Surah Mulk | Verse #3

Preparing for the Grave: Arabic Analysis and Memorization of Surah Mulk | Verse 3

By Khadija R.

الَّذي خَلَقَ سَبعَ سَماواتٍ طِباقًا ۖ ما تَرىٰ في خَلقِ الرَّحمٰنِ مِن تَفاوُتٍ ۖ فَارجِعِ البَصَرَ هَل تَرىٰ مِن فُطورٍ
[And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks?

(Can you see any breaks) means, `do you see any defects O Son of Adam (mankind)’ in reference to Allah’s statement, (then look again and yet again). Your sight will return to you خَاسِئًا. Ibn `Abbas said that خَاسِئًا means humiliated and your sight will be exhausted due to the inability to see any flaw or defect (in Allah’s creation), and feeble due to the great amount of repeated looking without being able to detect any deficiency [Tafsir Ibn Kathir].

In this class, we learned about two words that both translate to mean ‘seeing/to see’. One word نظر means to look, observe, consider, to pay attention to; basically to look at the surface of something. The other word, بصر also means to look, but it has a deeper connotation of looking. This kind of looking means to have a deep understanding, to comprehend, to ponder. بصر is a type of looking that is connected the قلب (heart). It means seeing/looking by comprehending and actually absorbing the information.

In Surah Yunus, Verse 43, there is an example using both these words:
وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَنظُرُ إِلَيْكَ ۚ أَفَأَنتَ تَهْدِي الْعُمْيَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا لَا يُبْصِرُونَ
“And among them are those who look at you. But can you guide the blind although they will not [attempt to] see?“

They are not actually blind, they are literally looking at the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, but they cannot see (بصر) the truth or the message that he صلى الله عليه وسلم has come with.

In this verse, we are challenged to look at the sky to find any flaws, breaks, or disunion. Even if you earnestly searched the skies for flaws, your sight would return to you, fatigued, unable to. When you look at the heavens and cannot find any fault or rifts, your eyesight returns to you, and your intellect confirms this is from the Creator. As a result, فَارجِعِ, you are left in a state of submissiveness.

These are obvious signs from our Creator that we are meant to ponder over and utilize to make our Imaan stronger. Allah says in the third Chapter of the Qur’an: “Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.” [Surat ‘Ali ‘Imrān: 90]

— Side Note —
هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ
“He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days…” [Surat Al-Hadid: Verse 4]

Allah has the ability to create things easily, but He took six days to create the heavens and the earth. One interpretation from the Mufasiroon (explainers of the Qur’an) is to show mankind that things are done in steps and it takes time. Seeking knowledge, memorizing, learning, takes time, years and years.

There was a story of a famous scholar of the past who was seeking knowledge but eventually the revising, memorizing, the learning became too much. He kept trying and trying but it was too difficult upon him so he gave up. Then one day he was walking and saw a rock; he saw water was dripping on it little by little. It had created a dent in the rock. These little drops of water for years and years created a dent in the rock.

He said, “indeed this water is not heavier than knowledge, and my heart is not harder than this rock”. So he continued seeking knowledge until he became a major scholar of Islam.

Moral of the story: if you want to be successful, you have to continue and strive daily. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The best of deeds are those done consistently, even if they are a few.” Being successful takes time, it takes a lifetime of consistency.

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