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Luqman (Luqman)

Verse 34

Translation:

34. Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He Who sends down rain and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does anyone know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: nor does anyone know in what land he is to die. Verily with Allah is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things).

Notes (Tafseer):

3625. The question of Knowledge or Mystery governs both clauses here, viz.: Rain and Wombs. In fact it governs all the five things mentioned in this verse: viz. (1) the Hour; (2) Rain; (3) the Birth of a new Life (Wombs); (4) our Physical Life from day to day; (5) our Death. See n. 3627 below. As regards Rain we are asked to contemplate how and when it is sent down. The moisture may be sucked up by the sun's heat in the Arabian Sea or the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean near East Africa, or in the Lake Region in Central Africa. The winds drive it hither and thither across thousands of miles, or it may be, only short distances. "The wind bloweth where it listeth." No doubt it obeys certain physical Laws established by Allah, but how these Laws are interlocked, one with another! Meteorology, gravity, hydrostatics and dynamics, climatology, hygrometry, and a dozen other sciences are involved, and no man can completely master all of them, and yet this relates to only one of the millions of facts in physical nature, which are governed by Allah's Knowledge and Law. The whole vegetable kingdom is primarily affected by Rain. The mention of Wombs brings in the mystery of animal Life, Embryology, Sex, and a thousand other things. Who can tell-to take man alone-how long it will remain in the womb, whether it will be born alive, what sort of a new individual it will be,-a blessing or a curse to its parents, or to Society?

3626. "Earn" here, as elsewhere, means not only "earn one's livelihood" in a physical sense, but also to reap the consequences (good or ill) of one's conduct generally. The whole sentence practically means; "no man knows what the morrow may bring forth."

3627. See the five Mysteries summed up in n. 3625 above. The argument is about the mystery of Time and Knowledge. We are supposed to know things in ordinary life. But what does that knowledge amount to in reality? Only a superficial acquaintance with things. And Time is even more uncertain. In the case of rain, which causes vegetable life to spring up, or in the case of new animal life, can we answer with precision questions as to When or How or Wherefore? So about questions of our life from day to day or of our death. These are great mysteries, and full knowledge is with Allah only. How much more so in the case of the Ma'ad, the Final House, when all true values will be restored and the balance redressed? It is certain, but the When and the How are known to Allah alone.

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