Boreal

Getting to Know Allah

Allah's Bounties

The Prophet said that surah 55, The All Compassionate, was "the adornment of the Qur'an". This is why the surah is often referred to as "The Beauty of the Qur'an".

As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or perhaps, in this case, the eye of the believer.

THE ALL-COMPASSIONATE

55 Ar-Rahmân

In the Name of Allah,

the Compassionate, the Merciful

55:1 The Compassionate,

55:2 Has taught the Qur’an.

55:3 He created man;

55:4 And taught him elocution.

55:5 The sun and the moon move according to a plan.

55:6 And the shrubs (or stars) and the trees prostrate themselves.

55:7 And the sky, He raised and He set up the balance;

55:8 That you may not transgress in the balance.

55:9 Conduct your weighing with equity and do not stint the balance.

55:10 And the earth, He set up for all mankind.

55:11 In it are fruit and palm trees in buds;

55:12 And grain in blades and fragrant plants.

Part of the attraction of surah 55 has to be the refrain which we first encounter at revelation 55:13:

55:13 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you, both (jinn and humans) deny?

The Bounties are said to be Allah's Grace and Mercy. In surah 55, Allah repeatedly challenges the jinn and humans to deny His Bounties after enumerating one or more things He has done for them, or after, what you should have come to expect no matter what the topic, expounding on His own Magnificence.

Angels are strangely absent from the alleged most beautiful surah in the Koran; yet believing in angels is one of the six (or seven) Pillars of Faith.

The fact that the jinn is included in His challenge and not His angels should not come as a surprise. This pervasive and enigmatic creature of the Koran, is, after all, part of the Koran's trinity of intelligent beings (angels, jinn and humans).

The jinn’s importance in Allah’s revelations should have made it a shoo-in for what Muslims must believe to be considered a “Muslim”.

The jinn can be described as the ghosts of the Koran. Was believing in ghosts stretching credibility one belief too far for those who, early on, based on Allah’s revelations came up with the Pillars of Faith?

The genesis of both man and jinn is mentioned in many surahs, as they are in surah 55, a testament to their respective importance in the Koran.

55:14 He created man from hard clay, like bricks.

55:15 And He created the jinn from tongues of fire.

55:16 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

The question about which bounty is to be denied is addressed to both jinn and man, therefore, Allah bragging in revelation 55:17 about being "The Lord of the two Easts and the two Wests" may be a reference to the sunrise and the sunset in their respective spatial and/or temporal dimension.

55:17 The Lord of the two Easts and the two Wests.

55:18 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

Two revelations that, together, are held to be a miracle of the Koran; that Allah knew about the phenomenon (the barrier in revelation 55:20) where the water from one sea, as it merges with another sea, loses its distinctive characteristic e.g. salinity.

55:19 He unleashed the two seas so as to merge together.

55:20 Between them is a barrier which they do not overstep*.

55:21 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?


* This is a reference to salt and fresh water. Allah is probably referring to the Black Sea which is a fresh water sea whose waters flow into the salty Marmara Sea, then the Aegean and the Mediterranean. There is of course nothing to stop fresh water and salt water from mixing as it does in the Sea of Marmara leading to the sea being one third less salty than the oceans.

In another revelation about the two seas, Allah is unambiguous about what the barrier separates.

25:53 And it is He Who mixed the two sea, this one sweet and pure and that one salty and bitter; and He set up between them a barrier and a firm prohibition.

From the ostensibly profound to the patently obvious:

35:12 The two seas are not the same; one is sweet, clear and delectable to drink and the other is salty and bitter. Yet from both you eat tender flesh and extract ornaments which you wear, and you see ships cruising therein, that you may seek His bounty, and that perchance you may be thankful.


Yes, there is such a thing as fresh water coral and fresh water pearls.

55:22 From them both come out pearls and coral.

55:23 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

Desert nomads and merchants were obviously impressed by large seaworthy boats when their travels took them to the coast, for Allah to claim ownership.

55:24 To Him belong the seagoing ships towering upon the sea like mountains.

55:25 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

What did I say about Allah being unable to resist mentioning His Magnificence, even in the midst of chaos and death of which He is the author? I don’t see the beauty, or understand how maintaining Your composure while watching every part of Your creation perish, including every men, women and child can be construed as a Bounty.

55:26 Everyone upon it (the earth) is perishing;

55:27 But the Face of Your Lord, full of majesty and nobility, shall abide.

55:28 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

Allah is a busy god; which makes you wonder why, when everything is pre-ordained, He has such a hectic schedule.

55:29 Whatever is in the heavens or on the earth petitions Him, and every day he is attending to some new matter.

55:30 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and human) deny?

For Allah, the jinn are a race on an equal footing with the human race. Race, in the Koran, is based on the material used in the creation of the first progenitor.

55:31 We shall attend to you, O two races (Jinn and humans)?

55:32 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

It will definitely be easier for the jinn to accept Allah’s challenge in verse 55:33, as they are able to fly above the clouds all the way to the first level of heaven. But should they, or the “human folk” for that matter attempt to get into heaven without first getting an okay from Allah, they will be met with fire and melted brass (verse 55:35). Where is the beauty, or Bounty in that?

55:33 O jinn and human folk, if you can pass through the bounds of the heavens and the earth, pass through them. You will not pass through without some authority.

55:34 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

55:35 A flame of fire and brass will be loosed (sic) upon you, so that you will not receive any support.

55:36 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

Another favorite topic of Allah is Judgement Day, whatever is being revealed.

55:37 When the heaven shall be rent asunder and turned red like pigment.

55:38 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

55:39 On that day, none shall be questioned about his sin, whether a man or a jinn.

55:40 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

Another favorite topic of Allah is Hell, whatever is being revealed. Revelation 55:41 begs the question: how will bald forelockless (sic) criminals be manhandled into Hell?

55:41 The criminals shall be known by their marks; then they shall be seized by their forelocks and their feet.

55:42 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

55:43 This is Hell, which the criminals deny.

55:44 They circle between it and between a hot-water caldron.

55:45 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

Paradise is also a favorite topic of Allah, whatever is being revealed.

55:46 But, for him who fears his Lord two gardens [are reserved].

55:47 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

55:48 They have numerous branches.

55:49 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

55:50 And there are therein two flowing springs.

55:51 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

55:52 Therein is a pair of every fruit.

55:53 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

55:54 Reclining upon couches whose linings are of brocade and the fruits of the two gardens are near at hand.

55:55 So, which of your Lord's Bounties do you both (jinn and humans) deny?

The remaining revelations (55-56:78) in the surah The Compassionate can be found in The Islamic Hereafter in the chapter Heaven which is all about Allah’s hedonistic utopia in the sky.