It was said:
اللَّـهُ الَّذِي رَفَعَ السَّمَاوَاتِ بِغَيْرِ عَمَدٍ تَرَوْنَهَا
Allah is the One who raised the heavens without pillars. You see them.
On Seeing the Sky
It is generally said that the blue colour we see up is the colour of the sky. But physicists say that we see it so because of the intermingling of light and dark. Below, there is the light from the stars, and above, it is dark. As a result, the onlooker outside sees it as blue, similar to the reflection of light on deep water which appears blue. There are verses of the Qur'an where seeing the sky has been mentioned, as has been done in this very verse which says: تَرَوْنَهَا (You see them), and the words appearing in another verse (88:18) are: وَإِلَى السَّمَاءِ كَيْفَ رُفِعَتْ ' (And do you not see) towards the sky as to how it has been raised - 88:18.) ' First of all, the scientific determination of physicists does not stand counter to it because it is possible that the colour of the sky might as well be bluish, or may have some other colour, but it is sighted as blue due to the admixture of the dark behind and the light in between. Moreover, the possibility that the colour of the sky is a component of the atmosphere cannot be rejected as supported by valid proof. Then, it is also possible that places where 'seeing the sky' has been mentioned in the Qur’ an, the expression employed there may be legal and figurative aiming to establish that the existence of the sky stands proved under decisive arguments and is as good as seen. (Ruh al-Ma’ ani)
After that, it was said:
ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ
Then He positioned Himself on the Throne ...
This mode of taking over the Seat of Power is beyond human comprehension. Understanding it is impossible. Here, it is sufficient to believe that this state of Istiwa' or positioning on the Arsh' or Throne is something matching with the Divine Status as due, and that is what is meant here.
In the next sentence: وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ ۖ كُلٌّ يَجْرِي لِأَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى (and subjugated the sun and the moon, each one running to an appointed time), the word: سَخَّرَ : translated as 'subjugated' means that they both are constantly doing what they have been assigned to do. Thousands of years have gone by but there never has been the least increase or decrease in their movement, nor do they get tired, nor do they ever start doing something else contrary to what they have been programmed to do. As for their 'running to an appointed time,' it could also mean that both of them are moving on to the same appointed time which stands determined as the final term called Qiyamah or Doomsday for this entire world of our experi-ence. Once they reach that stage in time, this whole system of theirs will reach its end.
And it could also mean that Allah Ta’ ala has determined a particular speed and orbit for every planet. It always keeps moving on its orbit at the speed set for it. The Moon completes its orbit in one month and the Sun does it in a year.
Certainly mind-boggling is the very presence of these great planets. Then, no less astonishing is the phenomena of their flawless functioning. Here they are moving on a particular orbit maintaining a particular speed precisely and perfectly for thousands of years in a state that their machinery faces no wear and tear or breakage, nor does it require any kind of greasing or servicing. Think of the revolutionary advancements of science in human technology in our day. Can any human invention around match this model? The truth is that it is impossible to locate even a thousandth part of it anywhere in the world despite human ingenuity being at its highest pinnacle. This great system of nature is delivering a message, very loud and very clear. It is telling us that there certainly is some Being who has made, moved and maintained this system, a Being far beyond the reach of human perception and intelligence.
In Reality, It is Allah who Makes Things Work for Human Beings while Their Role in It is Nominal
After that comes the powerful statement: يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ (He manages all matters). If man so pleased with the ways and means which help make things work for him were to open his eyes, he would realize that his plans and measures could neither create nor make things in the real sense. The outcome of all his efforts and workings is no more than getting to learn how to make the best use of what has been created by Allah Ta’ ala.
Besides, even the system of harnessing what is universally available for use is outside the ambit of power exercised by human beings. The reason is that human beings depend on hundreds and thousands of others like him, and on animals, and on many other live and inert members of Divine creation. These they cannot put on their jobs just by dint of their plans and efforts. This is the function of the Divine power. It has linked up everything, as if in a chain, and in a way that everything gets to be drawn into the desired action. You need to build a house. You find a whole range of servers from the architect to the builder and the finisher, hundreds of human beings offering their career and craft all set to answer your call. You need building materials. They lie stacked in stores and shops ready to be delivered where you want them. Was it within your power and control to assemble all these things on your own just by the brute force of your money or measures and, on top of it, commission all those human beings into your service? Let us part with your individual example at this point. The fact is that this system cannot be established and activated through the force of law, even by the mightiest of the mighty government anywhere in the world. There is no doubt about the fact that the logistic support of this viably running universal system is the work of Allah Ta` ala alone, the Ever-Living, the Self-Sustaining Sustainer of all (Al-Haiyy, Al-Qaiyyum). If human beings still hasten to claim that all this comes from their plans and workings, there is not much that can be said about their claim, for ignorance shall remain what it is.
The next sentence in the verse is: يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ (making the signs plain). It may mean the verses of the Qur’ an which have been revealed by Allah Ta’ ala in details and then, it was through the Holy Prophet ﷺ that He elaborated and explained them.
And the word, الْآيَاتِ (al-ayat) could also mean the 'signs' of the most perfect power of Allah Ta` ala which are spread out in the heavens and the earth, even in the very existence of human beings themselves. These are before human sight all the time and everywhere, so many and so plain.
Said in the last sentence of the verse was: لَعَلَّكُم بِلِقَاءِ رَبِّكُمْ تُوقِنُونَ (so that you may be sure of meeting your Lord). This means that Allah Ta` ala has initiated and activated this whole universe and its astonishing system of operation so that by pondering over it you may come to believe in and become certain of the Hereafter ('Akhirah) and the Doomsday (Qiyamah). The reason is that once you have pondered over the creation of this universe and its wonderous system, any likelihood of doubting that it may be beyond the power of Allah Ta’ ala to resurrect human beings in the Hereafter simply cannot be entertained. And once we realize that it is within His power, and possible, and that it has been reported by no less a person than the one about whom it is universally settled that he never said anything in his whole life which was not the truth - then, there remains no room for doubt that this phenomena is real, actual and proven.
Allah mentions His perfect ability and infinite authority, since it is He Who has raised the heavens without pillars by His permission and order. He, by His leave, order and power, has elevated the heavens high above the earth, distant and far away from reach. The heaven nearest to the present world encompasses the earth from all directions, and is also high above it from every direction. The distance between the first heaven and the earth is five hundred years from every direction, and its thickness is also five hundred years. The second heaven surrounds the first heaven from every direction, encompassing everything that the latter carries, with a thickness also of five hundred years and a distance between them of five hundred years. The same is also true about the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth and the seventh heavens. Allah said,
(It is Allah who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof.) 65:12 Allah said next,
(..without any pillars that you can see.) meaning, `there are pillars, but you cannot see them,' according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, and several other scholars. Iyas bin Mu`awiyah said, "The heaven is like a dome over the earth," meaning, without pillars. Similar was reported from Qatadah, and this meaning is better for this part of the Ayah, especially since Allah said in another Ayah,
(He withholds the heaven from falling on the earth except by His permission. )22:65 Therefore, Allah's statement,
(..that you can see), affirms that there are no pillars. Rather, the heaven is elevated (above the earth) without pillars, as you see. This meaning best affirms Allah's ability and power.
Allah said next,
(Then, He rose above (Istawa) the Throne.) We explained the meaning of the Istawa' in Surat Al-A`raf (7:54), and stated that it should be accepted as it is without altering, equating, annulling its meaning, or attempts to explain its true nature. Allah is glorified and praised from all that they attribute to Him.
(He has subjected the sun and the moon, each running (its course) for a term appointed.) It was said that the sun and the moon continue their course until they cease doing so upon the commencement of the Final Hour, as Allah stated,
(And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed).)36:38 It was also said that the meaning is: until they settle under the Throne of Allah after passing the other side of the earth. So when they, and the rest of the planetary bodies reach there, they are at the furthest distance from the Throne. Because according to the correct view, which the texts prove, it is shaped like a domb, under which is all of the creation. It is not circular like the celestial bodies, because it has pillars by which it is carried. This fact is clear to those who correctly understand the Ayat and authentic Hadiths. All the (praise is due to) Allah and all the favors are from Him. Allah mentioned the sun and the moon here because they are among the brightest seven heavenly objects. Therefore, if Allah subjected these to His power, then it is clear that He has also subjected all other heavenly objects. Allah said in other Ayat,
(Prostrate yourselves not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him.) 41:37 and,
(And (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of all that exists!) 7:54 Allah's statement next,
(He explains the Ayat in detail, that you may believe with certainty in the Meeting with your Lord.) means, He explains the signs and clear evidences that testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. These evidences prove that He will resurrect creation if He wills, just as He started it.