55 - Ar Rahman (The beneficent)

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 55.1


The Compassionate One, God, exalted be He,

Ibn Al Kathir

Ar-Rahman revealed and taught the Qur'an

Allah informs of His favors and His mercy for His creatures, for He revealed the Qur'an to His servants, He made memorizing and understanding of it easy for those on whom He has bestowed His mercy,

الرَّحْمَـنُ - عَلَّمَ الْقُرْءَانَ - خَلَقَ الإِنسَـنَ - عَلَّمَهُ البَيَانَ

(Ar-Rahman! He has taught the Qur'an. He created man. He taught him Al-Bayan.) Al-Hasan said: "Eloquent speech.'' This refers to Allah teaching the Qur'an, that is, teaching the servants how to recite it by making it easy for them to speak and pronounce letters with the various parts of the mouth, such as the alveolar bridge, the tongue and the lips

Among Allah's Signs: the Sun, the Moon, the Sky and the Earth

Allah said,

الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ بِحُسْبَانٍ

(The sun and the moon (run) on fixed courses.) They move in their orbit in perfect succession, according to precise calculation that is never delayed nor disturbed,

لاَ الشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تدْرِكَ القَمَرَ وَلاَ الَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِى فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ

(It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit.)(36:40),

فَالِقُ الإِصْبَاحِ وَجَعَلَ الَّيْلَ سَكَناً وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ حُسْبَاناً ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

((He is the) Cleaver of the daybreak. He has appointed the night for resting, and the sun and the moon for calculating. Such is the measuring of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.) (6:96), Allah said,

وَالنَّجْمُ وَالشَّجَرُ يَسْجُدَانِ

(And the Najm and the trees prostrating.) Ibn Jarir commented, "Scholars of Tafsir disagreed over the meaning of Allah's statement, `And the Najm.' They agreed, however, that the trees mentioned here are those that stand on trunks.''`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "An-Najm refers to the plants that lay on the ground.'' Similar was said by Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi and Sufyan Ath-Thawri. This is what Ibn Jarir preferred, may Allah have mercy upon him. Mujahid said, "An-Najm (the star); the one that is in the sky.'' Al-Hasan and Qatadah said similarly. This is the saying that is the most obvious, and Allah knows best, for Allah the Exalted said,

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَسْجُدُ لَهُ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَالشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ وَالنُّجُومُ وَالْجِبَالُ وَالشَّجَرُ وَالدَّوَآبُّ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنَ النَّاسِ

(See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and the moving creatures, and many of mankind prostrate themselves to Allah.)(22:18) Allah's statement,

وَالسَّمَآءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ

(And the heaven He has raised high, and He has set up the balance.) meaning the justice, as He said in another Ayah,

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ

(Indeed, We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and sent down with them the Book and the balance that mankind may keep up equity.)(57:25) Allah said here,

أَلاَّ تَطْغَوْاْ فِى الْمِيزَانِ

(In order that you may not transgress the balance.) meaning, He created the heavens and earth in justice and truth so that everything is founded on, and observing, justice and truth. Allah's statement,

وَأَقِيمُواْ الْوَزْنَ بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ تُخْسِرُواْ الْمِيزَانَ

(And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient.) meaning, do not cheat in the weights and measures, but rather observe justice and fairness,

وَزِنُواْ بِالْقِسْطَاسِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ

(And weigh with the true and straight balance.)(26:182) Allah said,

وَالاٌّرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلاٌّنَامِ

(And the earth He has put down (laid) for Al-Ana'm.) Allah raised the heavens and put down, or laid, the earth and balanced it with firm mountains, so that it would be stable for its residents that live on it, i.e. the various types and kinds of creatures, different in species, shape, color and language. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said that Al-An'am means the creatures.

فِيهَا فَـكِهَةٌ

(Therein are fruits,) of various colors, taste and scent,

وَالنَّخْلُ ذَاتُ الاٌّكْمَامِ

(and date palms producing Akmam.) Allah mentioned the date tree here specifically because of its benefit, both fresh and dry. Ibn Jurayj reported that Ibn `Abbas said said Al-Akmam, means sheathed fruit stalks. Similar was said by more than one of the scholars of Tafsir, it refers to the stalks that the seeds grow in to become a cluster of dates, unripe green dates then they ripen and ripen more. Allah said,

وَالْحَبُّ ذُو الْعَصْفِ وَالرَّيْحَانُ

(And also corn, with (its) `Asf, and Rayhan.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said that in,

وَالْحَبُّ ذُو الْعَصْفِ

(And also corn, with (its) `Asf), `Asf means straw.'' Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, "`Asf is green leaves cut from the stem, so it is called `Asf when it dries out.'' Similarly, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Abu Malik said that `Asf means straw. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and others said that Rayhan means leaves, while Al-Hasan said that it means sweet-scented plants. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that Rayhan means green leaves. The meanings here, and Allah knows best, are the various crops that produce straw, such as wheat and barley, and Rayhan are the leaves that grow on the stems.

Mankind is surrounded by Allah's Favors

Allah said,

وَالْحَبُّ ذُو الْعَصْفِ وَالرَّيْحَانُ

(13. Then which of the blessings of your Lord will you both deny)

meaning, "O mankind and Jinn,which of the favors that Allah has given to you do you deny'' Muj ahid and others said this, and itis apparent when one reads what comes af ter it. Meaning the favors that are obvious to youwhile you are surrounded by them, you cannot deny or rej ect them. So we say, just as thebelievers among the Jinns said, "O Allah! None of Your favors do we deny. All praise is due toYou. '' Ibn ` Abbas used to say, "Nay, our Lord! '' meaning, "None of Your favors do we deny. ''

Kashf Al-Asrar

The All-Merciful-He taught the Qur'an.

No one's hand will reach the knocker on the Qur'an's gate simply and easily, unless with the suc- cess-giving and facilitating of the All-Merciful. If anyone could reach this good fortune without the help of the All-Merciful, that would be MuṣṬafā, the Seal of the Prophets. But there is no one among the creatures with the majesty and rank that he had. Concerning him the Real says, "The All-Merciful-He taught the Qur'an," that is, He taught MuḤammad the Qur'an.

As much as teachers strive in teaching, masters instruct, and memorizers keep classes going, all of these are secondary causes, and the teacher in reality is God. Whenever someone comes to be taught, He is the teacher. Whenever someone lights up, He is the light-giver. Whenever someone burns, He is the burner. Whenever something is made, He is the maker.

He taught Adam the knowledge of the names: And He taught Adam the names, all of them [2:31]. He taught David chain-mail making: And We taught him the artisanry of garments for you [21:80]. He taught Jesus the science of medicine: And He will teach him the book and the wisdom [3:48]. He taught Khiẓr the science of recognition: We taught him knowledge from Us [18:65]. He taught MuṣṬafā the secrets of the divinity: He taught thee what thou didst not know [4:113]. He taught the folk of the world explication:

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

That is, the teaching of this Qur'an is not the production of a man's mind but its Teacher is the Merciful God Himself. Here, there was no need to tell as to whom Allah had imparted this Qur'anic teaching for the people were hearing it from the tongue of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings). Therefore, the situation by itself made it evident that the teaching had been imparted to Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings).

To begin the discourse with this sentence is meant,,first of all, to tell that the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings) himself is not its author, but its Teacher is Allah Almighty. Furthermore, there is another object also to which the word Rahman (Merciful) is pointing. If the purpose was only to say that that teaching is from Allah, and not the production of the Prophet's mind, there was no need to use an attribute of Allah instead of His proper name, acid for that purpose any attribute from among the Divine attributes could have been adopted, But when, instead of saying that Allah, or the Creator, or the Providence, has taught this, it was said: 'The Merciful (Ar-Rahman) has taught this Qur'an,' it by itself gave the meaning that the revelation of the Qur'an for the guidance of mankind was nothing but Allah's mercy and grace, As He is most kind and Merciful to His creation, He did not like that He should leave them wandering in the darkness, and His mercy demanded that He should send down this Quran to bless them with the knowledge on which depends their right guidance and conduct in the world and their success and well-being in the Hereafter, "

In other words, as Allah is the Creator of man, and it is the Creator's responsibility to provide guidance to His creation and show it the way by following which it may fulfill the object of its erection, the revelation of this Qur'anic teaching from Allah is not only the demand of Allah's mercifulness but also the necessary and natural demand of His being the Creator. Who else would provide guidance to the creation if not the Creator ? And if the Creator did not provide guidance, who else could? And what greater defect could there be for a creator that he should not teach his creation the method of fulfilling the object, for which it has been created? Thus, in fact, the arrangement and' provision of the teaching for man by Allah is not anything strange; it would be strange if no such arrangement had been made at all, Allah has not just left alone whatever He has created in the Universe, but has given it the most appropriate structure by which it may play its role in the system of nature and has taught it the method of playing that role effectively and successfully. Thus, each single hair and each single cell of man's own body has been born with the knowledge of how it has to carry out the task in the human body for which it has been created, Then, after all how could man himself remain deprived and independent of his Creator's teaching and guidance? This theme has been presented in the Qur'an at different places in different ways, In Surah Al-lail; 12, it has been said; "Indeed, it is for Us to toll the Way" in surah An-Nahl: 9, it is said Allah has taken upon Himself to show the Right Way, when there exist crooked ways too:12 In surah Ta Ha (vv: 47-50) it has been stated that when the Pharaoh heard the prophetic message from the Prophet Moses and asked who was his Lord who had sent him as a Messenger to him, the Prophet replied: "Our Lord is He Who has given a distinctive form to everything and then guided it aright. " That is, He has taught it the method by which it could carry out and fulfill the object of its creation in the system of existence. This is the reasoning by which an unbiased mind is satisfied that the coming of the Prophets and the Books from Allah for the instruction of man is the very demand of nature.

One meaning of the word bayan, as used in the original, is the expressing of one's own mind, i e. speaking and expressing one's thoughts and intentions. Its other meaning is to make distinction between things, which here signifies the distinction between good and evil, virtue and vice. According to those two meanings this brief sentence completes the above reasoning. Speech is the distinctive quality which distinguishes man from the animals and other earthly creatures, It is not merely the power of speech, but there are working behind It the faculties of reasoning and intellect, understanding and discernment, will and Judgment, and other mental powers without which man's power of speech could not operate at all. Therefore, speech is in fact an express symbol of man's being an intelligent being who has been endowed with freedom and authority, and when Allah has blessed man with this distinctive quality, evidently the nature of instruction for him also cannot be the same a: would be suitable for the guidance of other creatures. Likewise, another distinctive quality of vital Importance in man is that Allah has placed in him moral sense by virtue of which he can naturally distinguish between good and evil, truth and falsehood, Justice and injustice, right and wrong, and this intuition and sense does not leave him even when he degrades himself to the lowest state of error and ignorance. The Inevitable demand of these two distinctive qualities is that the method of instruction for man's conscious and voluntary life should be different from the innate, natural mode of instruction under which the fish has been taught to swim, the bird to fly, and the eye in the human body itself to wink and see, the ear to hear and the stomach to digest, Man in this sphere of his life himself recognizes the means like the teacher, the book, the school, the verbal and written instruction and reasoning and discussion as the modes of instruction, and does not regard the innate knowledge and intelligence as enough. Why should It then appear arrange that for fulfilling the responsibility that falls upon the Creator of educating man, He has made the Messenger and the Book the means of his education and instruction ? The mode of education has to suit the nature of the creation, And very rationally so; The "Qur'an" alone cart be the means of educating the creation that has been taught 'bayan"(speech) and not my other means that might salt the creatures which have not been taught the speech.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said: "When the verse (Say (unto mankind): Cry unto Allah, or cry unto the Beneficent) [17:111] was revealed, the disbelievers of Mecca-Abu Jahl, al-Walid, 'Utbah and Shaybah and their hosts-said: we know no one called the Beneficent except Musaylimah the liar who lives in Yamamah. So he is this Beneficent one, O Muhammad?" And so Allah revealed this: (The Beneficent