Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:28)
By: Mohammad Sobhanie
The Noble Position of Mankind in the Universe
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Translation: He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things.
Commentary: All living beings receive their sustenance from their habitats and human beings are no exception. However, the sheer scale and scope of mankindâ€™s activities on the earth for the fulfillment of our needs, as a human civilization, are incomparable with other creatures.
The physical benefits that mankind receives from the earth are beyond oneâ€™s ability to comprehend. Today, we extract crude oils, natural gases and minerals from the depths of the land and seafloors, mass produce vegetables, raise millions of animals for consumption, manufacture synthetic materials, and create new products out of technologies which could not even be imagined a century ago. These benefits will grow in number when, in the future, we develop an even deeper understanding of nature.
We have been gifted by Allah (SWT) with human intellect and the complexity of the human brain, so that we may discover the forces of nature and transform them to technologies which benefit human civilization.Â For example, the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling water.
One should not underestimate that the earth and all heavens serve as symbols and reminders of the glorious majesty of Allah1, and these are great benefits for intellectual people to study upon and delve further into2.
In summary, Allah has put His bounties and blessings on the earth, on the domain of mankind3, as well as in the heavens. He created the earth as a suitable habitat for humanity, with a blue sky that shields from harmful solar radiation and space debris, insulates the earthâ€™s heat, and provides rain, which is a prime nutrient for all animals and plant life. Why would anyone deliberately disobey Allahâ€™s commands, knowing that their sustenance comes from their Lord and from the earth which He created?
Seven Heavens: The opinion of most commentators is that stars, galaxies and the Milky Way, which are all visible, are part of the first heaven as stated in the Chapters (As-Saffat 37:6) and (Fussilat 41:12).
If this opinion holds true, then there are six other universes which are currently out of humanâ€™s sight. Indeed, with the gift of intellect that has been bestowed on mankind, it is quite possible that with the advancement of science and technology, man will discover these universes as well4. Meanwhile, a lack of knowledge of the universe should not prompt one to deny the existence of seven heavens as stated clearly in the Quran; proactivity in the pursuit of knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of nature and Godâ€™s creation is necessary.
- [Fussilat 41:53]
- [Al-Imran 3:190]
- [Al-Jathiya 45:13]
- (Tafseer-e-Namoona, Vol. 1, P.168)