Monday 8 February 2021

Is there any creator, apart from Allah, who provides you your sustenance?

Tawhid is the fundamental belief of all Muslims which is hinged on concept of the Oneness of God and that there is only one God. Mankind has been reminded time and again in the Qur'an to submit to One True God and that no one should equate anyone with His unchallenged status of being the sole Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe. In fact Allah will never forgive anyone who associates anyone with Him or at par with Him. The concept of Tawhid unequivocally holds that God is One (Al-ʾAḥad) and The Manifestation of Unity (Al-Wāḥid).

We have already presented a number of verses centered on the idea of Tawhid and the 3rd verse of Surah 35. Fatir also points towards Oneness of God as Evidence of Tawhid:

يٰۤاَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اذۡكُرُوۡا نِعۡمَتَ اللّٰهِ عَلَيۡكُمۡؕ هَلۡ مِنۡ خَالِـقٍ غَيۡرُ اللّٰهِ يَرۡزُقُكُمۡ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالۡاَرۡضِؕ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَۖ فَاَنّٰى تُؤۡفَكُوۡنَ‏ 
(35:3) O people, remember Allah's favour upon you. Is there any creator, apart from Allah, who provides you your sustenance out of the heavens and earth? There is no god but He. Whither are you, then, being misdirected?7

“Remember Allah’s favor upon you”: Do not be ungrateful: do not forget that whatever you have, has been given by Allah. In other words, this sentence is meant to warn that whoever worships other than Allah, or regards a blessing as a favor done by other than Allah, or thanks other than Allah for a favor received, or prays to other than Allah for the grant of a blessing, is ungrateful.
This is same as verse  31 of Surah 10. Yunus:  Ask them: 'Who provides you with sustenance out of the heavens and the earth? Who holds mastery over your hearing and sight? Who brings forth the living from the dead and the dead from the living? Who governs all affairs of the universe?' They will surely say: 'Allah.' Tell them: 'Will you, then, not shun (going against reality)?"
There is a subtle gap between the first and the second sentence, which is being filled by the context itself. To understand this, one may visualize the scene like this: The polytheists are being addressed. The speaker asks the audience: “Is there another creator beside Allah, who might have created you, and might be arranging provisions for you from the earth and heavens?” After this question the speaker waits for the answer. But there is no reply from anywhere. No one replies that there is another one beside Allah, who is their creator and sustainer. This by itself shows that the audience also believe that there is none beside Allah, who could be their creator and sustainer. Then the speaker says: “If so, then He alone can also be the Deity and no one else. How have you been so deceived? Why have you taken these others as your deities, when Allah alone is your Creator and Sustainer?”

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: The Evidence of Tawhid
Allah shows His servants that they should worship Him Alone, for just as He is Independent in His power of creation and provision, so He should be worshipped Alone with no partners or associates such as idols and false gods. 

So Allah says: (La ilaha illa Huwa. How then are you turning away (from Him)) meaning, `how can you turn away from Him after this has been made clear and this proof has been made obvious, but you still worship idols and false gods' And Allah knows best.

Yusuf Ali explanation: As the primal Cause of all things is Allah, an appeal is made to man to turn to Allah instead of running after false fancies. Allah is not only the source, but the centre of all life and activity, and all affairs return to Him. The world is sustained, and human life is sustained, by Allah's grace and providence. "Sustenance" is to be taken, in Quranic language, for all that helps to maintain and develop every aspect of life, physical and spiritual. It would be the height of folly, then, for man to ignore Allah's gracious Message, as explained in His Revelation.

Tafsir Jalalayn: O people, that is, the people of Mecca, remember God's grace to you, in His making you dwell within the [Meccan] Sanctuary and preventing raids against you. Is there any creator (min khliqin; min is extra; khliq is the subject) other than God (read ghayru'Llhi or gharyri'Llhi, as an adjectival qualification of khliq, `creator', either concording with the [oblique] form [of min khliqin] or concording with the syntactical status [thereof]; the predicate of the subject [is the following]) who provides for you from the heaven, rain, and, from the, earth?, vegetation (the interrogative is [actually] an affirmative, that is to say, `there is no creator or provider other than Him). There is no god except Him. So how then do you deviate?, how are you turned away from affirming His Oneness when you already affirm that He is the Creator and the Provider?
May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Qur'ān officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. [2]  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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