Allah the Creator of all
- Commentary by Sayyid Qutb
Posted by: "mail2shahid" email@example.com sk_999999999
Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:17 pm
Allah the Creator of all
In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Beneficent
Allah's judgment has come; so do not seek to hurry it on. Limitless He is in
His glory and sublimely exalted above anything people may associate with
Him. He sends down angels with this divine inspiration, (bestowed) by His
will on any of His servants He may wish: "Warn (mankind) that there is no
deity but Me: so fear Me." He has created the heavens and the Earth with
truth; sublimely exalted above anything people may associate with Him. He
creates man out of a drop of sperm; yet this same man is openly contentious.
*(The Bee, An-Nahl: 16: 1-4)*
The nonbelievers in Makkah used to ask the Prophet (peace be upon him) to
hasten their punishment in this life, or to hasten the punishment Allah has in
store for them in the life to come. As time passed with no punishment being
inflicted, they would urge the Prophet more and more to hasten it, showing
that they could not care less. They thought that Muhammad (peace be upon
him) was warning them against something that would never happen. His only
aim, as they imagined, was to get them to believe what he said and accept
his faith. They could not understand Allah's wisdom in giving them time. Nor
could they appreciate His grace. They would not reflect on the signs He has
placed everywhere in the universe around them. Nor would they reflect on His
revelations in the Qur'an, which address people's minds and hearts. That is
a much more effective address than punishment and suffering. It is more
worthy of man whom Allah has honored when He gave him a mind and feeling to
study and reflect, as well as an independent will and free choice.
The opening of the surah is very decisive: "Allah's judgment has come."� It
implies that the command has been given, and that Allah's will has been made.
That is sufficient for the judgment to come to pass at the time appointed
for it by Allah Himself. "So do not seek to hurry it on." The laws Allah has set
operate in accordance with His will. They cannot be hurried on, nor can they
be postponed to satisfy people's wishes. The statement here tells us that
Allah's judgment, to resurrect people or to inflict His punishment, has been
made. It will come to pass at the time Allah has determined. There shall be no
hurrying or delay.
The decisive nature of this statement is highly effective, even in the case
of those who try to put a careless face. Moreover, it expresses the truth.
Whatever Allah wills is bound to take place. The fact that He has made a
judgment means that it is carried out, and that it becomes part of the
reality. Hence, there is no overstating of the facts or deviating from them.
Their beliefs, associating partners with Allah, and all the false concepts
that they formulate on this basis, are far removed from the true nature of
Allah: "Limitless He is in His glory and sublimely exalted above anything
people may associate with Him." Beliefs that ascribe divinity to anyone
other than Allah are all without foundation. They are only the result of
degenerate and disgraceful thinking.
Allah, who does not abandon mankind to their erring beliefs and baseless
concepts, sends down from on high what gives them life and saves them: "He
sends down angels with this divine inspiration, (bestowed) by His will on
any of His servants He may wish." This is Allah's greatest favor and blessing.
He does not only send down water from the sky to make the earth quicken and
to give physical life, as the surah will soon mention. He also sends down
the angels with His divine inspiration. The Arabic expression uses the word
rooh, which also means "spirit," for inspiration. This adds connotations of
life within peopleŽs souls, consciences and feelings, and within society so
as to preserve it from corruption. That is the first thing that Allah sends
down to people from on high, and it is His most important blessing and
bounty. Allah's purest creation, the angels, are sent down to His chosen
servants, the Prophets, giving them a message that is summed up in these
words: "Warn (mankind) that there is no deity but Me: so fear Me."
The emphasis here is on the oneness of Allah, which is the central point of
the Islamic faith. It breathes life into peopleŽs souls. It is also the
parting point between the way, which gives life and the one, which destroys
it. A soul that does not believe in the oneness of Allah is lost, confused,
pulled in all directions by diverse and contradictory concepts and beliefs.
It cannot move with its whole being to achieve a definite goal. The usage of
the term rooh in reference to Allah's message implies all these. Indeed it
provides a fitting reference to them at the beginning of this surah, which
speaks of a great variety of Allah's blessings. It is the top of all these,
the one blessing without which all other blessings lose their value. Indeed
man does not make a proper use or derive proper benefits from any thing on
earth unless his soul comes alive with the great blessing of faith.
The warning is given a special mention so as to appear to be the central
point of the message, because the larger part of the surah speaks about the
nonbelievers who deny Allah's blessing, prohibit what Allah has made lawful,
violate their covenant with Allah and reject the faith altogether. This makes
the warning more appropriate at the outset. The warning is coupled with a
call to fear Allah and beware of incurring His displeasure.
The surah then begins to outline the aspects of creation that emphasize the
oneness of the Creator, and the aspects of blessing that confirm the oneness
of the One who bestows them all. All these are shown in groups that follow
one another, starting with the creation of the heavens and the earth, and
the creation of man: "He has created the heavens and the earth with truth;
sublimely exalted above anything people may associate with Him. He creates
man out of a drop of sperm; yet this same man is openly contentious."
"He has created the heavens and the earth with truth." The truth is at the
core of their creation and their existence. Indeed the truth is an essential
element in managing their affairs and the affairs of all the creation that
live in both. Nothing of that is created in vain or idle play. Everything
derives its existence on the basis of the truth, and leads eventually to the
truth. "Sublimely exalted above anything people may associate with Him." He
is exalted above their pagan beliefs and above those of His creation whom
they associate with Him. He is indeed the One who has created the heavens
and the earth and all creatures living in them. No creature is worthy of
being His partner. Indeed He has no partners.
"He creates man out of a drop of sperm; yet this same man is openly
contentious." The gulf is so huge between the origin and the end, between
the worthless sperm and the man in open contention. He disputes with his
Lord and denies Him. He argues about His existence or His oneness. Yet the
way the verse runs leaves no gap between the point of origin, the drop of
sperm, and the grown up man engaged in dispute and contention. That shows
the contrast to be complete and the gulf too wide. These two contrasting
images of man are intended to enhance the effect of expression.
"And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of
wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient
ones)." *(QurŽan, 2:155)*
"...Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without
reckoning." *(Qur'an, 39:10)*
- Commentary by Sayyid Qutb
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