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By the pen
and what
they write,

Noon; walqalami wa maa yasturoon

Sahih International:

Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe,

1 A. J. Arberry

Nun. By the Pen, and what they inscribe,

2 Abdul Haleem

Nun By the pen! By all they write!

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Nun By the pen and by that which they inscribe.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Nun. By the Pen and the (Record) which (men) write,-

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Nun. By the pen and what the scribes write.

6 Ahmed Ali

NUN. I CALL to witness the pen and what they inscribe,

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Nuun* – by oath of the pen and by oath of what is written by it. (Alphabet of the Arabic language; Allah and to whomever He reveals, know their precise meanings.)

8 Ali Quli Qarai

Nun. By the Pen and what they write:

9 Ali Ünal

Nun. By the Pen and what they write with it line by line.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

The ink - stand and the pen and all that they (the owners of the pen - the scholars) write, bear witness (to the fact that),

11 English Literal

N and the writing utensil/pen and what they write/inscribe/draft.

12 Faridul Haque

Nuun* - by oath of the pen and by oath of what is written by it. (Alphabet of the Arabic language; Allah and to whomever He reveals, know their precise meanings.)

13 Hamid S. Aziz

NUN. I swear by the Pen and by that which they write,

14 Hilali & Khan

Nun. [These letters (Nun, etc.) are one of the miracles of the Quran, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings]. By the pen and what the (angels) write (in the Records of men).

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

And surely thine is a reward never to be cut off.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Noon. I swear by the pen and what the angels write,

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

Nun. By the pen and that which they write (therewith),

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Nun. By the pen and by what you write,

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Noon. By the Pen and that (the angels) write,

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Nun. By the pen and by what they Yastur.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Nun. By the pen, and all that they write!

22 Talal Itani

Noon. By the pen, and by what they inscribe.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

Nn, one of the letters of the alphabet; God knows best what He means by it. By the Pen, with which He has inscribed [the records of] all creatures in the Preserved Tablet, and what they inscribe, that is, the angels, of good and righteousness.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

We have already discussed the special letters of the Arabic alphabet at the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah. Thus, Allah's saying,

Nun, is like Allah's saying,
(Sad), and Allah's saying,
(Qaf), and similar to them from the individual letters that appear at the beginning of Qur'anic chapters. This has been discussed at length previously and there is no need to repeat it here.
The Explanation of the Pen Concerning

Allah's statement,


By the pen,

The apparent meaning is that this refers to the actual pen that is used to write. This is like Allah's saying,

اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الاٌّكْرَمُ

الَّذِى عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ

عَلَّمَ الاِنسَـنَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not. (96;3-5)

Therefore, this statement is Allah's swearing and alerting His creatures to what He has favored them with by teaching them the skill of writing, through which knowledge is attained.

Thus, Allah continues by saying,

وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ

and by what they Yastur.

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah all said that this means,

"what they write."

As-Suddi said,

"The angels and the deeds of the servants they record."

Others said,

"Rather, what is meant here is the pen which Allah caused to write the decree when He wrote the decrees of all creation, and this took place fifty-thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth."

For this, they present Hadiths that have been reported about the Pen.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Al-Walid bin `Ubadah bin As-Samit that he said,

"My father called for me when he was dying and he said to me;`Verily, I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا خَلَقَ اللهُ الْقَلَمُ فَقَالَ لَهُ اكْتُبْ

قَالَ يَا رَبِّ وَمَا أَكْتُبُ

قَالَ اكْتُبِ الْقَدَرَ وَمَا هُوَ كَايِنٌ إِلَى الاْاَبَد

Verily, the first of what Allah created was the Pen, and He said to it;"Write."

The Pen said;"O my Lord, what shall I write"

He said;"Write the decree and whatever will throughout eternity.""

This Hadith has been recorded by Imam Ahmad through various routes of transmission.

At-Tirmidhi also recorded it from a Hadith of Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi and he (At-Tirmidhi) said about it, "Hasan Sahih, Gharib."
Swearing by the Pen refers to the Greatness of the Prophet

Allah says,

مَا أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُونٍ