Surah Ar-Ra'd: Verse 3 - وهو الذي مد الأرض وجعل... - English

Tafsir of Verse 3, Surah Ar-Ra'd

وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى مَدَّ ٱلْأَرْضَ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَٰسِىَ وَأَنْهَٰرًا ۖ وَمِن كُلِّ ٱلثَّمَرَٰتِ جَعَلَ فِيهَا زَوْجَيْنِ ٱثْنَيْنِ ۖ يُغْشِى ٱلَّيْلَ ٱلنَّهَارَ ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَءَايَٰتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

English Translation

And it is He who spread the earth and placed therein firmly set mountains and rivers; and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.

English Transliteration

Wahuwa allathee madda alarda wajaAAala feeha rawasiya waanharan wamin kulli alththamarati jaAAala feeha zawjayni ithnayni yughshee allayla alnnahara inna fee thalika laayatin liqawmin yatafakkaroona

Tafsir of Verse 3

It is He who stretched out the earth and set therein firm mountains and rivers, and of every fruit He placed there two kinds, covering the day with the night. Surely in that are signs for a people who reflect.

And it is He who spread out the earth, and set thereon mountains standing firm and (flowing) rivers: and fruit of every kind He made in pairs, two and two: He draweth the night as a veil o'er the Day. Behold, verily in these things there are signs for those who consider!

In the next verse (3), it was said:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي مَدَّ الْأَرْ‌ضَ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَ‌وَاسِيَ وَأَنْهَارً‌ا

And He is the One who spread out the earth and made mountains and rivers therein.

The expression: 'spread out the earth' is not contradictory of its being round - because each part of something very big and round appears to be, when looked at separately, nothing but a surface spread out - and the Qur’ an addresses common people in terms of their view of things. Since a common onlooker sees it as a spread-out surface, therefore, it was identified as such. Then, to keep it balanced and make it full of other benefits, high and heavy mountains were placed on it. Besides providing weight and balance, these mountains store and supply water for the whole creation. To accomplish this, an unimaginably big storage of water is placed on their peaks in the form of a frozen sea. This snow has no re-servoir and certainly needs no monolithic structures, overhead or under-ground, to hold this supply of water. And the water thus stored cannot go bad or made impure. Then, nature has its own pipelines under the ground through which water is distributed all over the world. Some-where they show up in the form of rivers flowing freely along with their tributaries; and at other places, wells are dug to tap water from these hidden pipelines.

In the next sentence of verse 3, it was said: وَمِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَ‌اتِ جَعَلَ فِيهَا زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْن (and of all the fruits, He created therein the pairs of two). It means that Allah has created fruits of many kinds from this earth and made each one of two kinds: small and big, red, white, sweet and sour. It is also possible that the meaning of 'zawjayn' (pairs) is not restricted to only two. Instead, it may be referring to several kinds the least number of which is two, therefore, it was termed as 'the pairs of two.' And it is not so unlikely that 'pairs' refers to the male and female, as we know about many trees which have males and females, for example, the date-palm and the papayah. Possibility of this being the case with other trees as well does exist, though not yet proved by relevant research about all of them.

The next sentence of the verse declares: يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ (He makes the night cover the day). It means that He brings the night after the light of the day, as if something bright has been totally screened off from sight.

The last sentence of the verse: إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُ‌ونَ translated as 'surely, in that there are signs for a people who think,' means that there is no doubt about the fact that many signs of the most perfect power of Allah Ta’ ala are present all over for those who care to think about and deliberate in the arrangement and system of this whole universe.

Allah's Signs on the Earth

After Allah mentioned the higher worlds, He started asserting His power, wisdom and control over the lower parts of the world. Allah said,

وَهُوَ الَّذِى مَدَّ الاٌّرْضَ

(And it is He Who spread out the earth) made it spacious in length and width. Allah has placed on the earth firm mountains and made rivers, springs and water streams run through it, so that the various kinds of fruits and plants of every color, shape, taste and scent are watered with this water,

مِن كُلٍّ زَوْجَيْنِ اثْنَيْنِ

(and of every kind of fruit He made Zawjayn Ithnayn.), two types from every kind of fruit,

يُغْشِى الَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ

(He brings the night as a cover over the day.) Allah made the day and night pursue each other, when one is about to depart, the other overcomes it, and vice versa. Allah controls time just as He controls space and matter,

إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

(Verily, in these things, there are Ayat for people who reflect.) who reflect on Allah's signs and the evidences of His wisdom. Allah said,

وَفِى الاٌّرْضِ قِطَعٌ مُّتَجَـوِرَتٌ

(And in the earth are neighboring tracts, ) Meaning, next to each other, some of them are fertile and produce what benefits people, while others are dead, salty and do not produce anything. This meaning was collected from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak and several others. This also covers the various colors and types of diverse areas on the earth; some red, some white, or yellow, or black, some are stony, or flat, or sandy, or thick, or thin, all made to neighbor each other while preserving their own qualities. All this indicates the existence of the Creator Who does what He wills, there is no deity or lord except Him. Allah said next,

وَجَنَّـتٌ مِّنْ أَعْنَـبٍ وَزَرْعٌ وَنَخِيلٌ

(and gardens of vines, and green crops (fields), and date palms...) Allah's statement, next,

صِنْوَنٌ وَغَيْرُ صِنْوَنٍ

(Sinwanun wa (or) Ghayru Sinwan.) `Sinwan' means, growing into two or three from a single stem, such as figs, pomegranate and dates. `Ghayru Sinwan' means, having one stem for every tree, as is the case with most plants. From this meaning, the paternal uncle is called one's `Sinw' of his father. There is an authentic Hadith that states that the Messenger of Allah said to `Umar bin Al-Khattab,

«أَمَا شَعَرْتَ أَنَّ عَمَّ الرَّجُلِ صِنْوُ أَبِيه»

(Do you not know that man's paternal uncle is the Sinw of his father) Allah said next,

وَحِدٍ وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِى الاٍّكُلِ

(watered with the same water; yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat.) Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet commented on Allah's statement,

وَنُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِى الاٍّكُلِ

(yet some of them We make more excellent than others to eat.)

«الدَّقَلُ، وَالْفَارِسِيُّ، وَالْحُلْوُ، وَالْحَامِض»

(The Dagal, the Persian, the sweet, the bitter...") At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith and said, "Hasan Gharib." Therefore, there are differences between plants and fruits with regards to shape, color, taste, scent, blossoms and the shape of their leaves. There are plants that are very sweet or sour, bitter or mild, fresh; some plants have a combination of these attributes, and the taste then changes and becomes another taste, by Allah's will. There is also some that are yellow in color, or red, or white, or black, or blue, and the same can be said about their flowers; and all these variances and complex diversities are watered by the same water. Surely, in this there are signs for those who have sound reasoning, and surely, all this indicates the existence of the Creator Who does what He wills and Whose power made distinctions between various things and created them as He wills. So Allah said,

إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

(Verily, in these things there are Ayat for the people who understand.)

وَإِن تَعْجَبْ فَعَجَبٌ قَوْلُهُمْ أَءِذَا كُنَّا تُرَابًا أَءِنَّا لَفِى خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِرَبِّهِمْ وَأُوْلَئِكَ الاٌّغْلَـلُ فِى أَعْنَـقِهِمْ وَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدونَ
Verse 3 - Surah Ar-Ra'd: (وهو الذي مد الأرض وجعل فيها رواسي وأنهارا ۖ ومن كل الثمرات جعل فيها زوجين اثنين ۖ يغشي الليل النهار...) - English