course, that is, ‘the sun revolves,’ it puts in mind the Maker’s tremendousness by recalling the orderly disposals of Divine power in the alternations of winter and summer and day and night, and directs one’s gaze to the missives of the Eternally Besought One inscribed by the pen of power on the pages of the seasons. It proclaims the wisdom of the All-Glorious Creator.
And with the word lamp in,
And set the sun as a lamp,1
it opens a window onto the style like this: it makes one understand the Maker’s majesty and Creator’s bounty by recalling that the world is a palace and the things within it are adornments, food, and necessities prepared for man and living creatures and that the sun is a subservient candle, demonstrating that the sun is an evidence of God’s unity, and that the idolators’ greatest, most brilliant object of worship is merely a subjugated lamp, an inanimate creature. That is to say, the word lamp calls to mind the Creator’s mercy within the grandeur of His dominicality; it recalls His favours within the breadth of His mercy, and in so doing informs of His munificence within the majesty of His sovereignty, thereby proclaiming Divine unity, and saying indirectly: “An inanimate and subservient lamp is in no way fit to be worshipped.”
And in the course of runs its course it calls to mind the wondrous orderly disposals of Divine power in the revolutions of night and day and winter and summer, and in so doing makes known the grandeur of a single Maker’s power in His dominicality. That is to say, it turns man’s mind from the points of the sun and moon to the pages of night and day and winter and summer, and draws his attention to the lines of events written on those pages. For the Qur’an does not speak of the sun for the sake of the sun, but for the One Who illuminates it. Also, it does not speak of the sun’s nature, for which man has no need, but of the sun’s duty, which is that of mainspring for the order of dominical art, and centre of the order of dominical creativity, and a shuttle for the harmony and order of dominical art in the things the Pre-Eternal Inscriber weaves with the threads of day and night. You can compare others of the Qur’an’s words with these. While all are simple, ordinary words, each performs the duty of a key to treasuries of subtle meanings.
It is because the Qur’an’s style is for the greater part elevated and brilliant in the ways described above that on occasion Arab nomads were captivated by a single phrase, and without being Muslims would prostrate. One nomad prostrated on hearing the phrase:
Therefore proclaim openly what you are commanded.2