Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Excellence of Knowledge



Excellence of Knowledge

Verse – 31 & 32 of 286, section -4

31.  And He taught Adam all

the names, then showed them

to the angels, saying: Inform

Me of the names of these, if ye are truthful.

32.  They said: Be glorified!

We have no knowledge saving that which Thou hast taught us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower, the Wise.


31.  Wa ‘allama ‘Aadamal-‘as-maaa-‘a kullahaa summa ‘arazahum ‘alal-malaaa-‘ikati faqaala ‘ambi-‘uunii bi-‘as-maaa-‘i haaa-‘u-laaa-‘i ‘in- kuntum saadiqiin.

32.  Qaaluu –Subhaanaka laa ‘ilma lanaaa ‘illaa maa ‘allamtanaa. ‘Innaka ‘antal-‘Aliimul-Hakiim.


‘Aadama – (Adam). He (peace be upon Him) is the Father of all humankind.

‘As-maaa-‘a.  (Names) the word which is spoken for acquaintance of any person or thing is used as its name. To recognize that person/thing it is also necessary that its qualities and signs should be known.

Here meanings of the names are, “the names of all the things, their characteristics and conditions which would have to become necessary for the Adam and His children after sending them on the earth.” God Almighty acquainted the Adam (Peace be upon Him) about all the things’ names, their states and their characteristics. 

According to the Knowledge of God the creation which was going to become His Caliph, before his appearing all the things were produced and then the humankind was created and He was named as Adam (peace be upon Him).

As you know that one creature of the God is Angels which are produced from the Bright (Noor). They pass their entire time in obedience and worship of God and it is their greatest excellence. They are totally pure and clean from all the wishes and needs which are good for the Adam. So they quite do not know about the use of all  things of the earth and skies. However it is fact that God has not created any thing without cause. There is indeed any philosophy and advisability in it.

The Lord Almighty created the Adam (peace be upon Him) from the mud. Then He produced in his body different kinds of wishes and needs. He gave knowledge also to adopt the different means to fulfill his wishes. He grew ability in it that he may acquaint with all the things easily and may know their characteristics.

The Adam has to face different accidents, incidents and changes in the different times. It has been kept in His nature that He will cross all the hurdles consciously and successfully. He has been informed about names of each necessary thing and its characteristics to compete in all kinds of difficulties.   


As it has been already discussed that the Angels know only about which they have been given knowledge. The things they do not need, they neither know about them and nor they can try to know about them.


So after teaching the names of all things to the Adam (Peace be upon Him) the God Almighty produced those things in front of the Angels. He commanded them, “If you are true in your claim that you hymn Mine praise and sanctity Me perfectly then tell Me the names of following things”.


The Angels are sacred creature. They do not have any work besides worship. How could they tell the names? They said, “We have only that knowledge which You have taught us. Besides that we know nothing. Now! These things, we can say only that there will be any advantage in producing them but we don’t know about its philosophy and secrecy because Your works are not but full with Your philosophy and advisability.


It is evident from these verses that due to knowledge the mankind became superior and higher in rank to the Angels. Now if any person out of the generation of the Adam (peace be upon Him) is careless from the knowledge then he can not perform the duty of God’s caliph. We see that those nations, who acquired knowledge, are really on the path of development.                        


Transliteration in Roman Script, English Translation by Marmaduke Pickthall and Paraphrase collected from Dars e Qur’aan published By Idara Islah wa Tableegh, Lahore & translated ByMuhammad Sharif Fauji