Ayaat 1-5 ― Glorification of Allah, Exalted is He
“Blessed is He…” (67: 1), tabaraka is superlative from barkat. Barkat comprehends the meanings of exaltation and greatness, abundance and plentifulness, permanence and multiplicity of virtues and excellences. When the superlative tabaraka is formed from it, it gives the meaning that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is infinitely noble and great. He is superior to everything beside Himself in His essence and attributes and works. His beneficence is infinite, and His excellences are permanent and everlasting.
“…in whose hand is dominion…” (67: 1), dominion implies sovereignty over everything that exists in the universe. He is the possessor of all power and authority and no one else has any share in it. He deals with all of His creatures however He wishes. There is none who can reverse His decree. He is not questioned concerning what He does because of His force, His wisdom and His justice, “He is over all things competent,” (67: 1).
He is the One, “…who created death and life…” (67: 2) to examine which of us will be best in deeds or who is worthy of entering into Jannah. Jannah is a beautiful place and only the one with the most beautiful deeds will enter it.
We learn a few things from this ayah:
1. That life and death are given by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala no one else can grant life nor cause death;That man’s creation has not been without purpose. Allah
2. That man’s creation has not been without purpose. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala created man to test him. This test will end with the end of his life in this world;
3. That for the sake of this test Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has given every man an opportunity for action. It is his choice to pursue good or the evil path;
4. That Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala alone will decide who has done good or evil. It is not for us to judge. Every person will be recompensed according to his deeds, for if there was no reward or punishment the test would be meaningless.
What is a beautiful action? Only that which is beautiful in the Sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. The intention for that deed is correct (sincerely done for the sake of Allah) and it is done according to the Sunnah of the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. For he was the beloved of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent for our guidance with the best character. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala loved his actions. Therefore, we need to study his seerah and learn how is eating, drinking, sleeping, and other day-to-day matters were like.
Everyone has found their own way of worshipping. Imagine a student being given a particular curriculum and he goes on to learn something else. Will he clear his exams? Definitely, not. Similarly, if we are to enter Jannah then we must follow the curriculum that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Everything around us is performing its purpose. It is only man who is going on varying ways. Some have found their purpose in life while for others this life is still a place of play and entertainment. We see that the other living beings are performing their purpose. The sun rises and sets at its defined time. If it doesn’t there will be a chaos. So because we are not living according to the purpose of our creation our lives are in a mess.
Another thing note here is that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not want quantity rather quality. He wants to see who among us is better. Everything that we do in our life is a deed. For example, what do we do while we are waiting for our commute to come? Do we curse because it’s late or do we make use of the time and do dhikr? What do we do while our computer is booting-up? What does one talk about and how much does he talk? Does he waste his own and other’s time or keep his conversation to the point? Does he turn away upon seeing someone or is he the first one to greet them? Let’s all make the most of our time and watch our speech.
“And He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving,” (67: 2) meaning even though Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Almighty, He also forgives, shows mercy, pardons and excuses. He is not tyrannous and cruel. He has the full power to punish the evildoers and none can escape His punishment, however, along with this He is Most Forgiving to whoever turns to Him in repentance and seeks His pardon after having disobeyed Him and opposed His commandment.
Further He says, “[And] who created seven heavens in layers,” (67: 3) meaning stacked one on top of the other. They are not connected to each other but are in elevated ascension, some of them being stacked above others, or separated with space between them. A good example is to look at the layers of an onion. They are not connected but rather stacked above others.
Mankind is challenged to look at Allah’s creation and find any flaw or inconsistency in it. But there is no disunion, conflict, inconsistency, deficiency, flaw or defect. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala emphasizes to look again and pay a closer attention. Are there any flaws or rifts in it? There is no indiscipline, disorder and discordance anywhere in the universe. All its parts are well-connected and in perfect harmony and coordination. Therefore, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “[Your] vision will return to you humbled while it is fatigued,” (67: 4) meaning if one continuously looked, no matter how much he looked, his sight will return to him humiliated and exhausted due to inability to see any flaw or defect in Allah’s creation.
After negating any deficiency in the creation of the heavens, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala explains their perfection and beauty, “And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with stars,” (67: 5). This refers to the stars which have been placed in the heavens, some moving and some stationary. ‘Nearest heaven’ implies that which can be seen with the naked sky beyond that can only be seen through telescopes and they are distant heavens. By adorning the nearest heaven with stars, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had made the vision splendid and glorious for mankind to admire. The sky is not dark, dismal and desolate. The glory and grandeur of the night sky strikes man with amazement.
“And have made [from] them what is thrown at the devils,” (67: 5) this does not mean that the stars themselves are pelted at the Shayateen rather it is the meteors originating from them that wander in space at tremendous speeds. Their falling to the earth in a continuous shower prevents the Shayateen of the earth from ascending to the heavens. Whenever the Shayateen try to ascend heavenward these meteorites drive them away. About this Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah as-Saffat, “Verily, We have adorned the near heaven with the stars (for beauty). And to guard against every rebellious devil. They cannot listen to the higher group (angels) for they are pelted from every side. Outcast, and theirs is a constant (or painful) torment. Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness,” (37: 6-7). Qatadah said, “These stars were only created for three purposes: Allah created them as adornment for the heaven (sky), as missiles for the devils and as signs for navigation. Therefore, whoever seeks to interpret any other meanings for them other than these, then verily he has spoken with his own opinion, he has lost his portion and burdened himself with that which he has no knowledge of.” Ibn Jareer and Ibn Abi Hatim both recorded this statement.
“And have prepared for them the punishment of the Blaze,” (67: 5) meaning there is disgrace for the devils in this life and there is torment of the blazing Fire for them in the Hereafter.
Surah al-Mulk – An Overview