Fifth Flash

[This is the wonderful comprehensiveness of the Qur’an’s style and conciseness. It consists of five ‘Glows’.]

First Glow:

The Qur’an’s style has a comprehensiveness so wonderful that a single Sura contains the ocean of the Qur’an, which in turn contains the universe. A single of its verses contains the treasury of the Sura. And most of the verses are each a short Sura, while most of the Suras are short Qur’ans. Thus, this is a great favour and guidance and facilitating arising from its miraculous conciseness. For although everyone has need of the Qur’an all the time, either due to foolishness or for some other reason, they do not have the time to read all of it, or they do not have the opportunity. So in order that they should not to be deprived of it, each Sura is like a short Qur’an, and each long verse even has the rank of a Sura. Those who penetrate to the inner meaning of things agree that the whole Qur’an is contained in the Sura al-Fatiha, even, and the Fatiha in the Bismillah. The proof of this fact is the consensus of the scholars who have investigated it.

Second Glow:

The verses of the Qur’an are comprehensive through their denoting and indicating all the categories of speech and true knowledge and human needs, like command and prohibition, promise and threat, encouragement and deterring, restraint and guidance, stories and comparisons, the Divine ordinances and teachings, the sciences related to the universe, and the laws and conditions of personal life, social life, the life of the heart, spiritual life, and the life of the hereafter. So that the truth of the saying, “Take whatever you want from the Qur’an for whatever you want” has become accepted to such a degree by the people of reality that it has become proverbial among them. There is such a comprehensiveness in the verses of the Qur’an that they may be the cure for every ill and the sustenance for every need. Yes, they have to be like that, because it is essential that the absolute guide of all the levels of the people of perfection, who continually rise in the degrees of progress, possesses this property.

Third Glow:

This is the Qur’an’s miraculous conciseness. It sometimes happens that the Qur’an mentions the two ends of a long chain in such a way that it shows clearly the whole chain. And sometimes it happens that it includes explicitly, implicitly, figuratively, and allusively in one word many proofs of an assertion. For example, in the verse:

And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your tongues and in your colours,1

by mentioning the beginning and end of the chain of the universe’s creation, which forms a chain of signs and indications of Divine unity, the verse shows the second chain. It makes the first chain read it out. Yes, the first degree of the pages of the world which testify to an All-Wise Maker is the origin of the heavens and the earth, their creation. Next is the heavens being adorned with stars and the earth made to rejoice with living beings. Then the change of the seasons through the subjugation of the sun and the moon. Then is the alternation of day and night, and the chain of events within these. And so it goes on as far as the characteristics and distinguishing individual features on faces and in voices, the most widely spread loci of multiplicity. Thus, since there is an astonishing and wise order in the characteristics of individual faces, which are the furthest from order and most subject to the interference of chance, if it is shown that the pen of a most wise craftsman works there, surely the other pages, whose order is clear, will themselves be understood and display their Inscriber. And since the works of art and wisdom of a Maker are apparent in the original creation of the vast heavens and earth, Who positions them purposefully as the foundation stones of the palace of the universe; the works of His art and the impress of His wisdom will surely be most clear in His other beings. Thus, by exposing the concealed and concealing the obvious, this verse expresses a most beautiful succinctness.

Similarly in the verses from:

So give glory to God when you reach eventide .... till

And to Him belongs the loftiest similitude in the heavens and the earth; for He is Exalted in Might, Full of Wisdom,2

the chain of proofs which begins six times with the words, And among His signs..., And among His signs, is a sequence of jewels, a sequence of light, a sequence of miraculousness, a sequence of miraculous conciseness. I wish from the heart to display the hidden diamonds in these treasuries, but what can I do?, the discussion here does not support it. So postponing it to another time, I am not opening that door for now.

And for example:

...Send me therefore O Joseph! O Man of truth! 1

Between ..send me therefore and O Joseph! are these words: ...Joseph, that I may ask him to interpret the dream. So I sent him, and he went to the prison and said to Joseph... That is to say, although five sentences have been abbreviated and summarized in one sentence, it does not mar the clarity or hinder the understanding.

And, for example:

Who produces for you fire from the green tree.2

Here the Qur’an is saying in the face of rebellious man’s denials, who is as though challenging the Qur’an by saying, “Who will raise to life rotten bones?”, “Whoever created them in the first place, He will raise them to life. And that Creator knows every single aspect of every single thing. Furthermore, He who provides fire for you from the green tree, is able to give life to dry bones.” Thus, this sentence looks in numerous ways to the claim that man will raised to life, and proves it.

Firstly, with these words the Qur’an starts off the chain of bounties it lays before man, moves its forward, and calls it to mind. Having described it in detail in other verses, it cuts short the description here, and refers it to the intelligence. That is, “You cannot flee from the One Who gives you fruit and fire from trees, sustenance and seeds from plants, cereals and grains from the earth, and makes the earth a fine cradle for you filled with all your sustenance, and the world a palace in which is found all your needs – you cannot be independent of Him, or disappear into non-existence and hide there. You cannot enter the grave without duties to sleep in comfort not to be awoken.

Then it points out an evidence of the claim. With the words, the green tree, it implies: “O you who deny resurrection! Look at the trees! One Who raises to life and makes green in spring numberless bone-like trees which have been dead throughout winter, and in every tree even demonstrates three examples of resurrection through the leaves, blossoms, and fruit – the power of such a One cannot be challenged through denial or by considering resurrection improbable.”

Then it points out another evidence, saying: “How do you deem it unlikely that One Who extracts for you out of dense, heavy, dark matter like a tree, subtle, light, luminous manner like fire should give fire-like life and light-like consciousness to wood-like bones?”

Then it states another evidence explicitly; it says: “One Who creates the famous tree which while green produces fire for nomads in place of matches when two of its branches are rubbed together, and combines two opposites like the green and damp and the dry and hot, and makes them the source of the fire – everything, even the fundamental elements, looks to His command and acts through His power. It cannot be considered unlikely of the One Who demonstrates that none of these is independent and acts of its own accord that He should raise up man from the earth once again, who was made from earth and later returned to the earth. He may not be challenged with rebellion.”

Then, through recalling Moses’s (Peace be upon him) famous tree, it shows that this claim of Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) is also that of Moses (PBH). Lightly alluding to the consensus of the prophets, it adds one more subtle point to the phrase.

Fourth Glow:

The Qur’an’s conciseness is so comprehensive and wonderful that when studied carefully it becomes apparent that sometimes, through some simple detail or particular event, it compassionately shows to simple, ordinary minds most extensive, lengthy, universal rules and general laws, like showing an ocean in a ewer. We shall point out only two examples of this out of thousands.

First Example: This is the three verses expounded in detail in the First Station of the Twentieth Word, which describe under the name of ‘the teaching of the Names’ to the person of Adam, the teaching of all the sciences and branches of knowledge with which the sons of Adam have been inspired. Through the angels prostrating before Adam and Satan not prostrating, they state that most beings from fish to angels are subjugated to human kind, just as harmful creatures from snakes to Satan do not obey man and are hostile to him. And through the people of Moses (Peace be upon him) slaughtering a cow, they state that the concept of cow-worship –which was taken from the worship of cows in Egypt and showed its effect in ‘the event of the calf’– was slaughtered by Moses’ knife. And through water gushing forth from the rock and springs flowing out and spreading, they also state that the rock layer which is under the soil layer acts as the source of both water springs and the soil.

Second Example: This is the whole and the parts of the story of Moses (Peace be upon him), which is frequently repeated in the Qur’an, and each of the repetitions of which is shown as the tip of a universal rule, with each repetition stating the rule in question. For example:

O Haman! Build me a lofty palace.1

Pharaoh is commanding his minister: “Build me a high tower so that I can take a look at the heavens and observe them. I wonder if there is a God who governs in the skies like Moses claims, who can be seen from their disposition?” Thus, through the word ‘palace’ and this minor incident, it states a strange rule dominant in the traditions of the Egyptian Pharaohs, who, because they lived in the desert with no mountains, wanted mountains, and because they did not recognize the Creator, were worshippers of nature and claimed godhead; and worshipping fame, through displaying the works of their dominion perpetuated their name and constructed the famous mountain-like pyramids; and agreed to magic and metempsychosis, and had their corpses mummified and preserved in their mountain-like tombs.

And, for example:

This day We shall save you in your body.1

By saying to Pharaoh, who is drowning: “Today I am going to save your body which will drown,” it is expressing a death-tainted, exemplary rule of the Pharaohs’ lives, which was, as a consequence of the idea of metempsychosis and mummifying the bodies of all of them, to take them from the past and send them to be viewed by the generations of the future. And this present century a body was discovered which was the very body of Pharaoh, thrown up on the seashore where he drowned. The verse thus states a miraculous sign of the Unseen, that the body was to be borne on the waves of the centuries and cast up from the sea of time onto the shore of this century.

And, for example:

They slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live.2

With an event in the time of a Pharaoh, the slaughtering of the sons of the Children of Israel and the sparing of their women and daughters, it mentions the numerous massacres which the Jewish nation has suffered every age, and the role their women and girls have played in dissolute human life.

And you will indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life.3 And you see many of them racing each other in sin and rancour, and their eating of things forbidden. Evil indeed are the things they do.4 But they ever strive to do mischief on earth. And God loves not those who do mischief.5 And We gave clear warning to the Children of Israel in the Book, that twice they would do mischief on the earth.6 And do no evil nor mischief on the earth.7

These two statements of the Qur’an directed at the Jews, comprise the two fearsome general rules, that that nation hatches plots in human social life with their trickery, which shake human society. They say that just as it was that nation which made labour contest with capital; and through usury and compounded interest, made the poor clash with the rich, and caused the banks to be founded, and amassed wealth through wiles and fraud; so it was again that nation who, in order to take their revenge on the victors and governments under which they always suffered deprivation and oppression, were involved in every sort of corrupting covert organization and had a finger in every sort of revolution.

And, for example:

Then seek ye for death1

That is, “If what you say is true, seek death, but you won’t seek it!” Thus, through a minor incident in a small gathering in the presence of the Prophet (PBUH), it points out that the Jewish nation, which is most famous among the nations of mankind for its greed for life and fear of death, will not, according to its tongue of disposition, seek death till Doomsday, and will not give up its greed for life.

And, for example:

Thus they were stamped with humiliation and indigence.2

With this, it describes generally that nation’s future destiny. It is because of these fearsome rules governing the destiny and character of this nation that the Qur’an acts so severely against them. It deals them awesomely punishing slaps. From these examples draw analogies with the other stories and passages about Moses (Peace be upon him) and the Children of Israel. Now, there are very many flashes of miraculousness like the flash in this Fourth Glow behind the simple words and specific subjects of the Qur’an. A hint is enough for the wise.

Fifth Glow:

This is the extraordinary comprehensiveness of the Qur’an in regard to its aims and subjects, meanings and styles, and its subtle qualities and fine virtues. Indeed, if the Suras and verses of the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition are studied carefully, and especially the openings of the Suras, and the beginnings and ends of the verses, it will be seen that although it gathers together all the categories of rhetoric, all the parts of fine speech, all the classes of elevated styles, all the sorts of fine morality, all the summaries of the sciences relating to the universe, all the indexes of Divine knowledge, all the beneficial rules for individual and human social life, and all the luminous laws of the exalted physical sciences, not a trace of confusion is apparent. In truth, to gather together in one place this many different categories of knowledge and not to cause any dispute or difficulty can only be the work of an overwhelming miraculous order.

Then together with the order within this comprehensiveness, as is expounded and proved in the previous twenty-four Words, to rend the veils of the habitual and commonplace, which are the source of compounded ignorance, and to draw out the wonders concealed beneath them and display them; to smash with the diamond sword of proof the idol of nature, which is the source of misguidance; to scatter with thunderous trumpet-blasts the dense layers of the sleep of heedlessness; and to uncover and reveal the obscure talisman of being and the strange riddle of the creation of the world, before which human philosophy and science have remained impotent, is most surely only the wondrous work of a wonder-worker like the Qur’an – the Qur’an, which sees reality, is familiar with the Unseen, bestows guidance, and shows the truth.

If the Qur’an’s verses are considered carefully and fairly, it will be seen that they do not resemble a gradual chain of thought, following one or two aims, like other books. For the Qur’an’s manner is sudden and instantaneous; it is inspired on the moment; its mark is that all its aspects arrive together but independently from distant places, a most serious and important discourse which comes singly and concisely.

Yes, who is there apart from the universe’s Creator that could give a discourse concerned to this degree with the universe and the Creator of the universe? Who could step beyond his mark to an infinite degree and make the All-Glorious Creator speak according to his own whims, then make the universe speak the truth? Yes, in the Qur’an, the universe’s Maker is seen to be speaking and making others speak most seriously and truthfully and in elevated and true fashion. There is no sign at all to suggest imitation. He speaks and makes speak. If, to suppose the impossible, someone like Musaylima was to step beyond his mark to an infinite degree, and by way of imitation make the All-Glorious Creator, the Sublime and Majestic One, speak according to his own ideas, and the universe as well, there certainly would be thousands of signs of imitation and indications of falsehood. For when the contemptible assume the manner of the lofty, their every action shows up their pretence. So consider carefully these verses, which proclaim this fact with an oath:

By the star when it goes down! Your companion is neither astray nor being misled Nor does he say aught of his own desire It is no less than revelation inspired! 1