Surah Ar-Rahman 5

By May 11, 2020 Arabic Calligraphy

Surah al-Rahman – Verses 17-18

رَبُّ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ وَرَبُّ الْمَغْرِبَيْنِ

فَبِأيِّ آلَآء رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

  1. The Lord of the two easts and the Lord of the two wests.
    18. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both [jinn and men] deny?

The blessed Verse 17 treats of another Divine Blessing saying that God Almighty is the Lord of two easts and two wests. It is true that each and every day in a year’s time, the sun rises from a point and sets in another, thus the number of easts and wests run to the number of the days in a year, but taking into account the maximum northern and southern axes of the sun, we notice that other easts and wests fall between the twain.

Such order is the origin of the emergence of the four seasons of the year engendering abundance and it actually emphasizes and completes the contents of the foregoing blessed Verses treating of the well measured calculation of the course of the sun and the moon and the existence of the balance in the creation of the heavens.

Generally speaking, the blessed Verse reflects the precise order of creation, motions of the sun and the moon and the Blessings thereby bestowed upon man.

Some Qur’anic exegetes maintain that the two easts and the two wests herein connote the rising and setting of the sun and the moon, but the first interpretation is seemingly more appropriate, particularly owing to the fact that a number of Islamic traditions make references to the same and instance of which is a tradition narrated from the Commander of the Faithful, Imam ‘Ali (as) as per the exegesis of the blessed Verse in question, he says that the easts of the beginning of winter and summer are discrete.

Do you not see that the sun approximates and distances. It is a reference to the rising of the sun in the heaven in summer and the setting of the sun in winter.17

The foregoing remarks clarify the reason behind Oaths like:

“Therefore, I swear by the Lord of all the points of sunrise and sunset in the east and the west that certainly We are All-Mighty,”18).

The reason is that reference is made to all the easts and wests of the sun during a year, whereas the blessed Verse in question makes a reference to the solar ascending and descending arches.

Again, the following Verse thus addresses jinn and men asking them:

“Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both [jinn and men] deny?”

 

Surah al-Rahman – Verses 19-21

مَرَجَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ يَلْتَقِيَانِ

بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخٌ لَآ يَبْغِيَانِ

فَبِأيِّ آلَآء رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

 

  1. He let loose the two salty and sweet seas meeting together.
  2. Between them is a barrier so that none of them can transgress.
  3. Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both [jinn and men] deny?

The Arabic verbal form maraja designates:

“let loose” and the Arabic noun barzakh denotes “a barrier between two things.” Resuming the account of Divine Blessings mention is made of seas, but not all seas. The particular quality of certain seas is an astonishing phenomenon serving as a token of Divine Absolute Omnipotence. It also serves as a means of producing certain things used by men.

Thus, the blessed Verses are saying that He juxtaposed two different seas while they meet; however, there is a barrier between the twain such that one may not agitate and prevail over the other.

As it is reflected elsewhere in the Glorious Qur’an, the twain seas are the salty and the sweet seas:

“And it is He Who let loose the two seas: one palatable and sweet and the other salty and bitter and He set a barrier and a complete partition between them”19.

Qur’anic exegetes disagree as to the location of the two sweet and salty seas and the fact that one does not prevail the other and the nature of the barrier separating the twain.

However, mention was already made of the point in the exegesis of Chapter 25 saying that great sweet rivers flowing into seas and oceans usually form a sea of sweet water beside the coast thus repelling the brine and it would be of interest to know that sweet and salty water, owing to the difference in the degrees of thickness, do not intermingle.

A bird’s eye view of discrete salty and sweet waters clearly shows the partition between the twain. When the margins of the twain intermingle, fresh sweet water substitutes the mingled waters, such that the partition between the twain is visible at all times. It is interesting that at the time of flow, the level of oceans is raised, such that sweet water is repelled without being intermingled with the brine.

The blessed Verse 21 is again addressed to God’s servants inquiring:

“Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both [jinn and men] deny?”

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