Sunday 14 March 2021

Allah made the earth a dwelling place for you - So call upon Him, consecrating to Him all your devotion

True believing Muslims have an unflinching faith and trust in true God who has no associates. It is He alone Who is the sole Creator of the entire universe and it is He alone Who has made this world comfortable for us stuffed with provisions for our sustenance. Therefore it is our obligation not only to thank Him all the times but must also all upon Him consecrating to Him all our devotion.

Allah reminds us of His many bounties that He has blessed us so that we are ever grateful to Him. This is the crux of very theme of verses 64-65 of Surah 40. Al-Mu'min chosen for our series of posts on "Selected verses from Quran" this morning:

اَللّٰهُ الَّذِىۡ جَعَلَ لَـكُمُ الۡاَرۡضَ قَرَارًا وَّالسَّمَآءَ بِنَآءً وَّصَوَّرَكُمۡ فَاَحۡسَنَ صُوَرَكُمۡ وَرَزَقَكُمۡ مِّنَ الطَّيِّبٰتِ ؕ ذٰ لِكُمُ اللّٰهُ رَبُّكُمۡ ​ ۖۚ فَتَبٰـرَكَ اللّٰهُ رَبُّ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ‏ 
(40:64) Allah it is Who made the earth a dwelling place for you and made the sky a canopy, Who shaped you and shaped you exceedingly well and gave you good things as sustenance. That is Allah, your Lord; blessed be Allah, the Lord of the Universe.

(Allah it is Who made the earth a dwelling place for you) - the same has also been said in Surah An-Naml, Ayat 61 [Who is it Who has made the earth a place of resort, and has caused rivers to flow in its midst, and has placed upon it firm mountains, and has placed a barrier between two masses of water?Is there any god associated with Allah (in these tasks)? Nay; but most of them do not know.]:
It is not a simple thing for the earth to be a place of rest for the countless kinds of different creations living on it. If man looks into the wise harmony and coordination with which this sphere of the earth has been established, he is simply amazed and starts feeling that these harmonies and concordances and relations could not be brought about without the grand design of an All-Wise, All Knowing and All-Powerful God. This sphere of the earth is floating in space and is not resting on anything, yet there is no commotion and no vibration in its movement. Had there been any vibration in it, such as we experience during an earthquake, life could not exist here. This sphere comes before the sun and hides from it regularly, which causes the alternation of the day and night. Had it turned the same face perpetually towards the sun and kept the other side always hidden, no life could be possible here, for on the bright side all life would have been shriveled up, and on the dark side all life would have been frozen to death. The sphere is enveloped by a five hundred mile thick atmosphere, which protects it against the continual bombardment of meteors, otherwise the twenty million meteors on the average, which dart towards the earth daily at 30 miles per second, would have caused such destruction as would not have allowed any man animal or tree to survive. The same atmosphere controls the temperature, raises clouds from the oceans, carries water to different parts of the earth and provides the required gases that sustain the human, animal and plant life. Without it the earth could not become a fit place of rest for any kind of animal life. Just under the earth’s surface all those minerals and chemicals which are essential to the survival of vegetable and animal life have been provided in abundance. Wherever these natural resources do not exist, the land there cannot sustain any kind of life. A great store of water has been arranged on the earth in the form of oceans, rivers, lakes, springs and underground channels and snow on the mountains which melts and flows down in the form of rivers. Without such an arrangement there could be no life. Then the earth has been endowed with an appropriate gravitational pull by which it keeps the water and the air and all other things found on it attracted to it. If this pull had been a little less strong, it could not have stopped the air and the water from escaping. It would also have so much increased the temperature that life here would have become difficult. On the other hand, if the gravitational pull had been a little stronger, the atmosphere would have been denser, its pressure would have increased, evaporation would have become difficult and rains impossible; the cold would have increased and less areas on earth would have been inhabitable; men and animals would have been shorter in size but heavier in weight, which would have made movement difficult. Besides, this sphere has been located at a suitable distance from the sun, which is most appropriate for the population here. If the distance had been longer, the earth would have received less of heat, the climate would have been much colder, the seasons much longer and the earth would be hardly inhabitable. On the other hand, if the distance had been shorter, the intensity of the heat along with other factors would have rendered it unfit for the kind of life man is living here.
These are a few of those harmonies and concordances due to which earth has become a place of rest for its population. A man with a little common sense who is aware of these facts cannot imagine for a moment that these concordances have come into existence without the design of an All-Wise Creator, as a mere accident, nor can he ever conceive that a god or goddess, jinn or prophet, saint or angel, could have had any hand in the creation and bringing into operation of this grand design.

The bodies of sweet and saline waters that exist on the earth but do not intermingle. Underground water channels mostly flow separately with sweet water and saline water side by side. Even in the middle of the bitter seas there exist at some places springs of sweet water; their current remains separate from the sea water and the sea passengers obtain their drinking water from it. 

The same theme is repeated in verse 53 of Surah 25Al-Furqan: [And He it is Who has joined the two seas: one sweet and palatable and the other saltish and bitter; and He has set a barrier and an insurmountable obstruction between the two that keeps them apart.]

This phenomenon has been perceived in many places in the sea and on the land that sweet water and bitter water has existed side by side. Turkish Admiral Syedi Ali Rais, in his book Mirat-al-Mamalik, written in the 16th century, has mentioned a place in the Persian Gulf, where springs of sweet waver exist under the bitter waters of the sea, where he could get drinking water for his fleet. The American Oil company at first obtained water from the same springs in the Persian Gulf, before they dug up wells near Dhahran for the supply of the drinking water. Near Bahrain also there exist springs of sweet water at the sea bed from which people have been taking water until quite recently. Besides this apparent meaning which gives a rational proof of Allah’s being the One and the only Lord of the universe, the verse contains a subtle suggestion as well: When Allah wills, He can raise up a righteous community from among a large wicked society just as He can cause springs of palatable and sweet water to gush out from under the salty waters of the sea.

(and made the sky a canopy) That is, you have not been exposed to outer space so that heavenly calamities should rain on you and annihilate you completely, but We have built over the earth a fully fortified celestial system (which appears like a dome to the eye), which does not allow any destructive element to reach you; so much so that even the destructive cosmic rays cannot reach you and that is how you are living peacefully on the earth.

(and gave you good things as sustenance) That is, We had provided for you such a safe and peaceful place of rest even before your creation. Then We created you and gave you a fine body with most appropriate limbs and physical and mental powers of a high caliber. You did not create this erect stature, these hands and feet, these eyes and nose and ears, this talking tongue and this brain, which is a treasure-house of great capabilities, nor were these created by your mother and father, nor a prophet, or a saint, or a god had the power to create them. Their Maker and Creator was the All-Wise, All-Merciful, All-Mighty Sovereign, Who created Man with this wonderful body to function in the world, when He decided to bring him into being. Then as soon as you were created, you found by His beneficence a vast table laid out with pure provisions containing items of pure food which is not poisonous but health-giving, which is not bitter and tasteless but tasty, which is not rotten and stale and stinking but good smelling, which is not lifeless dregs but rich in vitamins and useful organic substances, so essential for the proper development and nourishment of yew body. Who has provided in such abundance this water, and corn, vegetables, fruits, milk, honey, meat and condiments, which not only add relish to your food but also provide you vitality and pleasures of life? And who has made the arrangements that these measureless granaries of food should go on coming out from the earth endlessly and their supply should never fail? Just consider this: What would have become of life if there had been no arrangement of food and man had been brought into existence suddenly? Is this not a clear proof that Your Creator is not merely a Creator but is an All-Wise Creator and All-Merciful Lord? (For further explanation, see (Surah Houd, Ayat 6); (Surah An-Naml, Ayats 60-66).

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
(The argument in the last two verses was from man's personal experiences of his physical life.) In verse 64-65 a parallel argument is addressed to man on a much higher plane: 'look at the spacious earth and the canopy of the sky; look at the special position you occupy above other animals that you know, in shape and form, and moral and spiritual capacities; consider your refinements in food and fruits and the higher spiritual Sustenance of which your physical food is a type; would you not indeed say that the Lord is good, and would you not glorify His holy name?'

A resting place: I understand this to imply a temporary place of rest or sojourn, a period of probation, to be followed by the eternal Home.

Cf. vii. 1 1. The shape and form refer to the physical form as well as to the inborn moral and spiritual capacities of man. As regards physical form, Cf. Milton's description of Adam and Eve, "Two of far noble shape, erect and tall" (Paradise Lost, iv. 288). As regards moral and spiritual capacities, they are typified by the breathing of Allah's spirit into man: xv. 29.

"Sustenance": all that is necessary for growth and development, physical, moral, and spiritual. Cf. xvi. 73.

هُوَ الۡحَىُّ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ فَادۡعُوۡهُ مُخۡلِصِيۡنَ لَهُ الدِّيۡنَؕ اَلۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰهِ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِيۡنَ‏ 
(40:65) He is the Ever-Living: there is no god but He. So call upon Him, consecrating to Him all your devotion. All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the whole Universe.

That is, His is the real and true life. He only is living by virtue of His own power. No one else has the eternal and everlasting lift but Him. All others have borrowed and temporary life, which is destined to death and perishable.

The same theme is given in verse2  of Surah 39. Az-Zumar): [اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنَاۤ اِلَيۡكَ الۡكِتٰبَ بِالۡحَقِّ فَاعۡبُدِ اللّٰهَ مُخۡلِصًا لَّهُ الدِّيۡنَ ؕ‏ ] O Prophet), it is We Who have revealed this Book to you with Truth. So serve only Allah, consecrating your devotion to Him.
That is, the Quran contains nothing but the truth, and there is no element of falsehood in it.
(So serve only Allah, consecrating your devotion to Him.) 
This is a very important verse which states the real objective of the message of Islam. Therefore, one should not pass over it superficially, but should try to understand its meaning and intention. It has two basic points: (1) That the demand is to worship Allah. (2) That the demand is of such worship as may be performed by making religion exclusively Allah’s. Ibadat is derived from abd, and this word is used as an antonym of freeman for the slave and bondsman in Arabic. Accordingly, ibadat contains two meanings: (1) Worship and devotion. (2) Humble and willing obedience, as is borne out by the well known and authoritative Arabic Lexicon, Lisan al- Arab. Thus, according to the authentic lexical explanation, the demand is not only of Allah’s worship but also of willing and sincere obedience to His commands and laws.
The Arabic word deen contains several meanings:

(1) Domination and sovereignty, rule and political power and authority to enforce one’s decisions on others.

(2) Obedience, compliance with commands and servitude.

(3) The practice and the way that a man follows.
In view of these three meanings, deen in this verse means: The way of life and attitude which a man adopts after acknowledging the supremacy and accepting the obedience of another; and to worship Allah making one’s religion exclusively His. This means that one should refrain from combining another’s worship with the worship of Allah, but should worship Allah alone, should follow His guidance alone, and should comply with His commands and injunctions only.
There is thus none else the hymns of whose praise may be sung and who may be thanked. 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.
Photo | Reference: | 1 | 2 | 3 |
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
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • 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.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More