Islam AS RS Revision Programme
REVISION TOPIC: Today Surah 1 and 96
Revision Lessons
• What does syllabus say about this?
• Revision Guide (you have copy of)
• Past Papers on this topic?
• Mark Scheme on the past paper?
Syllabus: Surah 1 and 96
• In detail
• What Surah 1 teaches about Allah and the
relationship between Allah and his people
• What Surah 96 teaches in relation to the
revelation and knowledge of Allah
• Critical evaluation
What do you remember about
Surah 1?
Surah 1 – Al-Fatihah – The
What does it mean?
1. With the Name of Allah, the Merciful
Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer
2. In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most
3. Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer
of the worlds;
4. Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
5. Master of the Day of Judgment.
6. Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
7. Show us the straight way,
8. The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed
Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath,
and who go not
This Surah is often called the
‘Essence of the Book’ as it teaches
the perfect Muslim prayer.
Verses 1- 5
• These first five verses show that if Muslims pray
as Allah instructed then they can have knowledge
of Allah and his attributes.
• They teach about the relationship between Allah
and humanity and with his creation.
• They explain the origins of humanity and also
that the final goal for humanity is its spiritual
destiny under Allah’s judgement.
Verses 6 -7
• These verses are about how people should pray.
• Human prayer is hardly worthy of praise to Allah.
• Humanity searches for futile things and needs
physical things such as food which must be
requested of Allah.
• The prayer sums up faith, hope and ambition and
how Allah’s guidance shows people how to follow
the correct way through life.
Explain the implications for Muslims
of the teachings in Surah 1 of Allah
as Creator, Judge and Guide
• Introduction – “Surah 1 is often called the heart
of The Qur’an. It has significant implications for
Muslim life”
• What does Surah 1 teach about Allah?
• What are the implications of this for Muslims?
• Conclusion
Mark Schemes
(Take with pinch of salt)
• Candidates might begin by quoting or paraphrasing relevant
sections of Surah 1: e.g. the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds;
Master of the Day of Judgement, Show us the straight way.
• In dealing with the implications for Muslims, candidates are
expected to address the three areas but not necessarily in equal
• Muslims are stewards of the created world; being mindful of
Akhirah or Life After Death and depending on Allah every moment
to guide Muslims to and in the straight way might be included in
the response.
• Candidates might note that the words relating to grace in Surah 1
are related to Allah but wrath is impersonal. Those who go astray
bring wrath on themselves.
• Some candidates might interpret the question as referring to Allah
as the Lord of past, present and future and respond equally
Surah 1 is more concerned with
religious beliefs than practices
• Candidates are likely to consider the topics in Surah 1
and try to decide where they think the balance of the
concern lies in this set text.
• The focus of Islam and of the Qur’an is Allah and the
religious ideas of Surah 1 include beliefs about Allah,
which the candidates explained in the first part of the
question, but the whole plea of the Opening is that the
believers will be shown the straight way.
• Some candidates might point out that Surah 1 does not
contain the Five Pillars which are key religious practices
in Islam.
• Some candidates might try to set the discussion within
the larger context of the relationship of faith and works
in Islam.
Explain the beliefs about Allah
expressed in the shahadah and in
Surah 1. [25]
‘Surah 1 contains all that is needed
to be a Muslim.’ Discuss. [10]
Surah 96 – Al ‘Alaq – The Clot (Blood
What do you remember?
Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created—
Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful—
He Who taught (the use of) the pen—
Taught man that which he knew not. (Surah 96:1–5)
Day, but man doth transgress all bounds,
In that he looketh upon himself as self-sufficient.
Verily, to thy Lord is the return (of all).
Seest thou one who forbids—
A votary when he (turns) to pray?
Seest thou if he is on (the road of) Guidance?—
Or enjoins Righteousness?
Seest thou if he denies (Truth) and turns away?
Knoweth he not that Allah doth see?
Let him beware! If he desist not, We will drag him by the forelock—
A lying, sinful forelock!
Then, let him call (for help) to his council (of comrades):
We will call on the angels of punishment (to deal with him)!
Day, heed him not: But bow down in adoration, and bring thyself the closer (to
Allah)! (Surah 96:7-19)
• Verses 1–5: The opening of this Surah is the first
revelation which Muhammad (pbuh) received
from Jibril. Muslims believe that, following these
verses, there was a break of up to a year before
the revelations continued with Surah 68. Verses
1–5 instruct Muhammad (pbuh) to preach
• Verses 6–19: The next section of the Surah,
verses 6–19, explains that the main obstacles in
preaching the word of Allah is human vanity,
obstinacy and insolence:
Explain the teachings of Surah 96
Surah 96 would make a good
introduction to the study of Islam
Mark Schemes
Part A
• Candidates might begin by identifying the first five verses of Surah 96 as the
initial command from Jibrail to Muhammad to ‘proclaim in the name of thy Lord
Some story telling of the incident in the cave on Mount Nur is inevitable and
worth some credit.
• Candidates who focus on the importance of the teachings for Muslims might
also use the opportunity to that from the very start the message revealed to
Muhammad centres on Allah the Creator, which is the very heart of Islam, the
monotheistic belief in the one compassionate creator God.
• Some candidates, having studied the compilation of the Qur’an, are likely to be
aware that there was an interval or a break (fatra) before the next verses were
revealed; but this is not essential for full marks. Candidates might explain that
the importance for Muslims is the continuation of the theme- that the main
obstacle to the delivery of the message is human waywardness in turning away
from the path and in misleading others.
• Some responses might explain the importance in terms of revelation and
demonstrate sensitivity to the Muslim respect for the teachings as the words of
Allah. Candidates might explain that the importance for Muslims is not simply
the theological content of the message but the challenge to respond in
submission and adoration.
Part B
• Candidates are likely to develop points made in the first
part of the question and might point out that verses one
to five are thought to refer to the incident in Cave Hira at
the start of the revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad .
• Some candidates might use the contents of Surah 96 to
discuss how far it is a synopsis of the message of the
Qur’an. Others might consider the purpose of the study
and whether the students are Muslim or not before
concluding about the extent to which Surah 96 is a good
introduction to Islamic belief and practice.
• Candidates are free to choose any appropriate arena for
the debate. For example, some might argue in favour of
Al-Fatihah –Surah 1, which is a set text, as ‘a good’ - in
fact, ‘better’ - introduction on the grounds that the
compilers were inspired to use it as ‘the opening’.
Key Points