In your translation of Surah Baqarah, you have interpreted the meaning of Adam being taught all the names differently from a majority of the commentators. Many of them interpret the ability of naming things in philosophical terms, i.e. conceptual knowledge. You, on the other hand, refer to it as the names of those people who qualify as recipients of the vicegerency.
Can you give the reasoning behind this?
Before explaining the reasons for the said interpretation, I would like to mention that this is the interpretation, which Amin Ahsen Islahi has given in his commentary to the Qur’an – ‘Tadabbur e Qur’an’.
There are primarily three reasons for the preference of the said interpretation over the others:
The definite article before the word ‘Asmaa’ is evidence to the fact that the names that Adam (pbuh) was taught were actually some specific things or persons;
All the pronouns used in referring to the named – i.e. those whose names Adam was taught – in the succeeding sentences are those, which in the Arabic language are used only for intellectual (or thinking) beings like humans, angels etc.
On close examination of the verse, it becomes apparent that the ‘named’ (persons or things) were presented before the angels in response to their objection that if the new creation is bestowed with the authority to choose between right and wrong, then it would misuse this authority and create disorder in the land and shed blood. It seems that as a response to this objection, God presented them with those (intellectual) beings, who would use the bestowed freedom and authority to do good and to call people to the right path.
It is primarily on the basis of the three foregoing points that I have preferred Amin Ahsen Islahi’s interpretation over the others.
A difference of opinion can, obviously, exist in such cases.
I hope this helps.
December 26, 2000