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What the Qur'an teaches: Blessings of every type

Published: 31/03/2011 09:31:00 PM GMT
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By ADIL SALAHI

Published: Mar 31, 2011 22:43 Updated: Mar 31, 2011 22:44

In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful And He it is who sends down water from the sky in due measure. With it We raise dead land to life; and thus you will be raised from the dead. And He it is who created all living things in pairs, and provided for you the ships and animals on which you ride, so that when you are seated on their backs you remember your Lord’s blessings and say: ‘Limitless in His glory is He who has made all this subservient to our use. We could not have done it by ourselves. To our Lord we shall most certainly return.’ (Gold; Al-Zukhruf: 43: 11-14)



The surah now looks a step further at the process of life and the emergence of living creatures: “And He it is who sends down water from the sky in due measure. With it We raise dead land to life; and thus you will be raised from the dead.” Water comes down from the skies, as every person sees and knows, but most people are not moved by this remarkable phenomenon because of over familiarity. Muhammad, God's Messenger, (peace be upon him), however, held a different attitude. He looked at the drops of rain with love and welcoming delight, knowing that they came from God; in other words, his heart recognized God's handiwork in these drops. Every heart that is aware of its bond with God and the laws of nature He has set in operation should adopt this attitude. Every raindrop is the result of these laws of nature which operate under God's eye and control. That rain originates from the vapor that rises from the earth and cools down in the atmosphere in no way diminishes the implication of these facts. Who has brought the earth into being, placed water on it, subjected it to heat, made water naturally evaporate and vapor rise and condense? Who has given the universe its other characteristics which give the condensing vapor an electrical charge so that when clouds gather, their electric charges cause rain to fall? Besides, what is electricity? What are these other characteristics that produce the combined effect of rain falling down? As we learn more about nature, however, our knowledge casts a heavy weight over our understanding. We no longer appreciate the messages given by universal phenomena; we no longer allow these messages to refine our feelings and responses.

“And He it is who sends down water from the sky in due measure.” It is given in the right quantity, neither too much so as to flood large areas of land, nor too little to leave the land barren. Man has come to recognize the importance of maintaining this fine balance for the continuity of life. “With it We raise dead land to life.” Life on earth flourishes where water is plentiful. It is from water that every living thing originates. “And thus you will be raised from the dead.” The One who originated life in the first place will bring it back again. It is He who started life in a land that was dead, and He will raise all back to life on the Day of Resurrection. Nothing is difficult for Him.

We learn from this surah that the Arab unbelievers used to assign a portion of their cattle to God and another portion to other beings. God, however, created cattle as one of the favors He bestows on man: people ride cattle as they ride on ships and they should appreciate His blessings and give thanks: “And He it is who created all living things in pairs, and provided for you the ships and animals on which you ride, so that when you are seated on their backs you remember your Lord's blessings and say: 'Limitless in His glory is He who has made all this subservient to our use. We could not have done it by ourselves. To our Lord we shall most certainly return.”

Making things in pairs is a rule of life, as indicated in this verse. All living things are created in pairs; even the first living cell carries masculine and feminine characteristics. In fact, this rule perhaps applies to the universe in its entirety, if we consider its basic unit to be the atom which consists of a negative electron and a positive proton, as all research in physics has so far indicated. Be that as it may, this duality is apparent throughout life. It is God who has created all pairs, human and non-human.

Moreover, it is He who has “provided for you the ships and animals on which you ride.” This is to remind man that God has placed him in charge of the earth, putting at his disposal its considerable and varied power and potential. It also invites man to show gratitude for God's choice and blessings, reminds him of the One who grants blessings every time such a blessing is enjoyed.

Such expressions of gratitude for God's blessings is sure to keep our hearts alive to their bond with God at every turn in life: “So that when you are seated on their backs you remember your Lord's blessings and say: 'Limitless in His glory is He who has made all this subservient to our use. We could not have done it by ourselves.” We certainly cannot match His blessings. All that we can do is to be truly grateful and give due thanks for all that He has favored us with. We should realize that we will eventually return to God after our term in charge of the earth comes to its end. He will then requite us for what we have done in life when we enjoyed His favors and what He placed at our service: “To our Lord we shall most certainly return.” ¬




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