The Quranic Word of the Day is: Aayah
As we have seen in the video, aayah is a word that is mostly used to refer to a verse of the Quran. Its literal meaning is “a sign that points to something”. Any sign that points to the existence, power, and greatness of Allah is referred to as an aayah. Allah gave us these signs to teach us important lessons.
Disbelievers Reject the Signs of Allah
The following verses in the Quran show us how disbelievers will still not believe in Allah even if the signs of Allah were apparent to them.
وَأَقْسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ جَهْدَ أَيْمَانِهِمْ لَئِن جَاءَتْهُمْآيَةٌ لَّيُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهَا ۚ قُلْ إِنَّمَاالْآيَاتُعِندَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا يُشْعِرُكُمْ أَنَّهَا إِذَا جَاءَتْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
And they swear by Allah their strongest oaths that if a sign came to them, they would surely believe in it. Say, “The signs are only with Allah.” And what will make you perceive that even if a sign came, they would not believe. [6:109]
وَمَا تَأْتِيهِم مِّنْ آيَةٍ مِّنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَّا كَانُوا عَنْهَا مُعْرِضِينَ
And no sign comes to them from the signs of their Lord except that they turn away therefrom.
Remind the Heedless Believer to Turn Back to His Lord
إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّلْمُؤْمِنِين
Indeed in that is a sign for the believers.
إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَلَآيَةً لِّمَنْ خَافَ عَذَابَ الْآخِرَةِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّجْمُوعٌ لَّهُ النَّاسُ وَذَٰلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّشْهُودٌ
Indeed in that is a sign for those who fear the punishment of the Hereafter. That is a Day for which the people will be collected, and that is a Day [which will be] witnessed.
Increase the Certainty of Steadfast Believers
When Zakariyyah called on His Lord for an offspring, Allah answered the prayer and sent an angel to him to give him the glad tidings of Yahya (John) who would be a righteous man and a prophet. He was shocked because he and his wife were elderly and in addition to that his wife was barren. Then He called unto Allah:
قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِّي آيَةً ۖ قَالَ آيَتُكَ أَلَّا تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ إِلَّا رَمْزًا ۗ وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحْ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِبْكَارِ
He said, “My Lord, make for me a sign.” He Said, “Your sign is that you will not [be able to] speak to the people for three days except by gesture. And remember your Lord much and exalt [Him with praise] in the evening and the morning.”
An Arab poet said:
وفي كل شيء له آية
تدل على أنه واحد
And in everything is a sign
showing that He is One.
Classification of Ayaat (Signs) of Allah
There are two classifications of the aayaat of Allah:
- Aayaatun Kauniyyah آيَاتٌ كَوْنِيَّة
- Aayaatun Shar’iyyah آيَاتٌ شَرْعِيَّةٌ
The ‘universal signs’ are signs that show the actions of Allah without any intermediary. These signs are so clear that no one needs to be shown or reminded of these signs before they know it is from Allah.
Everyone believes that these signs are the work of the Creator even if they fail to worship Him.
Examples of aayaatun kauniyyah in the Quran are the verses talking about the creation of heaven, earth, humans, animals, plants, the sun, moon, and stars and the rotation of the day and night.1
No single person has ever denied these signs except the Pharaoh. Allah reported that the Pharoah openly denied these signs out of injustice and arrogance, but his mind knew it was the truth.
اللَّهُ الَّذِي رَفَعَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا ۖ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ۖ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ ۖ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى ۚ يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ يُفَصِّلُالْآيَاتِلَعَلَّكُم بِلِقَاءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوقِنُونَ
It is Allah who erected the heavens without pillars that you [can] see; then He established Himself above the Throne and made subject the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. He arranges [each] matter; He details the signs that you may, of the meeting with your Lord, be certain.
The ‘legislative signs’ are signs that were sent down by Allah through the prophets. These signs were given to the prophets to convince their people that they were truly from Allah and to call people to Him. The signs differed from one prophet to another.
The signs given to Prophet Musa2 were different from the ones given to Prophet Eesa and likewise, the ones given to Prophet Ibraheem were different from the ones given to Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon them.
These signs were given to each prophet according to the nature of his people and what was in their environment.
Allah says regarding Prophet Salih AS:
وَإِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا ۗ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ ۖ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ هَٰذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ آيَةً ۖ فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِي أَرْضِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
And to the Thamud [We sent] their brother Salih. He said, “O my people, worship Allah ; you have no deity other than Him. There has come to you clear evidence from your Lord. This is the she-camel of Allah [sent] to you as a sign. So leave her to eat within Allah’s land and do not touch her with harm, lest there seize you a painful punishment.
The signs given to Musa AS were the staff that turned into a snake, his hand turning white (Musa’s skin complexion was brown), years of famine, dividing the Red Sea so that Bani Israa’eel could flee safely from Firaun, the flood, the locusts, lice, frogs, and blood; all sent by Allah. Despite all of these signs, there were those who still disbelieved and were drowned in the Red Sea.
Just like the miracles of Musa, Prophet Eesa AS was given miracles that were undeniably from Allah. He made a bird out of clay and was able to blow life into it, with the permission of Allah. He could heal the blind and leper. Allah even gave him permission to bring life to the dead.3
These prophets and others were given signs for people to believe in their message, which was from Allah. Then Prophet Muhammad ﷺ came with the revelation of the Quran. The first people to hear the message of the Quran were the Arabs who were eloquent in speech and loved to compete in their eloquence and usage of words.
Allah sent down the Quran as a sign for the prophet that could neither read nor write. The Quran embodies an eloquence that none can match. Allah challenged the Arabs and all nations to at least bring forward a surah (chapter) comparable to a surah one found in the Quran (the smallest surah contains 3 verses), but nobody could produce it.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ مَا مِنَ الأَنْبِيَاءِ نَبِيٌّ إِلاَّ أُعْطِيَ آيَاتٍ مَا مِثْلُهُ آمَنَ عَلَيْهِ الْبَشَرُ، وَإِنَّمَا كَانَ الَّذِي أُوتِيتُ وَحْيًا أَوْحَاهُ اللَّهُ إِلَىَّ فَأَرْجُو أَنْ أَكُونَ أَكْثَرَهُمْ تَابِعًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ”
Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet, (ﷺ) said, “Every Prophet was given signs because of which people believed in them, but what I have been given, is Divine Inspiration (the Quran) which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets on the Day of Resurrection.”
Reflecting on the Signs of Allah
Reflecting upon the signs of Allah and our own internal self can lead to insights that help us create stronger faith, a closer connection to Allah, and an increased ability to handle the trials of life, InshaAllah. May Allah make us among those who see, recognise, and accept the aayaat of Allah, Ameen.
Conjugations of Aayah (آية) found in the Quran
- Quran 13:3
- Quran 17:101
- Quran 3:49
Discover More Quranic Arabic Words
Have you deepened your understanding of the signs of Allah by seeing how آية is used in the Quran?
If you want to further deepen your connection with the Quran, check out our Arabic Unlocked App to discover a fun, easy, and effective way to learn new Arabic vocabulary.
Arabic Unlocked App
- Multimedia micro-lessons to reach your goals with as little as 5-10 minutes a day.
- Optimise revision with tailored spaced repetition technology to accelerate your progress.
- Enjoy learning with fun challenges and gamification.