¡ Whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies God, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.
1 Whatsoever (mā) is used rather than whosoever (man) to indicate that the praise of God predominates throughout all that exists (JJ). All existing realities in the heavens and on the earth glorify God through their tongues or through their states of being (Aj,
Z). The verb “to glorify” (sabbaḥa) indicates declaring something to be beyond all evil, which derives from the original meaning of the verb sabaḥa, “he went beyond” (Aj, N,
Z). The verb “to glorify” occurs in several different forms in the Quran: past, present, imperative, and verbal noun, indicating that from the moment existents come into being they continuously glorify God through speech and deeds, willingly and unwillingly, for
there is no thing, save that it hymns His praise, though you do not understand their praise (17:44; Āl). In this and other verses, sabbaḥa is followed by the particle lām, meaning “to” or “for,” an addition that can convey the exact same meaning as when sabbaḥa occurs without it, or it can convey a sense of glorifying God for God’s sake alone (N, Z).