“And We have not created the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose!” : Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah the Exalted says in His Book in surah saad:

وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاءَ وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا بَاطِلًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ظَنُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا ۚ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُ‌وا مِنَ النَّارِ‌ * أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَالْمُفْسِدِينَ فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الْمُتَّقِينَ كَالْفُجَّارِ‌ * كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَ‌كٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُ‌وا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ‌ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

And We have not created the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose! That is the thought of those who disbelieve! So woe to those who disbelieve on account of the Fire! * Shall We treat those who believe and do good works as those who spread corruption in the earth; or shall We treat the pious as the wicked? * [This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded. [38:27-29]

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote about these ayaat:

يخبر تعالى عن تمام حكمته في خلقه السماوات والأرض، وأنه لم يخلقهما باطلا، أي‏:‏ عبثا ولعبا من غير فائدة ولا مصلحة‏.‏

Allah the Exalted informs us of the completeness of His wisdom in creating the heavens and the earth, and that these were not created without purpose – meaning in vain or as an amusement without any benefit or objective.

‏{‏ذَلِكَ ظَنُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا‏}‏ بربهم، حيث ظنوا ما لا يليق بجلاله‏.‏ ‏{‏فَوَيْلٌ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنَ النَّارِ‏}‏ فإنها التي تأخذ الحق منهم، وتبلغ منهم كل مبلغ‏.‏

That is the thought of those who disbelieve!” in their Lord, since they think that they will not meet Him. “So woe to those who disbelieve on account of the Fire!” for certainly that will be justified upon them, and each one will be taken to account.

وإنما خلق اللّه السماوات والأرض بالحق وللحق، فخلقهما ليعلم العباد كمال علمه وقدرته وسعة سلطانه، وأنه تعالى وحده المعبود، دون من لم يخلق مثقال ذرة من السماوات والأرض، وأن البعث حق، وسيفصل اللّه بين أهل الخير والشر‏.‏

Allah only created the heavens and the earth in truth and for truth, for He created them in order that the slaves may know the complete perfection of His Actions and His Power and the vast extent of His Authority. For verily He alone is worthy of worship, in exclusion of those who never created a speck of the heavens and earth, and [in order to] raise up the truth, and for Allah to clearly distinguish between the people of good and evil.

ولا يظن الجاهل بحكمة اللّه أن يسوي اللّه بينهما في حكمه، ولهذا قال‏:‏ ‏{‏أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ كَالْمُفْسِدِينَ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الْمُتَّقِينَ كَالْفُجَّارِ‏}‏ هذا غير لائق بحكمتنا وحكمنا‏.‏

And the ignorant one does not consider the Wisdom of Allah that Allah made differences between them in His Decree. About this He said, “Shall We treat those who believe and do good works as those who spread corruption in the earth; or shall We treat the pious as the wicked?” This is not befitting of Our Wisdom and Decree.

‏{‏كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ‏}‏ فيه خير كثير، وعلم غزير، فيه كل هدى من ضلالة، وشفاء من داء، ونور يستضاء به في الظلمات، وكل حكم يحتاج إليه المكلفون، وفيه من الأدلة القطعية على كل مطلوب، ما كان به أجل كتاب طرق العالم منذ أنشأه اللّه‏.‏

[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you” in which there is an abundance of good, and copious knowledge, which contains all guidance from error, and cure from ailment, and light to shine in the darkness, and all the wisdom needed for those who are legally-responsible for upholding Allah’s legislation, and in which there is the definitive proof for every objective, all these things as a universal guide book ever since Allah created it.

‏{‏لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ هذه الحكمة من إنزاله، ليتدبر الناس آياته، فيستخرجوا علمها ويتأملوا أسرارها وحكمها، فإنه بالتدبر فيه والتأمل لمعانيه، وإعادة الفكر فيها مرة بعد مرة، تدرك بركته وخيره، وهذا يدل على الحث على تدبر القرآن، وأنه من أفضل الأعمال، وأن القراءة المشتملة على التدبر أفضل من سرعة التلاوة التي لا يحصل بها هذا المقصود‏.‏

That they might reflect upon its verses” – meaning, this is the wisdom in the act of sending the revelation, that mankind might reflect upon its verses, so that they will extract its knowledge and contemplate its secrets and wisdom. For in reflection there is certainly contemplation of its meanings, and rethinking it time and time again, seeking its blessing and good. This demonstrates the encouragement to reflect on the Qur’an, and certainly this is one of the most virtuous actions, and that recitation which includes reflection is more virtuous than a speedy recitation which does not include that.

‏{‏وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ أولو العقول الصحيحة، يتذكرون بتدبرهم لها كل علم ومطلوب، فدل هذا على أنه بحسب لب الإنسان وعقله يحصل له التذكر والانتفاع بهذا الكتاب‏.‏

And that those of understanding would be reminded” – meaning, those of sound intellect, that they would ponder [it] upon being reminded of it, and this demonstrates that this is according to the human heart and mind which brings with it remembrance and and benefit from this Book.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 837]

See also: “If the Truth had followed their desires…”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: “And for that He created them…”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi

See also: Which is more virtuous: reading a small amount of the Qur’an with tarteel and contemplation, or a large amount quickly? – Ibn al-Qayyim

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4 thoughts on ““And We have not created the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose!” : Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: The purpose of Allah’s creation: Imam al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “If the Truth had followed their desires…”: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: “O mankind, you are in need of Allah”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: The Deen is Built on Two Foundations: Dhikr and Shukr – Ibn al-Qayyim | Tulayhah

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