أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الأَرْضِ وَالْفُلْكَ تَجْرِي فِي الْبَحْرِ بِاَمْرِهِ وَيُمْسِكُ السَّمآءَ أَن تَقَعَ عَلَي الاَرْضِ إِلاَّ بإِذْنِهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
وَهُوَ الَّذِي أَحْيَاكُمْ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ إِنَّ الإِنسَانَ لَكَفُورٌ
65. “Have you not seen that Allah has made subservient to you whatever is in the earth and the ships running in the sea by His command, and He withholds the heaven from falling on the earth, save with His permission? Verily, Allah is, for mankind, Full of Pity, Merciful.”
66. “And He it is Who gave you life, then He will cause you to die, and then will give you life (again). Verily man is ungrateful.”
The study of divine creation produces both faith and love in the believers.
The subservience of the world of existence is in authority of Allah
In this holy verse again the Qur’an has pointed to another example of this infinite Power concerning the subservience of the beings for humankind.
He has let all the merits and potentialities of the world at your disposal in order that you utilize them in what manner you wish. Then the verse continues implying that He also made the ships subservient to you while they run in the seas, going forth on the water towards different destinations by the command of Allah.
The verse says:
Besides that, He withholds the heavens in their positions not to fall on the earth save with His command.
From one side, He has caused that each of the celestial bodies rotates in its orb, and has adjusted the repelling force resulted from the ‘centrifugal force’ just equal to the gravity force therein, so that each of them moves in its orbit without that there happens any change in their proper distances or there occurs any crash between those globes.
On the other side, He has created the atmosphere of the each in such a way that it does not let the wandering aerolites hit the earth and cause some troubles and destructions for its habitants.
The verse continues saying:
Yes, it is His Grace, Mercy and Kindness towards the servants that have caused such a safe and secure cradle to be prepared for the humankind to live on it easily, calmly and comfortably without any danger. He has created the earth in a manner that neither any aerolite falls on it nor does any other globe crash it.
Therefore, at the end of the verse, it says:
Finally, in the next verse, the Qur’an, after speaking about the Power of Allah, refers to the most important matter of the world of existence, i.e., the subject of life, where it implies that you were a lifeless dust when He covered you with the clothes of life, then after passing the course of life He causes you to die and He retunes you to the same dust from which you came into being.
And again, in the Resurrection, He will give you a new life and you will come out from the dead soil and will attend the court of Reckoning and retribution.
The holy verse continues saying:
Yet, this man is ungrateful in spite of these plenty of blessings that Allah has given him, both for his soul and his body, in the earth and the heaven, and he rejects His Pure Essence while he manifestly sees all these clear signs.
The verse concludes:
The First Point: In these recent verses, there have been regularly mentioned fourteen parts of Allah’s Attributes, (at the end of each verse two attributes), as follows:
“All-Knowing, Most Forbearing”, “Pardoning, Forgiving”, “All-Hearing, All-Seeing”, “The High, The Great”, “All-Subtle, All-Aware”, “The Self-Sufficient, the Praised”, “Full of Pity, Merciful”.
Every part of these divine attributes agrees with and is complementary of each other in every couple. For example, Allah’s forgiveness is complementary of His Pardoning, All-Hearing is complementary of All-Seeing, His being High agrees with His Greatness, His being All-Subtle adapts with His being All-Aware, His being the Self-Sufficient with His being Praised and, finally, His being Full of Pity with His being Merciful.
All of these attributes are in agreement and, in the meanwhile, they are just appropriate with the same subject which is stated in the concerning holy verse. Since we have explained them following each verse, their repetition is not necessary here.
The Second Point: The verses under discussion were both as an evidence for the Power of Allah and an emphasis on the promises of Divine help upon the believers and as a sign for the rightfulness of His Pure Essence, which have been referred to in the former verses.
They are also counted as a reasoning for Monotheism and as a reasoning for Resurrection, because the phenomena of the dead lands being quickened by having green plants and by means of rain, and also the life and the death of the first human being are some witnesses for the fact that He is capable to restore man again to life and this meaning has been taken in many verses of the noble Qur’an as a reasoning to the existence of Resurrection, too.
However, regarding that the Qur’anic word /kafur/, in Arabic, grammatically is a form of the word with the exaggeration meaning, the Qur’anic sentence:
points to the obstinate persons who, even with observing these signs of the grandeur of Allah, they pave the way of denyance. Or it points to the ungratefulness of such persons, those whose selves are surrounded by His blessings and yet neither do they try to thank Him nor recognize Him.
The Third Point: The subservience of the beings of the earth and the heaven:
As it has been pointed out, making these things subservient for man is from this viewpoint that Allah has assigned them as the servants of man so that they are along the way of the benefit of him.
Among all the benefits of the earth, the movement of the ships on the seas and oceans is particularly mentioned here, it is for the reason that these ships have been the most important means of communication and transportation for passengers and goods from one place to another place, so that no other vehicle could have succeeded to occupy the place of ships in this regard.
Admittedly if one day all ships stop moving on the seas and oceans, the life of men will be entirely disturbed, because the roads on land have not the potentiality of transportation of so much oil, as well as other loads, from one point to another.
Thus, the importance of ships, this divine blessing, becomes more manifest when we see more than ten thousand lorries cannot carry the oil that even one huge ship can sometimes carry; and transition of oil by the pipelines is also possible for only some limited places of the world.
لِكُلِّ اُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنْسَكاً هُمْ نَاسِكُوهُ فَلاَ يُنَازِعُنَّكَ فِي الاَمْرِ وَادْعُ إِلَي رَبّـِكَ إِنَّكَ لَعَلَي هُدًي مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
67. “To every nation have We appointed rites which they are to perform, therefore they should not dispute with you about the matter, and you do invite (the people) unto your Lord; verily, you are upon a straight guidance.”
Allah does not leave any nation without any school of thought. A religion must be introduced from the side of Allah, and people should go on the path of Allah.
The prophets’ duty is to guide their nations, and they must resist in this way.
Through former discussions, we stated some points about polytheists. The polytheists, in particular, and the opponents of Islam, in general, had some disputations with the Prophet of Islam (S) about the problems and the ordinances in the religions of old, and they considered them as a weak point for the religion of Islam, while those changes not only were not weaknesses, but also were counted as one of the programs of the development of religions.
So, the verse implies that there has been appointed a worship for every nation by which they would worship Him.
The verse says:
The Arabic word /manasik/ is the plural form of /mansak/ in the sense of ‘worship’ absolutely. Here, it may envelop all religious and Divine programs. Therefore, the verse expresses this fact that each of the former nations had a separate program particular to them.
From the viewpoint of time, place and other respects in those circumstances, it had been the most complete program for them, but certainly with the change of conditions it was necessary that some new ordinances would substitute them.
That is why, following that statement, it adds:
The Qur’anic word /hudan/ (guidance) which is qualified by /mustaqim/ (straight) is either for emphasis, or it may point to the fact that a ‘guidance’ toward a ‘destination’ may be performed in different ways. These ways can be: near, far, straight, and crooked; while the Divine guidance is toward the nearest and the straightest way.
وإِن جَادَلُوكَ فَقُلِ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
اللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيامَةِ فِيمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ
68. “And if they dispute with you, say: ‘Allah knows best what you do’.”
69. “Allah will judge between you on the Day of Judgment concerning that in which you used to differ.”
The Divine prophets, with having those plenty miracles and logic, were still confronted with some obstinate persons. Then, this verse indicates that if they continue conflicting and disputing with the Prophet (S) and his words do not affect their hearts, he is to answer them that Allah knows best about the deeds they do.
The verse says:
Some of the commentators have said that it means that if they dispute with him (S) about sacrifice and cancellation of their religion, he should tell them that Allah knows best their rejection and He will give them their chastisement.
Then in the next verse, the Qur’an announces that Allah will judge between them about what they used to differ, and in Hereafter, where everything returns to unity and oneness and the differences will be removed, He will make the facts manifest for all of us. Thus, the Faith in the Hereafter is the best thing for bringing the disputations and differences under subjugation.
The verse says:
أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي السَّمَآءِ وَالأَرْضِ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ فِي كِتَابٍ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَي اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ
70. “Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and the earth? Verily this is (recorded) in a Book; verily this is easy for Allah.”
Allah’s Knowledge is the same with respect to all the world of existence; and since the judgment in Hereafter upon the deeds of the human beings and their discords needs a vast knowledge unto all of them, in this verse the Qur’an, hinting to the infinite knowledge of Allah, says:
Yes, everything is recorded in a Book. This is the book of the infinite knowledge of Allah. It is the book of the world of existence and the world of ‘cause and effect’, a world wherein nothing will be lost or perished, but the things always change in forms, even the waves of the weak sound which a mortal did produce thousands of years ago have not been annihilated or extinguished completely and they exist in the atmosphere.
This is a very minute and consistent book in which everything has been recorded.
In other words, all these things are found in the ‘Protected Tablet’, the tablet of the knowledge of Allah, and all these beings with all their characteristics and details are present with Him.
That is why, in the last sentence of this verse, the Qur’an announces that this is easy for Allah (s.w.t.), because all beings entirely and with all their qualities attend before Him.
The verse says:
1. The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“Having knowledge to Allah is the best of deeds; for knowing Him will benefit you whether the deed is scanty or abundant; and verily ignorance will not benefit you whether the deed is scanty or abundant.”
2. Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali-ibn-Abitalib (as) said:
“The finite of knowledge (to Allah) is being in awe of Allah, the Pure.”1
وَيَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَاناً وَمَا لَيْسَ لَهُم بِهِ عِلْمٌ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِن نَّصِيرٍ
71. “And they worship, besides Allah, things for which He has sent no authority, and of which they have no knowledge, and for the unjust there shall be no helper.”
The viewpoint of the pagans was that Allah had given the ability of contrivance and decision to some things and the idols while He is above all. They imagined that the world was under the control of gods and considered Allah as the Lord of lords. This verse implies that Allah has given no authority to any of their gods and the world of existence is under the control of Allah, the One.
Appropriate to the content of the previous verses which were about Monotheism and polytheism, in this holy verse the words are again upon the polytheists and their wrong manner.
And, in view of the fact that one of the most manifest reasons of the invalidity of polytheism and idolatry is that there is no rational and traditional evidence to indicate to permissibility of this action; the abovementioned verse says:
In fact, this verse is the nullification of the belief of idolaters who believed Allah had allowed them idolatry and those idols were some intercessors to Him.
Then the Qur’an adds:
This means that neither by means of Allah’s commandment nor by means of intellect they have absolutely any proof and evidence for their action.
It is evident that he who has no clear reason for his belief and deeds is unjust. He has been unjust both to himself and others, and when he inflicts in Divine punishment none can defend him.
Thus, at the end of the verse, it says:
Some of the commentators have said that the Qur’anic word /nasir/, mentioned here, means: ‘reason and evidence’, because the real helper is the same.2
There is another probability that says the objective of the word /nasir/ is a guide, and this is a complement for the previous discussion, that is, they have neither an evidence from Allah, nor a rational proof that they themselves have obtained it, nor a leader, a guide, and a teacher who can help them in this way, because they are unjust and do not submit the truth.
These three commentaries do not contrast each other, though the first commentary seems better.
1- The Holy Prophet (S) told Ma‘ath:
“Whoever dies while he has never associated anything with Allah, will enter Paradise.”3
2- Jabir, May Allah be pleased with him, said:
“Once a man came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said:
‘O’ Messenger of Allah! What are the deeds which cause (a man) to enter Paradise or Hell?’
He (S) said:
‘Whoever from among my Ummah dies and has not associated anything with Allah, will enter Paradise, and whoever dies while he has been associating things with Allah will enter Hell’.”4
3- Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:
“Once a man said to the Holy Prophet:
‘O’ Messenger of Allah! Bequeath me!’
He (S) said:
‘I bequeath you that you never associate anything with Allah even if you are to be torn to pieces and to be burnt in fire; and that you should not repulse your parents (from yourself) either…’.”5
4- The holy Prophet (S) said:
“There are two bad qualities above which there is no other bad quality: associating something with Allah, and to cause damage against the servants of Allah.”6
5- Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as) said:
“…you should know that even the smallest hypocrisy is like believing in more than one God, and keeping company of people who follow their low desires is the key to obliviousness from religion, and is the seat of Satan.’…”7
6- The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“The one who has associated a partner with Allah will be told to get his reward from whom he has acted for.”8
وإِذَا تُتْلَي عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَاتُنَا بَيّـِنَاتٍ تَعْرِفُ فِي وُجُوهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا الْمُنكَرَ يَكَادُونَ يَسْطُونَ بِالَّذِينَ يَتْلُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَاتِنَا قُلْ أَفَأُنَبّـِئُكُمْ بِشَرٍّ مِن ذَلِكُمُ النَّارُ وَعَدَهَا اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ
72. “And when Our clear signs are recited unto them, you recognize repugnance in the faces of those who disbelieve; (so that) well-nigh they rush upon those who recite to them Our Signs. Say: ‘Shall I inform you of what is worse than this? The Fire, Allah has promised it to those who disbelieve; and an evil destination it is!”
In conflicts between paganism and Faith, pagans usually concentrate their harsh invasions upon the spiritual and cultural centers and personalities.
They sometimes take the temples and centers of worship as their target, which was referred to in verse 40 of the current Surah where it says:
and sometimes they attack the preachers of the religion or their audience.
Through this holy verse, in a short sentence, the intensity, obstinacy and bigotry of the idolaters against the verses of Allah have been referred to.
In fact, when hearing these clear verses, the understanding of which is easy for any intellectual, there appears a contrast between the lively logic of the holy Qur’an and the ignorant bigotries of the disbelievers, and since they are not ready to accept the truth, involuntarily its signs are recognized in their faces in the form of rejection and repugnance.
Their manner is so that, not only the effect of inconvenience and repugnance is seen in their features, but also, as the result of their immense bigotry and obstinacy, they are about to stand and attack those who recite the Divine verses to them.
The verse says:
The Arabic word /yastun/ is derived from /satwat/ which means ‘to lift one’s hand to rush against the opposite party’. As Raqib cites in Mufradat, it originally means: ‘the raise of a horse on its feet; and lifting its hands’, and then, it has been used with the above meaning.
If a person habitually thinks logically, when he hears a wrong statement he will neither frown, nor does he answer it with tied fist; on the contrary, he may honestly reject it with logical statement. These wrong reactions of the disbelievers are themselves as clear evidences that they follow no reason and logic and only ignorance and bigotry dominate them, their entity.
It is not worthy that the Qur’anic phrase: /yakaduna yastuna/ is formed by two simple verbs in future tense which in Arabic work as the constancy of the action, and here they denote the existence of the status of rushing in them, and sometimes the circumstances required that they would practically make it appear, and when the circumstances did not allow, often the feeling of readiness for attack appeared in them and they displayed signs of uneasiness why they could not rush and beat.
As for these illogical persons, the Qur’an commands the holy Prophet (S) to do as follows:
This means that if you think that these clear verses are some evils, since they do not agree with your wrong and deviated thoughts, I may introduce worse than them which is the Divine painful punishment that will finally encompass you for this obstinacy and enmity of yours. It is the same blazing Fire that Allah has promised to the disbelievers.
The holy verse continues saying:
And the blazing Fire of Hell is the worst abode! The verse concludes:
In fact, there is no response save the Hell Fire for these rude fiery persons inside whom the flames of bigotry and obstinacy is always enlightened. As a fact, the Divine chastisement is always closely appropriate to the quality of the same sin and disobedience that people commit.
- 1. Qurar-ul-Hikam, No. 10926
- 2. Al-Mizan and Tafsir-i-Fakhr-i-Razi, following the verse
- 3. Kanz-ul-‘Ummal, vol. 1, p. 65
- 4. Sahih-i-Muslim, vol. 1, p. 94
- 5. Bihar-ul-’Anwar, vol. 74, p. 134, Al-Mizan, vol. 3, p.176
- 6. Tuhaf-ul-‘Ughul, p. 34
- 7. Nahjul-Balaqah, Sermon 86
- 8. ’Ihya’-i-‘Ulum, vol. 4, p. 2723