Section 20, Oneness of Allah, Fate of the Polytheists
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَالْفُلْكِ الَّتِي تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنفَعُ النَّاسَ وَمَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاء مِن مَّاء فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الأرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الرِّيَاحِ وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخِّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاء وَالأَرْضِ لآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
164. "Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day, and (in) the ships that sail on the sea with what profits mankind, and (in) the water which Allah sends down from heaven and enlivens therewith the earth after its death, and spreads in it all kinds of animal, and in the change of the winds and the clouds controlled (for service) between the sky and the earth; surely there are signs for a people having understanding."
The previous verse spoke about the Oneness of the Lord. Then, here in this verse, there is the reason and evidence to prove the existence of the Providence and that there is only One God, the Glorious. He, the Almighty, is the cause of all causes and the source of knowledge, power, order, and regularity.
Primarily, we attract attention to the fact that uniformity and order, in general, are signs for the existence of intelligence and knowledge, where harmony is a reason for the being of unity.
Based on this principle, the explanation of which has been stated in the books of theism, when we deal with the various aspects of 'order' in the world of existence, we come to the harmony and the unity of action in the regular working of the universe, on one side, and on the other side, we encounter with a single source of knowledge and power that all these glorious effects originate from.
So, the native uniformity and the perfect and the never disturbed harmony in the working of the universe, loudly and most eloquently suggests and clearly manifests the Unity of the Creator and the unchallengeable or unquestionable supremacy of its Single Master or Lord.
Man is exhorted to reflect over the creation and realize the divine unity in the midst of the diversity and the manifoldness of the innumerable objects in the heavens and the earth and in the forces of nature and the perfectly harmonious working of the natural phenomena.
The uniformity and the harmony in the objects and the working of the universe is constantly referred to in the Holy Qur'an as a sign of the Unity of the Maker.
Taking this short introductory explanation into consideration, we continue explaining the commentary of the verse again.
In this verse, there are six aspects of the indication of regularity in the world of existence, each of which is a symbol for the unity of that Infinite Essence or an indication to the Eternal One, the pure Essence, the Supreme Being.
1. The first symbol, which refers to the Unity of the Creator, is the creation of the heavens and the earth:
Yes, this glorious universe with all its stars and planets, including millions and millions of illuminating suns, some of which meaningfully twinkle at us when we look at the sky at night or show themselves far from behind some great telescopes, all in all are the signs and means of reflection of His Power, Knowledge, and Unity.
It is surprising that the more the knowledge of the human race increases, the clearer the greatness and vastness of this universe is recognized, and it is not evident that how large and up to when this scientific expansion of the recognition of the still secrets of the universe will continue.
Today, scientists and astronomers inform us that there are thousands and thousands of galaxies in the universe where our solar system is only a part of one of them. In our galaxy alone, there are hundreds million suns and bright stars among which, according to the scientists' data, there can be found some millions of inhabitable planets. What a Splendor! What a Power.
In addition to the tradition narrated from the holy Prophet (S)1 and Ahlul-Bayt (as) about some of the verses of the Qur'an confirming the existence of the living creatures in the Heaven and other planets (earths) besides our dwelling earth, there have been written many scientific books on this subject by a lot of Islamic and non-Islamic scholars that the followings are a few examples out of hundreds of similar examples:
a) The Earth, the Sky and the Stars from the View of the Qur'an; by Dr. Muhammad Sadiqi.
b) The Qur'an and the Modern Science; by: 'Abdul-Qani, Al-Khatib; translated by: Dr. Asadullah Mubashshiri.
c) Jahan 'Afarin; by: Husayn Nuri, one of the esteemed scholars in the Religious Teaching Center of Qum.
d) The Earth and the Sky; by: A Welkuf; translated by: Ali Dukhaniyati.
e) Galaxies and Quasars; by: William J. Kaufmann, III (Department of Physics, San Diego, State University).
It should be noted that the life found on other planets may be, of course, rather in a different form from what exists on our globe.
Therefore, in investigations of the matter, we must not consider only the kind of the life on the earth as a standard, because those globes have their own life-conditions for themselves which are certainly different from the circumstances of the life on the earth, so that, in a great deal of cases such as temperature, water, air and light, they are incomparable with that of the earth.
2. The second indication is seen in the constant change of the day and the night, where it says:
Yes, the constant change of night and day, the absence of darkness and the presence of light, with that regularity that they have, and, that one ceaselessly becomes shorter and the other one becomes longer, that as a result of which the four seasons come into being, when trees, plants, and animals obtain their evolutions under these gradual changes are totally the signs of His Exalted Essence and Attributes.
If these gradual changes were not, or they happened without order, or they were always either day or night alone, there would be no life throughout the world at all.
3. Then, it points to the ships which move on the water of the seas for the benefit of Man-
Man travels long voyages over the seas and oceans by small and large ships towards different points of the world to perform his purposes. This kind of transportation over sea-water can be afforded by employing some factors, particularly when it is done by a sailor.
The first factor is the regular winds that blow from the surface of the seas towards the land and vice versa, including the ceaseless winds blowing from the North Pole and South Pole called 'Arctic winds and Antarctic winds', or the regional winds which blows in their own proper times and let the ships utilize this natural force gratuitously setting forth to their destinations
Another factor is the natural property of wood against the special pressure of water which causes that it floats over water
Again, there are the two invariable magnetic poles of the earth which fix the hands of a compass
The arrangement of the stars in the sky, which lead people to their destinations, is also counted a factor.
Yes, it is with the combination of all these arrangements that the application of ships, with their abundant benefits alongside the help of men, can be made possible. Thus, all these processes are indications of His Pure Essence.
Concerning the sailing ships, it is surprising that today, with the invention of the force of powerful engines used in the ships, not only this meaning has not lost its importance but it has also gotten a higher position in this respect, because the great gigantic ships are still among the best means of transportation and communication between people of different spots.
Some kinds of modern ships are as large as a town, having arenas, pleasure centers, playgrounds, and even a market-place for shopping. Or, in some particular ships, there are airports where several airplanes can land on or take off from.
4. Now, the rain, the life-giving water which is sent down from the sky to the earth, is pointed out. It says:
Yes, wherever the pure life-giving drops of rain fall down, thereby, life, freshness, blessing, abundancy, and movement may appear therein. This lifeless but splendid water, which falls down with special order, and waters all those plants and living creatures continually, is the harbinger of His Power and Grandeur.
5. Then, for the useful currents and regular and irregular blowing of the winds, it says:
The winds blow not only over the seas and oceans and cause ships to move about, but also over the surface of lands, mountains, valleys, and plains. They sometimes take the male pollen from stamens and pollinate the pistil and help their pollination in order to yield us fruits.
They also scatter seeds in different spots of the land to grow. They, at a time frequently move the waves of the seas to stir them and make the conditions conducive for the living creatures.
With transferring the hot weather of the warm regions to the cold regions, and transferring the cold weather of the cold regions to the warm regions, the winds are effective in making the climate of the globe moderate.
Sometimes, the winds push the polluted and poisonous air of the cities, which has not enough oxygen, out into the deserts and forests and cause the fresh air, full of oxygen, to come unto the reach of human beings and other living creatures.
Yes, the wind, that blows and gifts man with benefits and blessings is another sign of His Infinite Grace and Wisdom.
6. The last indication, mentioned in this verse, is clouds which, as servants, in spite of the gravity, are suspending between the sky and the earth to be moved here and there, carrying millions of tons of water easily with them without posing the least danger for anybody. Hence, they are counted as a sign of the Greatness of the Creator, where He says:
However, if there were not the management of the irrigation of the clouds, there would not be any water throughout the world for man to drink, nor any spring or stream for plants to grow and, everywhere, the lands would be dry and dead. Therefore, this is also another trace of the Knowledge and Might of Allah.
Yes, all of the above mentioned indications are the evidence of the existence of that Pure Essence, but for the people who understand and contemplate, not for the unaware ones and the people of little wisdom who have eyes but have not eyesight, or have ears but are deaf.
وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ أَندَاداً يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللّهِ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِّلّهِ وَلَوْ يَرَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ إِذْ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ أَنَّ الْقُوَّةَ لِلّهِ جَمِيعاً وَأَنَّ اللّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعَذَابِ
165. "And yet, of men, there are some who take unto themselves (for worship) objects other than Allah, and love them as the love due to Allah; but for those who have faith, their love of Allah is more intensive. And if only those who are unjust could see (what they will realize) when they behold the punishment, that the Power is wholly Allah's, and that Allah is severe in (enforcing) the Penalty."
Disbelievers have gone astray. Their affection to things other than Allah is like the wish and desire of a sick person unto eating the food which is harmful for his sickness but the patient ignorantly persists on having it. In contrast with them are the believers. So those who have Faith surely love Allah very intensively and more than anything or anybody else.
The pagans, who have done unjustly to themselves, will see their miserable destination on the Day of Reckoning, when they will recognize their wrong thought and their deviation. On that Day they will understand fully that the entire Power belongs to Allah and that they had gone a wrong way when they had referred to other than Him.
The intensive punishment of Allah, on that Day, will be upon those who, thoughtlessly and unreasonably, had left out the attachment to Allah and clung to some vain and chaffy imaginations.
Then, it is so that in Surah 'Anam. No.6. verse 102, to guide them, Allah warns them thus:
By the way, it is narrated by Muhammad-ibn-Muslim that Imam Muhammad Baqir (as) and Imam al-Sadiq (as), speaking about the phrase: "...but for those who have faith, their love is more intensive" had said: "They are the progeny of Muhammad (S) ". 2
إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُواْ مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ وَرَأَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الأَسْبَابُ
166. "When would those that were followed disown those who followed and they would see the torment and their ties (between them) are cut asunder."
Beware who your leader is and whose love you carry in your heart! Those of you who love these tyrants and pay your affections to other than Allah, should know that they (the tyrants) want you for their own interests in this world.
Therefore, they abuse your abilities and sincerity to obtain their own wishes, power and authority. But, on the Resurrection Day, they will avoid you and, hating you, will leave you alone.
This meaning should also be noted that in Tafsir-ul-Burhan and in the book 'Ikhtisas', by Shaykh Mufid, there are some traditions cited about the meaning of the phrase: "when would those that were followed disown those who followed...".
Among them, there is a tradition from Imam Baqir (as) who said: "By Allah, O' Jabir, these are the leaders of transgressors and their means for injustice." 3
Therefore, in contrast with this group, as was referred in the previous verse, are the truly faithful ones, who bear the intensive love in their heart for Allah. They love not only the genuine leaders of the religion but also everything that Allah loves.
The basic reason for this is that everything they love is only for gaining Allah's pleasure. Even when they love their own family and issues, they love because it is their duty to do so as prescribed by Allah.
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّؤُواْ مِنَّا كَذَلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللّهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَا هُم بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ
167."And those who followed shall say: 'Had there been for us a return (to the world), then we would disown them even as they have (now) disowned us. Thus Allah will show them their deeds; bitter regrets will be upon them. And never shall they get out of the Fire."
These mislead followers, who see the unfaithfulness of their leaders so evident, console themselves by saying:
But, what a pity! It is too late, because there is no possibility for them to return to life again.
Then, at the end of the verse, it says:
Yes, they can afford nothing but sigh and regret bitterly. A regret for the wealth they gathered but others took the benefit of it. A regret for the extraordinary opportunities that they had had for attaining prosperity and being saved, but they missed them all easily. Regret for adoring some incapable worthless leaders instead of adoring Allah, the Almighty.
But, it is a vain regret, because it is neither the time of action nor the occasion for making up for the past. Nay! it is only the time of punishment and receiving the results of one's own deeds.
According to some traditions, there are some different halts in the Hereafter. In a few of these halts people cannot speak anything and silence dominates lips, where they can merely look at others regretfully and shed tears. In some other of these halts, there are people who ask each other for help, while some others curse and hate each other for their former deeds.
This verse indicates that at this time when the cruel leaders, who were adored, loved, and followed formerly, here, disown their followers and accept no responsibility for them. So, the followers disown them, too, and regret very much why they loved them, supported them, and followed them.
But they gained naught. They regret in heart and express their regret by tongue in this manner that if they could return to life once more, they would never follow them. They say that these people who are so disloyal that they denounce their followers here on this Day (the Reckoning Day), they (the followers), too, would denounce them if they could return to the world again. They regret, but what is the use of this regret? It is of no use, and they cannot come out from the blazing Fire of Hell.