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Interpretation of Sura al-Fatir - Verse 10

10.“Whoever desires glory, the glory belongs to Allah wholly to Him do ascend the good words and the righteous deed, He uplifts it; but those who devise evil deeds, for them is a terrible chastisement, and their plot shall come to naught.”


The real glory is with Allah, not with people, and it is found under the light of ‘Faith’ and ‘righteous deed.’

Following to this monotheistic discussion, this verse points to the great error of the pagans who asked their glory from their idols and thought that believing in the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) caused the dispersion of people from around them. They used to say: “… ‘If we follow the guidance with you, we shall be driven out from our land.’ …” The Qur’a-n says:

“Whoever desires glory, the glory belongs to Allah wholly …”

As Ra-qib has said in Mufrada-t, the Arabic word /‘izzat/ originally means that state that makes man resisting and mighty. It is for this reason that the hard and firm lands are called /‘aza-z/ in Arabic.

Since it is only the Pure Essence of Allah that is Mighty, else, because of their limitation, all creatures can be defeated. Therefore, the whole glory belongs to Him, and whoever obtains any glory it is from the endless ocean of His blessing.

During the last hours of his lifetime when Imam Hassan (a.s.) was asked by one of his companions named Juna-dat-ibn-’Abi-Sufya-n to advise him, Imam stated some valuable and effective admonitions for him, among which was this: “If you wish to be ‘honoured’ without having any tribe, and to have reverence without the power of government, then come out from the shade of sin of Allah, and settle in the glory of the obedience of Allah.”

And if we see that some verses of the Qur’a-n introduce glory, besides Allah, for the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and the believers, (like Sura Muna-fiqu-n, No. 63, verse 8 which says: “… Honour belongs to Allah and His Messenger and to the Believers, …”, it is for the reason that they have earned glory from the rays of the glory of Allah, too.

Then the verse introduces the way of reaching to glory as follows:

“… to Him do ascend the good words and the righteous deed, He uplifts it; …”

The Qur’a-nic phrase: /’al kalimut?-t?ayyib/ means: ‘pure words’, and the purity of a speech depends on the purity of its content, and the purity of content relates to the concepts which adapt to the pure, brilliant, objective facts. What reality is higher than the Pure Essence of Allah and His right and just religion, as well as the pure righteous ones who pave the way of its distribution? Therefore, this holy phrase has been rendered into correct belief in Origin, Resurrection and Allah’s religion.

Some of the commentators have rendered the Qur’a-nic phrase: /’al kalimut?-t?ayyib/ into: ‘there is no god but Allah’, while some others have rendered it into: /subha-n-allah-i-wal-hamd-u-lilla-h-i-wala--’ila-ha-’illalla-h-u-wa-lla-h-u-’akbar/, and some commentators have rendered it, after mentioning there is no god but Allah, into “Muhammad rasu-l-ulla-h wa ‘Aliyyan waliyyulla-h wa xali-fata rasu-lihi-”.

Or in some Islamic narrations the Qur’a-nic phrase /’al kalimut?-t?ayyib/ and /’al ‘amal-us?-s?a-lih/ have been rendered into the love of Ahl-ul-Bayt (a.s.) or the like of it. All of them are of the kind of the statement of clear extensions for that vast concept, and they do not create any limitation in its concept, because every statement which has a pure and excellent content is entirely found in this title.

However, the same Lord Who, according to the previous verse, makes the dead land alive by life-giving drops of rain, furnishes ‘the pure word and righteous deed’, too, and causes them to reach to the neighbourhood of His Mercy.

Then the Qur’a-n refers to the opposite point of it, where it says:

“… but those who devise evil deeds, for them is a terrible chastisement, and their plot shall come to naught.”

Although the corruptive persons imagine that, by injustice, cruelty, falsehood, and plot, they can obtain a kind of glory for them by means of wealth, property, and power but at the end they shall understand that not only they have provided a chastisement for them, but also their efforts in this way will become naught.

As the Qur’a-n says, there were some people who behaved like this: “And they have taken gods besides Allah that they might be for them a glory.” 24 And there were some hypocrites who imagined themselves as some honoured ones and the believers as the meaner: “They say: ‘If we return to Medina, surely the more honourable (element) will expel there from the meaner’ …” 25

There were some other persons, who considered the deceit of the Pharaohs as their own glory, or they sought honour from sin, injustice, and cruelty, but all of them were defeated. So, it is only faith and righteous deed which go up toward Allah.

In philology the Arabic word /makr/ means any kind of device, but in some instances it is used in the sense of the devices that are accompanied with mischief, and the verse under discussion is among those instances.

The term /sayyi’a-t/, mentioned in the above verse, refers to all ugly and evil things which occur, irrespective of creedal evils and practical ones, and that some commentators have rendered it into the pagans’ plots for killing or banishing the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) from Mecca is, in fact, one of the expansions of it, not its whole concepts.

The Qur’a-nic word /yabu-r/ is derived from /bawa-r/ and /bu-ra-n/ which originally means excess dullness of market, and since this kind of dullness of market often causes destruction, this word has been used in the sense of destruction and annihilation.

The whole glory belongs to Allah. Does this state mean something save reaching to the stage of being Almighty? If it is so, where can glory be sought, and what can give glory to man?

By a clear analysis we reach this fact that the reality of glory, at the first degree, is the power which appears in the heart and entity of man and dissuades him from having humility submission, and collusion in relation with disobedient and rebellious persons to the command of Allah. It is a power that with having it one never surrenders to unlawful lusts and he never obeys his low desires.

It is a power which usually elevates him up to the stage of impenetrability before any wealth and force.

Does this power originate from any source save from the Faith in Allah, which is the main source of power and glory?

What was said is only in the stage of thought, belief, soul and spirit; but in the stage of action, glory originates from some deeds that have correct root and an accurate program and style. In other words, glory can be found in ‘righteous deeds’. These two elements give man honour, greatness, might, and glory.

The world loving sorcerers, contemporary to Pharaoh, began their tricks in his name and glory. “… and said: ‘By Pharaoh’s dignity we shall certainly be the victors.” 26 Yet, before long, they failed from the shepherd-stick of Moses (a.s.), but when they came out from the cover of the disgraceful flag of Pharaoh and went under the light of Monotheism and believed, they became so strong and mighty that the most severe threats of Pharaoh did not affect on them. They eagerly lost their hands, feet, and even souls in the cause of Allah and suffered martyrdom. By this action, they proved that they would surrender neither to money nor to force. They remained mighty and, today, their honourable history contains a great deal of instructive lessons for us.


24. Sura Maryam, No. 19, verse 81

25. Sura Al-Muna-fiqu-n, No. 63, verse 8

26. Sura Ash-Shu'ara-, No. 26, verse 44

Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah al-Fatir" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"

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