Section 1: Those Given the Knowledge (By Allah)
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي الأَخِرَةِ وَهُوَ الْحَكِيمُ الْخَبِيرُ
1. “(All) praise is (only) Allah’s, to Whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth, and to Him belongs also (all) praise in the Hereafter, and He is the Wise, the Aware.”
We must learn from Allah how to praise Him.
The praises must be for His perfection, power, ownership, awareness, and wisdom.
Among the Suras, of the Qur’an, there are five suras which have been begun with the Praise of Allah in three of which the praise of Allah is for the sake of the creation of the heaven and the earth and other creatures.
In one Surah1 this praise is for the sake of the descent of the Qur’an on the pure heart of the holy Prophet (S). And, in another Surah, Al-Hamd, there is a conclusive meaning which envelops all these affairs.
However, Surah Saba begins with the praise of Allah for His Ownership, and Wisdom in both this world and Hereafter.
Thus the sovereignty and ownership of both worlds belong to Him.
Every bounty, every merit, every benefit and blessing, and every wonderful elegant, and well-proportioned creation, all belong to His Pure Essence, and it is for this reason that ‘the Praise’, the reality of which is a praise for ‘the optional good deeds’ returns to Him. And if some creatures are also eligible of praise, they are a ray of His Essence and a shade of His deeds and attributes, too.
Therefore, when anybody in this world praises something, this praise finally returns to His Pure Essence.
At the end of the verse, the Holy Qur’an adds:
It is because of His vast wisdom that this surprising system governs over the world, and it is because of His Knowledge and awareness that everything has been located in its own place, and whatever thing a being needs, it is available for it (him).
The commentators have discussed very much about the objective meaning of:
Some of them have said that although there is no duty for people in the Hereafter, the servants of Allah will eagerly praise Him there and glorify Him, and they will take pleasure by praising Him.
Some others have said: the people of Paradise will praise Him for His grace, while the people of Hell will do it for His justice.
Sometimes it is said: the people who are in this world, because of the various curtains over their hearts and thoughts, mostly have not a sincere praise, but in Hereafter, where the curtains are removed and according to the sentence:
and everything will be made manifest for everybody, all of them will begin praising Him with a perfect sincere intention.
Also in this world human beings may become neglectful and, imagining some beings as independent of the Essence of Allah, praise them. But in Hereafter, where the relation of all to His Pure Essence is like the rays of sunshine to the sun and it will be made manifest, no one will praise aught but Him.
Moreover, the holy Qur’an has repeatedly said that the people of Paradise will praise Him there.
“…and the close of their cry (will be): ‘(All) praise is (only) Allah’s, the Lord of the Worlds’.”2
In another occurrence, upon the time when the believers enter the eternal gardens of Paradise, it says:
This praise is expressed not only by the tongues of human beings and angels, but also it can be heard from all the particles of the world of existence, and there is no being but praises and glorifies Him.
يَعْلَمُ مَا يَلِجُ فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَا يَخْرُجُ مِنْهَا وَمَا يَنزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ وَمَا يَعْرُجُ فِيهَا وَهُوَ الرَّحِيمُ الْغَفُورُ
2. “He knows whatever goes down into the earth and whatever comes out of it, and whatever comes down from the heaven and whatever goes up to it; and He is the Merciful, the Forgiving.”
This verse, following the attributes of Allah mentioned in the previous verse as Wise and Aware, refers to a part of His infinite knowledge and says:
Yes, He is aware of all of the drops of rain which come down from sky and the waves of floods, the water of which penetrates into the depth of the earth and will be stored there for men.
He is aware of the seeds of the plants which will be spread in earth by the help of winds or insects and go under the soil and grow so that one day they are seen as some green plants. He knows how the roots of trees go down into the depth of the ground to seek food and water.
Allah knows the electric waves, the different gases and the atoms in the air which penetrate into the ground. He is aware of the living creatures that go through the land and give life to it. He knows all treasures and precious things buried inside this vast ground as well as the corpses of the dead irrespective of men and other animals. Yes, He is aware of all of these things.
Also Allah knows all the plants that come out of the earth.
He knows the men who have raised from it; the springs that gush out from it; the gases come from inside of it; the volcanoes emerge from it; the insects which have nests in the earth and originate from it; and, in short, He is aware of all the creatures that come out of the depths of the ground, whether we know or we do not know.
Then the verse adds that He also knows whatever comes down from the sky, and whatever goes up to it, among them are the drops of rain, the life giving rays of the sun, the powerful waves of revelation and heavenly religious affairs, the angels who come down to the earth in order to convey the messengership or to perform other things, the heavenly rays which come from beyond the atmosphere unto the earth globe, the piercing flames and wandering meteorites which are attracted toward the earth.
Allah is aware of all of them.
It continues saying:
Allah also knows the servants’ deeds which ascend to the heaven; of the angels, that after fulfilling their duty, return to the heaven; of the Satans that go to the heavens to eavesdrop; of the branches of thick tall trees; of the vapours that rise from the sea and form the pieces of cloud in the sky; of the moan of an oppressed that ascends to the heaven. Yes, He knows all of these things.
Is there anyone to be aware of these affairs but He? Can the knowledge of all learned men among human beings dominate a part of His knowledge?
So, at the end of the verse, it says:
Allah being qualified by these two attributes is either for the sake that among the things ascend to the heaven there are the deeds of the servants and their souls, and it is He Who takes them under the cover of His mercy and forgiveness.
Or it is for the sake that the descent of all the heavenly blessings and merits are produced by His Mercy; and the righteous deeds of the believing servants, which, basing on the Qur’anic sentence:
ascend up and will be involved of His forgiveness.
Or, it says that those who so thank for these blessings deserve His mercy, and those who are faulty, if do not exceed the limits, will have forgiveness.
Shortly speaking, the above verse has a vast meaning in all its dimensions and it must not be limited in one side.
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لاَ تَأْتِينَا السَّاعَةُ قُلْ بَلَي وَرَبّـِي لَتَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ لاَ يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلاَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلآ أَصْغَرُ مِن ذَلِكَ وَلآ أَكْبَرُ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ
3. “And those who disbelieve say: ‘The Hour (of Judgment) shall not come upon us.’ Say: ‘Yes! By my Lord, the Knower of the unseen, it shall certainly come upon you, from Him is not hidden the weight of (even) an atom in the heavens nor in the earth, and neither is aught smaller than that, nor greater, but (all) is in a manifest Book.”
It does not matter that the blasphemous words and expressions may be cited in order to criticize or nullify them.
1- The rejecters of the resurrection often merely claim something and they have no reasoning for it.
The former holy verses, though referred to Unity and the attributes of Allah, contained something about the subject of Resurrection, because, as we will see later, the problems of the subject of Resurrection will not be solved except by the way of infinite knowledge of Allah.
That is why, the verse under discussion at first says:
Not only for us, but also for neither of human beings there will be a Resurrection.
By this way they wanted to get ‘freedom of action’ and perform whatever they could do, hoping that there is no reckoning and no justice at the end.
But, in view of the fact that the evidences of Hereafter are manifest, by means of a decisive sentence, and in the form of stating the conclusion, the Qur’an orders the Prophet (S) to declare:
The emphasis is on the word ‘Lord’, because the Hereafter is one of the affairs of Lordship. How is it possible that Allah is the cherisher of human beings and makes them progress alongside the path of development but in the midway He leaves them and, by death, everything comes to an end, while man’s life becomes aimless and his creation would become naught.
This very subject has been emphasized on in Surah At-Taqabun, No. 64, verse 7, where it says:
And since one of the objections of the opponents of Resurrection was that when the man’s body becomes dust and its particles will be scattered around, who can recognize them, and gather them, and return them to life again?
On the other hand, who can keep the account of all the deeds of the servants, hidden and manifest, inward and outward, and reckon them in a proper time?
So, in the continuation of the verse, the Qur’an adds:
The Qur’anic word /ya‘zub/ is derived from /‘uzub/ which originally means: ‘going far from the family for finding a pasture’.
The verse continues saying:
Thus, neither the atoms of the man’s body scattered about in the earth nor their being mixed with other creatures, nor even the entrance of these parts into the body of other men by means of food stuffs, none can create any problem for their being returned together in Hereafter.
Their deeds will remain in this world, too, though their forms change, and He is well aware of all these things.
Similar to this meaning is also recited in Surah Qaf, No. 50, verses 3 and 4, where the Qur’an says:
Concerning the objective meaning of the Qur’anic phrase /kitabun mubin/ (a manifest Book), many commentators have said it is ‘The Protected Tablet’.
But there is another question asking: what is the Protected Tablet? As we have said before, the most probable meaning which can be stated for it is that it is the very tablet of the infinite knowledge of Allah wherein everything is recorded, and no change will occur in it.
The vast world of existence is also a reflection of this Protected Tablet, because all the particles of ourselves and all our sayings and deeds will remain protected in it, though their appearance will outwardly change, but they will never vanish.
لِيَجْزِيَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ اُوْلَئِكَ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ
4. “That He may reward those who believe and do righteous deeds, for such is forgiveness and a bountiful provision.”
A bountiful provision is a provision which is given vastly, bountifully, and honourably not with reproach and pity.
This holy verse states the purpose of the establishment of the Hereafter, or in other words, it explains the reason of the necessity of such a world after this present world for its rejecters. It says:
If the righteous believers do not get their reward, is the principle of justice, which is the most fundamental principle of the creation, not suspended? Can the Divine Justice have any meaning without it? But we see many of such people in this world who never receive the compensation of their good deeds. Therefore, there must be another world wherein this principle can be performed.
The word ‘forgiveness’ has been mentioned before the concept of ‘bountiful provision’, and it may be for the sake that the most anxiety of the believers is for the faults that they probably have had, therefore, before anything else by means of the statement of forgiveness they are given peace of mind.
Moreover, they are not eligible of ‘bountiful sustenance’ and ‘the noble rank’ unless they are cleaned with forgiveness.
‘A bountiful provision’ is in the sense of any worthy sustenance, and the vastness of its concept is so much that it envelops all the Divine merits, even the bounties which no eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard of and nobody has thought of.
In other words, Paradise, with all its spiritual and material bounties, is found in this word.
Some commentators have rendered this Qur’anic word, /karim/, as two good and painless things, but it seems that its meaning is vaster than that.5
وَالَّذِينَ سَعَوْ فِي ءَايَاتِنَا مُعَاجِزِينَ اُوْلَئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مِن رِّجْزٍ أَلِيمٌ
5. “And those who strive hard in invalidating Our signs, challenging (us), for such will be a chastisement of a painful wrath.”
Man’s inordinacy is so much so that he wishes to nullify the Divine verses and to hinder their effects and practical consequence. So in this verse it implies that those who tried to frustrate and deny Allah’s revelations, and imagined that they could escape from the realm of Allah’s Power, there will be a chastisement for them which is out of the worst and the most painful punishments.
The words in previous verse were about ‘a bountiful provision’ while this verse speaks about ‘a chastisement of a painful wrath’.
The Arabic word /rijz/ originally means: anxiety and the lack of power for the protection of equilibrium. So when a camel is sick and is unable to walk quickly, at the time of walking, it has to take its steps shortly in order to partly keep equilibrium. This state in Arabic is called /rijz/. Then it has been used for any kind of sin and impurity.
The epics, poems peculiar to wars, are called /rajaz/ for the sake that they have some pauses which are short and close to each other.
However, the purpose of the Qur’anic word /rijz/ here is the worst kind of punishment which has also been intensified with the term of /’alim/ (painful), and it refers to the kinds of spiritual and bodily painful chastisements.
Some commentators have paid attention to this point that here at the time of stating the bounties of the people of Heaven, the Qur’an has not applied the Arabic word /min/ (of) to be evidence that those bounties are vast, while this word has been applied for the chastisement in order to be a sign of a relative limitation and the statement of His Mercy.
The Arabic term /sa‘aw/ is derived from the word /sa‘y/ in the sense of any effort and endeavour. Here it means to strive for rejecting and denial of the Divine revelations and hindering people from embracing the religion of Allah.
The Arabic term /mu‘ajizin/ is derived from /‘ajaza/ in the sense of ‘to make impotent’, and in these instances it is used for those who run away from someone in a way that he cannot have dominance over them.
It is evident that this quality mentioned for the guilty is for the imagination they used to practically show. Their action was similar to the act of the persons who thought they could commit whatever crime they desired to do and they would escape from the realm of the Power of Allah.
وَيَرَي الَّذِينَ اُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ الَّذِي اُنزِلَ اِلَيْكَ مِن رَبّـِكَ هُوَ الْحَقَّ وَيَهْدِي اِلَي صِرَاطِ الْعَزِيزِ الْحَمِيدِ
6. “And those who have been given the knowledge see that what has been sent down to you from your Lord is the truth, and guides to the path of the Mighty, the Praised.”
Knowledge gives man insight and awareness.
The sign of a real knowledge is to find out the legitimacy of the Qur’an and accepting it. Without knowledge and gnosis gratitude is impossible.
In former verses the words were about the unaware blind-hearted persons who decisively denied the Resurrection with those clear evidences, and they tried to belie the Divine verses and to make others astray.
In this connection, the verse under discussion refers to the scholars and knowledgeable men who pay to acknowledgement of the Divine verses and encourage others to accept them.
Some of the commentators have rendered the Qur’anic sentence:
mentioned in this verse, into those scholars of the People of the Book who, by seeing the signs of legitimacy of the Holy Qur’an, became humble before it and confessed its rightfulness.
It does not matter that ‘the scholars of the people of the Book’ may be one of the expansions of the above verse, but confining its meaning to them alone has no evidence, but, on the contrary regarding to the Arabic verb /yara/ (see), which is in present tense, and also with regard to the vast concept of the sentence which says:
it envelops all the scholars and knowledgeable ones in any age and in any place.
And if we see that in the commentary of Ali-ibn-’Ibrahim this sentence has been rendered into Amir-ul-Mu’mineen Ali (as), it is, in fact, the statement of complete and perfect expansion of it.
Yes, any scholar, who contemplates on the content of this heavenly Book with no bigotry, consisting of its meaningful gnosis, good ordinances, wise advices, and abundant shaking admonitions, as well as its wonderful histories, and scientific miraculous discussions, knows that all of them attest to the legitimacy of these verses.
Nowadays, there have been published different books about Islam and the Qur’an by the eastern and western scholars in which there can be found some very clear and expressive confessions upon the greatness of Islam and the truthfulness of the abovementioned verse.
The application of the Qur’anic phrase /huwal-haqq/ (it is the truth) in the verse is an inclusive expression which adapts to the whole content of the Qur’an, because ‘truth’ is the very concrete reality and the external existence, viz., the content of the Qur’an is consistent with the laws of creation the realities of the world of existence, and the world of humanity.
And since it is such, it leads man toward the path of Allah, Who is both the Mighty and the Praised; that is, in the meantime that He is Mighty and has no failure, He is worthy of any kind of praise. He is not like the powerful men who when they sit on the throne of force, they take the path of cruelty, oppression, and monopolistic manner.
Similar to this meaning is recited in Surah ’Ibrahim, No. 14, verse one which says:
It is clear that the One Who is both Mighty, and worthy of praise, and Aware, and kind, His way is the most secure ways and the straightest ones, and those who pave His path approach themselves to the source of power and all sorts of praised attributes.
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا هَلْ نَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَي رَجُلٍ يُنَبّـِئُكُمْ اِذَا مُزِّقْتُمْ كُلَّ مُمَزَّقٍ اِنَّكُمْ لَفِي خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ
The disbelievers hinder people to come toward religion. They always introduce themselves as the leaders and heads of groups of people.
Disbelievers usually despise the religious personalities and sacred things so that they pave the way for common people to get away. Once more in this verse the Qur’an returns to the subject of Hereafter and Resurrection, and completes the former discussions in another form.
It seems that their urge on the denial of Resurrection originates from two matters. The first is that they imagined the Resurrection which the Prophet (S) propounded (bodily resurrection) was a damageable subject to which they could change the people’s attitude into a pessimistic mood and then negate it easily.
The second thing is that the belief in Resurrection and even accepting it as a probable occurrence, however, creates a kind of responsibility in man, and makes him think in order to seek for the truth. So this was something which was counted very dangerous for the chiefs of disbelievers; therefore they insisted to wipe out the thought about Resurrection and the reward or retribution of deeds from the people’s mind in any way they could.
They used to say: was it possible that those rotten bones and those scattered dusts that the winds had taken its atoms into different directions one day come together and become alive again?
Or that they called the Prophet (S) ‘a man’ with an indefinite form in order to despise him.
But they had forgotten that, at the beginning, we were also as some separate scattered articles. Every drop of the existing water in our body had lied in a corner of the earth. Then, in the same way that Allah gathered them at the beginning, He is also capable to do it again at the end.
أَفْتَرَي عَلَي اللَّهِ كَذِباً أَم بِهِ جِنَّةٌ بَلِ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالأَخِرَةِ فِي الْعَذَابِ وَالضَّلاَلِ الْبَعِيدِ
8. “Has he forged a lie against Allah or there is madness in him? Nay! Those who do not believe in the Hereafter are in torment and are straying far (away from the truth).”
The pagans pave all the deviated ways but they do not believe. This holy verse implies that it is surprising that they took this statement as a reason for mendacity or insanity of its speaker.
They used to say:
Else, how is it possible that a truthful person talks such statements?
But the Qur’an answers them decisively that he is neither a madman nor a liar.
It says as follows:
What an aberration is more manifest than this that one denies the Resurrection, a resurrection that he sees its example in front of his eyes everyday in the world of nature and in the dead lands to be quickened.
It is a Resurrection that if it did not exist, the life of this world would be meaningless and empty.
And, finally, it is a Resurrection the denial of which is equivalent to the denial of Power, Justice, and the Wisdom of the Lord.
But the question is that why does it say that they are in punishment and straying now?
This is for the sake that there are some difficulties and events in the life that, without having faith in Hereafter, man cannot tolerate them.
Verily if the life were limited to these very few days of the lifetime in this world, the consideration of the death would be as horrible nightmare for all persons.
That is why the deniers of Resurrection are always in a kind of worrying anxiety and a painful punishment, while the believers in Resurrection count death as a door to the lasting world and a means for breaking the cage of this life and being delivered from this prison.
Yes, belief in Resurrection gives peace and tranquillity to man. It often makes difficulties tolerable, and causes donation, devotion, and self-sacrificing for man to be easy.
In principle, those who counted Resurrection as evidence upon mendacity and insanity, as the result of their disbelief and ignorance, they encountered the punishment of moral darkness and far aberration.
Some commentators have pointed out that this punishment is a hint to the punishment in Hereafter, but the apparent of the holy verse shows that just now they are in punishment and aberration in this world.
أَفَلَمْ يَرَوْا اِلَي مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُم مِنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالأَرْضِ اِن نَّشَأْ نَخْسِفْ بِهِمُ الأَرْضَ أَوْ نُسْقِطْ عَلَيْهِمْ كِسَفاً مِنَ السَّمَآءِ اِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لاَيَةً لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُنِيبٍ
9. “Have they not then observed what is before them and what is behind them of the heavens and the earth? If We please We will make them sink into the earth or We drop down upon them lamps from heaven. Verily in that is a sign to every penitent servant.”
Allah’s Power is ready for any change in the system of existence. Contemplation about existence is the source of servitude and plea in the Presence of Allah.
Then the Holy Qur’an refers to another reason concerning Resurrection which is accompanied with threat against the obstinate negligent ones.
This grand sky, with all its wonders, with all these fixed stars and planets, and the systems governed over them; and also this globe with all its wonders and kinds of living creatures and its blessings and merits are the most expressive reasons to the Power of the Creator.
Is the One Who has power over all these affairs unable to bring back man to the world of life and living after death?
This is the very proof of power by which in the verses of the Qur’an in the face of the rejecters of Resurrection has been reasoned. Among them is the last part of Surah Yasin, No. 36, verse 82; and also there are Surah Asra’, No. 17, verse 99; and Surah Qaf, No. 50, verses 6 and 7.
By the way, this sentence is a premise for threatening this group, the zealous dark hearted group who insist to shut their eyes unto all the facts.
So, next to that, it says:
It can happen that when an earthquake occurs and the earth splits, they may be buried inside of it.
The verse continues saying:
In this case, those lamps of stone may destroy them, their selves, their houses, and their lives altogether.
Yes, in this matter, there is a clear sign unto the Power of Allah and His ability over everything, but this sign is only for every servant who returns toward Allah and utilizes his thought.
The verse continues:
During his lifetime, everybody has seen some examples of earthquakes, eclipses of the moon and sinking things down into the earth, or he has heard about them.
Some persons may have seen or heard of the fall of some aeroliths from above atmosphere, or as the result of falling rocks from the mountains because of thunder bolts, or volcanoes and the like.
Any intellectual person knows that the occurrence of these affairs is possible in any time and in any place. If the earth is calm and the sky is safe and sound for us, it is because of the Power and command of Allah.
How can we deny His ability in the erection of Resurrection while we are under His power? Or how can we escape from the realm of His Government?