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Quranic Terminology: High, Superior, Exalted, Sublime, and Supreme

Quranic Terminology: High, Superior, Exalted, Sublime, and Supreme

 

 

Published in December 10, 2019

Translated by: Ahmed Fathy

 

 

 

 

Firstly: within various terms in the Quran, God is the Most High:

 The Most High is one of the holy Name/Epithets of the Lord God.

1- "Praise the Name of your Lord, the Most High." (87:1).

2- "But the devout will avoid it. He who gives his money to become pure. Seeking no favor in return. Only seeking the acceptance of his Lord, the Most High." (92:17-20).

3- "God! There is no god except He, the Living, the Everlasting. Neither slumber overtakes Him, nor sleep. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission? He knows what is before them, and what is behind them; and they cannot grasp any of His knowledge, except as He wills. His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation does not burden Him. He is the Most High, the Great." (2:255).

4- "To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. He is the Sublime, the Magnificent." (40:4).

5- "That is because God is the Reality, and what they worship besides Him is falsehood, and because God is the Exalted, the Supreme." (31:30).

6- "Intercession with Him is of no value, except for someone He has permitted. Until, when fear has subsided from their hearts, they will say, “What did your Lord say?” They will say, “The Truth, and He is the High, the Great.”" (34:23).

7- "That is because when God alone was called upon, you disbelieved; but when others were associated with Him, you believed. Judgment rests with God the Sublime, the Majestic." (40:12).

8- "That is because God is the Reality, and what they invoke besides Him is vanity, and because God is the Sublime, the Grand." (22:62).

 

Secondly: God is Exalted and High above the lies they ascribe to Him:

 The Holy Epithets (Exalted) and (High) come in the Quranic contexts linked to refuting polytheism and notions of disbelief.

1- "Say, “If there were other gods with Him, as they say, they would have sought a way to the Lord of the Throne.” Be He glorified. He is Exalted, far above what they say." (17:42-43).

2- "Yet they attributed to God partners - the jinn - although He created them. And they invented for Him sons and daughters, without any knowledge. Glory be to Him. He is Exalted, beyond what they describe." (6:100).

3- "And they worship, besides God, what neither harms them nor benefits them. And they say, “These are our intercessors with God.” Say, “Are you informing God about what He does not know in the heavens or on earth?” Glorified be He, High above the associations they make." (10:18).

4- "The command of God has come, so do not rush it. Glory be to Him; Exalted above what they associate." (16:1).

5- "Be He glorified. He is Exalted, far above what they say." (17:43).

6- "Your Lord creates whatever He wills, and He chooses. The choice is not theirs. Glory be to God, and Exalted be He above the associations they make." (28:68).

7- "God is He who created you, then provides for you, then makes you die, then brings you back to life. Can any of your partners do any of that? Glorified is He, and Exalted above what they associate." (30:40).

8- "They have not esteemed God as He ought to be esteemed. The entire earth will be in His grip on the Day of Resurrection, and the heavens will be folded in His right. Exalted is He, far above the associations they make." (39:67).

9- "But when He has given them a good child, they attribute partners to Him in what He has given them. God is Exalted above what they associate." (7:190).

10- "He created the heavens and the earth with justice. He is Exalted above the associations they attribute." (16:3).

11- "The Knower of the hidden and the manifest. He is Exalted, far above what they associate." (23:92).

12- "So Exalted is God, the Ruler, the True. There is no God except He, the Lord of the Noble Throne." (23:116).

13- "Or, who guides you through the darkness of land and sea, and who sends the winds as heralds of His mercy? Is there another god with Allah? Most Exalted is God, above what they associate." (27:63).

14- "Exalted is God, the True King..." (20:114).

15- The monotheists among the jinn have said the following: "And Exalted is the Grandeur of our Lord - He never had a mate, nor a child." (72:3).

16- By the way, the Holy Name/Epithet (Al-Motaal) comes only once in the Quranic text: "The Knower of the Invisible and the Visible; the Grand, the Supreme." (13:9).

 

Thirdly: within comparisons:

1- This is about the Holy Quran and its elevated position in comparison to other Divine Scriptures or Celestial Books which are included in the Mother of the Book in a Barsakh level: "And it is with Us, in the Mother of the Book, sublime and wise." (43:4).

2- This is about the Word of the Lord God which is in contrast with all words of disbelievers: "If you do not help him, God has already helped him, when those who disbelieved expelled him, and he was the second of two in the cave. He said to his friend, “Do not worry, God is with us.” And God made His serenity descend upon him, and supported him with forces you did not see, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the Word of God is the Highest. God is Mighty and Wise." (9:40).

3- These comparisons are in the same vein: "Those who do not believe in the Hereafter set a bad example, while God sets the Highest Example. He is the Mighty, the Wise." (16:60); "It is He who initiates creation, and then repeats it, something easy for Him. His is the Highest Example, in the heavens and the earth. He is the Almighty, the Wise." (30:27).

 

Fourthly: describing some creatures as superior to, or higher than, some other creatures:

1- The high-rank angels of the Upper Realm included Iblis who was expelled and became among the jinn, Satan the Devil, when he refused to prostrate to Adam: "I have no knowledge of the Highest Assembly as they dispute." (38:69). Satan, devils, and jinn cannot pass through certain Barsakh levels; they cannot reach the Upper Realm: "We have adorned the lower heaven with the beauty of the planets. And guarded it against every defiant devil." (37:6-8).

2- The arch-angel Gabriel, a.k.a. the Holy Spirit, exists within a higher metaphysical Barsakh level in comparison to the physical level in which human beings (including Muhammad) exist. Yet, with the permission of the Omnipotent Lord God, the heart of the soul of Muhammad saw Gabriel, in the angelic, ethereal form, during the Night Journey which is the Night of Decree so that the Quran was conveyed from Gabriel into the heart/soul of Muhammad: "While he was at the highest horizon." (53:7). This is the entire context: "It is but a revelation revealed. Taught to him by the Extremely Powerful. The one of vigor. He settled. While he was at the highest horizon. Then he came near, and hovered around. He was within two bows’ length, or closer. Then He revealed to His servant what He revealed. The heart did not lie about what it saw." (53:4-11). For more details about this topic, we refer readers to our book titled "The Night-Journey Is the Night of Decree", found in English and in French on the following links, respectively:

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=112

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=141

3- The physical realm, or the universe with its earth, planets, stars, and galaxies, is the lower one in comparison to the higher, overlapping, metaphysical Barsakh levels; we read this about the seven heavens or higher levels: "A revelation from He who created the earth and the high heavens." (20:4); for more details about Barsakh, we refer readers to our book titled "The Book of Barsakh", found in English and in French on the following links, respectively:  

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=138

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/book_main.php?main_id=155

4- On the Last Day, Paradise will be higher than Hell; Paradise Dwellers will be nearer to the Dominant Lord God, whereas Hell dwellers will be screened from their Lord. This is about Paradise: "In a High Garden." (69:22 + 88:10). We find more details in this context: "Woe on that Day to the deniers. Those who deny the Day of Judgment. But none denies it except the sinful aggressor. When Our Verses are read to him, he says, “Legends of the ancients.” Not at all. Their hearts have become corroded by what they used to earn. Not at all. On that Day, they will be screened from their Lord. Then they will roast in Hell. Then it will be said, “This is what you used to deny.” No indeed; the record of the righteous is in Elliyyeen (the highest position). But how can you know what Elliyyoon (the highest position) is? A numerical book. Witnessed by those brought near." (83:10-21).

5- Hence, the Paradise dwellers will be the owners of higher ranks/degrees: "But whoever comes to Him a believer, having worked righteousness - these will have the highest ranks." (20:75).

6- This is about their garments in Paradise: "Above them are garments of green silk, and satin. And they will be adorned with bracelets of silver. And their Lord will offer them a pure drink." (76:21).

 

Fifthly: the claims of the self-deified Moses' Pharaoh and of his people regarding arrogance and superiority:

1- The Lord God has said the following to Iblis/Satan when he arrogantly refused to prostrate to Adam: "He said, “O Iblis, what prevented you from prostrating before what I created with My Own hands? Are you too proud, or were you one of the exalted?”" (38:75).

2- Moses' Pharaoh and his people followed the footsteps of Satan in arrogance, haughtiness, and false claims of superiority as we know from the following Quranic verses.

2/1: "To Pharaoh and his nobles, but they turned arrogant. They were superior people." (23:46).

2/2: "From Pharaoh. He was a transgressing, superior tyrant." (44:31).

2/3: "We narrate to you from the history of Moses and Pharaoh - in Truth - for people who believe. Pharaoh exalted himself in the land, and divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter." (28:3-4).

2/4: "And they rejected them, although their souls were certain of them, out of injustice and superiority..." (27:14).

2/5: "But none believed in Moses except some children of his people, for fear that Pharaoh and his retinue members would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was a tyrant." (10:83).

3- Moses' Pharaoh announced his self-deification and imposed this on the people of Egypt: "And gathered and proclaimed, He said, “I am your Lord, the most high.”" (79:23-24).

4- The Lord God describes Moses as (the uppermost) when Moses faced the magicians of Pharaoh: "They said, “O Moses, either you throw, or we will be the first to throw.” He said, “You throw.” And suddenly, their ropes and sticks appeared to him, because of their magic, to be crawling swiftly. So Moses felt apprehensive within himself. We said, “Do not be afraid, you are the uppermost. Now throw down what is in your right hand - it will swallow what they have crafted. What they have crafted is only a magician’s trickery. But the magician will not succeed, no matter what he does.” The magicians fell down prostrate. They said, “We have believed in the Lord of Aaron and Moses.”" (20:65-70).

5- The main lesson to be drawn from the Quranic story of Moses' Pharaoh and Quaroon is that Paradise is for those who do not seek superiority or corruption on earth; this means superiority is directly linked to corruption and committing crimes: "That Home of the Hereafter - We assign it for those who seek no superiority on earth, nor corruption. And the outcome is for the pious ones." (28:83); hence, we assert here that those who manipulate religion as a means or a tool to reach/maintain power or within any political ambition are the archenemies of the Dominant Lord God; this applies to the terrorist Wahabi MB organization members as well as the sinful caliphs of all eras including the four sinful pre-Umayyad caliphs.

 

Sixthly: the other meaning of the Quranic term (ta'ala) is not linked to superiority but to the verb (to come) as per the following Quranic verses:

1- "O prophet! Say to your wives, “If you desire the life of this world and its finery, then come and let me compensate you, and release you kindly." (33:28).

2- "And if anyone disputes with you about him, after the knowledge that has come to you, say, “Come, let us call our children and your children, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, and let us invoke God’s curse on the liars.”" (3:61).

3- "Say, “O People of the Book, come to terms common between us and you: that we worship none but God, and that we associate nothing with Him, and that none of us takes others as lords besides God.” And if they turn away, say, “Bear witness that we have submitted.”" (3:64).

4- "And that He may know the hypocrites. And it was said to them, “Come, fight in the cause of God, or contribute.”..." (3:167).

5- "And when it is said to them, “Come to what God has revealed, and to the Messenger,” you see the hypocrites shunning you completely." (4:61).

6- "And when it is said to them, “Come to what God has revealed, and to the Messenger,” they say, “Sufficient for us is what we found our forefathers upon.”..." (5:104).

7- "And when it is said to them, “Come, the messenger of God will ask forgiveness for you,” they bend their heads, and you see them turning away arrogantly." (63:5).

8- "Say, “Come, let me tell you what your Lord has forbidden you: that you associate nothing with Him; that you honor your parents; that you do not kill your children because of poverty - We provide for you and for them; that you do not come near indecencies, whether outward or inward; and that you do not kill the soul which God has sanctified - except in the course of justice. All this He has enjoined upon you, so that you may understand.”" (6:151).


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