This is one of the early verses revealed during the first years of Prophet-hood. These verses draw our attention to observe creation and question its Source of existence.
92:1 “Consider the night as it veils [the earth] in darkness.
Some say that time is change. What we observe in creation is the change of season and the transformation of night and day. These are just obvious changes that we observe. However, creation is taking place at every moment that we cannot even call it as “change”. Since everything comes into existence right at this moment, then it is not a change, it is recreation. We can say that we observe act of creation continuously manifesting before us. As far as we are concerned, creation is renewed in space-time. We observe coming and going of creation, including our own. Everything comes into existence then departs to fulfill its purpose.
- Change is a sign that things do not happen by chance.
- I am responsible for what I am experiencing right now.
92:2 “and the day when it shines!
Everything in creation witnesses its Creator. The word “qasama” means to take an oath. It is as if the Creator says: “Witness me in everything that you do and see and take the oath”. My duty is to take witness in God and realize that everything is from It. We need to acknowledge the Source of our Existence through witnessing the universe. That is the only way to get acquainted with It. The Source of our Existence is not external to us. Example: I see the laptop and I realize that it must have an Engineer. Within the laptop the qualities of the engineer are displayed. Now, I want to know the Engineer. How do I get to know the Engineer? Through the functionalities contained in the laptop. Similarly, the Creator of the universe says that I am an “Omnipotent One”, here is my witness in the universe i.e. whatever action that you are made to experience is the result of a deliberate choice.
Day and night are really given to us to take care of our human needs. During night time, we need rest and during day time, we need to search for our sustenance. Some may consider the night time to also signify moments in our lives where we feel gloomy and anything related to our psychological state. Everything is created for a purpose, even our feelings of unhappiness or anger. These feelings are a call to know the Source that provides these feelings. Only through these feelings that we get to know that we have a Source of Existence who is our Owner.
- If I want to know myself and my Lord, I have to look at the creation of night and day which fits my life. These are the signs in terms of how I should get to know who my Lord is?
92:3 “Consider the criterion of the male and female!
All the contrasts and polarity we observe in creation is so perfectly fitting to our human needs. This includes the creation of the male and female beings. They both complement each other. Example: the mating of the pigeons, how do we explain this phenomenon? It is impossible for it to be a result of accidents. Some scientist say that matter exists as it is. Again, how is everything coming into existence? Some scientists even look into the beginning of the existence of matter. Regardless, how can we explain the continuous renewal taking place right now? It is mind boggling! Also, there is not one type of being in existence but there are two distinct beings: male and female. They have different characteristics and functions. Is this set up a chance or accident? Some scientists even say that animals follow their instinct. OK, but what is making them do so? Something to think about!
92:4 “Surely your striving is to diverse end.”
Everyone is striving for something. “sa’y” means running towards something. We all have different aims and purpose. One’s choices depend on what they aim at. We all have to take care of our freewill. However, human beings are all created to achieve the same result i.e. Eternal Happiness. How do we get to this Eternal Happiness varies from our different perspectives on events/objects? What one values really makes his/her striving for that purpose. If you value objects/events as the Source of your Eternal Happiness, then that is your end. Whereas, if you value the Creator of these objects/events as the Source of your Eternal Happiness, then you are striving for that end in your interaction with the universe.
“Man” in Arabic refers to who i.e. a conscious being.
“Maa” in Arabic refers to what.
The verse walks us through finding out what is the Source of existence of a quality, happiness for example that we experience? Since I cannot attribute happiness or any quality that I experience to anything in this universe, to accidents or the universe itself, I say what it is then? What is the Source of Existence of these qualities? Since It cannot be created, we cannot describe It in terms of this world. We only conclude “A’laa”, what It is not, in other words Absolute.
92:5 “As for him who gives [in charity] and is conscious of God.”
Charity means giving something without expecting anything in return. When scripture talks about “charity”, it is referring not only financially but also various abilities such as knowledge, help, counseling/advice… It is easy to give out money with the acknowledgment that the money does not belong to me. However, when it comes to sharing knowledge, we may appropriate it to ourselves. Similarly, when you help someone, it is not your doing. You are not the doer. You are just acknowledging the Helper. Through the sense of help, you are to acknowledge the Creator of that sense because the sense of helping belongs to the One that gives it to you.
Exercise with your senses as follows:
- This person needs help.
- I have the opportunity to help out.
- The property or knowledge is not mine; it is given to me by my Creator.
- The sense of Compassion is also given to me by my Creator.
- Finally, this is an opportunity to recognize the quality of “Giver”.
Our qualities and senses are given to us in order to experience the qualities of the Creator. These qualities do not belong to us, they belong to their Creator. Since the Creator is not of this universe, we experience Its qualities in manifested form. God is within our creation demonstrating the qualities to conscious human beings. Just use yourself. That is why we are given the ability to perform different activities. The Creator is present in all the qualities of the action right here and then.
What is the reason for us be given the choice to prefer certain feelings to function within us? At a given moment, I may feel happy or unhappy; I may feel angry or wanting to help others. Why is that?
Comment: To get to know the Source of Existence of these senses.
- All my abilities are given to me to get to know what quality my Creator has. That is how the soul gets acquainted with its Source of existence.
Most of the religions are intertwined as far as the message is concerned. Only in Islam, you are either a submitter or a denier. It seems that being a Muslim is so meshed with culture of a certain place, that we do not really see followers of Islam at a universal level anymore.
Comment: Some say that we are in the image of God.
We are reflecting the qualities of God. The Absolute form of the qualities is manifested in me in created form.
Civilization has reduced our existence to material form only. Yes, we should wonder: What is giving form to my body and his/her body? How is the digestive system functioning? We should not stop here, we need to look into the various potentialities we have as far as recognizing the qualities of the Creator is concerned. We value the outward form of our existence (suurat in Arabic) as opposed to the qualities engrained in the outward form (seerat in Arabic).
Tags: Al-Layl, Layl Series, oath