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Sura 6, verses 74 to 79 read as follows:
6:74 Lo! Abraham said to his father Azar: "Takest thou idols for gods? For I see thee and thy people in manifest error."
6:75 So also did We show Abraham the power and the laws of the heavens and the earth, that he might (with understanding) have certitude.
6:76 When the night covered him over, He saw a star: He said: "This is my Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set."
6:77 When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord." But when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray."
6:78 When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord; this is the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to God.
6:79 "For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to God."
Abraham's father was named 'Tarakh'. He is said to have passed away before Abraham's birth. Azar is believed to be the patriarchal or tribal father under whose guardianship Abraham was raised.
These verses describe the spiritual vision and state of certainty granted to Abraham as a gift from Allah. In a series of revelatory or intellectual unveilings, the Reality behind existence - it's true nature - was manifested and he arrived at a state of understanding and certainty that most humans will not reach except after the blowing of the trumpet of light (that will illuminate and reveal the true nature of reality).
This spiritual journey is described in the form of a series of events in which Abraham(a.s.) penetrates through the frozen forms and laws of the world to perceive the source of existence. He first turns away from the materialistic, frozen spirituality of his people who have tried to give material form (idols) to that which is beyond all form and who have thus transformed spirituality into idolatry.
Then begins a series of perceptions which take Abraham beyond all forms. He perceives three heavenly lights each more intense than the previous one but each one is subject to laws and to time since each one sets (each is demarcated and limited and subject to natural laws). So then he turns to face what is beyond each appearance. True knowledge has a vastness that is beyond any narrowness - in other words true knowledge transforms the one who seeks it, and with each transformation the seeker is prepared for even deeper and more vast knowledge. Just as when Allah grants a revelation to a Prophet or an inspiration to a servant, it prepares the servant for further inspiration, and this goes on endlessly. The gaining of this type of knowledge is like the removal of veils. With each removal you think that now you are truly seeing the essence but the next removal makes you aware that this is not the case.
Abraham in this series of perceptions and unveilings of lights is granted a revelation, an experience that it is only "Allah that is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth". So this series of perceptions is a revelation to Abraham and at the same time it is an instruction to his people who are caught up in worshipping forms - who are trapped in a materialistic outlook where knowledge begins and ends at this lowest level of existence. This is phrased as an instruction, almost as a series of three questions to them (corresponding to the star, moon, and sun) - 'Is this what you worship' - 'is this what you worship' - 'is this what you worship' - can you not penetrate with your mind beyond this level? Are you trapped and confined by the narrowness of your minds and do you in this manner self-limit your knowledge? Are you not aware that the splendor of even the heavenly lights is subsumed by the Source of all light.
So it is at once a revelation to Abraham of the unity of Allah and
veiled and limited nature of this world, and an instruction to
Abraham's tribe of their error.
""Those who ascribe rivals to God (al-adilun billah) cry lies when
they make Him similar to the like of their categories, adorn Him in
their imaginations with the adornment of creatures, divide Him with a
measure resulting from the notions of their concerns, and measure Him
by the talents of their reason's powers in terms of the creatures
with their multiple faculties. For how should the deliberations of
imaginations assess Him whose measure cannot be determined, when surely
the notions of understanding have erred in conceiving of His inmost
center ? For He is greater than that the minds of men should delimit
Him through thought (tafkir) or angels should encompass Him through
estimation, despite their proximity to the kingdom of His might."
"High be He exalted above having an equal (kufw) with which to be compared, for He is the Subtle: when imaginations desire to encroach upon Him in the depths of the unseen regions of His dominion, (when) thoughts (fikar) free from insinuating intrusions seek to grasp knowledge of His Essence, (when) hearts are thrown into mad confusion over Him in trying to embrace Him through conforming to His attributes, (when) the ways of approach of reason's powers become obscured since no attributes attain to Him by which they might gain the knowledge of His divinity, (then) they (imaginations, thoughts, hearts and ways of approach) are checked in disgrace while traversing the chasms of the dark reaches of the unseen worlds, rid (of all things) for Him-glory be to Him! They return having been thrown back, admitting that the inmost center of His knowledge is not reached through the deviation of straying (from the path)] and that no notion of the measure of His might's majesty occurs to the mind of meditators, by reason of His distance from being (encompassed) within the faculties of limited beings. For He is counter to (khilaf) His creation, and there is nothing like Him among creatures. Now a thing is only compared with its like (adil). As for what has no like, how should it be compared with what is other than its like (mithal) ? And He is the Beginning (al-badi) before whom was naught, and the Last (al-akhir) after whom will be naught." "
(Imam Ali (a.s.) on God's transcendence - translated by William Chittick in "A Shi'ite Anthology")
""Whoso maintains that he knows God by means of a veil (hijab) or a
form (surah) or a likeness (mithal) is an associator (mushrik), for the
veil, the likeness and the form are other than He. He is utterly and
only One. So how should he who maintains that he knows Him by means of
other than Him be professing Unity ? Surely He alone knows God who
knows Him by means of God (billah). Therefore, whoso knows Him not by
means of Him knows Him not. On the contrary, he only knows other than
Him. There is nothing between the Creator and the created.  God is
the Creator of things, but not from something. He is named by His
names, so He is other than His names, and His names are other than He.
The described (al-mawsuf) is other than the describer (al-wasif)."
(Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a.s.) - form "A Shi'ite Anthology")
Anyone who reads the Qur'an is likely to be struck by the unique
nature of its construction, its unusual and constantly shifting rhythms
and the sudden transmutations and displacements in its subject matter.
At first this ever changing literary terrain seems an obstacle to
understanding, but the more time one spends with this book, the more
organic, the more natural the flow of its words feel. It is almost
like flying over an ever-changing landscape - rolling valleys
punctuated by jagged rocks, forests and plains giving way to upthrust
mountains, high plateaus broken by deep lakes, deserts sprinkled
with oasis' and cleft by canyons. Despite the variety of the forms,
despite the startling contrast of adjacent features, a complex organic
beauty underlies and unites all the various elements. These "tafsirs"
emerged from numerous brief scattered notes made while reading the
qur'an (along with numerous commentaries and the works of various
scholars whose profound analyses strongly effected my views) and
reflecting on its content. As well, for a number of years
I have participated in a hallakha, a qur'anic study circle, and many of
tafsirs presented here were originally researched for presentation at