A short Addendum to the First Stopping-Place: The commentary of the verse “Do they not look at the sky above them?― How We have made it and adorned...” (Surah Qaf, 50:6)

A Short Addendum to the First Stopping-Place

Listen to the verse:

Do they not look at the sky above them? How We have made it and adorned it, and there are no flaws in it?1

Then look at the face of the heavens, you see how it is silent in its tranquillity; how it is in motion with wisdom, how it is radiant with majesty, how it smiles with its adornment. An unending and infinite sovereignty is proclaimed to those who think by the order in its creation, by the symmetry in its art, by its shining lamps, its brilliant lanterns, its glittering stars.

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 following explains the above passage, Then look at the face of the heavens, etc., which in turn is an explanation of the verse quoted.

Firstly, the phrase: How it is silent in its tranquillity.

The verse directs an attentive gaze to the beautifully adorned face of the heavens so that the one beholding it may become aware of the silence there which is within a vast tranquillity, and so that he may understand that it is thus through the command and subjugation of One Possessing Absolute Power.

For if they had been independent and unrestrained, those huge globes, all in close proximity to each other, those infinite, awesome heavenly bodies, would have caused such an uproar with their enormously swift revolutions that they would have deafened the cosmos. And there would have been such confusion in that tumultuous commotion that it would have scattered the universe. It is well-known what a commotion and uproar it causes if twenty water-buffalo work on top of each other. Whereas, we know that there are among the stars some which are thousands of times larger than the earth and which revolve at a speed seventy times faster than that of a cannon-ball. So the degree of power and subjugation of the Glorious Maker and All-Powerful One of Perfection may be understood from this, together with the degree of obedience and submission to Him of the stars.

Secondly, the phrase: How it is in motion with wisdom.

The verse commands us to look at the motion on the face of the heavens, which is with wisdom and purpose. Indeed, that mighty, wondrous motion occurs within a precise and comprehensive wisdom.

For example, a craftsman who operates a factory’s machinery with wisdom and purpose demonstrates the degree of his skill and craftsmanship in proportion to the order and grandeur of the factory. Similarly, when we look at it in this way, the degree of power and wisdom of the All-Powerful One of Glory become apparent to us through His making the mighty sun as a factory, and its planets, those awesome, immense globes, like the factory’s machinery, and His spinning and revolving them like stones in a sling.

Thirdly, How it is radiant with majesty, how it smiles with its adornment.

It has this meaning: the radiant majesty and smiling adornment on the face of the heavens are such that they demonstrate the sublimity of the Glorious Maker’s sovereignty and exquisiteness of His artistry. As the myriad electric lamps hung about on festival days demonstrate the degree of the king’s majesty and achievement in material progress, the vast heavens, too, with their majestic and adorned stars demonstrate to attentive gazes the sublime sovereignty and exquisite artistry of the Glorious Maker.

Fourthly, By the order in its creation, by the symmetry in its art.

This phrase says the following: look at the order of the creatures on the face of the heavens and see their symmetry and precise balance, then understand just how powerful and wise is their Maker.

Indeed, the vast heavens demonstrate the degree of power and wisdom of the One Who transforms various and tiny creatures or animals, thus preparing them for their duties, and Who impels each of them on a determined way by means of its particular balance, and the degree of their obedience and subjugation to Him. Similarly, the vast heavens demonstrate to attentive gazes through their awesome vastness and innumerable stars, and the stars, through their imposing hugeness and speedy revolutions and the fact that they do not exceed their bounds by an iota, even for a second, or neglect their duties for a tenth of a second, the exceedingly fine and particular balance with which the Glorious Maker carries out His dominicality.

Fifthly, An unending and infinite sovereignty is proclaimed to those who think by its shining lamps, its brilliant lanterns, its glittering stars.

This phrase states clearly what is alluded to in the above verse, and in many similar to it, which mention the subjugation of the sun, moon, and stars. That is to say, to attach the heat and light-giving lamp of the sun to the embellished ceiling of the skies, and to make it the ink-pot for writing the missives of the Eternally Besought One in lines of day and night on the pages of summer and winter; and to make the moon, like the hour-hands which shines on the large clocks on minarets and towers, an hour-hand of time’s mighty clock on the dome of the heavens, and to make it move through its mansions with precise balance and perfect measure in the form of many varying crescents so that it leaves one crescent one night and then later returns to collect it; and to adorn the beautiful face of the sky with stars that twinkle and smile in the dome of the heavens, all these are signs of the unlimited sovereignty of a sustaining dominicality. They are indications of a majestic Divinity which makes Itself known to conscious creatures. They invite those who think to believe and to affirm Divine unity.

Look upon the coloured page of the book of the universe;

See what forms the golden pen of power has traced.

No dark point remains for the gaze of the heart’s eye;

It is as if Allah as inscribed His signs with light.

Look! What a miracle of wisdom is the amazing universe!

Look! What a wondrous spectacle is the vastness of space!

Then listen to the stars, listen to their harmonious address!

See what wisdom has emblazed on the decree of its light.

Altogether they start to speak with the tongue of truth,

They address the majesty of the All-Powerful, All-Glorious One’s sovereignty:

We are each of us light-scattering proofs of the existence of our Maker,

We are witnesses both to His unity and His power,

We are subtle miracles

gilding the face of the skies for the angels to gaze upon.

We are the innumerable attentive eyes of the heavens

which watch the earth, which study Paradise.

We are the innumerable exquisite fruits

which the hand of wisdom of the All-Glorious and Beauteous One

has fastened

To the celestial portion of the tree of creation,

to all the branches of the Milky Way.

For the inhabitants of the heavens,

we are each of us a travelling mosque, a spinning house, a lofty home,

Each is an illumining lamp, a mighty ship, an aeroplane.

We are each of us a miracle of power, a wonder of creative art

Created by the Powerful One of Perfection, the All-Wise One of Glory;

A rarity of His wisdom, a marvel of His creation, a world of light.

We demonstrated to mankind innumerable proofs,

We made them hear with these innumerable tongues of ours;

But their accursed unseeing, unbelieving eyes did not see our faces,

They did not hear our words.

And we are signs that speak the truth:

Our stamp is one, our seal is one,

We are mastered by our Sustainer;

We glorify Him through our subjugation;

We recite His Names;

We are each of us in ecstasy,

A member of the mighty circle of the Milky Way.

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1. Qur'an, 50:6.

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Second Stopping-Place: The answer to the doubts and objections to the Oneness and Divine unity.

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