For explanation, see E.N. I of the commentary on Surah AI-Hadid. A study of the following theme by itself shows why the discourse has ban begun with this sentence. What has been stated below about the Universe and Man is that Allah alone is their Creator, Master, Ruler, and He has not made this universe without purpose and wisdom, that Man has not been created and left irresponsible, so that he may act as he may please, and there should be nobody to call him to account, and that the Ruler of this universe is not a care-free and ignorant king so that he may have no knowledge of what is happening in his kingdom. The best introduction to this theme could be the same as has been couched in this brief sentence. In view of the context, the introduction means: In whichever direction you may turn your gaze, from the earth to the limitless vastnesses of the heavens, you will clearly see that everything from a particle to the great galaxies not only testifies to the existence of God but also bears evidence that its God is free from every defect every weakness and error. Had them been the least probability of a defect or fault, weakness or deficiency, in His essence and attributes, in His acts and decrees, this perfect and wise system could not have come into being at all, nor continue to function so consistently and immutably from eternity to eternity.
That is, "The Kingdom of the universe solely belongs to Him. He has not just created it and left it alone after giving it the initial push, but He alone is actually ruling over it every moment. No one else has any role or share whatever in this rule and sovereignty. If others possess temporarily and on a limited scale some powers of ownership or rule somewhere in the universe, these are not their personal powers, which they might have acquired by virtue of their own power, but these have been granted to them by Allah. They possess these powers as long as Allah wills, and they can be withdrawn as and when He so desires."
In other words; He alone is worthy of all praise. Whatever other being has any praiseworthy quality, it has ban granted by Allah. And if hamd (praise) be taken in the sense of shukr (thankfulness), the meaning would be: In reality Allah alone is worthy of being thanked, for all. good things in the world have been created by Him, and He alone is the teal Benefactor of all kinds of creation. When we thank another being for favor, we thank it for the reason that Allah conveyed His blessing thought it or him to us, otherwise neither the being itself is the creator of the blessing nor could it convey the blessing to you without Allah's permission and help.
That is, "He is the possessor of absolute power: He can do whatever. He wills, there is no power to restrain or limit His Omnipotence.
It has four meanings and all arc correct in their respective places:
First, that "He alone is your Creator, yet some of you deny His being the Creator and others acknowledge this truth. " This meaning becomes obvious when the first and the second sentences arc read together.
Second. that "He Himself has created you with the nature that if you choose to adopt unbelief, you may do so, and if you choose to affirm belief, you may do so. He has not compelled you to either accept or reject the Faith therefore, you yourselves arc responsible for your adopting belief or unbelief." This meaning is confirmed by the following sentence: "Allah sees whatever you do." That is, By giving you this choice He has put you to the test, and He is watching how you exercise this choice."
The third meaning is. "He had created you with a sound, wholesome nature, which demanded that you should all adopt the way of the Faith, yet some of you adopted unbelief, which was opposed to the nature and purpose of their creation, and some of you adopted the way of the Faith, which was in conformity with their nature This theme becomes obvious when this verse is read along with verse 30 of Surah Ar-Rum which says: "Set your face sincerely and truly towards Faith, and be steadfast on the Nature whereupon Allah has created mankind. There can be no alteration in the Nature made by Allah. This is the right and true Faith.' And this very theme is explained by several Ahadith in which the Holy Prophet (upon whom be Allah's peace) has repeatedly stated that every man has been created on true human nature; then polytheism and deviation befall him from outside (For futher explanation, see E.N.'s 42 to 47 of the commentary of Surah Ar-Rum) Here, it may he pointed out that no Divine Book has ever presented the concept of man's being a sinner by birth, which Christianity has embraced as its fundamental doctrine for 1,500 years. Recently even Catholic scholars themselves have started expressing the view that there is no basis for this doctrine in the Bible. The famous German biblical scholar Rev. Herbert Haag, writes in his book, Is Original Sin in Scripture "Among the earliest Christians, at least till the 3rd century A.D., there existed no such creed that man was a sinner by birth, and when this idea started spreading among the people, the Christian scholars continued to contradict it for two centuries. At last in the 5th century A.D. St Augustine by the power of his logic made this idea a part of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity: 'Mankind is heir to the original sin committed by Adam, and there is no way to salvation for man except through the Atonement made by Christ."
The fourth meaning is: "Only Allah brought you into existence from nonexistence: you were not, then you became. This was such a simple thing that if you had thought over it seriously and seen that life is the actual blessing through which you are benefiting by the other blessings in the world, none of you would have adopted the attitude of disbelief and rebellion against your Creator. But some of you did not give it due thought, or thought wrongly, and adopted the way of disbelief, and some others adopted the same way of belief and faith which was the very demand of correct thinking.
In this sentence "seeing" does not merely mean to see, but it automatically gives the meaning that man will be rewarded or punished according to his actions and deeds. It is just like a master's taking a person into service and then telling him: "I shall sec how you perform your duties," which implies: "If you perform your duties well, I shall reward you fully; otherwise I shall call you to account for your negligence."
In this verse three things have been stated in their sequence, which are well connected logically:
First, it has been said that Allah has created this universe with the truth. When the word "with the truth" is spoken for a news, it means a true news; when it is spoken for a command, it means a command based on justice; when it is spoken for a statement, it means a correct statement; and when it is used for an act, it implies an act which is wise, reasonable and useful. Now, khalq (to create) is an act; therefore, to say that the universe has been created with the truth, would inevitably mean that the universe has not been created for fun but it is a serious work of a Wise Creator: everything in it has a rational object and purpose, and the element of its being purposeful is so evident that if a sensible person understands the nature of a thing well, it cannot be difficult for him to know the rational and wise purpose for which it has been created. All of modern science testifies that whenever man has succeeded in understanding the true nature of a thing by careful thought, research and investigation, he has also come to know eventually the purpose and object of its creation, and this understanding of its purpose has led him to countless inventions which are now being used in civilized human life. This could not be possible, had this universe been the plaything of a carefree person, devoid of any wisdom and purpose. (For further explanation, see E.N. 46 of AIAn-am, E.N. 11 of Yunus, E.N. 26 of Ibrahim, E.N. 46 of Ati-Nahl, E.N.'s 15, 16 of Al-Anbiya, E.N. 102 of Al-Mu'nunun, E.N. 75 of Al-'Ankabut, E.N. 6 of Ar-Rum, E.N. 34 of Ad-Dukhan, B.N. 28 of AI-Jathiyah).
Secondly, it has been said that in this universe Allah has created man in the best shape. Shape here does not imply only man's fact but his whole bodily structure; it also inclusions all those powers and abilities which man has been granted to function in this world. In both these aspects man has been given the best shape and form among the creatures of the earth, and on the same basis he has become worthy to rule over all the universe. He has been given an erect stature he has been given most appropriate feet to walk on; he has given most suitable hands to work with; he has been given such senses and organs to acquire knowledge by which he obtains every kind of information; he has been given a powerful mind to think and understand and deduce results from the body of acquired information; he has been given a moral sense and a power of discrimination by which he distinguishes between good and evil, right and wrong; he has been given the power of decision by using which he selects his own course of action, and decides as to where he should employ his efforts and where he should not. He has even been given the freedom that he may acknowledge his ('rector and serve Him if he so likes and reject Him if he pleases, or may make whomever he likes his gods, or rebel even against Him Whom he regards as his God. Along with all these capabilities and powers Allah has granted him the authority to appropriate everything created by Him, and he is practically using this authority in the world. (For further explanation, see E.N. 91 of Al-Mu'min).
The third thing which logically follows from the first two. as explained above has been stated in the third sentence of the verse "To Him you have to return in the end.' Obviously, when a creature endowed with power and authority has been created in a wise and purposeful system of the universe, wisdom does not require that he should be left to live irresponsibly in the world, but it necessarily requires that that creature should be accountable to the Being Who has granted it this position and rank and blessed it with these powers; 'Returning" in this verse does not merely mean to return but to return for accountability. In the following verses it has been explained that this return will not be in this life but into the second life after death, and its right time will he when all mankind will be resurrected and gathered together simultaneously for accountability, and in consequence of the accountability man will be rewarded or punished on the ground whether he had used the powers given him by God in the right way or the wrong way. As for the question, why cannot this accountability be held in the present lift of the world? and why is its right time only the second lift after death'? and why is it necessary that this accountability be held only when all mankind has passed away from this world, and all the former and the latter generations have been resurrected and gathered together simultaneously? If man only uses his common sense a little, he can understand that all this is perfectly rational as well as the very demand of wisdom and reason that accountability should be held in the second lift and of all mankind together. The first reason is that man is accountable for his whole life-work. Therefore, the right time of his accountability should necessarily be when his life-work has come to an end. The sccond reason is that man is responsible for all those effects and influences which he produces by his acts on the lives of others, and those influences and effects do not come to an end with his death but continue to influence others till ages after him Therefore, true accountability call he held only when the life-work of entire mankind has come to an end and all the former and the latter generations are gathered together simultaneously for accountability. (For further explanation, see E.N. 30 of Al-,A'raf. E.N.'s 10, 11 of Yunus E.N. 105 of Hud E.N. 35 of An-Nahl, E.N. 9 of AI-Hajj, E.N. 27 of An.Naml, E.N.'s 5,6 of Ar-Rum, E.N.'s 29, 30 of Suad, E.N. 80 of AI-Mu'min, E.N.'s 27 to 29 of Al-Jathiyah)
Another translation can be: "Whatever you do secretly and whatever openly."
That is, "He is aware not only of those acts of man, which come to the notice of the people but He knows also those acts which remain hidden from them. Moreover, He does not only see the superficial form of the acts, but also knows what intention and purpose underlay each act of man and with what motive and aim he did whatever he did- This is such a truth that if man ponders over it seriously, he can fully well understand that justice can be done only in the Hereafter, and only in God's Court can real justice be possibly done. Man's own intellect itself demands that man must be punished for each of his crimes. But everyone knows that in the world most of the crimes remain hidden. or the culprit escapes punishment because of insufficient evidence, or even if the crime becomes revealed, the culprit is so influential and powerful that he cannot be punished. Then the intellect of man also requires that man should not be punished only because his behavior resembles a criminal act, but it should be ascertained that he has committed the act intentionally and deliberately and at the time he committed it, he was acting as a responsible agent, his intention in actual fact was to commit the crime, and he knew that what he was doing was a crime. That is why the worldly courts inquire into these things when they decide the cases, and regard such an inquiry as a demand of the rule of justice. Burt is there any means available in the world by which these things may be precisely ascertained beyond every shadow of doubt? Considered from this viewpoint, this verse also bears a deep logical relevance to Allah Almighty's saying: e has created the earth and the heavens with Truth." The necessary demand of creating them with Truth is that perfect justice should prevail in this universe. Such justice can be established only when every act of a responsible man may not only remain concealed from the eyes of the one administering justice but the intention with which a person performed and act also should not remain hidden from him. And obviously, there cannot be any being, apart from the Creator of the universe, who can administer such justice, Now, if a person denies Allah and the Hereafter, he in fact, asserts that we humans live in a universe which is devoid of justice, which is rather a place where justice cannot possibly be done. The person whose intellect, mind and conscience feel satisfied at such an assumption would be a shameless creature if be thought he was bing progressive and rationalistic and those people antiquated and retrogressive who accept a highly rational concept about the universe, which the Qur'an presents.