Ālā' (Divine Gifts)

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Ālā' has been used in the language of the Dhikr (Remembrance) as a synonym for Divine Gifts. Not only it is of divine nature and issuance but it is affiliated with a least mentioned form of Dhikr:

Ala' of Allah is the blessings or bounties of Allah, in singular form it is 'Ila (or similar forms).

 تفسير الجامع لاحكام القرآن/ القرطبي (ت 671 هـ)
 { فَٱذْكُرُوۤاْ آلآءَ ٱللَّهِ } أي نِعم الله، واحدها إِلًى وإليٌ وإلْوٌ وأَلًى.

Ibn Kathir

Ālā' is the plural of 'Ilā.

  تفسير تفسير القرآن الكريم/ ابن كثير (ت 774 هـ)
 والآلاء جمع إلى وقيل: أَلى.

By carefully looking at the 7:56,69 and 7:73,74 the reader can see a link between the 'Ilā (Towards) and Ālā' (Divine GIfts):

7:65. 'Ilā (Towards)  'Ad people, (We sent) Hud, one of their (own) brethren: He said: O my people! worship Allah. ye have no other god but Him will ye not fear ((Allah))?"

7:66. The leaders of the Unbelievers among his people said: "we see you as an imbecile!" and "We think you are a liar!"

7:67. He said: "O my people! I am no imbecile, but (I am) an apostle from the Lord and Cherisher of the worlds!

7:68. "I but fulfil towards you the duties of my Lord's mission: I am to you a sincere and trustworthy adviser.

7:69. "Do you wonder that there hath come to you a message from your Lord through a man of your own people, to warn you? call in remembrance that He made you inheritors after the people of Noah, and gave you a stature tall among the nations. Call in remembrance (Dhikr)  Ālā' from Allah. that so ye may prosper."

 وَإِلَى عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُودًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ (65) قَالَ الْمَلَأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي سَفَاهَةٍ وَإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ (66) قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي سَفَاهَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ (67) أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّي وَأَنَا لَكُمْ نَاصِحٌ أَمِينٌ (68) أَوَعَجِبْتُمْ أَنْ جَاءَكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِنْكُمْ لِيُنْذِرَكُمْ وَاذْكُرُوا إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ مِنْ بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَزَادَكُمْ فِي الْخَلْقِ بَسْطَةً فَاذْكُرُوا آَلَاءَ اللَّهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

7:73. 'Ilā (Towards) Thamud people (We sent) Salih, one of their own brethren: He said: "O my people! worship Allah. ye have no other god but Him. Now hath come unto you a clear (Sign) from your Lord! This she-camel of Allah is a Sign unto you: So leave her to graze in Allah.s earth, and let her come to no harm, or ye shall be seized with a grievous punishment.

7:74. "And remember how Hu made you inheritors after the 'Ad people and gave you habitations in the land: ye build for yourselves palaces and castles in (open) plains, and care out homes in the mountains; so bring to remembrance (Dhikr) Ālā' from Allah, and refrain from evil and mischief on the earth."

وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِنْ إِلَهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ هَذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ آَيَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِي أَرْضِ اللَّهِ وَلَا تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (73) وَاذْكُرُوا إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ مِنْ بَعْدِ عَادٍ وَبَوَّأَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِنْ سُهُولِهَا قُصُورًا وَتَنْحِتُونَ الْجِبَالَ بُيُوتًا فَاذْكُرُوا آَلَاءَ اللَّهِ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ

Therefore a spiritual conception is formed based upon the linguistics of the verses: An entity was with Allah, very close to Allah e.g. Hud or Salih, and then they were sent from Malakut (Spiritual Realm) to Mulk (Corporeal Realm) i.e. TOWARDS ('Ilā) their people, and when they arrived they were conceived as Ālā' i.e. an emanation of divine origin very close to Allah was sent from there to here with the intention of being a precious unique gift: Allah giving or sending a Divine Gift.

Consequently the words Ālā' (Divine Gift) and 'Ilā (Towards) are linked in most inexorable fashion.

This linguistic relationship is further linked to the word Wali (Close friend, helper) i.e. that which was close to Allah was a wali, came Ila (Towards) this world, and is thus called Ala' or a Divine Gift:

"Imam Ja'far Sadiq asked: Do you know what is Ālā'  of Allah?, reply was negative, he then continued: The grandest of all blessings of Allah for ITs creation and it is 'us' being the Wali (Close friend to Allah)."

Remark: 'us' could be the family of the Prophet or certain collective of the humanity or human being with the potential of being very close to Allah. No matter what unbiased or sectarian view the reader might have, the intend of the quote was the linkage between the words Ālā' and 'Ilā with Wali.

 تفسير تفسير بيان السعادة في مقامات العبادة/ الجنابذي (ت القرن 14 هـ) 
{ أَوَ عَجِبْتُمْ أَن جَآءَكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ مِّنكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ وَٱذكُرُوۤاْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَآءَ مِن بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَزَادَكُمْ فِي ٱلْخَلْقِ بَصْطَةً فَٱذْكُرُوۤاْ ءَالآءَ ٱللَّهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ }
{ أَوَ عَجِبْتُمْ أَن جَآءَكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ مِّنكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ وَٱذكُرُوۤاْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَآءَ مِن بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَزَادَكُمْ فِي ٱلْخَلْقِ بَصْطَةً } ذكّرهم بنعم الله عليهم بعد تذكيرهم ضمناً بنقم الله على قوم نوحٍ تخويفاً لهم من زوالها بأحسن وجه { فَٱذْكُرُوۤاْ آلآءَ ٱللَّهِ } تعميم بعد تخصيص تأكيداً { لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ } عن الصّادق (ع) انّه قال: اتدرى ما آلاء الله؟ - قيل: لا، قال: هى اعظم نعم الله على خلقه وهى ولايتنا

Q: What is the difference between the Ala' and Ni'ma (Blessing, Bounty)?
A: Qushairi said Ni'ma is general and Ala' is the highly particularized and specialized blessings.

 تفسير لطائف الإشارات / القشيري (ت 465 هـ)
قوله جلّ ذكره: { فَٱذْكُرُوۤاْ ءَالآءَ ٱللَّهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ }.
النَّعماء عام، والآلاء خاص، فتلك تتضمن ترويح الظواهر، وهذه تتضمن التلويح في السرائر، تلك بالترويح بوجود المبار، وهذه بالتلويح بشهود الأسرار.

Three Reactions to Ala': Dhikr (Remembrance), Dispute and Denial

Dhikr (Remembrance) was mentioned above in 7:56,69 and 7:73,74, but the application of the Dhikr is universal i.e. when you see these gifts and remember Allah and offer gratitude and adoration for Allah because of them, the said gifts might not be for you they could be for others, specially those you do not appreciate:

 تفسير انوار التنزيل واسرار التأويل/ البيضاوي (ت 685 هـ)
 { فَاذْكُروا آلاءَ اللَّهِ } تعميم بعد تخصيص.

"make Dhikr for the Ala' of Allah, goes from the special cases of Hud and Salih, to general all such Ala' (Divine Gifts)"

As for Dispute and Denial:

53:55 Then which of the gifts of your (Muhammad) Lord, (O man,) will you dispute?

 فَبِأَيِّ آَلَاءِ رَبِّكَ تَتَمَارَى

55:49 Then which of the favours of your (duet address) Lord will you deny?

فَبِأَيِّ آَلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

Consequence of Dhikr (Remembrance) for Ala'

"in 7:69 the ending phrase 'so you might triumph/prosper' deals with the Dhikr for blessings i.e.  remembering Ala' of Allah is the salvation to be saved from all sorts of hardships and success in finding what was sought after, and if there are no solutions left for the Qaum (Spiritual Collective) i.e. solutions to divert hardships and torments,  then imitate i.e. make the verbal Dhikr for the Ala' (Divine Gifts)" (Translation ???)

تفسير روح البيان في تفسير القرآن/ اسماعيل حقي (ت 1127 هـ)
{ لعلكم تفلحون } لكى يؤديكم ذلك اى ذكر النعم الى الشكر المؤدى الى النجاة من الكروب والفوز بالمطلوب ولما لم يبق للقوم جواب الا التمسك بالتقليد.


"Inna Allah is Most Beautiful and loves the beauty, and loves to see the effects of ITs blessings upon the servant", said the Prophet.

كنز العمال - للمتقي الهندي
المجلد السادس >> {الإكمال} من الترغيب في الزينة
17187- إن الله عز وجل جميل يحب الجمال ويحب أن يرى أثر نعمته على عبده.
(ع) عن أبي سعيد

Whatever of the Ala' (Divine Gifts) sent to you, whether an inexpensive outfit wear it so Allah sees it on you, if a Divine Gift of a good soulmate was sent to you love him or her so Allah sees your loving, if a good mind was give to you as Ala' think most innovative thoughts so Allah sees your thoughts…

Guidelines for material blessings and consumption for all children of Adam:

"There is no right for the children of Adam except: A home to reside within, a dress to cover his privates, some bread and water", said the Prophet.

الجامع الصغير.  - لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الخامس >> باب: حرف اللام
7661- ليس لابن آدم حق فيما سوى هذه الخصال: بيت يسكنه، وثوب يواري عورته، وجلف الخبز والماء
التخريج (مفصلا): الترمذي والحاكم في المستدرك عن عثمان
تصحيح السيوطي: صحيح

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