57 - Al Hadid (Iron)

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 57.1

Al-Jalalayn

All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifies God, that is to say, all things exalt Him as being transcendent (thus, the lām [of li’Llāhi] is extra; mā, ‘[all] that’, is used instead of min, ‘[all] who’, in order to indicate what is the predominant [sc. non-rational beings]); and He is the Mighty, in His kingdom, the Wise, in His actions.

Ibn Al Kathir

Everything that exists glorifies Allah and mentioning some of His Attributes

In this Ayah, Allah states that everything that exists in the heavens and earth praises and glorifies Him, including creatures and plants. Allah said in another Ayah,

تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَـوَتُ السَّبْعُ وَالاٌّرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ وَإِن مِّن شَىْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا

(The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.)(17:44) And His saying:

وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ

(and He is the Almighty,) meaning the One to Whom all things submit humility,

الْحَكِيمُ

(All-Wise.) in His creating, commanding and legislating,

لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ يُحْىِ وَيُمِيتُ

(His is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. It is He Who gives life and causes death;) He is the absolute Owner of His creation, bringing life and death and granting what He wills to whom He wills,

وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

(and He is Able to do all things.) whatever He wills, is, and whatever He does not will, will never be. He said,

هُوَ الاٌّوَّلُ وَالاٌّخِرُ وَالظَّـهِرُ وَالْبَـطِنُ

(He is Al-Awwal and Al-Akhir, Az-Zahir and Al-Batin.) This is the Ayah indicated in the Hadith of `Irbad bin Sariyah that is better than a thousand Ayat. Abu Dawud recorded that Abu Zamil said, "I mentioned to Ibn `Abbas that I felt something in my heart. He said, `Doubts' and then laughed. Next, he said, `No one can escape this. Allah the Exalted stated,

فَإِن كُنتَ فِي شَكٍّ مِّمَّآ أَنزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكَ فَاسْأَلِ الَّذِينَ يَقْرَءُونَ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِكَ لَقَدْ جَآءَكَ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ

(So if you are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who are reading the Book before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord.)(10:94)' He then said to me, `When you feel any of this in your heart, recite,

هُوَ الاٌّوَّلُ وَالاٌّخِرُ وَالظَّـهِرُ وَالْبَـطِنُ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ

(He is Al-Awwal and Al-Akhir, Az-Zahir and Al-Batin. And He is the All-Knower of everything.)''' There are about ten and some odd number of different sayings collected from the scholars of Tafsir regarding the explanation of this Ayah. Al-Bukhari said, "Yahya said, `Az-Zahir: knowing all things, Al-Batin: knowing all things.''' Our Shaykh Al-Hafiz Al-Mizzi said, "Yahya is Ibn Ziyad Al-Farra', who authored a book entitled Ma`ani Al-Qur'an.'' There are Hadiths mentioned about this. Among them, Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah would recite this supplication while going to bed,

«اللْهُمَّ رَبَّ السَّموَاتِ السَّبْعِ، وَرَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ، رَبَّنَا وَرَبَّ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ، مُنْزِلَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ وَالْفُرْقَانِ، فَالِقَ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى، لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ أَنْتَ آخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهِ، أَنْتَ الْأَوَّلُ لَيْسَ قَبْلَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الْاخِرُ لَيْسَ بَعْدَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الظَّاهِرُ لَيْسَ فَوْقَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الْبَاطِنُ لَيْسَ دُونَكَ شَيْءٌ. اقْضِ عَنَّا الدَّيْنَ، وَأَغْنِنَا مِنَ الْفَقْر»

(O Allah, Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the Magnificent Throne! Our Lord, and the Lord of everything, Revealer of the Tawrah, the Injil and the Furqan, the Splitter of the grain of corn and the date stone! I seek refuge with You from the evil of everything whose forhead You have control over. O Allah! You are Al-Awwal, nothing is before You; Al-Akhir, nothing is after You; Az-Zahir, nothing is above You; and Al-Batin, nothing is below You. Remove the burden of debt from us and free us from poverty.) Muslim recorded this Hadith via Sahl, who said, "Abu Salih used to order us to lay on our right side when we were about to sleep, and then say,

«اللْهُمَّ رَبَّ السَّموَاتِ وَرَبَّ الْأَرْضِ وَرَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ، رَبَّنَا وَرَبَّ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ، فَالِقَ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى، وَمُنْزِلَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنْجِيلِ وَالْفُرْقَانِ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ ذِي شَرَ أَنْتَ آخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهِ، اللْهُمَّ أَنْتَ الْأَوَّلُ فَلَيْسَ قَبْلَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الْاخِرُ فَلَيْسَ بَعْدَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الظَّاهِرُ فَلَيْسَ فَوْقَكَ شَيْءٌ، وَأَنْتَ الْبَاطِنُ فَلَيْسَ دُونَكَ شَيْءٌ، اقْضِ عَنَّا الدَّيْنَ، وَأَغْنِنَا مِنَ الْفَقْر»

(O Allah, Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the Magnificent Throne! Our Lord, and the Lord of everything, Revealer of the Tawrah, the Injil and the Furqan, the Splitter of the grain of corn and the date stone! I seek refuge with You from the evil of everything whose forhead You have control over. O Allah! You are Al-Awwal, nothing is before You; Al-Akhir, nothing is after You; Az-Zahir, nothing is above You; and Al-Batin, nothing is below You. Remove the burden of debt from us and free us from poverty.) And he used to narrate that from Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet.''

Kashf Al-Asrar

Whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies God.

The maker of the world and the world's folk, the nurturer of mankind and jinn, the creator of earth and heaven, the wonder-worker of the emplaced and place, reports that everything in heaven and earth, whether wind, fire, water, mountains, seas, sun, moon, stars, trees, and all animate and in- animate things, praise Him for purity, mention His name with honor, and testify to His oneness. This glorification and tawḤīd throw tumult into the Adamic heart and are rejected by intellect, but the religion of the submission accepts them and the Creator of the creatures testifies to their cor- rectness. Whenever success-giving is someone's companion and felicity his helper, he will accept them, unperceived, with spirit and heart and will come forth with reverence, surrender, and attesta- tion. Then tomorrow, he will find his place in the gathering place of the sincerely truthful and the assemblies of the friends on the seat of everlasting exaltedness.

Beware, O chevalier! Take care not to give one iota of innovation access to your heart. When you hear something that your intellect does not perceive, suspect only your intellect. Do not take the road of interpretation, because going after interpretation is a tested poison. It is to remove a thorn from the foot with a thorn. A knowing man will not test poison, for that would be to hurry to his own destruction. He will not pull a thorn from his foot with a thorn, for he knows it would only increase the pain.

That chevalier said it beautifully:

"Seek not the road of tawḤīd with intellect, scratch not the spirit's eye with a thorn.

By God, can anyone ever

take benefit from God without God?

As trainer and leader on the path of the religion- consider none better than the Qur'an and the reports.

Only the hand of MuḤammad's heart

can undo the locks on the treasury of secrets." [DS 201-2]

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

That is, "It has always been so that everything in the universe has proclaimed the truth that its Creator and Sustainer is free from every blemish and defect, every weakness, error and evil. He is glorified in His essence, He is glorified in His attributes, He is glorified in His works as well as His commands whether they relate to the creation, or to the religious law for mankind. Here sabbaha has been used in the past tense; at other places yusabbihu has been used which includes both the present and the future tenses. This would signify that every particle in the universe has always been extolling the glory of its Creator and Sustainer in the past, is doing at present and will continue to do the same in the future for ever and ever."

That is, not only is He All-Mighty and All-Wist, but the truth is that He afoot is All-Mighty and All-Wise. The word 'Aziz signifies a mighty and powerful Being Whose decrees cannot be prevented by any power in the world from being enforced, Whom no one can oppose and resist, Who has to be obeyed by every one whether one likes it or not, Whose rebel cannot escape His accountability and punishment in any way; and Hakim signifies that whatever He does He does it wisely. His creation, His administration and rule, His commands and guidance, all are based on wisdom. None of His works is tarnished by any tract of folly or ignorance.

There is another fine point here, which one should fully understand. Seldom in the Qur'an has Allah's attribute of `Aziz (All-Mighty) been accompanied by His attributes of being Qawi (Strong), Mugtadir(Powerful), Jabber (Omnipotent), Dhuntiqam (Avenger) and the like, which only signify His absolute power, and this has been so only in places where the context demanded that the wicked and disobedient be warned of Allah's relentless punishment. Apart from such few places, wherever the word 'Aziz has been used for Allah, it has everywhere been accompanied by one Or other of His attributes of being Hakim (Wise), Alim (Knower), Rahim (Merciful), Ghafur (Forgiving), Wahhab (Generous) and Hamid (Praiseworthy). The reason is that if a being who wields un-limited power is at the same time foolish, ignorant, un-forgiving as well as stingy and devoid of character, its power and authority cannot but lead to injustice and wickedness Thus, wherever injustice and wickedness is being committed in the world, it is only because the one who wields authority over Others, is either using his power un-wisely and foolishly, or he is merciless and hardhearted, or evil-minded and wicked. Wherever power is coupled with these evil traits of character, no good can be expected to result. That is why in the Holy Qur'an Allah's attribute of `Aziz has necessarily been accompanied by His attributes of being All-Wise and Knowing, Compassionate and Forgiving, Praiseworthy and Generous, so that man may know that the God Who is ruling this universe has, on the' one hand, such absolute power that no one, from the earth to the heavens, can prevent His decrees from being enforced, but, on the other, He is also AlI-Wise: His each decision is based on perfect wisdom; He is also AII-Knowing whatever decision He makes, it precisely according to knowledge; He is also Compassionate: He does not use infinite power mercilessly; He is Forgiving as well: He does not punish His creatures for trifling faults, but overlooks their errors; He is also Generous: He does not treat His subjects stingily, but liberally and benevolently; and He is also Praiseworthy: He combines in Himself all praiseworthy virtues and excellences.

The full importance of this statement of the Qur'an can be better understood by those people who are aware of the discussions of the philosophy of politics and law on the question of sovereignty. Sovereignty connotes that the one who possesses it should wield un-limited power: there should be no internal and external power to change or modify his decision or prevent it from being enforced, and none should have any alternative but to obey him. At the mere concept of this infinite and un-limited power, man's common-sense necessarily demands that whoever attains to such power, should be faultless and perfect in knowledge and wisdom, for if the one holding this power is ignorant, merciless and evil, his sovereignty will inevitably lead to wickedness and corruption. That is why the philosophers who regarded a single man, or a man-made institution, or an assembly of men as the holder of this power, have had to presume that he or it would be infallible. But obviously, neither can un limited sovereignty be actually attained by a human power, nor is it possible for a king, or a parliament, or a nation, or a party that it may use the sovereignty attained by it in a limited circle faultlessly and harmlessly. The reason is that the wisdom that is wholly free of every trace of folly, and the knowledge that fully comprehends all the related truths, is not at all possessed even by entire mankind, not to speak of its being attain d by an individual, or an institution, or a nation. Likewise, as long as man is man, his being wholly free of and above selfishness, sensuality, fear, greed, desires, prejudice and sentimental love, anger and hate is also not possible. If a person ponders over these truths, he will realize that the Qur'an is indeed presenting here a correct and perfect view of sovereignty. It says that no one except Allah in this universe is possessor of absolute power, and with this unlimited power He alone is faultless, All-Wise and All-Knowing, Compassionate and Forgiving, and Praiseworthy and Generous in His dealings with Hid subjects.

That is, "When there was nothing, He was, and when there will be nothing, He will be. He is the most Manifest of all the manifest, for whatever manifests itself in the world, does 50 only by His attributes and His works and His light. And He is the Most Hidden of all the hidden, for not only do the senses fail to perceive Him but the intellect and thought and imagination also cannot attain to His essence and reality. The best commentary in this regard are the words of a supplication of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings). which Imam Ahmad, Muslim, Tirmidhi, and Baihaqi have related on the authority of Hadrat Abu Hurairah, and Hafiz Abu Ya'la Mosuli in his Musnad on the authority of Hadrat 'A'ishah:

"Antal Awwal, fa-laisa qablaka shai'in; wa Antal Akhir fa-laisa ba 'daka shai 'in; wa Antal Zahir, fa-laisa fauqaka shai in; wa Anfal Batin, fa laisa dunaka shai'in. " "You alone are the First; none is before You; You alone are the Last: none is after You; You alone are the Exalted none is above You; You alone are the Hidden: none is more hidden than You. "

Here, the question arises: How does this accord with the immortality and eternal life of the dwellrs of Paradise and Hell mentioned in the Qur'an when Allah alone is the Last and Eternal? Its answer has been provided by the Qur'an itself: "Everything is perishable except Allah Himself." (Al-Qasas: 88). In other words no creature is immortal in its personal capacity; if a thing exists or continuous to exist, it does so because Allah keeps it so, and can exist only by His letting it exist; otherwise in its own capacity everything is perishable except Allah, Immortality in Heaven and Hell will not be bestowed upon somebody because he is immortal by himself, but because Allah will grant him eternal life. The same is true of the angels: they are not immortal by themselves. When Allah willed they came into existence, and will continue to exist only as long as Her wills.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah's saying's (All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifieth Allah): 'He says: (All that is in the heavens) of creation (and the earth) of created beings (glorifieth Allah) pray to Allah; and it is said this means: makes remembrance of Allah, (and He is the Mighty) in retribution against those who disbelieve in Him, (the Wise) in His command and decree: He commanded that none should be worshipped save Him.