By February 1, 2024 Read More →

Section Ya-Seen – Part 7

We will continue with our study of Section Ya-Seen of the Qur’an. We previously investigated the verses mentioning the attitude of disbelief reminding deniers to pay attention to previous generations, people that leave this world and don’t come back here. The following verse 36:32 mentioned that every one of you will be brought before their Owner, i.e. will return to God. We will be held accountable for whatever we are doing here. This return to God and being given life back is good news but not an easy thing to face because of my records which may not be the best. I am always worried about my report card resulting from how I have lived my life. How many and how much of my human qualities have I used to recognize my Creator to fulfill my purpose in existence? I will be judged according to my deeds, attitudes, dealings with creation, and how I have interpreted events in this world.

The news says that everyone will be judged and given their reward accordingly. The good news we hear from the Qur’an is that for our bad deeds we will get something equal as a “reward of punishment, one strike for one bad deed. That becomes our requital.  Whereas for our good side, there is excellent news that the deeds get multiplied.

Another important point to know is that my Lord gives me the news that if I ask for forgiveness, repent and stay consistent in not making the mistake again, then His Grace is forgiving and will obliterate the mistake. To ask for forgiveness, I must know that I have done something wrong. I must accept that I need to be forgiven, ask the One who is going to take me to account to forgive me. This requires belief in the Creator of the universe as well as belief in the Hereafter. Those who do not adhere to belief, deny the Lord of the universe, and consequently deny the Hereafter would not see any reason in asking for forgiveness. For deniers there is no reason to ask for forgiveness because they do not recognize the Creator who created them and will take them to account in another creation. Even their human qualities let them know that they have misused their human qualities, they cannot do anything about their mistakes though they feel bad about them. This is how human qualities are created to remind them that they have to do something about these mistakes. 

For the believers, there are two options: to ask for forgiveness or not to ask for forgiveness. They are strongly encouraged in the way they are created and in the Qur’an to ask for forgiveness, repent for their mistakes. In a way, God says: “don’t worry, if you ask for forgiveness, I will take care of it.” To be forgiven, I must be a believer, knowing that I have a Creator, an Owner to whom I am accountable to. Once again, forgiveness is for those who believe in God, the Lord of the universe and believe in the Hereafter where they are held accountable. Another good news from the Qur’an is that the believer who repents, asks for forgiveness and stays consistent will be rewarded plenty. For example, by doing one action, the person realizes that this action is only made possible by, ordered by the Absolute being to whom I place my trust. 

Another example, if I do something that my wife asks me to do, I just do it to please her and have some peace in my life. However, if my Creator asks me to do something, what is the result of that action? It is not only having a peace of mind in my family life but my life within the whole universe that extends to the next creation. Imagine having peace in my life, not just one time but in my whole life span of this world and even extending to the next life. How comforting and satisfying that is. That is why God says that “if you do any action for my sake, the reward is upon Me. I, as the Absolute Being, will give you the reward”. It is not like the reward of my wife or children but the reward of the Lord of the universe. It is amazing that we are given this opportunity to seek forgiveness and be rewarded by the Lord of the universe. If I ask God to help me, acknowledging that only He can help me, only He can forgive me, then He will give me a reward for eternity. Who in this world can give me eternal satisfaction? I must do the action in His name by acknowledging Him. I must pray to God to take me to His presence in the state of a believer and in a state of asking for forgiveness.

I realize that there are many things that I cannot be proud of, many mistakes which I regret, and from which I learn. I need to ask for forgiveness.  Everyone has bad deeds that one is ashamed of, I must keep asking for sincere forgiveness. God willing, He will forgive me which is my hope. We should pray for each other to be forgiven.

In the following verse, it seems as if the subject changes. This is one of the mysteries of the Qur’an of being concise and precise in the points it wants to convey. The first few verses mentioned the deniers who rebelled against the prophets as well as a sincere man following the prophetic teachings who tried to convince his own people to follow the prophets. The people rejected this and killed the man. Now, the Qur’an continues with what seems to be a change of subject speaking to the attitude of denial one may have, by making one realize as to why one must believe in the prophetic message.

وَءَايَةٌۭ لَّهُمُ ٱلْأَرْضُ ٱلْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَـٰهَا وَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهَا حَبًّۭا فَمِنْهُ يَأْكُلُونَ

36:33 There is a sign [of resurrection] for them in the lifeless earth: We give it life and We produce grain from it for them to eat.

We are seeing in front of our own eyes the demonstrations in the universe that are very purposeful. Everything is done with perfect wisdom to fulfill some purpose. There is nothing meaningless in the universe. For example, if I leave a piece of sweet out on the kitchen counter by mistake. It becomes food and nourishment for ants and other insects. I may get angry at these creatures when in fact it was my mistake. Ants and insects are employed as the means to clean what I had ignored, they come in as reminders to keep my house clean.  These insects are purposeful creations. We may not realize but there is purpose in everything that we find in the universe. Another example, squirrels running around in a garden or backyard. They play around and look for food. Seemingly they may be regarded as useless creatures who do not do anything. What is their purpose in existence? They give pleasure to anyone observing them playing. 

The phrase “وَءَايَةٌۭ لَّهُمُ ٱلْأَرْضُ” mentions that there are signs [of resurrection] in this lifeless earth. There are many purposes that can be seen on earth. This is a reminder for the believers and a call for the deniers to pay attention to what is manifesting in the universe. In the lifeless earth, life is given to many beings as signs of God. Observe that the earth seems to be lifeless but living creatures are coming out of it. Isn’t it strange or wonderful that plants are seemingly coming out of  lifeless earth? These plants are not only demonstrating the possibility of resurrection, but we also benefit from many plants and trees for our food and nutrition. There are many aspects and purposes to their creation. They are beautiful and look pleasing to us, they remind us of resurrection, they partake in the atmospheric ecosystem. Another aspect is that they demonstrate the qualities of their Creator who knows His work, is Conscious, is Merciful, is Beautiful, etc.

Can the material elements of a seed be the source of life, as some material scientists claim? The seed or the earth cannot be the source of life. They are made of fundamental elements but these elements themselves have no life. That is what the verse is pointing out that from these dead lifeless elements and the earth, “We”, the Absolute Creator gives it life. The earth is not doing the growth of these plants by itself, it cannot be natural or accidental, but the Qur’an says that “We are producing it”. They become the means for your provision, examples of reminding us through the written code in their DNA.  These signs show that the One who creates them knows what He is doing. We can see that these plants have life, and the material elements cannot be the source of life. The seed and cell cannot be the source of life. The elements are matter and cannot be the source of life as well. Life has another level of existence like the human spirit. Human consciousness and imagination are another level of existence, they cannot be originating from matter. Material scientists say that the cell is a living being. It doesn’t mean that the cell or my material side is the source of existence of my life. They know that life on earth started billions of years ago as the discovery of fossils is manifesting. They go back to a certain time in history, and every scientist attests to the fact that the universe existed with life billions of years before those fossils. 

We know that every moment is a new creation. A new creation takes place within an order, perfectly arranged at every moment. Some took the changes observed in the universe as evolving by themselves, changing by themselves when things have no quality to evolve by themselves. Everything is observed to be existing in an orderly fashion, this necessitates one who has Knowledge, Will and Power, an Absolute Creator known as God. That is the way God creates everything in an orderly way. 

This matter of different dimensions of existence must be paid attention to. There are many believing Muslims, Christians and Jewish scientists from whom we do not hear such fundamental matters of creation. Most of the believing scientists accept the theory of evolution and say that God created the things, gave them qualities to act independently from God and now they are acting by themselves. Do the things have free will, do they have knowledge? We see the DNA code but that doesn’t mean that the DNA is the source of how the thing is acting now. This claim infer that the written information is executing the creation. If I write some formulas in my cells, does anyone think that these formulas will give existence to whatever these formulas represent?   The whole universe is renewed at every moment. This most important aspect of the universe is missed by many. That is the way to understand God to be the Absolute Creator of the universe who continuously renews His act of creation. I cannot imagine an Absolute Being to give other beings creative qualities to act independently; this being would no longer qualify to be an Absolute Being.

Materialist scientists say that things are the cause of the existence of other things. For example, DNA is the cause of the existence of a thing. It may seem as if the DNA in the cell grows the plant or animal. DNA cells are alive, but they are created alive just like my body is given life. Life doesn’t belong to my body as I can witness upon death of beings. I cannot claim that life is the property of my body. My Creator gave me body and gave life to the body. Now is my  body working by itself?  How is my heart working? How does my blood circulate? How does my stomach work?  How can I say that God created my life and my body is doing all this? How can I say that all activities within me function by themselves? I am a conscious being; how can my cells be conscious to be operating on their own? All of these confusions are caused by a misconception of the creation that we take it for granted God created the universe and it is working on its own now. As a result of our observation of each being coming into existenceI if we concluded that the Creator must be an Absolute Being, why will this Absolute Creator leave the creation in the hands of what He has created? It is an obvious logical contradiction. 

Not realizing the Absoluteness of God is the main reason for the  corruption of human reasoning. We should not forget the Absoluteness of God is manifesting itself on every occasion. Much of human corruption comes from not believing in God. After realizing that belief in God is corrupted, then I have no right to complain about this gender problem going on, life without marriage contracts, they don’t want to commit to take care of each other, they shy away from having a mutual commitment to support each other. This result is, indeed, inescapable. There is a general loss of trust in society that corrupts family life which leads to corrupting social life as a result of not believing in God. Signs are there in metropolitan cities where people are looking to exploit each other. There is no genuine concern or respect for each other but artificiality in meeting each other. Fake and hypocritical smiles seeking admiration from others based on the way they dress, their physique, popularity and status in society. If the members of a society lose their belief in an Absolute Creator it is inevitable that this society will not have any genuine concern to anyone or even to any other beings. All their relationships will be based on their personal benefits. We see that even the people who do not believe in God say, we have to take care of their environment just to leave a better world for themselves or for their generations. We notice that they do not respect the creation as a priceless “gift” from their Creator and they need to respect the plants’ and animals’ lives but they take care of the benefits of their generations. How selfish unbelievers are!!

Some may see that apparent causes are involved in obtaining results, seemingly affecting the following stages of existence. But the Qur’an points out that there is a sign in the lifeless earth. Matter cannot be the source of existence of life. “We” give life to certain matters on earth, like life is given to my body. “We” produce grain from earth for them to eat. All of this for the purpose of creating food for my body. All these processes of digestion, cleaning of undesired things, distribution of nourishment to my cells where I feel energetic, they are all created. There is also food for my spirit giving me the news of resurrection that I am not going to be destroyed. I will be given life and spirit which will be operating in my next creation. 

The things are lifeless quality wise to create the results, but they show purposeful creation. We should pay attention to this aspect of the earth. Looking at a plant and animal, we should see them as a sign of purposeful creation, eliminating the possibility of causes having an effect. An orderly creation takes place with perfect order and design. The whole process is designed and planned in a perfect way, demonstrating that the One who is creating must be a Conscious, Powerful, Knowledgeable, Wise, Purposeful Creator. Knowing this, my spirit feels relaxed and at peace. The Qur’an mentions that the believers will be greeting each other with “peace” or “Salaams”. This is paradise, the place of peace. God will say “Peace be upon you. Everything will be taken care of by Me. I am your Owner. I enjoy my creatures entertaining themselves with My Mercy.”

وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا جَنَّـٰتٍۢ مِّن نَّخِيلٍۢ وَأَعْنَـٰبٍۢ وَفَجَّرْنَا فِيهَا مِنَ ٱلْعُيُونِ

36:34 And We have placed in it gardens of palm trees and grapevines, and caused springs to gush forth in it,

Qur’an speaks with simple examples. Everyone knows grapevines, palm trees and springs. Why create all of this? With the specific purpose of providing provision, it is a purposeful creation. We should remember that there are two foods that we are eating: one is for our tongues and stomach where matter does not have consciousness to satisfy my sense of taste and feed me. The other food is for our spirit where our consciousness knows that the food, which is physical matter, is not conscious to introduce the qualities of its maker and respond to my spiritual questions and satisfy them but the One who has arranged all these things is satisfying me. The Creator gave the dead elements life and ordered them to act the way they are doing.  

لِيَأْكُلُوا۟ مِن ثَمَرِهِۦ وَمَا عَمِلَتْهُ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۖ أَفَلَا يَشْكُرُونَ

36:35 with the specific purpose of providing them with its fruit. It was not their hands that made it, will they not be grateful?

The phrase “ لِيَأْكُلُوا۟ مِن ثَمَرِهِۦ” is translated as “with the specific purpose of providing them fruits to eat”. They are purposeful creations that you will eat and benefit from. The tongue will enjoy the food and the body gets nourished. The other important aspect is my spirit gets satisfied by the One who creates them and is arranging all this for me. Conscious creation and arrangement cannot be attributed to matter or cells that cannot know what the purpose is for things to exist. 

The phrase “وَمَا عَمِلَتْهُ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۖ” translated as “It was not their hands that made it.” The created things are just matter and have no quality to create anything. Even human beings who have choice and consciousness also cannot make any of these plants and animals that they benefitting from. The phrase continues with “أَفَلَا يَشْكُرُونَ”, “Will they not be grateful”. At least be thankful for what is created and given to you freely. The word “Nature” is the main disease of this century. Since the 19th century, as historians mention, the French started using the word “natural” in everyday language and this has become prevalent at this time.  At least I must be thankful, what would I gain by denying this merciful creation. Whoever is doing this must be a Conscious Being. There is no conscious being in this universe to create all these things. At least acknowledge that there must be a Creator. Isn’t it nonsensical to say the “nature of the things” themselves creates all these purposeful plants and animals?. Can unconscious things plan all the qualities of the universe, can matter do that? At least say, there must be something not a part of the universe and I am thankful to it. Can matter develop the qualities manifested in them by themselves? They only exist with these qualities, otherwise they would not exist at all. Can anyone examine a computer and see how it works and claim that its “nature” developed itself and eventually became a perfectly functioning computer? Something not a part of the universe is essential, which inevitably implies something not a part of this universe but the Source Of Existence of this universe, called God. We must qualify the word God or “Allah” by what we understand and mean by it. 

If one starts to list the qualities necessary to bring things into existence, they will agree on the same Absolute Qualities of Power, Knowledge, Wisdom, Justice, Beauty, etc. Why do people insist on denying God? The psychology of denial lies in knowing very well that when they believe in God, they would have to follow a human being. This news of God was introduced and defended by prophets to them. The prophets say this news is not from me but from God, you are not obeying me but obeying God. You are not submitting yourself to me but to God who sent His message through me. I am the exemplary life pattern of this message, take the example from my lifestyle. They say, “Oh, am I going to follow a man in order to obey God? Just believing in God is enough, what is this religion doing in my life?” That is the hardest part that people find to accept. They take the belief in God to be enough but to follow the prophet is difficult to accept for them because they mistakenly understand that when they follow the lifestyle of the prophets they are following a “man” like themselves. But the prophets and the message they present to people keep declaring that the prophets are not the source of these messages but it is God. When people follow the prophets they will be following God who employed them to transfer the message to people and to represent it in their practical lives. The prophets themselves are in need of the message. This is the reason why the Qur’an explicitly declares this: 

مَّن يُطِعِ ٱلرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ ٱللَّهَ وَمَن تَوَلَّىٰ فَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَـٰكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا

“Whoever obeys the Messenger obeys God. If some pay no heed, We have not sent you to be their keeper.” (4: 80)

سُبْحَـٰنَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلْأَزْوَٰجَ كُلَّهَا مِمَّا تُنۢبِتُ ٱلْأَرْضُ وَمِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمِمَّا لَا يَعْلَمُون

36:36 Glory be to Him who creates all things in pairs: the plants of the earth, mankind themselves, and things [as yet] they have no knowledge of.

This verse is going into another aspect of creation where not only every single being, but particularly living beings are also signs of God who has created everything with a purpose. Another aspect of creation is to feel confident in my belief. How does He do it? He creates everything in pairs. The word “ٱلْأَزْوَٰجَ”” translated as “in pairs” which means that He creates everything contrasting but complementing each other. I can only express my satisfaction with “SubhanAllah”, “Glory be to Him” which means to express how perfect are God’s demonstrations! They contrast each other as having opposite qualities but complement each other at the same time, arranged perfectly, working together harmoniously. For example, who arranged my hands, symmetrical arrangement of my eyes? Can it be accidental? How do they adjust to each other? Muscles of my two eyes, for example, adjust so precisely for me to focus on viewing something.  Everything in my creation is purposefully arranged as pairs. Whatever production is coming out of earth is in pairs, you humans as well are created in pairs. Besides the bodily systems created in pairs, we see examples of opposites such as: love, hate, like dislike, attraction, repulsion which are all pairs contrasting but complementing one another. Everything conforms to a balance and harmony. Even if I want to deny it, I cannot, it is impossible. I should not do away with this obvious reality of existence by claiming that unconscious matter is adjusting itself to its environment to survive. I must be honest with myself.

I should not imagine that if I submit to God, I will be submitting to a religion which means that I will lose my free will.  That is not true, as a believer I still use my free will and enjoy it. How do I use it? I love being honest, not lying, praying, and being friendly with people. I am at peace with everything in creation and enjoy it.

 




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