These verses describe the Divine acts in human kind, and the Divine manifestations in the alternations of night and day, and the dominical acts of disposal in the seasons of the year, and the dominical deeds in life and death on the face of the earth and in the resurrections in this world in a style so elevated that it captivates the minds of the attentive. Since its brilliant, elevated, and wide-reaching style is clearly understood with little study, we shall not open that treasury for now.
And for example,
When the sky is rent asunder * Heeding [the command of] its Sustainer, as in truth it must. * And when the earth is levelled * And casts out what is within it and becomes empty * And it heeds [the command of] its Sustainer, as in truth it must.1
This explains in a truly elevated style the degree of submission and obedience to Almighty God’s command of the skies and the earth. It is like this: just as a commander-in-chief opens two offices to accommodate the matters necessary for fighting, like one for strategy and one for the enrollment of soldiers, and when those matters are accomplished and the fighting is over, he addresses himself to the two offices in order to convert them into something else for some other business, they both say, either through the tongues of those employed in them or through their own tongues: “O Chief! Give us a short respite so that we can clean up the bits and pieces of the former business and throw them out, then you may honour us with your presence. There, we have thrown them out, we await your command. Order what you wish. We hear and obey! Everything you do is true, good, and beneficial.”
In the same way, the heavens and the earth were opened as two arenas of obligation, trial, and examination. After the allotted period is finished, they will put aside the things pertaining to the arena of trial and say: “O our Sustainer! The command is Yours, employ us now in whatever You wish. Our right is only to obey You. Everything You do is right.” Consider carefully the majestic style of those sentences!
And for example,
Then the word went forth: “O earth, swallow up your water! And o sky withhold [your rain]!” And the water abated and the matter was ended. The ark rested on Mount Judi, and the word went forth: “Away with all those who do wrong!”2
In order to point to a mere drop from the sea of eloquence of this verse, we shall show one aspect of its style in the mirror of a comparison. On the victory being won in a great war, the commander says “Cease fire!” to one