Who made beautiful everything that He created and who began the creation of man from clay.
There was a pir among the great ones of the Tariqah who recited this verse and then was saying, “He created man from clay, but He loves them, and they love Him [5:54]. He created man from clay, but God approves of them, and they approve of Him [9:100]. He created man from clay, but remember Me; I will remember you [2:152].”
What harm was done to this pearl of honor that his makeup is of clay? For his perfection is placed in the heart. His worth is because of nurture, not dust. His eminence is from the gentleness of the divine eternity, not walking on the feet of servanthood.
The Real created the whole cosmos-spheres and angels, Throne and Footstool, Tablet and Pen, paradise and hell, heaven and earth-and He did not look at any of these created things with the gaze of affection and love. He sent them no messengers and gave them no messages. When the turn of the dust-dwellers arrived-those lifted up by gentleness and caressed by bounty, those who are the quarries of the lights of the secrets-He made the angels their watchers, He placed burning and affection in their breasts, He threw the fire of passion into their hearts, and He wrote the inscription of faith on the pages of their hearts: He wrote faith in their hearts [58:22]. He inscribed love in their minds: He loves them, and they love Him [5:54]. The secret He has with the Adamites He does not have with the Throne or the Footstool, nor with the heavens or the angels, for all of them are servants, and the Adamites are both servants and friends: We are your friends in this world's life and in the next world [41:31].
Who perfected everything that He created (read khalaqahu, as a past tense functioning as an adjectival qualification [of what He perfected]; or khalqahu, ‘its creation’, as an inclusive substitution [for kulla shay’in, ‘everything’]). And He began the creation of man, Adam, from clay,
Allah tells us that He has created everything well and formed everything in a goodly fashion. Malik said, narrating from Zayd bin Aslam:
الَّذِى أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقَهُ
(Who made everything He has created good) means, "He created everything well and in a goodly fashion.'' When Allah mentions the creation of the heavens and the earth, He follows that by mentioning the creation of man. Allah says:
وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الإِنْسَـنِ مِن طِينٍ
(and He began the creation of man from clay.) meaning, He created the father of mankind, Adam, from clay.
(and breathed into him the soul; and He gave you hearing, sight and the sense of deduction.) means, reason.
قَلِيلاً مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ
(Little is the thanks you give!) means, for these strengths with which Allah has provided you; the one who is truly blessed is the one who uses them to worship and obey his Lord, may He be exalted and glorified.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Now the second objection of the mushriks which they raised against the Holy Prophet's message of Tauhid, is being dealt with: They were severely critical of him because he rejected their gods and saints and openly invited the people to the creed that there is no helper, no fulfiller of needs except Allah and no answerer of prayers, no remover of ills and no sovereign other than Him.
For explanation, see E.N. 41 of Al-A'raf, E.N. 4 of Yunus and E.N. 3 of Ar-Ra'd.
That is, "Your real God is the Creator of the heavens and earth. But you in your folly have set up others than Him as your helpers and supporters in the vast 'Kingdom of this Universe. The Creator of this whole Universe and whatever it contains is Allah. Here, everything except Himself is created, and Allah has not gone to sleep after having created and made the world go. But He Himself is the Ruler and Sovereign and Sustainer of His Kingdom. Then, how senseless you are that you have set up a few of His creatures as the masters of your destinies! If Allah does not help you, none of them has the power to help you. If Allah should seize you, none of them has the power to secure your liberty. If Allah does not permit, none of them has the power to intercede for you before Him. "
That is, "The events of a thousand years of your history are a day's work for Allah." He entrusts His scheme of work to the "angels of destiny", who submit their report of work before Him and receive orders for the scheme of the next day (whose length according to your calculation would be a thousand years). "This thing has been expressed at two other places also in the Qur'an, the study of which can help to understand it fully well. The disbelievers of Arabia said, "Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) claimed to be a Prophet many years ago. He has warned us again and again that if we did not accept his message and rejected his invitation, we would be seized by Allah's torment. He has been repeating this threat since many years, but the torment has not overtaken us, although we have denied and rejected him clearly over and over again. Had his threats any substance in them, we would have been seized in the torment long ago " In this connection, in Surah AI-Hajj Allah says: "These people are demanding of you to hasten the chastisement. Allah will never fail to fulfil His threat, but a day with your Lord is equal to a thousand years as you reckon." (v. 47)
In Surah AI-Ma'arij (vv. 1-7), it has been said: "An asker has asked for a torment, (the torment) which must befall the disbelievers. There is none to avert it. It is from that God Who is the Owner of the Steps of Ascent. The angels and the Spirit ascend to His Presence in a day whose measure is fifty thousand years. So, have patience, O Prophet, a graceful patience! They think it is far off, but We see it near at hand. "
What is meant to be impressed in these verses is this: Allah's decrees are not passed and enforced in the history of mankind according to the earthly watches and calendars. When a nation is warned that if it adopted such and such an attitude in life, it would meet with such and such an end, the people would be foolish if from this they understood that the predicted consequences would follow their evil acts and deeds immediately. Not to speak of days and months and years, the occurrence of the results may even take centuries.
That is, "For others one thing may be open and known but countless other things hidden. Whether angels or jinns, prophets or saints, or other pious people, none of them has the knowledge of everything. It is Allah alone Who knows everything. He knows all that has passed, all that is present, and all that will happen in the future. "
"The All-Mighty": The One Who is dominant over everything: no power in the universe can hinder Him in His Design and Will and obstruct His Command from being enforced. Everything is subdued. to Him and nothing can resist Him.
That is, He is not tyrannous to His creatures but is Gracious and Merciful in spite of being overwhelmingly dominant and possessor of all power and authority.
That is, "In this limitless universe He has created countless numbers of things, but none of them is ugly and ill-shaped: everything has its own special beauty: everything is proportionate and symmetrical in its own way. Whatever He has made for a particular purpose, He has given it the most appropriate, form and invested it with the most :unable qualities for it. No better and more appropriate structure could be conceived, for example, for the eye and the ear which have been made for seeing and hearing. The air has precisely the same qualities which it should have for the purpose for which it has been made, and the water precisely the same qualities for the purpose for which it has been made. No one can point out any defect or flaw in the design of anything made by God; nor can anyone offer an alteration or modification in it."
That is, "In the beginning He created man directly by His own act of Creation, and- then placed in man himself such a procreative ability that similar men continue being produced by his sperm-drop. By one excellent act He gave life and consciousness and intellect to a combination of earthly elements by His creative Command so that a wonderful creation like man came into being; by another excellent act He placed in man's own organism such a wonderful machinery for the production of similar more men in the future, whose mode of functioning is highly astonishing and amazing.
This is one of those verses of the Qur'an, which points to the direct creation of the first man. The scientists since the time of Darwin have felt greatly critical of this concept and have rejected it with contempt as unscientific. But the fact is that they cannot get rid of the concept of the direct creation of the first germ, if not of the first man, or of the first species of animals. If creationism is not accepted, then one will have to accept the utterly absurd idea that life originated merely accidentally; whereas even the simplest form of life as found in the single cell organism is so full of complexities and subtleties that regarding it as the result of an accident would be a million times more unscientific an idea than what the evolutionists think of creationism. And if once it is accepted that the first germ came into being by an act of direct creation, it would be no longer difficult to accept that the first member of every species of animal life was created by the Creator's own act of creation, and then its race started through different forms of procreation. If accepted this concept would explain away all those riddles and complexities which have remained unsolved in their theory of evolution in spite of all the scientific theorizing by the upholders of Darwinism. (For further explanation, see E.N. 1 of An-Nisa', E.N. 10 and 146 of AI-A'raf, and E.N. 17 of Al-Hijr).
"Shaped him": developed him from a microscopic organism into a full-fledged human being and perfected him with limbs and other organs of the body.
"Spirit" does not merely imply the life because of which a living thing moves, but the essential human characteristic which imbues man with consciousness and thought, discretion and judgment, discernment, -and discrimination, by virtue of which he is distinguished from all other earthly creations and becomes possessor of a personality and self and worthy of Allah's vicegerency. Allah has called this "Spirit" His own either because it belongs to Him alone, and its being attributed to Himself is just like a thing's being attributed to its master, or because the attributes of knowledge, thought, consciousness, will, judgment, discretion, etc. with which man has been characterized are a reflection to the attributes of Allah. They have not arisen from any combination of matter, but from Allah Himself. Man has received knowledge from Allah's Knowledge, wisdom from Allah's Wisdom, and discretion and authority from Allah's Authority. He has not received these from a source which is without knowledge, without wisdom and without discretion and authority. (For further explanation, see E.N. 19 of AI-Hijr).
This is a fine way of saying something. Before the mention of "breathing into him of His spirit", man has been referred to in the third person: "He created him..... spread his progeny...... shaped him...... breathed into him His spirit," for till then he was not even worthy of being addressed. Then, when the spirit had been breathed into him, he became worthy of the honor and it was said: "He gave you the ears... gave you the eyes... gave you the hearts," for after having been blessed with the Spirit, man became worthy of being addressed.
The ears and the eyes imply the instruments by which man obtains knowledge. Although the senses of taste and touch and smell are also instruments of obtaining knowledge, hearing and sight are the major and by far the more important senses. Therefore, the Qur'an has mentioned only these two at different places as the most important gifts of God to man. "The Heart" implies the mind which arranges the information obtained through the senses and draws inferences from it, and selects a possible way of action and decides to follow it.
That is, "The wonderful human spirit with such excellent qualities has not been given to you so that you may live like the animals in the world and plan life for yourselves as an animal would. You were given the eyes so that you may see things with insight and not that you should live like the blind people; you were given the cars so that you may hear things with attention and not that you should live like the deaf people; you were given the hearts so that you may understand the reality and adopt the right way in thought and action and not that you should expend all your capabilities for collecting the means of nourishing and sustaining your animality, or that you may devise philosophies and programs of rebellion against your Creator. After having received these invaluable blessings from God, when you adopt polytheism and atheism, when you assume godhead yourself or become servants of other gods, when you lose yourself in sensual pleasure by serving your lusts, you in fact tell your God: "We were not worthy of these blessings: You should have made us a monkey, or a wolf, or an alligator, or a crow, instead of man."