Glorify the name of thy Guardian-Lord Most High 6080
Who hath created and further given order and proportion; 6081
Who hath ordained laws. And granted guidance; 6082
And Who bringeth out the (green and luscious) pasture. 6083
And then doth make it (but) swarthy stubble.
By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message) so thou shalt not forget 6084 6085
Except as Allah wills: For He knoweth what is manifest and what is hidden. 6086
And We will make it easy for thee (to follow) the simple (Path). 6087
Therefore give admonition in case the admonition profits (the hearer). 6088
The admonition will be received by those who fear (Allah):
But it will be avoided by those most unfortunate ones.
Who will enter the Great Fire 6089
In which they will then neither die nor live. 6090
But those will prosper who purify themselves. 6091 6092
And glorify the name of their Guardian-Lord and (lift their hearts) in Prayer.
Nay (behold) ye prefer the life of this world;
But the Hereafter is better and more enduring.
And this is in the Books of the earliest (Revelations) 6093
The Books of Abraham and Moses. 6094 6095
The word "Lord" by itself is an inadequate rendering here for Rabb. For it implies cherishing, guarding from harm, sustaining, granting all the means and opportunities of development. See n. 20 to i. 2. For shortness, perhaps "Guardian-Lord" will be sufficient in the Text.
The story of Creation is wonderful and continuous. There are several processes which we contemplate in glorifying Allah's name. First, He brings us into being. Secondly, He endows us with forms and faculties exactly suited to what is expected of us, and to the environments in which our life will be cast, giving to everything due order and proportion.
Thirdly, He has ordained laws and decrees, by which we can develop ourselves and fit ourselves into His whole scheme of evolution for all His Creation. He has measured exactly the needs of all, and given us instincts and physical predispositions which fit into His decrees. Fourthly, He gives us guidance, so that we are not the sport of mechanical laws. Our reason and our will are exercised, that we may reach the higher destiny of man.
Fifthly, after maturity comes decay. But even in that decay, as when green pasture tums to stubble, we subserve other ends. In so far as we are animals, we share these processes with other forms of material Creation, animal, vegetable, and even mineral, which all have their appointed laws of growth and decay. But man's higher destiny is referred to in subsequent verses.
The soul, as it reaches the Light of Allah, makes gradual progress, like a man going from darkness into light. So the Qur-an was revealed by stages. So all revelation from Allah comes by stages. As usual, there are two parallel meanings: (1) that connected with the occasion of direct inspiration to the holy Prophet; and (2) the more general Message to mankind for all time. Everyone who understands the Message must declare it, in words, and still more, in his conduct.
The particular occasion was an assurance to the Prophet, that though he was unleftered, the Message given to him would be preserved in his heart and in the hearts of men. The more general sense is that mankind, having once seized great spiritual truths, will hold fast to them, except as qualified in the following verse.
There can be no question of this having any reference to the abrogation of any verses of the Qur-an. For this Sura is one of the earliest revealed, being placed about eighth according to the most accepted chronological order. While the basic principles of Allah's Law remain the same, its form, expression, and application have varied from time to time, e.g., from Moses to Jesus, and from Jesus to Muhammad. It is one of the beneficent mercies of Allah that we should forget some things of the past, lest our minds become confused and our development is retarded. Besides, Allah knows what is manifest and what is hidden, and His Will and Plan work with supreme wisdom and goodness.
The Path of Islam is simple and easy. It depends on no abstruse mysteries or self-mortifications, but on straight and manly conduct in accordance with the laws of man's nature as implanted in him by Allah (xxx. 30). On the other hand, spiritual perfection may be most difficult, for it involves complete surrender on our part to Allah in all our affairs, thoughts, and desires: but after that surrender Allah's Grace will make our path easy.
This is not so strong as the Biblical phrase, "Cast not pearls before swine" (Man. vii. 6). The cases where admonition does produce spiritual profit and where it does not, are mentioned below in verses 10 and 11-13 respectively. Allah's Message should be proclaimed to all: but particular and personal admonitions are also due to those who attend and in whose hearts is the fear of Allah; in the case of those who run away from it and dishonour it, such particular and personal admonition is useless. They are the unfortunate ones who prepare their own ruin.
The Great Fire is the final Penalty or Disaster in the Hereafter, as contrasted with the minor Penalties or Disasters from which all evil suffers from within in this very life.
A terrible picture of those who ruin their whole future by evil lives here below. They introduce a discord into Creation, while life should be one great universal concord. And their past clings to them as part of their own will. They are not even like the dry swarthy stubble mentioned in verse 5 above, which grew naturally out of the luscious pasture, for they have grown harmful, in defiance of their own nature. "Neither die nor five": Cf. xx. 74.
Prosper. in the highest sense; attain to Bliss or Salvation; as opposed to "enter the Fire".
The first process in godliness is to cleanse ourselves in body, mind, and soul. Then we shall be in a fit state to see and proclaim the Glory of Allah. That leads us to our actual absorption in Praise and Prayer.
The law of righteousness and godliness is not a new law, nor are the vanity and short duration of this world preached here for the first time. But spiritual truths have to be renewed and reiterated again and again.
No Book of Abraham has come down to us. But the Old Testament recognises that Abraham was a prophet (Gen. xx. 7). There is a book in Greek, which has been translated by Mr. G.H. Box, called the Testament of Abraham (published by the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, London, 1927). It seems to be a Greek translation of a Hebrew original. The Greek Text was probably written in the second Christian century, in Egypt, but in its present form it probably goes back only to the 9th or 10th Century. It was popular among the Christians. Perhaps the Jewish Midrash also refers to a Testament of Abraham.
The original Revelation of Moses, of which the Present Pentateuch is a surviving recension. See Appendix 11, The present Gospels do not come under the definition of the "earliest" Books. Nor could they be called "Books of Jesus': they were written not by him, but about him, and long after his death.