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15:23 Surely We give life and We make die.

We give the hearts of the recognizers life through contemplation, and We make their souls die through struggle. We bring the hearts of the recognizers to life with contemplation, and We make their bodies die through struggle. The soul is the veil of the heart. As long as the veil is before the heart, the heart is deprived of contemplation.

When the soul is sacrificied by struggle according to Shariah, the life of the heart begins. Guidance arrives, contemplation joins. Those who struggle in Us, We will guide them on Our paths [29:69]. It has also been saying, “We give the desirers life through remembering Us and We make the heedless die through separation from Us.”

15:24 We indeed know those of you who go forward and We indeed know those of you who fall behind.

It has been said that those who go forward are those who hurry to good deeds, and those who fall behind are those who are lazy in good deeds. It has also been said that its meaning is “We have recognized those who are eager in Us and those who have turned away from Us.”

15:26 Surely We created man of a dried clay of fetid mud.

It has been narrated that Ibn ʿUmar had taken up the sessions. Kaʿb said to a man among those sitting with him, “Ask Ibn ʿUmar from what God created Adam.”

Ibn ʿUmar said, “He created Adam from five things: clay, water, fire, light, and wind.”

At Ibn ʿUmar’s response, Kaʿb said, “Sit with him, for surely he is a man of knowledge.”

What is understood from this report is that the Exalted Lord created Adam from five things: clay, water, fire, light, and wind. The wisdom in this is that the Exalted Lord created every one of His creatures from one kind. He created the angels from light and He created the jinn from fire. These are the light of exaltedness and the fire of exaltedness, which is why Iblis swore by exaltedness [38:82], for he was created from the fire of exaltedness and the angels from the light of exaltedness. God created the birds from wind, He created the beasts and the crawling things of the earth from dust, and He created the creatures of the sea from water. He created each from one kind, but He created Adam from all of these kinds so as to honor him and make him eminent. Thus he would be superior to all the creatures of the world. All are subjected to him, and he is given ruling power overall. This is why the Lord of the Worlds says, “We indeed honored the children of Adam, and We carried them on land and sea, and We provided them with goodly things, and We made them much more excellent than many of those We created” [17:70].

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