By December 18, 2022 Read More →

Section Al A’raf – part 26

Continuing with our study of section “A’raf” (the Cognizant):

وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُرْسِلُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحَ بُشْرًۢا بَيْنَ يَدَىْ رَحْمَتِهِۦ ۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَقَلَّتْ سَحَابًۭا ثِقَالًۭا سُقْنَـٰهُ لِبَلَدٍۢ مَّيِّتٍۢ فَأَنزَلْنَا بِهِ ٱلْمَآءَ فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِۦ مِن كُلِّ ٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نُخْرِجُ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

7:57 It is God who sends the winds, bearing good news of His coming mercy, and when they have gathered the heavy clouds, We drive them to a dead land where We cause rain to fall, bringing out all kinds of fruit, just as We will bring out the dead [to life]. Will you not remember?

The previous verse 7:54 had introduced us to who God is as the Creator of the heavens and earth, and the owner of what goes on in the universe. Verses 7:55 and 7:56 that followed mentioned about calling or praying to God humbly from the heart. 

Now this verse is hinting at something behind the creation of things by giving obvious examples of what is happening out there in front of my eyes; telling me that the creation of these things should mean something in relation to the Owner of the universe that I have been introduced to. To mention the phenomena of winds, the moving of clouds, and rain that falls and brings all sorts of fruits and vegetables are all observable to me and have a purpose. The verse puts an emphasis on the word “mercy” associated with all these events. I may understand the creation of winds, clouds, rain that bring good results. The events are visible to me out there where I see that it is out of His mercy as I enjoy all these created things. 

Although, I know about the benefits of rain since I can learn from my experience. I know that when rain comes, the vegetation starts growing and they become useful to me; but the purpose of the Quran in telling me about these knowable things in creation must be something else. The verse is mentioning that I am going to reveal My secret about mercy in Creation. “سُقْنَـٰهُ لِبَلَدٍۢ مَّيِّتٍۢ” translated as “We drive them to a dead land” is letting me know how mercy operates. I already know that dead land cannot have vegetation unless it becomes fertile, what is the point in mentioning that? Why is the Quran teaching me what I can learn from my observation?

The Quran is teaching me that:

  1.  These things are not happening by themselves but are the acts of creation of the Owner of the universe. 
  2. All these acts are out of mercy which mean something to me. Not the things that I can know of from observation of the universe but what I do not know. Let me look for that. The phrase:  “  فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِۦ مِن كُلِّ ٱلثَّمَرَٰتِۚ” translated as: “We brought out all kinds of fruit”. That is also knowable to me but the Qur’an is teaching me that they are brought out by the Conscious Creator of the universe; they cannot come out by themselves. Investigate this and you will understand that they cannot happen by themselves. 
  3. Now the verse continues with “كَذَٰلِكَ نُخْرِجُ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ” translated as: “just as We bring forth the dead to life” which tells me the secret of these merciful events. Nature, physical matter or the universe cannot bring out the dead to life. God is letting me know that is how He does it, the Qur’an teaches us this with the phrase, “We bring out the dead to life.” I am going to tell you the secrets of all these events: The dead body will also be given life again by the same one who gives life to the dead earth. 

The phrase “لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ” translated as: “Will you not remember”? Hopefully, you can keep remembering your own resurrection after your death every time the rain comes. I can remember that whoever gives life to dead earth where plants grow again can give life to me again. Also, when one loses their life, that is not the end of them. I can reason as to why the event is happening. I should realize that the dead body will also be brought back to life as in resurrection. The Creator of the universe is letting me know that I am going to tell you the secrets of all these events that demonstrate that “they are My doing,” they are not the work of nature or the universe.  There is another message in those events such as rain and giving life again to dead earth. These events are examples to an important message that: “I will give life to you again”. When I take the right attitude towards the events that are going on in the universe and realize this “تَذَكَّرُ” (remember), which is not just remember but reflect on it continuously. Wondering why the event happens in this way, why is the land not always green? Why do we need the rain to come from the sky? We know that accidents cannot make it in this way. Human beings look for meaning. Without meaning, the universe and life become pointless. The verses of the Qur’an teach us the meaning behind the creation of every single thing in this world. 


وَٱلْبَلَدُ ٱلطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُۥ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِۦ ۖ وَٱلَّذِى خَبُثَ لَا يَخْرُجُ إِلَّا نَكِدًۭا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ ٱلْـَٔايَـٰتِ لِقَوْمٍۢ يَشْكُرُونَ

7:58 The fertile land produces its vegetation abundantly by the Will of its Lord, whereas the infertile land hardly produces anything. We explain Our messages in various ways to those people who are grateful.

The phrases “بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ” and “لِمَن يَشَآءُ”, are very frequently used in the Quran – by the Will of the Lord. A superficial understanding would be that God permissioned the things to function in this way which is why they act this way. The things in the universe cannot have their qualities by themselves or function by themselves. Their existence is realized with the will of the Creator as well as while their existence continues all stages of their life are also created by the same Creator. They themselves cannot be the source of their activities. They are constantly created by the One Who sustains the existence of the universe; the things have no qualities to sustain their existence and carry it from one moment to another. I can apply this to my life by being careful with this superficiality as if I am created by God but now I am doing things with the permission of my Lord. 

The mentioning of the prophetic miracles in the Quran may be understood as if God gave prophets permission to perform miracles. The act of creation there is realized with the Will of the Creator. The prophets cannot create anything by themselves. 

What is the message here telling me that fertile land produces abundantly which I can experience?

I see that there are some pieces of land on this earth that are fertile and some others are not. I would question that: You say that the fertile land is the mercy of God, what about the infertile land? This is an example in the universe for me and is related to the previous verse where I am being taught something that I didn’t know from knowable things.  The phrase at the end of the verse says “كَذَٰلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ ٱلْـَٔايَـٰتِ لِقَوْمٍۢ يَشْكُرُونَ” translated as “We explain Our messages in various ways to those people who are grateful.” The explanation in various ways is by analyzing the events where I can get the messages in the way that they are created so that I will understand they cannot happen by themselves; they need a Conscious Creator whose qualities must be Absolute. Otherwise, I would just look at them and fall into the mistake of thinking that they are happening by themselves.

The Quran is also described as being brought down from high, “inna anzalna”, the same word is used for rain as well.  Just like rain feeds the human body with all the abundant vegetation, revelation feeds the human spirit which needs meaning for its existence, mercy, eternal life, permanent existence. The human spirit needs guidance on how it can fulfill its needs which it cannot find by examining and studying the universe, without being informed of the existence of an Absolute Being. Only then can the human spirit find the source of satisfaction of its needs for an eternal pleasure, otherwise, it will suffer from the threat of death, which turns everything into a meaningless end. 

From the example of the fertile land as an analogy, when I am like the fertile land, I will receive and benefit from the message of the Creator and thus grow unimaginable “fruits and vegetables” of a pleasurable life while I am living in this world as well as in my continuous existence in the hereafter. Unimaginable because I would not know what would come out of the seed sown as I have never experienced it. When revelation comes, if my land is fertile, that is, if I am honest to my human feelings and expectation of my spirit, it would produce unexpected results. All my feelings, hopes for eternity which I do not see here in this world must be the result.

How can I make my spirit fertile? 

I have free will. If I am given the seed, I have the option to cultivate the land and put the seed into the soil or not. What would make me put my spirit into fertile soil? I must admit the need of my spirit, which is human reality, for eternal satisfaction.

All human beings know their needs. Everyone is aware of and working to address their bodily needs to have their life running, to eat and survive without paying much attention to the needs of their spirit. Many extra things are added to the list of our needs from the civilization we live in, imposed on us. Everyone is careful, sensitive about their bodily needs but when it comes to the spirit, not much! Everyone is influenced by the previous culture, follows it blindly, and makes excuses in order not to submit their spiritual needs to theirCreator.

How am I going to get fertile land? The land, our spirit, is already fertile in us waiting for perfect satisfaction. There is nothing meaningless in creation; the so-called infertile lands are full of other things such as metals, rocks, gasses or other material for human consumption. Scientists, geologists are well aware of all the benefits from infertile lands.

Just like there is nothing meaningless in the universe, every sense of the human being is also out of wisdom in need of the news of how they can be satisfied. We shouldn’t close our minds from getting the message. I will say “my Creator, God, You gave me this sense, what is it for?” and revelation will tell me and satisfy those senses.

Next verse shows how revelation is sent down to human beings:

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِۦ فَقَالَ يَـٰقَوْمِ ٱعْبُدُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيْرُهُۥٓ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍۢ

7:59 We sent forth Noah unto his people, and he said: “O my people! Worship God alone: you have no deity other than Him. Verily I am concerned that suffering befall you on an awesome Day!”

The phrase “لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا” is translated as “We sent forth”. It is used to describe the prophet coming or being sent forth with revelation from the Creator. Sometimes the Quran uses the word “بَعَثْنَا” as prophets chosen from among the people to deliver the message. In this verse the special mission of Noah as the messenger is presented to us as an example.

If one looks at the Quran as some biased minds do.  The earlier verses were mentioning the rain, clouds and fertile land, now what does this verse have to do by mentioning Noah’s story? We should pay attention to the seemingly out of context verses which are directly related; this is an interesting method used by the Quran.

Side note: The purpose of the Quran is to teach us what we cannot know. He created my spirit in my body; He created me within the conditions of this universe. The message of God comes to me and speaks to me alongside with my source of information which is the universe. The Quran and Universe should support each other since the Speaker in the Qur’an introduces Himself as the Creator of the universe. I receive the message from my Creator and base my understanding through the witnessing of the universe. If I ignore the universe from the revelation it is as if I ignore my body which is needed for the spirit to function. For example, if one doesn’t have eyes. The spirit wants to see but it won’t be able to. I must pay attention to the verses which reference creation by mentioning mountains, spiders, clouds, sun, moon, day, night, they all include in them the message that my spirit requires. Our spirit needs the answers and needs the All Wise Creator where He is introducing Himself through creation. The prophets also come and tell me not to expect any satisfaction from the universe but from the Creator of the universe. 

Todays’ education system is teaching as if “Mother Nature” or “matter” itself is taking care of us without really describing what these concepts really represent. Many may think that animals produce milk, plants and trees produce fruits and vegetables all of which are products of “natural” events. We should wake up and realize what has Absolute qualities. When I don’t worship God alone and worship nature, suffering will befall me because “nature” does not have consciousness, knowledge, wisdom or such qualities; matter is subject to the order of the universe and does not have any free will to choose the best. My worship in my understanding is to be grateful to the Creator of the universe where the universe is used as evidence. My body gets satisfaction from the universe but my spirit gets satisfaction from the Creator of the universe. The Creator is the only one that can satisfy me, because He must be an Absolute Being. My spirit needs an Absolutely powerful one to get what I want. 

The word “عَذَابَ “translated as suffering. As soon as I expect satisfaction from this material world itself, suffering is immediately created for me. Suffering is being 100% in despair as the universe cannot satisfy my spirit. The spirit does not die and is like the principles, meaningful qualities manifested in the order of the universe, continues manifesting what qualities it has been endowed with. When our body dies the spirit does not die. Like a book, when we burn the paper of the book it does not mean that we burnt the knowledge inscribed in it. We cannot burn the none-material side of human beings, human feelings; the Qur’an calls it “spirit”. 

The phrase “يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍۢ” translated as “an awesome Day.” This awesome day starts from here and now and continues till after death. At death, the spirit leaves the non-functioning body. This is the end of our education period that we can choose either to accept that we are created by a conscious Being or deny it. After death there is no way to turn back to realize this universe has a Creator. The school is closed and collapses; that is called in the Qur’an as “the doomsday” (Yawm Al-Qiyamah).

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