The Quran Asks 20-128


Then does not (this fact serve as) guidance for them: how many of the generations, in whose dwelling places they walk, have We destroyed before them? Certainly in that there are signs for possessors of sense. (Al Quran, Surah Ta Ha, Chapter 20: Verse 128)

This verse shall be understood in context with the following verses:

20-115: And We had indeed made an agreement with Adam earlier but he forgot, and We did not find determination in him.
20-116: And when We said to the angels, “Bow down to Adam,” they (all) bowed down, except Iblis, he refused.
20-117: Then We said, “O Adam! this is certainly an enemy to you and your wife, so let him not drive you both out of the garden so that you face distress.
20-118: It is certainly (ordained) for you that you will neither be hungry therein nor naked,
20-119: and you will neither be thirsty therein nor be exposed to suns rays, (because of plenty of food, drinks, clothes and the pleasant environment).”
20-120: But the devil whispered to him saying. “O Adam! shall I Iead you to the tree of eternity and a kingdom that has no downfall?”
20-121: So they both ate from it, consequently their shame became manifest to them and they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden, and Adam disobeyed his Fosterer therefore he went astray.
20-122: Then his Fosterer chose him and turned to him (mercifully) and guided him.
20-123: He said, “Go down from here both of you together, some of you (will be) enemies of others, but when guidance comes to you from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, he will neither go astray nor face distress.
20-124: And whoever turns away from My reminder, then his life will certainly be miserable and We will raise him blind on the day of resurrection.”
20-125: He will say, “My Fosterer! why did you raise me blind when I was one with sight (in the life of the world)?”
20-126: He will say, “Thus Our signs came to you but you forgot them, therefore in a similar manner, you are forgotten this day.”
20-127: And thus do We reward one who exceeds the limits and does not believe in the signs of his Fosterer and the punishment of the hereafter is more severe and more lasting.
20-128: Then does not (this fact serve as) guidance for them: how many of the generations, in whose dwelling places they walk, have We destroyed before them? Certainly in that there are signs for possessors of sense. (R7)

Summarized Commentary:
Adam (PBH): All human beings have been created from one male and one female 49:13 Adam and his wife Hawwa (PBT) 7:27, 4:1. Allah (SWT) taught Adam (PBH) the names of all things i.e. imparted knowledge to him 2:31, blew into him from His spirit 15:29 and made the angels (or incharges of energies) to bow down before him. Iblis, a Jinn 18:50, did not bow down before him considering himself superior to him, Adam was created from clay (matter) and Iblis from fire (energy) 7:11-12. Adam (PBH) was warned that the devil (Iblis) is an enemy of man and he may drive him and his wife out of the comfortable garden 20:117 where Adam and Hawwa (PBT) were asked to stay but with the prohibition of going near a particular tree 2:35. Adam (PBH) not only forgot this prohibition but also had no determination in him 20:115 and was therefore misled by the devil who deceived and tempted them both to eat from the forbidden tree, stating that Allah (SWT) had forbidden that tree because both of them would become angels or immortals after eating from it. They thus fell into the trap and ate from the tree on account of which their shame became manifest to them and they started covering themselves with the leaves of the garden. Before eating from the tree, they were not conscious of their shame probably like animals. Due to their disobedience, they were sent out of the garden probably with the curse that some of you will be the enemies of others 7:20- 25. Then on their repentance Allah (SWT) forgave them and communicated to them that guidance to lead life in the earth would come to them from Him, so whoever follows this guidance he will neither have fear nor grief and those who reject it will be the inmates of hell 2:37-39. Thus Adam (PBH) and his progeny were made successors or rulers of the earth 2:30, 6:166 to establish the legislation of Allah (SWT) which came from time to time through different messengers sent to different nations. The final Divine message containing laws to establish the kingdom of Allah (SWT) was the Holy Quran and the last messenger of Allah (SWT) Muhammed (PBH) 33:40 was sent to the whole mankind till the end of this world. The descendants of Adam (PBH) i.e. human beings other than Adam and Hawwa (PBT) were created from Turab, Nutfa, Alaqa 22:5 and sulaalatim-min-tiin 23:12. Turaab is the top soil 2:264 and sulaalatim-min- tiin means something taken out from clay probably meaning plant nutrients. We eat plants as well as the cattle who also eat plants. This food supplies the material for the synthesis of sperm and egg in man and woman respectively. Creation of man from the soil and extraction from clay would mean the material from which the sperm and egg were created and on which human beings depend for their later survival too. How were the first human beings Adam and Hawwa, the first parents created? The answer to this question is given in the Quran as follows: – “………… and He (Allah) began the creation of man (Insaan i.e. Adam) from clay (tiin) then made his progeny from something taken out (sulaalah) from the (seminal) fluid (which is) weakened after vigour (sperm and egg)” 32:7-8. “O mankind! fear your Fosterer Who created you from a single soul (Adam) and created from it, its mate (Hawwa) and spread from these two many men and women” 4:1. It is clear that creation of Adam and Hawwa (PBT) was not from the sperm and egg as in the case of their progeny. The creation of Adam (PBH) was from clay 38:71, mud 15:28 etc. These facts indicate that Adam (PBH) did not have parents like us. It is very clear from the Quran that Allah (SWT) adopts two methods in bringing things into existence.
1. Through gradual and progressive changes as in the case of the birth of normal human beings 22:5, 23:12-14 and
2. Abrupt or instantaneously
a) Creation of a snake from the wooden staff of Musa (PBH) 7:107-108
b) Creation of a live bird from the form a bird moulded in clay (tiin), a miracle performed through Isa(PBH)3:44-49
c) transformation of sinning human beings into apes and pigs 2:65, 5:60, 7:166. These abrupt changes are known as ‘Miracles’ because they appear to be against all known laws of nature. Miracles are performed only by Allah (SWT) mostly through his messengers, for whom they are proofs of their messengership. No one else can perform such miracles going against the laws of nature except Allah (SWT) who has not only framed these laws but can also break them, its a challenge and a miracle cannot be explained scientifically. The birth of normal human beings is in accordance with normal laws of nature framed by Allah (SWT). It is possible that Adam (PBH) was created from mud, clay etc like the live bird created from clay through Isa (PBH) 3:45-49. The creations of Adam and Hawwa (PBT) appears to be miracles defying all the known laws of nature as we have understood them. Isa (PBH) was created without a father 3:47, Adam and Hawwa (PBH) appear to have been created without a father and a mother. This is not difficult for Allah (SWT) because He is All powerful 2:20 and when He intends anything He just says ‘Be’ and it is 16:40. Adam and Hawwa (PBT) were asked to go down (Ahbituu) from the garden 2:38. Words associated with ‘Ahbituu’ are used in the Quran for going down of someone by himself or falling down of something by itself from a higher place on earth to a lower level on earth itself 2:61, 2:74, 11:48. Therefore the garden refered to above appears to have been on earth itself but at a higher altitude. The garden from which Adam and Hawwa (PBT) were sent down appears to be different from the garden of paradise because it is presently unseen 19:61. In view of this it appears that Adam (PBH) was created from clay (tiin) fraction of the mud (salsaal) taken from the top soil (turaab) of the earth. If the verses 20:55, 53:32 and 71:17-18 in which the creation, production and growth of mankind from earth is mentioned, also includes Adam (PBH), it further supports the assumption that Adam (PBH) was created from the material belonging to the earth and the garden from which he was sent out along with Hawwa (PBH) was also on earth. Allah (SWT) has not mentioned clearly the manner in which He created Adam and Hawwa (PBT), and we cannot know it unless He informs us 2:255. He has kept it a secret. It is therefore better to leave it as secret compared to making erratic guesses. He said, ‘Be’ and they were there 2:117, 16:40. Abwab: The singular and plural forms of these alphabets mean doors (of a room which can be closed) 12:23, (entering through) the gate 4:154, door of severe punishment (adversity) 23:77, gates of everything (prosperity) 6:44. In paradise angels will enter from every gate 13:23, gates of paradise will be kept open for those who guard against evil 38:50, hell has seven gates 15:44, gates of the sky will not be opened for the deniers and the proud and they will not enter paradise until the camel passes the eye of the needle 7:40 [This indicates that paradise is beyond the earth somewhere in the sky] Gates of the sky are opened for water to pour forth (as rain) 54:11. In 24:43 it is stated “…… so you see the rain coming out of the spaces in between them” these spaces are probably referred to as gates. On the day of decision when it is blown into the trumpet (or the structure of the universe) the sky will be opened so that it will become gates 78:17-19. A door or a gate is an opening for entering or going out of an enclosed space, something becoming gates would mean that there would be no enclosure, there will be only an open space. This probably refers to the collapsing of the universe 21:104.

AL-MALAAA-IK (Angels) Angels reside in the sky and are sent down to earth 53:26, 17:95 executing various orders of Allah (SWT) as His servants 43:19. There are numerous angels and they bow down before Allahfearing Him (SWT) 16:49, glorifying and praising Him 2:30, 13:13 bearing witness of His unity that there is no god except Him 3:18. They are capable of receiving information, knowledge and communication from Allah (SWT) and conveying His messages to human beings selected by Him, in this sense they too are messengers of Allah (SWT) like human being 2:30 and 32, 8:12, 22:75, 35:1 etc. Such messengers were sent to Zakariyya (PBH) 3:39, Maryam (PBH) 3:42-45, Ibrahim (PBH) 15:53 Lut (PBH) 11:81 etc.
Angels can be transformed to appear like human beings as in the case of Ibrahiim (PBH) and Lut (PBH) 11:69-83, 6:9. Human beings too can be transformed into angels, if Allah (SWT) wills 43:60. Angels are associated with Jibriil (PBH) ‘The Ruuh’ and come down with him with the messages of Allah (SWT) 16:2 and also during Lailat-ul-Qadr (27th Ramadan) for all affairs 97:4. Derivatives of the root alphabets also mean power 7:188, control 23:88, master or owner 3:26, king 12:43 etc. In view of these meanings the word ‘Malaaaik’ translated as ‘Angels’ could also mean ‘Energies’ or ‘Power’.

Angels were ordered to bow down before Adam (PBH) but Iblis was questioned for his not bowing down 7:11-12 although he is a jinn, 18:50. This indicates that the word Malaaaik, at least here, conveys the meaning of energies because Iblis is not an angel, still he was included in the order. All energies in the form of angels bowed down before Adam (PBH) except the evil energy in the form of the devil or Iblis.

The sole reason for the scientific and technological progress of man control on various energies. If this control on energies granted by Allah (SWT) by making all angels (energies) to bow down before Adam (PBH) or man is withdrawn by Him, the whole building of Scientific and Technological progress would collapse and probably the whole human race would perish.

Angels praise, glorify obey the orders of and bow down before Allah (SWT) out of reverence for Him which He alone deserves. Their bowing down before man cannot therefore be due to reverence, it could just mean their exhibition of obeying the orders of Allah (SWT) to come under the control of man in the form of various energies so that he could use them for his advancement, their does not appear to be any other concrete reason for the angels to bow down before man in addition to their bowing down before Allah (SWT). This indicates that the whole scientific and technological progress of man is the gift of Allah (SWT) and not his achievement, his achievement would be to bring under control the evil energy of the devil which refused to surrender before him because this is the only way he can enter paradise. On the contrary many men have surrendered to the devil who will lead them to hell. Angels have the capability of lifting weight 2:248 which again hints that they possess energy. They record human deeds 50:17-18, 82:10-11, protect and monitor them 13:11, ask for protective forgiveness of those on earth 42:5, shower mercy on the believer 33:43, descend on them with good news 41:30-32, help 3:125 and influence them 8:12. They shower mercy on prophet Muhammed (PBH) 33:56. They curse and punish the infields 2:161, 8:12 and bring about disaster 15:63. They cause to die 32:11, 16:32, 8:50.

They ascend towards Allah (SWT) in a period which is 50,000 yrs 70:4 and will come down with Him on the day of resurrection to stand in ranks along with Jibriil (PBT) 78:38. On the day of judgment they will be around the throne of Allah (SWT) glorifying and praising Him 69:1618, 39:75, they will console the believers 21:103 and welcome them to paradise 13:23-24, 39:73. Many angels are incharge of hell too 39:71-72, 66:6, 74:31. We are required to believe in their existence and functions given in the Quran 2:285. The Quran gives information about the functions or duties of angels but does not give any information about their form and the substance from which they were created. Hazrat Ayesha (R.A.) quotes the Prophet (PBH) as saying, “Angels have been created from Nuur” [Reported by Muslim].

Angels could therefore be regarded as beings composed of some form of radiant energy or ‘Incharges’ of various energies in the universe whom we cannot perceive through our physical sense but who exert their influence on us without our being conscious of it, just like x-rays which penetrate the human flesh but do not impart any feeling to the human being concerned. Angels are thus beings the effect of whose work is visible but they themselves are not visible.

SHAYAATINIHIM (devils) Shaytaan is the same as Ibliis the devil, who was associated with Adam (PBH) 2:34-36, 7:27. Ibliis belongs to the category of the jinn having descendants 18:50, a tribe 7:27, and an army 26:95. Probably all the three words refer to his progeny, like the progeny of Adam (PBH) about whom he had said that he would bring them under his control except a few. It appears that one member from his progeny is associated with one member of the progeny of Adam (PBH) which is also indicated in one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammed (PBH) reported under word No 42:1. He has been created to distinguish between the believers in the hereafter and others who are in doubt about it 34:21 probably due to his deceptive temptation through his evil instigations 4:120. Ibliis did not bow down before Adam (PBH) considering himself better than him and claiming superiority and seniority that he was created earlier from fire (energy) whereas Adam (PBH) was created from clay (matter). Therefore Allah (SWT) drove him away, but he sought His permission and promised that he would mislead mankind from the straight path leading to paradise except those who serve/worship only Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) too announced that He would fill hell with him and his followers 7:11-18, 38:82-83, 17:64. Ibliis deceived Adam and Hawwa (PBT) tempting them to eat from the forbidden tree, due to which their shame became manifest and Allah (SWT) sent them out of the garden 2:36, 7:19-25.

The devil is an open enemy of mankind therefore he should not be obeyed, worshipped or served 36:60. He enjoins on mankind only evil and that which is indecent 2:168-169, 24:21. Friends of devils, i.e. those who follow his evil suggestions, are at loss 4:119. The devil tempts mankind 7:27, makes false promises, excites vain desires 4:120, causes to forget good things 6:68, makes evil deeds fairseeming 6:43, involves people in intoxicants and games of chance to evoke mutual hatred and enmity 5:90-91 spoils social relations through conversation, we are therefore ordered to speak that which is the best 17:53, makes people afraid of poverty while spending for a good cause 2:268 and he causes weakening uneasiness during wars with infields 8:11. If we do not remember Allah (SWT) i.e. if we do not always keep Him in mind, He Himself appoints a devil on us who turns us away from the right path but we think that we are rightly guided 43:36-37. The devil also makes people forget the remembrance of Allah (SWT) 58:19. Devils are from the jinn as well as human beings 6: 112,114:16. Devils were made to work for Sulaymaan (PBH) 38:36-38, 21:82. The sky has been protected from them and if any one seeks to steal a hearing a clear flame follows him 15:16-18, 37:6-10, 67:5. Divine communications cannot be polluted by them 22:5254. They have not come down with the Quran and it does not suit them, they have been kept away even from listening to it 26:210-212, 81:25.

We should seek the protection of Allah (SWT) from the evil instigations of the devils and remember Him when we feel their influence on us, then we will start seeing aright 7:200-201. We should seek the protection of Allah (SWT) while reciting the Quran 16:98-100. We should always pray to Allah (SWT) seeking His protection in accordance with the instructions given in 23:97-98 and 114:1-6.

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