Date :Monday, August 12th, 2019 | Time : 21:40 |ID: 107041 | Print

The heavens and the earth in Quran-Part 1 (SHAFAQNA Exclusive)

SHAFAQNA-

Nezaare research group intends to investigate the creation process of the heavens. In the last 1400 years, usually, Muslims have discussed astrology and the heavens while under the influence of scientific thoughts of their era. One can hardly find any period of time during which Muslim astronomers or qur’anic researchers have studied the heavens purely through qur’anic aspects with no other pre-thought; Sometimes influenced by the Ptolemaic system, sometimes by Keplerian system or in recent years, by the Big Bang theory or other modern physics theories. They have usually tried to analogize qur’anic ayats to scientific findings. Despite this history, in the current researches, it is eagerly intended to investigate purely based on God’s words in the Qur’an. So, in the beginning, it is necessary to get free of any other views or personal tastes and to carry out the qur’anic study by methods introduced by God in the Holy Quran. Inshallah, we will discuss these methods through the research process.

Few words about Quranic studies methods

One of the research methods while confronting Quran ayats is “ayats sequencing”. God says “افلا یتدبرون القران”, Don’ they sequence the Quran? “دبر” means back. “تدبیر” means putting things back to back and “تدبر” means discovering these back to back properties (or in other words sequencing). While studying the heavens, one can sequence the heavens ayats as one of the examples of different types of sequencing in the Quran. In order to do so, one should first select all of the ayats having any relation to the heavens. Then he/she should sequence them by finding the correct position of any issue discussed in the ayats.  After finding the correct position and sequencing, the researcher starts to work on the them.

In studying the heavens and the earth creation and development process in Quran, the total study is based on “تدبر”: “sequencing”, in other words, we use sequencing as our key method. To do so, first, the “time” sequencing of the Qur’anic heavens titles is carried out. In the consequent research steps, in order to discuss any of the topics, we try to use other methods. For instance, we will focus on a single word or on a single ayat or sentence. Sometimes it is necessary to investigate an ayat considering its neighboring ayats or even it is necessary to look at it through the whole surah’s structure. In some cases, we will track an ayat or a single word in it, or even a qur’anic concept through the whole Quran.

Another method which will be discussed is “تفقه”. ” تفقه” means to investigate an issue through its different dimensions. Inshallah, each one of the methods will be discussed in its proper position.

The necessity of the heavens investigation; Observation of the future and pasts through the heaven

But why should we investigate the heavens? What does God say about it in Quran? God mentions some major reasons for this which will be discussed one by one. The first reason is that “Investigation of the futures and the pasts though the heaven and the earth”. These two have at least two explicit ayats: Saba 9 and Yunus 101.

In the ayat Saba 9, God says:

أَ فَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلي ما بَيْنَ أَيْديهِمْ وَ ما خَلْفَهُمْ مِنَ السَّماءِ وَ اْلأَرْضِ إِنْ نَشَأْ نَخْسِفْ بِهِمُ اْلأَرْضَ أَوْ نُسْقِطْ عَلَيْهِمْ کِسَفًا مِنَ السَّماءِ إِنَّ في ذلِکَ َلآيَةً لِکُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُنيبٍ (سبأ 9)

See they not what is before them and behind them, of the sky and the earth? If We wished, We could cause the earth to swallow them up, or cause a piece of the sky to fall upon them. Verily in this is a Sign for every devotee that turns to Allah (in repentance). (Saba 9)

“Don’t they observe what is in front of them, and what is back of them?”

So we should observe what is in front and what is in back of us. An attention to the extent of observation: if it was said so “Don’t they think about what is in front of them, and what is back of them?” we would say yes we do think about what is in front of us, and what is back of us, all people do that. If it was said so “Don’t’ they point to?” we would again say that we all do point to what is in front of us, and what is back of us. We all have in mind some points about our futures and our pasts. But God says:” Don’t they observe?”. If you observe just one scene, a large amount of information comes into your mind. You can discuss it for hours. You can explain it for hours as you observe the scene just for a moment. So God talks about “Observation”. We can observe the pasts through the remained effects; but what about the futures? God talks about “observation”.

But who does God talk to in the ayat? When we go through the previous ayats, we find the ayat Saba 7 where God talks about “الذین کفروا”:

وَ قالَ الَّذينَ کَفَرُوا هَلْ نَدُلُّکُمْ عَلي رَجُلٍ يُنَبِّئُکُمْ إِذا مُزِّقْتُمْ کُلَّ مُمَزَّقٍ إِنَّکُمْ لَفي خَلْقٍ جَديدٍ (سبأ7)

The Unbelievers say (in ridicule): “Shall we point out to you a man that will tell you, when ye are all scattered to pieces in disintegration, that ye shall (then be raised) in a New Creation? (7)

So God is talking to the unbelievers. Based on this ayat, even unbelievers can observe the futures and the pasts through the heaven and the earth“من السماء و الارض”! So first, the audience are all humans; even the unbelievers. Not only men exploring spirituality or “راسخون فی العلم”or the nation’s scholars. It is so accessible that every human has the ability to observe the futures and the pasts though the heaven and the earth.

So the first point from the ayat Saba 9, is that the “observation” is accessible for everyone. This is very interesting. God has structured the deeper universes so that humans can observe not just now, but also the futures and the pasts which is really interesting. Even it is accessible for the unbelievers.

How should humans observe the pasts and the futures? The ayat could had been so: observe through the earth; but it says through the heaven anther earth «من السماء و الارض» even not the other order«من الارض و السماء». It means first through the heaven and then through the earth. But, can we observe the pasts through the heaven? Is it possible to observe the futures through the heaven? Based on this ayat both the futures and the pasts are observable both through the heaven and the earth.

Four types of knowledge, based on the ayat Saba 9:

If we bring the sentence of the ayat in the table form, we find an interesting table”

Observation of the futures Observation of the pasts
Through the heaven أَ فَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلي ما بَيْنَ أَيْديهِمْ وَ ما خَلْفَهُمْ مِنَ السَّماءِ وَ اْلأَرْضِ إِنْ نَشَأْ نَخْسِفْ بِهِمُ اْلأَرْضَ أَوْ نُسْقِطْ عَلَيْهِمْ کِسَفًا مِنَ السَّماءِ إِنَّ في ذلِکَ َلآيَةً لِکُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُنيبٍ أَ فَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلي ما بَيْنَ أَيْديهِمْ وَ ما خَلْفَهُمْ مِنَ السَّماءِ وَ اْلأَرْضِ إِنْ نَشَأْ نَخْسِفْ بِهِمُ اْلأَرْضَ أَوْ نُسْقِطْ عَلَيْهِمْ کِسَفًا مِنَ السَّماءِ إِنَّ في ذلِکَ َلآيَةً لِکُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُنيبٍ
Through the earth أَ فَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلي ما بَيْنَ أَيْديهِمْ وَ ما خَلْفَهُمْ مِنَ السَّماءِ وَ اْلأَرْضِ إِنْ نَشَأْ نَخْسِفْ بِهِمُ اْلأَرْضَ أَوْ نُسْقِطْ عَلَيْهِمْ کِسَفًا مِنَ السَّماءِ إِنَّ في ذلِکَ َلآيَةً لِکُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُنيبٍ أَ فَلَمْ يَرَوْا إِلي ما بَيْنَ أَيْديهِمْ وَ ما خَلْفَهُمْ مِنَ السَّماءِ وَ اْلأَرْضِ إِنْ نَشَأْ نَخْسِفْ بِهِمُ اْلأَرْضَ أَوْ نُسْقِطْ عَلَيْهِمْ کِسَفًا مِنَ السَّماءِ إِنَّ في ذلِکَ َلآيَةً لِکُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُنيبٍ

Four types of knowledge are discussed in the ayat: Recognition of the pasts through the earth, recognition of the pasts through the heaven, recognition of the futures through the earth and recognition of the futures through the heaven.

  • Observation of the pasts through the earth:

We, human beings, are familiar with observation of the pasts via the earth and there are plenty of sciences focusing on the goal i.e. Paleontology, Ethnology, Darwinism and its branches, Geology, Civilization and …; we have different types of sciences considering different aspects of the pasts investigation via the earth.

One way to look at the pasts through the earth is the holy Quran. One can get familiar with the past civilizations and the ancestors’ stories by paying attention to the Quran ayats. Interestingly God, in the ayat Ankabut 20, even invites us to Paleontology; in this ayat God refers to the manner of the creation:” «قل سیروا فی الأرض فانظروا کیف بدأ الخلق»” ; Say: “Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation.

It is 1400 years that God is inviting us, we (Muslims) didn’t follow it, but the west has followed the sciences with effort, but of course, unfortunately, they tried to conclude and theorize it on the road of materialism and Atheism. More than one hundred years ago Darwinian Theory was proposed, why didn’t we Muslims didn’t engage? God tells us to look at the manner of the creation and find it by traveling through the earth and to conclude the production of the later creation (like the first one). We didn’t follow the invitation and didn’t conclude the result, but the west did follow the science and made its own conclusion.

  • Observation of the futures through the heaven.

What sciences do we have about observation of the futures through the heaven? When God invites us to do so it means that it is possible and accessible. When God says “افلم یروا” “Don’t they observe?” it means that it is accessible. This is a kind of invitation. When God invites us to observe it means that he has prepared some context there; it means that there is a complete scene to observe otherwise he could say that I have put just 2 point in front of you. But when he uses the word “observe یروا ” it has its own meaning: there is a scene about the futures in the heavens coming from the heavens to the earth. It is there right now. The scene is complete, observable, and would occur on the earth soon.

Which future does the ayat Saba 9 refer to?

In the following of the ayat, God’s words refer to a near future; specifically the “apocalypse”. The ayat talks about causing the unbelievers to sink into the earth or falling a stone on them. We have some other ayats in Quran about these phenomena; God is talking about some phenomena in apocalypse in this ayat and people should observe them through the heaven.

So plenty of things are there in the heaven relating to the futures while well organized. What are in the futures, are well organized. They are not confused. It seems that the future itself is in the heaven. It will come down when the specified time. Since one can see the future in the heaven, its coming down and occurring has a development process and a specified time. This is the possible reality where one can say: ”observe the futures through the heaven” specifically the future mentioned in Quran “in the remain of the ayat”. When Quran tells us to observe the future through the heaven and the earth, it mentions some examples about apocalypse which means that God emphasizes on the apocalypse. It means that observing the pasts and the futures is just some exercises for human to conclude correctly in the apocalypse. Based on the ayat, the complete apocalypse is already there in the heaven, of course in the form of limbo [1]and non-material affaires.  They will come down in the form of the affairs and the scene of the apocalypse. So we should not wait for the future to occur and then pay attention to it; we should study it before and this is one of the reasons we should pay attention to the heaven.

Another way to look at the futures through the heaven is what Abraham (a) did. Abraham (a), using astrology, looked at the stars and recognized the future accurately. :” فَنَظَرَ نَظْرَةً فِي النُّجُومِ ﴿٨٨﴾ فَقَالَ إِنِّي سَقِيمٌ ﴿صافات ٨٩﴾” “Then did he cast a glance at the Stars. (88) And he said, ‘I am indeed sick (at heart)!’ (89 As-Safat)”. This is God’s invitation and encouragement; how much did we follow?

Another way to observe the futures through the heavens is what Jesus Christ does. Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ went to the heaven in the Karim Quran“قرآن کریم” scene to touch Quran and get familiar with the future happenings. He gets as familiar as, when he returns, God says : “ وَإِنَّهُ لَعِلْمٌ لِّلسَّاعَةِ … ﴿٦١زخزف﴾“  “And (Jesus) shall be the knowledge (for the coming of) the time … (Az-Zukhruf 61)” He is the accurate knowledge about the futures. Of course this is a weak meaning for this ayat. An stronger meaning is that: he will setup many of the scenes in the future.

  • Observing the futures through the earth.

On the other hand the Saba 9 ayat says:” من السماء و الارض” “through the heaven and the earth”. We talked about studying through the heaven, but how one can study the futures through the earth? How is it possible to observe the futures through the earth? We should search for it in Quran. One of the methods to look at the futures is  “the iterative sign based sight” (آیات). Another way is “tradition ology”. “Traditions” is a subset of the “Iterative signs”.  Traditions are the iterative divine happenings. They are divine behaviors, which repeat in proper situations. So “Traditions” are a subset of the “Iterative signs” “

ایات”.

What are other methods to look at the futures through the earth? What are the methods to look at the futures through the heaven? What are the subsidiary methods? These should become organized knowledge. If we cannot organize the knowledge right now, as a first step we should make a list of the methods in order to identify the ways to observe the futures and the pasts.

Another way to look at the futures through the earth is via the textual brought Quran. We can look for the God’s programs by reading the textual Quran on the earth and to conclude plenty of things: What happenings is going to occur? What eras are there in the future? What are the sub eras of each future era? These should be discovered and organized accurately.

  • Observing the pasts through the heaven.

Another thing that God invites us to, in the ayat Saba 9, is the observation of the pasts through the heaven. We already know how to look at the pasts through the earth. There of plenty of sciences like Paleontology. There are many ayats in Quran that tell us to look at the remains of the ancestors.  There are some sciences to do this. But how is it possible to look at the pasts through the earth?

People who lived before us and died, are in the limbo now. The limbo, in Quran, is the same as heavens. Each one is in his/her own position in the heavens. One of the methods to look at the pasts through the heaven is going (while alive) to the limbo and talking to the dead people and to ask them about their past stories.

What are other ways to look at the pasts through the heaven? One of the ways is that one goes to the height of the Karim Quran (قرآن کریم) and looks at the pasts by touching the Quran.

What are the other ways? Is it possible to recognize the pasts through the astrology? If it is possible to recognize the futures by astrology is it also possible to understand the pasts by it? What branches of knowledge can be found to study the pasts through the heaven?

God’s invitation to observe the futures and the pasts because of Parousia

Another interesting point is the reason of the invitation to observe the futures and the pasts. Examples mentioned by God is about the apocalypse. Apocalypse is a part of “Parousia”. It means that you should study the pasts and the futures for Parousia. Have we organized any knowledge with this goal? Specifically Parousia? Sometimes we talk about Parousia recognition, sometimes about some points about Parousia, sometimes about thinking about Parousia, sometimes reasoning about Parousia, but God tells us to observe the Parousia future through the heaven and the earth. I wish we could think about Quran as a narration from a human, not God’s words, or at least some part would be changed. Then we could easily ignore these ayats. But when you believe that all of the words are from God, it means that when said “اولم یروا” “Don’t they observe” these is completely precise. For example, this is different from some the Imam Hossein’s (a) Arafeh prays. He said the pray while looking at sun set in a desert as he was accompanied with some of his fellows. Two brother, from the fellows, memorized the pray. How many sentences can a person memorize? The Arafeh pray is quite long. It is possible while retelling the pray, one makes several mistakes, changes the exact words and says the synonyms or maybe just says the concept. As the hadith is longer, the probability of the mistake is more. But this is not true for Quran. With this belief when we see the ayat Saba 9, it seems very strange. God, what do you say? Looking at the Parousia future through the heaven and the earth?

This is one of the applications of the heaven. This is true that the heaven is beautiful: “إِنَّا زَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِزِينَةٍ الْكَوَاكِبِ ﴿٦﴾” “ We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars,- (6)” and we look at it and enjoy. But also there is knowledge and we should learn, in addition there are scenes and we should observe.

What behavior should we have referring to what we observe in the heavens?

In the ayat Saba 9, at the end of the ayat, God says: be salve “عبد”. When you observed and recognized then be slave. You should not set your own program when you recognized (the apocalypse scenes) and start to act. Instead you should accompany. There is already a program; there is already a structure in the universe. We will see that what is in the heaven is so vast that God asks us to observe; there is not just one or two points. The one or the two points can be told, there is no necessity for observation. When it is said: “do observe” means there is a vast scope. It will come to the earth in the future and occur. When it is in the heaven, it means that it has come from higher positions. We will talk about it in the future.

The borders of the heaven (سماء) in the ayat Saba 9   

What is the border of the heaven in Saba 9 and what are the examples? The specifications of the word “سماء”, like many other qur’anic words should be understood from the neighboring ayats. In some of ayats, in Quran, the heaven refers to the lowest heaven (of the seven heavens): the first heaven. In some of the ayats it is the cosmos of stars. In some of the ayats it means the earth atmosphere; for example when the ayat is about the clouds in the sky: “وَالسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ” “and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth (Al-bagharah 164)”, certainly it is not about the cosmos of stars. So one should find out the meaning of “سماء” form the neighboring ayats. In some of ayats, heaven “سماء” refers to the whole seven heavens. Generally “سماء” means the above heaven and it doesn’t refer to any specific heaven. Sometimes, even it refers to the total shohud (شهود) universe. However in Saba 9 it seems that “سماء” refers to the seven heavens in which a part is the lowest first heaven and the stars’ cosmos.

The extents of the observation should also be noticed. The observation could have many dimensions. There are two dimensions for the earth observation: Material and dokhan[2]. There are three dimensions for the heaven observation: material, dokhan and limbo.

Where has God put the signs in Saba 9?

Another point in this ayat is that, at the end of the ayat, God says: “إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّكُلِّ عَبْدٍ مُّنِيبٍ ﴿٩﴾” “Verily in this is a Sign for every devotee that turns to Allah (in repentance). (9)”; but what things are the sign put in? Signs are divine subjects which can be repeated. Which subjects in the Saba 9 ayat have the property? The first part “افلم یروا” “Don’t they observe?” is something people should do, so cannot be the sign. “الی ما بین ایدیهم و ما خلفهم من السماء و الارض” “(observing) the futures and the pasts through the heaven and the earth”: the heaven and the earth are once created and they are still there so the repeatedly occurring signs cannot refer to them. But “Khasf خسف”  “Being swallowed by the earth” or “ Ghazf قذف” “Falling stones on the unbelievers from the sky” can occur repeatedly and are performed by God. He has done them in the pasts repeatedly and will again do them in the future. So these are the signs. Furthermore when said “ان فی ذالک لایة” “verily in this is a sign” to find the reference of the sign we should watch the nearest phrase in the sentence which are the “Khasf” and “Ghazf”. So these are the signs.

On the other hand God says that these are signs for (God) slaves; since the unbelievers do not conclude the happenings as divine occurrences.  Even if they see these happenings they conclude materialistically. So they cannot see the signs which will be repeated in the future. The slave of God sees and concludes as divine occurrences: If they have happened in the past they may again occur in the future.

In short, God says observe the futures and the pasts through the heaven and the earth; since we need to observe. What is in the heaven will happen to us like “Khasf’ and “Ghazf” and many other happenings.  What is the reason to look at the pasts through the heaven? However, in this ayat, we have confronted a great issue where we don’t know many of its dimensions. Inshallah God helps to be discovered.

[1] برزخ

[2] The world of elfs. “دخان”

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