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The Stubborn Disbelievers will never believe, no matter what Signs and Wonders They see

Allah explains the extent of their disbelief and stubborn resistance to the truth by stating that even if a door to heaven were to be opened for them, and they were to be taken up through it, they would still not believe. Rather, they would say:

﴿ إِنَّمَا سُكِّرَتۡ أَبۡصَـٰرُنَا

(Our eyes have been (as if) dazzled.) Mujahid, Ibn Kathir and Ad-Dahhak said, "(this means) our vision has been blocked.'' Qatadah narrated that Ibn `Abbas said, "(this means) our eyesight has been taken away.'' Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "(this means) we were confused and put under a spell.''

﴿ سُكِّرَتۡ أَبۡصَـٰرُنَا

(Our eyes have been (as if) dazzled.) Ibn Zayd said: "The one who is dazzled (lit. intoxicated) is the one who cannot reason.''

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ جَعَلۡنَا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ بُرُوجً۬ا وَزَيَّنَّـٰهَا لِلنَّـٰظِرِينَ وَحَفِظۡنَـٰهَا مِن كُلِّ شَيۡطَـٰنٍ۬ رَّجِيمٍ إِلَّا مَنِ ٱسۡتَرَقَ ٱلسَّمۡعَ فَأَتۡبَعَهُ ۥ شِہَابٌ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ مَدَدۡنَـٰهَا وَأَلۡقَيۡنَا فِيهَا رَوَٲسِىَ وَأَنۢبَتۡنَا فِيہَا مِن كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ مَّوۡزُونٍ۬ وَجَعَلۡنَا لَكُمۡ فِيہَا مَعَـٰيِشَ وَمَن لَّسۡتُمۡ لَهُ ۥ بِرَٲزِقِينَ

(16. And indeed, We have put the big stars in the heaven and We beautified it for the beholders.) (17. And We have guarded it (near heaven) from every outcast Shaytan (devil).) (18. Except him (devil) who steals the hearing, then he is pursued by a clear flaming fire.) (19. And We have spread out the earth, and have placed firm mountains in it, and caused all kinds of things to grow in it, in due proportion.) (20. And in it We have provided means of living, for you and for those whom you provide not.)

The Power of Allah and His Signs in the Heavens and on Earth

To those who ponder, and look repeatedly at the dazzling signs and wonders that are to be seen in the creation, Allah mentions His creation of the heavens, with their immense height, and both the fixed and moving heavenly bodies with which He has adorned it. Here, Mujahid and Qatadah said that Buruj (big stars) refers to the heavenly bodies. (I say): This is like the Ayah:

﴿ تَبَارَكَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ بُرُوجً۬ا

(Blessed be He Who has placed the big stars in the heavens.) (25:61)`Atiyah Al-`Awfi said: "Buruj here refers to sentinel fortresses.'' He made the "shooting stars'' to guard it against the evil devils who try to listen to information conveyed at the highest heights. If any devil breaches it and advances hoping to listen, a clear "shooting star'' comes to him and destroys him. He may already have passed on whatever he heard before the fire hit him, to another devil below him; the latter will then take it to his friends (among humans), as is stated in the Sahih. Explaining this Ayah, Al-Bukhari reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:

« إِذَا قَضَى اللهُ الْأَمْرَ فِي السَّمَاءِ ضَرَبَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ بِأَجْنِحَتِهَا خُضْعَانًا لِقَوْلِهِ كَأَنَّهُ سِلْسِلَةٌ عَلَى صَفْوَان »

(When Allah decrees any matter in heaven, the angels beat their wings in submission to His Word, (with a sound like) a chain (beating) on a smooth rock.'') (`Ali and other subnarrators said, "The sound reaches them.'') "When the fright leaves their (angels') hearts, they (angels) are asked: `What did your Lord say' They respond: "The truth. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.' So those who hope to hear something listen, and they are standing one above the other.'' Sufyan (the narrator) described them with a gesture, spreading the fingers of his right hand and holding it in such a way that the fingers were above one another. "Sometimes the flaming fire hits one of these listeners before he is able to convey what he has heard to the one who is beneath him, and he is burned up, or sometimes the fire does not hit him until he has pit on to the one beneath him, so he brings it to the earth.'' Perhaps Sufyan said: "...until it reaches the earth and he puts it into the mouth of the sorcerer or fortune-teller, so that after telling a hundred lies he gets something right, and the people say, `Did he not tell us that on such and such a day such and such would happen, and we found it to be the truth among the statements which were heard from heaven.''' Then Allah mentions His creation of the earth and how He spread it out, and the firm mountains, valleys, lands and sands that he has placed in it, and the plants and fruits that He causes to grow in their appropriate locations.

﴿ مِن كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ مَّوۡزُونٍ۬

(all kinds of things in due proportion.) Ibn `Abbas said that this means with their predetermined proportions. This was also the opinion of Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Abu Malik, Mujahid, Al-Hakim bin `Utaybah, Al-Hasan bin Muhammad, Abu Salih and Qatadah.

﴿ وَجَعَلۡنَا لَكُمۡ فِيہَا مَعَـٰيِشَ

(And We have provided therein means of living, for you) Here Allah mentions that He created the earth with different means of provisions and livelihood of all kinds.

﴿ وَمَن لَّسۡتُمۡ لَهُ ۥ بِرَٲزِقِينَ

(and for those whom you provide not.) Mujahid said, "This refers to the riding animals and the cattle.'' Ibn Jarir said, "They are slaves, men and women, as well as the animals and the cattle. The meaning is that Allah, may He be exalted, is reminding them of the ways of earning provision that He has made easy for them, and of the animals that He has subjugated for them to ride and to eat, and the slaves from whom they benefit, but the provision of all of these comes from Allah alone.''

﴿ وَإِن مِّن شَىۡءٍ إِلَّا عِندَنَا خَزَآٮِٕنُهُ ۥ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا بِقَدَرٍ۬ مَّعۡلُومٍ۬ وَأَرۡسَلۡنَا ٱلرِّيَـٰحَ لَوَٲقِحَ فَأَنزَلۡنَا مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬ فَأَسۡقَيۡنَـٰكُمُوهُ وَمَآ أَنتُمۡ لَهُ ۥ بِخَـٰزِنِينَ وَإِنَّا لَنَحۡنُ نُحۡىِۦ وَنُمِيتُ وَنَحۡنُ ٱلۡوَٲرِثُونَ وَلَقَدۡ عَلِمۡنَا ٱلۡمُسۡتَقۡدِمِينَ مِنكُمۡ وَلَقَدۡ عَلِمۡنَا ٱلۡمُسۡتَـٔۡخِرِينَ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ يَحۡشُرُهُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ۬

(21. And there is not a thing, but the supplies for it are with Us, and We do not send it down but in a known measure.) (22. And We send the winds fertilizing, then We cause the water to descend from the sky, and We give it to you to drink, and it is not you who are the owners of its supply.) (23. And certainly We! It is We Who give life, and cause death, and We are the Inheritors.) (24. And indeed, We know the first generations of you who have passed away, and indeed, We know the present generations of you (mankind), and also those who will come afterwards.) (25. And verily, your Lord will gather them together. Truly, He is Most Wise, (and) Knowing.)

The Supplies for All Things are with Allah

Allah tells us that He is the Owner of all things, and that everything is easy for Him. He has the supplies for all things with Him.

﴿ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا بِقَدَرٍ۬ مَّعۡلُومٍ۬

(and We do not send it down but in a known measure.) meaning, as He wills and as He wants. Doing so out of His great wisdom and mercy towards His servants, in a way that He is under no obligation to do. But He has decreed mercy for Himself. Yazid bin Abi Ziyad reported from Abu Juhayfah that `Abdullah said: "No year has more rain than another, but Allah divides the rain between them as He wills, it rains here a year and there a year. Then he recited:

﴿ وَإِن مِّن شَىۡءٍ إِلَّا عِندَنَا خَزَآٮِٕنُهُ ۥ

(And there is not a thing, but the supplies for it are with Us...) Reported by Ibn Jarir.

Benefits of the Winds
﴿ وَأَرۡسَلۡنَا ٱلرِّيَـٰحَ لَوَٲقِحَ

(And We send the winds fertilizing.) i.e., fertilizing the clouds so that they give rain, and fertilizing the trees so that they open their leaves and blossoms. These winds are mentioned here in the plural form because they give results, unlike the barren wind (Ar-Rih Al-'Aqim, see Adh-Dhariyat 51:41), which is mentioned in the singular and described as barren since it does not produce anything; because results can only be produced when there are two or more things.

﴿ وَأَرۡسَلۡنَا ٱلرِّيَـٰحَ لَوَٲقِحَ

(And We sent the winds fertilizing.) `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "The wind is sent bearing water from the sky, then it fertilizes the clouds until rain begins to generously fall, just as the milk of the pregnant camel flows generously.'' This was also the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Qatadah. Ad-Dahhak said: "Allah sends it to the clouds and it gets fertilized and becomes full of water.'' `Ubayd bin `Umayr Al-Laythi said: "Allah sends the wind which stirs up the earth, then Allah sends the wind which raises clouds, then Allah sends the wind which forms clouds, then Allah sends the fertilizing wind which pollinates the trees. Then he recited,

﴿ وَأَرۡسَلۡنَا ٱلرِّيَـٰحَ لَوَٲقِحَ

(And We sent the winds fertilizing,)

Fresh Water is a Blessing from Allah
﴿ فَأَسۡقَيۡنَـٰكُمُوهُ

(and We give it to you to drink,) This means, "and We send it down to you fresh and sweet, so that you can drink it; if We had wished, We could have made it salty (and undrinkable)'', as Allah points out in another Ayah in Surat Al-Waqi`ah, where He says:

﴿ أَفَرَءَيۡتُمُ ٱلۡمَآءَ ٱلَّذِى تَشۡرَبُونَ ءَأَنتُمۡ أَنزَلۡتُمُوهُ مِنَ ٱلۡمُزۡنِ أَمۡ نَحۡنُ ٱلۡمُنزِلُونَ لَوۡ نَشَآءُ جَعَلۡنَـٰهُ أُجَاجً۬ا فَلَوۡلَا تَشۡكُرُونَ

(Tell Me! The water that you drink, is it you who cause it to come down from the rain clouds, or are We the cause of it coming down If We willed, We verily could make it salty (and undrinkable), why then do you not give thanks (to Allah)) (56:68-70). And Allah says:

﴿ هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬‌ۖ لَّكُم مِّنۡهُ شَرَابٌ۬ وَمِنۡهُ شَجَرٌ۬ فِيهِ تُسِيمُونَ

(He it is Who sends water down from the sky; from it you drink and from it (grows) the vegetation on which you send your cattle to pasture.) (16:10)

﴿ وَمَآ أَنتُمۡ لَهُ ۥ بِخَـٰزِنِينَ

(and it is not you who are the owners of its supply.) The meaning is, "You are not taking care of it; rather We send it down and take care of it for you, making springs and wells flourish on the earth. '' If Allah so willed, He could make it disappear, but by His mercy He sends it down and makes it fresh and sweet, maintaining the springs, wells, rivers and so on, so that they may drink from it all year long, water their livestock and irrigate their crops.

The Power of Allah to initiate and renew Creation
﴿ وَإِنَّا لَنَحۡنُ نُحۡىِۦ وَنُمِيتُ

(And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death,) Here Allah tells us of His power to initiate creation and renew it. He is the One Who brings life to creatures out of nothingness, then He causes them to die, then He will resurrect all of them on the Day when He will gather them together. He also tells us that He will inherit the earth and everyone on it, and then it is to Him that they will return. Then He tells us about His perfect knowledge of them, the first and the last of them. He says

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ عَلِمۡنَا ٱلۡمُسۡتَقۡدِمِينَ مِنكُمۡ

(And indeed, We know the first generations of you who had passed away...). Ibn `Abbas said, "The first generations are all those who have passed away since the time of Adam. The present generations and those who will come afterward refer to those who are alive now and who are yet to come, until the Day of Resurrection.'' Something similar was narrated from `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Ash-Sha`bi and others. Ibn Jarir reported from Muhammad bin Abi Ma`shar, from his father, that he heard `Awn bin `Abdullah discussing the following Ayah with Muhammad bin Ka`b:

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ عَلِمۡنَا ٱلۡمُسۡتَقۡدِمِينَ مِنكُمۡ وَلَقَدۡ عَلِمۡنَا ٱلۡمُسۡتَـٔۡخِرِينَ

(And indeed, We know the first generations of you who had passed away, and indeed, We know the present generations of you (mankind), and also those who will come afterwards), and it was stated that it refers to the rows for prayer. Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "This is not the case.

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ عَلِمۡنَا ٱلۡمُسۡتَقۡدِمِينَ مِنكُمۡ

(And indeed, We know the first generations of you who had passed away) it refers to those who are dead or have been killed, and;

﴿ ٱلۡمُسۡتَـٔۡخِرِينَ

(and also those who will come afterwards) meaning those who have yet to be created.

﴿ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ يَحۡشُرُهُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ۬

(And verily your Lord will gather them together. Truly, He is Most Wise, (and) Knowing).'' `Awn bin `Abdullah said, "May Allah help you and reward you with good.''

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مِن صَلۡصَـٰلٍ۬ مِّنۡ حَمَإٍ۬ مَّسۡنُونٍ۬ وَٱلۡجَآنَّ خَلَقۡنَـٰهُ مِن قَبۡلُ مِن نَّارِ ٱلسَّمُومِ

(26. And indeed, We created man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud.) (27. And the Jinn, We created earlier from the smokeless flame of fire.)

The Substances from which Mankind and Jinns were created

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said that Salsal means dry mud. The apparent meaning is similar to the Ayah:

﴿ خَلَقَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مِن صَلۡصَـٰلٍ۬ كَٱلۡفَخَّارِ وَخَلَقَ ٱلۡجَآنَّ مِن مَّارِجٍ۬ مِّن نَّارٍ۬

(He created man (Adam) from sounding clay like the potter's clay, And He created the Jinns from a smokeless flame of fire.) (55:14-15) It was also reported from Mujahid that,

﴿ صَلۡصَـٰلٍ۬

(dried (sounding) clay) means "putrid'', but it is more appropriate to interpret an Ayah with another Ayah.

﴿ مِّنۡ حَمَإٍ۬ مَّسۡنُونٍ۬

(of altered mud) means the dried clay that comes from mud, which is soil. "Altered'' here means smooth.

﴿ وَٱلۡجَآنَّ خَلَقۡنَـٰهُ مِن قَبۡلُ

(And the Jinn, We created earlier) means before creating humans.

﴿ مِن نَّارِ ٱلسَّمُومِ

(from the smokeless flame of fire.) Ibn `Abbas said, "It is the smokeless flame that kills.'' Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi said that Shu`bah narrated to them from Abu Ishaq, who said: "I visited `Umar Al-Asamm when he was sick, and he said: `Shall I not tell you a Hadith that I heard from `Abdullah bin Mas`ud He said: `This smokeless flame is one of the seventy parts of the smokeless fire from which the Jinn where created. Then he recited,

﴿ وَٱلۡجَآنَّ خَلَقۡنَـٰهُ مِن قَبۡلُ مِن نَّارِ ٱلسَّمُومِ

(And the Jinn, We created earlier from the smokeless flame of fire).''' The following is found in the Sahih,

« خُلِقَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ نُورٍ، وَخُلِقَتِ الْجَانُّ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ، وَخُلِقَ آدَمُ مِمَّا وُصِفَ لَكُم »

(The angels were created from light, the Jinn were created from a smokeless flame of fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.) The Ayah is intended to point out the noble nature, good essence and pure origin of Adam.

﴿ وَإِذۡ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةِ إِنِّى خَـٰلِقُۢ بَشَرً۬ا مِّن صَلۡصَـٰلٍ۬ مِّنۡ حَمَإٍ۬ مَّسۡنُونٍ۬ فَإِذَا سَوَّيۡتُهُ ۥ وَنَفَخۡتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِى فَقَعُواْ لَهُ ۥ سَـٰجِدِينَ فَسَجَدَ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ ڪُلُّهُمۡ أَجۡمَعُونَ إِلَّآ إِبۡلِيسَ أَبَىٰٓ أَن يَكُونَ مَعَ ٱلسَّـٰجِدِينَ قَالَ يَـٰٓإِبۡلِيسُ مَا لَكَ أَلَّا تَكُونَ مَعَ ٱلسَّـٰجِدِينَ قَالَ لَمۡ أَكُن لِّأَسۡجُدَ لِبَشَرٍ خَلَقۡتَهُ ۥ مِن صَلۡصَـٰلٍ۬ مِّنۡ حَمَإٍ۬ مَّسۡنُونٍ۬

(28. And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to create a man (Adam) from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. '') (29. "So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) of My spirit (the soul which I created for him,) then fall down, prostrating yourselves before him.'') (30. So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together.) (31. Except Iblis (Shaytan) - he refused to be among the prostrate.) (32. (Allah) said: "O Iblis! What is your reason for not being among the prostrate'' (33. Iblis said: "I am not one to prostrate myself to a human, whom You created from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud.'')