And He said to it and to the earth: Come together willingly or unwillingly. They said: We do come [together] in willing obedience.1
That is, “O earth! O skies! Come whether you want to or not, you are anyway submissive to my wisdom and power. Emerge from non-being and come to the exhibition-place of my art in existence.” And they replied: “We come in perfect obedience. Through Your power, we perform every duty that You have shown us.” Consider the power and elevatedness of these true, effective commands, which comprise power and will, then look at human words like the following nonsensical conversation with inanimate beings:
Be stationary, O earth! Be cleft, O skies! O resurrection, break forth!
Can the two commands be compared? Yes, is there are any comparison between wishes arising from desires and officious commands issuing from those wishes, and the command of a commander of real authority? Can there be any comparison between such words and the effective command, “Forward march!” of a supreme commander of a vast army? For if a command such as that is heard from a common soldier, while the two commands are the same in form, in meaning they differ as greatly as a common soldier and the commander of an army.
And for example the verses:
Indeed, His command when He wills a thing is “Be!,” and it is,2
And on Our saying to the angels: Prostrate before Adam.3
Look at the power and elevatedness of these two verses, then look at man’s speech in the form of commands. Is the latter not like a fire-fly in relation to the sun? In order to describe his act to both eye and ear, a true owner describes his act while performing it, and a true artist explains his art as he works it, and a true bestower explains his bounties as he bestows them, that is, in order to combine both word and act, each says: “Look! I have done this and I am doing this in this way. I did that for this reason, and this will be thus, and I am doing this so it will be like that.”
And for example:
Do they not look at the sky above them? How We have made it and adorned it, and there are no flaws in it? * And the earth, We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and produced therein every kind of beautiful growth [in pairs], * As an insight and reminder for all [God’s] servants who turn unto Him. * And We send down from the sky rain charged with blessing, and We produce there