1. Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning 2. Verily, We have created man from Nutfah Amshaj, in order to try him, so, We made him hearer and seer. 3. Verily, We guided him to the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful.
Allah informs that He brought man into existence after he was not even a thing worth mentioning, due to his lowliness and weakness. Allah says,
(Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning) Then Allah explains this by saying,
(Verily, We have created man from Nutfah Amshaj,) meaning, mixed. The words Mashaj and Mashij mean something that is mixed together. Ibn `Abbas said concerning Allah's statement,
(from Nutfah Amshaj,) "This means the fluid of the man and the fluid of the woman when they meet and mix.'' Then man changes after this from stage to stage, condition to condition and color to color. `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas all made statements similar to this. They said, "Amshaj is the mixing of the man's fluid with the woman's fluid.'' Concerning Allah's statement,
(in order to try him,) means, `We test him.' It is similar to Allah's statement,
(That He may test you which of you is best in deed.) (67:2) Then Allah says,
(so, We made him hearer and seer.) meaning, `We gave him the faculties of hearing and sight so that he would be able to use them for obedience and disobedience.'
(Verily, We guided to him the way,) meaning, `We explained it to him, made it clear to him and showed it to him.' This is as Allah says,
(And as for Thamud, We guided them but they preferred blindness to guidance.) (41:17) Allah also said,
(And We guided him to the two ways.) (90:10) meaning, `We explained to him the path of good and the path of evil.' This is the statement of `Ikrimah, `Atiyah, Ibn Zayd and Mujahid from what is well-known from him and the majority. Allah then says,
(Whether he be grateful or ungrateful.) This is his decree. Thus, with this he is either wretched or happy. This is like what has been recorded by Muslim in a Hadith from Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari. He said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(All of mankind wakes up in the morning the merchant of his own soul. So he either imprisons it or sets it free. )