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وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَٰئِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي ٱلأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً قَالُواْ أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ ٱلدِّمَآءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ قَالَ إِنِّيۤ أَعْلَمُ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
-Al-Baqarah ( البقرة )

Kashani Tafsir

And when your Lord said to the angels: idh ('when') refers to an endless duration that is from pre-eternity to sempiternity; the 'saying' is the casting of the meaning of the connectedness of God's will to the existentiation of Adam onto the holy essences of the realm of divine power, namely the angels brought near and the disengaged spirits and those [spirits] of the angelic realm constituting the heavenly souls. For everything that occurs in the world of engendered things has a form before becoming engendered in the world of the spirit which is the world of the pre-decree, followed by the world of the heart which is the heart of the world known as the Preserved Tablet, followed by the world of the soul, namely, the soul of the world that is the Tablet of 'effacement and fixing' [cf. Q. 13:39] expressed as the heaven of this world (samāÌ al-dunyā) in the revelation, as God says: And there is not a thing but that the stores thereof are with Us, and We do not send it down except in a known measure [Q. 15:21]. That then is His saying to the angels: 'I am appointing on earth a vicegerent': consider in yourself your state, for all that manifests itself upon your limbs, which constitute your engendered world and the world of your witnessing, in the way of words and deeds exists within your spirit which is hidden beyond your unseen and in the unseen of your unseen then in your soul which is the closest unseen to you and your heaven of this world before it becomes manifest upon your limbs; 'to appoint' is more general than origination and engenderment. He did not say 'I am creating' because man is a composite of both worlds. A viceregent that will assume My character traits and My descriptions and execute My command and rule My creatures and manage their affair, keeping their laws in check, summoning them to obedience of Me. The disapproval of the angels when they said: 'What, will You appoint therein one who will do corruption therein and shed blood, and their intimation of the priority that they enjoy by saying: while we glorify You with praise and sanctify You?', is their being veiled from the manifestation of the inner meaning of divinity and the lordly descriptions in him [sc. Adam], which are among the specific qualities of the social condition and the composition that subsumes both worlds and restricts what is in both engendered things, and it is their knowledge of the fact that there will ensue bestial acts, such as the working of corruption in the earth, and [acts of] predation expressed in the 'shedding of blood', both of which are specific qualities of the power of passion and anger whose existence is necessary given the attachment of the spirit to the body; and [their knowledge] that the purity of their essences and the sanctity of their souls [makes them] above such [acts]. For every class of the holy angels has an insight into what [class] is below them and into their souls, but no insight into what [class] is above them. They are aware that since the upper luminous spirit is attached to the lower dark body there must be an intermediary that corresponds to the spirit on the one hand and to the body on the other, and that is the soul, the refuge for all evil and the source of all corruption; but they are not aware of the fact that the all-comprehensiveness of humankind attracts the divine light, itself a mystery. [He said,] 'Assuredly, I know what you know not'. The difference between glorification (tasbīḥ) and sanctification (taqdīs) is that to glorify is to exalt [God] above the association of partner and incapacity and deficiency, while to sanctify is to exalt [God] above any attachment to locus or submission to receptivity or the blemishes of possibility as well as multiplicity of His Essence and attributes, or that any of His perfections should be [merely] potential [as opposed to actual]. Thus sanctification is more specific [than glorification], for every thing that is sanctified is [necessarily] glorified, but not every glorified thing is [necessarily] sanctified. For the angels brought near who are the disengaged spirits by their very disengagement [from substrata] and their not being veiled from the light of their Lord and their overpowering of those below them by their effusion of light upon them and their effect upon others and because all of their perfections are actual, they are the sanctifiers. The other heavenly and earthly angels are glorifiers on account of the simplicity of their essences and the specific qualities of their acts and their perfections.