willed or wanted to arrange or regulate.’ It also has a metaphorical meaning, denoting someone who aims at something intently without swerving to left or right.
“To the heavens (ilā al-samā’):” that is, to the [physical] matter of the heavens, and towards them.
The particle “fa- (and)” of “fa-sawwāhunna – and has fashioned them:” in so far that this is the particle of divergence or branching (tafrī‘), [the tie between this phrase and the previous one; that is, between astawā and taswīyya] resembles “it is” being the consequence of [the creative command] “Be!”, and an act of power being the result of an act of will, and the execution of an act (al-qaḍā’) being the result of determining (al-qadar). And in so far as it denotes ‘following’ (ta‘qīb), the “fa-” implies some unstated words: “He made [the heavens] various and set them in order and regulated the matters between them, and then He arranged them [into the seven heavens].”
The meaning of “fashioned (sawwā)” is that He created them as well-ordered, regular and similar, in that He gave each what was fitting for its potentialities and equal to its capacity.
The [pronominal suffix] “them (-hunna)” denotes the diversity of the [physical] matter of the heavens.
As for “seven (sab‘a),” it comprises [meanings] of both multiplicity, and the relation with the seven [divine] attributes, and with the seven aeons in the formation of the earth.
And by “the heavens (samāwāt)” is meant the garden of profuse pearly flowers, the seas for the fishes of the planets, and the arable field for the seeds of the stars.
The phrase “and of all things He has full knowledge (wa hū bi-kulli shay’in ‘alīm):”
The conjuction “and” necessitates a connection [though apparently there is none], which implies [the following unstated sentence]: “He is powerful over all things so [must be] the Creator of these majestic heavenly bodies. And He is knowing of all things, for it is He who placed them in order with such precise art.”
The “bi-”, which expresses contiguity, in “of all (bi-kulli)” indicates that knowledge is not separate from what is known.
“All (kull)” is general and [from the point of view of divine knowledge] there is nothing outside it [for Allah knows everything without exception]. Thus, the rule “all general rules have exceptions” has an exception. Other-