The Quran is a magnificent book. This book will teach you about things you don’t know, protect you from things you fear, and help you realize your goals. It is a book that originates with Majid (the Majestic One), Allah. It is a book that is in Lawh al-Mahfuz, which means that Allah has fixed it in His presence and protected it from all types of distortion, defects, and additions. This book will guide people to the guidance, truth, and Paradise.
What is Lawh al-Mahfuz (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz)?
Lawh al-Mahfuz is Arabic for “preserved/protected tablet”. In Islam, it refers to the spiritual tablet where all that has occurred and will occur is recorded.
Lawh al-Mahfuz has a direct connection to Allah’s attribute of ilm (knowledge/ all-knowing) since it is founded on Allah’s knowledge of what has occurred and what will occur. Because nothing written there may be altered or modified by outside interference, it is referred to as preserved (protected). The Quran also refers to it as Kitabun Hafiz (Preserving Book), Ummul-Kitab (Mother of the Book, Main Book), Imamun Mubin (Clear Guide), Kitabun Maknun (Hidden Book), and al-Kitab (the Book). It also goes by the name Kitabul-Qadar, or “the Book of Qadar,” because it predicts what will happen to humans.
Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz in Quran
The Quran only makes mention of “Lawh al-Mahfuz” only once in a verse. The Quran is in Lawh al-Mahfuz, according to that passage. But no explanation is provided. On the other hand, it is defined along with its attributes in a number of verses. In accordance with this, Lawh al-Mahfuz is a preserved, clear, hidden and preserving main book that only cleanly created angels can access and in which nothing is unfinished (al-An’am, 6/59), details of the things that will happen is preserved (Qaf, 50/4), all of the misfortunes that will strike the people and the earth are written (al-Hadid, 57/22), everything is counted and determined (Yasin, 36/12)
The Pen and the Preserved Tablet in Islam
In the Aqeedah of Imam At-Tahawi (RAH.), we recite,
وَنُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّوْحِ وَالْقَلَمِ وَبِجَمِيعِ مَا فِيهِ قَدْ رُقِمَ
We believe in the Preserved Tablet (al-lawh al-maḥfuz), the Pen, and in everything inscribed on it.
[The Creed of Imam al-Tahawi: al-ʻAqīdah al-Ṭaḥāwīyah]
Now, Rasulullah (saw), the messenger (saw), informs us that before anything else, there was only Allah (swt). After that, Allah (swt) built his throne and then the pen.
Al-Bukhaari (2953) narrated from ‘Imraan ibn Husayn (may Allah be pleased with him) that some of the people of Yemen asked the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) this and said: We have come to you to ask you about this matter. He said: “There was Allah, and there was nothing else besides Him, and His Throne was over the water. He wrote all things in the Book (in heaven) and He created the heavens and the earth.”
That water was the foundation of his throne. The water covered the ground beneath Allah (SWT’s) throne. Since water is the source of everything, as we will see in the discussion that follows, the scholars conclude from this that Allah must have created water before the creation of the pen, though we lack many details at this point because the heavens and the earth had not yet been created. However, the creation of the pen is now an issue.
Creation of Pen (Al-Qalam)
The Prophet (saw) stated that Allah (swt) created Al-Qalam, the pen. What are the measurements of the pen? It Looks like what? Since every pen in this world is so unique, we have no idea what this one looks like or whether it is similar to the pens we use to write with. Although Allah (swt) created the pen, He is the One who knows best how it appears and functions.
And the Prophet (saw) says,
Allah (swt) said to the pen: “Write!”
And the pen said, “O my lord, and what should I write?”
Allah (swt) said to the pen, “Write the details, the decree of everything that will happen and that is decreed until the establishment of the hour until the hour begins and commences”.
and the Prophet (saw), said “Whoever dies believing in anything other than this then he is not from me”
The Pen recorded “Everything” in the Preserved Tablet
According to the prophet (saw), this occurred 50,000 years before the heavens and the Earth were created. Al-Qalam, this pen, Allah (swt) ordered to record everything. Thus, the “Al-lawh Al-mahfuz” or preserved and protected tablet was written on by the Qalam, a pen that was created fifty thousand years before the heavens and the earth. Allah refers to it as al-lawh al-mahfuz because it remains protected from both access and change. This preserved tablet is safe from access by anybody; this includes humans, jinn, and even angels and mala’ikah. Only Allah (swt) can access al-lawh al-mahfuz, hence it is protected.
Characteristics of the Preserved Tablet (Al-lawh Al-mahfuz)
It has been protected. Only Allah is aware of its contents. In the Quran, Allah (swt) calls the tablet with different names. Allah refers to it as a “clear book,” or “kitabin mubeen” or “imamin mubeen.” Therefore, there is no ambiguity in that text. It is an untouched, unrolled tablet that Allah refers to as “kitabin mastoor” since it has exact documentation. Therefore, it has never been touched.
It’s a really unique kind of book, and Allah (swt) says that the papers are not at all wrinkled and, of course, do not resemble the papers that we have.
No information is missing from that book; everything is contained therein, as Allah informs us, even a single leaf falling from a tree. Now consider how extraordinary that is; a leaf falling from a tree; what type of leaf it will be; what land it will fall upon; what will happen to it; who will pick it up; when will it dissolve; all of which that has already occurred; is occurring right now; and will occur in the future. you might see that leaf falling while driving a card, etc.
Allah (swt) decreed that while opening a door, you might struggle with the knob or turn it the wrong way, and it’s already penned in al-lawh al-mahfuz, 50,000 years before the creation of the heavens and the earth, and you know, we could look at that with a sense of optimism as well. and Imam Ash-sha’bi (ra), was once sweet-talking with his wife and he said, “Isn’t it amazing that 50,000 years before Allah (swt) created the skies to the seas, he already wrote down your name next to me?”
Everything is included within the preserved tablet
So it was 50,000 years before the heavens and the earth were created. Our names had already been inscribed next to one other. Thus, everything is written within al-lawh al-mahfuz. Everything is included within the preserved tablet. Everything that is occurring, has occurred and will occur. We don’t know much about the description other than a rather lengthy narration from Abdullah ibn abbas (ra) and ibn Abbas (ra). He states that al-lawh al-mahfuz is preserved in the “al-bayt al-ma’mur,” a commonly visited home from where the mala’ikah, the angels, practice tawaf.
Where is Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz?
It’s kept immediately beneath Allah’s (swt) arsh, exactly beneath Allah’s (swt) throne in the 7th heaven, and he says it’s made of red rubies.
And, of course, not the red rubies we see; it’s made of a unique type of red ruby, of which we can’t even imagine; its higher end is attached to Allah’s (swt) throne; and its lower end stretches towards the angles; the script is light, and its pen is light. Allah looks at it hundreds of times a day, he says, and with each look, he does what he wants: he exalts the humble, he humiliates the honorable, he enriches the poor, he impoverishes the affluent, he provides life to a person, and death to another. and Allah (SWT) does as he wishes, he is the greatest.
If everything is written, what’s our role in it?
There is one and only God. now that raises a really crucial question. If Allah (swt) already wrote everything down with Al-qalam and it’s all written in al-lawh al-mahfuz, the preserved tablet, and everything that was to happen has already been written down, how can we have any involvement in changing our destiny? How can anything be removed or added? Is Allah (swt) referring to al-lawh al-mahfuz, or is Allah (swt) referring to anything else?
Well, the prophet (saw) clarifies that in the hadith of Ibn Abbas (ra) that we discussed, where the prophet (saw) tells him to remember Allah. They couldn’t hurt you with something if they teamed together to do so unless Allah specifically designated it for you, at the end of the hadith.
More than one Pen
The pens had been lifted, says the messenger (saw). In other words, the prophet (saw) is telling us that there are more pens than only Al-qalam and that there are various pens. And we see that Allah and the prophet (saw) described several forms of writing to us in the Quran and the Sunnah. For instance, the night of decree, laylatul-qadr, is when Allah (swt) writes down or causes to be written down the decree for the upcoming year.
And the Prophet (saw) spoke of hearing the pens, the pens’ ringing, and the pages’ unraveling as the angels wrote on Laylatul-Qadr, the night of the decree. Ibn Abbas (ra), who goes even further, asserts that all that will occur the next year was recorded that night. It is recorded if you are going to pass away that evening or the following year. It is noted that night for the preceding year if you will experience a disaster or something you had been waiting for or anticipating.
Also Read: Signs of Laylatul Qadr
Then he goes on to explain that the names of those performing hajj the next year are also recorded on laylatul-qadr. The angels that visit our mothers’ wombs when we are just 4 months old and record the things that Allah (swt) decides, including our lifespan, were mentioned to us by the Prophet (saw). As a result, it has already been determined how long you will live and recorded your death date, SubhanAllah, before your actual birth date.
Don’t think it’s in your hands, don’t think you need to hurry to engage in haram or engage in forbidden behavior because you know, you are going to somehow get more than what has been decreed for you, it’s already been written. Rasulullah (saw) mentions that he writes down as well your rizq, your sustenance, meaning every single cent that you will make, every penny that would come into your bank account, every single amount of money that you would ever possess, it was already written.
How can we change our Predetermined Fate?
Last but not least, the Prophet (saw) remarked that a person is recorded as a contented or unhappy person, and that shaqi is the opposite of safi, the meaning of which is ‘full and fulfilled’. The context of Shaqi’s situation is that he is denied goodness and true happiness, which is the happiness of the hereafter. You know, this is something that is very profound as well because once we enter this world, our fate is already predetermined. How then do we change that predetermined course?
And then Prophet Muhammad (saw) or rather Allah (swt) mentions to us Quran (55:29):
Whoever is within the heavens and earth asks Him; every day He is bringing about a matter.
What does this mean for us? If Allah (swt) writes and decrees every day, where does that leave us? So what’s the purpose of saying a dua? What purpose does working serve? If everything has been put in writing, what’s the sense of doing anything at all? With several pens and multiple papers, you do realize that the only thing we have proven is that there is more things that is written down against us. The Prophet (saw) stated that dua could change all of that.
Al-qalam al-mahfuz, the preserved tablet, is the sole object that cannot be altered by supplication. since it already accounts for both what would have occurred had you skipped the dua and what would occur as a result of your making dua, in its writing. The records of the angels do not show that, so what that means is that they might record your death as occurring on September 1st, 2029, right? However, you can then pray to Allah (swt) or perform good deeds.
You do good deeds and Allah (swt), he sees it, and Allah (swt) makes your date of death to alter. now so that the angel’s record would be updated since the Prophet (saw) said that nothing increases a person’s lifespan like his good deeds. Al-lawh al-mahfuz already contains your previously decreed date of death along with the new date of death that came as a result of your making dua or carrying out good deeds. so it is perfect because it already takes that into consideration, similar to how you know that by eating or drinking good things, you extend your lifespan for another day or by virtue of taking medication, you extend your life for another week.
It is already taken into account by Allah (swt) in al-lawh al-mahfuz. both what would have occurred if you hadn’t taken the medication and what really does occur as a result of your taking the medication. Dua is also a form of spiritual medication, right? Nothing is beyond our supplication or dua, which together serve as our spiritual medication.
FAQs on Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz
When was the Pen and Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz) created?
The Pen (Al-Qalam) and Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz) were created 50,000 years ago before Allah created Heaven and Earth.
What is the meaning of Al Lawh al-Mahfuz?
How many times Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz is mentioned in Quran?
Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz is mentioned one time in single verse in Quran, by name. It is mentioned 15 time(s) in 16 verse(s) in Quran by its attributive names.
What are the other names of Lawh Al-Mahfuz?
Who can access Lawh Al-Mahfuz?
Only Allah can access Lawh Al-Mahfuz.
Where is Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz kept?
Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz is kept immediately beneath Allah's (swt) throne in the 7th heaven.
Can Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz be changed?
Al-qalam al-mahfuz, the preserved tablet, is the sole object that cannot be changed, except by the will of Allah (SWT)
How can we change our Predetermined Fate?
We can change our Predetermined Fate by Dua (Supplication).