The Fourteenth Word : Some verses and Hadiths which are difficult to understand: The creation of heavens and the earth in six days.
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Alif. Lam. Ra. [This is] a Book with verses fundamental [of established meaning]. Further explained in detail, from One All-Wise and Well-Acquainted [with all things]. (1)
[In order to ascend to some of the elevated truths of the All-Wise Qur’an, and of Hadiths, which are the true expounder of the Qur’an, we shall point out a number of comparisons of those truths which are like steps to assist hearts deficient in submission and obedience, and shall explain in the Conclusion an object lesson and a mystery concerning Divine favour. Since from among those truths, comparisons of the Resurrection and the Day of Judgement have been mentioned in the Tenth Word, and its Ninth Truth in particular, there is no need to repeat them. Here we shall mention only five ‘Matters’ as examples of the other truths.]
THE FIRST: For example, in order to induce certainty about the verse,
He created the heavens and the earth in six days, (2)
and the elevated truth it alludes to through the Qur’anic days, which consist of a long period of time like perhaps a thousand or fifty thousand years, that man’s world and that of the animals will last six days, we draw attention to the travelling worlds, transient universes, and passing cosmoses which the Glorious Maker creates every day, every year, every century, each of which is like a day. It is as though these worlds are all guests like man. At the All-Glorious One’s command, each season the world is filled and emptied.
THE SECOND: For example, the verses,
Nor anything fresh or dry but is [inscribed] in a Record Clear. (3) * And of all things have We taken account in a Clear Book. (4) * From Whom is not hidden the least little atom in the heavens or on earth; nor is there anything less than that, or greater, but it is in the Record Clear. (5)
In order to be convinced of the elevated truth which these verses state, that, “All things together with all their states are recorded before they come into existence, when they come into existence, and after they have departed; and they are being recorded,” we point out to be observed the All-Glorious Inscriber’s including and preserving in immaterial fashion in the seeds and roots of the innumerable well-ordered creatures which He changes every season on the page of the earth, and particularly in the spring, the indexes of their beings, life-histories, and principles according to which they act; and when they die His inscribing in immaterial fashion with the same pen of Divine Determining those indexes, life-histories and principles in the simple seeds in their fruits; and every passing spring even His preserving them –whether fresh or dry– in perfect order in seeds like dry chips of wood and bones, limited and tiny. It is as if each spring is attached like a flower to the face of the earth in extremely orderly and balanced fashion by the hand of One All-Beautiful and All-Glorious, then plucked from it; each is placed on it, then removed. While the reality is this, one of the strangest forms of man’s misguidance is that he calls this natural writing, this inscribing full of art, this passive pattern of wisdom which is an index of dominical art and only a reflection and manifestation of the Preserved Tablet, ‘nature’, and considers it to be the source and active and effective. Can there be any comparison between the ground and the Pleiades? Can there be any comparison between reality and the views of the heedless?
THE THIRD: For example, in order to ascend to the truth which the Bringer of Sure News described concerning the Bearers of the Throne, the angels appointed to the earth and the skies, and other sorts of angels, stating that they glorify Allah with forty thousand heads, and with the forty thousand tongues in each head, and in forty thousand ways with each tongue, consider the following carefully. Through verses like,
The seven heavens and the earth and all within them glorify and extol Him. (6) * It was We Who made the hills declare in unison with him Our praises. (7) * We did indeed offer the Trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, (8)
the All-Glorious One expresses clearly that even the greatest and most universal of beings demonstrate that they glorify Him in accordance with their universality and in a way appropriate to their vastness. And it appears to be thus. Just as the words of glorification of the heavens, which are an ocean glorifying Allah, are the suns, moons, and stars, so the words of praise of the earth, a flying thing praising and glorifying, are the animals, plants and trees. That is to say, just as the trees and stars all perform particular forms of glorification, so does the earth and every part of the earth, and all the mountains and valleys, and the land and the sea, and the spheres of the firmament and the constellations in the heavens all perform universal forms of glorification. The earth, which possesses these thousands of heads containing thousands of tongues, certainly has an angel appointed to it who translates and displays in the World of Similitudes the flowers of glorification and fruits of praise it performs with each, and who represents and proclaims them in the World of Spirits.
Indeed, if numerous things take on the form of a collectivity, a collective personality comes into being. If such a collectivity fuses and becomes a unity, it will have a collective personality and a sort of spirit which will represent it, and an appointed angel who will perform its duty of glorification. As an example, consider the plane-tree in front of my room here, a mighty word of the mouth of Barla and the tongue of this mountain: see how many hundreds of tongues of smaller branches there are on the three heads of the three main branches of its trunk. Study carefully how many hundreds of words of well-ordered and balanced fruits it has, and how many hundreds of letters of well-proportioned winged seeds; just as you hear and see how eloquently it praises and glorifies the All-Glorious Maker, the Owner of the command of “Be!” and it is, so too the angel appointed to it represents its glorification with numerous tongues in the World of Meaning. Wisdom necessitates that it is so.
THE FOURTH: For example, consider the elevated truth expressed by verses like:
Indeed, His command when He wills a thing, is, “Be!”, and it is. (9) * And the decision of the Hour is as the twinkling of an eye. (10) * And We are closer to him than his jugular vein. (11) * The angels ascend to Him in a day the measure of which is fifty thousand years, (12)
which is that the Absolutely Powerful One creates things with such ease and speed, with such facility and lack of trouble, that it appears and is understood that He creates with a mere command. Also, although the All-Powerful Maker is infinitely close to beings, they are infinitely distant from him. Furthermore, despite His infinite might and glory, attaching importance to them, He also sets in order the most insignificant and lowly matters, and does not deny them the beauty of His art. Thus, the perfect order within absolute ease observed in beings testifies to the existence of this Qur’anic truth. The following comparison demonstrates its meaning and wisdom. For example, And Allah’s is the highest similitude, the duties the sun displays through the dominical command and Divine subjugation, which is like a dense mirror to the Divine Name of Light among the All-Glorious Maker’s Most Beautiful Names, brings this truth closer to the understanding. It is as follows:
Although through its elevatedness, the sun is infinitely close to all transparent and shining things, indeed, is closer to them than their own selves, and although it has an effect on them in numerous ways like through its manifestation, its image, and power of disposal, those transparent objects are thousands of years distant from it, they can in no way have an effect on it, they cannot claim to be close to it. Also, the sun’s being as though present and seeing in all transparent particles, and wherever its light enters even, is understood through the sun’s reflection and its image being apparent in accordance with the particles’ capacities and colours. Furthermore, the sun’s comprehensiveness and penetration increase to the vast extent of its luminosity. It is because of the greatness of its luminosity that the tiniest things cannot hide or escape from it. This means that through the mystery of luminosity its immense vastness does not exclude even insignificant and tiny things; on the contrary, it takes them within the sphere of its comprehension. Moreover, if to suppose the impossible we were to imagine the sun acted with will in the tasks and manifestations its displays, with Divine permission it would function with such ease and speed and breadth in everything from particles and droplets and the surface of the sea to the planets, that it would be supposed that it performed these mighty disposals through a mere command. A particle and a planet would be equal before its command. The effulgence it would bestow on the surface of the sea, it would bestow also with perfect order on a particle in accordance with the particle’s capacity.
Thus, we see that the sun, which is a luminous bubble in the seas of the skies and a small and dense mirror to the manifestation of the Absolutely Powerful One’s Name of Light, observedly displays examples of the three principles of this truth. So we surely believe with complete certainty as though witnessing it that the All-Glorious One, Who is the Light of Light, the Illuminator of Light, the Determiner of Light, and in comparison to Whose knowledge and power the sun’s light and heat is like earth, is all-present and all-seeing and infinitely close to all things with His knowledge and power, and that things are utterly distant from Him, and that He does things with such ease and facility that it is understood He creates with the ease and speed of a mere command, and that nothing at all, great or small, particular or universal, can escape from the sphere of His power, and that His magnificence encompasses all things. And this has to be believed.
THE FIFTH: While the limits of the vastness of the Monarch of Pre-Eternity and Post-Eternity’s dominicality and the tremendousness of His Godhead stretch from,
No just estimate have they made of Allah, such as is due to Him: on the Day of Judgement the whole of the earth will be but His handful, and the heavens will be rolled up in His right hand (13)
And know that Allah comes between man and his heart, (14)
Allah is the Creator of All Things, and He is the Guardian and Disposer of all affairs, (15)
[Allah] knows what they hide as well as what they disclose, (16)
[Who] created the heavens and the earth, (17)
Allah has created you and what you do, (18)
Allah has willed this! There is no power but with Allah, (19)
But you will not, except as Allah wills, (20)
what is the purpose of His stern complaints and severe and awesome threats in the Qur’an against the sons of Adam, so impotent and infinitely weak and utterly poor and endlessly needy, who possess only partial will and have no power to create? In what way is it conformable, and how is it appropriate? In order to be convinced of this profound and elevated truth, consider the following two comparisons:
First Comparison: For example, there was a royal garden in which innumerable fruit-bearing and flowering things were found. Many servants were appointed to attend to it. The duty of one of the servants was only to open the water canal so that the water could spread throughout the garden and be benefited from. But the servant was lazy and did not open the canal, so harm came to the growth of the garden, or else it dried up. All the other servants had the right to complain, not about the Creator’s dominical art and the Sultan’s royal supervision and the obedient service of the light, air, and earth, but about that foolish servant, for their duties were all made fruitless, or else harm came to them.
Second Comparison: For example, if, through abandoning his minor duty on a mighty royal ship, a common man causes harm to come to the results of the duties of all the others employed on the ship, and some of them even are made to come to nothing, the ship’s owner will complain bitterly about him in the name of all the others. And the one at fault cannot say: “I’m just an ordinary person. I don’t deserve this severity because of my unimportant omission.” For a single instance of non-existence results in innumerable such instances, whereas existence yields results in accordance with itself. For although the existence of a thing is dependent on the existence of all the conditions and causes, its non-existence, its removal, occurs with the removal of a single condition and results from the non-existence of a single particular. It is because of this that ‘destruction is much easier than repair’ has become like a universally accepted principle. Since the bases of unbelief and misguidance, and rebellion and sin are denial and rejection, they are an abandoning and non-acceptance. However positive and possessing of existence they appear superficially, in reality they are removal and non-existence. In which case they are a contagious crime. Just as they cause harm to the results of the acts of other beings, so they draw a veil over the manifestation of the beauties of the Divine Names.
The Monarch of Beings, Whose right it is to make these innumerable complaints, therefore utters awesome complaints about rebellious man in the name of those beings. And to do so is perfect wisdom. Rebellious man is certainly deserving of His severe and awesome threats; without doubt he deserves them.
(1) Qur’an, 11:1.
(2) Qur’an, 7:54.
(3) Qur’an, 6:59.
(4) Qur’an, 36:12.
(5) Qur’an, 34:3.
(6) Qur’an, 17:44.
(7) Qur’an, 38:18.
(8) Qur’an, 33:72.
(9) Qur’an, 36:82.
(10) Qur’an, 16:77.
(11) Qur’an, 50:16.
(12) Qur’an, 70:4.
(13) Qur’an, 39:67.
(14) Qur’an, 8:24.
(15) Qur’an, 39:62.
(16) Qur’an, 2:77, etc.
(17) Qur’an, 7:54, etc.
(18) Qur’an, 37:96.
(19) Qur’an, 18:39.
(20) Qur’an, 76:30.
Please click on the following link to continue reading;
- Third Gleam: A comparison between the works of scholars who take lessons from the Qur’an and the Qur’an itself.
- Second Gleam: The Qur’an’s and Philosophy’s points of view on the world.
- Third Ray: While everything is infinitely distant from Allah, Allah is infinitely close to everything.
- Third Light, First Gleam: The order, harmony and wondrousness of the Qur’an’s exposition concerning the reality of the realm of living beings and Divine names, acts and attributes.
- Second Ray: The fine art, power and ease in the creation of living creatures.
- Fourth Flash: The comprehensiveness of the subjects that the Qur'an deals with.
- Second Principle: The reality of the Ascension.
- The Thirteenth Word: How does the Qur'an expose the miraculousness in things which are known as ordinary? The ways of taking pleasure from the style of the Quran
- Ninth Point of Eloquence: The Qur'an shows comprehensive truths in insignificant events with Divine names.
- Fifth Point: The wondrousness in the Qur'an's manner of exposition.