5189 The most magnificent works of man-such as they are-are but fleeting. Ships, Empires, the Wonders of Science and Art, the splendours of human glory or intellect, will all pass away. The most magnificent objects in outer Nature-the mountains and valleys, the sun and moon, the Constellation Orion and the star Sinus-will also pass away in their appointed time. But the only One that will endure forever is the "Face" of Allah. "Face" expresses Personality, Glory, Majesty, Inner Being, Essence, Self-all the noble qualities which we associate with the Beautiful Names of Allah. See n. 114 to 2:112; also n. 1154 to 7:180, and n. 2322 to 17:110.
5190 Ikram: two ideas are prominent in the word. (1) the idea of generosity, as proceeding from the person whose attribute it is, and (2) the idea of honour, as given by others to the person whose attribute it is. Both these ideas are summed up in "nobility". To make the meaning quite clear, I have employed in the translation the two words "Bounty and Honour" for the single word Ikram. The same attributes recur in the last verse of this Surah. In the Fact of Allah's Eternity is the Hope of our Future.