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jello
02-12-2006, 09:55 AM
Salam Alaykum,

I would like to ask about Ayah 35:41, which reads:

It is Allah Who sustains the heavens and the earth, lest they cease (to function): and if they should fail, there is none - not one - can sustain them thereafter: Verily He is Most Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.

I have seen that the important commentaries took this to mean that Allah kept the heavens and the earth from moving from thier places. I would like to know whether there is some other explanation that has been provided by Muslim scholars of this Ayah through the centuries.
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Ansar Al-'Adl
02-12-2006, 04:45 PM
:sl: jello,

I think I have explained elsewhere on this forum that this verse indicates that Allah swt holds the heavens and the earth through the gravitational attraction which acts as a centripetal force holding the earth in orbit. This is mentioned in a number of commentaries. From Muhammad Asad:
Verily, it is God [alone] who upholds the celestial bodies [Lit., “the heavens”- in this case apparently a metonym for all the stars, galaxies, nebulae, etc., which traverse the cosmic spaces in obedience to a most intricate system of God-willed laws, of which the law of gravity, perhaps most obvious to man, is but one.] and the earth, lest they deviate [from their orbits] - for if they should ever deviate, there is none that could uphold them after He will have ceased to do so. [Lit., “after Him”. This seems to be an allusion to the Last Hour, which, according to the Quran, will be heralded by a cosmic catastrophe.] (Asad, The Message of The Quran)
Shabbir Ahmad Usmani writes in his tafsir:
It is only the hand of His power that does not allow such tremendous and formidable spheroids to slip away from their centre and escape from their place and system. And if, suppose, these bodies remove from their orbits then whose power beside God is there to hold them up? So in Qeyamat when God shall disorder the whole system, no power shall be able to check it. (Usmani, Tafseer-E-Usmani, vol. 3, p. 1912)
Mufti Muhammad Shafi writes in his renowned Ma'ariful Qur'an:
In the expression: (Undoubtedly Allah holds back the heavens and the earth -35:41), the 'holding' of the heavens or the skies does not mean that their movement was stopped. Instead, it means holding them from moving askance - as the word: (an tazula: from leaving their existing state,) bears it out. Therefore, in this verse, there exists no supporting evidence on either side as to the skies move or they are static. (Shafi, Ma'ariful Qur'an, vol. 7 p. 357)
:w:
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jello
02-12-2006, 05:16 PM
:sl:

May I know where I can get this tafseers. or are they only in Urdu? (from what I have searched, they see, to be only in Urdu online).

Anyway, is there any detailed explanation as to why the Arabic words do not point to Allah keeping the earth still, but it means continuation in the orderly motion ???
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Ansar Al-'Adl
02-12-2006, 07:13 PM
:sl:
Originally Posted by jello
May I know where I can get this tafseers. or are they only in Urdu? (from what I have searched, they see, to be only in Urdu online).
The latter two can be found in english in the form of books, and the first commentary by Muhammad Asad is in english as well.
Anyway, is there any detailed explanation as to why the Arabic words do not point to Allah keeping the earth still, but it means continuation in the orderly motion ???
The first word is yumsik which simply means to hold. And the word tazula means to deviate or collapse or fall into disarray.

:w:
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