Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:22)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ فِرَاشًا وَالسَّمَاءَ بِنَاءً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ رِزْقًا لَّكُمْ ۖ فَلَا تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّـهِ أَندَادًا وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٢٢﴾
Translation: Your Lord has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky a canopy, and sends down rain from the cloud and brought forth with it fruits for your sustenance. Then, do not set up rivals1 to Allah knowingly (that He has created you and has provided your provisions).
Commentary: This verse challenges the worship of idols as though they can rival God’s ability to create and sustain the world. Allah’s supremacy over such idols is asserted by presenting the Earth as a suitable habitat for humanity, with a blue sky2 that shields from harmful solar radiation and space debris, insulates the earth’s heat, and provides rain, which is prime nutrient for all animal and plant life.
Before the rise of Islam, most Bedouin tribes of Mecca believed that Allah created the universe, and then delegated care for the needs of His creations to different deities. Consequently, Bedouins worshiped idols rather than God for their varied needs, such as rain, sustenance, and health3. The Quran refuted this traditional belief and proclaimed that Allah is the creator and sustainer of the universe4, and we should worship Him and seek His help alone5.
In conclusion, one’s faith in Allah could be corrupted by believing that an entity besides Allah possesses an intrinsic power to shape our destiny or bring harm or goodness to our lives. This “entity” could be the power of Nature, personal wealth, family, etc. Islam teaches us that Allah is the sole owner of all bounties and blessings, and He alone sustains His creations through His endless means.
- “andadan” (أَندَادًا) plural of “nad” (ندَ) is translated to rival, a person or thing that equals another in quality
- Sky is referred to atmosphere
- The Quran (19-81), (36:74)