The Preserved Tablet. Reports say that Al-Lawh al-Mahfuz was the first thing to be created and is preserved in Bayt al-Ma`mur directly under the `Arsh, in the seventh heaven. It is of length 100 years. Before creating anything else Allah ordered the Pen (the second creation) to write. It asked what it was to write. It was told, “All that is going to be.” (According to other reports, “Write down My knowledge, about My creations, until the Day of Judgment”). So it wrote down all that was to be on the Lawh al-Mahfuz. Thus, there is not a single thing that is to happen, or it will be, small or big, is written down in the Lawh al-Mahfuz, exactly qualified and quantified along with details of when and where it will be and when it will be destroyed. No change can take place in what is written, unless Allah wills, who has the power to erase. It is reported of `Umar ibn al-Khattab that he used to say, “My Lord. If You have written me among the fortunate ones (the Su`ada’), then affirm it. But if You have written me among the wretched ones (the Ashqiya’), then erase it.” The Qur’an said (13: 39): “Allah erases what He will, or confirms. And with Him is the Mother of the Book.”
The Lawh al-Mahfuz is also known as Umm al-Kitab (Mother of the Books), accordingly, whenever the Qur’an said, “in the Book”, the allusion is to the Lawh al-Mahfuz. The Qur’an was there in it before being sent down to Bayt al-`Izzah, from which it was sent down piece-meal to the Prophet in 23 years.