Thursday 4 July 2019

Understanding Islam: Kun, Fa Ya Kun - Be, and it is

Yesterday, someone asked me what does Kun fa Ya Kun "كُنۡ فَيَكُوۡنُ " means. Though I am not a scholar or alim or anything even closer to being even an interpreter, this phrase was not new to me for I have come across this phrase many a times while reciting the Holy Quran.

Since I recite Surah Ya Seen everyday, this phrase is read every day as it occurs almost at the end of the surah, verse 82:

اِنَّمَاۤ اَمۡرُهٗۤ اِذَاۤ اَرَادَ شَیْـًٔـا اَنۡ يَّقُوۡلَ لَهٗ كُنۡ فَيَكُوۡنُ‏ 
But His command, when He intendeth a thing, is only that He saith unto it: Be! and it is.

This small phrase in fact shows the highest of attributes of Allah, for none but He is the sole creator, designer, planner, and overseer of the functioning of not only our earth but the entire universe, which is fathomless, much beyond the imagination of man. In fact this phrase has been cited as a symbol or sign of God's mystical creative powers. It is about Allah's absolute will and absolute control over every creation and symbolizes Allah's matchless creative powers.

So when Allah intended to create the universe, He had just said: "Kun كُنۡ, Be" and the universe came into being as intended, planned and designed by Him. However, it must be understood that Allah does not have to issues a verbal command with the word 'Be', for it to be. In fact He merely wills something to exist it exists. There will be no time between that Will and its existence, not even a moment.

This phrase occurs in the Holy Qur'an at a number of places as under:
  1. Surah Al-Baqarah, Chapter 2, verse 117
  2. Surah 'Ale-'Imran, Chapter 3, verse 47
  3. Surah 'Ale-'Imran, Chapter .3, verse 59
  4. Surah Al-An'-am, Chapter 6, verse 73
  5. Surah An-Nahl, Chapter 16, verse 40
  6. Surah Maryam, Chapter 19, verse 35
  7. Surah Yasin, Chapter 36, verse 82
  8. Surah Al-Mu'min, Chapter 40, verse 68
And each time it occurs, it occurs with reference to the context. For example in the Third Chapter of the Holy Qur'an in Surah 'Ale-'Imran,  in verse 47, it means:

قَالَتۡ رَبِّ اَنّٰى يَكُوۡنُ لِىۡ وَلَدٌ وَّلَمۡ يَمۡسَسۡنِىۡ بَشَرٌ ​ؕ قَالَ كَذٰلِكِ اللّٰهُ يَخۡلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ​ ؕ اِذَا قَضٰٓى اَمۡرًا فَاِنَّمَا يَقُوۡلُ لَهٗ كُنۡ فَيَكُوۡنُ‏ 

She said: 'O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has ever touched me?' The angel answered: Thus shall it be. Allah creates whatever He wills. When He decides something, He merely says: "Be" and it is.

This verse was revealed when Angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) had approached Maryam (Mary, mother of would be Prophet Eesa, Jesus, peace be upon him) to give her glad tidings of a baby boy to be born to him. Obviously a highly chaste woman like Maryam was stunned and flabbergasted for she had never been touched by a man before. The plain translation of the verse says it all as to how when Allah intends to do a thing, no matter how unique or unthinkable, it is done in no time.

Here it must be understood that Allah's absolute will and creativity is not without rules. For instance, if Allah wants a child to be born, He may just wills it and its born. But on the contrary, when Allah wills a child to be born, the rule and procedure He has drawn for it to happen will take place biologically. And during the process, at a particular time, the life is given to the still underdeveloped fetus. And this process strictly under rules is true for everything: whether it is sowing of the seeds and the time taken for it to germinate and then crop to mature or the rain to happen through a process.

Those who dispute the Divine claim that there will be a Resurrection, when all dead will come out of their grave alive and will be presented before their Lord to be accounted for their good or sinful deeds, Allah clears their doubts in Surah Al-An'-am, Chapter 6, verse 73:

وَهُوَ الَّذِىۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ بِالۡحَـقِّ​ؕ وَيَوۡمَ يَقُوۡلُ كُنۡ فَيَكُوۡنُ  قَوۡلُهُ الۡحَـقُّ​ ؕ وَلَهُ الۡمُلۡكُ يَوۡمَ يُنۡفَخُ فِى الصُّوۡرِ​ ؕ عٰلِمُ الۡغَيۡبِ وَ الشَّهَادَةِ​ ؕ وَهُوَ الۡحَكِيۡمُ الۡخَبِيۡرُ‏ 

And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in truth; and the very day He will say: "Be! (resurrection) there will be". His word is the Truth and His will be the dominion on the day when the Trumpet is blown. He knows all that lies beyond the reach of human perception as well as all that is visible to man; He is the All-Wise, the All-Aware.

So let those in any doubt about the Day of Resurrection take heed and be prepared for the Day will come, it only awaits a Kun to happen and it will. 

Continuing with the same theme in Surah An-Nahl, Chapter 16, verse 40, it is said:

اِنَّمَا قَوۡلُـنَا لِشَىۡءٍ اِذَاۤ اَرَدۡنٰهُ اَنۡ نَّقُوۡلَ لَهٗ كُنۡ فَيَكُوۡنُ 
(As for the possibility of resurrection, bear in mind that) whenever We do will something, We have to do no more than say: "Be", and it is. 

The verse in fact is the answer to those who imagined that it was the most difficult thing to raise the dead, and that, too, to raise together at once all the people who had died at any time. They have been told that it is an easy thing for Allah, Who has the power to bring into existence anything He desires, merely by His command, “Be,” for He does not stand in need of any provisions, any means and any favorable environment for this. His mere command produces necessary provisions, means and environment. This world was brought into existence by His mere command, “Be,” and likewise the next world will at once come into existence by His single command.

And then when it comes to giving life or taking life, the same command comes into forth as said in Surah Al Mu'min, Chapter 40, verse 68:

هُوَ الَّذِىۡ يُحۡىٖ وَيُمِيۡتُؕ فَاِذَا قَضٰٓى اَمۡرًا فَاِنَّمَا يَقُوۡلُ لَهٗ كُنۡ فَيَكُوۡنُ

He it is Who gives life and causes death. Whenever He decrees a thing, He only commands to it “Be”, and it is.

So whenever one is in need of something, he has to earnestly ask Allah for his need to be fulfilled. and in most cases, the need is realized by just one "kun." So never lose hope and never give up it, for Allah is all listening, caring, graciously giving and fulfilling one's needs.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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