بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيم

PONDERING ON HIS SIGNS

PONDERING ON HIS SIGNS

Sent by: Brother Abdullah Azmi

In Holy Book, the Quraan, it is mentioned that the unbelievers are the people who do not recognize and appreciate the signs of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). The significance of a believer is his ability to see the omnipotence and omnipresence of attributes of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) behind those signs. They know that these are not created in vain; they can realize the power and great art of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) everywhere and find ways to appraise Him. About such people Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty, says:

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَى جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ [آل عمران: 191]

“who remember Allah standing and sitting, and (lying) on their sides, and ponder on the creation of the heavens and the earth (and say:) ‘Our Lord! You have not created all this in vain. We proclaim Your purity. So, save us from the punishment of Fire’.” (Aale ‘Imraan 3:191)

At many places in the Quraan, the Divine Scripture, there are expressions like أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ (will you not take heed?), in Soorah Al-Muminoon (23:85), and إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لَءَايَةًۭ لِّقَوْمٍۢ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ (Surely, in that there is a sign for a people who ponder) in Soorah Al-Nahl (16:69) which emphasize the importance of pondering on the signs of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa). Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has created an endless list of things to be the subjects of pondering. Everything we see and sense is indeed a manifestation and sign of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa); so all those in heavens and in earth and in between may be a means of pondering for us. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

يُنْبِتُ لَكُمْ بِهِ الزَّرْعَ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالنَّخِيلَ وَالْأَعْنَابَ وَمِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً لِقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ [النحل: 11]

“He causes the crops therewith to grow for you, and olives, and date palms, and grape vines, and all the fruits. Surely, in that, there is a sign for a people who ponder.” (An-Nahl 16: 11)

Let’s think for a while of one of the items mentioned in the above Aayah (Verse); for instance, the "date-tree, as well known, grows up from a seed out of the earth. From this tiny seed, an enormous wooden mass of several meters long and hundreds of kilograms of weight, forms. The only thing that seed can use while constituting this great mass is the earth in which it is buried.

How can a seed know how to constitute a tree? How does it know how to decompose the necessary substances in the soil to form food? How can it predict the required shape and structure? This last question is especially important, because it is not an ordinary wooden piece that emerges out from the seed. The seed develops a complex living organism with roots for assimilating substances from the earth, with veins in itself and with branches that are perfectly organized. A human being has difficulty while drawing even a picture of a tree, but on the other hand a simple seed can produce that extremely complex object using the substances in the soil.

This observation concludes that a seed is extremely intelligent and wise, even more than us. Or better to say, there is an amazing intelligence in what a seed does. But what is the source of that intelligence? How can it be possible for a seed to have such an intelligence and memory like a computer "chip”?

The chips are produced by people who have intelligence and knowledge. Just like a seed which is created by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) with the ability to develop a tree. Every seed on earth is encompassed by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and grows within His knowledge. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ فَالِقُ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَمُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتِ مِنَ الْحَيِّ ذَلِكُمُ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى تُؤْفَكُونَ [الأنعام: 95]

“Surely, Allah is the one who splits the grain and the date-stone (for sprouting). He brings forth the living from the dead, and He is the One who brings forth the dead from the living. That is Allah! To where, then, are you being turned away (by your desires)?” (Al-An’aam 6: 95)

A seed is merely one of the numerous signs that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has created in the universe. If men begin to think with not only their minds but also with their hearts, asking the question of ‘why’ and ‘how’ to themselves, they can understand that all the universe is a proof of the existence and power of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Most Exalted.

However, the unbelievers cannot understand such things, since they don’t have the ability to "see” this purpose — as the Quraan expresses:

وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا [الأعراف: 179]

“…….eyes wherewith they do not see…..” (Al-A’raaf 7: 179)

They do not have the wisdom and comprehension to realize the important reality with their materialistic vision.

On the other hand, believers are different than this ‘blind’ group, because they realize and accept that the whole universe is created by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) with a certain aim and wisdom. This belief is the first step of Faith that Islam demands. As faith and wisdom, both of which are in parallel, increase, they will start to identify every detail of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s creation.

One of the things to be done to identify the details of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Creation is to be careful and observant. Because the ability to see the signs of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and not to be "blind” like the unbelievers, require a high concentration.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty says:

أَلَا إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ مَا أَنْتُمْ عَلَيْهِ وَيَوْمَ يُرْجَعُونَ إِلَيْهِ فَيُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا عَمِلُوا وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ [النور: 64]

“Remember! To Allah belongs all that is there in the heavens and the earth. He knows the condition in which you are at present; and the Day on which they will be returned to Him, He will tell them what they did. Allah is fully aware of everything.” (An-Noor 24: 64)

أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِنْ لِقَاءِ رَبِّهِمْ أَلَا إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ مُحِيطٌ [فصلت: 54]

“Beware, they are in doubt about meeting their Lord. Beware, He is the One who encompasses everything.” "(Fussilat 41:54)

One should try to learn how to recognize the signs of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) and should always keep this in mind. Otherwise, mind will start to wander, jumping from one topic to another, wasting time thinking about useless things.

Mind is like water; unless it is directed which way to flow, it spreads away, to the places that you would not want it to flow. This is a kind of unconsciousness; you cannot control your mind. You cannot focus and concentrate on a subject. Actually, you cannot conceive the truth behind the events happening and also cannot ever have the competence to interfere in them. On the contrary, your mind gets directed by those events. You are "bewildered” all the time, which is not an attribute of a believer, but the unbelievers, as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty says:

حُنَفَاءَ لِلَّهِ غَيْرَ مُشْرِكِينَ بِهِ وَمَنْ يُشْرِكْ بِاللَّهِ فَكَأَنَّمَا خَرَّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَتَخْطَفُهُ الطَّيْرُ أَوْ تَهْوِي بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي مَكَانٍ سَحِيقٍ [الحج: 31]

“Whoever ascribes a partner to Allah, it is as if he falls down from the sky, and either the birds snatch him, or the wind drives him away to a far off place.” (Al-Hajj 22: 31)

Believers, on the other hand, are the ones who direct their minds, try to better perceive power and control of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) on everything in the universe, and who try to better serve His religion. The believers are the ones

الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ [المؤمنون: 2]

“…..who keep themselves away from vain things” (Al-Muminoon 23:3)

They free their minds from any astray or even useless thoughts and whenever they realize the deception of Shaitaan (Satan), they rescue themselves just like Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa), the Almighty says in the Quraan:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُوا فَإِذَا هُمْ مُبْصِرُونَ [الأعراف: 201]

“Surely when the Allah-fearing are touched by any instigation from Shaitaan (Satan), they become conscious (of Allah), and at once they discern (the reality).” (Al-A’raaf 7: 201)

Therefore, the believers should be careful to keep their minds free of useless thoughts and ponder only on useful things that serve them in their life and keep them close to the Mighty Creator, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa).