Contributed by Jameel Kermalli,
al-Khumeini writes in his exegesis of the blessed Chapter al-Hamd, that:
As we are veiled, we cannot perceive it. But it is a fact that the sublime qualities are reflected even in the things lower than man and animals. At the most, these qualities are reflected in them according to the capacity of their existence. Even the lowest creations possess the quality of perception. The Qur’an says, There is not a thing that does not praise Him, but you do not understand their praise. (al-Qur’an – Chapter 17, Verse 44).
As we are veiled and do not understand the praise of all existing things, the ancient scholars did not know that the imperfect beings also possessed perception. That is why they took this praise to mean the praise indicated by the creation of all things, but in fact, this verse has nothing to do with that kind of praise, which is quite a different matter, as we already know.
According to a tradition once, the people heard the pebbles in the Holy Prophet’s hand praising Allah. They could understand the praise of the pebbles, but this praise was such that the human ears were quite unfamiliar with it. It was in the pebbles’ own language, not in any human language. ..
Formerly it was believed that the plants were inanimate objects, but now it is said that they have a hearing system. If you put the tissues of a tree in hot water and pass a voice through them, there will be a reaction and you will hear some voices in response. (This aspect is explored in details in later sections). We do not know how far this report is correct. But it is certain that this world is full of voices and sounds. The whole world is living and is a name of Allah. You yourselves are a name of Allah. Your tongues and your hands are names of Allah.
The Qur’an says, Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. Everything is illuminated by His light. Everything has appeared by dint of His light. This appearance itself is a reflection of His light. Man’s appearance is also a light. Therefore, man himself is a light. Animals are also a light of Allah’s glory. The existence of the heavens and the earth is a light from Allah.
This light has so passed away in Allah that the Qur’an has said, Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. It has not said that the heavens and the earth are illuminated by the light of Allah. The reason is that the heavens and the earth are a nonentity. Nothing in our world has an independent existence of its own. In other words, there is nothing here that is self-existing. In fact, there is no existent other than Allah, which is why the Qur’an says, With the name of Allah, all praise belongs to Allah. With the name of Allah say, He is Allah the One.
Perhaps the Qur’an does not ask you to utter the words, With the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. It actually mentions a fact. By asking you to say so with the name of Allah, it means that your saying so is also a name of Allah. The Qur’an has said, Whatever there is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him. It has not said whoever there is in the heavens and the earth glorifies Him. That means that everything whether animate or inanimate praises and glorifies Allah, for all are a reflection of the light of His glory and all movements are caused by His glory.