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Memorize Surah al-Mulk Ramadan 2021 | Verse 14

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Verse 14
أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ ٱللَّطِيفُ ٱلْخَبِيرُ

Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says: Does He not know who He created? For He is the Most Subtle, the All-Aware.

Continuing from yesterday’s verse, we are delving further into learning just how all-encompassing, deep, intense, and precise Allāh’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knowledge is of us and every single thing He created. As we discussed, yesterday’s verse was revealed to fix the misunderstanding that the polytheists had about Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and Allāh’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) level of knowledge.
They thought that maybe if we just speak more quietly, if we just talk among among ourselves secretly and in private, then Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) won’t be able to hear us and know what we are talking about. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) effectively corrected that misunderstanding by stating that — whether it is private, whether it is public, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows what is in your hearts. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows whatever you were thinking on doing, planning on doing, before you even made it public or private.

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The verse we have here for today further drives that point home. How can Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) not know His own creation? If Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is the one who created you, and He did create you, how can He not intimately and intricately know everything about you? Not just what you do, not just what you say, but what you think and how you feel.
This is a rhetorical question, meaning, this question is being asked to make a point rather than to get an answer. Because the answer is — of course, definitely, obviously. Does He, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), not know who He created? There is no doubt that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows who He created, with a knowledge that permeates throughout the entire entity of that creation.

This verse firstly, although without explicitly stating it, affirms that fact that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) truly is our Creator. He is the One who created us, that is why He knows every single thing about us.
After affirming that Allāh is truly the one who created us, Allāh then negates this idea that there can be a creator of something, someone who brings something into existence, that does not know all the ins and outs of that creation; that does not know the inward and outward state of that creation.
It’s absurd, it doesn’t make sense. How can you have someone who brought a creation into existence and does not know every detail about that creation?

Connecting back to the last verse, the polytheists are worried about Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knowing about their secrets. This verse is asking the question — how can the Creator of that secret not know about the secret?He created us, our actions, our thoughts, and our feelings. If we have a secret we want to keep from others, we definitely cannot keep that secret from Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), because He is the one who created that secret. And again, this verse definitively states that one who creates something and bring it into existence is intimately aware of it in its entirety, inward, outward, and everything that goes on with it in every single moment.

There is a story narrated by Saʿīd ibn al-Musayyab, one of the greatest scholars among the tabiʿīn, the generation following the Companions of the Prophet raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him). He said that once there was a person standing at nighttime among a bunch of trees. Then a violent, forceful gust of wind blew. This person then had a thought occur — do you think Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows every single leaf that just fell? Does He know each one, exactly when and where it fell, from where it came o the tree?
Then something amazing, miraculous happened. A strong, powerful, and grand voice called out from direction of the dense pocket of trees — أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ ٱللَّطِيفُ ٱلْخَبِيرُ
The soundness of this story is not relevant for our purposes here, as the meaning is undoubtedly true. Regardless of whether this actually happened, it is true that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows exactly every leaf that falls from a tree, from where on the tree it fell from, when it fell, when and where it hit the floor.
The tiny grains of sand that we see at the beach, that completely move, shift, and relocate when we sink our feet into that sand — Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows about every single grain. Where it was before we stepped into it, where and how it moved, and where it ended up after we stepped into it. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has deep, intimate, and intricate knowledge of everyone and everything that He has created.

Allāh ends this verse with two of His Divine Names and Attributes — al-Laṭīf and al-Khabīr. Both of these names fall under an overarching category of Allāh’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) names that have to do with knowledge. Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has many names that are related to knowledge — al-ʿAlīm, al-Shahīd; each name providing subtle, added meanings making it into a name for a specific type of knowledge.
These two names we have in our verse for today,al-Laṭīf and al-Khabīr, fall under that category of names that are related to knowledge. One of the meanings of al-Laṭīf is that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is knowledgeable of the intricacies, details, and particulars of things. Those things that have even the most subtle, hardly noticeable of characteristics, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows about those subtle characteristics.
One of the meanings of al-Khabīr is that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is knowledgeable of the realities, essences, and true states of things. When something seems like it might be something else, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows what that thing actually is. When something is vague, ambiguous, hard to grasp for us human beings, Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has full knowledge of what that thing actually, in reality, is. Its nature, its true essence.
Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has full and complete knowledge of us; of our subtle intricacies and particulars. Whether it is in our speech, actions, behaviors, feelings, emotions. And of our true essence and reality, who we truly are.
And these two qualities that Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) mentions are so appropriate here because our own intricacies and our own realities are things that we do not even know about ourselves. We do not know about every intricacy within ourselves, we do not know who we truly are. But Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) knows, further proving that He knows us more than we can possibly know ourselves.

May Allāh subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) help us to recognize and appreciate Allāh’s subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) intimate and expansive knowledge of everything in existence, and may He aid us in living our lives in line with knowing that He knows us.

So again, our verse for today is: أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ ٱللَّطِيفُ ٱلْخَبِيرُ
Does He not know who He created? For He is the Most Subtle, the All-Aware.

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Shaykha Ayesha Syed Hussain started her journey as a student of knowledge when she started attending the University of California Irvine (UCI). She went to ḥalaqāt at UCI’s MSU, took a number of courses at CIU, and starting memorizing The Qurʾān, excelling in all three. She then enrolled into the 5 Years Masters & ʿĀlimiyyah Degree offered at IOK Seminary, again, being at the top of her class. She completed her bachelor’s degree at UCI in three years, and began teaching Qurʾān at IOK and ICOI (Islamic Center of Irvine). In her 4th year as an IOK Seminary Student, she completed the memorization of the entire Qurʾān, earned her bachelor’s degree from IOK, along with her Ijāzah to teach Jāmiʿ al-Tirmidhī. In her last year of IOK Seminary, she began attending Loyola Law School. She was granted her Master’s degree in Arabic, Islamic Law, and Tradition, receiving Ijāzah to teach Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, and also receiving Ijāzah ʿĀmmah, spanning all books of Ḥadīth. She excelled in her studies of Fiqh, and Tafsīr as well, with her Master’s thesis focusing on al-Taḥrīr wa al-Tanwīr of Ibn ʿĀshūr (rḥA). At her completion and Ijāzah Ceremony of Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, she was given the honor of reading the last ḥadīth. That summer, she completed her legal clerkship and is continuing her JD at Loyola Law School. She is still at IOK, but now teaching Arabic in IOK’s Part-Time Seminary. Learn more about IOK Seminary at iokseminary.com.

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