The Quran

Commentaries for 7.55

Al Araf (The heights) - الأعراف

7.55 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
((O mankind!) Call upon your Lord humbly) openly (and in secret) it is also said that this means: call upon your Lord humbly and out of fear. (Lo! He loveth not aggressors) in their supplications, by calling for that which is not permissible for them against the righteous.
7.55 Asrar - Kashf Al-Asrar
Supplicate your Lord in pleading and secret.
MuṣṬafā said, “Supplication is worship.” Supplication is calling or asking. If it is calling, it is the same as laudation, and if it is asking, it is fitting for the servant. Both are worship and the means to salvation. YaḤyā Muʿādh said, “Worshiping God is a storehouse, the key to the storehouse is supplication, and the teeth of the key are lawful morsels.”
The precondition of supplication is pleading, weeping, and throwing oneself in lowliness on the Exalted Threshold. This is why He says, “in pleading and secret.” It has come in a report that Adam mourned and pleaded over that slip of his for one hundred years. Finally Gabriel said, “Lord God, You Yourself see Adam's pleading, You hear his weeping. Is there any way for You to accept his apology and place a balm on his wound?”
The command came, “O Gabriel! Leave Adam to Me, for if I had not known this pleading and weeping from him, I would not have decreed the slip for him. Indeed I decreed the slip for him because I knew that when he became helpless, he would loosen the tongue of supplication and pleading, and I love that the servant should lament and weep for Me. 'The sinner's sobs are more beloved to Me than the glorifier's murmur.'”
The like of this verse is “Your Lord has said, 'Supplicate Me; I will respond to you' [40:60]. He says, “Call on Me so that I may respond to you; know Me, so that I may forgive you; ask from Me, so that I may give to you.”
In another place He says, “He who responds to the distressed when he supplicates Him [27:62]. That hapless and helpless man, having lost the capacity to bear the trial-who will answer his call if not I? Who will hear his supplication if not I? Who will come to the aid of his helplessness if not I?” The distressed is someone who has no handhold and gazes on his own days given to the wind.
He sees that his hands are empty of all the means of approach and acts of obedience. The supplication of such a person is like an arrow that goes straight to the target.
Among the preconditions for supplication, one is lawful morsels.
MuṣṬafā said, “Keep your food goodly and your supplication will be responded to.” The second is wakefulness and sharp-wittedness with a heart in presence and far from heedlessness. MuṣṬafā said, “God does not respond to the supplication of an inattentive heart.” Third is fear and want, for the Exalted Lord says, “Supplicate Him in fear and want” [7:56]. This fear and want, meaning fear and hope, and that pleading and secrecy, meaning self-purification and truthfulness, are like four streams in the opened heart. As long as these four streams are flowing and bright, the heart flourishes, faith is in place, and supplications are answered. But, if these four streams are held back from the heart and their springs dry up, the heart becomes dead, tears are held back from the eyes, remembrance from the tongue, and love from the heart. Obedience does not grow up from him, and faith does not come. He becomes as they say:
That heart you saw has all been changed,
my pool full of water has filled with blood.
The garden full of blessings is now a desert, and the running water has left my garden.
7.55 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Call upon your Lord humbly (tadarru‘an is a circumstantial qualifier), in subservience, and quietly, in secret. Truly, He loves not the aggressors, who are braggarts and loud-mouthed in [their] supplications.
7.55-56 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Encouraging supplicating to Allah
Allah commands His servants to supplicate to Him, for this will ensure their welfare in this life and the Hereafter. Allah said,
ادْعُواْ رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً
(Invoke your Lord Tadarru`an and Khufyah) meaning, in humbleness and humility. Allah said in a similar Ayah,
وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ
(And remember your Lord within yourself) 7:205 It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said, "The people raised their voices with supplications but the Messenger of Allah said,
«أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ارْبَعُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ فَإِنَّكُمْ لَا تَدْعُونَ أَصَمَّ وَلَا غَائِبًا إِنَّ الَّذِي تَدْعُونَ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيب»
(O people! Take it easy on yourselves. Verily, you are not calling one who is deaf or absent, rather, the One you are calling is All-Hearer, Near (to His servants by His knowledge).) Ibn Jarir said that,
(Tadarru`an), means obeying Him in humility and humbleness,
(and Khufyah), with the humbleness in your hearts and certainty of His Oneness and Lordship not supplicating loudly to show off.
Forbidding Aggression in Supplications
It was reported that `Ata' Al-Khurasani narrated from Ibn `Abbas, who said about Allah's statement,
إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
(He likes not the aggressors) "In the Du`a' and otherwise.'' Abu Mijlaz commented on,
إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
(He likes not the aggressors), "Such (aggression) as asking to reach the grade of the Prophets.'' Imam Ahmad narrated that Abu Ni`amah said that `Abdullah bin Mughaffal heard his son supplicating, "O Allah! I ask you for the white castle on the right side of Paradise, if I enter it.'' So `Abdullah said, "O my son! Ask Allah for Paradise and seek refuge with Him from the Fire, for I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
«يَكُونُ قَوْمٌ يَعْتَدُونَ فِي الدُّعَاءِ وَالطَّهُور»
(There will come some people who transgress in supplication and purification)'' Ibn Majah and Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith with a good chain that there is no harm in, and Allah knows best.
The Prohibition of causing Mischief in the Land
Allah said next,
وَلاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَـحِهَا
(And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order) 5:56. Allah prohibits causing mischief on the earth, especially after it has been set in order. When the affairs are in order and then mischief occurs, it will cause maximum harm to the people; thus Allah forbids causing mischief and ordained worshipping Him, supplicating to Him, begging Him and being humble to Him. Allah said,
وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا
(and invoke Him with fear and hope) fearing what He has of severe torment and hoping in what He has of tremendous reward. Allah then said,
إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
(Surely, Allah's mercy is (ever) near unto the good-doers) meaning, His mercy is for the good-doers who obey His commands and avoid what He prohibited. Allah said in another Ayah,
وَرَحْمَتِى وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ
(And My mercy envelopes all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who who have Taqwa.) 7:156. Matar Al-Warraq said, "Earn Allah's promise by obeying Him, for He ordained that His mercy is near to the good-doers. '' Ibn Abi Hatim collected this statement.
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.