The following excerpt is take from “Tafsir Ibn Kathir” surah 6 verse 165:
The following is taken from “The Scientific Tafsir of Zakaria Kamal” part 1 of 3 pg. 209-212
Behold, thy Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I am going to
place in a land (ardi) a vicegerent.”
They said, “Will You place therein one who will
make mischief therein and shed blood, while we do celebrate
Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?” He said, “I know
what you know not.”
And He taught Adam all the names; then He placed
them before the angels and said, “Tell me the names of these
if you are right.” They said, “Glory to You, of knowledge we
have none, save what You have taught us. In truth, it is You
Who is perfect in knowledge and wisdom.”
He said, “O Adam! Tell them their names.”
When he had told them their names, Allah said, “Did
I not tell you that I know the secrets of the Sky and Land, and
I know what you reveal and what you conceal?”
The above Verses highlight two points:
Allah created humans as His vicegerents.
Humans are learning creatures.
Allah created humans as His vicegerents
The Verses highlight the purpose of creating human
beings. They are vicegerents of God on the Lands.
The lands are scattered throughout the
universes. If the planet Earth is a land, then the planet
Mars too is a land. There are lands (planets) in every
galaxy of the Samawaat (this universe). And, there are
lands (planets) in the Jannaat (another universe).
If I am a Vicegerent of Allah on a land, then
all the creatures, living on the land, should obey my
orders. Disobeying my order should mean disobeying the order of Allah. But elephants, lions, tigers, birds, etc., do not obey my command!
It is because, humans are not yet appointed as
the Vicegerents of God; they are under test. After the
Final Judgment, humans will be sent into the lands
scattered in the universes (Samawaat and Jannaat) as
responsible Vicegerents of God.
A human in the Jannaat (another universe)
will be duly empowered. The poorest in the Jannaat
will get a land, ten times bigger than the Earth—it
may be a planet of the Jannaat. All creatures of his
land will obey his commands; the trees will lean to
present their fruits; the rivers will shift their courses
Humans are Learning Creatures
What makes Adam and his children suitable
Vicegerents of God?
It is their ability to learn after birth. It is a
unique quality of a human.
What is “learning after birth”?
All animals are taught in the eggs or in the
mother’s wombs genetically. Their brains are
programmed by birth with the knowledge they need. All animals have particular living traits. They are not taught those by their parents—they know those by birth.
A baby monkey knows by birth how to hang
in mother’s belly. But a human baby cannot grasp
A cow knows by birth how to walk? But a
human child needs a year to learn walking.
How they can do it?
When they develop in eggs or wombs, their
genome codes design their brains to know all they
need to know. They are physically designed to do what they need to do. But, after they are born, they cannot learn anything new—their brains and bodies are programmed and fixed.
Here a human differs. While growing in the
mother’s womb, at a particular stage, his / her brain
denies to learn from the genes. Therefore, at the time
of birth, a human baby knows nothing. He does not
know how to walk, or how to sit.
A human baby starts learning after birth.
Therefore, the process of learning remains active
throughout his life. This is why humans have
developed so much. They have reached the Moon,
whereas the chimpanzees are still in the trees.
Parts of human brain (reptilian part mainly),
which run the organs, such as lungs, heart, kidney,
etc., are genetically programmed, and parts are like
The creation of leaning brain was a great
advancement. Allah made it for humans and proudly
showed it to the angels saying: “Did I not tell you that
I know the secrets of the Sky and Land…?”
An angel too is created with the knowledge he
needs. His brain is programmed by origin. He cannot
learn a new thing. So, they could not learn the names,
but Adam could learn.
Kamal, Zakaria. (2020). Scientific Tafsir of the Quran. (pg. 209-212). https://www.alqurantafsir.com/
Kathir, Ibn. Tafsir Ibn Kathir. (surah 6 p. 316-320). http://www.islamicweblibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/khalifah.pdf