Sūrah al-Qalam - Behind the Research
The research that went into breaking down the structure of Sūrah al-Qalam
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Last Friday, we looked at the structure, organization and cohesion of Sūrah al-Qalam (The Pen). Below is how we arrived at that structure.
The first thing we do for every post is take screenshots of the sūrah and place it in a notetaking app (We use Lecture Notes. Highly recommend it for school too). Having the sūrah all in one view helps to analyze and observe similarities that may occur on different pages of the sūrah.
Next we look at what has been written by Dr. Fāḍil Ṣālih in his book, at-Tanāsubu bayn as-suwar fi 'l-muftataḥi wa ‘l-khawātīm (The Connection Between the Suwar in Their Openings and Endings). It is an amazing book that, as the title suggests, makes connections between how almost every sūrah begins and ends.
Sometimes we also read the connections Dr. Fāḍil Ṣālih made, in the same book, of how the end of the previous sūrah leads into the beginning of the next sūrah. So in the case of this study, we took notes on how Sūrah al-Mulk’s ending leads into the beginning of Sūrah al-Qalam.
Next, we begin to read the sūrah and summarize the topics as they change. Once we have a list of topics, we will try and see if there are any apparent connections between different sections of the sūrah. Our first time through, this is what we came up with:
And we probably would have published this had it not been for one of our readers who sent us an alternative structuring1, which was much better in our opinion.
But it needed some touching up. So, via a back-and-forth and feedback from the same sender, we ended on the final structure you saw last Friday.
Hopefully this insight has given you a taste for what goes into writing these weekly posts and possibly inspires you to discover your own structures!
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