Preparing for the Grave: Arabic Analysis and Memorization of Surah Mulk | Verse 1
By Khadija R.
تَبارَكَ الَّذي بِيَدِهِ المُلكُ وَهُوَ عَلىٰ كُلِّ شَيءٍ قَديرٌ
“Blessed is He in whose hands is all sovereignty, and He has power over all things.”
The word “تبارك” is an intensified form of بركة, this intensification is a grammar rule known as “صيغة المبالغة”. There is NOTHING more blessed than Allah subhana wa ta’ala, to the utmost extent. Another example of this rule which intensifies the meaning can be seen in the word “رحمة” which means merciful. Allah’s name is رحمن and under the صيغة المبالغة it is intensified to there is nothing/no one MORE merciful than Allah.
Barakah vs. ni’mah (نعمة): both translate to blessings; but here’s the difference. Barakah can mean نَمَاء/ زِيَادَة increase or abundant. Or it can mean something that is a continuous long lasting increase of blessing: infinite barakah.
For example: There is a hadith where Jabir reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: “Food for one (person) suffices two, and food for two (persons) suffices four persons and food for four persons suffices eight persons” [Sahih Muslim: Book 23, Hadith 5112]. There is barakah in the food, and although there is less of it and the portion is smaller, there is an increase and you remain fuller for a long time because of the barakah in it.
Barakah can only be used with good. Whereas نعمة can have a positive or negative connotation, and means comfort, ease enjoyment. A person can be given abundant ٌنِعْمَة, but there might not be barakah in it.
In a nominal sentence, the subject comes first, and is followed by the predicate, but in this verse, it’s switched around. الملك is the subject and بِيَدِهِ is the khabar, which shows importance. In HIS hands** is the dominion, no one else possesses true power or might except for Him.
The origins of قدير is قدر also صيغة المبالغة there is emphasis on the meaning: the ALL Mighty. He has complete power over all things. The opening of this surah is indicative of how Allah’s Divinity is endless and continuous, and highlights His Oneness and attributes, which is a major theme of this surah. He is the All-Mighty and the real King, of all kings.
**With regards to Allah’s يد (hand)**
When Allah describes Himself with an attribute, we must take on the apparent meaning unless proof from Allah or the Prophet states otherwise. There are four key rules we do not do:
1. تحريف: Change the word- by changing the letters or the meaning
2. تكييف: Incessant questioning, how? How does Allah descend, etc.
3. تعطيل: Denial of attributes
4. تمثيل: Resemble/liken to creation. We cannot imagine the reality of it, Allah’s hand is not like ours.