Al-Baqara 255 (Throne Verse)

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Ayatul Kursi as recited by Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais

The Throne Verse (Arabic: آية الكرسيʾĀyat-ul-Kursī) is the 255th verse of surah Al-Baqara, the second chapter of the Qur'an.[1] It speaks about how nothing and nobody is comparable to God.[1] It is the most famous verse of the Quran and is widely memorized and displayed in the Islamic world due to its emphatic description of God's power over the entire universe.[citation needed]


Ayat Al-Kursi in the form of a calligraphic horse (India, Deccan) - 16th century

While not all verses in the Quran carry a specific name, this one was given the name 'Ayat Al-Kursi' (Kursi: literally a footstool or chair, and sometimes translated as the Throne.) The Kursi mentioned in this Verse should be distinguished from the 'Arsh (Throne) mentioned in V 7:54, 10:3, 85:15 and elsewhere. Muhammad said: "The Kursi compared to the 'Arsh is nothing but like a ring thrown out upon open space of the desert." If the Kursi extends over the entire universe, then how much greater is the 'Arsh. It is narrated from Muhammad bin 'Abdullah and from other religious scholars that the Kursi is in front of the 'Arsh (Throne) and it is the at the level of the Feet." Another opinion preferred by Tabari, Sufyan al-Thawri in their exegesis, in the Mufradat by Raghib and narrated by Bukhari as the opinion of Saeed ibn Jubayr, interprets Kursi as "Allah's Knowledge (Ilm)". Islamic religious belief holds that anyone who recites the verse enters the protection and security of God. Commonly, it is recited by Muslims before they go to sleep.

Symmetry of verses in Ayatul Kursi[edit]

Ayat Al-Kursi displays a perfect internal symmetry comprising concentric looping verses surrounding a pivotal chiasm 'x' of the type A B C D X D' C' B' A'. The reciter imagines him or herself walking through Ayat Al-Kursi until reaching the centre, seeing what is in front and what is behind, and finds they represent a perfect reflection of each other. The central chiasm is represented by "Ya'lamu ma baina aidihim wa ma khalfahum = He knows what is before them and what is behind them". This is flanked symmetrically outwards so that A corresponds to A', B corresponds to B', and so forth. For example, line 3 "he is the lord of the heavens and the earth" corresponds exactly to line 7 "his throne extends over heavens and earth".

There is a slight difference of opinion as to whether to follow Ayatul Kursi with verses 256 and 257 though this is not usually performed.

Sura Al-Baqara itself provides a broader internal concentricity which approximates Ayat Al-Kursi to verses of 29-31 relating the glorification of the angels and Allah's eternal will to bestow His names upon Adam.

Arabic text and translation[edit]

Arabic Transliteration English translation[2]
اللّهُ لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ
لاَ تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَلاَ نَوْمٌ
لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ
مَن ذَا الَّذِي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ
يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ
وَلاَ يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِمَا شَاء
وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ
وَلاَ يَؤُودُهُ حِفْظُهُمَا
وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظِيمُ
  • Allāhu lā ilāha illā huwa l-ḥayyu l-qayyūm
  • lā taʾḫuḏuhu sinätu-n wa lā nawmu-n
  • lahu mā fī s-samawāti wa mā fī l-arḍ
  • man ḏā llaḏī yašfaʿu ʿindahu illā bi iḏnihi
  • yaʿlamu mā bayna aydīhim wa mā ḫalfahum
  • walā yuḥīṭūna bi šayʾi-n min ʿilmihi illā bi mā šāʾa
  • wasiʿa kursīyuhu s-samawāti wa l-arḍa
  • walā yaʾūduhu ḥifẓuhumā
  • wa huwa l-ʿaliyyu l-ʿaẓīm.
  • Allah! There is no deity save Him, the Alive, the Eternal.
  • Neither slumber nor sleep overtaketh Him.
  • Unto Him belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth.
  • Who is he that intercedeth with Him save by His leave?
  • He knoweth that which is in front of them and that which is behind them,
  • while they encompass nothing of His knowledge save what He will.
  • His throne includeth the heavens and the earth,
  • and He is never weary of preserving them.
  • He is the Sublime, the Tremendous.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1983) [First published 1934]. The Holy Qur’ān: Text, Translation and Commentary. Brentwood, Maryland: Amana Corp. pp. 102–103. 
  2. ^ Quran 2:255 (Translated by Pickthall)

External links[edit]