By February 5, 2024 Read More →

Section Ya-Seen – Part 8

We will continue with our study of Section Ya-Seen of the Qur’an where we last investigated verse 36 presenting in a concise way what the purpose of creation is. We focused on the word “ٱلْأَزْوَٰجَ”, all of creation comes in pairs. For example, day and night, attraction and repulsion, belief and unbelief, human and jinn. We will pay attention to another aspect which we can learn from this verse which applies to many other verses:

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

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.

The phrase “مِمَّا تُنۢبِتُ ٱلْأَرْضُ” translated as “the plants of the earth” which structure wise seems to imply that the plants belong to the earth. Although we may understand that the Creator of the universe creates everything in pairs, but in this verse it seems to say that  the earth is growing plants. This is surprising to me as I would say “Is it not God who grows the plants? Why does He say plants of the earth and not His plants as the Creator of them?” This language structure is found in the presentation of many other verses. We will see in the upcoming verses that the presentation of the verse will explicitly declare His Lordship as the Owner of everything including the plants. However, in this particular verse, the language does not mention explicitly that He creates the plants. With many examples in other verses of the Qur’an it makes sense to understand the significance of these presentations as follows:

The Qur’an speaks to very common people, the least educated people by presenting the case where it may seem the plants are coming out of the earth. This way the message can be benefitted by all, the least educated and the most educated by addressing their human qualities. The example in the verse indicates to the common person that the plants seem to be coming out of the earth. One may say that everything is created by God but may think that the earth is created by God with the capacity to grow plants. This is one of the main understandings of this age which needs to be investigated. Nowadays, no one says that the earth is growing plants but the DNA structure in them is the cause. It comes down to the same understanding whether the earth is creating plants, or the DNA is responsible for their creation because the material elements are no different between the earth and the DNA structure. We know that certain information is encoded within the DNA and that information cannot be the product of blind nature or blind matter. The material elements including DNA structure have no qualities to themselves; they are created in the way they are. In secular education they teach us that DNA is the source of the existence of all things which we need to investigate.

We keep hearing the concept of “cause and effect” which is part of our secular education. To understand the process, let us contrast the qualities in the “effect” and the “causes”:

First, we need to examine the qualities in the “effect”. In our example the plant is the “effect” and DNA is seen as the “cause”. For example, we may use the language: “because of sun, water and earth, the plant is growing”. We should examine the qualities in the plant to see what kind of qualities it has. A plant is different from a fungus or an animal. It has a certain structure, design, art, stems, leaves and colors in different seasons, emits certain chemicals, etc. All these qualities tell me that they can only be there by a Conscious Creator who knows what He is doing by giving all these qualities to it. Can we say that the sun is the cause of the “effect” which is the plant with all those qualities? I must examine the qualities of the “effect” and see how it fits perfectly for the plant to be what it is and located perfectly within the whole ecosystem.

We need to pay attention to its location and the relationship with its environment. If we look at our being and see the placement of the heart, lungs, and eyes, see how they fit and are adjusted perfectly at the appropriate location within the body. On top of that, human qualities such as feelings, intelligence, reasoning ability are all found as well. In the plant example, how are the petals arranged, the flowers that come about, their reproductive system and the process of photosynthesis? Can anyone sanely say that it is the result of matter or DNA? This whole process of creation cannot happen accidentally. The result shows that each part must be located by a Conscious Knowledgeable One, who must have command of the whole universe, must be Wise, Powerful, have Absolute Choice and so on. This fact makes it necessary for us to conclude that the qualities of that One must be Absolute.

Another point is that the DNA code is of a completely different existence than life which is of a completely different existence. The qualities of life are completely different than those found in the DNA code. How can matter be the source of existence of something which is not a material being? We conclude that each being must be located by a One with all the qualities needed that are manifested in the “effect”; universe wise endless qualities are needed to bring the “effect” into existence.

We see different Absolute Qualities manifested in the “causes” that are different from the qualities of the “effect”. Elements have their own qualities manifested in their existence which are different from the qualities of the “effect”. One of them is matter and the other is a perfectly working “effect”. The order of creation follows a certain sequence so that there is no sudden creation that would shock us. There is no such sudden change where we see a cell and the next second suddenly a teenage boy comes into existence. There is a deliberate smooth change into different forms where the qualities of the Creator are being manifested at each stage.  Human beings can only conclude that these meaningful creations in perfect order cannot happen accidentally. For example, every year new models of cars are built. They need to be designed and then manufactured. Although the previous model looks like the new one, they are completely different. No one can say that the newest model car has “evolved” from the previous model; everything was completely renewed and rebuilt. Similarly, everything in the universe is renewed at every moment, things cannot evolve. 

I am made to communicate with the universe and through it to the Creator of the universe, I will be communicating with the Creator and presenting my need to Him.

وَءَايَةٌۭ لَّهُمُ ٱلَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ ٱلنَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ

36:37 Another sign for them is the night. We withdraw the day from it, and suddenly they are left in darkness.

This continues the descriptions we observe in the universe in terms of how the universe is witnessing its source of existence. By paying attention to these signs, I will build confidence in my belief; I belong to the Creator of the whole universe who is an Absolute Being. The word “نَسْلَخُ” translated as “We withdraw” where the “ن” in the word is emphasizing “We”, the Lord of the universe is doing all this. The pulling out of the day from the night is an interesting description. The Qur’an doesn’t say that night and day are created separately but one is slowly pulled out or withdrawn from the other. This event of the earth’s movements and its relationship with the sun is what “We” (God) is doing.

The phrase “فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ” translated as “suddenly they are left in darkness” describes that when the day is taken out, darkness covers it. These are beautiful descriptions of the Qur’an. At a simple level we understand that these are deliberate acts. We can find several different rotations going on in the cosmos. As the solar system is moving, we are moving as well but we do not realize or feel those motions. There is no confusion in those movements, the day and night are perfectly arranged. The order in the universe is so complicated and intermingled but everything is smoothly being created. These are all purposeful creations.

وَٱلشَّمْسُ تَجْرِى لِمُسْتَقَرٍّۢ لَّهَا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْعَلِيمِ

36:38 The sun too runs its determined course laid down for it by the Almighty, the All Knowing.

This verse draws our attention to the fact that the whole universe is controlled by the One who is arranging this type of existence.  Everyone can understand the changes that are happening. If there was no day and night, we would think that everything is static. However, with the gradual changes that are happening such as the day gradually going into the night, we understand that they are deliberate acts, there is nothing static at all. The significance of this event is that the change and renewal of creation is named “time”, i.e. we observe change in the continuous acts of creation and label it as time.

When I understand that everything is in continuous change, I comfortably conclude that this creator is not the creator of a static universe but a continuously changing universe. The universe is created anew like the one before but not the same. We should never neglect this point of continuous change, which is the solid evidence to consolidate our belief in an Absolute Creator.


وَٱلْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَـٰهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّىٰ عَادَ كَٱلْعُرْجُونِ ٱلْقَدِيمِ

36:39 And the moon, We have determined its phases, until it finally appears like the old date-palm stalk.

Obvious examples from the universe are presented to us that everyone can witness. We cannot witness the whole cosmos, but the sun and the moon are easily observable by the naked eye. Another beautiful sign for us is that the universe is continuously being changed such as the change we easily see on the moon. The phases from the crescent to the full moon are so precise and perfectly arranged. The phrase “عَادَ كَٱلْعُرْجُونِ ٱلْقَدِيمِ” translated as “until it finally appears like the old date-palm stalk” where the likeness to a date-palm stalk reminds us that it is on a branch of a huge tree behind it. This describes the thin crescent shape as a sign indicating the vast universe in existence. We can know from the shape of the moon which month, day, season or even moment of change we are in. Before the modern date and time concepts, people used these changes of perfectly arranged sun, moon, and stars to determine their relevant stage in creation. The changes are perfectly arranged so that it is impossible to ignore these signs. Human life changes can also be paralleled to the phases of the moon; growing from a cell, fetus to a baby, young man and then start shrinking in old age until it becomes like an old date-palm stalk.

لَا ٱلشَّمْسُ يَنۢبَغِى لَهَآ أَن تُدْرِكَ ٱلْقَمَرَ وَلَا ٱلَّيْلُ سَابِقُ ٱلنَّهَارِ ۚ وَكُلٌّۭ فِى فَلَكٍۢ يَسْبَحُونَ

36:40 The sun cannot overtake the moon, nor can the night outrun the day. Each float in an orbit assigned to them.

The verse mentioning the sun cannot overtake the moon means that there is no confusion. Every star has its own speed where every moment is changing with no confusion. Some materialist minded dare to say that this happens accidentally by assuming that the orderly creation took place by itself. They claim that an atom or particle which is made of “matter” exploded by itself and arranged itself in a perfect order. However, we see now that “matter” is subject to the orderly creation. Is it not a logical confusion? Is it “matter” organizing the order, or is it order subjugating the “matter” to itself? Of course, it is only a logical conclusion that “matter” is being created by a One who gives existence in an orderly manner. The regular change is so orderly, there is no confusion, perfectly taking place; what kind of intelligence does this accident have? With all these deliberate changes happening perfectly, there is no meaningless change; one can only prostrate to the qualities of this Maker. My human feelings and intelligence submit to this Absolute Being, which I cannot describe but say, “He must be limitless and unrestricted.”

We know that in winter nights are longer than days and the reverse is in summer where days are longer than nights. The change is taking place gradually to different degrees but there is no confusion. Experts, by calculating the unchanging orderly creation, can measure where the sun and the moon will become aligned based on the perfect changing movements. For example, we can now calculate when to expect the eclipse phenomena.

وَءَايَةٌۭ لَّهُمْ أَنَّا حَمَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ فِى ٱلْفُلْكِ ٱلْمَشْحُونِ

36:41 Another sign for them is that We carried their offspring in the laden ship.

Let us recall the phrase from verse 36 of this Section which mentioned “وَمِمَّا لَا يَعْلَمُونَ” translated as “things [as yet] they have no knowledge of.” He creates a lot of things that we don’t know or realize, what are they? Some scholars mentioned that “laden ship” as referring to the human cell (mother’s and father’s cell) that is fertilized and out of this cell their generation is carried. This verse can also be linked by referencing “Noah’s ark” which carried each pair of living beings during the flood. The symbolic teaching is that “even though everything is covered by flood, “We” preserve, protect your main offspring (generations) and carry them.” I must realize who is the One demonstrating all these acts to me.

Another aspect of the verse here indicates the things we are using by following the order in creation. For example, humans can discover the order in the universe and build ships and other vessels to carry provision.  The Qur’an gives the “ship” example as a representative of all human built machines and transportation vehicles by following His order. “We”, God is enabling human beings to build things in the way He creates the universe. We can even understand this verse as referring to the next generations of the transportation machines which will follow each other by improving their qualities and varieties.  


وَخَلَقْنَا لَهُم مِّن مِّثْلِهِۦ مَا يَرْكَبُونَ

36:42 And similar vessels We have made them to ride on.

At the time of revelation, people knew only ships as human made machines of transportation, but the Qur’an mentions that there is so much more to discover. In our age we can see that human beings discovered from the orderly creation of the universe trains, automobiles, airplanes, spaceships and so on. No one could fathom what kinds of more vehicles and machines will be built by discovering the order in the universe. There are many things we don’t know yet which we need to find out. We can see how much research is going on in the scientific world. For example, there are principles and rules that are unimaginable and yet to be discovered. 


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