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86:4 Over every soul there is a guardian.

This is the answer to the oath, “By heaven and the night star!” [86:1]. He swears an oath that there is no one without a guardian but that he has a guardian and defender. This is just what He says in another place: “Surely there are over you guardians” [82:10]. Over you there are guardians, that is, angels who are scribes and writers. He has entrusted you to them so that they may write down your words and deeds and then present them to Muṣṭafā, as has come in the report: “Your deeds will be presented to me. When any of them is beautiful, I will praise God for it, and when any is ugly, I will ask God to forgive you.”

When the tawḥīd-voicing, believing person of faith knows that the Real is his guardian and protector, he must put on the clothing of watchfulness and pay attention to his own states, words, and deeds. He must keep the courtyard of his breast pure of the stain of heedlessness. He should make Does he not know that God sees? [96:14] his constant litany, keep There are over you guardians [82:10] before his eyes, and turn We were not heedless of creation [23:17] into the imprint on the seal-ring of his certainty.

It is said that there was a depraved woman in Mecca who said, “I will turn Ṭāwūs Yamānī away from the road of obedience and pull him into disobedience.” Ṭāwūs was a man of a beautiful face, sweet character, and good nature. The woman came to Ṭāwūs and began talking with him in a joking way. Ṭāwūs knew her goal. He said, “Yes, be patient until we reach such a place.” When they reached that place, he said, “If you have a goal, this can be the place for it.” The woman said, “Glory be to God! How is this the place for that work? It is a gathering place for people to watch.” Ṭāwūs said, “Does not God see us in every place? O woman, are you ashamed of being seen by the people, but not ashamed before God who is watching us?” These words took hold in that woman and opened up the ambush of solicitude to her. She repented and became one of God’s friends.

86:5 So let man consider of what he was created.

Let the human individual look carefully at himself: From what was he created and why was he created? God created a face that is suited for prostration, eyes suited for taking heed, a body suited for service, a heart suited for recognition, a secret core suited for love. So remember God’s blessings upon you [2:231], for He adorned your tongues with the Shahadah, your hearts with recognition and felicity, and your bodies with service and worship.

86:6-7 He was created of gushing water, emerging from between the loins and the chest.

When the human individual was created, he was created from water thrown and spilled, water that came forth from the back of the man and from the bones within the woman’s breast. First, he was a sperm drop, which God then made into a clot with His power. Then with His will, He built tissue, with His desire He made bones appear, and with His munificence, He clothed the bones in the cloak of flesh. When He wanted to display you to your mother and father, He adorned you on a beautiful farm in the oyster shell of the womb, just as a slave-trader adorns a slave girl at the time of presenting her. In the same way, after He turns you into dust in your grave He will adorn you for the Day of Presentation to the messengers and the Lord of the Worlds. God says, “They will be presented to their Lord in rows” [18:48].

When you turn a pot full of water upside down, nothing stays inside. So glory be to Him who compounded Adam with a composition that contains everything created in the macrocosm! The exalted Lord created some creatures in the form of prostrators, like snakes, fish, and crawling things. He created some in the form of those who bow, like cattle and predators; some in the form of standers, like trees and plants; some in the form of sitters, like the unshakeable mountains. All of these are compelled to prostrate, bow, and sit, and they receive no praise for that. But He created the Adamite in a form that has the power to prostrate, bow, sit, and stand, and in that He gave him choice and ability, so he is worthy of praise and laudation: The repenters, the worshipers, the praisers, the journeyers, the bowers, the prostrators, the commanders to the honorable and prohibiters of the improper, the keepers of God’s bounds—give good news to the faithful! [9:112]. Glory be to Him who creates the son of Adam to manifest power, gives him provision to manifest generosity, makes him die to manifest all-compellingness, and then brings him to life to manifest reward and punishment! So blessed is God, the most beautiful of creators! [23:14].

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