this is none other than a sort of literature. For some unknown reason, this literature is the most extensive of sciences, it has the widest scope, is the most penetrating and effective, and the closest to the human heart. Indeed, it is the sultan of the sciences. Think over this carefully!
[Like the previous verses] these verses have three aspects
related to their positioning and the word-order:
The positioning of the [first] verse in relation to the preceding one has four aspects:
The First: When the Qur’an explains the wisdom in man’s vicegerency in the previous verse it is the first part of the answer, and is more general [addressing] everyone, and the easiest and most convincing, and the most brief and concise. Then with this verse it gives an explanatory, detailed answer satisfying to both ordinary people and the elite.
The Second: Having made an explicit statement about man’s vicegerency in the previous verse, with this one it proves the question with the miracle of mankind in the face of the angels.
The Third: The previous verse having indicated mankind’s superiority over the angels, this verse alludes to the cause of its superiority.
The Fourth: Having hinted with the previous verse at mankind’s receiving the supreme vicegerency of the earth, with this one it allusively advances arguments to support it. For by virtue of the diversity of man’s abilities and the multiplicity of ways in which he can utilize things and the many sides to his knowledge, and his encompassing the universe with his five senses, external and inner, and especially with his boundless conscience, he is a comprehensive copy [of the world] and locus of all the manifestations [of the divine names]. You can see that contrary to the angels, he can relish the taste of things like honey in two ways or even more! So ponder over this!
The positioning of the verses’ phrases is naturally
smooth and fluent to the utmost degree:
The first [phrase “And He taught Adam the names of all things;”] verifies (taḥqīq) the meaning of [the last phrase of the previous verse]: “I know what you know not,” and elaborates what it states summarily and expounds its obscurities. Moreover, [the function of] the Most High’s vicegerent on the earth is to execute His ordinances and apply His laws, and this is dependent on full knowledge. So too, the thread and drift of the previous verse implies these [unstated words]: “So He created him and ordered his being,