man’s being the fruit of creation and all on the earth being subjugated to him for him to dispose of as he wishes. Now this verse points out that man is vicegerent of the earth and is its ruler.
The Second: This verse expounds, explains, elucidates, verifies, proves, and corrroborates what the previous verse [states], that the reins of the chains of all on the earth are in man’s hands.
The Third: The previous verse having explained the building of the two dwellings of the earth and the heavens, this one indicates their inhabitants, mankind and the angels. And while the former alludes to the chain of creation, this one hints at the chain of beings with spirits (dhawī al-arwāḥ).
The Fourth: On the previous verse making it clear that humankind is the aim of creation and that man has a high place in his Creator’s sight, the listener is moved to ask: “How can man be worthy when he perpetrates so much evil and corruption? Does wisdom necessitate his existence, to worship and hallow the Most High?” So this verse implies that on account of (lit. besides) the mystery [the Trust] being deposited in him, his evils and iniquities are forgiven, and that Allah stands in no need of man’s worship, for some of the angels hallow Him and glorify Him with praises beyond number. [Man’s creation therefore] is for some purpose known only to the One All-Knowing of the Unseen.
Now the positioning of the verse’s phrases:
This verse flows on smoothly [from the previous one] because of [the second, implied] “then (idh )” necessitated by the first, and its looking to (‘aṭf) “and of all things He has full knowledge” [although it is apparently unrelated. This implies] the unstated sentence: “Then (idh) He created what He created in perfect systematic order ‘And then your Lord said to the angels...’” [Thus, the second idh looks to the first and a relationship is formed between the two sentences.] When, to get them to ask the reason for [man’s creation] and to teach them consultation as a method, the Most High addresses the angels saying: “I will create a vicegerent on earth,” it prompts the listener’s mind to ask [three things]: “What did they say?”, in connection with the mystery of conversation; and to ask the reason for [man’s creation] and out of surprise: “Are You going to create [such a one] on the earth?”; and to learn the wisdom in man’s vicegerency rather than the mischief-making jinns and his having been entrusted with the powers of anger and animal appetites: “One who will make mischief in it?” [While this latter is] due to the excesses of the power of appetite, “and will shed blood?” is due to the aggression of the power of anger. Having completed