This is the ‘teaching of the Names,’ which was a miracle of Adam before the angels because of his ability to be vicegerent of the earth, and was a minor event. But it forms the tip of a universal principle which is as follows: it was the teaching, due to man’s comprehensive disposition, of countless sciences, and numerous all-embracing branches of knowledge about the universe, and extensive learning about the Creator’s attributes and qualities, which afforded man superiority over not only the angels but also the heavens and earth and mountains in the question of the bearing of the Supreme Trust. And like the Qur’an states that through his comprehensive disposition, man is a spiritual vicegerent of the earth, so the minor event in the Unseen of the angels prostrating before Adam and Satan not prostrating is the tip of a broad and universal observed principle; these hint at an extensive truth which is as follows:
By mentioning the angels’ obedience and submission before the person of Adam, and Satan’s pride and refusal, the Qur’an makes understood that most of the physical beings in the universe and their non-physical representatives and appointed beings are subjugated to man, and that man’s senses are predisposed and amenable to benefiting from all of them. And pointing out what a fearsome enemy and serious obstacle in the path of man’s progress are evil matter and its representatives and evil indwelling spirits, which corrupt man’s nature and drive him down wrong paths, the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition, while speaking of a minor matter with Adam (Peace be upon him), converses in elevated fashion with the whole universe and all mankind.
SECOND POINT: Although the Land of Egypt is a part of the Greater Sahara Desert, through the blessing of the Nile, it has become like an extremely fertile arable field. Such a blessed heavenly place being found adjacent to the hellish Sahara has made its agriculture highly sought after by its people and has so fixed it in their characters that for them it has become sacred, and the cow and the bull, the means of agriculture, have also become sacred, and even objects of worship. The people of Egypt of that time considered the cow and bull to be so holy they worshipped them. Thus, it is understood from the question of ‘the Calf’ that the Children of Israel of that time, who grew up in Egypt, had come to have a share of that custom.
Thus, the All-Wise Qur’an makes understood through the sacrifice of a cow that through his messengership, Moses excised and destroyed the concept of cow-worship, which had become a part of that nation’s character and worked in their very natures.
Thus, through this minor incident, it expounds with an elevated miraculousness a universal principle which is essential instruction in wisdom for everyone at all times.
Making an analogy with this, you may understand that certain minor