وَ مَا عَلَی الَّذِیۡنَ یَتَّقُوۡنَ مِنۡ حِسَابِہِمۡ مِّنۡ شَیۡءٍ وَّ لٰکِنۡ ذِکۡرٰی لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۷۰﴾
وَمَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنۡ حِسَابِهِم مِّن شَيۡءٖ وَلَٰكِن ذِكۡرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ
b. 6:53. (close)
a. 6:53. (close)
815. Important Words:
ذکری (to admonish). See the preceding verse. (close)
وَ ذَرِ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّخَذُوۡا دِیۡنَہُمۡ لَعِبًا وَّ لَہۡوًا وَّ غَرَّتۡہُمُ الۡحَیٰوۃُ الدُّنۡیَا وَ ذَکِّرۡ بِہٖۤ اَنۡ تُبۡسَلَ نَفۡسٌۢ بِمَا کَسَبَتۡ ٭ۖ لَیۡسَ لَہَا مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ وَلِیٌّ وَّ لَا شَفِیۡعٌ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تَعۡدِلۡ کُلَّ عَدۡلٍ لَّا یُؤۡخَذۡ مِنۡہَا ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ اُبۡسِلُوۡا بِمَا کَسَبُوۡا ۚ لَہُمۡ شَرَابٌ مِّنۡ حَمِیۡمٍ وَّ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌۢ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَکۡفُرُوۡنَ ﴿٪۷۱﴾
وَذَرِ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّخَذُواْ دِينَهُمۡ لَعِبٗا وَلَهۡوٗا وَغَرَّتۡهُمُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَاۚ وَذَكِّرۡ بِهِۦٓ أَن تُبۡسَلَ نَفۡسُۢ بِمَا كَسَبَتۡ لَيۡسَ لَهَا مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَلِيّٞ وَلَا شَفِيعٞ وَإِن تَعۡدِلۡ كُلَّ عَدۡلٖ لَّا يُؤۡخَذۡ مِنۡهَآۗ أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُبۡسِلُواْ بِمَا كَسَبُواْۖ لَهُمۡ شَرَابٞ مِّنۡ حَمِيمٖ وَعَذَابٌ أَلِيمُۢ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكۡفُرُونَ
c. 58:5; 7:52; 8:36. (close)
d. 10:5. (close)
a. 5:58; 7:52; 8:36. (close)
b. 10:5. (close)
816. Important Words:
تبسل (be consigned to perdition) is derived from بسل i.e. he prevented or prohibited or debarred. ابسل besides giving the above-mentioned meaning, also means, he gave in pledge; or gave in exchange. ابسله also means, he gave him up to or he delivered him over to or he consigned him to destruction or perdition or punishment (Lane & Aqrab).
شراب (drink) is derived from شرب i.e. he drank. شراب means, a drink or beverage; any liquid which is drunk and not eaten or chewed. This is the original significance. Post-classical writers, however, sometimes use the word in the sense of خمر (wine) also (Lane).
حمیم (boiling water) is derived from حم i.e. it (water, etc.) became hot or very hot. The word is also used transitively, meaning, he heated water, etc. or he heated it fully. حم الشحمة means, he melted the fat. حمه means, he washed him with hot water or, conversely, with cold water. حمیم means, hot water or, conversely, cold water; sweat or perspiration. The word also means a friend or a beloved person (Lane). The last significance is probably based on warmth of feeling.
The context and the sense of the passage required the use of the words "thy religion," but the Quran uses the words "their religion" instead of "thy religion". This is to point out that it was for their own good that the religion of Islam had been sent and that they were injuring themselves by rejecting it.
The words, admonish people thereby, signify that if disbelievers are in a state of excitement and it is found that admonition will provoke them all the more, then one should "let them alone"; but if there is no fear of their being provoked, then one should first admonish them and then quit their company. The pronoun in به (thereby) refers to the Quran.
The verse also contains an exhortation to believers not to get enraged at the scornful remarks of disbelievers. As it is the duty of believers to admonish and warn disbelievers, therefore the former should patiently endure the taunts of the latter.
As shown under Important Words, the word تبسل (consigned to perdition) may also mean, "be given up or surrendered." Taking the word in the latter sense, the sentence would mean, "Admonish the people lest a soul be surrendered to what it has wrought," i.e. admonish them lest they be given over to the evil works they are now engaged in, viz. lest they continue in their evil condition. See also 2:16. Taking the word in the former sense, i.e. as rendered in the text, the sentence would mean, "Admonish them lest they be consigned to destruction or punishment on account of the evil deeds which they have wrought."
The verse is addressed to believers and points out to them the urgent need of preaching the truth to disbelievers. It calls upon believers to picture to themselves the dire consequences of their failure to preach the truth to disbelieving people. If they do not show disbelievers the right path, the result will be that the latter will continue in their error and will be delivered over to destruction on account of their sins, being reduced to a condition when they will have no helper and no intercessor and when no compensation or ransom will be accepted from them.
The "boiling water" mentioned in the verse will serve as a medicine to bring about a cure, while the "grievous punishment" will be in the nature of an operation. (close)
قُلۡ اَنَدۡعُوۡا مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا یَنۡفَعُنَا وَ لَا یَضُرُّنَا وَ نُرَدُّ عَلٰۤی اَعۡقَابِنَا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ ہَدٰٮنَا اللّٰہُ کَالَّذِی اسۡتَہۡوَتۡہُ الشَّیٰطِیۡنُ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ حَیۡرَانَ ۪ لَہٗۤ اَصۡحٰبٌ یَّدۡعُوۡنَہٗۤ اِلَی الۡہُدَی ائۡتِنَا ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ ہُدَی اللّٰہِ ہُوَ الۡہُدٰی ؕ وَ اُمِرۡنَا لِنُسۡلِمَ لِرَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۷۲﴾
قُلۡ أَنَدۡعُواْ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنفَعُنَا وَلَا يَضُرُّنَا وَنُرَدُّ عَلَىٰٓ أَعۡقَابِنَا بَعۡدَ إِذۡ هَدَىٰنَا ٱللَّهُ كَٱلَّذِي ٱسۡتَهۡوَتۡهُ ٱلشَّيَٰطِينُ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ حَيۡرَانَ لَهُۥٓ أَصۡحَٰبٞ يَدۡعُونَهُۥٓ إِلَى ٱلۡهُدَى ٱئۡتِنَاۗ قُلۡ إِنَّ هُدَى ٱللَّهِ هُوَ ٱلۡهُدَىٰۖ وَأُمِرۡنَا لِنُسۡلِمَ لِرَبِّ ٱلۡعَٰلَمِينَ
a. 21:67; 22:74. (close)
862. The verse likens the case of an idol-worshipper to that of a distracted person who has no fixed course to pursue. But a true believer has a fixed purpose and a fixed goal in life. He always prays to the One God with a deep-rooted conviction and does not wander about distracted like an idolater. (close)
a. 21:67; 22:74. (close)
817. Important Words:
استھوته (entice away) is derived from ھوی. They say ھوی الشیء i.e. the thing fell down or came down (from a higher to a lower place). Conversely ھوی الرجل الجبل means, the man climbed the hill. ھوت الریح means, the wind blew.ھویة means, he loved and desired it. الـھوی means, love of good or evil; desire; inclination; evil inclination or desire. استھواء means, he took away all his desire and reason leaving him confounded; he made his evil desires look fair in his eyes (Aqrab). الـھوی also means, inclination of the soul or the mind to a thing; an object of love; the inclination of the soul to that in which the animal appetites take delight, without any lawful invitation thereto; opinion swerving from the right way or from the truth (Lane).
حیران (bewildered) is derived from حار which means, he was or became dazzled by a thing at which he looked, so that he turned away his eyes from it; he was or became confounded or perplexed and unable to see his right course; he erred or lost his way. حیران means, in a state of confusion or perplexity, being unable to see his right course; erring; having lost his way (Lane).
The opening clause of the verse teaches by means of an example how to preach the truth. It points out that the best way to preach is to begin by exposing the errors of the opposing party as hinted in the words, neither profit us nor harm us, and then to proceed to point out the truth as hinted in the words, after Allah has guided us.
The verse then gives an apt illustration to expose the futility of شرك i.e. attributing co-partners to God. It compares the case of an idol-worshipper to that of a distracted person who has no fixed course to pursue. Such a person first goes to one idol or to the tomb of one saint and then to another and has no certainty or conviction. But a true believer has a fixed purpose and a fixed goal. He always prays to the One God with a deep-rooted conviction and does not wander about distracted like an idolater.
The reader will note that, true to its own principle, the verse first exposes the error of idolaters and then enunciates the teachings of Islam. (close)
وَ اَنۡ اَقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اتَّقُوۡہُ ؕ وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِ تُحۡشَرُوۡنَ ﴿۷۳﴾
وَأَنۡ أَقِيمُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَٱتَّقُوهُۚ وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِيٓ إِلَيۡهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ
b. 4:78; 22:79; 24:57. (close)
a. 4:78; 22:79; 24:57. (close)
The concluding theme of the preceding verse has been continued in the present one. (close)
وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ بِالۡحَقِّ ؕ وَ یَوۡمَ یَقُوۡلُ کُنۡ فَیَکُوۡنُ ۬ؕ قَوۡلُہُ الۡحَقُّ ؕ وَ لَہُ الۡمُلۡکُ یَوۡمَ یُنۡفَخُ فِی الصُّوۡرِ ؕ عٰلِمُ الۡغَیۡبِ وَ الشَّہَادَۃِ ؕ وَ ہُوَ الۡحَکِیۡمُ الۡخَبِیۡرُ ﴿۷۴﴾
وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِي خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ بِٱلۡحَقِّۖ وَيَوۡمَ يَقُولُ كُن فَيَكُونُۚ قَوۡلُهُ ٱلۡحَقُّۚ وَلَهُ ٱلۡمُلۡكُ يَوۡمَ يُنفَخُ فِي ٱلصُّورِۚ عَٰلِمُ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَٱلشَّهَٰدَةِۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ ٱلۡخَبِيرُ
c. 14:20; 16:4; 29:45. (close)
d. 27:88; 39:69. (close)
863. A Divine Prophet is indeed a trumpet through whom the Voice of God is heard, and the sounding of it is a symbol for the wide dissemination of his teachings and the great revolution to be brought about by him in the lives of his people. The verse means that when the teachings of the Holy Prophet are widely published and accepted in the world and when Islam triumphs and predominates, then the Kingdom of God will become demonstrably established in the earth and on that day will idols be broken to pieces. (close)
a. 9:94; 13:10; 23:93; 39:47; 59:23. (close)
b. 14:20; 16:4; 29:45. (close)
c. 27:88; 39:69. (close)
d. 9:94; 13:10; 23:93; 39:47; 59:23. (close)
The word کن (be) really denotes a simple command intended to bring about a change. When the word is used concerning a thing which does not exist, it naturally signifies the bringing into being something which God has willed. When, however, the word is used concerning a thing which already exists, then it generally means that the thing will come to nought when God so wills. Thus the sentence, He it is Who created…and the day He says, 'Be', it will be, signifies that everything is in the power of God; so when God issues a command concerning the breaking-up of the power of disbelievers, it will surely come to nought.
The expression, His word is the truth, means that the prophecy mentioned above is a true one and must come to pass and nothing can stop it. See the meaning of حق under 2:148 & 3:4.
The words, His will be the kingdom on the day when the trumpet will be blown, mean that the visible kingdom of God will be established when Islam triumphs and false and idolatrous beliefs and practices vanish. A Prophet of God is indeed a trumpet, through whom the voice of God is heard, and the sounding of the trumpet is a symbol for the wide publication and establishment of the teachings brought by him. Thus, the verse means that when the teachings of the Holy Prophet are widely published and accepted in the world and when Islam flourishes and triumphs, then the kingdom of God will be visibly established on the earth and on that day will idols be broken to pieces. (close)
وَ اِذۡ قَالَ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمُ لِاَبِیۡہِ اٰزَرَ اَتَتَّخِذُ اَصۡنَامًا اٰلِہَۃً ۚ اِنِّیۡۤ اَرٰٮکَ وَ قَوۡمَکَ فِیۡ ضَلٰلٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۷۵﴾
۞وَإِذۡ قَالَ إِبۡرَٰهِيمُ لِأَبِيهِ ءَازَرَ أَتَتَّخِذُ أَصۡنَامًا ءَالِهَةً إِنِّيٓ أَرَىٰكَ وَقَوۡمَكَ فِي ضَلَٰلٖ مُّبِينٖ
b. 19:43. (close)
864. In the Old Testament the name of Abraham’s father is given as Terah (Gen.11:26) and in the New Testament (Luke, 3:34) it is Tharah. The Talmud agrees with Luke. Eusebius, the father of ecclesiastical history, gives Athar as the name of Abraham’s father (Sale). This shows that even among the Jews there existed no unanimity of opinion about the name of Abraham’s father. Eusebius must have strong reasons for differing from Genesis and Luke. The correct form appears to be Athar, which later became changed into Tharah or Terah. Athar closely resembles the name given in the Qur’an (Azar), only there is a slight difference of pronunciation, the two forms being almost identical. Christian writers, therefore, have no reason to quarrel with the Qur’an for calling Abraham’s father by the name Azar. Moreover, Abraham’s father is also called Zarah in the Talmud (Sale), and Zarah is approximately the same as Azar. This shows that the Quranic version is much more reliable. Besides, Azar has been called Abraham’s Ab) (26:87), a word applied both to father, uncle and grandfather, etc. In 2:133 Ishmael who was Jacob’s uncle has been called his Ab. It, however, appears from the Qur’an that Azar, though called the Ab of Abraham, was not really his father. Abraham had made a promise to Azar, his Ab, to pray to God to forgive him but when he came to know that he was an enemy of God, he abstained from praying for him; he was even actually forbidden to do so (9:114). But in 14:42 Abraham prays for his Walid which word is applied only to father. This shows that Azar who has been called the Ab of Abraham was a person different from his Walid. Most probably he was his uncle. Some passages of the Bible also support this inference. Abraham married Sarah the daughter of Terah (Gen. 20:12) which shows that Terah was not his father, because he could not marry his own sister. It appears that his father being dead, Abraham was brought up by his uncle, Azar or Athar, who gave him his daughter, Sarah, in marriage. As Azar brought up Abraham and was like a father to him, the latter seemed to have been called his son, and this led to the error of Azar or Athar being taken as the real father of Abraham. It also appears from the Talmud that Azar prosecuted Abraham and took him to the King for the offence of breaking the idols. If Azar had been the father of Abraham, he would not have taken such a drastic step against his own son. (close)
a. 19:43. (close)
820. Important Words:
اب (father) which is originally ابو gives the following meanings: a father; an ancestor; a paternal uncle. ابوالمرأة means, the woman’s husband. ابوالمثوی means, master or owner of the dwelling (Lane). See also 4:12.
آزر (Azar). For the discussion of the word and the relationship of Azar with Abraham see under Commentary below. The word is considered by some to be of non-Arabic origin, though in Arabic too it has a root. Thus آزر النبات means, the vegetation grew thick and strong. آزر فلانا means, he strengthened such and such a person. آزرہ means, he sympathized with and helped him (Aqrab). The name, which thus appears to be attributive, was given to Azar probably because he helped his people in establishing idol-worship. According to Mujahid, آزر was originally the name of an idol (Qadir).
With this verse the Quran turns to an account of Abraham, which is given here for two reasons: Firstly, because it is the idolatrous Quraish that are chiefly addressed in these verses and they revered Abraham as their progenitor and patriarch. Hence, by giving an account of Abraham, God wants to tell the Quraish that their great ancestor Abraham was also, like the Holy Prophet, opposed to idolatry, which shows that idol-worship is a later innovation. Secondly, by means of this account, God wants to impress upon idolaters the hollow and unsound foundation on which stands the belief and practice of idol-worship and the absurd ideas which give rise to idolatry.
In the present verse Abraham is represented as arguing with his اب (father) on the subject of idolatry. This اب (father) is here named Azar. Now we have to see in what relation this man stood to Abraham and what his true name was. Christian writers have criticized the Quran on the, ground that it calls Abraham’s father by the name Azar while his true name was Terah. It is true that in Gen. 11:26 Abraham’s father is named Terah. But it is equally true that in Luke 3:34 Abraham is called the son of Thara and not Terah. The reader should note the change not only in the first consonant but also in the vowel that follows. The Talmud also gives the name of Abraham’s father as Thara. Eusebius, the great Church historian, who has been rightly styled the Father of Ecclesiastical History, gives, in spite of Gen. 11:26 and Luke: 3:34, which could not be unknown to him, Athar as the name of Abraham’s father (Sale). This clearly shows that even among the Jews there existed no unanimity as to the name of Abraham’s father. The fact that Eusebius, followed neither Gen. 11:26, nor Luke 3:34 shows that he had strong reasons to differ from these two well-known sources. The correct form thus appears to be Athar, which later became changed into Thara or Terah. Now the form adopted by Eusebius is almost, if not exactly, the same as given by the Quran. If there is any difference, it is only that of pronunciation; otherwise both forms, i.e. Azar and Athar, are identical. Christians have, therefore, no reason to quarrel with the Quran for calling Abraham’s father by the name Azar. It may also be noted that Abraham’s father is also called Zarah in the Talmud (Sale) and Zarah is approximately the same as Azar. All this goes to prove not only that the Quran is not wrong on calling the father of Abraham by the name Azar, but also that the Quranic version is much more reliable than that of the Bible.
The next question we have to consider is that of the relationship in which Azar stood to Abraham. In the Quran, he has been called Abraham’s اب (ab), a word applied, as shown under Important Words, not only to father but also to uncle, grandfather, etc. who stand in the position of a father. From the Quran it appears that Azar, though called the (ab) of Abraham, was not really his father. In 9:114 we are told that Abraham had made a promise to Azar, his اب (ab), to pray to God for his forgiveness, but when he came to know that he was an enemy of God, he abstained from praying for him and was actually forbidden to do so (see also 26:87 where again Azar is spoken as the اب of Abraham). Elsewhere, however, the Quran itself records a prayer of Abraham which he offered in the last days of his life, after he had built the Ka‘bah in company with his son, Ishmael. In this prayer, Abraham prays for his father and is not forbidden to pray for him; but here Abraham does not use for him the word اب but والد (14:42). Now, as has already been stated, the word ابmay be applied to a person other than the real father, but the word والد (walid) which means "the begetter" is applied to none but the actual father. This clearly shows that Azar who has been called the اب (ab) of Abraham was a different person from the والد (walid) of Abraham. He was probably his uncle.
Some passages of the Bible also support this conclusion. We are told that Abraham married Sarah, the daughter of Terah (Gen. 20:12). This shows that Terah was not his real father, for in that case he could not marry Terah’s daughter, his own sister. It appears that his father being dead, he was brought up by his uncle, Azar or Athar, who gave him his daughter Sarah in marriage. As Azar brought up Abraham and was in the position of a father to him, the latter came to be ascribed to him as a son, and this led to the error of Azar or Athar being taken as the real father of Abraham. Again, from the Talmud it appears that Azar prosecuted Abraham and presented him before the king for the offence of breaking idols. If Azar had been the real father of Abraham, he would not have followed such a course against his own son. (close)
وَ کَذٰلِکَ نُرِیۡۤ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ مَلَکُوۡتَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ لِیَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُوۡقِنِیۡنَ ﴿۷۶﴾
وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُرِيٓ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلِيَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُوقِنِينَ
865. The verse means that God granted Abraham the knowledge of, and an insight into, the natural laws that work in the universe, and of the all- pervading Divine power and control. (close)
821. Important Words:
ملکوت (kingdom) is derived from ملك i.e. he possessed complete ownership of, and power over. ملکوت means, sovereignty; dominion; great kingdom; power to deal with a thing as one like; the place of holy spirits in the heavens (Aqrab). The word ملکوت is specifically used about the kingdom or dominion of God (Mufradat). See also 1:4.
The word ملکوت (kingdom), as shown above, is peculiar to the dominion of God. Thus the words, And thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, mean, We showed Abraham the power and control which We exercise over every part of the universe. Shihabud-Din Suhrawardi, a great Muslim divine, says in his famous work, the ‘Awariful-Ma‘arif, that when a spiritual wayfarer reaches this stage, i.e. when he is made to witness the sovereignty of God, he is, as it were, spiritually reborn and that no person can be admitted into the presence of God until he has attained this stage. When, however, a man has attained this stage of certainty and conviction, doubt cannot enter his mind, for then he lives in the very presence of God. (close)
فَلَمَّا جَنَّ عَلَیۡہِ الَّیۡلُ رَاٰ کَوۡکَبًا ۚ قَالَ ہٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَ قَالَ لَاۤ اُحِبُّ الۡاٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۷۷﴾
فَلَمَّا جَنَّ عَلَيۡهِ ٱلَّيۡلُ رَءَا كَوۡكَبٗاۖ قَالَ هَٰذَا رَبِّيۖ فَلَمَّآ أَفَلَ قَالَ لَآ أُحِبُّ ٱلۡأٓفِلِينَ
822. Important Words:
جن (darkened) means, it covered up. They say جن اللیل الشیء or جن اللیل علی الشیء i.e. the night covered the thing up; or the night threw its covering of darkness over the thing. جن اللیل means, the night grew dark. See also 2:26 & 6:129.
See collective note under 6:80 below. (close)
فَلَمَّا رَاَ الۡقَمَرَ بَازِغًا قَالَ ہٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَ قَالَ لَئِنۡ لَّمۡ یَہۡدِنِیۡ رَبِّیۡ لَاَکُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الۡقَوۡمِ الضَّآلِّیۡنَ ﴿۷۸﴾
فَلَمَّا رَءَا ٱلۡقَمَرَ بَازِغٗا قَالَ هَٰذَا رَبِّيۖ فَلَمَّآ أَفَلَ قَالَ لَئِن لَّمۡ يَهۡدِنِي رَبِّي لَأَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلضَّآلِّينَ
فَلَمَّا رَاَ الشَّمۡسَ بَازِغَۃً قَالَ ہٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ہٰذَاۤ اَکۡبَرُ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَتۡ قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ اِنِّیۡ بَرِیۡٓءٌ مِّمَّا تُشۡرِکُوۡنَ ﴿۷۹﴾
فَلَمَّا رَءَا ٱلشَّمۡسَ بَازِغَةٗ قَالَ هَٰذَا رَبِّي هَٰذَآ أَكۡبَرُۖ فَلَمَّآ أَفَلَتۡ قَالَ يَٰقَوۡمِ إِنِّي بَرِيٓءٞ مِّمَّا تُشۡرِكُونَ
866. Verses 77 to 79 contain an argument which Abraham employed to bring home to his idolatrous people the absurdity of their belief that the sun, the moon and the stars were so many gods which they worshipped (Jew. Enc.). It is wrong to infer from these verses that Abraham was himself groping in the dark and did not know Who his God was, and that he took the evening star, the moon, and the sun for God one after the other and, when each of them set in its turn, he gave up his belief in their divinity and turned to the One God, the Creator of heavens and earth. In fact, the passage contains several arguments to show that Abraham, far from taking these heavenly bodies for gods, sought to demonstrate to his people the vanity of their beliefs step by step. Verses 75, 76 show that Abraham was a firm believer in One God. He could not, therefore, be considered as groping in the dark and wandering from one deity to another. The words, "can this be my Lord" constituted an argument against star-worship. He said these words to expose his people’s belief that the star was their Lord. Moreover, he already knew that the star must set. So his argument contained in the words, "I like not those that set" must have been already present in his mind. In reality, he wanted to use his argument in a most effective manner. So he first assumed the star to be his Lord and, when it disappeared, he hastened to declare, I like not those that set. Similar was the case with the setting of the moon and the sun. Of the sun he used the word "greater" or "greatest" ironically in order to taunt his people for their folly. This clearly shows that by the line of arguments he adopted Abraham intended gradually to draw his people to God. A simple glance over vv. 80-82 makes it crystal clear that Abraham not only possessed firm faith in God but also had a deep knowledge of Divine attributes. (close)