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Interpretation of Sura an-Nur - Verse 45

Adopted from the book: "The Light of the Holy Qur'an - Interpretation of Sura an-Nur" by: "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani & a Group of Muslim Scholars"

45. "And Allah has created every animal from water; so of them is (a kind) that walks upon its belly and (a kind) that walks upon two legs and (a kind) that walks upon four. Allah creates what He pleases. Verily Allah is Ail-Powerful over every thing."


All of creatures are created by His will. In this noble verse, one of the main aspects of creation system, which is one of the most obvious reasons of monotheism, that is the issue of life with its various forms, reference has been made to. It says:

"And Allah has created every animal from water; ..."

All of them are made of water, but they have different and wonderful forms;

"... so of them is (a kind) that walks upon its belly and (a kind) that walks upon two legs and (a kind) that walks upon four. ..."

Yet this is not limited to these things and life has got extraordinarily various forms, including creatures that live in the sea, or insects that have thousands species and thousands faces. Therefore in the end of the verse, the Qur'an says:

"... Allah creates what He pleases. Verily Allah is All-Powerful over every thing."

Some Points

First: There are different opinions about the matter that the verse under discussion refers to what kind of 'water'. There are three commentaries on it:

A) The purpose of water is the drop of seed. Many of commentators have chosen this commentary and in some narrations it has been referred to, too.

The problem that this commentary faces with is that not all creatures are created from the drop of seed. For there are unicellular organisms and some other animals that are the extensions of animal and are created through cell division, an asexual reproduction, and it must be said that the above subject has got a typical aspect, not a common and general aspect.

B) The purpose of it is the creation of the first creature, for according to some Islamic narrations, the first creature that Allah created was water and men were created after water. Moreover, according to the new scientific theories, the first sign of life appeared in the seas and this phenomenon ruled in the depth of seas or in the shallows of seas before it appeared anywhere else. (Of course, the power that created the living creature with all of its complexity in the first phase and then guided it in other phases was Allah's will, a supernatural force.)

C) The last commentary is that the purpose of the creation of living creatures from water is that now the main material that makes up them is water and the main part of their body is made of water and that without water no living creature can continue to live.

Of course, these commentaries are in line with each other, but the first and the second ones seem more correct.

Second: The question that raises here is that animals are not limited to these three groups (reptiles, bipeds, quadrupeds), but there are many creatures that have more than four legs?

The answer to this question lies in the verse itself, for it is said in the next sentence: "... Allah creates what He pleases ..." Moreover, the most important animals that man is to deal with are these three groups. Besides, some believe that even some animals that have more than four feet rely mainly on four feet and the rest of feet functions as helping means. 95

Third: Undoubtedly the strangest phenomenon of this world is life, the issue that is still an unsolved riddle for scientists. All of them say that living creatures are created from lifeless materials of this world, but no one knows how and under what circumstances this mutation has happened, for in no laboratory the changing of lifeless materials to living creatures is observed, although thousands of scientists have thought about this and experimented a lot during very many years.

What is certain is that the secrets of life are so complex that the entire manly knowledge and sciences,with their whole development,are not able to discover and understand them yet.

In current condition of the world, living creatures are created from only living creatures and no living creature is created from a lifeless creature. Certainly it was not so in a long time ago and; in other words, life in the earth has got a history of creation that no one knows how its condition was and it is a riddle to man.

More strange than that is the species of life. There are completely various aspects of life; unicellular organisms that are seen only by means of microscope unto huge whales that are more than 30 meters long and they are mountain of floating meet. From insects of which hundreds of thousand species are discovered to birds that are thousand and thousands species, each of which have a world full of secrets.

Zoology books that today constitute a great part of great libraries of the world show only a little of these secrets. Sea, that has always been full of secrets, specially its animals, is still unknown to us with all knowledge that we have about it.

Verily how magnificent is Allah Who has created these various animals and has bestowed them what they have needed. How great is His power and knowledge that He has bestowed them what is needed proportionate to their conditions. And it is strange that all of them at first were created from water, and some little of the simple materials of the earth.


95. The Commentary by QurtAbi, and Fakhr-i-Razi, following the verse

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