38:75 Said IT/He: O Iblis! What has kept you from prostrating yourself before that [being, human, Adam] which I have created with My hands? Are you too great, or are you of those who consider themselves as high?
قَالَ يَا إِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَن تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ الْعَالِينَ
38:76 Answered [Iblis]: I am better than he: You created me out of fire, whereas You created him out of clay.
قَالَ أَنَا خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ
Here is Iblis created from heat and energy and flames and light, an exotic superior creature, most loyal and loving to Allah, intimate friend of Allah, and yet Allah fashions another creature from the dust of some tiny marooned planet across the cosmos, in mammalian form, with all the horried familiar consumption and violence.
And Allah asks this seemingly pure and chosen Iblis to bow to wishes of the new grotesque mammalian being!
Iblis refrains and disobeys.
Allah does not force Iblis to reconsider, but asks Iblis : Do you think you are so great and high in status?
Iblis replies: I am better than he.
Allah cursed Iblis and cast it away. Not because of some heinous crime, not for some huge neglect, but for feeling better than others!
the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status.
In our times, Muslims openly without any inhibition nor shame believe that that they are superior to believers of other religions and conduct their affairs along with the language and rhetoric of the supremacists. Not far ahead are Jews and Christians.
Nothing could be further than truth , further than Allah’s Presence.
You might think that your house is better than your neighbor’s or you have better job or prospects. You might think that you are better educated or better suited for performing a certain daily task. Or you might think that your country is a better place to live and you have better laws or community or culture.
But to feel your person, something within you, is better than another human being is assurance to be jettisoned off the Path plunging hapless into a curse from Allah.
Byproduct of the better-ness feelings:
a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.
To feel and believe that your sect is better, or your Sheikh is better, your Imam or president is better than others’. Nothing endeavoured but swift branding by bigotry.
Steadfast bigots and supremacists overwhelm the ranks of false scholars of Islam. Muslims be warned!
To feel you are better than women in presence of Allah, no greater shame for a Muslim!
Allah has promised no superiority nor victory to Muslims and has not allowed any high handedness or subjugation of others.
Know the exact verbiage of Allah’s promisses:
58:21 [For] God has thus ordained: I shall most certainly prevail, I and My messengers! Verily, God is powerful, almighty!
كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَأَغْلِبَنَّ أَنَا وَرُسُلِي إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ
48:28 IT/He it is who has sent forth ITs/His Apostle with the [task of spreading] guidance and the religion of truth, to the end that IT/He make it prevail over every [false] religion; and none can bear witness [to the truth] as God does.
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَكَفَى بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا
Allah‘s promise to Arab of Quraish:
106:4 Who has given them (Quraish) food against hunger, and made them safe from danger.
الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ
48:1 VERILY, [O Muhammad,] We have laid open before you a manifest victory,
إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُّبِينًا
As you review these promises, it is patently evident that there is no promise to the Arab (promise was to person of Muhammad) or any promises to Muslim people wearing beard and Pakistani Shalwar Qamis, or women wearing Moroccan scarves!
There is no indication of Muslim superiority.
I look at my life an I do not find any promises from Allah that if I wear beard and perform Salat and fast Ramadan that triumph shall flood my way. I find no promises of any kind! Focus of these worships and spiritual arts is to find a way nearing Allah’s Exalted Presence so to love and beloved.
‘Ala: High, opposite of low, one of the Divine Names of Allah. Above all, subjugates all, above all lowliness and all nobilities. Above all defects and inefficiencies.
38:75 Said IT/He: O Iblis! … or are you of those who consider themselves as high?
قَالَ يَا إِبْلِيسُ … أَمْ كُنتَ مِنَ الْعَالِينَ
Same verbiage used to let human being know what prevents ascend to the other realm:
28:83 As for that [happy] life in the hereafter, We grant it [only] to those who do not seek to exalt (‘Ala) themselves on earth
تِلْكَ الدَّارُ الْآخِرَةُ نَجْعَلُهَا لِلَّذِينَ لَا يُرِيدُونَ عُلُوًّا فِي الْأَرْضِ
Aborning and sobbing
And yet faces blooming vernal
With a thousand smiles
No better be and no lesser be
And let last smiling gasps sighed
While everyone sobs
© 2017-2002, Dara O Shayda
One thought on “I am better than he: Tafsir 7:12”
Our religion and the honor of our Prophet are stolen by the bigot bandits who call themselves scholars and Sheikhs and so on, regardless of the sects of Sunnah or Shiites or Sufis.
We , you, do not have to accept their words and conducts.
Tell them: Sir you are a bigot supremacist! Stop. What you preach is not religion of Islam it is bigotry.
Stand firm on not worshiping these men and women. We do not worship Muslims or their scholars or their fantasies about Shariah, we worship Allah the Lord of the Multiverse and none-else.
We men of this religion must strongly object the bigot sexism against the women, there should be no compromise. Women are NOT inferior to men in religion of Islam, Muslim men have no superiority over women, have no authority over them.
Most of you would not act on these words, one or two might, and those one or two shall open the floodgates of change.
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