Al Rehman (55) - An Exegesis
This is a commentary of the 55th Surah of the Quran, titled Al Rehman. Each part of the commentary will begin with transliteration of a set of ayahs and their English translation.
Prelude to the commentary
One of the things that define the glory of the Quran is the fact that its Author sees the Universe and the world we abide in from varying distances. So as He talks, He might talk as if He is looking from outside the Universe, observing the galaxies and superstructures floating in front of Him in one instance and in another instance talk as if He is looking at us from inside our conscious minds. Whereas identifying the where and when have always been primary to the exegetes of the Quran, it must be noted that the sequence of the ayahs can give a profound additive to the meanings too. The fact that the Quran embeds knowledge in layers, each layer being complete in truth, is like looking at reality through a kaleidoscope that may never be exhausted in arousing our awe and wonder. The more one looks and woos with the Quran, the more it loves one back – it is the tools of Allah and it will not be spent off till eternity. All meanings taken in this commentary are from authentic Lexicon Source. This humble effort is not any ultimate explanation nor is it closed to correction, it is only the first steps to exploration in the Quran, to which the Quran invites us by summoning ‘why do you not think’ and ‘why do you not use your sense’, several times in its discourse.
AlRehman(1) allam alQuran(2) khalaq alinsaan(3) allama hul bayyan(4)
‘The Rehman. Made known the Quran. Created ‘the man’. Taught him ‘the language’.
Traditionally it is interpreted that Allah taught the Quran to man and more specifically to Muhammad (pbuh) but the sequence of the infallible words of the Quran show a deeper meaning. The sequence says that the Rehman made known the Quran before He created man and before He had taught him the art of language. If so, who did the Rehman teach the Quran to then?
Using the name Rehman as the title and opening phrase of this Surah points to the necessity of relating to its meaning. The name Rehman, taken from the base word rahm (ra-ha-meem), refers to the fact that Allah is the holder of all the wombs of His creations; He designs, creates, sustains and disassembles all His creations, as He plans. These wombs may be a realm of uncountable possibilities that become ‘real’ in our perception only in serial time as we see them unfold in events and births. So for us, the Universe was born out of its womb an estimated 17 billion years ago, whereas mankind might have been born only some 60,000yrs ago.
At another place the Quran talks of the UmmulKitab, the Mother-Book, placed in an elevated, sacred, secret place in/above our Universe. This means that the Mother-Book must have been instated at the very beginning of the creation of the Universe, in fact the creation of the Universe must have sprouted out of the Mother-Book – the Quran being the proto-type of the Mother-Book. This makes it obvious that the Quran, as in the Ummulkitab, was taught to a group of highly learned and efficient executors, who could read and bring to task the dynamic and highly complex work of the creation, growth and operation of the Universe. The Quran hints us at another place how the Rehman taught the Quran to this dedicated group of angels:
‘In the fertile pages, full of happenings. Exalted and purified. By the hands that sweep in every direction. Fertile, benignant.’ (Al Abasa - 80:13-16)
When the Mother-Book had been set in place and the special angels had been assigned on it and the wheels of events had come to full churning, Allah created ‘Al-Insan’, ‘the man’, ‘the adaptive’, ‘the forgetful’, late in serial time only when all things had been fully appropriated.
‘And there is not a thing but with Us are store-houses thereof. And we send it not down save in appointed measure.’ (Al Hijr - 15:21)
So the Rehman taught the Quran and then created man and after creating him taught him the art of ‘bayyan’ or language. Language is the ability to communicate meaning with the help of signs – in case of the human language the abundance of meaning that the human thought can relate to and the subsequent variety of signs and symbols it is able to produce, makes for the uniqueness of human language. According to renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, ‘when we study human language, we are approaching what some might call the "human essence", the distinctive qualities of mind that are, so far as we know, unique to man’, at another place referring to the fact that the human language is essentially genetically embedded in our conscience and not simply acquired from our surroundings, he says, ‘so the obvious hypothesis is that our language is the result of the unfolding of a genetically determined program’.
The Human ability to symbolize things with words and use distinct words in strings of phrases and sentences, the ability to make distinct the meanings associated with different things and phenomenon and then to connect them together to conceptualize – this intense and complex system is the art of bayyan. Thus Allah made known to man the art of ‘bayyan’, apparently for the purpose of associating to everything in his surroundings but really so that man would be able to understand the ‘Quran’, which is the proto-type of the Mother-Book, thus holding all the information upon which the Universe and everything inside it works. So the sequence of the ayah show that in Allah’s seeing, learning ‘everything’ is equal to learning the Quran. Therefore in the larger truth, the intention of the Rehman in teaching man the ability to speech, read and write was so he would interpret, comprehend and indulge his senses in ‘the Quran’.
This also hints to us that man’s ability of bayyan is as infinite as is the knowledge present in the Mother Book which holds information of quantities, qualities, laws, phenomenon, events and their construction, the knowledge of everything. And the Rehman’s grace has placed this wholesome knowledge in our immediate reach in the form of the Quran.
as Shamsu wal Qamaru be husban(5) wan najmu wash shajaru yasjudan(6) was samaa’a rafa’aha wa wada’al mezaan(7) alla tatghaw fil mezaan(8) wa aqiymul wazna bil qisti wala tukhsirul mezaan(9)
‘The sun and the moon with reckoners. And the Star and the Tree in prostration. And the sky, elevated it, and set the balance. So you not alter in the balance. And make standing the weight with justice and not make loss in the balance’.
As elsewhere stated in the Quran, every particle of this immense system of the Universe has to be reckoned, nothing is to be left unaccounted for, why then, are the sun and the moon especially being mentioned here, assigned with reckoners over them? And when every entity of creation bows down in surrender onto its Lord, then why is the Rehman not mentioning all trees and all stars here but rather this particular Star and Tree?
It is interesting that the Sirius (53:49) is the only star mentioned by name in the Quran. Sirius has been the brightest star in the night sky and will remain so for the next two hundred thousand years, if the system stands for that long. This star has since civilization, not only helped in navigation and in making the calendars but also held mankind in amazement. Civilizations all over the world have revered it as their god or associate of their gods; the Egyptians associated it with their gods Isis, Orisis and Horus; the Romans with the goddess Robigo; the Polynesians with Manu; the Indians with lord Shiva; the Persians with the goddess Tishtrya; and the Arabs took it as asShira. The Greek’s Astarte; the Scandinavian’s Loki (torch) and hundreds of other entities found in subcultures can be traced to the worshiping of Sirius in some way or the other. This deity that had affected the belief system in a global fashion, is being declared by Allah as a star among stars that prostrates onto its Creator in humility.
The clue to the Tree being mentioned here is also to be found in the Quran itself – the Quran mentions a Tree on the universal stage, the Sidra tul Mintaha. It is the Tree at the very farthest end of the Universe, visited by the Prophet on his journey of the Miraj. If one goes far enough, outside the universe and has a good power of vision, one may be able to see the whole Universe like as a web of gigantic walls and filaments comprising of stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies. This web may seem to be originating from a single point and the whole universe may seem like branches coming out of the trunk of a tree - that point of convergence may be the place where the Ummulkitab is stationed and this Tree which is actually the whole Universe, seen from afar, is in prostration onto the Throne of Allah (Allah knows best).
‘And the sky, elevated it, and set the balance’: at different occasions the Quran talks about the sky in two senses, one the vast expanse of the Universe and the other, the sky that makes the atmosphere of the Earth. The universe in its gigantic frame is not without balance, however far flung the galaxies, the super-clusters or the stars may seem to be, the architecture of the firmament would require exact measurements of weights, motions, energies and events to the accuracy of every atom or even entities minuscule than that. This balance is inevitable; the miscalculation of a tiny speck could end up in complete disaster and annihilation of the entire Universe. For this balance to work; everything had to be connected, connection is the very essence of balance and every particle to be in balance with the whole has to be connected in some way to the whole. Therefore an enigma is formed - not only the whole effects the fractions but the fractions can just as well effect the whole, perhaps that was the reason why the control of the balance was established high up in the skies of the Universe and in the skies of the Earth.
‘So you not alter with the balance’, because man was the one, lone possessor of free-will in the whole universe, and if man altered with the balance, of which he is perfectly capable of, that could cause a sooner annihilation of the Universe.
And now Allah tells man directly - ‘and make standing the weight with justice and not make loss in the balance’, which confirms the fact that any little misdoing on the part of a single man could and can affect the whole balance of the Universe. Only! Man was never a good listener of the words of his Lord and a forgetful – thus man is ever altering with the laws of nature that constitute the balance and connect with the larger balance. If so, then how are the ‘skies and land’ still standing? Possibly this is due only by the special intrusion and counter-balancing of the ever-calculating reckoners appointed on the sun and the moon that keep reversing things to the balance and will keep doing so until a fixed time.
Wal arda wada’aha lil anaam(10) fiha faakihatuw wan nakhlu zatul akmaam(11) walhabbu zul asfi war rayhaan(12) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(13)
‘And the earth; laid it down for the sleepers. In it are features of cheerful yielding and features of shifted, cracked earth. In it are waves of violent nature and of mild fragrance. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify’.
The word anaam, from the base word alif-nun-meem, generally refers to all creations but specifically, when derived from the word an-noum, it refers to all who are subject to sleep. The unique and fragile environment of the earth, unlike anywhere in the Universe, makes it possible to support a life style in which living organisms not only survive but maintain a special pattern of rest and motion, well-adjusted with the movements of the heavenly bodies. Allah asserts this as a fact that most or all of the living creatures have some kind of sleep/rest pattern in their lifecycles.
With the mention of the creatures of sleep, the Quran now mentions the salient features of the complex ecosystem that accommodates them. The word Faakihatun , meaning cheerful and pleasing refers to the light burdens in the ecosystem that give us cheerful, wondrous rejoice, like greenery, flowers and fruits – and Nakhlun, i.e. date palms that are laden heavily with sheathed fruit. And if we consider the verbal meaning of the word Nakhl, which is to send down, drizzle or clouds, it would imply that the clouds that seem to be floating lightly in the sky but heavily laden in their posteriors have been placed to bring out the best of produce. Then comes the mention of the Habb, which are the fatigues the Earth is filled with; these are al Asfi, the violent gales and whirlwinds, the movements of which drive the life-cycles of the ecosystem on the one hand - and the al Rayhaan, the light breezes that carry the breaths and the pollens on the other hand.
It took billions of years to evolve the earth in such a way as to be able to sustain such a delicate environment and species, which will not survive the slightest changes of even a few degrees in temperature, humidity or gas ratios of the air. When compared with the drastic temperatures and environments all around us in the Universe, our planet seems to be the ‘star’ of all the heavenly bodies. So enormous and abundant are the miraculous signs of life and existence all around us that it is impossible for any sane person to falsify them altogether – therefor Allah’s question: so of which ‘aalaai’ (signs) of your Lord will you deny?
The special verse containing the word ‘aalaai’, usually translated as ‘favors’, will be repeated 31 times in this surah, which makes it even more indulging. The root word alif-lam-waw has an interesting set of meanings, like ‘fall short of doing the requisite/ slow or languid/ to leave, cease or neglect/ to strive, labor to achieve something/ to be able to perform a task/ to swear/ the possessor, overseer/ as a preposition meaning as far as, until or to’. These meanings may strike the reader at first instance, but a little reflection lets us recognize the Writer’s intention, that is to take us to the Universal picture in this surah. The growth or evolution of the Universe, its galaxies, planets and even the planetary climate are slow and languid processes compared to the momentary human life span. And indeed each entity, small or big that constitutes the Universe is laboring to fulfill the cycles of their evolution. So if we generalize the meaning of the word to ‘signs’ instead of ‘favors’, we would visualize the Universe growing and moving to a fulfillment at the level of gigantic walls and filament of galaxies as well as at the minute levels of the light breeze that carries our breaths – all adding up in a multifarious complex.
Another intriguing fact about this repetitive ayah is that it is addressed to two being not one. The Arabic suffix ‘kumma’ is used neither for singular nor for plural but specifically for ‘two persons’. Although from the beginning of the surah, man alone has been addressed, but it seems that there is an invisible other that has to be addressed in parallel and whose mention will appear in the whole surah after now, ‘the jinn’ – giving us a shocker that the Universal complex may be having as many invisible levels as it has visible ones.
khalaqal insaana min salsallin kal fakhkhar(14) wa khalaqal jaanna mim marijjim min naar(15) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(16)
‘Created man of crackling baked clay. And created jinn of a mixing of fire. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify.’
Note the sequence of the events given, which show the gradual evolutionary experience, as the right things connect at the right time. First the Book is created and taught to a specialized group of angels and then man is created in Allah’s storehouses, genetically induced with the art of Bayyan. Now the creation of the Universe is initiated, gradually the great skies are balanced and the Solar System is created. Then the Earth starts its evolutionary process; when its skies have settled and the earth has cooled down to a right extent, organisms start emerging, first in the micro form that will help to give the soil and the air its right consistency to support the bigger organisms yet to come.
At the peak of the variety of creation of life on the earth, the jinn and the man are created, in conscious form. The man from a lump of putrefied clay, baked in enormous temperatures, to the point that it started to resonate a constant resonance. And the jinn from the merging of fire. The word ‘mrj’ (meem-ra-jeem) is same as ‘merge’ or ‘marriage’, it means mixing, so the jinn might have been made of a mixing of certain blends of fire. And these two creatures present such uniqueness between the immense desolation of the Universe that their existence cannot be explained by falsifying the Creator.
Rabbul mashriqayni wa Rabbul maghribayn(17) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(18) marj al bahrayni yaltaqiyaan(19) bayna huma barzakhul la yabghiyan(20) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(21) yakhruju minhumal lulu’u wal marjaan(22) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(23)
‘Lord of the two easts and Lord of the two wests. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. The two rivers are merging, as if, coming face to face. Between them is a barrier they do not endeavor to break. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Emerge out of them glistening bright things and spongy things. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify’.
The human and the jinn live on the same Earth but the perimeters of their lives are essentially different, one made out of clay and turned into flesh and blood, the other starting from fire and ending up in an invisible form with negligible weight. Seemingly a spirit form that merges with the physical world yet stays distinctly apart, which feeds in the same space yet does not intrude with its works. Men and jinn are thus like two rivers flowing in time, existing side by side yet never intermingling.
Perhaps their sleep pattern is also different, what is day for one may be night for the other; one is active in the day, the other perhaps in the night. Perhaps this is the reason for Allah to mention two easts and two wests, for man the day breaks with sunrise and that is where his east lies but for the jinn the day breaks with moonrise and east for them is what lies to the direction of the moon at that time - which can be quiet different to that of the sun, especially in the winters and the summers.
From these two rivers also emerge from time to time, personalities that may glisten brightly, white in the eyes of men, like beacons of light, likewise among the jinn may be born learned, strong and mighty jinn who make their history, and glisten brightly, like the red coral that has harden from the spongy character. If only had these two races come face to face with each other, the world would have become an abode of constant havoc and misery, but of the great sign of Allah is also that He has stationed two parallel powers in the same ground, balancing their existence by a veil of invisibility and mutual transcendence.
walahul jawaral munshiaatu fiyl bahri kal aalaam(24) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(25) kullu man aleyha faan(26) wa yabqaa wajhu Rabbika zul jalale walikraam(27) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(28) yasalluhu man fis samaawati wal ard kulla yaumin hua fiy shan(29) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(30)
‘And for Him are the mighty, infusing assemblies continuously pressing forward in the gigantic stream like great banners. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. All that is upon it is to annihilate. And (only) shall remain the Face of your Lord; Bearer of the absolute and the honour. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Questions onto Him, whoever is in the skies and the land - every day He is in His affairs. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify’.
In the usual translation the first of these ayahs is referred to lofty ships sailing in the seas but the backdrop of this surah is carrying more of a universal notion rather than an intercontinental one. So For Allah, are the immense land masses of the galaxies and galaxy-clusters, in the midst of creation and destruction, boiling, screaming masses, rising with life and collision. These gigantic masses are in constant motion, travelling in the immense ocean of universal space, yet so far apart from each other that a spectator, from afar, reckons them to be great land-marks, elevated in the midst of nowhere like huge banners, carrying the slogans of the creation of the mighty Lord. The word bhr (ba-ha-ra) signifies that space is not void but filled with lighter materials which make a semi fluid, in which the land masses are able to glide. Everything that is upon these land masses has to annihilate, the whole system has to eventually react with its anti-system and get folded away, perhaps resulting in complete transformation into another unprecedented form but not anything like what it is right now.
And at the time, when time and space will cease to exist as such and the chapter of worldly life and the great galactic system has been wound up, all that will have been left will be the face of Allah – just like when the screen has been switched off one sees one’s own reflection in it, likewise when the universal stage whereupon the drama of life has been staged will be switched off, all-prevailing Allah will be there.
But until then all things inert and lively ask Allah for their sustenance and livelihood, Allah is not sitting idle or inert, like someone who has retired after pushing the button of the first-cause, having no concern with the well-being and maintenance of the system He once designed. No, He is ever active, involved in the affairs, reacting at every action, possessive of every love that a heart offers and revengeful of every hate harbored against His merciful kingship. This is a most amazing thought to relate of our Creator and King that He is still so close and connected to us, never leaving us alone, on our own.
This gigantically huge universe and the way it has been designed and is being sustained and the evident reality of its doom are such great signs of its Creator that cannot be falsified at any level of human intelligence.
sanafrughu lakum ayuhath thaqulaan(31) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(32)
Soon We will empty you, oh you bearers of weight. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify.
Men and jinn both acquire weight; they are both subject to gravity, which means that the jinn have some material consistency however light it may be. And when death will come to deliver us from this physical realm, eventually we will be free of our weights and sublimity will allow us to transcend into the realms of truth, inshaAllah.
ya masharal jinni wal insi innistatatum an tanfuzzu min aqtaaris sammawati wal ard faanfuzu la tanfuzzuna illa bi sultan(33) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(34) ursillu aleikuma shuwazzum min naarin wa nuhasun fala tantaseraan(35) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(36)
Oh community of jinn and men, if you have the ability to pass through the spheres of the skies and the land then pass out, not will you ever pass out except without delegatory power. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Will be sent onto you flames of fire and misfortune and you will not be helped. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify.
The panorama of outer space and the glory that might be lying wait out there has fascinated humanity in all ages. Before the advent of rocket sciences, people had dreamed to travel space and tried to use all possibilities in their power, like mysticism and magic to try to pass through the spheres of gravity or even transcend the reality that bounds them into other-worldly realities. As modern techniques of space travel slowly progress and have not yet been very promising to this time, the human race still yearn to cross the gates of the skies through supernatural phenomenon. The jinn, who are known for their light and spiritual nature, perhaps they can transcend physical matter and can reach the orbits of the earthly sky (see 67:5), yet as they carry weight too, they too cannot defy gravity and become totally free of earth’s atmosphere.
But the open challenge of the Quran here is that neither a man nor a jinn will ever be able to pass through the orbits of the skies and the land in order to transcend into a new livable reality – i.e. even if space travel has become possible, we will remain in the bounds of spheres cut for us. Except for a few very special cases, in which certain angels have been given delegatory powers, which the Quran calls ‘sultan’, wherein circumstances have been created, for the unveiling of phenomenon similar to inter galactic wormholes, whereby the transport of favored men among prophets to other livable dimensions of realities in and outside our space has been made possible (Allah knows best).
Fa izzan shaqqatis samaau fakanat wardatan kaddihan(37) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(38)
And when the sky will be cleavened and it is red, like anointed with oil. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify.
The day the universe and the solar system with it, will collapse, the sky of the earth dwellers will turn red and oily, like a water pouring into the sky through its cleaving and taking the shape of a blossom. Already the Hubble telescope has shown pictures of distant nebula, which resemble patterns of flowers; they are actually galaxies in the stage of formation of new stars or their destruction. So the Quran is giving a clear sign about how the sky will look like when the universe will come to its doom, only this will not be a slow evolutionary process ranging in billions of years but process that all human and jinn will see happening at resurrection, possibly the characteristics of time-space will change for us at that time.
fayaummaizil la yasallu un zambihi insun wala jaan(39) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(40) yaruful mujrimuna bi seemahum fayukhazu bin nawassi wal aqdaam(41) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(42) hazzihi jahhanamul latti ukazzibu bihal mujrimoon(43) yatoofona benaha wa bena hamiymin aan(44) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(45)
And this day, not is to be asked about his misdoings, man and not jinn. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. The criminals will be recognizable by their marks and will be taken by their forelock and feet. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. This is the Jehanna of which the criminals had been falsifying. They are encircling between it and boiling, black, moaning water. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify.
Today, all men and jinn have been reborn and gathered in the logical court of judgment, to face the charges against them, of committing crimes against humanity, nature and the balance that joined them with the entire system and beyond that with their Creator.
This rebirth is not on the same physical dimensions as before, as the amazing drama of life unfolds, man will find himself in a completely new set of measurements; what was considered wealth and gold in the previous setting is now worth lesser than dirt, virtues that were espoused as fit for survival and progress are now equaling to damnation and regress, those who had been deemed as the most favored and excellent are now being called to the lowest pits of hell. Man had not understood the values that were deemed as ‘virtue’ in the eyes of the eternal Judger, we had been holding the measuring scale, inverted, all the time. But now is the time for new, absolute, eternal dimensions, in which truth cannot hide in the guise of falsehood, the mark of shame and evil are the very body of the doer, nothing has to be really asked, the true speaks evidently, inside out.
The criminals of humanity will be dealt with the most disgraceful manner, they will be dragged in front of billions of people, by their forelock and feet, their live bodies will be desecrated and their self-respect bashed to the worst humiliation, then they will be thrown onto the most difficult of situations; on their one side lies the growling pit of fire, inviting them to eternal pain and agony and on their other side lies a swamp of thick, boiling, black pitch that is giving the sound of distressful mourning, they run between these two choices, in anguish and wishful-ness of getting a way out. Will you now believe? Now, that you see these enormous signs of your Lord in front of you?
wa liman khaaffa maqama Rabbihi jannataan(46) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(47) zawaataa afnaan(48) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(49) fihima aynaani tajriaan(50) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(51) fihimma min kulli fakihatin zawjaan(52) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(53) muttakieena alla furrusihim bataainuha min istabraq wa jannal jannatayni daan(54) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(55)
And for the ones who feared the standing before their Lord, are two gardens. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Bearer of mysterious phenomenon. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Inside them are spectacular scenes running all the time. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Inside them are of all kinds of wonderful things, in pairs. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Cushioned, on spreads, the interior part of which is of lightening and the oft-bearing bore with weight that lower them. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify.
For those who recognize the signature of creation in all things they encounter in their surroundings, for those who can read the language of their souls and at the event when they encounter the true calling of the true messengers of their Lord, they grab hold of it as if that was exactly what they were looking for; those who know from inside that they have been created and will definitely encounter the Creator, fear His wrath, fear His displeasure, fear that at long last, when the moment of facing their Lord by the face has arrived, that they would not have to stand in front of Him as criminals but as His long departed lovers; for such, are two gardens.
In contrast to the two hells faced by the criminals, whereby all choice ends in infliction, there have been established two gardens for those who do good. These two gardens are awesomely deceptive, to quench the excitements of its inquisitive adventurers; the phenomenal park holds multitudes of dimensions hidden under the visible ones, so that the search, the finding and the fire of passion of the wanting souls may never need to rest - unless they want to. The scenery of the gardens is not static, it is spectacularly changing its dynamics, so that when one stops, events start moving and when one is moving, the events delay themselves for his grasping. All things in these gardens as much as they are pleasurable and jocund, arousing wonder and admiration; they are all in pairs, as in living two parallel lives, perhaps one to yield to the physical and one to feed the spiritual, so that virtually the dweller of this paradise is experiencing overwhelming fulfillment all the time. And when they want to tarry, they can tarry for as long as they want, reclining on cushions, laid on exuberant spreads; not ordinary spreads but ones that are lined from the inside with electrifying lightening, so that the couches are filled with energy and possibilities; so that even when stationary, the experience is full.
fihinna qasiraatut tarfai lum tatmishunna insun kablahum wala jaan(56) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(57) kaanna hunnal yaquutu wal marjaan(58) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(59) hal jazza ul ahsaani illal ahsan(60) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(61)
In them, at their edges, are castles, no man or Jinn before them has touched. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Like the ruby and the coral-stone. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Is the payment for goodness anything except goodness? And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify.
In these gardens that the good-doers, among the men and the jinn, have been entered into, at their very fringes are castles, they are at such remote extremes that the sight has yet fallen short of their viewing. These magnificent castles have turned into antiquities in the ages they have laid waiting for their abider’s to come, their gates have yet not been unlocked nor have their provisions touched by any man or jinn, but the castles are live, interactive eager for their masters to touch them into liveliness and fervor. These castles are of two kinds, one seem to be gigantic rubies, captivating the hearts of men and the others like the red gem-stone of the coral to charm the jinn; both have a different disposition, their aspirations and agreeability has been catered for. The huge structures lay await for the evening to come, so that the jesting inmate think of a place to rest and find the palaces aggrandized and decorated for their merriment. Has the Lord given a good compensation for the righteous deeds and difficulties endured in His name?
wamin duni hima jannataan(62) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(63) mudhaammataan(64) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(65)
And at the lower sides of them are two other gardens. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Dark Green. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify.
The base word dal-waw-nun is a preposition with different meanings like low, base, below, beneath, beyond, after and other then; and the base word dal-ha-meem means to crush, come suddenly upon, blacken, to become dark green. So at the bases or lower ends of these castles, are mysterious paths leading to two other gardens – gardens that were hitherto beyond conscious perception – gardens with thick green foliage, so green as to nearing blackness, perhaps darkness of the foliage make for the captivation and allure of the place. The exotic majesty of the overwhelming scenery strikes the tourists with surprise and awe; abundance and thick coloration has enchanted them in charisma – so how will they now falsify the sighs of their Lord?
fihima aynaani naddakhitaan(66) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(67) fihima fakihatun wa nakhlun wa rummaan(68) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(69) fihinna kharaatun hisaan(70) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(71) hurrun maqsuraatun fi khiyaam(72) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(73) lam yatmishunna insun qablahum wa lajaan(74) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(75) muttakieena alla rafrafin khudrin wa abqarriyin hisaan(76) fabi aayi aalaai rabbikumma tukazziban(77)
‘In them two springs, gushing forth and sprinkling around. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Wherein is fruit, the date-palm and pomegranate. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Wherein are the ideal of all the pleasing/graceful. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Fair ones, close-guarded in pavilions. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Not have touched them man before nor jinn. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify. Reclining on green and lightened cushions. And which of the great signs of your Lord shall you falsify.’
The word ayn-ya-nun too has a variety of meanings like ‘eye, look, hole, spy, middle letter of a trilateral word, spring of water, chief, personage of a place, water, spring’ and the word nun-dad-kha means to sprinkle, lightly or copiously. So in these gardens are profuse rivers and waterfalls, lavishly spreading their moisture around, surely the moisture shall not bring displeasure but it does fill the air with the most stimulating aroma, giving the place a personage of its own.
The ‘kharaatun hisaan’ are ideal things striving for excellence, things that are desired and generous, that beautify, benefit, behave with goodness and please. Thus in them are jesting and jostling of joy; everything therein is interactive, therein the fruits are of the best-select choice, something like the palms and the pomegranates. In them are the fair maidens of dazzling looks and radiant beauty, they have been confined in embellished pavilions, owing to their delicate and alluring nature. They too are of two dispositions, one kind for the men and the other for the jinn, no soul has ever had them before.
They are inclining on green cushioned beds that are glowing with light from within. The recliners themselves are youthful and inviting, finesse in quality. The glittering fabric is rich and splendid but also noble, brisk, powerful and vigorous – perhaps the couches are alive, gliding motionlessly over the majestic scenery and powered by an extraordinary green energy.
tabbarakasmu Rabbika zil jalali wal akraam(78)
Blessed be the name of thy Lord, the Mighty and the Glorious!
These are signs of the Rehman, these are great signs for those who can and will experience them, these great signs signified with the mysterious word ‘aalla’ (base word: alif-lam-wa), the meaning of which is multi-facet, just like the all these realities mentioned above, recognizable to the thought but not starkly known. The ‘Aalla’ are the enormous splendors gliding in the skies and the varieties and abundances of life-forms that the Malik al Kudos has scattered all around us and that lay beyond our apprehensions. To the Creator these are but short-comings, little possibilities from His infinite wisdom but to the man and jinn they are the peaks of our intelligibility and endeavoring. To the Creator they are knowledge fully possessed, without doubt and to the creations they are but great signs, which they swear upon, for they know them in their hearts yet cannot encompass them with their senses, at least in this life. The signs are so numerous, evident, magnificent and incredible that it is beyond natural comprehension to falsify them, yet we do and Allah call upon us ‘how many and which of these amazing realities will you defy?’
Then kneel down on your breast (Ba-ra-ka) at the blessed name of your Sustainer, the holder of antiquity, honor and manifestation, the bestower of constant produce. Whereas the kneeling down on ones forehead signifies humility, the kneeling down on one’s breast signifies a state of constant vigilance and amazement and looking at thing in a totally changed perspective – onto the glorified, highly exalted, the blessed and the distributor of blessings, through the magnified name that serves as the blessed medium of connection. The Sustainer who nourishes all of existence, the Zul-Jalal, the holder of age yet the ever young, manifest in all things yet out of sight, the Zul-Akram, the most generous, the noble the most productive, the standardizer of high virtue and value, the merciful, the Rehman, the gracious.