The miracle in ‘Aayah’
This aayah enchants me a lot: سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ
“We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.” (Surah Fussilat 41: 53)
And this aayah:
هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
“It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom – although they were before in clear error”. (Surah al Jumu’ah 62: 2)
The myriad of meanings that the word ‘aayah’ connotes is miraculous indeed.
The verses of the Qur’an are in fact the signs of understanding for men of understanding!
So what is the meaning of the word aayah?
Please note that the word ‘Aayaat’ is the plural form of ‘aayah’.
Here is a selection of verses (aayaat) of the glorious Qur’an which reveals the miracle in the meaning of the word aayah:
1. Sign, Indicator, Indication, Token, Marker:
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِن مَّاءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَابَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the [great] ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason. (Surah al Baqarah 2: 164)
2. Evidence, Proof:
ثُمَّ بَدَا لَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا رَأَوُا الْآيَاتِ لَيَسْجُنُنَّهُ حَتَّىٰ حِينٍ
“Then it appeared to them after they had seen the signs (= proof, evidence) that al-‘Azeez should surely imprison him for a time”. (Surah Yusuf 12: 35)
3. Miracle, Portent:
وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوْلَا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ
And those who disbelieved say, “Why has a sign (= miracle) not been sent down to him from his Lord?” (Surah Ar-Ra’d 13: 7)
4. Symbol, Exemplar:
وَجَعَلْنَا ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ آيَةً وَآوَيْنَاهُمَا إِلَىٰ رَبْوَةٍ ذَاتِ قَرَارٍ وَمَعِينٍ
“And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign (= exemplar) and sheltered them within a high ground having level [areas] and flowing water.” (Surah Al Muminoon 23: 50)
5. Message, Revelation:
وَلَوْ أَنَّا أَهْلَكْنَاهُم بِعَذَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِهِ لَقَالُوا رَبَّنَا لَوْلَا أَرْسَلْتَ إِلَيْنَا رَسُولًا فَنَتَّبِعَ آيَاتِكَ مِن قَبْلِ أَن نَّذِلَّ وَنَخْزَىٰ
“And if We had destroyed them with a punishment before him, they would have said, “Our Lord, why did You not send to us a messenger so we could have followed Your verses (=message or revelation) before we were humiliated and disgraced?” (Surah Taha 20: 134)
6. Teachings, Instructions:
سُورَةٌ أَنزَلْنَاهَا وَفَرَضْنَاهَا وَأَنزَلْنَا فِيهَا آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
“[This is] a surah which We have sent down and made [that within it] obligatory and revealed therein verses (=teachings) of clear evidence that you might remember.” (Surah An Noor 24: 1)
7. Verses, parts of the Qur’an:
وَإِذَا بَدَّلْنَا آيَةً مَّكَانَ آيَةٍ ۙ وَاللَّـهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يُنَزِّلُ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُفْتَرٍ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
“And when We substitute a verse in place of a verse – and Allah is most knowing of what He sends down – they say, “You, [O Muhammad], are but an inventor [of lies].” But most of them do not know.” (Surah Al Nahl 16: 101)
قَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ آيَةٌ فِي فِئَتَيْنِ الْتَقَتَا ۖ فِئَةٌ تُقَاتِلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَأُخْرَىٰ كَافِرَةٌ يَرَوْنَهُم مِّثْلَيْهِمْ رَأْيَ الْعَيْنِ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يُؤَيِّدُ بِنَصْرِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّأُولِي الْأَبْصَارِ
“Already there has been for you a sign (=lesson) in the two armies which met – one fighting in the cause of Allah and another of disbelievers. They saw them [to be] twice their [own] number by [their] eyesight. But Allah supports with His victory whom He wills. Indeed in that is a lesson for those of vision.” (Surah Al Imran 3: 13)
9. Glory, wonder:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs (=glory, wonder) Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Surah Al Isra 17: 1)
If you venture to drive on road, you must not only know the traffic signs but also follow them. One who drives without respecting signs on the road will not only endanger his own life but also put many other lives at stake.
Similarly man must know what His creator has sent down to him as guidance for life lest he commits spiritual accidents and puts his life and soul in peril.
Pondering over the creations of Almighty Allah leads one to understand that this amazing universe has not come by chance. Reflection, thus, leads to Tawheed, the acceptance – and submission to the reality – of the oneness of Allah.
Sal-lal-laahu ‘Alaa Muhammad, Sal-lal-laahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam
In response to the post, through comment section, Dr. Muhammad Yunus has shared his learning experience on the categorization of Aayaat, alhamdulillaah. Given its lesson-rich words of wisdom, I am presenting it here for the benefit of one and all, Inshaa’Allah:
Categorisation of Aayaat:
A- Aayaat fi Ayyamillah or in the human history:
Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala mentions the stories of previous nations in the Glorious Quran and then invites us to ponder upon these to learn lessons or see the ayaat of Allah in these stories.
B- Aayaat Fil AfaaQ:
Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala mentions his Ayaat or signs in the creation of the universe, heavens and earth.
C- Aayaat Fil Anfus:
These are the ayaat which talk about human creation from its birth, its various organs and then its abilities and then its demise.
D- Aayaatullah through Wahi Matlu wa Ghairi Matlu:
These are the ayaat of Quran which are miraculous to recite and so many lessons to learn from them when we ponder upon them.
E- Miracles of the Prophets as aayaat of Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala:
F- Aayaat of Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala in the disasters and calamities which happen around the world:
They always teach us lessons that Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala is indeed most powerful and things happen according to His Will and Command. No power can come in His way.
May Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala help and guide us to learn lessons from the Aayaat of Allah and follow the path of His complete obedience. Ameen.
PS: Jazakallaahu Khayra Dr. Yunus Sahib for sharing your knowledge with us. Baarakallaahu feekum.