Summary of Quran Chapter 68 Surah Al-Qalam, Nun, The Pen 

Surah Al-Qalam, The Pen

The study of these early surahs, including Surah Al-Qalam, highlights Muhammad’s prophethood challenges.

As mentioned in the introduction to Surat al-Mulk, (Dominion) the first six suras (Quran chapters) under study consist of two sub-groups. Each sub-group has three surahs, of which one surah is unique and of two pairs, the first surah of the first sub-group i.e., Surat al-Mulk was unique, while the next two suras i.e., Surat al-Qalam and Surat al-Haqqah (Inevitable) are in the form of pairs.

In these two surahs, the aspect of Prophets is more prominent. Surah Al-Qalam (The Pen) stands out among all the Surahs of its group in that it gives a glimpse into the very early period of Muhammad’s Da’wah (preaching of Islam). In this regard, most of the commentators believe that after the first five verses of Surah Al-Alaq, (The Clot) the second revelation revealed to Muhammad (PBUH) consisted of the first seven verses of this Surah.

Personally, I also agree with this opinion (Dr. Israr Ahmed opinion). In these seven verses, the reaction of the people of Makkah is clearly visible, which they expressed to the news of the first revelation of Muhammad. When Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) told the people for the first time that an angel had come to him from Allah with revelation, the first impression of the people was that he was under the influence of a jinn or an evil spirit.  

Most people used to express their opinions sympathetically to you, thinking, “Look, he was a good and noble person. How has this issue arisen with him?” However, some also used these same remarks in a mocking and ridiculing manner to annoy you.

This situation was very distressing clearly for Muhammad (peace be upon him) because those from his community who until yesterday held him in the highest esteem and regarded him as the apple of their eye were now calling him insane and deranged (I seek preservation-God forbid). Therefore, in this distressing situation, these verses were revealed for the comfort of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

This surah begins with the letter “Nun- ن”. This surah (a Quran chapter) follows Surah Sad and Surah Qaf, this is the third and last Surah starting with a single letter. 

The Haroof e Muqataat (mysterious letters) in the Quran refers to the isolated letters that appear at the beginning of certain chapters (surahs) of the Quran. These letters include Alif-Lam-Meem (ألم), Ya-Sin (يس), Ta-Ha (طه), “Nun- ن”, Sad ص, Qaf ق, and others.

The meaning and purpose of these letters remain a topic of scholarly debate and interpretation. Some scholars believe they serve as unique markers or signs, possibly indicating the miraculous nature of the Quran’s linguistic style and challenging the Arabs of the time to produce something similar. Others view them as symbols whose precise meanings are known only to Allah. The inclusion of these letters adds to the Quran’s linguistic richness and profundity, encouraging reflection and deeper study.

In conclusion, the analysis of these early surahs, particularly Surah Al-Qalam, reveals important themes about the beginnings of Muhammad’s prophethood and the reactions of his community. The progression from sympathy to mockery underscores the challenges faced by the Prophet during his initial mission. (Late Dr Israr Ahmed, An Islamic Scholar).