“The same Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold! Ye kindle therewith (your own fires)”. (Yasin, 36/80) How should we understand the issue "fire out of the green tree" mentioned in the verse above?
Submitted by on Mon, 05/12/2011 - 09:24
Dear Brother / Sister,
The Chapter of Yasin, verses 78 - 80:
78. And he makes comparisons for us, and forgets his own (Origin and) Creation: He says "Who can give life to (dry) bones and decomposed ones (at that)?"
79. Say "He will give them life Who created them for the first time! For He is well-versed in every kind of creation!―
80. "The same Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold! Ye kindle therewith (your own fires)!.
Producing Fire from the Green Tree:
In the example given as an answer to the hesitations and objections to the issue of producing living beings out of the dead, two properties that seem to be opposite to each other and one of those properties being transformed to the other are mentioned: wetness and fire. The reason why the attribute green is used in the verse is to attract the attention to wetness, the main property of the tree, not the color. (Ibn Ashur, XXIII, 76-77)
Producing fire out of the green tree is explained as the production of fire by rubbing two kinds of trees – when both of them are green and water drops fall from them – known very well by Bedouin Arabs as marh and afar. One of them is regarded as female and the other as male. Some interpreters said that what was meant there was the tree in general and that those two types of tree were mentioned in order to give examples, taking the following famous saying into consideration:"There is some fire in each tree but there is a lot of fire in marh and afar". (Zamakhshari, III, 294)
It is reported that Ibn Abbas, one of the famous scholars of the Companions, said,
— Arabs have two different kinds of trees called marh and afar that are like flint. Afar is held at the top like a metal and marh is held at the bottom like the stone. A branch is cut off from each tree; the water of the branches is let out; then those two branches are rubbed against each other; that is, they are induced to produce fire.
The information given in verse 80 of the chapter of Yasin mainly indicates those two trees; it also includes all green trees. (For detailed information, see Qurtubi, Tafsir: 15/60- Lubabu't-ta'wil: 4/13)
It is a reality that energy is stored in the tree and that big trees especially in the geological periods that remained under the ground charred in the course of time and formed a great source of energy. The verse might have indicated that aspect, too. There is a subtlety in the verse, too; when the word “tree” is mentioned the adjective “green” is used. It indicates that the layer of plants that cover the earth continuously emits oxygen, which is a caustic substance, and that burning can take place only through oxygen. Thus, it becomes manifest that the green tree is led to serve man in several ways and that it bears the seal of divine power; they are shown as evidence that the Sublime Power will resurrect the dead.
(see Diyanet Tefsiri, Kur’an Yolu: IV/455.; Celal Yıldırım, İlmin Işığında Asrın Kur’an Tefsiri, Anadolu Yayınları: 10/5073.)
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