Chapter Two: The Cow (Al Baqara)
Verse 29..........Part 2 (Special Session: Allah)
Chapter 2, Verse 29
Special Session: Allah
It was He who created all that is on the earth for you, then turned to the sky and made the seven heavens; it is He who has knowledge of all things (Chapter 2: Verse 29).
In this session, we will focus on the phrase 'then He turned to the sky'. Whenever you read or you come across one of God actions or attributes, you should always take it within the context of the following verse: God says:
There is nothing whatever like Him. (42:11)
When matters are related to God’s Being, always keep in mind, that nothing is like Him. For example, you may physically turn to face the sky, or you may direct your attention to the sky, but when you read the verse relating to Allah turning to the sky, you must know that God's action is nothing similar to yours or to any other creations.
Let's look at this point in more detail. God is alive, and you are alive. Is your life similar to His? God has knowledge and so do you, but is your knowledge like His? God is capable and you are capable. Does your ability resemble that of God's? Of course not! Hence, when you recite the words such as 'He turned to the sky' or'The East and the West belong to God: wherever you turn, there is His Face.'do not regard them with your logic and worldly understanding, rather, always remember the verse 'There is nothing whatever like Him'.
The human mind, even our collective knowledge as a species, can never understand, or encompass the reality related to God’s Being. Therefore, we take verses of the Quran such as ‘He turned to the sky’, or 'Indeed those who swear allegiance to you, swear allegiance only to Allah: the hand of Allah is above their hands.'exactly as God intended. We take the prophet's narrations that are related to God's being and actions exactly as God intended. In each of these instances, were the matter is above our comprehension, take a moment to stop and say ‘glorified be God, there is nothing like Him'.
Another issue to consider is God’s attributes. Attributes such as the most merciful, the creator, the generous, the truth and many more. These are attributes of perfection that are ever present and never change. In other words, these attributes existed before whatever is related to them came into existence. Let's clarify this point with a few examples. Allah is the provider, and always has been. This is true even before the existence of those to whom He gives provisions for. If God had not been a provider then how was He able to provide for the first creation? Similarly, Allah is the most merciful even before any creation was present to receive this mercy. He Almighty created this universe with the perfection of all His attributes, and these attributes will remain long after all creation ceases to exist. Most importantly, the attribute of oneness and the attribute of lordship were ever present even before Allah created those who worship Him. God says:
God bears witness that there is no god but Him, as do the angels and those who have knowledge. He upholds justice. There is no god but Him, the Almighty, the All Wise.(3:18)
Allah testified that there is no deity except Him before any other creation witnessed the Oneness of His Divinity. He testified to His oneness before He created the angels and before He created those who have true Knowledge. Thus, the testimony in the verse: 'God bears witness that there is no god but Him'is the strongest of testimonies and the pure essence of monotheism. Allah is in no need for the testimony of humans, angles or any other beings.
At the end of the verse and after talking about the creation of earth and the heavens, God says: 'it is He who has knowledge of all things.' The phrase 'all things' means thatnot even a single atom from His dominion is out of His knowledge. The universe does not function without His permission or will. Allah is All-knowing of every particle on earth, every particle of life and all particles of the universe as the following verse illustrates:
'O my son, if it should be but the weight of one grain of mustard-seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens, or in the earth, God shall bring it forth; surely God is All-subtle, All-aware. (31:16)
God's perfect knowledge of all that is within the heavens and the earth including each and every atom and particle, extends into the infinite future. He knows what will become of these things till the end of time. Moreover, God Almighty knows the unseen of the heavens and the earth and what will become of them until the day of resurrection. Allah says:
There is nothing whatever like Him. (42:11)