Showing posts with label Verses 1-2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Verses 1-2. Show all posts

Monday 15 March 2021

Blessed is He Who created death and life that He might try you as to which of you is better in deed

Today in the series of posts on the Selected Verses from Qur'an, we share the two opening verses of Sural 67. Al Mulk in which Allah first tells His servants that it is He alone, the Blessed One, in Whose Hand is the dominion of the Universe, and Who has power over everything; And since it is He Who has created this universes, it is not done without a purpose: And the purpose of creation of life and death. It is the reality of death which has been created to test the mankind so He might try them as to which of the whole are better in deed, so that it becomes easy for  Him on the Day of Resurrection to reward those who adopted and followed the path He prescribed from them and punish those who digressed from His path and followed the evil forces of Satan. 

But in the end Allah also reassures His servants that while He is the Most Mighty Whose verdict will be final, He is also the Most Forgiving and He may overlook many of the wrong doings of His servants except those who associated others with Him and worshipped others than He.

تَبٰرَكَ الَّذِىۡ بِيَدِهِ الۡمُلۡكُ وَهُوَ عَلٰى كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ قَدِيۡرُۙ‏  
(67:1) Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion of the Universe, and Who has power over everything;
Tabaraka " تَبٰرَكَ " is a superlative from barkat. Barkat comprehends the meanings of exaltation and greatness, abundance and plentiful, permanence and multiplicity of virtues and excellences. When the superlative tabaraka is formed from it, it gives the meaning that Allah is infinitely noble and great. He is superior to everything beside Himself in His essence and attributes and works. His beneficence is infinite, and His excellences are permanent and everlasting. (For further information, see explanation of verses ( 54 of Surah 7. Al-Aaraf); (1-3 of Surah 23. Al-Muminoon); (1 and 10 of Surah 25. Al-Furqan).

As the word al-Mulk has been used, it cannot be taken in any limited meaning. Inevitably, it would imply sovereignty over everything that exists in the universe. In Whose hand is the dominion does not mean that He has physical hands, but that He is possessor of all power and authority and no one else has any share in it.

Since it is He in Whose Hand is the dominion of the Universe, He can do whatever He wills, nothing can frustrate or hinder Him from doing what He pleases.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
What do we mean when we bless the name of Allah, or proclaim (in the optative mood) that the whole Creation should bless the name of the Lord? We mean that we recognise and proclaim His beneficence to us; for all increase and happiness is through Him, "in His hands',-in the hands of Him Who also holds Dominion or Power. In our human affairs we sometimes see the separation of Dominion or Power from Goodness or Beneficence: in the divine nature we recognise that there is no separation or antithesis.

Mulk: Dominion, Lordship, Sovereignty, the Right to carry out His Will, or to do all that He wills. Power (in the clause following) is the Capacity to carry out His Will, so that nothing can resist or neutralise it. Here is beneficence completely identified with Lordship and Power; and it is exemplified in the verses following. Note that "Mulk" here has a different shade of meaning from Malakut in xxxvi. 83. Both words are from the same root, and I have translated both by the word "Dominion". But Malakut refers to Lordship in the invisible World, while Mulk to Lordship in the visible World. Allah is Lord of both.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:
Glorification of Allah and mentioning the Creation of Death, Life, the Heavens and the Stars - Allah the Exalted glorifies His Noble Self and informs that the dominion is in His Hand. This means that He deals with all of His creatures however He wishes and there is none who can reverse His decree. He is not questioned concerning what He does because of His force, His wisdom and His justice. 

For this reason Allah says, " وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ " and He is Able to do all things.) Then Allah says:

اۨلَّذِىۡ خَلَقَ الۡمَوۡتَ وَالۡحَيٰوةَ لِيَبۡلُوَكُمۡ اَيُّكُمۡ اَحۡسَنُ عَمَلًا ؕ وَهُوَ الۡعَزِيۡزُ الۡغَفُوۡرُۙ‏ 
(67:2) Who created death and life that He might try you as to which of you is better in deed. He is the Most Mighty, the Most Forgiving;
That is, the object of giving life to man in the world and causing his death is to test him to see which of them is best in deeds. Allusion has been made in this brief sentence to a number of truths:

(1) That life and death are given by Allah, no one else can grant life nor cause death.

(2) That neither the life nor the death of a creation like man, which has been given the power to do both good and evil, is purposeless. The Creator has created him in the world for the test. Life is for him the period of the test and death means that the time allotted for the test has come to an end.

(3) That for the sake of this very test the Creator has given every man an opportunity for action, so that he may do good or evil in the world and practically show what kind of a man he is.

(4) That the Creator alone will decide who has done good or evil. It is not for us to propose a criterion for the good and the evil deeds but for Almighty Allah. Therefore, whoever desires to get through the test, will have to find out what is the criterion of a good deed in His sight. Every person will be recompensed according to his deeds, for if there was no reward or punishment the test would be meaningless.

" He is the Most Mighty, the Most Forgiving " This has two meanings and both are implied here:

(1) That He is Almighty, in spite of being dominant over all His creatures, He is Merciful and Forgiving for them, not tyrannous and cruel.

(2) That He has full power to punish the evildoers. No one can escape His punishment. But He is forgiving for him who feels penitent, refrains from evil and asks for His forgiveness.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir:
(" الَّذِى خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَوةَ " Who has created death and life) Those who say that death is an existing creation use this Ayah as a proof because it is something that has been created. This Ayah means that He brought creation into existence from nothing in order to test the creatures. He examines them to see which of them will be best in deeds. 
This is similar to Allah's statement: (How can you disbelieve in Allah Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life.) (2:28) In this Ayah Allah named the first stage, which is non-existence, "death.'' Then he named the origin or beginning of existence, "life.'' 
This is why Allah says: (Then He will give death, then again will bring you to life ( on the Day of Resurrection)) (2:28). 
Concerning Allah's statement: (" لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً " He may test you which of you is best in deed.) it means best in deeds. This is as Muhammad bin `Ajlan said. It should be noted that Allah did not say "which of you does the most deeds.'' 

Allah then says: (" وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ " And He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving.) This means that He is the Almighty, the Most Great, the Most Powerful and the Most Honorable. However, along with this He is Most Forgiving to whoever turns to Him in repentance and seeks His pardon after having disobeyed Him and opposed His commandment. Even though Allah is Almighty, He also forgives, shows mercy, pardons and excuses.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
"Created Death and Life." Death is here put before Life, and it is created. Death is therefore not merely a negative state. In ii. 28 we read: "Seeing that ye were without life (literally, dead), and He gave you life: then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye retum." In liii. 44, again, Death is put before Life. Death, then, is (1) the state before life began, which may be non-existence or existence in some other form: (2) the state in which Life as we know it ceases, but existence does not cease; a state of Barzakh (xxiii. 100), or Barrier or Partition, after our visible Death and before Judgment; after that will be the new Life, which we conceive of under the term Eternity.

Creation, therefore, is not in mere sport, or without a purpose with reference to man. The state before our present life, or the state after, we can scarcely understand. But our present Life is clearly given to enable us to strive by good deeds to reach a nobler state.

All this is possible, because Allah is so Exalted in Might that He can perfectly carry out His Will and Purpose, and that Purpose is Love, Mercy, and Goodness to His creatures.

We learn a few things from these ayahs: [5]

1. That life and death are given by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala no one else can grant life nor cause death; That man’s creation has not been without purpose. Allah

2. That man’s creation has not been without purpose. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala created man to test him. This test will end with the end of his life in this world;

3. That for the sake of this test Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given every man an opportunity for action. It is his choice to pursue good or the evil path;

4. That Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone will decide who has done good or evil. It is not for us to judge. Every person will be recompensed according to his deeds, for if there was no reward or punishment the test would be meaningless.

What is a beautiful action? Only that which is beautiful in the Sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. The intention for that deed is correct (sincerely done for the sake of Allah) and it is done according to the Sunnah of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. For he was the beloved of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent for our guidance with the best character. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala loved his actions. Therefore, we need to study his seerah and learn how is eating, drinking, sleeping, and other day-to-day matters were like.

Everyone has found their own way of worshipping. Imagine a student being given a particular curriculum and he goes on to learn something else. Will he clear his exams? Definitely, not. Similarly, if we are to enter Jannah then we must follow the curriculum that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Everything around us is performing its purpose. It is only man who is going on varying ways. Some have found their purpose in life while for others this life is still a place of play and entertainment. We see that the other living beings are performing their purpose. The sun rises and sets at its defined time. If it doesn’t there will be a chaos. So because we are not living according to the purpose of our creation our lives are in a mess.

Another thing note here is that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not want quantity rather quality. He wants to see who among us is better. Everything that we do in our life is a deed. For example, what do we do while we are waiting for our commute to come? Do we curse because it’s late or do we make use of the time and do dhikr? What do we do while our computer is booting-up? What does one talk about and how much does he talk? Does he waste his own and other’s time or keep his conversation to the point? Does he turn away upon seeing someone or is he the first one to greet them? Let’s all make the most of our time and watch our speech.

“And He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving,” (67: 2) meaning even though Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Almighty, He also forgives, shows mercy, pardons and excuses. He is not tyrannous and cruel. He has the full power to punish the evildoers and none can escape His punishment, however, along with this He is Most Forgiving to whoever turns to Him in repentance and seeks His pardon after having disobeyed Him and opposed His commandment.
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 / Sources: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |
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.

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