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Simple Explanation of Quran’s Greatest Verse: Aaya tul-Kursi

Description: This lesson is an aid in memorizing Aaya tul-Kursi and understanding its meaning.

By Imam Mufti

Published on 26 Dec 2011 - Last modified on 25 Jun 2019

Printed: 680 - Emailed: 2 - Viewed: 39637 (daily average: 9)

Category: Lessons > The Holy Quran > Explanation of Selected Passages


·       Belief in Allah (2 parts).


·       To learn the translation and explanation of Aaya tul-Kursi in simple language.

Arabic Terms

·       Tawheed – The Oneness and Uniqueness of Allah with respect to His Lordship, His Names and Attributes and in His right to be worshipped.

·       Salah - the Arabic word to denote a direct connection between the believer and Allah.  More specifically, in Islam it refers to the formal five daily prayers and is the most important form of worship.

·       Surah – chapter of the Quran.

·       Kursi - Footstool.

Aaya tul-Kursi

Aaya tul-Kursi[1], the greatest verse of the Quran, is the 255th verse of Surah al-Baqara.  It has great blessings when recited.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, has instructed us to recite it after every obligatory salah and before sleep.  Aaya tul-Kursi is the most powerful protection against the devil.

Text, Transliteration, Translation, and Explanation

Allahu la ilaha illa huwa. Al-Hayyul qayyoom. La ta khuthuhu sinatun walaa nawm. Lahu ma fis samawati wama fil ard. Man thal lathee yashfaau indahu illa bi ithnihi. Yaalamu maa bayna aydeehim wamaa khalfahum. Walaa yuheetoona bi shay-in min ilmihi illa bima shaa. Wa siaa kursiyyuhus samaawaati wal-ard. Walaa yaooduhu hifthuhuma. Wahuwal alee yul atheem.” (Quran 2:255)

اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ

Allahu la ilaha illa huwa

Allah – there is no deity except Him

This is an affirmation of Tawheed al-Uloohiya, that there is no Lord save Him. There is none who deserves worship but Him. None are to be worshipped instead of Him or along with Him. This is our purpose in life and the reason Allah sent Prophets and revealed books. And ultimately, it is this aspect about which we will be judged in the Day of Judgment.

الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ

Al-Hayyul qayyoom

the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of (all) existence.

The Possessor of perfect eternal life, which is not preceded by non-existence and will never cease to exist.  He is the First without a beginning, and the Last without an end.  There is nothing before or after Him.  He gives life to the entire universe, but none gives Him life. Perfect life means He has perfect attributes like hearing, sight, strength, and knowledge. His life is nothing like human life.

Allah is self-subsisting who sustains all else.  He neither changes nor disappears.  Creation cannot exist without Allah holding it together.

All things worshipped besides Allah are neither ever-living, nor does creation depend on them. Rather, they depend upon Allah for their sustenance.

لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ

La ta khuthuhu sinatun walaa nawm

Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep.

Sleep and drowsiness overtake created beings, but the Creator neither sleeps, nor does He get drowsy.  He does not get tired nor rests. Unlike creation, He is free of such defects.  His being is perfect.  He possesses attributes of perfection and majesty.

لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ

Lahu ma fis samawati wama fil ard

To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth.

To Allah belongs whatsoever is in them and between them. He is the Most High, the Provider, the King, the Regulator.  All creations are subjects in His Kingdom, and He is able to do whatever He pleases with them. Objects of worship besides Allah have no control nor dominion over anything.

مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ

Man thal lathee yashfaau indahu illa bi ithnihi

Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission?

No one can intercede and be advocate on behalf of someone without Allah’s permission and pleasure.  Allah has perfect control of everything.  Intercession is by Allah’s grace and mercy and reserved on the Day of Judgment only for those who Allah allows to intercede, such as the prophets and righteous. As for those who people worship in order to intercede with Allah, they have no right to do so.

يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ

Yalamu maa bayna aydeehim wamaa khalfahum

He knows what is (present) before them and what will be after them.

He knows the state of His creation.  He knows what was, what is, and what will be.  He knows what is hidden and what is manifest.  He knows what his creatures achieved and what they lost.  He knows what they did in the past and what they will do in the future.  He knows what they hide and what they show.  Nothing escapes His knowledge.  Nothing confounds Him. His knowledge is limitless, while the creation’s is limited.

وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَاء

Walaa yuheetoona bi shay-in min ilmihi illa bima shaa

and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills.

Allah has blessed human beings with the gift of knowledge, but no matter how much human knowledge progresses, it will remain a drop in an ocean compared to divine knowledge.  Human beings fall short of fully knowing themselves, how can they imagine to grasp the knowledge of the world of the Unseen? None of the creation knows anything of the Unseen, except for prophets who were given some knowledge of it.

وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ

Wa siaa kursiyyuhus samaawaati wal-ard

His Kursi extends over the heavens and the earth,

Like divine knowledge encompasses all creation, the Kursi – Footstool – encompasses the whole universe. That’s is the greatness of Allah.

وَلاَ يَؤُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا

Walaa yaooduhu hifthuhuma

and its preservation tires Him not.  

Nothing weakens Him.  Much or little, easy or difficult, more or less, great or humble – Allah preserves all and it does not tire Him in the least.

وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ

Wahuwal alee yul atheem

And He is the Most High, the Most Great.

Allah is the Most High; nothing is above Him, and nothing resembles Him. The Most High is above all description and comprehension.  Allah is the Possessor of majesty and holiness, perfection and glory, beauty and grandeur.  Nothing is greater than Him for Allah is the Supreme, the Great.


[1] Verse of Al-Kursi (Quran 2:255)

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