“The water God sends down from the sky giving life to the earth after it had been lifeless, causing all manner of living creatures to multiply on it; in the movement of the winds, and the clouds that run their courses between sky and earth.” (Surah 02 – Al-Baqara – Ayah 164)
All these phenomena deserve our attention, reflection and intelligent study. They are all manifestations of God’s awesome power and infinite mercy. Life is the greatest mystery of all. How does it spring out of the earth when water makes it fertile? How does it come about, starting gently at first before manifesting itself with full vigour? By what incredible process is it carried in a seed, an egg or a gene? It is a question that has to be asked. It is no good brushing it aside or ignoring it, as some agnostics have tried to do. Some have even gone further and claimed that life can be created by man, without the need for God’s intervention! But even in the land where the ruling class prides itself on denying God altogether, they have given up and were forced to admit that this is impossible without a Creator to give life. Leading Soviet scientists do now openly admit this as a fact beyond man’s ability. In the past, Charles Darwin, the first to put forward the theory of evolution, tried hard to evade the question.
As for the wind and the clouds, and all other natural phenomena, it is not sufficient to advance a theory to explain or describe merely how winds blow, or how clouds form, or the process by which they function, or what their effects are.
The central question, the real mystery, revolves around the origin of life itself: why has the world been created in the way it has, and by what methods?
How did the universe come to exist in its present form which, in order to produce and sustain life, provides the right combination of elements such as wind, cloud, rain and soil, according to thousands upon thousands of perfectly balanced proportions and formulae?
If any of these proportions were to change, life would not be possible. The secret lies in the intricate design and clear purpose of existence, and in the unity and compassion of the Creator.
“In all this there are signs for people who use their reason.” (Ayah 164) Indeed, all man needs to do is to shake off familiarity and apathy and look afresh at the world around with a discerning eye and an enlightened heart. He should study every movement, scrutinise every phenomenon, and probe all secrets and mysteries, and let his ingenuity and imagination be fired so that he can grasp the splendour of the universe and the brilliance of its Maker.
Such refined awareness, such sensitivity, and such appreciation of the beauty, balance and perfection of the universe are derived from true faith. Faith gives the believer a new insight into the world around him and a new understanding of beauty, and turns life into one continuous celebration of the creation and glory of God.
Text and Photos by Syed Akbar Hassan