Question: Is al-Lawh al-Mahfuz different from Umm al-Kitab? Are they something created?
Hadrat Ahmad bin Sulaiman states:
Al-Lawh al-Mahfuz means “The Preserved Tablet.” In Islamic context, it is a book in which everything that happened and will happen were written. It is a creature. That is, it was created afterwards. Angels see it. Allahu ta’ala may make changes in al-Lawh al-Mahfuz, if He wishes to. For example, a person’s lifetime and sustenance may be changed on account of his deeds. The good may be changed into evil and the evil into good.
As for Umm al-Kitab, it means “The Mother of the Book.” Umm al-Kitab is the name of the Divine Word, which is eternal. Angels cannot understand it. It is not with time. In other words, time is not recorded in it. No one but Allahu ta’ala knows it. It never ceases to exist. (The booklet titled “Lawh-il-Mahfuz and Umm-ul-Kitab“)
The Fatiha, the first chapter of the Qur’an al-karim, is also called Umm al-Kitab. But it is irrelevant to our topic.