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Offline Reader Questions

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Trust to the Heavens, Earth and Mountains
« on: November 12, 2011, 11:01:07 PM »
Please can you explain the following verse:

"We have offered the responsibility (freedom of choice) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it. But the human being accepted it; he was transgressing, ignorant." 33:72

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Trust to the Heavens, Earth and Mountains
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2011, 11:03:02 PM »
As-salamu alaykum

With regards 33:72, a trust 'amana' carries a huge amount of responsibility as it has inherent power to exercise authority. This trust is also linked in my opinion to man's vicegerancy on Earth (2:30). Man was given 'responsibilities' on Earth and volition to exercise analogous to a caretaker. He has also been expected to recognise his Creator and to worship Him. This is possibly what prompted the question posed by the angels "Will you place in it one that will spread corruption and will shed blood while we glorify You with Your praises and we sanctify You?" (2:30)

However, other creations of God have also been mentioned with no such power of volition or vicegerancy such as other celestial objects, sun, moon, other stars etc (i.e. Heavens) along with the earth and the mountains which simply run their course. The hypothetical is used 'but they refused' to signify that God may have offered His other creation such power of authority but their response in the negation clearly implies that such creation were not ready to accept such a responsibility. This hypothetical is also picked up in verse 59:21 "Had We sent down this Quran on a mountain, verily, you would have seen it humble itself and cleave asunder for fear of God"

This clearly implies man accepted such a responsibility based on volition. This also goes back to the heart of the primordial contract in verse 7:172, where we were asked at the point when we were brought forth from our parents, '"Am I not your Lord (who cherishes and sustains you)?"- They said: "Yes! We do testify!" (This), less you should say on the Day of Judgment: "Of this we were never mindful"

Man being foolish / ignorant (jahil) or unjust (zalim) signifies that to take on such authoritative responsibilities demands a huge undertaking and answerability which man may not have fully considered and in that sense may have also remained unjust to himself. However God's mercy would see continuous guidance in the form of Prophets and messengers to be sent to mankind to keep them in obeisance to God's laws (7:35)

[man = mankind / humans]

I hope this helps.

Your brother,
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell