In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
And We sent down iron, in which is [material for] mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind.(57:25)
[A brief reply to a question about the above verse, which has come to have great importance, for with it a prominent person with knowledge of modern science silenced a number of hojas.]
Q u e s t i o n : It is normally said that iron is mined from the earth, so why is it said in this verse “We sent down” or “revealed” rather than We excavated or extracted; this appears to be inappropriate?
T h e A n s w e r : With the phrase “We sent down,” the Qur’an of Miraculous Exposition recalls the vast and important bounty of iron. For it does not consider iron only for itself so that it should say extracted, but recalls the tremendous divine bounty in iron and how needy mankind is for it. Its aspect of being a bounty does not come upwards from below, but down from the treasury of mercy. The treasury of mercy is certainly elevated, above, and at a high level, so the bounty descends from above; and needy mankind’s level is surely below. The bestowal of bounty is superior to need, so the correct way to express the fact that bounty comes from the treasury of mercy to meet mankind’s need is “We sent down;” it is not We extracted.
Also, since the gradual extraction of iron is at man’s hand, the word extract does not alert the heedless person to its aspects of bounty. If what is meant is iron’s material substance, it is extracted in respect of its physical situation. But iron’s quality of being a bounty, which is the intended meaning here, is immaterial. This meaning looks not to physical situation, but to immaterial degree or level. Bounties proceeding from the treasury of mercy, which is a manifestation of the infinitely exalted degree of the Most Merciful, are certainly sent down from the highest level to the lowest. Thus, the correct expression is “We sent down:” it recalls to mankind that iron is one of the greatest divine bounties.
Yes, iron is the source of all mankind’s industries, and of its advancement and progress, and the means of its power and strength. So in order to call to mind this tremendous bounty and bestowal of favour, in lofty style the Qur’an states:
And We sent down iron, in which is [material for] mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind.
In a similar way it declares about David’s important miracle: