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The Status of the Pen in Islam

By Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyah

  Allah says : “ Nun ,By the pen and what the (angels) write (in the Records of men).” [Al-Qalam :1]

 Allah says: “Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous,

  1. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen [the first person to write was Prophet Idrees (Enoch)],
  2. Has taught man that which he knew not.”[ Al-Alaq 3-5]

Allah says: Neither did you (O Muhammad ) read any book before it (this Qur’an), nor did you write any book (whatsoever) with your right hand. In that case, indeed, the followers of falsehood might have doubted.[ Al-Ankabut 48]

Allah says:   “ You were not with them , when they cast lots with their pens as to which of them should be charged with the care of Maryam.” [Al Imran 44]

Allah swears by the Pen . The pen is one of Allah’s Signs and the first thing He created. Allah’s Qadr, legislation and revelation all are recorded by the pen.  Furthermore, the pen has played a major role in preserving the sciences of Islam along with defining what is beneficial for the Muslims  in this life and in the Hereafter.

The various leading roles of the Pen

1:  The Pen for the Qadr

 This is the  pen Allah used to write the destiny of creation. This pen is the highest in rank and the noblest of all pens.

2: The Pen for Revelation.

This pen is used to record Allah’s words given to His Prophets and His Messengers, along with their companions. This pen passes Judgment on the World. The scholar serves this pen’s judgment to the people in power to execute its law. Each and every pen that recorded revelations serves the pen for the influential people. The Prophet (SallAllahu alayhi wa salam) ascended on the night of Isra to a place where he heard the pens squeaking. These pens are those that write whatever affairs Allah decides for the entire the World.

3: The Pen that carries out Allah and His Messenger’s orders.

This is the pen used by the Jurists and the Muftis. What’s more is this pen rules on those governed. It serves in maintaining people’s honor, property, lineage and rights. The people who push this pen are obliged to follow Allah’s orders between His slaves. Rulers and kings are endowed with these pens and the scholar fulfils the primary duty of this pen.

4: The Doctor’s Pen

This pen looks after people’s health. It repels anomalous physical conditions. In fact this is among the most beneficial pens after the pen for spiritual medicine. Mankind needs this pen and those who write with it.

5: The Pen for the Kings, their deputies, and state politicians.

The one who uses this pen, along with those who share in its usage are among the most powerful writers. When the authors are sound and correct those governed are correct, and whenever those legislators are corrupt those in the kingdom will follow suit. The companion of this pen is the agent for the kings and their citizens.

6: The Pen for Bookkeeping

This pen is responsible for regulating the wealth that’s given , spent and its value. This is the pen for livelihood.

7: The Pen for the Judges

This pen guarantees rights and executes orders. It safeguards blood and protects property. Therefore when an oppressor takes something wrongfully this pen returns it to the rightful owner. The judges’ pen establishes justice and settles disputes.

8: The Pen for Witnesses

This pen protects people’s right and preserves whatever rights are lost. It serves between the evil person and prevents him from  his evil. This pen testifies for the trustworthy as being honest and proves the liar to be a liar. The witness’s pen attests to the honest person’s rights, and rejects the treacherous person’s falsehood and deceit. The key role of this pen is to protect the blood,  the off-spring, the linage, the property,  and  the rights of mankind. Whenever this pen is corrupt the world is corrupt with the most notorious corruptions. When this pen is upright the Worldly affairs are upright. This ink is built on spreading knowledge and against concealing it.

9: The Pen for interpreting Dreams

This pen deduces the meaning of dreams and what’s intended from them. This pen is very significant regarding the definition of dreams. It’s conducive towards the pens that rectify religious and worldly affairs. The ink of this pen relies on the purity of its writer, his chastity , honesty, and practice of truthfulness. This pen must be pushed by one who treads a straight path, upright  in methodology, and is well-grounded in knowledge. The author must have a clean heart and feeling supported by the light of Allah. The one who possesses this pen must also be aware of people’s conditions and background. This is among the things that make this pen the most generous.


10: The Pen that Records World History and its events.

This pen writes history and records world events. It reports from one nation to another and from one generation to another. Included in its writings are World occurrences traced and conceptualized so vividly it’s as if the one hearing them can see them with his own eyes.

11: The pen for Language

This pen details language, the meaning of words,  Grammar, and  Morphology. Furthermore, this pen defines the basic structure of Arabic (words and sentences) and everything related to the manner its (written and spoken).

12: The Pen for refuting Falsehood

This pen refutes deception, raises the Sunnah and exposes the various kinds of falsehood from innovators. This pen criticizes falsehood and sheds light on how the people of falsehood contradict the truth, hold erroneous opinions and deviate from what’s correct and  then turn to what’s incorrect.

Taken from At-Tibyan fee Aqsamil Quran , by Ibn Al-Qayyim 185-190

Translated by :

Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Lamont Battle

Doha, Qatar


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One thought on “The Status of the Pen in Islam – Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah”
  1. Assalaamu alayikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, barakallahu feek, this was beautiful. It makes me happy as a Muslim artist working with pen and ink to see that the status of the pen in Islam is so revered to the writing down of Qadr and Revelation. Though, I am surprised Ibnul Qayyim al-Jawziyyah did not mention the pen of the Artist or Calligrapher, the pen that transcribes the words of Allah on the Mushaf or the pens that flow ink into the intricate designs that can be seen left behind from an Ummah long gone, all inspired by the fervor of discovery and appreciation to the details of life only in a manner that Islam can.

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