The Quran

Commentaries for 7.54

Al Araf (The heights) - الأعراف

7.54 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Lo! your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days) of the beginning of the life of this world, each day the equivalent of a thousand years, (then mounted He the Throne) then He proceeded to create the Throne; it is also said that this means: He seated Himself on the Throne. (He covereth the night with the day) and the day with the night, (which is in haste to follow it) i.e. the day is in haste to follow the night and the night is in haste to follow the day, (and hath made the sun and the moon and the stars subservient by His command) by His leave. (His verily is all creation) the creation of the heavens and the earth (and commandment) i.e. the judgement of people on the Day of Judgement (Blessed be Allah) the Possessor of grace; it is also said that this means: elevated is Allah; as it is said that this means: far exalted is Allah, (the Lord of the Worlds!) the Master and Disposer of the Worlds.
7.54 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
Surely your Lord is God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then sat upon the Throne.
Lord is the name of the Lord whose name is light and whose message is light joined with love. He is the nurturer of the world's folk, the keeper of the creatures, the requiter, the lovingly kind. He is pure and peerless, the judge of how and why, not defiled by any unworthy thing. He is apparent to Himself in rightness, apparent to Himself in being, apparent to the heart in friendship. He is one and enough, taking care of what everyone has, able to keep the hearts straight, the Lord of everything, the keeper of every being, the nurturer of everything apt to go higher.
First He said Lord as the portion of the common people, then He said God as the portion of the recognizers and the sincerely truthful. Lord puts the hearts of good men at ease, God plunders the spirits of the recognizers. Lord bestows blessings on the askers, God throws love into the hearts of the friends. Lord pours the blessings of vision on the faithful, God lights up the lamp of love in the recognizers with vision.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “Love and vision met. Love said to vision, 'You are like light, for you brighten the world.'
“Vision said to love, 'You are like fire, for you burn the world.' Then vision said, 'When I disclose myself, I pull suffering from the heart.'
“Love said, 'Well, when I settle down in the heart, I plunder it.' “Vision said, 'I am a gift for those who are tested.'
“Love said, 'I throw tumult into the world.'”
Vision is the share of those who recognize Him in the artisanries. They reach Him on the basis of the artisanries-the engendered, determined, and newly arrived things, namely the creation of the earth, the heavens, the sun, the moon, and the subjected stars. Love is the share of those who recognize Him through Him and who come from Him to the artisanries, not from the artisanries to Him.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “Indigent is he who recognizes Him through the artisanries! Wretched is he who loves Him for the sake of blessings! Foolish is he who searches for Him with his own effort!
“He who recognizes Him through the artisanries worships Him in fear and want.
He who loves Him for the sake of blessings turns away on the day of tribulation. He who seeks Him by himself fancies that the not found will be found.
“The recognizers recognize Him through His light, but no one can give expression to the radiance of finding. Burning in the fire of love, they never turn away from joy.”
Then sat upon the Throne. His Throne in heaven is well known. His Throne in earth is the heart of the friends. He said about the Throne in heaven, “Upon that day eight shall carry above them the Throne of your Lord” [69:17]. The angels will lift it up. He said about the Throne in earth, “We carried them on land and sea [17:70]. We Ourselves will carry it. We will not give it over to the angels.”
The angels gaze on the throne of heaven, but the God of the universe gazes on the throne of earth. Concerning the throne of heaven He said, “The All-Merciful sat on the Throne” [20:5]. Concerning the throne of earth He said, “I am with those whose hearts are broken.” “The heart of the person of faith is between two fingers of the All-Merciful.”
7.54 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Surely your Lord is God, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, of the days of this world, that is to say, in the equivalent thereof, since there was no sun then. Had He willed He could have created them in an instant; but the reason for His not having done so is that He wanted to teach His creatures to be circumspect; then presided upon the Throne, a presiding befitting of Him (al-‘arsh, ‘throne’, in the [classical] language is the elevated seat on which a king sits). He cloaks (read yughshī or yughashshī) the night with the day, that is, He covers each one with the other: each following the other in swift pursuit — and the sun and the moon and the stars (if all of these are read in the accusative, then they constitute a supplement to al-samāwāt, ‘the heavens’, and if in the nominative, then they constitute the subject of the sentence, the predicate of which follows) have been made subservient, [have been] subdued, by His command, by His power. Verily, His is, all, creation and the command, in its entirety. Blessed, Magnified, be God, the Lord, the Master, of the Worlds!
7.54 Kashani - Kashani
Surely your Lord is God, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, that is to say, He became hidden in the forms of the heaven of the spirits and the earth of bodies in six thousand years, because of His statement, exalted be He, that And truly a day with your Lord is like a thousand years of your counting [Q. 22:47], in other words, from the time of the creation of Adam to the time of Muḥammad, blessings and peace be upon them both - for creation is the concealment of the Truth in the manifestation loci of creatures. This duration, from the incipience of the cycle of concealment to the incipience of manifestation, which is the time of the sealing of prophethood and the manifestation of sainthood, as he [the Prophet] said, 'Indeed time has come full circle to how it was configured on the day in which God created the heavens and the earth'. For the incipience of concealment in creation is the end of manifestation and so when concealment turns into manifestation, one has then returned to the beginning of creation, as has already been mentioned. Manifestation will be complete with the emergence of the Messiah (mahdī), peace be upon him, completing the seven days, which is why they say that the duration of this world is seven thousand years; then He presided upon the Throne, that is, the throne of the Muḥammadan heart by means of complete self-disclosure therein in all of His attributes, as has been mentioned with regard to the meaning of ṣād. He cloaks, the night of the body and the darkness of physical nature with the day of the light of the spirit each following the other, by configuring itself and preparing to receive it, its constitution in equilibrium, swiftly, while the sun of the spirit, the moon of the heart and the stars of the senses, have been made subservient by His command, which is the affair mentioned where He says every day He is upon some affair [Q. 55:29]. Verily, to Him belongs, the power of existentiation and disposal with wisdom; or [it means] verily to Him belongs engenderment and creation from nothing. If one is to understand the [reference to the] heavens and the earth according to the literal meaning then the six days are the six aspects, since the events are referred to by the [word] 'days', as in where He says and remind them of the Days of God [Q.
[Q. 14:5], that is to say, [of] the creation of the world of bodies in all six aspects, whereupon He rose to mastery over the Throne by exercising [His] effect through It by fixing the forms of engendered things in It. There is an exoteric and an esoteric aspect to the Throne. The exoteric one is the ninth heaven in which are etched the forms of engendered things in their entirety and whose existence and non-existence pertains to the effacing and the fixing therein, as will be mentioned, God willing, in the interpretation of His words God effaces what He will and fixes [cf. Q. 13:39]. The esoteric aspect [of the Throne] is the First Intellect on which are engraved the forms of things in a universal way, the one referred to as the 'innermost interior of the Throne' (buṭnān al-ʿarsh), as has been related - 'A crier calls out from the innermost interior of the Throne'- being the locus of the Preceding Decree (al-qaḍāÌ al-sābiq). The presiding over It [the Throne] then means [His] proceeding to take mastery over It throught the exercising of effect in bringing thing into existence by fixing their forms upon It, a proceeding that is firm without turning to anything else creation and the command. Blessed be God, the Lord of the Worlds!
7.54 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Universe was created in Six Days
Allah states that He created the universe, the heavens and earth and all that is in, on and between them in six days, as He has stated in several Ayat in the Qur'an. These six days are: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Friday, the entire creation was assembled and on that day, Adam was created. There is a difference of opinion whether these days were the same as our standard days as suddenly comes to the mind, or each day constitutes one thousand years, as reported from Mujahid, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, and from Ibn `Abbas according to Ad-Dahhak's narration from him. As for Saturday, no creation took place in it since it is the seventh day of (of the week). The word `As-Sabt' means stoppage, or break. Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Hurayrah saying: `Allah's Messenger told me:
«خَلَقَ اللهُ، (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ)، التُّرْبَةَ يَوْمَ السَّبْتِ، وَخَلَقَ فِيهَا الْجِبَالَ يَوْمَ الْأَحَدِ، وَخَلَقَ الشَّجَرَ يَوْمَ الْاثْنَيْنِ، وَخَلَقَ الْمَكْرُوهَ يَوْمَ الثُّلَاثَاءِ، وَخَلَقَ النُّورَ يَوْمَ الْأَرْبِعَاءِ، وَبَثَّ فِيهَا الدَّوَابَّ يَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ، وَخَلَقَ آدَمَ، عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ مِنْ يَوْم الْجُمُعَةِ، فِي آخِرِ الْخَلْقِ، فِي آخِرِ سَاعَةٍ مِنْ سَاعَاتِ الْجُمُعَةِ، فِيمَا بَيْنَ الْعَصْرِ إِلَى اللَّيْل»
. (Allah created the dust on Saturday, and He created the mountains on Sunday, and He created the trees on Monday, and He created the unpleasant things on Tuesday and He created the light on Wednesday and He spread the creatures through out it on Thursday and He created Adam after `Asr on Friday. He was the last created during the last hour of Friday, between `Asr and the night.)
Meaning of Istawa
As for Allah's statement,
ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ
(and then He rose over (Istawa) the Throne) the people had several conflicting opinions over its meaning. However, we follow the way that our righteous predecessors took in this regard, such as Malik, Al-Awza`i, Ath-Thawri, Al-Layth bin Sa`d, Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad, Ishaq bin Rahwayh and the rest of the scholars of Islam, in past and present times. Surely, we accept the apparent meaning of, Al-Istawa, without discussing its true essence, equating it (with the attributes of the creation), or altering or denying it (in any way or form). We also believe that the meaning that comes to those who equate Allah with the creation is to be rejected, for nothing is similar to Allah,
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ
(There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.) 42:11 Indeed, we assert and affirm what the Imams said, such as Nu`aym bin Hammad Al-Khuza'i, the teacher of Imam Al-Bukhari, who said, "Whoever likens Allah with His creation, will have committed Kufr. Whoever denies what Allah has described Himself with, will have committed Kufr. Certainly, there is no resemblance (of Allah with the creation) in what Allah and His Messenger have described Him with. Whoever attests to Allah's attributes that the plain Ayat and authentic Hadiths have mentioned, in the manner that suits Allah's majesty, all the while rejecting all shortcomings from Him, will have taken the path of guidance.''
The Day and the Night are among the Signs of Allah
Allah said,
يُغْشِى الَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا
(He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly,) meaning, the darkness goes away with the light, and the light goes away with the darkness. Each of them seeks the other rapidly, and does not come late, for when this vanishes, the other comes, and vice versa. Allah also said;
وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ النَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ - وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِى لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَـا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ - وَالْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَـهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّى عَادَ كَالعُرجُونِ الْقَدِيمِ - لاَ الشَّمْسُ يَنبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تدْرِكَ القَمَرَ وَلاَ الَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِى فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ
(And a sign for them is the night. We withdraw therefrom the day, and behold, they are in darkness. And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. And the moon, We have measured for it mansions (to traverse) till it returns like the old dried curved date stalk. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit.) 36:37-40 Allah's statement,
وَلاَ الَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ
(Nor does the night outstrip the day) 36:40 means, the night follows the day in succession and does not come later or earlier than it should be. This is why Allah said here,
يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ
(seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His command.) meaning, all are under His command, will and dominion. Allah alerted us afterwards,
أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالاٌّمْرُ
(Surely, His is the creation and commandment) the dominion and the decision. Allah said next,
تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
(Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the all that exists!) which is similar to the Ayah,
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ فِى السَّمَآءِ بُرُوجاً
(Blessed be He Who has placed in the heaven big stars) 25:61 Abu Ad-Darda' said a supplication, that was also attributed to the Prophet,
«اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْمُلْكُ كُلُّـهُ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ كُلُّهُ وَإِلَيْكَ يُرْجَعُ الْأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ، أَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّه»
(O Allah! Yours is all the kingdom, all the praise, and Yours is the ownership of all affairs. I ask You for all types of good and seek refuge with You from all types of evil.)
7.54-56 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Here the word "day"has been used in the sense of period. This word has been used in the same sense in XXII:47: "The fact is that with your Lord a day is equal to one thousand years as you reckon", and also in LXX: 4: "Angels and Gabriel ascend to Him in a day which is equal to fifty thousand years". Allah alone Knows its real significance. (for further explanation see E.N.'s 11-15 of XLI).
It is very difficult for us to comprehend the nature of "He sat upon the Throne". It is just possible that after the creation of the universe, He fixed some place as the center of His limitless Kingdom, which may have been called "The Throne," from where He is showering His blessings on the whole universe and it is also possible that the Arabic word "Al- 'Arsh" " may have been used figuratively to express His Sovereignty and "seating Himself on the Throne" may mean "the taking of the reins of His Kingdom in His hands". Anywise, whatever be the details of the Text, the Qur'an mentions this to impress the fact that Allah is not only the Creator of the universe but also its Sovereign as well as Ruler, that after its creation He has not cut off all connections with it and has not become disinterested in its affairs, but is practically governing each and every minute part of it; all the powers of Sovereignty are, in fact, in His hands; that everything is under His Command and is obedient to Him, and the destinies of everyone and everything are permanently in His hands. In this way the Qur'an cuts across the basic misunderstanding that gives rise to the errors like shirk and rebellion against Him. The creed that God has nothing to do with the affairs of the universe, inevitably leads to the belief that someone else is the maker or destroyer of one's destiny, and, therefore, one should bow down before that one or one should consider one's own self to be its maker and become independent of Him.
In this connection, it is worth while to consider the use of words akin to "kingdom" and "kingship", which the Qur'an usually employs to express the relation between Allah and man. Though it is dune obvious that the Qur'an has employed such words, technical terms, figures of speech and a style as may be within the comprehension of human beings, yet some critics with perverted minds have inferred from this use the strange conclusion that this Book is the invention of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him). The line of their argument is this: "The frequent use of the words like `king' shows that the 'author' of the Qur'an was irresistibly influenced by the system of kingship that was prevalent all around him during the period when this Book was composed; therefore its author cannot be Allah, Who knows that there can be no comparison between Him and a king, etc., etc." Obviously, this argument is very flimsy. The conception of the Sovereign of the earth and the heavens put forward in the Qur'an clearly shows that in contrast to the mortal weak kings of this world, having only a limited authority for a limited period, the King, Allah, is Eternal, All-Powerful, having the supreme Authority, above all others and for all times. This conception of the Sovereignty of `King' Allah falsifies the very basis of the theory of the critics, for no human king can fit in the conception of the `King' laid down in the Qur'an. For in this conception there is no scope for anyone to claim or assume powers of sovereignty like the King, because it requires that man should acknowledge Allah alone as the sole object of worship in the religious sense and the sole sovereign in the civil and political sense.
This is a further explanation of the meanings of `seating Himself on the Throne': "Allah is not only the Creator but is also the Sovereign and Ruler of the universe. After its creation, He has neither relinquished its rule in favor of others nor has He made the whole of His creation or any part of it independent, but He has kept in His own hands the functioning of the whole universe. Day and night are not following each other by themselves but by the Command of Allah, Who has the power, to stop or change the present system totally. Likewise, the sun, the moon and the stars possess no inherent power of their own but are entirely under His Command, and are functioning perforce like slaves under His orders."
The original meaning of barkat ("blessing") is growth, increase and development along with greatness, exaltation, permanence and stability. Besides all these meanings, the word carries with it the idea of goodness and welfare. Thus the Text means, "His good qualities and excellences are boundless; His beneficence spreads everywhere; He is the possessor of the highest position that has no limits. Above all, all His excellences are absolutely permanent and stable, without decay or decline." For further explanation see E.N.'s 1-19 of XXV.
According to the Qur'an, the root cause of disorder in the world is that man breaks away from the service of God and, giving himself up to the service of his own self or of others and discarding His Guidance, adopts the guidance of others instead for the building up of his morality, society and culture. As this creates disorder and gives birth to many other kinds of disorder, the Qur'an aims at its eradication. At the same time it warns that disorder is not inherent in the system of the world so that it may be replaced by order. But it so happens that disorder over-whelms the order that was set in it, as a result of man's ignorance and rebellion. In other words, man did not start his life on the earth in ignorance, barbarism, shirk, rebellion and moral disorder, and then reforms were introduced afterwards to remove them by degrees. The fact is that he started life in peace and order, which was corrupted afterwards by the follies and mischiefs of the evil-doers. Then Allah sent His Messengers to eradicate that disorder and to set right the system of life again to bring it back to the original state. That is why they always invited the people to adopt the same old system of peace and order, and to refrain from spreading disorder.
It should also be noted that the point of view of the Qur'an in this matter is quite different from that of the evolutionists who assert that man has gradually come out of darkness into light and his life is being reformed by degrees. In contrast to this, the Qur'an declares that Allah settled man on the earth in full light and started his life with a system based on peace and order. Then afterwards man himself repeatedly followed the guidance of Satan and went into darkness and corrupted the original right and orderly system. Then Allah sent His Messengers over and over again to invite the people to come out of darkness into light and to refrain from disorder. (Please refer also to E.N. 230, Al-Baqarah).
It has become clear from this sentence that the `chaos' referred to above is that man should adopt someone else as his guardian, protector and helper and invoke that one for help. The order can, therefore, be restored by acknowledging Allah as the sole Guardian and Protector and Helper and by invoking Him alone.