is corrupt with the most notorious corruptions. When this pen is upright the Worldly affairs are upright. (h) The Pen that Records World History and its events: This pen writes history and records world events. It reports from one nation to another and from one generation to another. (i) The Pen for refuting Falsehood: This pen refutes deception, raises the Sunnah and exposes the various kinds of falsehood from innovators. In brief, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His book with Him upon the Throne: Verily, My mercy prevails over My wrath.” (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3194, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2751) Ali ibnAbiTalib (R.A) reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The pen is lifted from three people: a sleeping person until he awakens, a child until he becomes an adult, and an insane person until he regains his sanity.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1423)The pen is seen as an important symbol of wisdom in Islam so we should never misuse it.
(The authors write regularly on Islamic topics exclusively for the opinion pages of “Kashmir Horizon” . The views, opinions and conclusions expressed in this article are those of the authors and aren’t necessarily in accord with the views of “Kashmir Horizon”.)