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Interpretation of Sura an-Nur - Verses 41-42 - Everything in the heavens and the Earth Glorifies Allah Commentary

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"

Everything in the heavens and in the earth knows its mode of prayers to Allah, and glorifying Him - Every living creature has been created by Allah - Allah guides towards the Right Path whomever He pleases - Allah or His Apostle deal not with any one unjustly but people themselves are unjust to themselves

41. "Have you not seen that unto Allah glorifies whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, and the birds with wings outspread (in their flight)? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And Allah is Aware of what they do."

42. "And unto Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and unto Allah is the ultimate return (of all)."

Commentary

In the previous verses, Allah's light, the light of guidance and faith, the dense darkness of disbelief and ignorance were mentioned, while the concerned verses mention the reasons of monotheism, which are the signs of Divine lights and means of guidance.

First the holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) is addressed when it says:

"Have you not seen that unto Allah glorifies whosoever is in the heavens and the earth, and the birds with wings outspread (in their flight)? Each one knows its own (mode of) prayer and praise. And Allah is Aware of what they do."

Since this general praise of creatures is a reason for the creative power of Allah, and His creative power is the reason of His ownership of the whole world of existence, and it is also the reason of the fact that all creatures return to Him, in the next verse the Qur'an adds:

"And unto Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and unto Allah is the ultimate return (of all)."

Another possibility in the relation of this verse with the pervious verse is that in the last sentence of the pervious verse, Allah's awareness of deeds of all men and the glorification of creatures is mentioned, and this holy verse refers to His justice court in the next world, Allah's ownership of the heavens and the earth and His right to judge.

Notes

First: The meaning of the Qur'anic sentence /'alam tara/ means as it is translated, but it is probable that the subject of the Arabic verb /'alima/ (to be aware) is Allah, not creatures. In this case the translation of the verse will be in this way: "... Of each He knows verily the worship and the praise; ..."

Second: Many times the Qur'an has explicitly stated the praise, prayer, and prostration of creatures, and sometimes has said: "...but you do not understand their glorification;..." 91 It is understood from these verses that knowledge and intelligence is not limited to men. Though some consider the glorification of the creatures of existence as genetic glorification and non­verbal language of creation,the apparent of the verses does not say this.

Third: in this noble verse, man is indirectly warned by Allah: 1) creatures of heavens and earth and birds are praising Allah, why is man neglectful of it? 2) Creatures' praise is done consciously, why does not man have presence of heart? 3) Birds glorify Allah and are praying when they are flying, but some men bombard others when they are in airplane and are in negligence and unawareness.

Forth: A tradition indicates that when Imam Sadiq (a.s.) heard the sound of a sparrow, he said: "This bird is busy praising and praying." 92

Fifth: Why does the above verse put emphasis on only the praise of birds, while their wings are extended at the time of flying, and does not mention other creatures? The answer is that in addition to a lot of variety that birds have, they enjoy characteristics that attract every wise man. These heavy things fly fast in the air and break the force of gravity, especially when their wings are extended fully and they do not move them and they ride waves of air. They go everywhere and turn every side without causing themselves any difficulty.

Their knowledge of anemometry issues, their profound knowing of geographical position of the earth at the time of traveling and migrating from a continent to another continent and even from the north polar areas to the south polar parts, and a strange system that guides them in this long journey, even when the sky is cloudy, are of surprising issues and of the obvious reasons of monotheism.

The special radar that, some birds have, helps them to find their way in the darkness of night, and even the fact that a kind of them targets a prey in the depth of water and can catch it very swiftly is the very surprising characteristic of these birds.

Anyway, there are secrets in birds that because of them Qur'an has specially put emphasis on them.

Sixth: What is the purpose of/salat/ (prayer)?

Some commentators of the Qur'an, such as the Late Tabarsi in "Majma'-ul-Bayan" and 'Alusi in "Ruh-ul-Bayan", have interpreted the word 'Salat', mentioned here, as supplication, which is its main concept in dictionary. Thus, the creatures of heaven and earth pray Allah with gestures or with their own verbal language and ask Him grace and He, Who is absolutely gracious, bestows it on them, according to their potentialities, as they deserve.

But they primitively know what they need and what they must ask for and what kind of supplication they ought to pray.

Moreover, according to aforementioned verses, they are humble before His magnificent court and yield to the rules of creation. On the other hand they declare Allah's attributes of perfection with their whole entity and negate any shortcoming about Him. Thus, their four worships are completed by: praising, glorification, prayer, and prostration.

Notes:

91. Sura Isra', No. 17, verse 44

92. The Commentary Fakhr-i-Razi and Ruh ul-Bayan

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