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Under the soil

 

To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil. (surat T-H : 6)

 

This ayah appears at the beginning of Surat T-H, which was revealed in Makkah.  This Surah is titled T-H in honor of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the seal of the Prophethood; T-H is one of his blessed names. Some scholars of Quran exegetes, however, consider Ta-Ha to be one of the clusters of letters that appear at the beginning of many Surahs in the Quran (Ta and Ha being letters of the Arabic alphabet). Allah (SWT) addresses the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) in this ayah in words that honor, soothe and ease the Prophets pain after the insult and injury he received from the disbelievers and polytheists of Quraysh tribe, who denied his Prophethood and accused him of lying, even though they knew him to be As-Sadiq Al-Amin (the honest and truthful one).

 

The entire Surah is addressed to Prophet, Muhammad (SAWS). This divine address puts emphasis on Muhammads Prophethood, reinforces the message he was sent with and makes it easier for him to spread the word about Allah and Islam, whether by warning people about the consequences of their actions or promising them rewards for the good deeds they do and ultimately, giving them the choice of doing good or bad. The task of judging the choices people make is left to Allah alone; in Surat Al-Baqarah (284), Allah says what can be translated as, "To Allh belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and whether you disclose what is in your ownselves or conceal it, Allh will call you to account for it. Then He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allh is Able to do all things. "(Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 284).

 

Tenets of faith in Surat T-H:

1)    That the Quran is indeed the word of the Creator.  That it was revealed to the seal of the Prophets (Muhammad, SAWS) as a reminder to those who fear Allahs Might.

2)    Surat T-H states that Allah (SWT) is the sole Creator of the heavens and the earth. He rose over His Throne, in a unique manner that only befits His Majesty. Among his characteristics are that He does not misguide and He never forgets.

3)    Everything that is in the heavens and the earth, all that is between them and even that which is under the soil belongs to Allah.

4)    Allah (SWT) knows everything whether it is made public or kept hidden. He has full knowledge of all things; He knows what happens to His creation in this world and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. There is no God but Him and to Him belong the 99 beautiful names (Al-Asmaul-Husna).

5)    He (SWT) created man from earth, will return him to it and then resurrect him.

Worshipping Allah and establishing prayer in remembrance of Him are His rights on His creation, thus people should not neglect the duties that Allah Has prescribed for them. He says what can be translated as, "But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qurn nor acts on its teachings.) verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection."124. He will say: "O my Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, while I had sight (before)." 125. (Allh) will say: "Like this: Our Ayt (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) came unto you, but you disregarded them (i.e. you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected (in the Hell-fire, away from Allhs Mercy)."126. And thus do We requite him who transgresses beyond bounds [i.e. commits the great sins and disobeys his Lord (Allh) and believes not in His Messengers, and His revealed Books, like this Quran], and believes not in the Ayt (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of his Lord; and the torment of the Hereafter is far more severe and more lasting.127." (Surat Ta-Ha: 124-127).

6)    The Surah mentions that the Hour (Day of Judgment) is indeed approaching. Allah hides its exact time as every person shall be rewarded for that which he strives for. It also mentions that disbelievers do not believe in the Day of Judgment and that is why all those who deny and shun that reality deserve nothing but severe punishment; he who invents a lie (against Allah) will fail miserably.

7)    Whoever comes before his Lord as a mujrim (criminal, polytheist, sinner, disbeliever in the Oneness of Allah and His Messengers), shall have Hell as his abode, wherein he will neither live nor die. Allah says what can be translated as," Verily whoever comes to his Lord as a Mujrim (criminal, polytheist, sinner, disbeliever in the Oneness of Allh and His Messengers), then surely, for him is Hell, wherein he will neither die nor live." (Surat T-H: 74). "Adn (Eden) Paradise (everlasting Gardens), under which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever: such is the reward of those who purify themselves (by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allh has forbidden and by doing all that Allh has ordained)." (Surat T-H: 76)

8)    Those whom Allah is angry with are lost and have failed.  Allah says what can be translated as, "And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes (in My Oneness, and associates none in worship with Me) and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them, (till his death)."  (Surat T-H: 82).

9)    Satan is clearly an enemy of man and magic is one of the major sins.  Allah says what can be translated as, "And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magicians trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain." (Surat T-H: 69).  That is because magic is one of the worst kinds of wrongdoing, as we see in the following ayah that can be translated as, "And (all) faces shall be humbled before (Allh), Al-Hayyul-Qayyum (the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists). And he who carried (a burden of) wrongdoing (i.e. he who disbelieved in Allh, ascribed partners to Him, and did deeds of His disobedience), will be indeed a complete failure (on that Day)." (Surat T-H: 111).

10)                       A Muslim is not allowed to disclose the private parts of another person as this is clear in the following ayah that can be translated as, "And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them (polytheists and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allh), the splendour of the life of this world, that We may test them thereby. But the provision (good reward in the Hereafter) of your Lord is better and more lasting." (Surat T-H: 131).

 

Signs of creation in Surat Ta-Ha:

 

1)    The Surah states that Allah (SWT) is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Allah says what can be translated as, "A revelation from Him Who created the earth and the heavens on high." (Surat T-H: 4). It means that these things were created and are not eternal nor did they exist independently without a Creator. Creation has a starting point; experimental science is trying to calculate that point. It is quite logical that everything that has a beginning must, some day, come to an end.

2)    "To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil." (Surat T-H: 6) There is an allusion to the centrality of the earth in the whole universe in this ayah and to the presence of life in the earth itself. These facts were not known to any one at the time of revelation except for the Messenger of Allah (SAWS). They were not known for a long time after the revelation and there is still a lot of knowledge, that the Quran contains, that remains unknown even in our scientific age.

3)    "And if you (O Muhammad pbuh) speak (the invocation) aloud, then verily, He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden." (Surat T-H: 7). Three levels of communication are indicated here: verbal speech, which is made public when others hear it and is secret when others are unaware of it; in both cases, Allah is fully aware of what is communicated. Those who are absent will not hear the words nor would they know them. There is also confidential talk which denotes words spoken in secrecy, known only to the speaker and of which the sole listener is Allah.  Then we have that which is yet more hidden, which denotes the inner thoughts that a person does not tell others about, including  personal thoughts on a subconscious level that a person may even not realize, but Allah (SWT) is fully aware for He the Knower of the things unseen.

4)    "[Ms (Moses)] said: "Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright." (Surat T-H: 50). This ayah emphasizes the fact of creation and the divine nature of the Creator. It also points out the laws that control the smallest details of the universe, all of which are commanded and guided by Allah.

5)    Who has made earth for you like a bed (spread out); and has opened roads (ways and paths) for you therein, and has sent down water (rain) from the sky. And We have brought forth with it various kinds of vegetation. 53. Eat and pasture your cattle (therein); verily, in this are Ayt (proofs and signs) for men of understanding. 54. Thereof (the earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again. 55. (Surat T-H: 53-55). In these ayahs there are indications of preparing the earth, making paths through it, water falling from the sky all over the world as part of the water cycle, causing hundreds of different plants to sprout up, each in pairs. Creating items in pairs is a common feature of all creation, so that Allah may retain the singular quality of Oneness for Himself. The ayahs then order man to eat of the plants Allah has created, to let cattle eat of them and to contemplate the miraculous creation of nature, as in it are signs for people of understanding. The ayahs also emphasize that humans are created form the earth, buried in it and thence resurrected.

6)    Reference is made to the miracle of the sea splitting open for Musa and those who believed in his message. Miracles are unusual phenomena which is why science can not explain them. However, it is due to Allahs mercy that He provides us with some material proofs for these miracles so that we can believe in them. We need to use these material proofs as a means of calling people to Islam and convincing people of the reality of such events in our scientific age.

7)    This Surah gives an accurate scientific description of what will happen to the mountains on the Day of Judgment. Although, as Muslims, we believe that the afterlife has laws and regulations that differ completely from those that govern our world, it is due to Allah's mercy that He gives us material proofs in the rocks found in the heavens and on the earth to emphasize that what He states shall happen in the hereafter can happen. Concerning how the mountains shall crumble in the Hereafter, Allah says what can be translated as, And they ask you concerning the mountains: say, "My Lord will blast them and scatter them as particles of dust. 105. "Then He shall leave them as a level smooth plain. 106. "You will see therein nothing crooked or curved." 107. (Surat T-H: 105-107).

   In our world, we see that mountains are formed through processes of curvature, splitting and other processes that lift or lower the surface of the earth. The two processes of curvature and splitting together may have contributed to the formation of many of the mountains on earth today. These facts were only realized as scientific knowledge about geology increased over the past two centuries. Mentioning such facts in the Quran, revealed by Allah to mankind some fourteen centuries ago, to an illiterate Prophet in a nation that was mostly illiterate emphasizes the fact that the Quran could not have been written by man.  It is undoubtedly a divine work, revealing Allahs orders to His final Messenger. Allah (SWT) has guaranteed that the Quran shall be preserved in the language in which it was revealed (Arabic).  That is why the Quran has lost none of the divine attributes of its radiant letters, words, ayahs and attributes, all of which provide evidence of its miraculous quality.  Concerning His Noble Book, Allah says what can be translated as, Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qurn) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption) (Surat Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract): 9).

 

The signs of creation revealed by Allah in the ayahs of Surat T-H require particular thought, which is why I shall limit my discussion to the second point above, namely the sixth ayah of Surat T-H. I shall start with a brief review of the interpretations made by a number of scholars commenting on this ayah that can be translated as, "To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil." (Surat T-H: 6)

 

Interpretation of the ayahs by some scholars:

  1. Ibn-Kathir states that the ayah means that everything is at His disposal and works according to His orders and His will. He is the sole Creator of everything and no one else is a partner in this activity with Him.  Concerning and all that is under the soil, Muhammad Ibn Kab says that, it means what is under the seventh layer of the earth.
  2. Al-Galalein states that To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth means all of creation, whereas, and all that is under the soil  signifies that which lies under the humid dust, in other words; the seventh layer of the earth.
  3. The author of Fi Zilal al-Quran, said: With Gomination and Glory come the attributes of Ownership and Omniscience: To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil. The signs of creation are used here to elaborate the meaning of dominance and supreme omniscience in a picture that can be apprehended by the human mind. However reality is much greater than that, for Allah owns much more than that which is in the heavens, the earth, in between and under the ground.
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