sustenance. Otherwise it would be making known something self-evident and clear, and would be incompatible with the Qur’an’s miraculous eloquence.
T h e S e c o n d A s p e c t : Man is excessively preoccupied with his sustenance. So lest he is deluded into making his winning it a pretext for neglecting worship, or making it an excuse, the verse says: “You were created for worship. The result of your creation is worship. Winning sustenance is worship of a sort, from the point of view of its being a divine command. I have undertaken to provide your sustenance and that of your families and animals, my creatures; it pertains to me; you were not created to procure food and sustenance, for I am the Provider. I provide the sustenance of my servants, your dependants. So do not make it an excuse and give up worship!”
If its meaning is not this, it becomes a statement of the obvious, for to provide Almighty God with food and sustenance is self-evidently impossible. It is an established rule of rhetoric that if the meaning of a sentence is clear and obvious, it is not that meaning which is intended, but a meaning necessitated by it and dependent on it. For example, if you say to someone: “You are a hafiz,” it is stating the obvious. The intended meaning is “I know that you are a hafiz.” You are informing him because he did not know that you knew.
Thus, in consequence of this rule, the meaning of the verse, in which the prohibition of giving food to Almighty God is a metaphor, is this: “You were not created in order to produce food for My creatures, which are Mine and the providing of whose sustenance I have undertaken. Your fundamental duty is worship. But to strive to procure sustenance in accordance with My commands is also a sort of worship.”
T h e T h i r d A s p e c t : In Sura al-Ikhlas the apparent meaning of,
He begets not, nor is He begotten(112:3)
is self-evident and obvious, hence another meaning is intended which is necessitated by it. That is to say, Almighty God states extremely clearly and self-evidently “He begets not, nor is He begotten,” meaning: “Anyone who has a father and mother cannot be a god,” and, “pre-eternal and post-eternal,” to deny the divinity of Jesus (UWP), and of Uzayr, and the angels, and stars, and other false gods. It is just the same with our example, the verse, “The All-Glorious Provider, your object of worship, does not require sustenance for Himself, you were not created to provide Him with food” means: “Things with the ability to receive sustenance and food cannot be gods and objects of worship,” meaning: “Beings that are in need of sustenance and being provided for are not worthy of worship.”
S a i d N u r s i