In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Does not man see that We have created him from the small seed? Then lo! he is an open disputant. And he strikes out a likeness for Us and forgets his own creation. Says he: Who will give life to the bones when they are rotten? Say: He will give life to them Who brought them into existence at first, and He is cognizant of all creation, He Who has made for you the fire (to burn) from the green tree, so that with it you kindle (fire). (36:77-80)
Did not man see what We created him from? The Arabic word for “see” is “Yara” whose apparent meaning is seeing with the eye, but here it means seeing with the eye of intelligence or mind, because, it is more important and more powerful than seeing with physical eyes. Knowledge gained from physical sources can be faulty and the eye is more likely to err, but knowledge is important. If a thing is seen and it causes or provides knowledge then it is right.
Many a time it so happens that there are things before ones eyes but one cannot know about them. You must also have experienced this. You cannot pay attention, because, mind is somewhere else. So, seeing with the eye is of any value only when it results in knowledge and understanding.
Eyes cause mistakes in understanding on a number of occasions. When one spins a fireball speedily you see a circle of fire but actually there is only a single fireball. The effect of spinning creates an illusion of a circle of fire.
Thus what is most important is to understand the fact. “Does not man see” means that he has not known or understood the absolute truth, which is higher than physical perception? We created him from semen. Now he is arguing, quarreling and contending with Us! He cites an example and dispersing rotten bones, asks, “Who can enliven these powdered bones?”
Say: He will give life to them Who brought them into existence at first… (36:79)
Meaning that One Who created him first and brought him into existence from non-existence will create once again. Is the second creation more difficult than the first one? On the first occasion, even the particles of bones were not there. If it is said that these particles are scattered at various places, He replies:
…and He is cognizant of all creation…
He is more knowledgeable about each and every creation of His. Everything is included in the knowledge of God. In the next verse, He gives a fine description to mention the vastness of His knowledge. Whenever one is astonished, if one is reminded of God’s limitless power, it becomes easy for him to understand.
It is wrong for man to try to measure the power of God on the basis of his little knowledge. For your little power it may be difficult to recreate man from dust, but God’s might cannot be measured in this way. He Who created once can create it again.
God creates for you green and dry trees. Water and fire are opposites. But the Mighty Hand of God brought water and fire together at one place without fire destroying water or water destroying fire.
He Who has made for you the fire (to burn) from the green tree, so that with it you kindle (fire). (36:80)
Generally commentators have said that here it means trees of Narkh and Afaa, which are found in Arabia. There is a special quality in them, that if two of their pieces are rubbed together they produce fire. They used to serve as matchsticks, as rubbing them together produced fire.
…so that with it you kindle (fire).
That is, it becomes your lighter or igniter. In olden days, when there were no matches people used flint stone and these two trees also served as matchsticks. Generally, all trees have water and fire in them. The matter, which causes fire, is there in all.
Of course, fire appears after the subjugation of its wetness. It is either dried up or the heat of sun subjugates that wetness or liquidity. Thus what the commentators have said about the Narkh and Afaa trees, is apparently on account of their being lighters of that time. Otherwise, this quality is present in every tree.
Thereafter, God reminds, on the whole, of truths about the machinery of heavens (skies) and the earth.
Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like of them? Yea! and He is the Creator (of all), the Knower. (36:81)
Cannot the One Who created the grand universe, along with innumerable spheres in space, create their lives (from men)? There are in the space thousands of galaxies. In every galaxy there are thousands of spheres and the distance between them must be measured in terms of light years!
O the one whose greatness is seen in the skies. (Supplication)
It is narrated that once Imam Reza (‘a) said, “What God has created on earth is a mere drop when compared with the first sky (heaven). What is in the first sky if compared with the second sky is like a drop in a sea. Such is the truth with regard to the skies upto the seventh one and the Arsh (The Divine Empyrean)…”Can man say how many ants are there in a street?
It is mentioned about Baitul Mamoor that God daily creates seventy thousand angels. They come into the said house (Baitul Mamoor) and leave it. This continues constantly in such a way that their next turn will not come until the Day of Judgment. So, God knows everything about His creations.
It is mentioned in Nahjul Balagha: An army of angels is always in a state of standing up and an army in bowing and in army in prostration. A group is constantly weeping due to fear of God.
He has created everything and Only He knows His creations and His great friends. Otherwise, it is impossible for others to reckon, count or compute them.