April 11, 2021

Islamic Web Library

An Islamic Resource Center

All who are in the Heaven and Earth Prostrate to Allah

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Quran 22:18:

Have you not seen that all those who are in the heavens and all those who are in the earth prostrate themselves before Allah; 31 and so do the sun and the moon, and the stars and the mountains, and the trees, and the beasts, and so do many human beings,32 and even many of those who are condemned to chastisement? And he whom Allah humiliates, none can give him honour. Allah does whatever He wills.

The following interpretation of this verse is taken from Tafhim ul Quran under the notes of the above verse:

Note 30:

“Their shadows” in the sense that they fall to the west in the morning and to the cast in the evening and so on. This shows that they, too, have to submit to some law.

Note 31:

That is, “Angels, stars, planets, etc. and all the creation that exists in other parts of the universe, whether it is rational and possesses freedom of will and choice like man, or irrational like animals, vegetation, solid matter, air and light.

Note 32:

That is, “A large number of the people bow down before Allah not by compulsion but willingly. On the other hand, there are many other people who bow down before Him under compulsion along with everything else in the universe, but they deserve punishment because they refuse to obey Allah in those spheres of life in which they have the choice to obey or not to obey.

Note 35:

Here it is obligatory to perform a sajdah (prostration), which is agreed upon by all Jurists.

Quran 16:48-50:

Have they not considered what things Allah has created? Their shadows incline to the right and to the left, prostrating to Allah , while they are humble. (Note 55) And to Allah prostrates whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth of creatures, and the angels [as well], and they are not arrogant. (Note 56)They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded. (Note 57)

The following excerpt is taken from “The Message of the Quran” by Muhammad Asad pg. 508:

Note 55:

55 Lit., “and they are utterly lowly” or “submissive”. The “prostration” referred to in this and
the next verse is obviously a symbolism expressing the intrinsic subjection of all created beings
and things to God’s will

Note 56:

56 I.e., the lowest as well as the highest. The term dabbah denotes any sentient, corporeal being
capable of spontaneous movement, and is contrasted here with the non-corporeal, spiritual
beings
designated as “angels” (Razi)

Note 57:

I.e., they must, by virtue of their nature, obey the impulses implanted in them by God and are,
therefore, incapable of what is described as “sinning”. Man, however, is fundamentally different
in this respect. In contrast with the natural sinlessness of “every beast that moves, and the
angels”,
man is endowed with free will in the moral sense of this term: he can choose between right and
wrong and therefore he can, and often does, sin. But even while he sins he is subject to the
universal
law of cause and effect instituted by God and referred to in the Qur’an as sunnat Allah (“God’s
way”): hence the Qur’anic statement that “before God prostrate themselves, willingly or
unwillingly,
all [things and beings] that are in the heavens and on earth”

References:

Asad, Muhammad (1980). The Message of the Quran. http://www.islamicweblibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/55877864-54484011-Message-of-Quran-Muhammad-Asad-Islam-Translation.pdf

Moududi, Abu Ala. Tafhim ul Quran. https://www.englishtafsir.com/

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