FAQ in the category of Questions on Verses

1 The following is stated in verse 28 of the chapter an-Nisa: "Man was created weak (in flesh)." How should we understand this verse?

Author: Alaaddin Başar (Prof.Dr.)

Man is a being that has weaknesses. The Quran states it as follows in a verse: “Man was created weak (in flesh).” (an-Nisa, 28) This weakness becomes manifest even when he is born. The babies of other animals start to stand on their own feet and live on their own after a short while. However, the baby of a human being learns to stand in one or two years. He learns some benefits and harms in 15-20 years. He needs to learn the laws of life during his life. 

Besides, man is a very sensitive being. He cannot put up with much heat or cold. He cannot bear hunger or thirst. A microbe can easily make him ill. A comet frightens him. He thinks about the past and becomes sad. He thinks about the future and becomes worried. His wishes extend to eternity.  

We also have humanly weakness. Those weaknesses are some of our habits and characteristics. We can deal with some of them as follows: 

1. Forgetfulness
Man has the disease of forgetfulness. There many examples of forgetfulness in the life of every person. Hazrat Adam, the first man, experienced forgetfulness, too. It is stated as follows in the verse:

We had already beforehand, taken the covenant of Adam, but he forgot... (Taha, 115)

Hazrat Adam was ordered not to approach the forbidden tree. He approached the tree due to the delusion of Satan and ate the fruit of that tree. Consequently, he was sent to the world. (al-Baqara, 35-37)

This characteristic of Hazrat Adam is present in the sons of Adam. The worst form of forgetfulness is forgetting oneself and the reason of creation. It is called heedlessness. God Almighty awakens man from the sleep of heedlessness through some misfortunes, and turns him toward the purpose of his creation. However, most people forget it again. The Quran mentions this issue as follows:

When trouble toucheth a man, he crieth unto Us (in all postures)― lying down on his side, or sitting or standing. But when We have solved his trouble, he passeth on his way as if he had never cried to Us for a trouble that touched him!... (Yunus, 12.)

2- Stinginess
One of our humanly weaknesses is love of goods. The Quran mentions this issue as follows:

Truly man was created, very impatient― Fretful when evil touches him; And niggardly when good reaches him...
(al-Maarij, 19-21)

The hadith, “If the son of Adam had a valley full of gold, he would want one more...” (Muslim, Zakah, 117) draws attention to that humanly weakness. It is possible to see the same characteristic in babies, too. It is very difficult to take something from the hands of a baby; however, he will readily take what you give him.

3- Haste
Man is a hasty being. He wants to obtain things at once. He tries to taste the happiness of the hereafter in this world: “…Our Lord! Give us (Thy bounties) in this world!" but they will have no portion in the hereafter” (al-Baqara, 200)

As a matter of fact, this world necessitates patience and perseverance. What is essential is bliss in the hereafter not in this world. It is no use exchanging the diamonds of the hereafter with the glass pieces of this world. This short life is like a moment compared to eternal life. However, man works only for this world because he does not know the hereafter. He tries to take pleasure from life by saying, “Life is only this life.” As it is stated in the Quran, “man is given to hasty (deeds).” (al-Isra, 11.)

4- Being praised
Almost everybody likes being praised. He likes what he does. However, his share in what he takes pride in is very little. For instance, he takes pride in the beauty of his voice. However, if Allah did not give him such a voice, he would not be able to do anything.

The Quran reminds us the following regarding the issue:

Think not that those who exult in what they have brought about, and love to be praised for what they have not done,― think not that they can escape the penalty! (Aal-i Imran, 188)

There are two issues that are rejected in the verse:
1. To take pride in what one does.
2. To love being praise for what one has not done.
As a matter of fact, man was created to praise Allah not to boast of himself.

5- Neglecting serving
Man avoids serving but desires earning something due to his nature. When there is a task to do, nobody wants to be around. However, when it is time for reward, everybody demands it. The following event mentioned in the Quran is a good example regarding the issue:
The Prophet set off to go to Makkah for umrah with 1400 Companions. At that time, Makkah was under the rule of the polytheists. Some Bedouins did not take part in the expedition because they feared that a war would break out. They stayed behind due to lame excuses. However, the same people wanted to join the army when the army set off to take the Khaybar booty. This time, God Almighty prohibited them from taking part in this expedition. (al-Fath, 11-15 )

6- Making up excuses
People who cannot do useful things console themselves with some excuses. They do not want to see their mistakes. For instance, let us have a look at the excuses of some Bedouins who did not take part in Hudaybiyah expedition: “’We were engaged in (looking after) our flocks and herds, and our families; do thou then ask forgiveness for us.’ They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts...” (al-Fath, 11)

There is a saying: ”The crime is ownerless.” However, “Not to see one’s faults is a greater fault than the first fault.” (Nursi, Lem’alar, 84) A person who sees his fault tries to get rid of that fault.

There are so many weaknesses like that in the nature of man. In fact, those weaknesses are important essentials in the spiritual development of man. Angels have no weaknesses like that; so, they do not have any struggles. When there is no struggle, there is no development.   

An important secret of the superiority of man over angels is hidden in his weaknesses. It is not easy for a naturally stingy person to act generously by overcoming his soul. It is not something to be despised for a person who is inclined to praise himself to say, “All praise and love belong to Allah. All good deeds and beauties come from Him.”

Those weaknesses are not weaknesses that cannot be overcome because Allah states the following in the Quran: “On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear” (al-Baqara, 286)

2 “If any do seek for glory and power― to Allah belong all glory and power…” (Surah Fatir 35/10) Will you explain this verse?

If any do seek for glory and power― to Allah belong all glory and power… (Surah Fatir 35/10)

The fact that “dignity” which has meanings of glory, honor, power and superiority is due for Allah does not mean that man can never use these qualities but that all kinds of honor and value of man comes from Allah and they become valuable only with the contentment of Him. Thus, this (honor) is attributed to Allah, His messenger and believers in another verse (see. Surah Al-Munafiqoon, 63/8)

The continuing sentence of the verse starting with “There will be a compelling torture for the ones who make evil plans backhandedly and their traps will be ruined” is a reference for the truth that dignity cannot be obtained by developing devilish plans. (Kur'an Yolu, Diyanet, IV/405)

Obtaining dignity and honor is possible through believing Allah and being a slave for Him. Being a slave for Allah saves man from the slavery of nafs (evil commanding soul) and evil and from becoming a slave of slaves.

The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following: Allah elevates a person who shows modesty for His sake.” (Musnad, II, 386) In the verse, it is stated that a person who wants dignity from anyone other than Allah will be left alone by Allah. The following is stated about a group that seeks dignity and honor among unbelievers “Those who take for friends Unbelievers rather than Believers: is it honor they seek among them? Nay,― all honor is with Allah.” (an-Nisa, 4/139) Thus, Allah informs us that dignity and honor belong to Allah and that He humiliates or elevates a person through dignity and honor. The Prophet interprets the verse, “If any do seek for glory and power― to Allah belong all glory and power” as follows: “A person who wants dignity and honor in the world and in the hereafter should obey the One who has dignity and Honor” (Daylami, Firdaws, V, 253.)

3 What does seven firmaments (skies) mean in the following verse: “God is He Who created seven Firmaments and of the earth a similar number…? (at-Talaq 12)

When we look at the whole verse, we can see why the word seven is used: in order to make people see the endless knowledge and power of God. The knowledge of Arabs at that time was very limited but they knew about the skies and the earth. Since the aim of the Quran is to teach oneness, the real purpose why it mentions the universe is to strengthen the belief of oneness. Polytheism is an intervention in the knowledge and power of God. Therefore, the endless knowledge and power of God is frequently emphasized – directly and indirectly – in the Quran.

Taking into consideration that Arabs hadve some information about the skies, the Quran builds a truth on this knowledge. The expression “seven skies” is repeated in order to correct the wrong perception that there is only one sky as it seems so and that there were nine skies as it is claimed by the Greek philosophy and in order to show the truth.

The Quran does not address the Arabs of that time only; they are the first people it addresses but it actually addresses all people to come to the world until Doomsday as a universal message.  Therefore, the range of the expressions it uses always has a merciful style that can cover the level of knowledge of all times.

The expression “seven skies” is repeated seven times in the Quran: (al-Baqara, 2/29; al-Isra, 17/44; al-Muminun, 23/86; Fussilat,141/2;at-Talaq, 65/12; al-Mulk, 67/3; Nuh, 71/15). Four of them ara Makkan and three of them Madinan chapters. Thus, the Quran showed the reflections of its endless knowledge by using the expression “seven skies”seven” in a time period of 23 years.

We can explain the issue briefly in articles in accordance with the view of Badiüzzaman Said Nursi, who says “seven layers of the sky” can be evaluated through seven aspects as follows.

1. It is established by science and philosophy that limitless space is not infinite vacuum, but it is filled with matter called “ether”.

2. It is established by science and reason, and indeed by observation, that the bond of the laws governing the heavenly bodies like those of attraction and repulsion, and the conductor and transmitter of forces in matter like light, heat, and electricity is a matter which fills space.

3. It has been established empirically that together with remaining as ether, like other matter, it has various forms and formations. Just as there are three states of the same matter, liquid, gas and solid, like steam, water, and ice, so too there is nothing to reasonably prevent ether from having seven states or levels; it cannot be objected to in any way.

4. If the heavenly bodies are studied carefully, it will be seen that there is a difference in the levels of those lofty realms. For instance, the level which contains the vast cloud-like sphere called the Milky Way does not resemble the level of the fixed stars. The level of fixed stars also appears different to the level of the solar system. We can say with the perception of the heart that the seven big systems differ from one another.

5. It is established by conjecture, sense, inductive reasoning, and experience that if the order and form of a material are changed and if other artifacts are made from that material, it assumes various levels and forms. For example, when a diamond mine is begun to be worked, both ashes and coal and diamonds are produced from the material. And for example, when fire is begun to be formed, it separates into the levels of flame, smoke, and embers. And for example, when water and oxygen are combined, levels like water, ice, and steam are formed. That is to say, it is understood that when a single substance is worked, it may separate into levels. Acting upon this rule, it can be said that when the Creative Power started to work in the substance called ether, different levels formed in it and seven layers of heavens were created from it.

6. The above indications necessarily indicate both the existence, and the plurality, of the heavens. Since the heavens are certainly numerous, and Hazrat Muhammad, the Bringer of the Definite News stated through the tongue of and the Miraculous Qur'an that they were seven, they are definitely seven.

7. Since in Arabic, terms like seven, seventy, and seven hundred express multiplicity, those universal seven levels may comprise multiple levels.

The sunlight of seven colors illuminate everywhere; similarly these seven lights of the truth coming from the sun of proof are bright enough to enlighten the issue.

We can list the seven proofs, each of which shows on its own that the skies consist of seven layers, as follows:

Since the Qur'an of Miraculous Exposition is a pre-eternal address speaking to all the classes of all mankind and the jinn, each of those classes will definitely receive its share from the Quranic verses; and its verses will contain various and numerous meanings, both explicit and implicit, in a way that will satisfy the understanding of each.

Yes, the breadth of the Quranic address and the comprehensiveness of its meanings and indications and its conforming to and flattering all the degrees of understanding from the most uneducated common people to the highest of the elite show that all its verses have an aspect which looks to each class. Thus, as a consequence of this mystery, as an example, seven classes of men understand as follows the meaning of seven various levels from the universal meaning "seven heavens:"

a. A short-sighted and narrow-minded class of men understands the phrase “seven skies” in the relevant verses as seven layers of the atmosphere.

b. While another class of men befogged by astronomy understands it as the famous stars known popularly as the “Seven Planets”, and their orbits.

c. Another group understands it as seven celestial globes resembling our globe, which are inhabited by living creatures.

d. A further group of men understands the solar system as being separated into seven levels, and that there are seven solar systems along with our system.

e. And yet another group understands it as the ether being separated into seven levels when the divine power in the ether started to build and establish things.

f. Another class of men with broader ideas regards all the visible skies gilded with stars as a heaven, and saying that it is this world's heaven, understands that there are six levels of heavens besides it.

g. And mankind's seventh and highest class does not consider the “seven heavens” to be restricted to the Manifest World, and understands that the Worlds of the Hereafter and the Unseen, and this World, and the World of Similitudes all have seven heavens, each of which is an encompassing container and roof.

Similarly, there are many further particular meanings in the universality of the verse, like the above-mentioned seven levels of meaning of the seven levels. Everyone receives his share according to his understanding and everyone finds his sustenance at that heavenly table. (see Nursi, Lem'alar, On İkinci Lem'a, İkinci Sual, İki Mesele-i mühimme).

4 Will you explain the verse " …and We sent down Iron..." (al-Hadid, 57/25)? Was iron sent down from space?

A verse in the Quran can point to many realities; so, the following meanings can be understood from that verse:

One of the greatest grants of God Almighty to mankind is iron. The fact that there is a chapter called “al-Hadid” (Iron) in the Quran can be seen as an indication of its importance. The fact that there is not a chapter called “adh-Dhahab” (Gold) might be an indication that iron is more valuable than gold because life would go on if gold did not exist but it would not be possible to mention human civilization without iron. Iron is

- the essential of all of the arts,

- the source of human development and progress,

- in the center of the strength of man.

Most of the things made by man are directly or indirectly related to iron. Houses are built with iron. Food is prepared using tools made of iron. Clothes are made by using iron for cutting and sewing. States maintain their hegemony through iron. It can be said that those who dominate iron dominate the world. Due to its functions mentioned above and similar ones, the following is stated in the Quran: “…and We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind...”

The fact that it is not said, “We extracted iron from the ground for man” but it is said, “We sent down iron” indicates that iron is a bounty in all aspects. We see something similar in the verse that mentions sending down cattle in pairs. (az-Zumar,6 )

The meat, milk, hair, leather, and today the bones, blood and even the manure of those animals are used.

They are embodied bounties and mercy; therefore, those animals are called “anam”, which is derived from the same word as nimah (bounty) in Arabic.   

The phrase “send down” (inzal) is used for the rain as well as for those animals and iron that are granted for the benefit of man. Rain, light and heat are heavenly bounties; they are sent down from the sky. Similarly, those blessed animals and iron are among the greatest bounties; they have important places in the life of mankind.

Another important aspect related to the issue is this: The word “inzal” does not always mean “send down”. It sometimes means “grant bounties”. For instance, the word “nuzul” is used for the refreshments that are given to the visitors that come from a long way as soon as they arrive.  In the following verses the word is used in the meaning of giving a feast, treating and entertaining:   Aal-i Imran 198 , al-Kahf 102 and 107, as-Sajda 19, as-Saaffat 62, Fussilat 32 al-Waqia 56 and 93.

Thus, the word “inzal” can also mean“granting, treating”. (Ass. Prof.  Şadi Eren)

Some interpreters say that the phrase "We sent down"can mean "We created" in Arabic.Tantawi, an interpreter of the last century, states that the phrase “anzalna= We sent down” denotes the first ages of the world and that iron could only be sent down like rain when it was in the state of steam in his 26-volume tafsir, mentioning the aspect of the scientific miracle of the Quran. It is definitely known today that the earth was a ball of fire billions of years ago and then it cooled down in the course of time, having a crust and that the center of the earth is still in the form of a mass of fire having a temperature of thousands of degrees centigrade.  

The strongest theory regarding the creation of the earth is that the earth was a cold mass that formed as a result of the compression of small particles in the beginning. Then, the particles that were affected by the radioactive matters in the mass melted wholly or partly and then the earth crust was created as a result of the cooling that took place later.    

Halond divides the period of creation into three; the first period is the first moments of the world. In this period, free melted iron is present abundantly on the top layers of the mantle.

In the second period, iron moves to the depths of the mantle rom the top layers. It denotes that iron was sent down.

5 How should the sentence, "there are no flaws in the sky" in verse 6 of the chapter of Qaf be understood?

The chapter of Qaf, verse 6: "Do they not look at the sky above them?― How We have made it and adorned it and there are no flaws in it?"

The stars and systems in the sky have been arranged through sound physical laws and have been kept in balance based on definite criteria. It is such an arrangement that one system or star does not pass the boundary or orbit of another system or star; they move in their own orbit.

In the verse, the sentence, «wama laha min furuj (and there are no flaws in it)» attracts the attention to the fact that there are no rifts, cracks, crookedness or discord. This sentence expresses that there is no imbalance, discord and haphazardness among the celestial bodies and in the systems to which they belong. The scientific studies about astronomy that have been made so far have determined this truth partially but they have not got rid of skepticism fully. However, more serious and resolute studies and determinations in the future will confirm the Quran; and every discovery and determination will bow down before the Quran.

(see Celal Yıldırım, İlmin Işığında Asrın Kuran Tefsiri)

6 In the verse, the following is said “He who taught (the use of) the Pen―”; however, do teachers not teach this at schools; will you please explain the relation or difference between them?

The related verses are as follows:

“Proclaim! (or Read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created―
Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood:
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful―
He Who taught (the use of) the Pen―
Taught man that which he knew not.” (al-Alaq, 96/1-5)

These verses are the first revelation that was given to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and it orders the Prophet and all Muslims to read and encourage them to write with pen and progress in sciences. The first revelation starts with the order, “read” and the repetition of that order twice shows how reading and science are important in the life of man and religion. It is significant that Qur’an defines the difference and superiority of human among living things with his characteristic of learning. (see al-Baqara 2/31)

When Jibril (AS) asked the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to “Read”, He answered, “I do not know how to read” by thinking that reading can only be performed by literate people. So, the third verse is an answer in a sense for the indirect excuse of the Prophet (PBUH). So, according to this, God’s grace is infinite; He created man from “Alaq” (the Zygote) and made Him a perfect living creature and raised him to a great position like prophethood by His (Qudrah) power as He is able to teach some of His slaves as He wishes from usual ways; that is, letting them to learn from a teacher by using pencil and other tools for learning but He also has the power to teach some of His slaves that He wishes without a teacher or a learning tool.

In the 4th and 5th verses, the importance of pen is emphasized  since there are many great benefits in a pen. With the help of pen, sciences are taught, wisdoms are recorded, and previous events were written. Divine books were written; in short, civilizations gained continuity and were transferred from one generation to another; God taught man what he did not know, saved him from the darkness of ignorance and let him embrace the light of science.

When the function and aim of “pen” are considered, it is necessary to say that this covers all reading, writing and information gaining tools from pen to computer. (See. Kur’an Yolu, Committee, the interpretation of the related verse)

So, it is God who teaches writing with pen and lets man have the knowledge of science. Otherwise, man, who was created from cloth, can know neither the pen nor writing.

Accordingly, every teacher undertakes the duty of the pen.

On the other hand, it is possible to understand the verse, “He taught man that which he knew not” as He taught man by creating the powers, talents and abilities, by showing evidence and by sending verses as a divine gift and also as He taught man to obtain things through working. (see Elmalılı, Hak Dini, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

7 In the 66th verse of the chapter of an-Nahl in the Qur’an, it is expressed that the milk poured out between excretions and blood. Will you explain this verse?

 “And verily in cattle (too) will ye find an instructive Sign. From what is within their bodies, between excretions and blood, We produce for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it.” (an-Nahl, 16/66)

Another example and proof for God’s existence and oneness is animals. God Almighty produces the milk which is pure and a total nutriment that we drink, between excretions and blood of animals.

It is also a scientifically known fact that the food that a living thing eats is digested in stomach and bowels. The excretion remains in the bowels; the blood that arises is absorbed by glands and sent to the blood vessels. The first purification is completed in this way.

After that, some portion of the blood that comes from the milk glands becomes nourishment for the cells of these glands and the remaining part becomes milk at the breasts which are in the form of taps.

Modern science says that for the food which is eaten by animals to become milk, the food is digested in the stomach and after that it is separated from excretion, and then from the blood, becoming milk. 

With the expression “min bayni farsin wa damin” (between excretions and blood) in the Quran, it is stated that after the food is purified between excretions and blood, it is transformed into milk in the breasts.

“It is interesting that blood is mentioned in the formation of milk. Blood circulates through the body and carries necessary nutrients and oxygen to tissues and organs. Thus, blood plays an important role in the production of milk through nutrients. It is seen that the Quran, which mentioned the role of blood in the vital activity of the body and the formation of milk fourteen centuries ago, cannot be the word of a human being because there was not a school that had and taught information like that which formed the fundamentals of science at that time.” (see Celal Yıldırım, İlmin Işığında Asrın Kur’an Tefsiri, Anadolu Yayınları: 7/3346

It was impossible for the Messenger of Allah, who conveyed that information through the Quran 14 centuries ago, to know it on his own. It was Allah who taught it to him through the Quran.

8 Why does the Quran order us to look at the camel, the sky, the mountain and the earth? They are the things that we all see and know.

Author: Alaaddin Başar (Prof.Dr.)

In many verses, the Quran teaches man not to be indulged in the world of emotions but to look at the realm of wisdoms. The Quran draws the attention of man to the wonderful works that he always sees, that he is accustomed to and that he neglects to contemplate.

One example:

Man is asked to look at the creation of man, the camels, the skies, the mountains and the earth in the chapter of al-Ghashiya:

Do they not look at the Camels, how they are made?― And at the Sky, how it is raised high? And at the Mountains How they are fixed firm?― And at the Earth, how it is spread out?
(al-Ghashiya, 17-20)

We will refer the vast meanings of the verses to tafsir books and point briefly to the similarity in the shapes of those beings that we are asked to contemplate.   

The one who placed the hump on the back of the camel is the same being who placed the mountains on the back of the earth like humps. The sky looks like a complete hump.

In the verse, the attention of the people is drawn to the camel first, to the sky then, to the mountains after that and to the earth in the end. This order is a rhetorical miracle on its own. Draw an imaginary line from the eye of the man to the hump of the camel; then draw a line from there to the sky; then lower that line to the mountain and to the earth. You will see another hump or the shape of a mountain.   

The following is stated in verse 88 of the chapter an-Naml:

Thou seest the mountains and thinkest them firmly fixed: but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away.

The movement of the hump means the walk of the camel; this verse informs us 1400 years earlier that the world is not fixed but that it moves.

This verse and many similar verses teach man to move to the doer from the work, that is, the creator of the work and to contemplate his soul and the realm with wisdom and by taking lessons. Those who take this lesson of contemplation from the Quran do not die like an ignorant Bedouin without watching the camel as it is necessary or like an astronomer without contemplating the sky.

9 In the verse which Allah addressed Jews as, “He gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples” (al-Maida 20), what are the things that Allah did not give to any people and why did he give them to Jews?

In the verse, “Remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! call in remembrance the favor of Allah unto you when He produced prophets among you made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the peoples”(al-Maida, 5/20), what is meant by “ahadan minal alamin= any other among the peoples” is the people living in the period when Jews lived. What are meant by the bounties are the prophets and kings mentioned in the verse. Most of the interpreters hold this view. (cf Tabari; the interpretation of the relevant verse)

According to some scholars, what is meant by that phrase are really the bounties that were not given to anybody but to Jews. They are the bounties of quails, manna and the shade of clouds given to them for 40 years in the Tih Desert. (see Samarqandi, Bahru’l-Ulum, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

According to some other scholars, what are meant by people are not those living in that period but all people. The bounties mentioned there are the following three bounties:

First: Prophets. No other nation was sent as many prophets as Jews were. The prophets sent to Jews were more than those sent to other nations. Besides, Jews are descendants of prophets. According to the view of the most of the scholars, those who came from the descendants of Hazrat Yaqub (Jacob) called Asbat were also prophets; Jews were their children.

Second: The prophets of the Children of Israel were also their kings. Thus, they held the spiritual power of the prophethood and the material power of the sultanate.

Third: The divine favors granted to them but not to other people. They are favors like the following: Being saved from the oppression of the Pharaoh, the sea being divided into two, quails, manna and the shade of clouds given to them in the Tih Desert, fresh water coming out of the stone. It is also a great privilege that they had prophets who were also kings and the greatest scholars and religious people of that time. (see Razi, the interpretation of the relevant verse).

10 In a verse of the Qur’an, it is said that the sky is withheld from falling on the earth. How can the sky fall off on us?

The meaning of the related verse is as follows:

Seest thou not that Allah has made subject to you (men) all that is on the earth, and the ships that sail through the sea by His command? He withholds the sky (rain) from falling on the earth except by His leave: for Allah is Most Kind and Most Merciful to man. (Hajj, 22/65)

The Arabic word “samawat” (skies, heavens) describes space, in which stars, solar systems and galaxies move in their orbits. Here, Almighty Allah (SWT) points to a law of nature and informs us that He has elevated these objects of heaven without any pillars which are visible to us and that He governs them . (Surah ar-Rad 13/2) He connected these immense masses to a moving system in outer space, put centrifugal and gravity forces into these masses so that they are kept away from one another, and secured them from colliding; by doing so He ensured a balance which prevented them from pulling away or falling one another. The following verse points out the divine order between these masses: “He withholds the sky (rain) from falling on the earth except by His leave.”

These verses state that everything occurs with the knowledge, Qudrah (power) and will of Allah (SWT). Claiming that they occur as a mere coincidence means accepting that the most harmonious and stable events are caused by unbalanced, disordered events; and this has no place in logical thinking and reasoning. Someone who can use his/her mind more or less and look at the world of living things with an expanded horizon understands that such systems which are made through a very accurate mathematical and physical calculations cannot be made by mere coincidence; and as a result he prostrates in front of this infinite power, amazed and humbly. If there is a plan and program, there must be a programmer and planner. If there is a perfect order, then a there must be a mind blowing programmer there. The Qur’an attracts attentions to this subtle point. (Celal Yıldırım, İlmin Işığında Asrın Kur’an Tefsiri, Anadolu Yayınları: 8/4053).

11 How should we understand the order "kun", that is, “be” of Allah?

Author: Alaaddin Başar (Prof.Dr.)

Two examples of verses regarding the order “kun”:

To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth; when He decreeth a matter, He saith to it: "Be"; and it is. (al-Baqara, 117)

The scholars explained the order “be” as the power of Allah going into action immediately. They interpreted the word hand as power in the verse, “in Whose hands is the dominion of all things”; similarly, they interpreted the order “be“ as the power and will. They said, “what is meant by it is the fact that what Allah wishes takes place at once without any obstacles.”

Another verse is as follows:

This similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam: He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be" and he was. (Aal-i Imran, 59)

In order to approach the meaning of the order “be” in the verse somewhat, it is necessary to take into consideration the following classification regarding things: the realm of creation and the realm of order. The realm of creation takes place gradually in this world of wisdom. Things are created gradually, step by step. Such a creation is not in question for the realm of order. In that realm, everything happens at once. The soul did not take its shape after passing through various phases. It was created as a soul directly. It starts to function in the body of man instantly.   

Muhyiddin  al-Arabi explains the fact that Adam was created out of dust of the earth and then the order “be” was given through that law of order:  “The divine word "Be" indicates the soul being blown. It also indicates that the blowing took place in the realm of order. There is no need for a material and time like the creation of the body earlier.

The verse we have mentioned opens a vast horizon for the mind. First, Adam (pbuh) is created out of the dust of the earth and then he is given the order “be”. The body of Adam (pbuh) created out of the dust of the earth attains the soul and life through that order. As a matter of fact, Elmalılı Hamdi Efendi, the great tafsir scholar interprets it as, “Turn to a living creature.” To order “be” to an already existing thing should mean to assume a new shape; otherwise, it will not be possible to explain that order.

Accordingly, we can say, “Man is created at once.” However, his garment is woven in nine months. It is the same for the other creatures. The formation of the divine code in the seeds is created at once, or rather timelessly, like the soul but it takes years for a seed to become a tree.   

Now, let us have a look at the endless activities around us through the window of that verse and see the order “be” on them.

Hydrogen and oxygen turn to water as a result of the order “be”. Two opposite poles come together and turn to something else. The food that has been eaten becomes the seed of man after a while as a result of the order “be”. Would it be possible to turn food to man but for that order, that is, if the divine order did not create it?   

In the uterus, the nutfah (minute quantity of liquid) receives the order, “be an alaqah (clot of blood)”. This order and similar ones are repeated continuously. The divine power and will transform that seed from one state into another and eventually, man becomes existent That is, the nutfah was not ordered “be a human being”; he was ordered, “be an alaqah”. If the order “be a human being” had been given, the baby would have formed in the uterus at that moment. Creation takes place based on causes and gradually since the world is a realm of wisdom. So many arts are exhibited through that gradual creation.

To create man at once is an art peculiar to Allah. Similarly, to create a nutfah and to transform it into different states and then eventually to turn it to man are separate divine arts. In this world of wisdom, the order “be” is not given in the form of “transform into your final stage” but as “transform into your next stage” so that the divine arts will be exhibited.

The air we breathe in is given different orders in the larynx, oral cavity and lips; thus, different letters are pronounced. That is, the air is ordered, “Be a sound” in different forms. Allah creates sounds out of air in the factory of the mouth with the order “be”.

If that sound is a holy word or if it utters a divine truth, it receives a new order, “be an angel”. An angel is created out of all holy words, that is, the glorification (tasbih), takbir and praising (hamd). The one who says to the air, “Be a sound” can say to the sound, “Be an angel”. Who can oppose this will?   

The light that enters the eye factory receives a similar order: “Be the light of the eye.” We hear a nice sentence. That sentence becomes information in our mind through the order “be”. If the heart likes that word, a new order comes “Be abundance!”, “Be awe!”, “Be love!”...

In short, the universe is full of the manifestations of the order “be”. The ground is addressed as, “Be flowers” and the cloud as “Be rain.”...

The seed receives the order of, “Be a tree!” and the egg receives the order of “Be a chick”...

The food we eat receives so many orders in our body: "Be meat", "Be marrow", "Be blood", "Be a bone", "Be a nerve", "Be hairs", "Be nails", etc...

Once, the solar system, whose matter was one single matter, received similar orders: "Be the world", "Be Mercury", "Be the moon", etc...

The lives of those who cannot realize the order be are full of the outcomes of this order.

12 Will you explain the rise and set of the sun and the words ‘sabab’ (way) and ‘sad’ (tract) mentioned in the verses 85-90 of the chapter al-Kahf? How does the sun set in murky water?

One (such) way he followed. Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: near it, he found a People: We said: "O Dhu al Qarnayn! (thou hast authority) either to punish them, or to treat them with, kindness." He said: "Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of (before). But whoever believes, and works righteousness he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as we order it by our command." Then followed he (another) way. Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun. (al-Kahf 85-90)

Eventually, he reached the place where the sun set. He reached the end of the place in the west of the earth with reference to the place where he had settled. According to the explanations given by tafsir scholars, he reached the west side of the Atlantic Ocean. They state that the islands called "Halidat" used to be regarded as the beginning of the geographic longitudes. However, today we do not exactly know what “Halidat” islands are.  To sum up, when he reached the Far West, he found that the sun virtually set in black murky water. Or, according to the pronunciation of the word as “hamiya”, he found the sun set in a scorching spring. Tafsir scholars interpreted the word “ayn” as water spring, “hamia” as murky and “hamiya” as scorching; it means he found the sun set in a murky or scorching spring. Thus, what is meant by that water spring is the ocean and especially the setting point of the sun in the horizon. Dhulqarnayn, who saw some of the sultanates end in the countries that he passed through on the way to the west, looked at the horizon when he reached near the ocean in order to see the setting of the sun; the vast ocean looked like a limited water supply and like the basin of a well surrounded by the sky compared to the vastness and highness of the property of Allah. However, it did not look like clear water that can be drunk but like a bottomless well with dark mud; when the sun set in the horizon, the fading sunshine with its colorful reflections seemed as if it was setting into dark mud, the point where the sun set was like a spring that got blurred and dark; it also looked like scorching ember with its color and vapor. That is, the impression made in the conscience of Dhulqarnayn by the setting of the sun was like that; the most exemplary meaning of this observation is to see that the magnificence of the world, which is bound to stop at a point, is limited and to understand that it is ephemeral.   

Then, after doing what he was to do in the west, he followed another way. He followed a way that led to the east from the west just like the sun that set in the west turned to the east; eventually, he reached the point where the sun rose. That is, he reached the point where the sun rose on to the earth without a barrier; that point might be the east coast of Africa but it is understood that the point is the Far East Asia. When he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun. They did not have any buildings or clothes. They were being tanned by the sun. As a matter of fact, there are some naked people like that in the Sudan and Australia today. What is meant by it, as it is known in general, if there is a significant covering and shelter, even tents cannot be regarded as significant coverings; so, it includes most of the people living in the desert.

In the verse, Allah mentions what He gave Dhulqarnayn and his characteristics. What are they? :

a) "Verily We established his power on earth."

We can explain "We established his power on earth" as follows:  "We settled him on earth". Besides, acting upon its usage in verse 56 of the chapter of Yusuf, we can interpret it as "We gave full authority to him in the land".

b) "We gave him the ways and the means to all ends."

The word “sabab” means "a means or tool that is used in order to reach or realize something". In this sense, we can interpret as "knowledge that will lead man to his aim and ideal". The best means through which something is reached or to realized is knowledge. There is no means greater than knowledge.  

Now, we will deal with the relationship between establishing (settling) and obtaining knowledge. Knowledge can be obtained in the secure environment provided by the establishment. It is difficult to obtain knowledge in nomadic societies.

We can say information precedes knowledge or vice versa. Allah granted him great bounties by providing him secure environment and means to reach his end.

The attribute of Dhulqarnayn, which means two horns or man of two ages, can be used to establish a relationship between those two things. One of the horns can be “security” and the other “knowledge”. Security and knowledge are among the most important elevated values. Is it not possible that those two horns denote those two values?   

"One (such) way (sabab) he followed."

If we interpret the word sabab as "means, tool, knowledge", we will explain it as follows: Dhulqarnayn followed the means or knowledge that Allah gave him. He used legitimate means in all of his activities. He did not resort to illegitimate means in order to reach and realize his aim. He followed legitimate means and true knowledge. That is, the third characteristic of Dhulqarnayn is that he always used legitimate means, that is, true knowledge. He never resorted to illegitimate means; he never followed them.  

Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: near it, he found a People: We said: "O Dhu al Qarnayn! (thou hast authority) either to punish them, or to treat them with, kindness." There are significant deductions we will make from the verse we are interpreting (al-Kahf, 86):

a) Dhulqarnayn preferred to move toward the west first. It is stated that he reached the place where the sun set. The concepts the sun and the west (setting) were used together. Since the sun represents light, what Dhulqarnayn does is to follow the knowledge called the light.

Just like the sun, the knowledge and the prophets rose in the east. The lights of the sun go toward the west; similarly, it is necessary to send the light of the knowledge to the west and to educate people. Knowledge and civilization went to the west from the east. Dhulqarnayn became the example of that movement; he is a teacher that presented it as an aim to the mankind; he showed it with his attitude. He went there not to take something, that is, knowledge and civilization but to enlighten the west; he preferred to go there.

b) He found the sun set in a hot spring. There is a figurative expression in this sentence. Dhulqarnayn saw it like that. This state is proof that the earth is round, in the form of a globe. With the movement of the world, the sun looks as if it has set. In fact, the sun does not set. On the one hand, the world rotates around is own axis; on the other hand, it rotates around the sun.
The word 'ayn’ in the verse means "spring, place where water springs from". In Arabic, the word “ayn” is also used for the word “eye” since tears come out of eyes. The word “hamia” means hot. If it is pronounced as hamiya, it means hot; if it is pronounced as hamia, it means mud, wet clay.

It means the journey of Dhulqarnayn reached the place where the sun seemed as if it set; that is, the point that cannot be transcended. It is not mentioned where that point is.

c) Dhulqarnayn found a people there. That people committed all kinds of evil; they had lost their virtues. At that point, the identity of Dhulqarnayn as a teacher and even as a statesman becomes remarkable.   

d) Allah addressed Dhulqarnayn and told him how to treat that people; however, He left the decision to Dhulqarnayn. He was left free to punish or to treat them well. We understand the following from that statement:

1. Dhulqarnayn went there probably with an army, not alone. For it is impossible for one person to punish a people. In the next verse, the use of the word “nuadhdhibuh” (we will punish), a plural verb, support our view.  

2. Allah left Dhulqarnayn free to punish them or to treat them well. It teaches us that Allah gave man free will and left him free to choose between things.  

3. We interpret punishment and treating well as educating the community. In order to educate a community that is indulged in evil, it is possible to use the method of punishment or treating well. The politician or the teacher is to decide which one to use. From this point of view, the army of Dhulqarnayn is like an army of education.

"He said: "Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish; then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of (before)."

When Allah left Dhulqarnayn free whether to punish them or to treat them well in verse  86, the answer of Dhulqarnayn and his address to that community in verse 87 was as follows:

a) " Whoever doth wrong, him shall we punish."

The phrase “do wrong” is used as “zalama” in the verse. The word zulm means polytheism, which is a wrong belief, to violate others’ rights, and to deny the message sent by Allah to His prophets.

We understand from the phrase “we shall punish” that Dhulqarnayn was not alone and that he went to that country with his army. The verb punish is used with a plural subject.  

On the other hand, it is understood that he would not punish that community because of the injustice, evil, wrong deeds and immoral acts they committed and that he would treat them based on what they would do after he arrived in their land.

We can deduce the following universal principle from it: the leader of the army that conquers a country will not punish the people of that country due to what they did in the past; he will punish them due to the evil deeds that they will commit after the conquest. The oppression, wrong deeds and crimes before the conquest will be forgiven and they will be given the chance to start a new life from the scratch.

b) "Then shall he be sent back to his Lord; and He will punish him with a punishment unheard-of (before)."

That is, the communities that oppress people, that violate people’s rights and that make life unbearable for them will be punished both in this world and in the hereafter. Oppression is such a bad crime that the punishment in the world is not enough for it.   The remaining part of the punishment will be completed by Allah in the hereafter. The word “nukra” mentioned in the verse denotes punishment or torture that the perception and imagination of man in this world cannot understand and that no words can describe. In other words, the first phase of the punishment is the punishment for the injustice inflicted upon the people, which will be given in this world; the second phase of the punishment is for what is done against Allah, which will be given in the hereafter. As a matter of fact, the concept oppression expresses the injustice done both to people and to Allah, which is polytheism.  

In verse 86, it is not stated what that nation did when Dhulqarnayn was given the permission to punish them. However, in verse 87, it is understood that they oppressed people.

c) In fact, the conquest of that country by the armies of Dhulqarnayn is a kind of punishment for that society; however, Dhulqarnayn brought them justice, truth and knowledge.

The murky water or mud that the sun set in denotes a society in which truth, justice and similar values disappeared. The sun of knowledge, the sun of justice and the sun of truth set and disappeared in that society.  

"But whoever believes, and works righteousness he shall have a goodly reward, and easy will be his task as we order it by our command."

a) As we have mentioned before, after it is stated that those who do wrong things and commit crimes or sins will be punished, what will happen to those who do good deeds are mentioned. It is the style of Allah in the Quran. The opposite of oppression mentioned in verse 87 is given as belief and good deeds in verse 88. Thus, the definition of oppression is given.   

Those who commit bad deeds are punished both in the world and in the hereafter; those who do good deeds are rewarded. That is, everybody will be treated based on their belief and deeds.  

b) Allah will not only reward them but will also give them easy orders. It will be their second reward. What does ‘easy will be his task as we order it by our command’ mean? Muhammad Asad says, “It means to give them orders that are easy to fulfill, to make them carry out easy plans."
We answer the question as follows: Those who believe and do good deeds will be given good things in this world and in the hereafter; they will also have the habit, perfection and power to carry out the orders of Allah easily.  

It will be easy for such a person to lead a virtuous life and to practice ethical values; they will never be difficult for him because Allah will help him lead a virtuous life. It will be a reward for him.  

The school of Dhulqarnayn teaches what is bad and good, shows what they will cause and make people conscious about them.

Then followed he (another) way. Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun."

Dhulqarnayn made his second journey to the place where the sun rose, that is the east; he found a people there, too.

We understand from the expression, "people for whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun" that they were a primitive nation. We understand from the concept ‘primitive’ that they could not make clothes, that their geographical environment had no trees, that there was nothing to provide shade, hence, it was a desert. Besides, they had no civilization to build houses and to live in the shade of the houses.  

The similar aspect of the nation where Dhulqarnayn found in the place the sun set and this nation was that they could not use the phenomena ‘mind’ and ‘knowledge’; and they could not practice them. That nation had to be enlightened and educated. It is a reality that there would be imbalance in the attitudes of that society.

Besides, they did not have clothes that would protect them from the lights of the sun; they did not have the clothes of taqwa that would protect them from their souls and Satan, either. The clothes of taqwa consist of the mind, knowledge and fulfilling the duties assigned by Allah. We understand that they lack the clothes of taqwa, too. That is, they were naked materially and spiritually. That they did not have clothes means they did not have the sense of shame.  

"(He left them) as they were: We completely understood what was before him."

Allah states that He knew what Dhulqarnayn had, that is, his tools of civilization, utilities, power and experience. It means Allah taught Dhulqarnayn whatever he had especially the knowledge he had. Allah covered what Dhulqarnayn had with His knowledge; His knowledge encompassed whatever Dhulqarnayn had. Besides, it was impossible for them to be outside His knowledge.

While explaining the verse, Razi says Dhulqarnayn treated the second nation in the same way as he treated the first nation; that is, he used the method, “punishing the oppressors and treating the believers well” for both the nation in the west and the nation in the east. (Raz, ibid, XXI, 169).

13 In the Holy Qur’an, it is stated that halva (manna) was sent from the sky upon Musa’s (Moses) (pbuh) people. Does the halva pour down from the sky?

“And We gave you the shade of clouds and sent down to you Manna and quails, saying: "Eat of the good things We have provided for you:" (But they rebelled); to us they did no harm, but they harmed their own souls.” (Al-Baqara, 57)

Manna that God sent down from the sky to the Children of Israel who murdered their Prophets is narrated as follows in the Quran: .

God sent a cloud on the sons of Israel in order to protect them from the scorching desert heat. The desert without rain or cloud was like a ‘hell’ that emitted fire and sparked flames. God sent down the shade of clouds to cool them, and sent manna and quails when their reserves ran out of food and beverages. In this way, the desert which was not different from the hell before, turned into the gardens of Eden in which they settled down quietly. However, despite these abundant blessings of God, the sons of Israel did not feel it beneath them to be grateful at least for once.

Tafsir scholars put forward different ideas about what Manna means. Narrating from Ibn Abbas, Ali Ibn Abu Talha says:

 “Manna was falling upon the trees on the people, and they were eating this Manna however they wanted.”

Mujahid also says that Manna is something like adhesive. On the one hand, Imam Suddi says: “They told ‘Oh Musa! How will it be here, where is the food for us?’ Therefore, God sent down Manna (halva) on them. They were falling upon the ginger tree.”

On the other hand, Qatada says that Manna was falling upon the ground like snow and it was whiter than milk, sweeter than honey. Qatada, moreover, points out that the halva was falling from dawn to sunrise.

Today, in the manner that the verses of the Qur’an express and tafsir scholars interpret, there is a sweet and healing matter which is called “gezo”, “stum” or directly “manna” and pours down onto the woodland in some regions.

It is stated by the local people that this stum is pouring heavily in every spring and summer in Mardin, Cizre. Sheik Mehmed Bahir Hashimi of Cizre expresses that first modest lightning flash, then, the halva start to fall from the sky like snowing only onto the woodland parts. The halva which is indicated to be sweeter than honey and sugar adheres to the leaves of oak tree. However, the halva does not adhere to the leaves in a way to ruin its content. Halva contains less acid than the sugar and sweet on the market.


What do the Torah and the Bible say for this matter?


Manna takes place in the Holy scripture (The Bible and Torah). Christians call the halva as ‘tomana’ while Qur’an calls it as ‘manna’.

The following  is stated in a verse in the chapter of Numbers in the Torah.

“And the manna was as coriander seed, and the color thereof as the color of bdellium.  And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.”(Numbers 11:7, 8, 9)


The verses in the chapter of the Exodus of Torah indicate the existence of manna.


And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.  And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, this is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.” (Exodus 16: 13, 14, 15)


Both Christians and Jewish people believe in the Manna at least as much as we do. However, the Jehovah’s witnesses, who say that they are dependent on the Holy Scripture (the Bible), do not believe that manna is still falling down. In addition, the English science magazine ‘Nature’ treated the topic in the issue of January 1981.

In conclusion, if the gainsayers who deny the limitless blessings of God even though they eat the food He provides no matter what its nature is deny vivid, sweet, wonderfully colored, brilliantly scented foods coming out of the tasteless, colorless, scentless ground, they will certainly deny the manna which falls from the sky.

Faith is made up of trial and testing.

14 “We already know how much of them the earth takes away: with Us is a Record guarding (the full account).” How should we understand this verse?

We already know how much of them the earth takes away: with Us is a Record guarding (the full account). (Qaf 50/4)

This verse informs us that Almighty Allah (SWT) has infinite power along with infinite knowledge because Allah expresses that in the work of recreating there is a role of knowledge and definitely He who knows is capable of creating.

It is not difficult to recreate and give back the basic substances that shape a man after disappearing under the soil since all characteristics have been known and protected. That is why it is not a strange process for Allah (SWT) to give life and resurrect a nation or an individual. (See. Elmalılı, interpretation of the related verse)           

The expression given in the verse as “we already know how much of them the earth takes away” means though the organs of dead people are dispersed under the soil, they are not hidden to us. This verse is also an answer to the words of unbelievers "What! when we lie hidden and lost, in the earth shall we indeed be in a creation renewed?" (as-Sajda, 10) (Razi, XX, 261)

It is easy to understand with the help of scientific proofs that the recreation of human body is reasonable though it is decayed and mixed with soil in a grave. It is possible to determine the general and hereditary characteristics such as eye, hair and skin color, his/her likes, dislikes, interests and behaviors from a single DNA molecule. That is why there is a possibility of making an identical copy of us; that is to say, it is possible for a man to be recreated by Allah (SWT).

The growth and development of some plants from a single seed or a leaf is an example of this truth. Allah, who is capable of putting a huge tree into a small seed, can put all of the characteristics into all genes of man and protect them and recreate him on the day of resurrection.

15 Could you please explain verse 14 of Surah Al-Mumenoon regarding the creation of man, “We developed out of it another creature?

On one hand, man is made up of a simple soil in terms of the origin of his body; on the other hand, he is a superior creation because of his qualities and abilities such as senses, reasoning given by Allah (SWT). The sentence given in the verse as “then We developed out of it another creature” expresses that man becomes a complete and an independent individual by having psychological and spiritual equipments after its physiologic formation and development. (See. Diyanet Tefsiri, Kur’an Yolu: IV/52-53.)

Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay); Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest firmly fixed; Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature: so blessed be Allah, the Best to create! (Surah Al-Mumenoon, 23/12-14).

A hadith indicates the subjects related with creation of the verse:

Each one of you  is collected (i.e. constituents of creation are collected together)  in his mother’s abdomen  (i.e. womb )  for  40 days , and in that it is an alaqah like that , then in that it is a mudghah like that. Then God sends an angle. The spirit is breathed into him… Mehmet Sofuoğlu, Sahih-i Müslim ve Tercemesi, VIII, 114).

It can be said that up to this stage man is subject to the laws of growth, development and differentiation. From then on, a new creation phase starts in the fetus. That is, the spirit arrives in the body because the composition and arrangement of man has been completed… “then We developed out of it another creature…” (Surah Al-Mumenoon, 23/14).

16 Will you evaluate the creation of babies with terrifying appearances in the light of the following verse: “He Who has made everything which He has created most Good” (as-Sajda 7)?

The meaning of the verse is as follows:

He Who has made everything which He has created most Good

The concept “good” (hasan) means an appropriate shape, ability and talent for the being rather that physical beauty.

Perfection itself is beautiful and good. Every being has peculiar aspects and those aspects are beautiful and perfect for them. For instance, you cannot compare the neck of a camel to the tail of an elephant. Lengthiness is beauty and perfection for one and shortness is beauty and perfection for the other.   

It is ridiculous to use the thin waist of an ant even for a puppet in the shadow puppetry but it is perfect for an ant.

It is wrong to look for the same beauty and perfection in every part of the universe. Either the beings themselves or their results are beautiful. According to the rule, “Everything is understood by their opposites”, the divine wisdom wants to show the beauty of some beings by the existence of some – seemingly – ugly beings. That ugly being assumes beauty indirectly. For instance, the darkness of the night makes the moonlight seem better. Therefore, the moonlight is often used in poetry. People know this reality and they try to increase the beauty and perfection of a wonderfully equipped park by putting an ugly log, rocks or coarse stones in the park.

The beauty of everything becomes evident when they are in a composition in which all their aspects come together to show the purpose of their creation.   

For instance, man does not feel sorry because he cannot run like a horse, fly like a bird or carry loads like a camel and does not regard them as faults for him. However, when he sees a bird that cannot fly, a horse that cannot run or a camel that cannot carry loads, he regards them as faults for them.   

A person who has a face like a monkey is regarded ugly. The same face is very nice in a monkey. You can regard the same thing for all of the other animals and things.

Everything is very nice and perfect in their own positions.

17 According to the following verse, are there pairs of atoms, bacteria, viruses and snails: "And of everything We have created pairs: that ye may receive instruction"? (adh-Dhariyat, 51/49)

"Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge." (Yasin, 36/36)

"And of everything We have created pairs: that ye may receive instruction." (adh-Dhariyat, 51/49)

The verses above brought about different interpretations.

The word zawj used in the verse means pair but it also means species and part. It states that Allah created the universe with all of its species. This verse states that the concept of pair is valid in plants just like humans with the elements of male and female and that there are elements of pairs in many things that people do not know in various periods. Plus and minus charges in electricity, the force of attraction and repulsion between things, positive and negative electrons in atoms are among the pairs that this verse informs us miraculously.  What is meant by them is to emphasize that Allah, who created the universe with all of its species, is one and He is free and away from having partners.

Indeed, it is known today that matter was created in pairs. When everything that we know, from particles to stars, their atomic particles that form their building blocks and particles smaller than them, are created, they are created in pairs with their anti-matter.

When mufassirs (interpreters) explained the meaning of "creating everything in pairs", they usually mentioned the examples of oppositeness like "day-night, male-female, earth-sky, man-jinn, belief-unbelief, moon-sun". Tabari holds the view that it will be appropriate to understand it as "Allah Almighty creates a different second thing in terms of purpose and function along with everything that He creates." According to the explanation of Tabari, the main purpose here is to attract attention to Allah's attribute of creating. It is necessary not to understand His creation as having one result only like the burning property of fire. He has the power to create anything in any way He wishes. (Tabari, XXVII/8-9)

After summarizing the views regarding the issue, Elmalılı finds the interpretation of Baydawi "that there are two versions of each species" more comprehensive since it includes the previous interpretations. However, taking into consideration that the word "everything" in the verse includes not only species but also individuals, he states that there is an indication of understanding that becomes manifest with the harmonious match-up of the ones in the external realm and their forms in the mind. He states that this duality is inevitable in the event of consciousness that takes place in anything, that nothing can be confirmed without being united in this duality, that nothing can be contemplated and meditated and that the expression "that ye may receive instruction" at the end of the verse supports it. (see Elmalılı Tefsiri, VI/4543-4544)

Besides, the following is stated in verse 36 of the chapter of Yasin:

“Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge."

Thus, it is stated that Allah created all of the pairs that man knows or does not know in the universe and attention is attracted to the created property of these pairs, which have their partners and opposites and that the Being that created them is one. Modern research has found out that many things that humans did not know when the Quran was sent down have the property of being created in pairs, which indicates that many pairs of beings, events and notions will be discovered in future. 

The scientist called Paul Dirac determined that atomic particles were created in pairs, that is, there was positron opposite electron; thus, he discovered "the law of parity", which enabled him to win the Nobel Prize; this can be evaluated as a development that illuminates the deep meaning in the verse. 

As for the issues in the question:

The same thing used to be stated about atom but the electrons turned out to have "plus and minus" charges. In the course of time, the wonderfulness of the Quran is understood better. What the Quran states will be understood better in the course of time. Therefore, it is not appropriate to deny the facts that science has not been able to find yet. 

In sexual reproduction, two bacteria of the same kind come together and form a transient cytoplasmic bridge. Through this bridge, the DNA molecule is transferred from one bacterium to the other wholly or partly. This event of gene transferring is called "conjugation". Through conjugation, resistant bacteria that have new properties and that adapt themselves to the circumstances of the environment form. In sexual production, the bacterium that transfers the gene is regarded as male and the one that receives the gene is regarded as female. When the process is completed, the bridge built between the two bacteria melts.

Viruses do not reproduce by division. It is disputable whether viruses are living or not. When it finds a living cell, it clones itself by using its DNA.

The snails have to be in pairs in order to reproduce.

"Snails are hermaphrodite creatures. That is, the same animal has both male and female sexual organs. However, they still need to mate. After winter, snails eat fresh sprout all the time in spring. They develop very quickly. Two snails come face to face and fertilize each other through their organs. They might not mate every year. They usually mate in May. One mating enables them to ovulate a few years. Mating takes place twice a year: in May and August. The species of Burgonia ovulates 12-15 days after fertilization; another species ovulates 5-8 days after fertilization."

18 Are vehicles like planes and trains meant by the expression, ‘things of what ye have no knowledge‘ in the following verse: "And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride and use for show.." (an-Nahl, 16/8)

The chapter of an-Nahl, verse 8: "And (He has created) horses, mules, and donkeys, for you to ride and use for show; and He has created (other) things of what ye have no knowledge."

He created many other things like horses, mules and donkeys so that you would ride them and as ornaments; therefore, you should not eat them; he will create many strange things that you cannot know now. In fact, we have seen many vehicles like trains, cars and planes that people who lived before us did not see. God knows, He has created and will create many more things that we do not know and will not know. (see Elmalılı Tafsir)

Allah created laws in the universe and examples so that people would invent means of transportation like planes, ships, trains and spaceships by using those laws. A duck swimming in water, a bird flying in the air can inspire man. The miracles of the prophets show the ultimate goals technology can reach. Technological advancements have been progressing continuously. Many more means of transportation will be invented and used by human beings in the future.

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi states the following in his book called “Sözler” (Words):

“One of Solomon's (pbuh) ministers who was versed in the science of attraction said to him in order to bring the throne of Balqis, "I will have the throne here before you can blink your eyes." Thus, the verse suggests that it is possible to make things present from long distances, either themselves or their forms. And it is a fact that Almighty God bestowed this on Solomon (pbuh), who was honored with kingship as well as his prophethood, in the form of a miracle so that as a means to his innocence and justice he might himself in person be informed of all the regions of his extensive realm and see the state of his subjects and hear of their ills. That means, if man relies on Almighty God, and asks it of Him with the tongue of his abilities like Solomon {Upon whom be peace) asked for it with the tongue of his chasteness, and if he conforms to His laws in the universe and of His favor, the world may become like a town for him. That is to say, while Balqis' throne was in Yemen, it was itself present in Damascus, or its form was present, and it was seen. And for sure the forms of the men around the throne were present and their voices heard. Thus, it indicates in magnificent fashion to the attraction of forms and sounds from long distances….(Sözler, 20. Söz, (256-257).)

As a matter of fact, the issues that Badiuzzaman mentioned have already taken place. Today, it has become possible to broadcast live through the INTERNET, RADIO or TELEVISION, closed circuit systems and smart cameras, to address people through projectors, to broadcast through monitors and satellites and to control the world. The world has been globalized and all kinds of activities have become common. So to speak, the world has become a small place like a building with its different floors and flats. What the verse indicated took place as a miracle, showing the immortality and the universality of the Quran.

19 Does the phrase, “they may receive guidance” in the Quran indicate that Allah does not know – God forbid –who will receive guidance?

Author: Questions on Islam

In the phrases like, "perchance", "maybe", "it is hoped that" written in verses, it is emphasized that people need to think about the messages in the verses and find guidance and the truth through their own will. The importance of following the truths, which are explained, through their own will is stated. We cannot deduce the meaning that Allah does not know who will receive guidance and who will not. Our Lord definitely knows who will receive guidance and who will not.

Besides, one of the reasons why the future is veiled is to make people be in a state of balance between fear and hope because man can lead a stable life only by maintaining the balance between those two states. A person who feels sure that he will enter Paradise thanks to the worshipping he performs may feel conceited. A person who leads a life that is full of sins and feels sure that he will go to Hell may think, “I am already destroyed” and be indulged in sins. The fact that the future is veiled protects the first person from conceit and the second person from hopelessness. If a person who worships throughout his life falls into conceit will be at a loss; a person who commits sins throughout his life might be saved thanks to a sincere repentance even in the last day of his life. The following verse and similar verses in the Quran have an implication like that: “be righteous, that ye may receive mercy.” (al-An’am, 6/155). The phrase, "laall ( maybe/it is hoped that)" expresses hope for those the Quran addresses. That is, it gives us this lesson: “if you do so, you may hope to receive divine mercy but do not feel sure!”

Let us try to explain some verses regarding the issue:

"And We gave Moses the Book, in order that they might receive guidance." (al-Mu'minun, 23/49)

If we examine the phrase “in order that they might receive guidance” closely we can grasp the following meaning: When people learn the Book, they will receive guidance and find the true path. A person who has knowledge finds and should find the true path himself. That is, the Book shows the true path but it is man who will enter that path. Attention is drawn to the illuminating, guiding and motivating aspect of knowledge and the active aspect of man that will apply it. Knowledge makes man walk; it is like the fuel of the engine or the source of light. People that knowledge cannot make walk are people that have petrified and heavy hearts. The hearts of those who do not turn their hearts to the light of guidance become petrified and they do not believe. (Bayraktar Bayraklı, Kur’an Tefsiri, 13/233)

"O ye children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you, But the raiment of righteousness,― that is the best. Such are among the signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition." (al-A'raf, 7/26)

“But the raiment of righteousness,― that is the best. Such are among the signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition."If the first part of the verse is considered together with this part, it will be seen that there are two kinds of raiment. The material raiment that covers the parts of the body and the raiment of taqwa that is formed by the feeling of shame and honor.

It is possible to explain the "raiment of taqwa" as follows:People may put on the material raiment that will cover their parts of the body that are necessary to be covered but if they do not have the raiment of taqwa, that is, if they do not have the raiment of feeling ashamed and chaste, they can do bad deeds. The material raiment will not prevent their wrong deeds. However, if they have the raiment of taqwa called feeling ashamed and chaste, they will not commit bad deeds like fornication. Material raiment is important because it covers the parts of the body that are necessary to be covered but the spiritual raiment inside man, that is, the raiment of taqwa formed together by the feelings of shame and chaste, is more important.  

Allah indicates in the verse that the feeling of abstinence called taqwa and chaste are inborn psychological characteristics and that they can be educated, revived and developed only by divine training. Thus, by training feelings, He wants to make sure that the realm of feelings comes to the forefront by stating that man has a garment of taqwa and explaining that its value is more than the outer garment.

Allah states that both the material raiment and the raiment of taqwa are among His signs. The main reason why He explains them is to make man think and receive advice. One of the reasons why what happened to Hazrat Adam (pbuh) and his wife is narrated is to teach people the feeling of shame, the material raiment and the raiment of taqwa. (Bayraktar Bayraklı, Kur’an Tefsiri, 7/94.)

As it is seen, a message to people is aimed by this verse; the importance of the raiment of taqwa is emphasized and people are asked to think through their free will and choose their way. 

The fact that whether people will go to Paradise or Hell is written in their qadar beforehand does not prevent the existence of the free will of people because Allah wrote qadar since He knows with His eternal knowledge what man will do. Man does not do it because it is written in qadar.

The main meaning of qadar is the fact that Allah knows what happened and what will happen. Pay attention that it does not ignore the will of man. To know and to do are separate things. It is Allah who knows and it is the slave who does. Let us give an example regarding the issue:

Our Prophet (pbuh) said nice things about the conquest and the conqueror of Istanbul hundreds of years ago and informed us about it. Istanbul was conquered when its time was due. Was Istanbul conquered because the Prophet (pbuh) mentioned it or did he say so because he knew it would be conquered? If Sultan Fatih had not worked, had not prepared armies and had not fought, would Istanbul have been conquered? It means Allah knew that Fatih would work hard and conquer Istanbul; He informed His messenger about it.   

Qadar has two aspects: Things that are out of man’s will like being born, his parents, his time of death, etc. Man is not responsible for them since he cannot decide about them.

However, he is responsible for the deeds that he decides to do of his own accord. Everybody knows that a person goes to the mosque or to the pub of his own accord. Nobody forces him regarding the issue.

With the expression of a hadith of the Prophet, “every child is born with the nature of Islam.” One of the meanings of the word Islam mentioned in hadiths is high ethics. That is, each person is created with the nature of high ethics and with the characteristic to approve the principles of belief. However, if a person changes that characteristic and accepts the belief of the people of Hell, doing the deeds of the people of Hell, he will definitely be held responsible.

20 Can you explain the following verse: “But, for thy Lord's (Cause) be patient and constant!”(Al-Muddathir, 7)?

But, for thy Lord's (Cause) be patient and constant!”(Al-Muddathir, 7)

In this verse, it is pointed that while the Prophet (pbuh) was doing His duties in order to warn people, he (pbuh) would face lots of problems. So, the Prophet was ordered to be patient with those problems for the sake of Allah.

However, Abraham an-Nahai also explained it as follows: “Do not expect something in return for the things that you gave. Be patient toward your Lord, make self-sacrifice.”

This verse is addressed to not only the Prophet but also the Muslims.

21 According to the following verse, will the believers whose sins are more than their rewards (thawabs) stay in Hell eternally? "But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in Hell will they abide." (al-Mu'minun, 23/103)

"But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls; in Hell will they abide."(al-Mu'minun, 23/103)

It is clear that the expression "in Hell will they abide" describes unbelievers staying in Hell eternally. As a matter of fact, it is understood from the verses coming after it that they are the ones that deny the verses (signs) of Allah.

Allah addresses them as follows: "Were not My Signs rehearsed to you, and ye did but treat them as falsehoods?” (al-Mu'minun, 23/105)

Allah Almighty will definitely weigh the deeds. He will weigh the good and bad deeds of man with a scale that we do not know what it is like and will realize justice. If the good deeds of a person outweigh his bad deeds, he will attain salvation; if it is the opposite, he deserves torture. However, Allah might forgive him. If he is a believer and has sins and his sins outweigh his good deeds, he will go to Paradise after he    pays the penalty. He receives Allah's endless mercy. 

It is stated in the hadith that a person who has belief will exit Hell. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "A person who has a very slight amount of belief in his heart will exit Hell." (Muslim, Iman: 304)

22 Will you explain the following verse: "Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer" (al-Baqara, 2/153)?

"O ye who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere." (al-Baqara, 2/153)

Patience maturates, develops and strengthens man spiritually. Prayer is a lofty way of expressing servitude and surrendering to Allah and thanking for the bounties; it is also an indication of an active and regular life. In the verse, we are advised to benefit from two basic elements that will make man spiritually strong in life in the presence of difficulties. 

It is not stated in the verse regarding what issues it is necessary to be patient. Therefore, this order includes patience while worshipping, avoiding harams, resisting all kinds of hostile acts, putting up with misfortunes and pains,  that is, situations that require all kinds of endurance. 

Patience is the product of the sacrifice, determination and will that a person shows; therefore, patience is a person's attitude related to his own self. Prayer is his turning to Allah with his body, tongue and heart, in short, as a whole; then, prayer is a believer's attitude related to Allah. Thus, a person who strengthens his self through patience and forms a relationship with Allah through prayer completes the psychological requirements for success. (see Diyanet, Kur'an Yolu, the interpretation of verse 153 of the chapter of al-Baqara)

23 Can you explain the word “abtar” in Surat al-Kawthar?

A son was a symbol of power at that period. The sovereignty among tribes was decided by power. The tribe with more people had the power. Arabs used to call a person who did not have a son as dying out and other similar nicknames. According to tafsirs, when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)‘s sons died, disbelievers called and nicknamed him “abtar” ( infertile ). They wanted to insult him by saying “Let him go; he is the one who will die out”. (Tabari, Tafsir, XXX, 212)

So this verse (ayah) condemns their behaviour and states that even if they had children, they would be the ones who would die out. For, they will be remembered with hatred and curse till the Day of Judgment but the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is remembered with Allah’s compassion and his name is called next to Allah’s name five times a day in adhan (call to prayer) all around the world.

Because idolaters in Mecca looked at the events only superficially, they regarded the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as weak and alone. They regarded themselves as crowded and powerful; so they were sure that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would fail his mission. Razi says, “Allah turned the case against them. He stated that the actual powerful ones were the ones supported by Allah and the weak ones were those who were lowered by Allah. So while kathrat and kawthar (multitude and bounties) were given to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), being abtar (infertility), and humiliation were given to his enemies . It is a glad tiding for Muslims who follow the path of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and who maintain his faith and determination. (Kur'an Yolu, Diyanet Tefsiri, V/665-667)

24 Allah Almighty says the following for martyrs: "And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah: 'They are dead.' Nay, they are living." In another verse, He says, "Every soul shall have taste of Death." So, what is the ruling for martyrs?

Martyrs also pass from the world of life to the realm of grave, the realm which is called barzakh when they die. For, their spirits leave their body as well and corpses are buried in the soil. In this sense, they die, too. However, they are not aware that they are dead.

Martyrs wander around freely in the realm of grave.They do not know that they are dead. They think as if they are living the world life. They only know that they are living a much perfect life. For this reason, the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says, “Martyrs do not feel the agony of death.”

So the meaning of the expression of the Qur'an, "And say not of those who are slain in the way of Allah: 'They are dead." is this. That is, they are not aware that they are dead; they think that they are alive and living.

For example, think of two persons. They are together in a very beautiful garden in their dreams. One of them knows that he is dreaming. The other is not aware that he is dreaming. Which one takes more pleasure? Definitely, the one who does not know that it is a dream. The person who is aware that it is a dream thinks, “If I wake up, all this enjoyment will disappear.”While the other man experiences true pleasure and delight.

So the pleasure of people who die without being martyred is deficient because they are aware that they are dead.However, the pleasure and enjoyment of martyrs are perfect since they are not aware that they are dead. This is stated in the Qur'an.

The spirits of people who die as believers and who are not tormented in the grave wander around freely. Thus, they can go to many places. They can be present in many places. It is possible that they are around us. Is is even said that Hazrat Hamza (May Allah be pleased with him) – the lord of the martyrs – has helped so many people. (see Nursi, The Letters, The First Letter)

Death is not non-existence. It is a door to a much better realm. A seed under the soil is dead in appearance, perishes and disappears. However, in reality, it passes to a much better realm of life. It passes from the life of a seed to the life of a tree.

Similarly, a dead person is buried in the soil in appearance and perishes but in reality, he reaches a much better life in the realm of barzakh and grave.

The body and spirit is like a lamp and electricity. When the lamp is broken, the electricity does not disappear; it continues to exist. Though we do not see it, we believe that the electricity still exists. Similarly, with death, the spirit leaves the body. However, it continues to exist. Almighty Allah gives the spirit a much better garment which is suitable to it and let it live in the realm of grave.

For this reason, the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) informed us about the existence of grave life and how it will be in the following hadith;

"The grave is either a garden from the gardens of Paradise, or a ditch from the ditches of Hell."

Humans that come from the realm of spirits to the wombs are born in this world. They meet here. Similarly, with death, the people in this world are born in the realm of barzakh and wander around there. We send off those who go from this realm. Similarly, there are people in the realm of grave who welcome those that go from this world. Inshallah - Allah willing, all of our beloved ones primarily the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will welcome us there as long as we are real slaves of Allah.

Just like we welcome a new born baby here, so too will we be welcomed by our friends inshallah - Allah willing - when we go to the realm of barzakh.

25 Does the following verse forbid peace?: "Do not cry for peace when you are uppermost."

That verse is directly related to war: “Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace. When ye should be Uppermost: for Allah is with you and will never put you in loss for your (good) deeds.” (Muhammad, 47/35)

As it is known, all of the wars in the Era of Bliss were started by non-Muslims. Some Muslims regarded themselves as weak since they were few in number; they sometimes acted reluctantly when there was a state of war and felt disdained; therefore, they desired peace. The verse above includes advice to encourage them to strengthen their hearts, not to show any signs of weakness and not to surrender to the enemy.  

There is no decree asking Muslims to prefer war when the enemy wants peace. As a matter of fact, along with the encouragement not to fear war and to make the necessary preparations, Allah orders Muslim clearly to say "yes" to the enemy that wants peace:  

“Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies and others besides whom ye may not know but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly. But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is the one that heareth and knoweth (all things).” (al-Anfal, 60-61)

There are some interpretations stating that one of those verses abrogated the other, but we do not think that it is an appropriate approach. (cf Tabari, Razi, Samarqandi, Kurtubi, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

- According to some scholars, the chapter of Muhammad was sent down before the Battle of Uhud. Accordingly, in the relevant verse, the hypocrites (munafiqs) among Muslims and some weak Muslims are advised to raise their morale spiritually if a war breaks out and not to act lazily. (see Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

- We can also say that the morale of the Muslims are boosted through this verse for the Battle of Uhud, a critical battle which will take place about a year later.

As a matter of fact, the points indicated in the verse took place and the hypocrites, whose number was more than three hundred, abandoned Muslims on the way, leaving them weak. The archers deployed on the hill left their place thinking that the enemy was defeated and that it was time to collect the booty; thus, they caused the course of the battle to change against the Muslims. Only a few Companions remained around the Prophet; all of the others scattered.

The phrase “be not weary and faint-hearted” in the verse seems to indicate this situation. From this point of view, it can be said that the verse has a prophetic aspect.

26 The following is stated in verse 3 of the chapter of al-Mulk: "So turn thy vision again: Seest thou any flaw?" Why does Allah address man like that? Are layers of the sky things that can be seen?

The verses mentioned in the question are as follows:

“He Who created the seven heavens one above another; no want of proportion wilt thou see in the Creation of (Allah) Most Gracious. So turn thy vision again: Seest thou any flaw? Again turn thy vision a second time; (thy) vision will come back to thee dull and discomfited, in a state worn out.” (al-Mulk, 67/3-4)

The order, “so turn thy vision again” is related to “Allah's creation / Allah’s art of creation seen in all beings” rather than seven skies. Everybody is an addressee of this verse; everybody can find an environment where they can watch Allah's creation / wonderful pictures of art in accordance with their knowledge, experience and capacity. Some people observe the skies through a telescope; others examine atoms under a microscope; yet others examine mountains, soil, trees and fruits through their eyes. Everybody will have to say, “I have not seen any faults in these pictures of art.”

It is stated in the first verses of the chapter of al-Mulk that Allah is sublime, powerful, and dominant over the universe, that everything is in His hand of power and that He can do whatever He wishes in the universe; the verses following them give examples of His works of power. They contain the evidences showing Allah's power and activities very clearly; they state that Allah created life and death so that people will compete with one another in order to do good deeds in the world and so that He will show who does better deeds by obeying His orders and prohibitions.

In verses 3 and 4, attention is attracted to the perfect and faultless creation of the universe, its perfect functioning and operation; thus, it is stated that such a perfect system of beings cannot have occurred and cannot be maintained through blind coincidence and chance and that it can only be possible through the creation and administration of a being who has superior knowledge, will and power.

27 How should we understand verse 89 (…slay them wherever ye find them…) of the chapter of an-Nisa?

"They but wish that ye should reject Faith as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): so take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."(an-Nisa, 4/89)

The hypocrites (munafiqs) came to Madinah from Makkah and stayed with the Prophet (pbuh) for a few days. Then, they repented for coming and said to one another, «Let us ask permission from Muhammad, return to Makkah and follow our ancestors' religion.» They said to the Prophet, «O Messenger of Allah! The climate of Madinah is not good for us. Allow us to go to Makkah and we will practice our religion there.» The Prophet (pbuh) accepted their request and gave them permission.  

Those munafiqs, who left the Prophet in Madinah, went to Makkah, united with the polytheists and declared that they became unbelievers. Then, they started to do business with the polytheists. Once, those munafiqs set off to go to Damascus for business. The Muslims found out about the situation and waylaid them. They grabbed the property of the munafiqs and wanted to kill them because they were unbelievers. However, some of the Muslims wanted to prevent them from being killed. They did not know that those munafiqs had exited Islam and had become unbelievers; therefore, they defended those munafiqs. However, the other Muslims had learned that they had exited Islam. Therefore, they wanted to grab their property and kill them.   

Thus, the Muslims were divided into two about what to do to the munafiqs. Allah sent down the following verse in order to inform the Muslims about their hypocrisy and unbelief: 

"Why should ye be divided into two parties about the Hypocrites? Allah hath upset them for their (evil) deeds. Would ye guide those whom Allah hath thrown out of the Way? For those whom Allah hath thrown out of the Way, never shalt thou find the Way."(an-Nisa, 4/88)

Nobody can guide those whom Allah has thrown out of the way. Only Allah can guide them. It is stated in the verse that those who insist on unbelief cannot find guidance but that those who abandon unbelief and accept the truth will attain guidance.

Look at the verse regarding the issue and see what Allah says:

"They but wish that ye should reject Faith as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): so take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks."

Unbelievers want Muslims to go astray and become unbelievers like them. Unbelievers never want people to become Muslims. They want them to remain in unbelief like them and they do their best to keep them as unbelievers. A poor person wants others to be poor like himself; similarly, unbelievers want Muslims to be poor in terms of deed like themselves. Allah forbids believers from being friends with unbelievers in this verse along with several other verses. He orders believers to fight unbelievers and not to be friends with them until they abandon unbelief and accept the belief of oneness. The order not to be friends with unbeliever is clear. Allah forbids friendship with unbelievers because it is of no use to Muslims. For, unbelievers have always harmed Muslims. There are a lot of examples of it in history.

28 Will you explain the following verse: "As also the evil ones, (including) every kind of builder and diver― As also others bound together in fetters." (Sad, 37-38) Was Satan put under Hazrat Sulayman’s order?

"As also the evil ones, (including) every kind of builder and diver― As also others bound together in fetters."(Sad, 38/37-38)

With this verse, the Quran states that the Prophet Sulayman ruled over jinn and devils as well as people and that he had hegemony on them.

Judging by the clear expression of the verse, we can say that Sulayman (pbuh) used jinn and devils in hard and tiring tasks. As it is known, every prophet was granted some miracles; the miracle granted to Sulayman (pbuh) was power over spiritual beings.

In those verses, Allah states that He put three kinds of devils under the command of Sulayman (pbuh). He states that the first group is builders. In another verse, He states what they do:

"They worked for him as he desired, (making) Arches, Images Basins as large as Reservoirs, and (cooking) Cauldrons fixed (in their places)."

The second group dived into the sea and took out pearls, corals and various jewels and gave them to Sulayman.

The third group was disobedient and they were devils that were tied to one another with chains. (Tabari Tafsir, interpretation of verses 37-38)

29 Does verse 6:125 contradicts chest gavity?

As it is stated in the verse two verses before the one in the question: “Thus have We placed leaders in every town, its wicked men, to plot (and burrow) therein: but they only plot against their own souls, and they perceive it not", the polytheists declared that they would not believe unless what was given to the messengers of Allah was given to them; they regarded themselves as deserving prophethood based on some so-called apparent reasons.

This verse shows that Allah's universal laws, which are absolutely valid in the universe, are also valid in the life of belief and deeds of man; they are the essential and real reasons beyond all apparent reasons. Based on His universal rules, Allah opens a person's heart to Islam if He wants him to attain guidance, makes him love and accept Islam. If He wants a person to remain away from the truth, He gives his heart distress and trouble that will prevent him from adopting and accepting the truth.

It is interesting that the psychological state of the people in the second case is likened to the physiological distress of the people who ascend to the sky. For, as it is known, as one ascends to the sky the air pressure decreases and it becomes difficult to breathe as the altitude increases. It is a definite miracle of the Quran to express it clearly in a time period when such a law of nature was not known.

Another important point like this is the perfect diagnosis and concise description of the psychological troubles and dilemmas experienced by the people who are influenced by negative thoughts.

Accordingly, the unbelievers who are affected by the psychological motives like ill will, jealousy, obstinacy, pride and arrogance, and the ambition of pleasure and interest sacrifice their minds for their emotions. As they insist on doing it, they experience trouble and unease, in the presence of Muslims, that gradually increase like the people who have difficulty in breathing as they ascend. They gradually move away from thinking soundly on the truth and guidance. Description of Islam bothers them and increases their obstinacy and denial. It leads them to unjust deeds. Thus, they gradually lose the opportunity of attaining guidance, which means eternal life and salvation.

It is an inevitable situation caused by the universal laws of Allah for those who are the slaves of negative emotions and ambitions, and ill will.

30 Will you explain the following verse: "But those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of faith,―never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have gone astray." (Aali Imran, 3/90)

"But those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of faith,―never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have gone astray."(Aali Imran, 3/90)

Tafsir scholars explained the verse above in different ways.

Qatada, Hasan al-Basri and Ata al-Khurasani say the people mentioned in the verse are Jews. For, they believed in Moses (Musa) (pbuh) first, became unbelievers by denying Jesus (Isa) (pbuh) and went too far by denying Muhammad (pbuh). The verse above states that their repentance will not be accepted because they will not surrender to the truth and repent before they are at death's door and the repentance at death's door will be of no use. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in another verse:  

"Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says; "Now have I repented indeed"; nor of those who die rejecting Faith: for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous."

According to another view reported from Rabi' and Abu Aliya, those mentioned in the verse above are the ones who believed in the previous prophets but denied Muhammad (pbuh) and increased their sins after that. Their repentance for their sins will not be accepted if they keep denying.

According to another view reported from Ikrima and Ibn Jurayj, what is meant by the ones mentioned in the verse are those who believed in their prophet first but became unbelievers after that and increased their denial. If they die as unbelievers, their previous belief and repentance when they become believers will not be accepted. For, they became unbelievers in the end and died as deniers.  

According to Suddi, what is meant by the ones mentioned in the verse are those who become unbelievers after becoming believers and who continue unbelieving afterwards and die as deniers by increasing their denial. Their repentance at death's door will not be accepted.

It is unanimously agreed by reliable scholars that it is promised by Allah that the repentance of a person who is alive will be accepted. If an unbeliever repents just before he dies, he is treated as a Muslim. For instance, his janazah prayer is performed; his inheritance is distributed in accordance with the law of Islam.

31 What are the verses of the Quran proving that Hz. Adam is the first human being?

The verses of the Quran related to Hz. Adam's creation are as follows:  

"Behold thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." (al-Baqara, 2/30)

"We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape." (al-Hijr, 15/26)

"He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery." (ar-Rahman, 55/14)

"Just ask their opinion: are they the more difficult to create, or the (other) beings We have created? Them have We created out of a sticky clay!" (as-Saaffat, 37/11)

"He Who has made everything which He has created most Good. He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay."(as-Sajda, 32/7)

"Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay)." (al-Mu'minun, 23/12)

"He it is who created you from clay, and then decreed a stated term (for you)." (al-Anam, 6/2)

"From the (earth) did We create you." (Taha, 20/55)

"Among His Signs is this that He created you from dust; and then Behold ye are men scattered (far and wide)." (ar-Rum, 30/20)

"... Iblis said, "Shall I bow down to one whom Thou didst create from clay?"?" (al-Isra, 17/61; al-A'raf,  7/12; Sad, 38/76)

If the verses above are summarized, we can say, "Adam was created out of clay."

"Them have We created out of a sticky clay." (as-Saaffat, 37/11)

"Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay)." (al-Mu'minun, 23/12)

"We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape." (al-Hijr, 15/26; ar-Rahman, 55/14). 

Adam (a being that came from the earth) edim (earth, land) is derived from a Hebrew word. It is stated that Adam was created out of clay; that is, a mixture of land and water; to express it clearly,from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape; he was given life after divine spirit was blown into it:

"He Who has made everything which He has created most Good. He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay."(as-Sajda, 32/7)

"But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding)." (as-Sajda, 32/9).

32 The following is stated in verse 5 of the chapter of at-Tawba: "…slay the pagans wherever ye find them…" Will you explain this verse?

"But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (at-Tawba, 9/5)

The verse above orders Muslims to fight the idolaters of that time. However, if any group attacks the community of Islam today, it becomes fard for the Muslims of that region to fight the unbelievers that attack them.

"Killing" will be used as the last resort for the measures mentioned in the verse to be consistent. For, if killing is resorted to first, the other measures become meaningless. Killing the enemy is one of the natural outcomes of war; so, the reason why killing (slaying) is mentioned in the verse probably aims to remind Muslims not to resort to it before taking the other measures. As a matter of fact, if the idolaters repent but do not accept Islam at once, the Muslims are asked to give them security and the opportunity to learn Islam from Muslims by living among them and to think about Islam in the verse.  This understanding is more appropriate to the other statements of the Quran regarding killing.

After the forbidden months, the state of war started between you and them. Then, declare war on them without waiting for their attack; kill them wherever you find them and however you can.
However, the believers are forbidden from committing muthla; that is, cutting off the organs of a person like the nose or ear, to stop a person, to tie his hands and arms and to kill him with an arrow or a similar tool by torturing him. The Prophet (pbuh) stated the following regarding the issue:

"The most merciful people in terms of killing are believers." He also said,
"When you kill, kill in a nice way." Those verses also imply that it is necessary to do so:

"And seize them, beleaguer them." That is, if it is possible to seize them and to beleaguer them, do not attempt to kill them. Put them on probation; do not allow them to go wherever they want; "lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war"; that is, lie in wait on ways of trade, expedition, etc and watch them. It was necessary to take all kinds of measures in order to purify the Kaaba from the existence and domination of idolaters. (Kuran Yolu, Diyanet, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

"If they repent, that is, if they abandon idolatry and become believers, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, that is, if they become Muslims by accepting to perform prayers and give zakah, then open the way for them; do not do any of the things mentioned above to them. Leave them free. For, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. He forgives what they committed before, their idolatry, unbelief and injustice because they become believers and gives them rewards for their belief and worshipping.   

That is, those idolaters are given the following alternatives: death, slavery or becoming Muslims. As it will be mentioned later, jizyah will not be accepted from them unlike the People of the Book. Hasan al-Basri narrates the following: One of the slaves of war uttered the following in a way that the Prophet (pbuh) would hear three times: 'I will repent to Allah; I will not repent to Muhammad.' The Prophet (pbuh) said, 'Leave him; he gave the One His due.'"(Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

33 Is there a contradiction between these two verses as to the purpose of creating men and jinn?

Is there a contradiction between the following two verses in terms of the creation of human beings and jinn? If they were created for Hell, it would mean they were not created for worshipping. Therefore, there seems to be a contradiction. Will you interpret it?

I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me. (51:56)

“Many are the jinn and men We have made for Hell: they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning).” (7:179)

There is no contradiction between the two verses above.

In the following verse, it is indicated that the purpose of the creation of human beings and jinn is worshipping Allah: “I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me.” (adh-Dhariyat, 51/56)

In the following verse, those two beings are warned that they will be punished because some human beings and jinn will not be able to fulfill this duty of worshipping: “Many are the jinn and men We have made for Hell: they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning).”(al-Araf, 7/179)

The meaning of the verse is as follows:

“There are some individuals who will consequently go to Hell among the ones I created because they do not use the material and spiritual equipment (like the mind, heart, eye and ear) I have given to them properly.”

That is, Allah makes His endless knowledge, not His power, speak in that verse. That is, He does not say that He will send some people to Hell by force; on the contrary, He says that He knows - through His endless knowledge - that some people who were created for worshipping will prefer the way to Hell through their free will. 

It is understood from the explanations above that the real meaning of the phrase "for Hell" in the verse is not "for…" but "consequently".  That is, the preposition "lam" before the verb "zara'na", which expresses creation, does not indicate reason but consequence.

As a matter of fact, some interpreters emphasized that the preposition "li" in the phrase “zara’na li Jahannama” (we created for Hell) did not indicate reason but consequence. (see Baghawi, Razi, Sha'rawi, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

We see a similar expression in the chapter of al-Qasas:

“Then the people of Pharaoh picked him up (from the river): (it was intended) that (Moses) should be to them an adversary and a cause of sorrow: for Pharaoh and Haman and (all) their hosts were men of sin.” (al-Qasas, 28/8) The preposition "lam" in the phrase "li yakuna lahum aduwwan wa hazanan" (should be to them an adversary and a cause of sorrow) indicates consequence. "Lam" at the beginning of the verb "li yakuna" indicates consequence, result, not reason.“ For, it is clear that the family of Pharaoh did not adopt Moses (Musa) so that he would be a cause of sorrow to them. However, he became a cause of sorrow to them consequently. (see Baghawi, ibid)

34 What are the verses of the Quran proving that Hz. Adam is the first human being?

The verses of the Quran related to Hz. Adam's creation are as follows:

"Behold thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." (al-Baqara, 2/30)

"We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape." (al-Hijr, 15/26)

"He created man from sounding clay like unto pottery." (ar-Rahman, 55/14)

"Just ask their opinion: are they the more difficult to create, or the (other) beings We have created? Them have We created out of a sticky clay!" (as-Saaffat, 37/11)

"He Who has made everything which He has created most Good. He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay."(as-Sajda, 32/7)

"Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay)." (al-Mu'minun, 23/12)

"He it is who created you from clay, and then decreed a stated term (for you)." (al-Anam, 6/2)

"From the (earth) did We create you." (Taha, 20/55)

"Among His Signs is this that He created you from dust; and then Behold ye are men scattered (far and wide)." (ar-Rum, 30/20)

"... Iblis said, "Shall I bow down to one whom Thou didst create from clay?" (al-Isra, 17/61; al-A'raf,  7/12; Sad, 38/76)

If the verses above are summarized, we can say, "Adam was created out of clay."

"Them have We created out of a sticky clay." (as-Saaffat, 37/11)

"Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay)." (al-Mu'minun, 23/12)

"We created man from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape." (al-Hijr, 15/26; ar-Rahman, 55/14). 

Adam (a being that came from the earth) edim (earth, land) is derived from a Hebrew word. It is stated that Adam was created out of clay; that is, a mixture of land and water; to express it clearly,from sounding clay, from mud molded into shape; he was given life after divine spirit was blown into it:

"He Who has made everything which He has created most Good. He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay."(as-Sajda, 32/7)

"But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding)." (as-Sajda, 32/9).

35 How should we understand the verse "O you who believe! Believe"?

The believers are ordered "to believe as it is necessary". The remaining part of the verse explains how it is necessary to believe.

"O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and his Messenger, and the scripture which He hath sent to His Messenger and the scripture which He sent to those before (him). And who denieth Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Day of Judgment, hath gone far, far astray." (an-Nisa, 4/136)

The interpretation of the verse:

O you who believe! Believe in Allah and His Messenger, that is Muhammad (pbuh) and this book, which Allah sends down from time to time and in parts to this Prophet, that is, the Quran, and the books He had sent down before. Believe in all of them as you believed in some of them. The word nazzala (sent down) is pronounced as nuzala and unzala (was sent down) (in the passive form) in the qiraah of Ibn Kathir, Abu Amr and, Ibn Amir. Believe in them seriously. For, anyone who does not believe in Allah, His angels, books, prophets and the Day of Judgment, and denies any of them goes far astray, goes away from the truth, loses his way in a way that he cannot find it again and loses his purpose. With this (an-Nisa, 4/116), it is clearly shown that he joins the decree of unbelief, that is, all kinds of unbelief is shirk (polytheism).

According to a narration, a group of Jewish rabbis went to the Messenger of Allah and said, "O Messenger of Allah! We believe in you, your book, Moses (Musa), the Torah and Ezra (Uzayr); we do not accept any other books and prophets." The Prophet (pbuh) said, "No! Believe in Allah, all of His prophets, Muhammad, the Quran, his book, and all of the books before it." They said, "No." Thereupon, this verse was sent down and all of them believed. It is remarkable that belief in four things is mentioned in the part of belief: "Belief in Allah, His Messenger, the book sent down to His Messenger and the book sent before it". This can be summarized in three levels as follows: "Belief in Allah, the Prophet and the books". However, in the part of belief, five things are mentioned with the addition of angels and the Day of Judgment: "Denying Allah, denying His angels, denying His books, denying his prophets and denying the Day of Judgment; besides, the other messengers were added to the Messenger of Allah and the word was used in plural. This shows that belief in Allah, the Prophet and the books included belief in all prophets, angels and the Day of Judgment; since it is possible for a person to believe in Allah, the Prophet and the books, and to deny one of the prophets, angels or the Day of Judgment and to try to interpret the verses that were sent down regarding the issue, it is especially explained that those who deny them deny Allah too. 

(Elmalılı H. Yazır, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

36 Will you explain the following statement? "If the seas were ink and trees were pens, the words of Allah would not be exhausted."

"And if all the trees on earth were pens and the Ocean (were ink), with seven Oceans behind it to add to its (supply) yet would not the Words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in power, Full of Wisdom." (Luqman, 31/27)

It is stated in the verse above that if the seas were ink in order to write the words of Allah, the ink would run out before the words of Allah were written and that even if the seas were created again, it would not be enough to write the words of Allah; it is also stated that the signs of His existence and majesty are too many to count. 

What is meant by "Allah's words" is all of the creatures that He created and the beings in His knowledge, or the words that praise Him. There are so many signs of Allah's knowledge and majesty that it would not be enough to write them even if the seas were ink. His praise does not run out by writing. Numbers are not enough to express the amount of the beings He created.

37 What should we understand from the verse, "We have indeed sent down Signs: and Allah guides whom He wills to a way that is straight" (an-Nur, 24/46)?

"We have indeed sent down Signs that make things manifest: and Allah guides whom He wills to a way that is straight." (an-Nur, 24/46)

Allah sent down verses in order to inform people about belief and unbelief, the truth and the wrong, the good and the bad, and haram and halal. They were sent down so that people would believe and find guidance. Thus, some people believed and attained guidance but others turned away from belief and fell into heresy. Those who turn away from belief say they believe in Allah and the Prophet but after that, they turn away from the order of Allah and His Messenger. They are not real believers.

Those who use their minds in order to find the truth increase their chance of finding the true path. Allah Almighty opens the door of guidance to them if He wishes. Those who do not use their minds properly hesitate in heresy and remain there as a natural result of their deeds. For, Allah Almighty does not wrong anybody but people wrong themselves. He guides those who approach the line of guidance and leaves those who do not approach where they are. Yes, the following sentence indicates the wisdom we have mentioned above: Yes, He «guides whom He wills to a way that is straight».

38 How should we understand the phrase "the Mother of Cities and all around her" mentioned in verse 92 of the chapter of al-Anam?

What is meant by the mother of cities is Makkah. It is ordered in the verse to convey the message of Islam to all people beginning from Makkah.

And this is a Book which We have sent down, bringing blessings.Its prosperity will encompass the world. It confirms (the revelations) which came before it and it distinguished the good from the bad.  The light and guidance in it will increase, be strengthened and develop by being confirmed by it. We sent it down to do this (to remind the realms, for abundance and confirmation) so that you may warn the Mother of Cities and all around her. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe in this (Book), and they are constant in guarding their prayers. Ummul-Qura, which means the mother/center of all cities, is one of the names of Makkah; it means it is the center of the world and the qiblah of all of the creatures.

It is known that warning is for the people of Makkah, not Makkah itself; so it means "the people of Ummul-Qura" by the use of metonym. The phrase(wa man hawlaha: all around her) is an indication of it. It is doubtless that the reason why the phrase "Ummul-Qura" is used instead of "Makkah" is to make people think that Makkah is the absolute center of all of the cities in the world. Therefore, the phrase (wa man hawlaha) means all of the cities around the world with the relation of the center with its periphery. However, if "Ummul-Qura" is regarded as "Makkah" without taking into consideration of the meaning of being the center, wa man hawlaha  is regarded as the surroundings of Makkah and hence the Arabian Peninsula.

According to this possibility, the wisdom behind the Quran being sent down would be thought of as warning only the people of Makkah and the Arabian Peninsula; therefore, using the conjunction "and", the Quran says, "and so that you may warn the Mother of Cities and all around her", not "so that you may warn Makkah and all around her" and not "so that you may warn the Mother of Cities and all around her", stating that the purpose of the Quran and Hz. Muhammad being sent was not warning the nation of Arabs only but with the meaning of "the Quran is only a warning for the realms" the verse before it and that the vastness of its scope should not be forgotten. And especially the scope of the following verse is stated: 

"O Muhammad! We have not sent thee but as a (Messenger) to men, giving them Glad tidings, and warning them (against sin)." (Saba', 34/28)

However, it is strange that, after all these explanations, a group of Jews tried to use the phrase "and so that you may warn the Mother of Cities and all around her " in the verse as evidence that Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) was a prophet sent only to Arabs; that is they admitted his prophethood but claimed that he was a prophet sent to Arabs, not to all nations. They are known as "Isawiyyah sect"; we see that some so-called intellectual Europeans have tried to spread this Jewish sect and its policy among non-Arab Muslims today. The prophethood of Hz Muhammad (pbuh) is determined and confirmed by the verse by stating that denying prophethood, which is a duty given to human beings, is temerity and ingratitude emerging from not appreciating Allah as it is required and denying the Quran and the prophethood of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) after accepting any prophet and any book that is sent down though the Quran approves and confirms all the prophets and the books and is clearer and more blessed than them is a clear contradiction.

39 According to the verses of the Qur’an, what are the characteristics of a person Allah, the Almighty, loves?

The translations of the relevant verses mentioned in the question are as follows:

The surah al-Baqarah :

1. “Alif Lam Mim.” 2. “This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah.”

3. “Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them.”

4. “And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter.”

5. “They are on (true guidance), from their Lord and it is these who will prosper.”

195. “And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good.”

222. “They ask thee concerning women's courses. “Say: They are a hurt and a pollution; so keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them in any manner, time or place ordained for you by Allah. for Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean.”

The surah Aal-i ‘Imran :

76. “Nay―Those that keep their plighted faith and act aright―verily Allah loves those who act aright.”

134. “Those who spend (freely) whether in prosperity or in adversity; who restrain anger and pardon (all) men; for Allah loves those who do good,―”

146. “How many of the Prophets fought (in Allah's way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? But they never lost heart if they met with disaster in Allah's way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And Allah loves those who are firm and steadfast.”

148. “And Allah gave them a reward in this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. For Allah loveth those who do good.”

159. “It is part of the Mercy of Allah that thou dost deal gently with them. Wert thou severe or harsh-hearted they would have broken away from about thee; so pass over (their faults), and ask for (Allah's) forgiveness for them; and consult them in affairs (of moment). Then when thou hast taken a decision, put thy trust in Allah. For Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).”

The surah al-Ma’idah:

13. “But because of their breach of their Covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard: they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the Message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them,― barring a few-ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind.”

42. “(They are fond of) listening to falsehood, of devouring anything forbidden. If they do come to thee, either judge between them, or decline to interfere. If thou decline, they cannot hurt thee in the least. If thou judge, judge, in equity between them; for Allah loveth those who judge in equity.”

54. “O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him,― lowly with the Believers, mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the Grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth: and Allah encompasseth all and He knoweth all things.”

93. “On those who believe and do deeds of righteousness there is no blame for what they ate (in the past) when they guard themselves from evil, and believe, and do deeds of righteousness― (or) again, guard themselves from evil and do good. For Allah loveth those who do good.”

The surah at-Taubah:

4. “(But the treaties are) not dissolved with those pagans with whom Ye have entered into alliance and who have not subsequently failed you in aught, nor aided anyone against you. So fulfil your engagements with them to the end of their term: for Allah loveth the righteous.”

7. “How can there be a league before Allah and His Messenger, with the pagans, except those with whom ye made a treaty near the Sacred Mosque? As long as these stand true to you stand ye true to them: for Allah doth love the righteous.”

108. “Never stand thou forth therein. There is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of thy standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loveth those who make themselves pure.”

The surah al-Hujuraat:

9. “If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just).”

The surah al-Hashr:

9. “And those who before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith― show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity.”

The surah al-Mumtahina:

8. “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.”

The surah as-Saff :

4. “Truly Allah loves those who fight in His Cause in battle array, as if they were a solid cemented structure.”

40 Is sperm, which is the essence of semen, meant in verse 8 of the chapter of at-Tawba?

The Holy Qur’an mentions the stage before insemination in many verses and the following expressions were used in those verses; ‘’semen’’ (al-Qiyamah, 75/36; al-Waqia, 56/58), "main dafiq (drop emitted)" (at-Tariq, 86/6) and "main mahin’ (a fluid despised/despicable)” (as-Sajda, 32/8; al-Mursalat, 77/20).

Nutritious fluid named semen which carries sperms does not merely consist of sperms. On the contrary, semen consists of a mixture of different fluids.

Semen is a compound of substances excreted from the canals of sperm, the seminal vesicles, the prostate glands, and glands connected to the urinary tracts. With detailed analysis, we can see that the fluid named semen consists of many components like citric acid, prostaglandins, flavins, ascorbic acid, ergothioneine, fructose, phosphorylcholine, cholesterol, phospholipids, fibrinolysin, zinc, acid phosphatase, phosphatase, hyaluronates and sperms.

These fluids has duties like containing the glucose which will provide the energy needed for the sperm, neutralizing the acids at the entrance of the womb with its base quality, providing the slippery environment where the sperm will move.

In the Qur’an, it is reported that gender -masculinity and femininity- are created from the semen flowing into the womb. However, until quite recently it was thought that gender was determined by the mother’s cells. Science discovered this information, which is given in the Qur’an- only in the 20th century. In the Qur’an, many details related to the creation of man like this were stated many centuries ago.

When semen is mentioned in the Qur’an, this fact which was revealed by modern science is also pointed and semen is described as a “mingled” fluid:

“Verily We created Man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: So We gave him (the gifts), of Hearing and Sight.” (al-Insan, 2)

In the verses mentioned in the question, it is pointed out that semen is a mixture; and it is emphasized that the human is created from the essence of this mixture:

“He Who created all things in the best, and He began the creation of man from clay, And made his progeny from a quintessence of despised fluid.” (as-Sajda, 7-8)

The Arabic word progeny (sulala) translated as essence here means ‘the best part of something’. No matter which meaning is accepted, it means ‘a part of a whole’ thing.

Indeed, the sperms are both a part of the semen and the basic raw material of it. The sperm which inseminates the ovum among all the sperms is both a small amount of the sperms that can be expressed as only one in a hundred millionth of the sperms and the most successful swimmer reaching its destination by overtaking millions of sperms in this long distance race.

This shows obviously that the Qur’an is the word of Allah, who knows the creation of man in every fine detail.

The stages man undergoes in the womb are mentioned as follows in the Holy Qur’an:

"Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay); then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed; then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (fetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create!" (al-Muminun, 23/12, 13, 14)

In the verse, the stages of fetus are mentioned in the order of "nutfa, alaqa, mudgha".

These stages of creation mentioned in the Qur’an correspond with the data of modern science.

The first stage is the occurrence of insemination (fertilization) as a result of the sperm going into the (ovum) fallopian tubes (in the canal between the womb and ovarium). This inseminated ovum is called ‘zygote’

The second stage is the stage when the zygote holds onto the womb at first, and then sinks into the womb (implantation). From this stage on, the term ‘embryo’ is used.

Some special tissues and organs develop in this stage, which includes the 3rd to 8th weeks of growing after fertilization.

Third stage is the stage when the embryo gets the name ‘fetus’, the body starts to grow fast -from third month to the birth-, and the skin and the organs develop. (see Örs, Rahmi ve Dilmen, Uğur, "Fetal Fiyoloji", Temel Kadın Hastalıkları ve Doğum Bilgisi, 205, 206.)

As it is seen, a zygote -which is totally different and new living being- comes into existence by the insemination of two living beings: sperm and ovum. The genes of the chromosomes of this inseminated cell contains the characteristics of the baby which will be born.

Afterwards, this inseminated ovum starts to cover distances every day and becomes an embryo, fetus, baby, child, young, adult and old person according to the stages it undergoes.

All of these stages cannot be considered as separate and independent from one another. All of them are in the scope of the being called a human.

Note: We recommend you to read the following explanations that we think might be useful to help you to understand the subject:

The wonders in the subject of Embryology

There is a large-sized scientific book called ‘The Developing Human’, which belongs to Prof. Dr. Keith L. Moore, who is the head of the Anatomy Department of Toronto University of Canada and a member of various science foundations.

This valuable book, which narrates the development of man according to the science of embryology in detail beginning from a single cell, especially the part in the eighth and ninth pages of the book, which mentions the history of human embryology, attracts attention since it states that development in exact sciences of people in Middle Ages were slow and it mentions that important information is given in the Qur’an, the holy books of Muslims, about the development of man beginning from a single cell. (Full name of the book: Moore, K. L; The Developing Human-Clinically Oriented Embryology, 3.rd Ed. Philadelphia, W. B Saunders Co, 1982).

Prof. Moore made a detailed statement about this particular subject in the daily newspapers called “The Gazette” and “The Globe and Mail’’ on 22-23 November 1984 and dealt with this subject in one of his scientific articles.

In his scientific article -which was published with the title ‘The Wonders in the Subject of Embryology’- Prof. Moore included the photographs of the posters that included Quranic verses and hadiths in their original forms and their English translations and that he showed to the journalists in the press conference and allowed them to take pictures.  

In this scientific article which he published, Prof. Dr. Keith L. Moore, points out the wonders he determined from the Qur’an and hadiths about embryology as follows:

"First studies about embryology started at -as much as we know- in the 4th century BC and developed embryos of chicks were searched in order to come to a comparative conclusion. For approximately 2000 years after this study, there had not been any remarkable progress in the science of embryology. And after the invention of the telescope in the 17th century, the embryologic stages in the human started to be determined. I examined the human’s embryologic progress by working on the Qur’an and hadiths for a few years and I was astonished to see the information which is completely in harmony with the scientific facts in this divine book, which was sent to humankind in the 7th century.

Now I will quote the verses I had taken from the Qur’an in the light of the recent developments in embryology.

The idea that man developed in the womb in stages was put forward in 1942 but the latest information that is still valid today was accepted by everybody in 1974.

However, the Qur’an indicates in an obvious way that the creation of human happens in three dark areas by saying: ‘He created you (all) from a single person: then created, of like nature, his mate; and He sent down for you eight head of cattle in pairs: He creates you, in the wombs of your mothers, in stages, one after another, in three veils of darkness. Such is Allah, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are ye turned away (from your true Lord)?’ in verse 6 of the chapter of az-Zumar.

The first one of these areas which are completely in compliance with the recent developments of embryology is wall of the womb, the second is the mother’s abdominal wall and the third is the amniochorionic membrane composed of the fused amnion and chorion. These three anatomic areas protect the embryo from external effects and harms.

Verses 12-14 of the chapter of al-Mumimun makes a complete description of the human embryo while mentioning the developments in the first weeks and states that it was transformed from a climbing leech into a chewed flesh.

“Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay); Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest firmly fixed; Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (fetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create!”

Despite the fact that we did not understand these verses at first, we were thunderstruck when we compared the shape of the 24-day old human embryo with the Arab leeches. That shape of the embryo looked like the leeches very much. And this stage was the stage when the embryo climbs the wall of the womb, which is in compliance with the phrase “climbing leech”, one of the lexical meanings of the word alaqa.

For centuries, people believed that a miniature shape of human was in the sperms of male and that it grew up in the womb without changing its shape. In the same way, the other group alleged that the ovum of female contained the model of human in it. So, for centuries, the cells of sperm and ovum were dealt with separately.

We learned the fact that human being was created from a single cell called zygote, and that zygote is came into existence by the insemination of the ovule only in the 18th century by the results of the experiments of Spallanzani.


- Verse 37 of ‘the chapter of al-Qiyamah and verse 8 of ‘the chapter of as-Sajda stated how the zygote -mentioned as (Nutfa)- came  into existence eleven centuries earlier than this discovery; and

- Verse 19 of the chapter of Abasa stated clearly that the zygote carried the characteristics and life program of the developing human.

This fact which was discovered at the end of the 19th century was stated in the Qur’an centuries ago and it is interesting that those verses were in the form that could be understood even by the people of that century.

Although it was discovered in the last century that the sperm was the factor that provided insemination in recent centuries the verses of the Qur’an did not only describe insemination but also stated the properties of the sperm centuries ago.

The fact that only very few of the millions of ejaculated sperms were able to reach the womb where the ovum waited and that only one of them united with the ovum was discovered in the 18th century.

However, Allah explained this creation stage of human 1200 years ago by the following verses:

‘Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)?’ (al-Qiyamah, 75/37)

‘And made his progeny from a quintessence of despised fluid.’ (as-Sajda, 32/8)

It is stated that not all semens result in making a child in a hadith related to this.

Dr. Moore narrates his other similar determinations which he qualifies as miracles as follows:

According to the researches, the embryo descends to the womb after ten days. It resembles to a human in the 8th week. 50-55 days after arriving in the womb, the embryo becomes a human with everything. However, the ears and eyes start to shape up in the 4th week. 6 weeks later, they become quite distinct.

In one hadith, Prophet (pbuh) states: When forty-two nights pass after the semen gets into the womb, Allah sends the angel and gives him shape. Then he creates his sense of hearing, sense of sight, his skin, his flesh, his bones, and then says: My Lord, would he be male or female?

The Prophet (pbuh) described the event that would be discovered after 1100 years by giving even the correct number of the days; which word can describe this other than the word ‘miracle’?

There is one more fineness in this hadith. Why does the angel ask the gender of the baby? It is very stunning to view the answers of this hadith by the scientific knowledge of today: For, until the forty-second day, even though the embryo’s bones and flesh are completed, and the character and senses are settled, the gender of it is not specified at that time and this was stated perfectly in the hadith 1200 years ago.

The Qur’an also clarifies the implantation process of the human’s blastocyst.

Verse 223 of the chapter al-Baqara  likens the state of the blastocyst in the womb to a seed thrown into ground by saying ‘Your wives are as a tilth unto you’. This verse is also very meaningful. For, as ground conceals seed, the epithelium of the womb conceals the blastocyst which clings to it. And blastocyst immediately starts to generate the fibrils named chorionic villi in order to feed itself. Just like the seeds taking root under the ground in order to feed themselves.

Dr. Moore narrates another astonishing finding of him as follows:

Why do the verses we quoted before mention the shape of the four-week-old human embryo as “chewed flesh” (Mudgha)? When we examine this 4-week-old embryo, named as ‘Mudgha’ by the Qur’an, we see that a patter like a chain of beads appear on it and we noticed with astonishment that the structure actually looked like teeth marks.

We made a model of four-week-old human embryo out of plastic and we chew it, leaving our teeth marks on it. The shape looked extremely like the real embryo and it explained very well why the Qur’an mentioned it as “chewed flesh” (Mudgha).

The conformity between the information given in the Qur’an and the result of the embryological researches today about mudgha does not consist of this only.

The following is stated in verse 14 of the chapter of al-Muminun: “…We made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then We developed out of it another creature…" "These changes, which are stated to have been made in mudgha, were determined to be in the same way as it is stated in the verse as a result of the embryological studies that were made; it was even observed that the organs like the brain and heart started to form in this stage."

The Canadian Professor Keith L. Moore, who attracts attention to the miracles in the Quran and hadiths through a press conference and his books by comparing the findings of the science of embryology today and the Quran and hadiths, states the following as a conclusion:

"I think I will be able to evaluate better the facts of the verses of Quran and hadiths confirmed by today’s exact sciences as my knowledge increases. I believe that the gap that has formed between science and religion for years can be bridged as the truths of the Quran and hadiths are understood."

"This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah" (al-Baqara, 2)

41 How would you interpret the expression "On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear" in verse 286 of the chapter of al-Baqara?

The sun was given as many planets as it could turn; a tree is given as many branches as it could lift; man was given as many hands as he could carry. The burden of a camel is different from that of an ant. Allah did not ask the fish to fly and the lion to swim.

In this world of testing, man was asked to do as much as, in fact, less than he could do as a grace. Everybody can obey the orders of Allah and can avoid committing His prohibitions.

Is the limit of our power performing prayers five times a day and fasting one month? Definitely not!

If people make use of this fact well, show patience, do not weaken their wills by harming them and, finally yet importantly, do not be a burden to one another, they will carry their burdens easily and will pass their tests.  

Various interpretations were made about the verse mentioned above. Many decrees in accordance with the spirit of this verse were made in various branches of science. It was decreed that a person who was not rich would not be held responsible to pay zakah and that a person whose hand or foot was amputated would not be held responsible to wash this organ while making wudu.    

Scholars of creed dealt with the issue of “having power” in terms of “mind (intellect)” and explained a frequently asked question as follows:

“A person who lives in a distant isolated place of the world and who is unaware of social life will be held responsible only for the truths that he can know by his abstract mind.”

Abstract mind can be described as “an unguided mind that has not been informed about divine orders and that has not been addressed by the light of prophethood”. There are various views about the scope that such a mind can cover. According to Imam Maturidi, an imam of creed, man can know with his abstract mind that there is a Creator. This man is held responsible for believing in Allah but he will not be held responsible for the other principles of belief and Islamic decrees.

Imam Ashari, another imam of creed, holds the view that it is not possible for such a person to know Allah with His attributes and names without a prophet and says that such a person will be a person of salvation even if he worships stones.

As it is seen, the main points both imams agree on are as follows: A person is held responsible for what his mind can do in the relevant circumstances.

Question: The following verse is present in the Quran: "Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which Thou didst lay on those before us." However, it is said that Allah does not lay a burden on a person that he cannot carry. Is there a contradiction between these two issues?

It is stated in the verse that Allah will not lay a heavy burden on His slaves. It is added that we need to pray if we make mistakes while fulfilling these burdens so that Allah will not lay us more burdens, which He did not lay on us. For, when Jews made mistakes and committed sins extremely, their burdens were increased. Allah orders us to pray so that the ummah of Muhammad (pbuh) will not be punished like Jews.   

Allah does not lay any burden on a person that will weaken or trouble him. On the contrary, He holds a person responsible for what he can do. A good deed a person does is for him and a bad deed he does is against him. Say,

"Our Lord! Forgive us if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Do not punish us due to our negligence. Our Lord! Do not lay us a burden like the one You laid on Jews and Christians before us. Do not lay us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Forgive our mistakes and blot out our sins. Do not disgrace us. Have mercy on us. You are our friend with Your help. We believe in You and obey You. Give us victory against unbelievers. Make us victorious against those who deny Your oneness and worship idols and other beings. For, we are the believers that are on Your side."

The following is stated in the verse:

"It (the soul) gets every good that it earns and it suffers every ill that it earns."

Abdullah b. Abbas says the deeds that a slave gets are the deeds that he does with his hands and feet.

The following is stated in the verse: "Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error." With this statement, Allah teaches his believing slaves how to pray and beg Him; He says to them,   

"When you want to beg me, say, 'Our Lord! Do not call us to account if we forget or skip a deed that You rendered fard for us or if we do something by mistake that you prohibited us from doing.'"

The Prophet stated the following in a hadith:

"Doubtlessly, Allah removed the responsibility for the things done by mistake, by forgetting and by force from my ummah."

Allah does not lay anybody a burden greater than he has strength to bear; pay attention, ‘does not’, not ‘’cannot’. The burden Allah lays on His slaves is as much as they can carry and much less than it. Allah does not force people to do hard things; He does not compel them to the utmost limit; He does not put them to difficulties; He does not trouble them. The people who are held responsible can fulfill their duties easily with the power given to them. As a matter of fact, Allah states the following in the Quran:    

"Allah intends every facility for you He does not want to put you to difficulties." (al-Baqara, 2/185)

The true religion is easy; there is no difficulty in it. It is not so because Allah does not have the power to encumber such responsibility; it is so because of His grace, generosity and mercy. The power and endurance Allah gives to His slaves is more than the duties He gives them. Thus, after fulfilling their duties, they can rest, travel, work and do other good deeds and charities that were not ordered. What can people do after fulfilling fard duties? For instance, what can they do apart from five daily prayers?

In fact, responsibility means to encumber a burden on the will and each burden necessitates a consumption of energy. Therefore, each responsibility encumbered on him is based on the condition of having power to do it. However, it is also necessary for this burden not to force this power. That is the responsibility of each individual has to be measured by his power and capacity. Therefore, since the power of individuals are different, those with more power and capacity will have more responsibility; justice and equality necessitates this. For instance, a person who has no wealth is not held responsible to pay zakah; the zakah of various rich people will be different too. Some will pay ten while others will pay one hundred based on the degree of their richness. It is contrary to this principle to say everybody will give this amount without taking the wealth of individuals into consideration. Similarly, the relationship of fard al-kifaya, which is related to the ummah as a whole, with individuals is like that.  

Our Lord! Do not lay on us a burden like the one you laid on the ummahs before us. Do not make us like the rebellious ummahs. That is, do not lay on us oppressing, squeezing, hard, heavy and unendurable yokes, severe vows, heavy duties, difficult orders, strict laws, rules and applications; do not put us into difficult situations like transforming individual into apes and pigs. Our Lord! Do not allow hardships, difficulties and pressures to occur in our life!

* * *

The explanations of Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır about verses 285-286 of the chapter of al-Baqara are as follows:

285. The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His Messengers "We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His Messengers." And they say: "We hear and we obey; (We seek) Thy forgiveness, Our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys."

286. On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns and it suffers every ill that it earns. (Pray): "Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which Thou didst lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. Thou art our Protector; help us against those who stand against faith."

SABAB AN-NUZUL (THE REASON FOR REVELATION): According to a narration, when the verse, "…whether ye show what is in your minds or conceal it…" (al-Baqara, 2/284) was sent down, the Companions found it very difficult; they came together and went into the presence of the Messenger of Allah. They said, "O Messenger of Allah! We were ordered deeds like prayer, fasting, jihad and sadaqa, which we were able to do. Now, this verse has been sent down. However, we cannot have power to do it." They mentioned the feelings, thoughts and imaginations that man had in him involuntarily: "We sometimes have such feelings in our hearts that nobody wants them to have even if the whole world is given." The Prophet (pbuh) said to them,

“Do you want to say 'we heard and we disobeyed' like the People of the Book before you? Say, 'We hear and we obey; (We seek) Thy forgiveness, Our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.'”

They started to say it together; their tongues and hearts got used to it as they read. Then, the verse beginning with (Amanar-Rasulu...) was sent down. Thus, since they prayed and begged Allah and took refuge in Him by asking for forgiveness, the verse beginning with (La yukallifullahu...) was sent down after a while. Thus, their worries were eliminated when they were informed that they would not be called to account for the things that they cannot do and that are beyond their power.  

It means the Companions thought about all aspects, secret and open, of the verse "Whether ye show what is in your minds or conceal it, Allah calleth you to account for it" and feared the possibility that the responsibility encumbered by this verse could include the thoughts and feelings that could come to mind; they thought this verse encumbered them a responsibility beyond their power and they decreed that it should not have been so; they asked the Prophet to interpret this verse in any case.  However, when they were ordered to obey unconditionally, to ask for forgiveness and to beg, they obeyed it. Despite the inevitable worry and fear, they surrendered to divine responsibility and the order of the Prophet and accepted it without any objections. Allah praised their perfect belief, obedience and humble begging by uttering "Rabbana, Rabbana (our Lord, our Lord)" and taking refuge in Him. He encouraged and supported them to pray like that by praising them. In addition, He reveals His grace and mercy after a while and complements them: "On no soul doth Allah place a burden greater than it can bear." He sent a decree based on wishes and needs and eliminated their worry originating from the responsibility of imagination and thought, which caused them to feel agony. This is always the result of obedience to Allah and taking refuge in Him. Obedience eliminates delusion and worry.

According to what is reported from Hasan, Mujahid and Ibn Sirin and in another narration from Ibn Abbas, these last two verses, which begin with (Amanar-Rasulu...) were not sent down through Jibril; the Messenger of Allah heard them directly on the night of Miraj (Ascension). Therefore, the chapter of al-Baqara was sent down in Madinah but these two verses were sent down before as an exception. However, in another narration, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Jubayr, Dahhak and Ata said,"They were sent down in Madinah through Jibril."


When Hz Prophet prayed with these verses, it is narrated in Muslim and Tirmidhi that Allah said, "All right! I accepted." (Muslim, Iman, 199, 200; Tirmidhi, Tafsir, 2/38-40). We will see the answers given to these prayers in various aspects in the chapters to come; one of them will be the chapter of Aal-i Imran, which will start as an answer to this prayer of victory.  

The following is stated in a hadith reported from Abdullah b. Mas'ud in Kutub as-Sitta:

"If a person reads these two verses from the chapter of al-Baqara, they are enough for him."

In a hadith that Hakim and Bayhaqi reported from Abu Dharr, the Messenger of Allah said,

"Allah ended the chapter of al-Baqara with two verses; He gave them to me from a treasure under the Throne. Learn them and teach them to your women and children. For, they are both prayers (supplications) and verses of the Quran." (Ahmad b. Hanbal, IV/147, 151, V/180, 383; Darimi, Fadailul-Qur’an, 14)

The following was reported from Hz. Umar and Hz. Ali: "I did not see a sane person who slept without reading the last two verses of the chapter of al-Baqara." (Darimi, Fadailul-Qur’an, 14)

There is a narration from Abu Maysara:"Jibril advised the Prophet to say 'amin' at the end of the chapter of al-Baqara."

May Allah Almighty make us among the slaves who hear, understand and act in accordance with the meanings of these prayers (duas) and who receive their shares abundantly from the grants and graces promised by Allah Almighty! Amin.

42 Will you explain the following verse? "... Say: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death..." (Aal-i Imran, 3/154)

"After (the excitement) of the distress, He sent down calm on a band of you, to overcome with slumber while another band was stirred to anxiety by their own feelings, moved by wrong suspicions of Allah, suspicions due to Ignorance. They said: "What affair is this of ours?" say thou: "indeed this affair is wholly Allah's." They hide in their minds what they dare not reveal to thee. They say (to themselves): "If we had anything to do with this affair we should not have been in the slaughter here." Say: Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death"; but (all this was) that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts: for Allah knoweth well the secrets of your hearts." (Aal-i Imran, 3/154)

Ajal (appointed time of death) does not change. When the appointed time of death for man comes, he will die no matter where he is. In return for the statement of munafiqs (hypocrites) "we would not have died if we had not took part in the war", the verse expresses the reality that when the appointed time of death for man comes, he will die no matter where he is in order to warn the munafiqs.

Man cannot make comments about qadar (destiny) since he does not know it. However, since Allah knows the qadar of everything, He has the right to talk about their future.

Some munafiqs regretted having taken part in the war together with the believers. They said to one another, “If we had been in administration and they had acted in accordance with our views, we would not have been so terrible and fewer people would have died.” Thus, they accused the Prophet (pbuh) and demoralized the believers.

Say, O, Muhammad! 'Indeed this affair is wholly Allah's.' Then, the victory (superiority) belongs to Allah and His friends in the end.

"It is the party of Allah that must certainly triumph." (al-Maida, 5/56)

Or, the whole Badr belongs to him. Whatever he preordained in his divine qadar will take place. O Muhammad! Those munafiqs hide in their minds what they dare not reveal to you.

It is said that they regretted having taken part in the war together with the believers. They said to one another, "If we had anything to do with this affair we should not have been in the slaughter here." They say there are two ajals; they think normal causes can affect and change the divine will.

The word "amr" is the singular form of either the word "umur" or the word "awamir"; therefore, it may mean several things. On the one hand, it may mean objection to the prophethood of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) promised to him by Allah on certain conditions; on the other hand, there exists the idea of revolution by finding the order and wish of the Prophet wrong due to rejecting the view of Abdullah b. Ubayy about not leaving Madinah, by intervening in the administration at a level higher than consultation and by regarding the style of the administration of the Prophet as tyranny. When those munafiqs talked to one another, they had this view but they could not express it. As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah had asked Abdullah b. Ubayy to take part in the consultation before the war.

Secondly, the Prophet narrated the dream he had seen and expressed the same view but since the majority of the consultation committee insisted on leaving Madinah, that view was accepted. Accordingly, the statement of the munafiqs "if we had anything to do with this affair..." by attributing a kind of tyranny to him was their distorting the truth in the form of slander.

Thirdly, this incident showed that it was not appropriate in terms of wisdom to include the munafiqs in the consultation committee. For, Abdullah b. Ubayy tried to cause insurgency in the army by learning the precautions about the war because his view was not accepted, making him feel it beneath his dignity. Therefore, as it was explained above, the following verse was sent down:

"O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks." (Aali Imran, 3/118)

The divine order "Say, 'Indeed this affair is wholly Allah's.' was shown as the truth from this viewpoint. Besides, the order "and consult them in affairs (of moment)" (Aali Imran, 3/159) was yet to come in order to state that there is no tyranny in affairs related to Islam..

Their claim we should not have been in the slaughter here was answered by the following statement in the verse: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death." That is, "O Muhammad! say, 'If you had not come to Uhud and stayed at home (that is in Madinah), those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death; they would have been killed." For, it is not possible to return and change Allah's preordainment. Therefore, it is necessary not to think of bad things about Allah.

Allah did so not because he did not help the believers but in order to test you for wisdom and good things, especially to test the sincerity and mischief in you and in order to purify and clean the hidden things, delusions, doubts and sins in your hearts. It is necessary to know that Allah knows the secrets and hidden things in hearts. The reason why he tests people is not because of not knowing. There is a secret of choosing by our Lord in this test, through which believers form a habit and the state of munafiqs is revealed.

43 Why does Allah want us to pray for our parents?

The translation of the relevant verses are as follows:

"Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.’" (al-Isra, 17/23-24)

In fact, it is stated at the beginning of the verse that it is necessary to fulfill their legitimate wishes and to treat them well with the order “Be kind to parents!” For, the words “ihsan” mentioned in the verse is beyond obedience and it includes obedience too.

We are ordered to act toward them more sensitively after that especially when they get old and to treat them well in five degrees:

1. Do not regard serving them as burdensome; do not say a word of contempt to them.

2. Do not repel them.

3. Tell them sweet and soft words.

4. Lower to them wing of humility with kindness.

5. Pray as follows: My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood!'

In the first four levels, how to treat them is summarized in all aspects. Finally, we are ordered to pray for them. This means to ask Allah to show mercy to them. 

The following hadith shows the importance and acceptance of the prayer made by children for their parents:

"When a person dies, no further reward is recorded for his actions except for three things: Sadaqa (charity) which continues, knowledge from which people benefit, righteous child who prays for him." (Darimi, Muqaddima, 46)

“My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood!” Thereare a few issues about the order to pray in the verse: 

Firstly: In addition to teaching how to tell sweet words to parents, Allah adds how to treat them well actually.

This is as follows: A child prays to Allah for his parents and asks His mercy for them by saying, "My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy!"

The word mercy includes all kinds of good things related to both religious and worldly issues.

After that, Allah orders the sun to say, "as they cherished me in childhood", that is, "My Lord! Treat them with mercy as they treated me well when they brought me up!"

Secondly: In principle, a child cannot pray for his unbelieving parents. Therefore, one cannot pray for his parents who died as unbelievers. However, if his unbelieving parents are alive, he can ask Allah to guide them, to make them Muslims and to ask for divine mercy for them after they become Muslims.

Thirdly: The apparent meaning of the order is that it is fard. The phrase "My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy" is an order. The apparent meaning of the order does not express repetition.

Therefore, according to the decree of this verse, to utter this statement once is enough (in terms of fulfilling the order). Sufyan was asked how often a person should pray for his parents, every day, once a month, once a year, etc. He said, "We hope that his prayers after at-tahiyyat at the end of the prayers will be enough."

After this order to pray, Allah says, "Your Lord knoweth best what is in your hearts." This statement means as follows: "In that verse, we ordered you to worship only for Allah and to treat your parents well. Allah is aware of the intentions and thoughts you have in your hearts in terms of being sincere while obeying the orders. Know it well that Allah knows what is in your hearts. He knows them even better than you do. For, man can sometimes forget, make mistakes and cannot understand some things fully. However, Allah's knowledge is free from those states.

In that case, it means "He knows what is in your hearts better."

After that, Allah states the following: "If ye do deeds of righteousness, verily He is Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him again and again (in true penitence)."

This statement means as follows: "If you keep away from mischief in your hearts, you will be the people who refer to Allah and turn toward him in all your affairs. Allah's custom about such people is to pardon them and to forgive their sins."

The purpose of this verse is as follows:

The first verse shows that it is fard to obey and show respect to parents in terms of all aspects; however, then, it says, "Your Lord knoweth best what is in your hearts" because a person can sometimes do things that will harm his obedience to his parents. It means: "He knows the states of your hearts. If those mistakes occur due to human weaknesses and as a result of your nature, not with the intention of disobedience to your parents, they can be forgiven." (see Razi, Mafatih, the interpretation of the relevant verses.)

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Why is being kind to parents mentioned in the Quran but obedience to them is not mentioned?

MOTHER-FATHER (their rights, obedience to them)

They are the founders of the family, which is the foundation of the structure of the community, and the two most important elements of it.

One of the five things that Allah wants people to protect is the continuation of human species. Allah based the continuation of species on certain laws based on the abilities and structures of living beings. The living being that faces the most difficulties to continue its species is human. Man is the strongest living being but it is one of the weakest ones when he is born. Some baby animals stand up as soon as they are born and some of them after a little while and act independently but man can stand up and act independently after a few years. Those who face these difficulties for the continuation of human species are parents. The mother carries the baby in her womb for nine months, faces a lot of difficulties but gives birth to her child facing vital dangers. She sacrifices her sleep, rest and health in order to bring up her baby, who cannot do anything on his own. As a matter of fact, Allah states the following:

"And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), ‘Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.’" (Luqman, 31/14). The father works very hard and in an unyielding manner to meet the needs of his family and the child; he sometimes does not eat but makes them eat; he does not buy clothes for himself but buys for his family. When the child becomes ill, the parents feel restless. They prefer the child’s comfort to theirs. This tiresome process lasts about twenty or thirty years in various stages and forms. Furthermore, the care parents take for their children lasts lifelong.

This relationship of rights and duties originating from the love and respect Allah created between parents and their children is an indispensable condition for the undegenerate, healthy and sound continuation of human species.

We can list the rights of parents on children as follows:

1. Obedience (respect): The most important duties of children to their parents are to obey them and to fulfill their requests that are not haram. Allah Almighty states the following: "We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not." (al-Ankabut, 29/8) This verse was sent down about Sa'd b. Ab Waqqas, one of the Companions. Hz. Sa'd narrates the incident as follows: "I was a child that respected and obeyed my mother. When I became a Muslim, my mother said to me,

-O Sa'd! What is this? Either you leave this new religion or I will not eat or drink anything until I die. Then, you will be condemned as "the killer of his mother!" I said, "Mum! Do not do like that. Know it very well that I will not abandon this religion!" I waited for two days. She did not eat or drink. Thereupon, I said,

"By Allah, if I had 100 lives and I lost them one by one, I would not abandon my religion. It is up to you to eat or not to eat." When she saw my determination, she gave up her obstinacy. Thereupon, the verse above was sent down. (Tecrîd-i Sarîh Tercümesi, XII, 121 )

The Prophet stated the following in a hadith: "Allah has forbidden you to disobey your mothers." (Bukhari, Adab, 4)

As it is understood from the verses and hadiths mentioned above, it is the order of Allah to fulfill the wishes and requests of parents and not to oppose them. However, if one’s parents order him to oppose Allah, to deny Him, not to do something He rendered fard and to do things that He rendered haram, their wishes are not fulfilled. For, it is not permissible to obey people even if they are one’s parents if it necessitates disobedience to Allah.

2. To treat parents well. Allah states the following while listing man’s duties toward others:

"Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honor. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: ‘My Lord! Bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.’"(al-Isra, 17/23-24)

When a Companion asked the Prophet three times, "Whom shall I do favors?", he said "to your mother" three times and “to your father” to the answer to the fourth question. (Bukhari, Adab, 2; Muslim, Birr, 1)

Even if the parents have not done enough favors to their children and even if they have harmed them from time to time, their children have to treat them well. For, as people get old, they start to act like children. They smiled and tolerated when we did bad and wrong things in our childhood; therefore, when they are in need of us, it is our duty of gratitude to treat them well as they did to us.

3. To meet their material needs. It is the duty of the children to meet all needs of their parents when they get old and when cannot meet their own needs. This duty is not only ethical but also legal. A person who does not fulfill this duty is forced by the Islamic administration. Allah gives this duty to children: "They ask thee what they should spend (In charity). Say: Whatever ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred and orphans and those in want and for wayfarers. And whatever ye do that is good, -Allah knoweth it well." (al-Baqara, 2/215)

Abud-Darda, one of the Companions, said that the Prophet (pbuh) recommended him nine important things and that one of them was to meet the needs of all family members including his parents. (Bukhari, al-Adabul-Mufrad, 9) The Prophet sent a Companion who wanted to take part in jihad back to his parents because they needed him. (Bukhari, al-Adabul-Mufrad, 9)

4. Not show disrespect. A principle of the Islamic ummah is to show respect to the elderly and love to the younger. Those who deserve respect the most and about whom we should never think of any disrespect are parents. Once the Prophet (pbuh) said to his Companions,

-"Shall I tell you about the biggest sin?" He asked this question three times. They said three times, "O Messenger of Allah! Yes." He said, "To associate partners with Allah, to disobey one’s parents, to kill a person unjustly and to tell lies." (Bukhari, Adab, 6)

A Companion said to the Prophet (pbuh), "I left my parents crying and came here to migrate with your order." The Prophet (pbuh) said to him,

-"Go back to them. Make them laugh and happy as you made them cry." Thus, he sent him back to his parents, who had not become Muslims yet.

5. Receive their consent. The greatest duty of man in the world is to receive Allah’s consent. After Him, the people whose consent we need to receive are our parents. For, as it is seen in the verses above, Allah ordered us to do favors to our parents after worshipping Him. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "Allah's consent is based on father’s consent; and His wrath is based on father’s wrath." (Bukhari, al-Adabul-Mufrad, 1; Tirmidhi, Birr, 3) The same thing is also valid for the mother, who comes before the father in terms of doing favors.

Once, the Prophet (pbuh) said angrily "Let him be humbled into dust!" three times. The Companions asked, "O Messenger of Allah! Who is that?" He said,

"He who sees either of his parents during their old age or he sees both of them, but he does not enter Paradise and goes to Hell." (Muslim, Birr, 9)

According to what Abdullah b. Amr b. al-As narrates, a man came to the Prophet (pbuh) and asked permission to go to jihad. The Prophet said, "Are your parents alive?" The man said, "Yes." The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said, "Try to receive their consent first." Thus, he reminded the man of this duty. (Tecrid-i Sarih Tercümesi, VIII, 377).

6. Not to say bad words. It is necessary to avoid any bad words and deeds that will sadden them. It is haram to say bad words to them and it is also haram to cause any bad words to be said to them. Along with Allah's prohibition, "do not say to them a word of contempt", the following hadith of the Prophet is also remarkable:

"It is one of the greatest sins that a man should curse his parents."

-The Companions asked, "How does a man curse his parents?"

-The Prophet (pbuh) said, "'The man abuses somebody and that person abuses his parents." (Bukhari, Adab, 4)

7. To mention them with their good aspects when they die and to pray for them. Our responsibilities do not end when our parents die. It is necessary to continue their clean memories. What makes man a man is these nice feelings and memories that continue from generation to generation as inheritance. The following hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) expresses this fact: "Love is achieved through inheritance." (Bukhari, al-Adabul-Mufrad, 22) Thus, a connection of love is established between grandparents and their grandchildren. Allah teaches us to mention them with good things and to pray Allah for their forgiveness in the Quran as follows: "O our Lord! Cover (us) with Thy Forgiveness - me, my parents, and (all) Believers, on the Day that the Reckoning will be established!" (Ibrahim, 14/41)

A Companion asked the Prophet (pbuh), "Are there any good things that I should do for my parents after they die?" He answered as follows:

"Yes, there are four good things:

Supplication for them, asking forgiveness for them, fulfilling their pledges, and being generous to friends of theirs. You only have ties of kinship through your parents. (Bukhari, al-Adabul-Mufrad, 19)

The Prophet (pbuh) expresses the benefit of the prayer made for parents after their death as follows:  "When a person dies, no further reward is recorded for his actions except for three things: Sadaqa (charity) which continues, knowledge from which people benefit, righteous child who prays for him." (Bukhari, al-Adabul-Mufrad, 19).

In addition, it is among our duties to treat them well and to avoid doing any bad deeds to them.

A person who fulfills his duties toward his parents when they are alive and after they die, who pleases them and makes them pray for him attains one of the greatest blisses of the world and the hereafter. For, the Prophet (pbuh) states that such people will have a blessed, long life, that the prayers their parents make for them will definitely be accepted by Allah and that they will deserve to go to Paradise.

Hz. Prophet (pbuh) states how big the responsibilities of children toward their parents are as follows:

"A child cannot repay his father unless he finds him as a slave, buys him and sets him free." (Bukhari, al-Adabul-Mufrad, 6)

It is among our ethical duties to love our parents, who made great efforts for us and to whom we owe a lot, and to change their love with anything else. This duty is fulfilled by showing respect, compassion and mercy to them when they are alive and by trying to please them. We should not forget that real love of parents does not consist of saying, "I love my mother and my father" only and that this love can be proved by fulfilling our duties toward them.

According to a hadith reported from Burayd, a man carried his mother on his shoulders and circumambulated the Kaaba with her. Then, he approached the Messenger of Allah and said,

"-Have I repaid for what she has done for me?" The Messenger of Allah said,

"-No, not even for a breath that she took and gave when she was pregnant with you."

It is clear that this description, which is full of compassion, encourages people to thank their parents.

Abdullah b. Mas'ud (r.a.) asked Hz. Prophet (pbuh):

"-O Messenger of Allah! What deed is the best?" The Messenger of Allah said,

"- The prayer performed on time."

Abdullah b. Mas'ud asked again:

"-What is next?" He answered:

"-Doing favors to your parents." He asked again:

"- What is next?" He answered:

"-Fighting in the way of Allah."

To sum up, it is necessary to do favors and treat our parents, to meet all of their material needs if they are in need, not to sayeven “a word of contempt” to them, to talk sweetly to them, to respond to them with nice words and attitudes, not to sadden them and not to show any signs of weariness to them. It is the duty of children to avoid any words that will break their hearts, to try to attain their consent regarding all issues, to please them, to serve them when they get old, and to ensure their treatment when they are ill. To serve them when they are ill or crippled is a deed that opens doors to Paradise.


44 Verse 147 of the chapter of as-Saaffat: "And We sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more." What does the word "or" mean here? How should we understand it, 100.000 or more?

"And We sent him to a hundred thousand, rather they exceeded." (as-Saaffat, 37/147)

It is possible to translate this verse as follows too: “And We sent him (on a mission) to a hundred thousand (men) or more.” If Allah had wished, He would have mentioned the exact number of those people. The purpose is this: "If somebody had entered that place, he would have guessed that there were a hundred thousand or more people.”

The people of Nineveh are mentioned by «a hundred thousand or more». God Almighty says, «We sent him to a hundred thousand or more ». What is meant by sending is the first one. That is, sending Hz. Yunus to them before he entered the stomach of the fish.

«And they believed»; that is, they believed after Hz. Yunus left them, not just after he was sent to them.  

According to the narration from Ibn Abbas, the conjunction «aw» (or) in the verse means «bal» (no). Some scholars say the conjunction «aw» means «wa» (and). Besides, Jafar bin Muhammad al-Baqır recited it like that (with waw).

According to some scholars, the word «aw» here aims to cause the addressee not to know the exact number. Mubarrid and the majority of Basra scholars said, «The word aw expresses doubt here.» This doubt is in question for a person who sees them. That is, somebody who sees them has a doubt about their number and says, «They are a hundred thousand or more.» According to a narration from Ibn Abbas, the part that is more than a hundred thousand is thirty thousand. In another narration of him, it is a bit more than 30.000 and in yet another narration, it is a bit more than 40.000.

45 How should we understand the verse “If anyone withdraws himself from remembrance of (Allah) Most Gracious (ar-Rahman)...”?

- The translation of the relevant verse is as follows:

“If anyone withdraws himself from remembrance of (Allah) Most Gracious (ar-Rahman), We appoint for him an evil one, to be an intimate companion to him.” (az-Zukhruf, 43/36)

What is meant by the word “dhikr (remembrance)” in the verse is the Quran. A person who indulges in worldly interests like wealth, property, post and rank, and does not seek anything else, he cannot see the Quran or pretends not to see it and becomes blind to the Quran. (Razi, ibid)

“(Allah) Most Gracious! It is He Who has taught the Qur´an.” (ar-Rahman, 55/1-2)

When the first verse is viewed together with the verse above, it is understood better that what is meant by the “dhikr” here is the Quran. For, that the name “Rahman” is mentioned in both verses shows that the “dhikr” here is the Quran.

- As it is known, man’s thought, idea, mind and feelings cannot be occupied with many things at the same time. If he becomes occupied with one thing, he will have to ignore others.

Accordingly, the verse teaches us the following lesson: If a person withdraws himself from our remembrance/Quran, if he virtually pretends to be blind and overlooks it, we will appoint for him a devil that will always keep him busy with bad things and that will prevent him from learning the truth.

- Similarly, there are two centers in man’s heart: quwwa al-malakiyya (angelic power) on the right and lumma ash-shaytaniyya (satanic spot) on the left. Man receives suggestions from those two centers. The angels send inspiration and the devils send delusions and bad suggestions.

If a person tries to seek Allah’s consent in a way that fits a slave, the angels will help him do it.

If he prefers a bad way, he will be exposed to the suggestions of the devil.

Nice thoughts and true ideas open the way for the angels and bad thoughts open the way for the devils.

That fact is indicated in the verse in the question. That is, if a person pretends to be blind to the truths of the Quran and overlooks them, the door to be opened to his world of thought will belumma ash-shaytaniyya. After that, he will have to hear and listen to the satanic messages coming from that door and act accordingly.

46 How can the hardening of the hearts and the movement of the rocks mentioned in verse 74 of the chapter of al-Baqara be explained?

The interpretation of the relevant verse is as follows:

Attention is attracted to the beneficial outcomes about Sons of Israel, whose stubborn characters that worshipped the wrong and whose hearts were softened about revival after death with these mysterious phenomena as follows:

"O Sons of Israel! Your hearts hardened after these incidents. The prophets and the verses and miracles sent through them were of no use to you; your hearts became like stone or harder than stone. For, there are some stonesfrom which rivers (can) gush forth due to divine or natural forces. Your hearts are not affected by anything; therefore, no goodness comes out of them."

"There are some stones which crack and from which water gushes forth or leaks; there are also some stones which fall, roll down and move due to fear of Allah by being affected by incidents like rain, hurricane and earthquake, which are the outcomes of divine power.However, your hearts are not affected at all from clear verses of revelation and definite explanations; they are not influenced by incentives and threats. However, Allah is not unaware of what you do." (see Elmalılı, Hak Dini, ilgili ayetin tefsiri)

47 Will you explain the verse "Ud'uni astajib lakum/Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer)" (al-Mu'min, 40/60)?

Badiuzzaman Said Nursi explains the issue as follows:

“If you say: We frequently offer supplications, but they are not accepted. But the verse is general, it states that every supplication is answered.

To answer is one thing, to accept is something quite different. Every supplication is answered, but its being accepted and exactly what was sought being given is dependent on Almighty Allah’s wisdom. For example, if a sick child calls the doctor, saying: 'Doctor! Doctor!', and he replies: 'Here I am, what do you want?', and the child says: 'Give me that medicine!', the doctor will either give him exactly what he asks for or something better and more beneficial for him. Or knowing that medicine is harmful for his illness, he will give him nothing.

Thus, since Almighty Allah is all-present and all-seeing, He responds to the supplications of His servants. Through His presence and response, He transforms the desolation of loneliness and solitude into familiarity. But He does this, not in accordance with man’s capricious and importunate demands, but in accordance with the requirements of dominical wisdom; He gives either what is sought or what is better than it, or He gives nothing at all." (Sözler, Yirmi Üçüncü Söz (Words, Twenty-third Word))

There are also hadiths regarding the issue; the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said the following in the hadith reported from Abu Hurayra:

“The prayer of each one of you is accepted unless you hurry. However, there are some people who hurry by saying, 'I prayed to my Lord but He did not accept my prayer.'

Another narration of Muslim is as follows:

“The prayer of a slave is accepted unless he demands something sinful, or the severing of the ties of kinship.”

The narration in Tirmidhi is as follows:

“There is not a Muslim upon the earth who calls upon Allah with any supplication, except that Allah grants it to him, or he turns away from him the like of it in evil; as long as he does not supplicate for something sinful, or the severing of the ties of kinship.” (Tirmidhi, Daawat 145)

As it is understood from the hadith, man's prayer is accepted unless he wants things that are regarded as sin and haram.

...Your Lord said, 'Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer).' Sinceboth prayer (dua) and worshipping are mentioned, dua needs to be interpreted as worshipping or worshipping needs to be interpreted as dua; tafsir scholars explained it in two ways. The first one, dua means worshipping in many places in the Quran; so, it means worship me and I will give you thawabs and rewards. According to this interpretation reported from Ibn Abbas, Dahhak and Mujahid, "demanding" is not done only by the tongue but it is also necessary "to demand by deeds". Thus, the following explanation will be appropriate for the meaning: For, those who turn away from worshipping, that is, those who do not want to worship Me because of their conceit, they will definitely go to Hell in an abased and despised state. Secondly, "Beg me so that I will give you" means ask from meso that I will give you; this is what is reported from Suddi and understood at first sight. However, according to this, worshipping needs to be interpreted as dua. 

The subtlety in expressing it in two ways aims to express that dua necessitates worshipping; on the one hand, dua is like the bone marrow of worshipping; on the other hand, worshipping is one of the conditions for dua to be accepted.   

This order of dua is very important and remarkable. First, the expression of man's partial free will and the rejection of force exist here. Whether in the sense of worshipping or dua, asking/demanding is ordered in both of them; it was laid as a condition for the slave to want so that Allah will give him in return. It is such a condition that when the condition lacks, the thing to which condition is attributed will lack; therefore, the warning "to enter Hell" is introduced. Then, order is for the necessity; as for the issue whether every prayer is accepted or not, it is based on demanding as it is understood from the following verse:

"Nay― On Him would ye call, and if it be his Will He would remove (the distress) which occasioned your call upon Him." (al-An'am, 6/41)

What is understood from here is that conditional postulate is not universal but ignored.

"To Him mount up (all) Words of Purity: it is He Who exalts each Deed of Righteousness." (Fatir, 35/10)

According to the meaning of the verse above, it is also based on some conditions of acceptance. Therefore, it is mentioned with worshipping here. The following is reported in Kashshaf from Ka'b:

"Allah gave this ummah three properties that He did not give them to anybody in the past except His prophets. He said to every prophet, "You are My witness over people." He said to this ummah, "That you might be witnesses over the nations." (al-Baqara, 2/143)

"There can be no difficulty to the Prophet in what Allah has indicated to him as a duty." (al-Ahzab, 33/38)

According to the meaning of the verse above, He said, "There is no difficulty to you."He said to this ummah,

"Allah does not wish to place you in a difficulty." (al-Maida, 5/6)

He said, "Pray to me; I will answer your prayer." He said to this ummah,

"Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer)." (al-Mumin, 40/60)"

"Beg me; I will answer your prayer" takes place as follows: Call me so that I will answer you. It means as follows: Demand Me from me and I will answer you; you will find Me; he who finds Me finds everything. For, the following is stated in the Quran:

"Verily, when He intends a thing, His command is "Be" and it is." (Yasin, 36/82)

This is the prayer that is not rejected. As a matter of fact, the following is stated in some hadiths: "He who demands me finds me." Those who act conceitedly and does not worship me, that is, does not pray to me and demand from Me, will be away from Me and will be abased and despised in the Hell of deprivation. (Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır, Hak Dini Kur'an Dili, The interpretation of the relevant verse)

48 Are the concepts "humaza" and "lumaza" in the chapter of al-Humaza related to the rich? Piling up wealth is mentioned in the verses.

1. Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and-backbiter,

(That is, those who talk behind people’s back and criticize them, who despise them and who make fun of them with gestures and facial expressions.)

2. Who pileth up wealth and layeth it by.

(It is understood from this verse that this sarcastic attitude originates from being rich. Both piling up wealth and counting it one by one and boasting describe clearly worshipping wealth and not spending it on needy people and charity for the sake of Allah, who gave him this wealth.)

3. Thinking that his wealth would make him last for ever.

4. By no means!  (He should give up this dream. His wealth will not save him.) He will be sure to be thrown into That which Breaks to Pieces.

5. And what will explain to thee That which Breaks to Pieces?

6-7. (It is) the Fire of (the Wrath of) Allah kindled (to a blaze), The which doth mount (Right) to the Hearts.

(The word fuad in the verse translated as heart is used for the spiritual faculty that is the center of belief, thought, idea, feeling, etc., not for the material heart that sends blood and life to the material body. Something covering the whole heart shows the severity of the wrath.)

8-9. It shall be made into a vault over them, In columns outstretched.


In the chapter, the type of a person who makes fun of believers, looks down on and condemns people, defames their chastity and honor, despises believers by mocking them because of his property, wealth and social status is mentioned. It is a type that gives importance to people based on their property, wealth, social status and rank. The chapter explains the evil of a person who tries to pile up wealth with might and main, boasts about his piling, makes plans as if he will remain in the world forever and hence does not have any time to do things for the hereafter.

It is stated in the chapter that the person who thinks his wealth will make him eternal, who predicts that his wealth will eternalize him and who hopes that his reckoning in the hereafter will be easier thanks to his wealth will go to Hell.

It is stated in the chapter of al-Asr that people are in loss. In this chapter, which follows it, some characteristics of those who are in loss are mentioned. It is stated that people with those characteristics will be thrown into fire. Who are those people to be thrown into fire?

Yes, the chapter is named after the word "humaza" in the first verse and the rhyme of the verses is “a(h)”. "Humaza" is used in the sense of backbiting. The words "humaza lumaza" are two words whose meanings are very close two each other in Arabic; they are sometimes used interchangeably. There is so little difference between them that even the Arabs who have a good command in Arabic say lumaza when they define humaza. In that case, the meaning is as follows:

A person who is used to despising and looking down on people points at some people with his finger and indicates others with his words. He denigrates others due to their status. He disparages yet others. He says some bad things right to the face of some people and backbites others. He causes conflicts and trouble between friends by acting as a talebearer; he sows discord between brothers. He gives names to some people, makes fun of them and displays their deficiencies.

This chapter reflects one of the real descriptions of real life in the first years of Islam. Besides, it describes an example that can be seen in any community and age. A simple and mean person is described and the attitudes and states of such people are narrated; thus, it is emphasized how poor they are. He is one of the wicked people who have a wealth and who are enslaved by their wealth, thinking that the only thing that matters in the world is wealth and regarding everything else inferior compared to wealth. In addition, he thinks this wealth is a god that has power over everything and that can do anything it wants. Thus, he thinks death will never come and that he will live forever. He thinks he will escape from the reckoning and penalty in the hereafter, if there is, thanks to his wealth.

Thus, this mean person (and the people like him) counts his wealth and takes pleasure as he counts it. A bad feeling in him leads him to defame people’s honor, backbite and mock them. This description is a disgusting, ugly and mean description of human soul deprived of personality and belief. Islam hates those wicked and mean souls since it gives importance to high ethics. Therefore, Islam forbids mocking and making fun of others. It refuses condemning people in various places. That those deeds are mentioned as ugly and disgusting along with threats shows that some polytheists treated the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and the believers like that in that age. This was applied against them in the past and it is applied against the Muslims of today in the same way.

1. “Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and-backbiter!”

Woe to every Humaza and Lumaza! Let every Hammaz and Lammaz go to Wayl in Hell! Humaza and Lumaza, Hammaz and Lammaz are words that are similar to each other in meaning. It is said thatHumaza means to hurt people with words and Lumaza with deeds.Or, Humaza means to backbite people to defame their honor and dignity in their absence; Lumaza means to be used to making fun of people in their presence with mimics and bodily gestures, despising and disturbing them. Both words show that those deeds are done a lot like a habit.

Let every Hammaz and Lammaz, who defame people’s honor and dignity in both their absence and presence, hurt and disturb them, talk behind people’s back, act as talebearers, backbite them, gnaw people’s honor and dignity, give people names that they will not like and that will offend them, look for people’s mistakes, try to reveal their private affairs, laugh and make others laugh by acting like a buffoon and a clown, and who make a habit of them, go to Hell! Woe to them! That is what our Lord says.

Our Lord mentions a tyrant who looks down on Muslims and who is arrogant. He is a person that despises people, despises them and makes fun of them by relying on his wealth. In fact, all tyrants who rely on their property and wealth and who are proud of their ranks and status and who look down on the believers who do not have property and wealth deserve Allah’s Hell and actually live in Hell in this world. No matter how arrogant they are, they do not actually have anything that they can be proud of and that they love. However, it is shown to them as ornamented. They only have a worldly life. Let them live here. As soon as they die, they will go to Hell. It is necessary to pity them but we have no right to pity them. They live in misery; they will go to Hell as soon as they die; they will find themselves in a great torture.

All of their pleasures and entertainment will be what they enjoyed in the world only. However, it is strange that they look down on believers and make fun of them. We, Muslims, must never be affected by their mocking. We must never envy them. We should see them as pitiable people. We should say to them that they are actually in a pitiable position; we should never feel in our heart that we should be like them. We should never long for a life like that of theirs. For, we have knowledge, wisdom, dignity, honor, intellect, foresight, book and guidance. In spite of this, almost all of us are influenced somehow due the propaganda of those poor people. We should get rid of them and save ourselves from the inferiority complex in the face of those tyrants.

We see that they despise the believers who do not tend to the world, do not make the world their qiblah, do not be grabbed by the temporary things of the world, who believe in the existence of the hereafter, who invest for the hereafter and hence who do not have as much wealth as theirs. They despise the poor people who cannot obtain as much wealth as theirs because they give importance to the hereafter in the first place and because they try to attain their Lord’s consent. For, the criterion for superiority-inferiority for those men is the world, the ornaments of the world. According to them, those who have worldly possessions are superior people. All of their plans and programs are for the world. Those who do not prefer to be slaves of the world, worldly possessions, money, ranks and positions but who prefer to be their masters and who try to realize lofty ideals in the world are superior in the eye of Allah but inferior in their eye. They make fun of such people. Let them regard themselves superior and console themselves with it; however, listen to what Allah says:

“They are the worst of creatures.” (al-Bayyina, 98/6)

They are the vilest and meanest people in the world. However, the world is shown to be beautiful to them; therefore, they try to draw the people like us whom they affect to the hegemony of the sacredness of their dirty world. They try to draw us to their hell by addressing us as follows: “O Muslims! Come and be like us if you want to be saved from the bad situation you are in. Think like us and live like us.” However, we will not be deceived by their tricks inshallah. No matter how much they regard us inferior based on wealth, Allah states the following in the chapter of al-Baqara:

“But the righteous will be above them on the Day of Resurrection; for Allah bestows His abundance without measure on whom He will.” (al-Baqara, 2/212)

Muslims are not superior only in the hereafter; they are also superior in this world. Muslims are superior to unbelievers in both the world and the hereafter.

2. “Who pileth up wealth and layeth it by.”

This man piles up wealth and counts it all the time. Yes, this man is rich and has a wealth. His arrogance originates from this. He believes that abundance of property and wealth is a reason for superiority. However, abundance of wealth has no superiority in terms of belief. Abundance of wealth has no superiority in the eye of Allah. However, those kinds of people who do not regard the criterion of Allah as valuable pile up wealth and count it because they believe that wealth is a reason for superiority.

We try to understand the deed of counting here as follows: That person collected goods to pile up, counted them and did not spend them in the way of Allah. Or, he did not have enough time to think of the deeds of worship that Allah wanted from him because he was always busy with piling up wealth and thinking about it day and night. He did not have time to do other things because he made collecting property and goods his dhikr. That is, to collect and pile up goods and to count them became his dhikr. He was engaged with it so much that he could not think of the hereafter and reckoning as much as he thought about piling up wealth.

Or, he piled up wealth during the day and counted it at night. Thus, he spent both his night and day doing it.

Or, he always tried to earn money because of worrying about his future but he did not spend it in the way of Allah to guarantee his future and he kept it for himself. That is, he was not engaged in the rights of his wealth but its amount. He maintained his wealth and its amount but he did not mind Allah’s orders about it.

Or, he tried to remain in the forefront with his wealth or he wanted to be respected due to his wealth. He aimed to attain prestige with his wealth. That is, he wanted his fame to continue with his wealth.