Al-‘Alim: He knows it All!

Suuratul – Yusuf Verse 76.

فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَآءِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ ٱسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِن وِعَآءِ أَخِيهِ ۚكَذَٰلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ ۖ مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِى دِينِ ٱلْمَلِكِ إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّـهُ ۚ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَـٰتٍ مَّن نَّشَآءُ ۗ وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِى عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٧٦

76. So he [Yusuf (Joseph)] began (the search) in their bags before the bag of his brother. Then he brought it out of his brother’s bag. Thus did We plan for Yusuf (Joseph). He could not take his brother by the law of the king (as a slave), except that Allah willed it. (So Allah made the brothers to bind themselves with their way of “punishment, i.e. enslaving of a thief.”) We raise to degrees whom We please, but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah).

 

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah said next,

﴿وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِى عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ﴾

but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing.

Al-Hasan commented, “There is no knowledgeable person, but there is another person with more knowledge until it ends at Allah the Exalted and Most Honored. In addition, `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “We were with Ibn `Abbas when he narrated an amazing Hadith. A man in the audience said, `All praise is to Allah! There is an all-knowing above every person endowed with knowledge.’ Ibn `Abbas responded, `Worse it is that which you said! Allah is the All-Knowing and His knowledge is above the knowledge of every knowledgeable person.’ Simak narrated that `Ikrimah said that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah’s statement,

﴿وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِى عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ﴾

but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah)

“This person has more knowledge than that person, and Allah is above all knowledgeable persons.” Similar was narrated from `Ikrimah. Qatadah said, “Over every person endowed with knowledge is a more knowledgeable person until all knowledge ends with Allah. Verily, knowledge started from Allah, and from Him the scholars learn, and to Him all knowledge returns.” `Abdullah bin Mas`ud read the Ayah this way, (وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ عَالِمٍ عَلِيمٌ) “And above every scholar, is the All-Knower (Allah).”

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