|68.1. Nūn. By the Pen and what they write with it line by line.|
ن وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ
1. Nūn. By the Pen and what they write with it line by line.1
AL-QALAM (THE PEN)
This sūrah of 52 verses is one of the earliest Revelations in Makkah. It takes its name from the word al-qalam (the Pen), in the opening verse. It categorically refutes some allegations of the polytheists against God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, and proves the office of Prophethood. It cites the perfect character of the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, as the most visible and undeniable proof of his Prophethood. It warns against the evil consequences of ingratitude and unbelief, and promises the believers a happy, eternal life in the Hereafter.
1. Endowing humankind with the capacity of speech is one of God's greatest blessings. The greatest expression is the Qur'ān, which is also God's greatest blessing on humankind (55: 1–4). God also draws attention to the fact that He has taught humans to write with the pen (96: 4). One of the basic reasons for which the Qur'ān has come down to us unchanged is that God's Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, had it written down by scribes, verse by verse. Writing is the most important means of both storing and transmitting information. So, due to this great importance, God swears by the Pen – especially the pens with which the Qur'ān was written down – and what is written with the pen – especially the Qur'ān. Nūn is one of the abbreviated or isolated letters, concerning which see sūrah 2, note 1. In addition to its other meanings or implications, nūn may be referring to the inkpot or similar equipment used in writing. In addition, the Qur'ān calls the Prophet Jonah, upon him be peace, Dhu'n-Nūn (the owner of Nūn) in 21: 87, and verses 48–50 of this sūrah also mention him. So according to some, Nūn also refers to the fish which swallowed up the Prophet Jonah, upon him be peace.