بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
تَنزِيلُ الْكِتَابِ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ مِن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
1. “Alif, ‘A’, Lam, ‘L’, Mim ‘M’.”
2. “The revelation of the Book, there is no doubt in it, is from the Lord of the Worlds.”
We have explained in detail about the abbreviated letters of the Qur’an at the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah, but according to some Islamic traditions the abbreviated letters are among allegorical ambiguous verses the knowledge of which is with Allah (s.w.t.) and His saints.1
Question: Regarding to the doubt, false allegation, and calumny that the opponents of the Qur’an used to announce and some verses refer to them, too, how does this verses say:
Answer: The verse implies that there is no doubt in the legitimacy of the Qur’an and its commandments and gnostic knowledge, not that no one has doubted in it; so, in Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 23 the Qur’an says:
The writer of the Fi-Zilal-il-Qur’an says:
“An artificial flower is not the same as a natural flower, because a natural flower itself stands witness, that there is no doubt in its being natural.”
The Qur’an has been sent down from the side of Allah and this fact has repeatedly been emphasized in it.
The following examples are among them:
Yes, The One Who has sent down the Qur’an possesses everything of the existence, and dominates over all things. He is Mighty, Merciful, Wise, Knowing, and Praised.
However, in this verse the Qur’an says:
This verse, in fact, is an answer to two questions. It seems at first that the content of this heavenly Book is questioned about. In answer, it announces that its content is the Truth and there is no room for any doubt in this concern. Then, the compiler of it is asked about. In answer to this question, the Qur’an says that it is from the Lord of the Worlds.
This interpretation is also probable that the sentence:
is an evidence for the sentence:
As if someone asks by what reason this Book is the Truth and that there is no doubt in it. It says by the reason that it is from the Lord of the Worlds from Whom every truth and reality comes into being.
By the way laying emphasis on the attribute of “The Lord of the Worlds” among all attributes of Allah may point to this fact that this Book is a collection of the wonders of the world of existence and it contains the facts of the world of existence, because it is from the side of the Lord of the Worlds.
Paying attention to this point is also necessary that here the Qur’an does not want to suffice to a mere claim, but it intends to say that what is evident does not need to be explained, and the content of this Book itself is a witness to its legitimacy and veracity.
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ بَلْ هُوَ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبّـِكَ لِتُنذِرَ قَوْماً مَّآ أَتَاهُم مِن نَّذِيرٍ مِن قَبْلِكَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ
3. “Or do they say: ‘He (the Prophet) has forged it’? Nay! It is the truth from your Lord, that you may warn a people to whom no warner came before you, that haply they may be guided aright.”
The permanent manner of the pagans is to belie the Qur’an, but you must convey the Truth and do not be disappointed from guiding them. This holy verse points to the calumny that polytheists and faithless hypocrites had repeatedly calumniated on this great heavenly Book.
In answer to their unfounded claim, the Qur’an implies it is not a calumny, and the proof of its truthfulness is manifest in it.
Then, the Holy Qur’an refers to the aim of its revelation, when it says:
The invitation of the Prophet of Islam (S) is both ‘glad tidings’ and ‘warning’, and more than being a warner, the Prophet of Islam (S) is a giver of glad tidings, yet confronting a misguided and obstinate group, he (S) should emphasize rather on ‘warning’.
The sentence which says:
is again a hint to this fact that the proof of its legitimacy is seen inside of it.
points to this fact that the Holy Qur’an leads you to the right path but the final decision, however, must be made by man himself.
By the way, the “people to whom no warner came” were Quraysh because there had not been sent a prophet for them before the Prophet of Allah, Muhammad (S). Some of the commentators have said the objective meaning of this sentence is the intermission time and its purpose is the length of the time between Jesus (as) and the advent of the last Prophet (S).
For more explanation you may refer to commentary books entitled: Tafsir-us-Safi, Jawami‘-ul-Jami‘, Majma‘-ul-Bayan, Manhaj-us-Sadighin, and Atyab-ul-Bayan.
اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَي عَلي الْعَرْشِ مَا لَكُم مّـِن دُونِهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلاَ شَفِيعٍ أَفَلاَ تَتَذَكَّرُونَ
4. “Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six Days then He established Himself on ‘Arsh (the Throne of authority), for you there is none besides Him of a guardian, nor any intercessor; will you not then receive admonition?”
In order to wipe out polytheism, the eternal power of Allah and the creation of heavens and earth must be spoken of. So, next to the statement of the greatness of the Qur’an and the Messengerhood of the Prophet (S), this verse refers to one of the most important bases of the Islamic beliefs, i.e. Monotheism and negation of polytheism.
The objective meaning of ‘Six Days’ mentioned in such verses is ‘six periods’, and we know that one of the meanings of ‘Day’ in daily applications is ‘period’, as we say: ‘One day the despotic government was ruling and ‘today’ the council system is’, while we know that despotic government used to rule thousands of years but they are said as ‘days’.
On the other side, we know that the heavens and the earth have passed different periods. One day all the spheres of the solar system were in the form of a single melted mass. Another day some planets separated from the sun and began to rotate around it.
One day the earth was entirely fiery, and another day it became cold and appropriate for the life of plants and animals. Then, the living creatures came into being in different stages.10
It is evident that the infinite power of Allah is enough to create the entire universe in one moment or less than that, but this gradual system can illustrate better the glory, knowledge and providence of Allah in all stages.
For example, if an embryo could complete all its periods of development to be born, its wonders would remain aloof from the man’s view. But when we see that every day and every week during this period of nine months foetus gets a new shape and adopts some new surprising circumstances, and it passes its wonderful stages one after another, we will be better acquainted with the greatness of Allah.
Next to the statement of the creation of the things, the verse refers to the subject of Divine sovereignty over the world of existence, and says:
As we have formerly said, the Arabic word /‘arš/ originally means: ‘a throne with long legs’, and usually it ironically means ‘power’, as in our daily speaking we say:
which means his power was vanished. Thus, that Allah established Himself on ‘Arsh, is not an indication to its bodily meaning that He may have a throne like human kings to sit on it, but it means He is both the Creator of the world of existence and the administrator over the whole universe.
At the end of the holy verse, by pointing to the subject of Monotheism, ‘mastership’ and ‘intercession’, the above verse completes the stages of Monotheism.
By this clear reason that the creation of the world is a sign for His Sovereignty, and sovereignty is an evidence for the Unity of ‘master’, ‘intercessor’, and ‘object of worship’, why do you pave the wrong way and go to false gods?
The verse says:
In fact, the three stages of Monotheism mentioned in the above verse, each is counted an evidence for the other; the Unity of creative power is an evidence for the Unity of sovereignty, and the Unity of sovereignty is an evidence for the Unity of ‘master’, ‘intercessor’ and ‘object of worship’.
Some commentators have delivered a question here, the answer of which is not so complicated.
They say the recent sentence of the verse announces:
The concept of this sentence is that your guardian and intercessor is only Allah (s.w.t.). Is it possible that someone intercedes with himself?
This Question can be answered in three ways:
1- All intercessors have to intercede by His permission, as the Qur’an says:
Regarding to this fact, it can be said that although the intercession is from the side of Divine prophets and saints, it will return again to His Pure Essence, whether the intercession is for forgiving the sins of a person or for reaching some Divine bounties.
The witness to this statement is the verse which contains just the same meaning of this very verse and it says:
2- Regarding to this fact that when we resort to Allah, we resort by His Attributes and ask help from His mercifulness, and beneficence, His being Forgiver and All-Forgiving, and His bounteousness and His loving kindness; as if we set Him intercessor with Himself, and we count these Attributes as agents between us and His Pure Essence, though His Attributes, in fact, are the essence of His Pure Essence.
This is the same thing that is mentioned in the Supplication of Kumayl through the expressive sentence of Ali (as) where he says:
“I seek intercession by You unto You.”
3- The purpose of the Qur’anic word /šafi‘/ (intercessor) here is guardian helper, and aid, and we know that the helper, aid and guardian is only Allah. And that some commentators have rendered the word /šafa‘at/ here into the sense of creation and completion of the souls, in fact, it returns to this very meaning, too.
يُدَبّـِرُ الأَمْرَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ إِلَي الأَرْضِ ثُمَّ يَعْرُجُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ مِمَّا تَعُدُّونَ
5. “He directs the affair (of this world) from the heaven to the earth, then shall it ascend to Him in a Day the measure of which is a thousand years of what you reckon.”
In the same manner that in creation everything is from Him and is unto Him, the management of affairs is also from Him and is unto Him. This fact is rendered into Unity of Lordship.
Therefore, this verse says:
In other words, the Lord of the world of existence Has taken everything, from heavens to the earth, under His Own management, and except Him there is no other controller in this world.
Then, concerning this management of affairs, the Qur’an says:
As some other verses of the Qur’an indicate, the objective meaning of this ‘day’ is the Day of Hereafter. There are also some Islamic traditions narrated on the commentary of this verse that Allah, the Almighty, has created this world, has arranged the heavens and the earth with a special order, and has bestowed the merit of life on man and other living creatures, but in the end of the world He will roll up this order, the sun will become dark and the stars will lose their light, and, as the Qur’an says:
Then, following the rolling up of this world a new scheme and a wider world will be formed. That is, after this world another world will begin.
This meaning has been mentioned in other verses of the Qur’an, too, including Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 156 which says:
And Surah Ar-Room, No. 30, verse 27 says:
And in Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 34 we recite:
Regarding to these meanings and other noble verses of the Qur’an which indicate that all affairs finally return to Allah, like Surah Hud, No. 11, verse 123 that says:
makes it clear that the verse under discussion also speaks about the beginning and the end of the world and the reality and existence of the Hereafter Day.
Therefore, the concept of the verse is that: Allah devises the affair of this world from the heaven to the earth, (i.e.) He begins from the heaven and ends it in the earth), and then all of them return to Him on the Day of Hereafter.
It is recorded in Ali-ibn-’Ibrahim’s commentary, following the verse, that the purpose of it is the management of the affairs that Allah undertakes, as well as the enjoinments and prohibitions that are cited in religion and the deeds of all human beings. All of these things will be made manifest on the Day of Hereafter, the length of which is a thousand years comparing the years of this world.15
There arises here a question that in Surah Al-Ma‘arij, No. 70, verse 4 concerning the Day of Hereafter we recite:
How can the content of the verse under discussion in which the measure of the day is mentioned only one thousand years and that of this verse be considered with together?
The answer to this question is given in a tradition recorded in ’Amali by Shaykh Tusi Vol. 1, P. 36, narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) who said:
“Verily in Hereafter there are fifty stations (places of standing for taking care of deeds and reckoning) each of which takes one thousand years of what you reckon.
Then he recited this verse:
These meanings, of course, do not contrast to this matter that these figures (a thousand and fifty thousand) here are not figures of counting, but, indeed, each of them is for showing multiplicity and stating the plurality, that is, in Hereafter there are fifty stations that a person must stand for a long time in each of them.
ذَلِكَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ
6. “This is the Knower of the hidden and the manifest, the Mighty, the Merciful,”
The facts of the world are divided into two kinds for us: manifest and hidden, but there is nothing absent or hidden for Allah. Therefore, the rules governed over the world are based on the infinite knowledge of Allah, and the Divine knowledge is equal for the manifest and hidden things.
This holy verse at first refers to and emphasizes on the Monotheistic discussions mentioned in the former noble verses which contained four Attributes of Allah: Unity in Creative Power, Sovereignty, Mastership, and Lordship.
It is evident that the One Who manages the affairs of the heaven and the earth, governs on them, and undertakes the rank of Mastership, intercession, and creation, must be aware of everything whether seen or unseen, because without a vast knowledge none of these affairs is possible to be fulfilled.
In the meantime such one must be Mighty so that He can do these important affairs, but this power and glory logically is not accompanied with rudeness, it is accompanied with mercifulness and grace.
الَّذِي أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقَهُ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الإِنسَانِ مِن طِينٍ
ثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسْلَهُ مِن سُلاَلَةٍ مِن مَآءٍ مَهِينٍ
7. “He Who made best everything that He created, and He began the creation of man from clay,”
8. “Then He made his progeny of an extraction of mean water,”
Everything is created by Allah, and that the Qur’an has mentioned ‘man’ separately beside all the things of existence shows the particular importance and value of man.
This verse points to the best system of creation in general, and it is a beginning for the statement of man being created and being gradually completed particularly.
Whatever He created He gave it whatever it needed. In other words, He established the great building of creation on ‘the best system’; i.e. He appointed it on such a firm system that something more complete than it could not be considered.
He created relationship and harmony among all beings, and He bestowed on each of them whatever they demanded by non-verbal language.
If we look carefully at the stature of a human beings and think about every one of the systems of his body we see that, from the point of construction, volume, the condition of cells, and the manner of their work have been just created in a way that they can perform their duty very well; and in the meantime He has appointed such a relation between the organs that all of them, with no exception, affect on each other and are affected by each other.
And this meaning is exactly seen in the whole universe with many varieties of creatures, specially in the world of living beings that have some organizations entirely different.
Yes, it He Who gives kinds of pleasant perfumes to various flowers; and it is He Who endows spirit on clay and from it He makes a clever and free man. And also He creates kinds of flowers, sometimes men, sometimes other sorts of being from this very clay. Even the soil itself also contains, in its turn, whatever it must have.
Similar to this meaning is that which we recite in Surah Ta-Ha, No. 20, verse 50 from the tongue of Moses and Aaron:
Then, after mentioning this extroversive proposition, the Qur’an begins the introversive discussion, and in the same manner that in the extroversive verses it referred to a few branches of Monotheism, here it speaks about a few great merits concerning man. At first it says:
He did so in order to show His Own greatness and Power: that He has created such a magnificent creature from this simple and valueless material; and He created man, the picturesque attractive being, from mud. And He did so in order to warn man that where he has come from and where he will go to.
It is clear that this verse speaks about the creation of Adam (human) not all men, because the continuation of his seed is referred to in the next verse; and the outward of this verse is a clear reason for the independent creation of man.
This meaning becomes clearer in regard to the verse which says:
And also it says:
From the totality of these verses it is understood that the creation of man was in the form of an independent creation which came into being from dust and mud.
The next verse points to the creation of man’s progeny and how the children of Adam are born in later stages.
The Arabic word /ja‘ala/ here means ‘creation’; and the term /nasl/ indicates to progeny and grand children in all stages.
The Qur’anic term /sulalah/ originally means extract and pure squeezed material of anything, and its purpose here is the man’s seed which, in fact, is the extract of the clay of his entity and it is the source of life and the essential cause of the birth of offspring and continuation of generation.
This water which apparently is a worthless water from the point of construction and the life cells which are floating in it, is a particular combination of a fluid wherein cells are floating and it is very delicate and extraordinarily exact and complicated. It is counted one of the signs of the greatness, power and knowledge of Allah.
The Arabic term /mahin/, which means: weak, mean, and naughty, refers to the outward situation of water, else it is one of the most mysterious beings.
ثُمَّ سَوَّاهُ وَنَفَخَ فِيهِ مِن رُوحِهِ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالاَبْصَارَ وَالاَفْئِدَةَ قَلِيلاً مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ
9. “Then He fashioned him, and breathed into him of His spirit and appointed for you hearing, and sight, and hearts (but) little is it that you give thanks.”
One of the signs of man’s honour is the Divine spirit which has been breathed into him; and for receiving the Divine accomplishments, man needs preparation and equilibrium, (at first a proportionate stature, then the spirit of Allah breathed in him).
In this verse there are some hints to the complicated stages of man’s development in the environment of the womb, as well as the stages that Adam passed at the time when he was created from clay.
The Arabic term /sawwah/ (fashioned him) is derived from /taswiah/ in the sense of ‘to complete’, and this refers to the whole stages that a person passes from the time of being in the form of semen as far as the stage when all the limbs of his body appear, and also the stages that Adam passed after being created from dust until when the spirit was breathed into him.
The application of the Arabic word /nafx/ (breath) is ironically for inhering spirit in man’s body, as if it has been likened to the air and respiration, though it is neither this nor that.
If it is said that from the time when semen arrives into the womb, and before that, it is a living being, then what does ‘breathing spirit’ mean?
In answer to this question it is said that at the beginning when the semen coagulates it has only a kind of ‘animal life’, viz., it only feeds and grows, but it lacks sense and movement, which are the signs of animal life, and also it lacks the perceptive faculty, which is the sign of ‘human life’.
But the development of semen in the womb reaches a stage that it starts moving and other faculties gradually appear in it. This stage is the same stage that the Qur’an renders into ‘breathing spirit’.
The situation of the word /ruh/, in Arabic sentence, in relation with Allah is an honouring relative, that is, an honourable and worthy spirit which is eligible to be called Allah’s spirit was breathed into man. This indicates that though man from the point of material dimension is made of ‘dark dust’ or from a worthless water’, but from the spiritual point of view it carries the spirit of Allah.
One end of his being is soil and its another end is Allah’s ‘Arsh (throne); and for having these two dimensions the scope of his ascending, and descent, or development and degeneration, is very vast.
In the last stage of creation, which is counted its fifth stage, the Qur’an has pointed to the bounties of ear, eye, and heart. Of course, the objective meaning here is not the creation of these limbs, because this creation happens before ‘breathing spirit’, but the purpose is a good hearing, a good sight, and a good perceptibility and wisdom.
And if among all the ‘apparent’ and ‘innate’ senses the verse has emphasized only on three limbs, it is for the sake that the most important apparent senses of man, which set a strong relation between man and the outward world, are ear and eye. The ear receives the sounds and it is specially by it that education is performed and the eye is a means for seeing the outward world and the different scenes of it.
The ability of intellect is also the most important inward sense; or, in other words, it rules over the man’s entity.
It is interesting that the Arabic term /’af’idah/ is the plural form of /fu’ad/ in the sense of heart, but it has a meaning more delicate than that. This word is usually used where there is blaze and maturity in it.
And thus Allah has stated the most important means of acknowledge in ‘outside’ and ‘inside’ of man’s entity in this verse, since the human studies can be obtained either by the way of ‘experience’ the means of which is eye and ear, or by the way of intellectual analysis and rational demonstrations and the means of which is wisdom and intellect.
This has been rendered in the Holy Qur’an into /’af’idah/ (hearts). Even the concepts that come to man’s heart by the way of inspiration or intuition and inner intuition are again by this very ‘heart’. If this means of cognition is taken from man his value will come down as low as a piece of stone and dust.
That is why at the end of the verse under discussion, the Qur’an attracts the attention of human beings to thanksgiving for these great bounties and says:
This points to this fact that the more you thank for these great bounties, the less it is for them.
وَقَالُوا أَءِذَا ضَلَلْنَا في الأَرْضِ أَءِنَّا لَفِي خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ بَلْ هُم بِلقَآءِ رَبّـِهِمْ كَافِرُونَ
10. “And they said: ‘When we are lost in the earth, shall we even then be (returned) into a new creation?’ Nay! They are disbelievers in the meeting of their Lord.”
In the previous verse we recited that Allah has given us two means of understanding (eye and ear) and He complains that we give thanks a little. The verse under discussion is one of the examples that states the ungratefulness of man that, after seeing all the providence and power of the Almighty, yet man doubts the establishment of Hereafter.
In this holy verse, too, it says:
The application of the sentence “we are lost in the earth” refers to this fact that after his death man will become dust, like other kinds of dust, and, as the result of natural factors and non-natural ones, every particle of it will be thrown in a corner and it seems that there remains nothing of him until when he will be returned again in Hereafter.
But, in fact, they do not deny the power of Allah in this action, but they deny the meeting of their Lord. They want to reject the stage of meeting their Lord which is the stage of Divine reckoning and giving reward and retribution in order that, consequently, they become free to do whatever they want to do in this world.
The verse says:
In fact, this verse has much similarity to the beginning verses of Surah Al-Qiyamah that say:
Therefore, they do not need anything from the point of reasoning; but their lusts have cast a curtain over their heart, and their evil intentions hinder them to accept the subject of Resurrection.
Else, the same Lord Who has given this property to a piece of magnet that it absorbs to itself the very tiny pieces of iron that have been lost inside so much dust by a search in the dust and it easily gathers them, can create such a mutual attraction among the particles of the body of man, too.
The majority of the germ of the man’s body is water. Who can deny that the existing water in his body, as well as every part of its food stuff had been scattered in different points of the world, for example, one thousand years ago, every drop of it was in an ocean and every particle of it in a land.
But, by the means of pieces of cloud, rain, and other natural factors they were gathered and finally were formed as the man’s body. It is not surprising that after their destruction and returning to their first state, they will gather together again and join to each other.
قُلْ يَتَوَفَّاكُم مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ الَّذِي وُكّـِلَ بِكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَي رَبّـِكُمْ تُرْجَعُونَ
11. “Say: ‘The angel of death, who is put in charge of you, shall cause you to die, then unto your Lord you shall be brought back.”
In this holy verse their answer is given in another way. The verse here implies that you should not imagine that your personality depends only on your body, but the basis of your personality is formed by your spirit.
The verse says:
Regarding to the concept of the Qur’anic phrase /yatawaffa kum/ which is derived from /tawaffa/ in the sense of: ‘to take back’, death does not mean ‘annihilation’ and ‘destruction’, but it is a kind of taking the man’s soul by angels, and soul forms the most essential part of man’s existence.
It is true that the Qur’an speaks about the resurrection of the body and counts the return of material body and soul decisive in resurrection, but the aim of the above mentioned verse is to state this fact that the basis of the man’s personality is not formed by these material limbs which have occupied your whole thought, but it is that very worthy spirit which has come from the side of Allah (s.w.t.) and once it will surely return to Him again.
As a conclusion, it can be said that the two abovementioned verses answer the deniers of resurrection as follows: If your problem is the dispersion of bodily particles, you yourself believe in Allah’s power and you do not reject it.
And if the problem is annihilation and destruction of man’s personality as the result of dispersion, it is not right either, because man’s personality has been based on the soul.
This objection is similar to the famous paradox of /’akil/ and /ma’kul/ as the answer to both of them is similar to each other.
By the way, it is necessary to note this point that in some verses of the Qur’an ‘taking soul’ has been attributed to Allah, as the Qur’an says:
And in some other verses it is attributed to a group of angels, as another verse says:
And in the verse under discussion taking souls is attributed to the angel of death. But there is not any contrast between these meanings. The Qur’anic phrase: /malik-ul maut/ (the angel of death) has a meaning of genus and is used for all angels, or it refers to the chief of them; and since all of such angels take the soul by the command of Allah, it is also attributed to Allah.