Commentary of: “Wa bi ‘izzatika’llati la yaqawm laha shay”
وَبِعِزَّتِكَ الَّتِى لا يَقُومُ لَهَا شَيْءٌ
(I ask You) by Your Might, which nothing can resist.
Allah has created everything by His Strength, and encompassed them with His Mercy. Everything shows humbleness and humility before Him. He has compensated all shortcomings by His Invincibility. How can anything, in whatever position it may be, resist His Might?
All inhabitants from the heavens and the earth, and from the hidden to the visible beings are but rays of His enlightening Might. The creatures are only shadows of His Essence, so how they can resist His eternal Might and infinite Strength.
The Arabic word “عزة”, which means strength, exists in all the creatures, as part of Allah’s holy Strength. The glimmer of a small light is far inferior from the rays of an infinite and eternal source of an Illuminating Light!
فَلِلَّهِ الْعِزَّةُ جَمِيعًا.
To Allah belong all glory and power. (35:10)
Based on this holy Qur’anic verse, All the power is belonged to Allah. He grants power to anyone He wills, according to his/her capacity. He does not grant power to anyone he does not like, and regains power from anyone He wills. Therefore, no authority is independent of Him and no one can resist His Power. He is the Undefeated Might.
Commentary of: “Wa bi ‘azhamatika’llati mala’t kulla shay”
وَبِعَظَمَتِكَ الَّتِى مَلَأَتْ كُلَّ شَيٍْء
(I ask You) by Your Greatness, which has filled all things.
Knowing the Actor by His Act
It is conceivable that to some extent, the position and rank of an actor can be realized through his act. An engineer, who builds a 110-story skyscraper, is probably a skillful and intelligent person.
A distinguished author, like Sadr Al-Muta’ahhilin, who have written some invaluable books such as “Asfar”, “Arshiya”, “Hikmat Muta’aliya”, “Asrar Al-Ayat”, demonstrates a great mentality and high intellect in his writings.
We recognize the skill of an inventor of an electric factory through his accurate job of illuminating the dark nights to become as bright as the days.
The Almighty’s greatness is in His Preexistence, Eternity and Infinity. But His greatness is not easily recognizable for us. Yet, we can observe rays of His Greatness by pondering on the world, the creatures, and the magnitude of creation, since His greatness is contained in everything.
We mention just two traditions and a scientific fact in order to clarify our point.
Creation of Various Worlds
The great scholar, Sayyid Hiybat Al-Din Shahristani, in his singular book “Islam wa Hiy’at” (Islam and Astronomy) has narrated from “Khisal” of Saduq, “Bihar al-Anwar” of Allamiyi Majlisi, “Anwar Nu’maniyya”, “Sharh Sahifa”, and “Tafsiri Nur Al-Thaqalayn” a tradition by Imam Sadiq (as), with a strong citation:
إنَّ للهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ اثْنَي عَشَرَ ألفِ عالَمٍ؛ كُلُّ عالَمٍ مِنْهُمْ أكْبَرُ مِنْ سَبْعِ سَمَاواتٍ وَسَبْعِ أرَضينَ، ما يُرَى عالَمٌ مِنْهُم أنَّ للهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عالَماً غَيْرَهُمْ.
The Almighty has created twelve thousand worlds, each of which is larger than all the heavens and the earth, and none of them is cognizant of the worlds outside its world!1
The contemporary astrologers believe that the living world is composed of thousands of worlds, each of which contains heavens and the earths larger than our world’s.2
By referring to numbers, the Holy Qur’an and the traditions do not intend to show the exact record or extent of things, but rather to illustrate their enormity. We should not, therefore, consider the number of the worlds as twelve thousand. The number of the worlds is far beyond what is mentioned in the holy Qur’an, the traditions, and the astrological books.
Hanging Lanterns in the Heaven and the Solar System
In his “Sharh Sahifa”, Sayyid Ni’mat Allah Jazayiri has narrated from the Prophet (S) and the infallible Imams (as) that Allah has created a hundred thousand lanterns, hanging them from the sky. Allah has placed all the heavens and the earth and the things inside them in one of these lanterns, and only He knows about what is inside the other lanterns!
Allama Shahristani, in the exigency of this fascinating tradition says that there are similarities between lanterns and the solar system:
First, a lantern is oval is shape, and according to contemporary scientists the solar system has an oval shape too.
Second, a lantern contains an object at its center that spreads light and heat, and the scientists believe that the solar system too has the sun at its heart, scattering out light and heat to the surrounding planets.
Thirdly, a lantern is floating in the air, not fixed to a wall or an object, just like our solar system which is floating in space, too.
Fourth, the illuminating object of a lantern is not exactly at its center and is leans closer to one side; the sun, too, is not at the exact center of the solar system.
Considering these resemblances, the correspondence of this tradition to the modern astrological basics and its disagreement with the old philosophy has become clear and proven. Therefore, this tradition explicitly proves the existence of thousands of worlds and solar systems, each containing separate planets, moons, suns, earths, heavens and hells, and that each of the worlds inside the lanterns is as large as a solar system and as vast as the heavens and the earth!3
Suns, the Countless Stars
In the beginning of the twentieth century, people were amazed to here that our galaxy, which is clearly observable at night, has thirty million sun. But today, it has been proved that there are ten thousand million suns, that too, only in our galaxy.
When we look at the night sky without a telescope it seems small and insignificant and not as glorious as the massive clouds on a winter day. But when viewed by a large modern telescope like the one at “Wilson” or “Palumer” observatories, the greatness of this galaxy becomes observable.
The suns are positioned so compactly in our galaxy that counting them in order to determine an exact number is not possible. No scientist has yet determined the exact number of suns in the galaxy. They can only estimate a ten thousand million number by considering a limited part of it, counting its suns, and then generalizing the number to the whole system!
The total number of the suns is presumably more than this because they are so condensed that some conceal others, making them indiscernible. Among the suns of our galaxy there are some suns that are ten million times of our sun! Sometimes the galaxies are two million light years apart from each other.
Today’s greatest telescope at the Palumar Mountain in America can observe galaxies at the distance of a thousand million light years. But occasionally some lights glitter beyond this distance that show scientists other galaxies exist, too!
The sun of the solar system weighs two billion tons and our galaxy, which is only a small corner of the great world, weighs approximately 165 thousand million times the weight of sun! Though there are so many objects scattered in the world, it is mostly empty, with so many vacancies in between!4
All this is but a small perspective of the huge world, observed by our limited telescopes. By studying these numbers and statistics that depict a very narrow view of our world, its size, depth and breadth, we can imagine the Greatness of Allah; a Greatness that is infinite and is contained in everything.
This huge world is Allah’s artwork; His factory and His book. By viewing Allah’s work, His Greatness is observable which makes us call out:
اَللهُ اَكْبَرُ مِنْ اَنْ يُوصَفَ.
Allah is Exalted above what he is described.5
The most animated describers are incapable of describing Him, the most eloquent tongues are unable to express Him, and the most powerful thoughts cannot realize even a part of His Greatness!
In accord with our own understanding, we can only say the same thing our Prophet has taught us:
مَا عَرَفْنَاكَ حَقَّ مَعْرِفَتِكَ
We cannot appreciate Your due Greatness.6
Bihar al-Anwar: 54/320, bab 2, tradition 2.
61, tradition 1.