The Quran

Commentaries for 2.117

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.117 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(the originator of the heavens and the earth!) he originated them when they were nothing before. (when he decreeth a thing) when he wants to create a child without a father, like jesus, (he saith unto it only: be!) be a child without a father, just like adam was without a father or mother, (and it is).
2.117 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
creator of the heavens and the earth, making them exist without any exemplary precedent; and when he decrees, wills, a thing, to exist, he but says to it ‘be’ and it is, that is to say, it becomes (fa-yakūnu: a variant reading has fa-yakūna, on account of it being the response [in the subjunctive mood] to the jussive statement).
2.117 Kashani - Kashani
originator of the heavens and the earth, that is, originating his heavens and earth without there being any preceding substratum or period of time, nay, they are shadows of his essence and the origination point of his knowledge, illumined by his luminous name, existing by his external existence. were it not for the aspect of contingency and rational consideration as per things known with certainty, their existences would not be [existences] in the first place, since without him they are nothing. thus they exist with him not relatively [speaking] but through the verification of his existence and they cannot be other than him through separation but by rational consideration, for on the basis of their being entities they are created things and on the basis of their reality they are true; and when he decrees a thing, that is, he rules that it be, he but says to it 'be', and it is, in other words, all that is needed is the connection between that [thing] and his will and it comes into existence, without the intrusion of time or the mediation of a thing, nay, [it comes into existence] together [with his will]. that connection is his statement ['be'], for otherwise there would be no words and no sound.
2.116-117 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
refuting the claim that allah has begotten a son
this and the following ayat refute the christians, may allah curse them, and their like among the jews and the arab idolators, who claimed that the angels are allah's daughters. allah refuted all of them in their claim that he had begotten a son. allah said,
سُبْحَـنَهُ
(glory is to him.)
meaning, he is holier and more perfect than such claim;
بَل لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ
(nay, to him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth,) meaning, the truth is not as the disbelievers claimed, rather, allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and earth and whatever and whoever is in, on and between them. allah is the supreme authority in the heavens and earth, and he is the creator, provider and sustainer who decides all the affairs of the creation as he wills. all creatures are allah's servants and are owned by him. therefore, how could one of them be his son the son of any being is born out of two comparable beings. allah has no equal or rival sharing his grace and greatness, so how can he have a son when he has no wife allah said,
بَدِيعُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لَهُ وَلَدٌ وَلَمْ تَكُنْ لَّهُ صَـحِبَةٌ وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ وهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
(he is the originator of the heavens and the earth. how can he have children when he has no wife he created all things and he is the knower of everything) (6:101).
وَقَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَـنُ وَلَداً - لَقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئاً إِدّاً - تَكَادُ السَّمَـوَتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الاٌّرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً - أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَلَداً - وَمَا يَنبَغِى لِلرَّحْمَـنِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَداً - إِن كُلُّ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ آتِى الرَّحْمَـنِ عَبْداً - لَّقَدْ أَحْصَـهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدّاً - وَكُلُّهُمْ ءَاتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَرْداً
(and they say: "the most gracious (allah) has begotten a son (offspring or children).'' indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins. that they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to the most gracious (allah). but it is not suitable for (the majesty of) the most gracious (allah) that he should beget a son (or offspring or children). there is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the most gracious (allah) as a servant. verily, he knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting. and everyone of them will come to him alone on the day of resurrection (without any helper, or protector or defender)) (19:88-95), and,
قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ - اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ - لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ - وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ
(say: "he is allah (the) one, allah the samad (the self- sufficent, upon whom all depend), he begets not, nor was he begotten, and there is none comparable to him.'') (112).
in these ayat, allah stated that he is the supreme master whom there is no equal or rival, everything and everyone was created by him, so how can he have a son from among them this is why, in the tafsir of this ayah, al-bukhari recorded that ibn `abbas said that the prophet said,
«قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالَى: كَذّبَنِي ابْنُ آدَمَ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ ذلِكَ، وَشَتَمَنِي وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ ذلِكَ، فَأَمَّا تَكْذِيبُهُ إِيَّايَ فَيَزْعُمُ أَنِّي لَا أَقْدِرُ أَنْ أُعِيدَهُ كَمَا كَانَ، وَأَمَّا شَتْمُهُ إِيَّايَ فَقَوْلُهُ لِي وَلَدًا فَسُبْحَانِي أَنْ أَتَّخِذَ صَاحِبَةً أَوْ وَلَدًا»
(allah said, `the son of adam has denied me, and that is not his right. he has insulted me, and that is not his right. as for the denial of me, he claimed that i am unable to bring him back as he used to be (resurrect him). as for his insulting me, he claimed that i have a son. all praise is due to me, it is unbefitting that i should have a wife or a son.')
this hadith was recorded by al-bukhari.
it is recorded in the two sahihs that the messenger of allah said,
«لَا أَحَدَ أَصْبَرُ عَلَى أَذًى سَمِعَهُ مِنَ اللهِ: إِنَّهُمْ يَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ وَلَدًا وَهُوَ يَرْزُقُهُمْ وَيُعَافِيهِم»
(no one is more patient when hearing an insult than allah. they attribute a son to him, yet he still gives them sustanence and health.)
everything is within allah's grasp
allah said,
كُلٌّ لَّهُ قَـنِتُونَ
(all are qanitun to him).
ibn abi hatim said that abu sa`id al-ashaj informed them that asbat informed them from mutarrif, from `atiyah, from ibn `abbas who said that,
قَـنِتِينَ
(qantin) (2:238) means, they pray to him. `ikrimah and abu malik also said that,
كُلٌّ لَّهُ قَـنِتُونَ
(and all are qanitun to him.) means, bound to him in servitude to him. sa`id bin jubayr said that qanitun is sincerity. ar-rabi` bin anas said that,
كُلٌّ لَّهُ قَـنِتُونَ
(all are qanitun to him.) means, "standing up - before him - on the day of resurrection.'' also, as-suddi said that,
كُلٌّ لَّهُ قَـنِتُونَ
(and all are qanitun to him.) means, "obedient on the day of resurrection.'' khasif said that mujahid said that,
كُلٌّ لَّهُ قَـنِتُونَ
(and all are qanitun to him. ) means, "obedient. he says, `be a human' and he becomes a human.'' he also said, "(allah says,) `be a donkey' and it becomes a donkey.'' also, ibn abi najih said that mujahid said that,
كُلٌّ لَّهُ قَـنِتُونَ
(and all are qanitun to him.) means, obedient. mujahid also said, "the obedience of the disbeliever occurs when his shadow prostrates, while he hates that.'' mujahid's statement, which ibn jarir preferred, combines all the meanings, and that is that qunut means obedience and submission to allah. there are two categories of qunut: legislated and destined, for allah said,
وَللَّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَظِلَـلُهُم بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالاٌّصَالِ
(and unto allah (alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the (late) afternoons) (13:15).
the meaning of badi`
allah said,
بَدِيعُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ
(the badi` (originator) of the heavens and the earth.) which means, he created them when nothing resembling them existed. mujahid and as-suddi said that this is the linguistic meaning, for all new matters are called bid`ah. muslim recorded the messenger of allah saying,
«فَإِنَّ كُلَّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَة»
(...every innovation (in religion) is a bid`ah.)
there are two types of bid`ah, religious, as mentioned in the hadith:
«فَإِنَّ كُلَّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ وَكُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَة»
(...every innovation is a bid`ah and every bid`ah is heresy.)
and there is a linguistic bid`ah, such as the statement of the leader of the faithful `umar bin al-khattab when he gathered the muslims to pray the tarawih prayer in congregation (which was also an earlier practice of the prophet ) and said, "what a good bid`ah this is.''
ibn jarir said, "thus the meaning of the ayat (2:116-117) becomes, `allah is far more glorious than to have had a son, for he is the owner of everything that is in the heavens and earth. all testify to his oneness and to their submissiveness to him. he is their creator and maker. without created precedence, he shaped the creatures in their current shapes. allah also bears witness to his servants that jesus, who some claimed to be allah's son, is among those who testify to his oneness. allah stated that he created the heavens and earth out of nothing and without precedent. likewise, he created jesus, the messiah, with his power and without a father.'' this explanation from ibn jarir, may allah have mercy upon him, is very good and correct.
allah said,
وَإِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
(when he decrees a matter, he only says to it : "be! ـ and it is.) thus, demonstrating his perfectly complete ability and tremendous authority; if he decides a matter, he merely orders it to, `be' and it comes into existence. similarly, allah said,
إِنَّمَآ أَمْرُهُ إِذَآ أَرَادَ شَيْئاً أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
(verily, his command, when he intends a thing, is only that he says to it, "be! ـ and it is.) (36:82),
إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَىْءٍ إِذَآ أَرَدْنَاهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ
(verily, our word unto a thing when we intend it, is only that we say unto it: "be! ـ and it is.) (16:40) and,
وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلاَّ وَحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ
(and our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye) (54:50)
so allah informed us that he created jesus by merely saying, "be!'' and he was, as allah willed:
إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِندَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ ءَادَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
(verily, the likeness of `isa (jesus) before allah is the likeness of adam. he created him from dust, then (he) said to him: "be! ـ and he was) (3:59).
2.117 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
originator of the heavens and the earth; and when he decrees a thing he but says to it “be” and it is. the originator al-badīʿ according to the scholars is the one who brings the entity ʿayn into existence without any model lā ʿalā mithāl. according to the people of allusion he is the one and there is nothing like him laysa lahu shayun mithlihi since this term alludes to both the negation of any likeness mithl to his essence and the negation of any model mithāl for his acts. he is the one al-aḥad without any quantity comprising him; the eternal al-ṣamad whom no final point in time cuts off; the real al-ḥaqq whom no imagination can picture; and the existent al-mawjūd of whom no understanding is capable. when he decides on an affair nothing preordained maqdūr can oppose it and nothing created mafṭūr can separate itself from his decree.