The seven heavens and the earth and all in them glorify Him. There is nothing that does not glorify him. (Qur’an 17.44)
According to the meaning of the verse above, the Maker has attached to the heavenly bodies so many instances of wisdom and meanings that, as if to express His Majesty and Grace, He has adorned the heavens with suns, moons, and stars. He has also attached to the creatures in the atmosphere such instances of wisdom and meanings that it is as if He was making the atmosphere speak in words like lightnings, thunder, and drops of rain. He also teaches His perfect Wisdom and the beauty of His Mercy.
Also, just as He makes the earth speak in its meaningful words like plants and animals and thereby shows the perfection of His Art to the whole of the universe, so too, by making plants and trees speak in their words of leaves, flowers, and fruits, He again demonstrates the perfection of His Art and the beauty of His Mercy; and by making flowers and fruits speak in words of seeds and pollen, He teaches the subtleties of His Art and the perfection of His Lordship to conscious beings.
Among these countless words of glorification, we shall consider the manner in which a flower or an ear of wheat expresses its glorification and we shall find out how it bears witness.
Each plant and tree demonstrates its Maker in numerous tongues in such a way that it amazes careful observers, and causes them to utter, ‘All glory be to God! How excellently it bears witness!’
Indeed, the glorifications of each plant at the time of its blossoming and growing ears or spikes-the time when it speaks in smiles-are beautiful like itself and evident. For the order or system displaying the wisdom or purposiveness expressed in the speaking of all flowers and in the tongues of well-formed spikes or ears and in the words of well-proportioned seeds and well-made grains, is in a certain measure which visibly points to knowledge. The measure is in the design of an art which shows skill. The design of the art is in an adornment which demonstrates grace and munificence. The adornment is in agreeable fragrances which show mercy and benevolence. These meaningful states of things one within the other form such a tongue of testimony that they both define their Majestic Maker with His Names and describe Him with His Attributes and exemplify the manifestations of His Names and express His being loved and recognized.
So, hearing such a testimony as this from a single flower, if you are able to give ear to the voices of all flowers in all the gardens of the Lord on the face of the earth and hear how powerfully they announce the necessary existence and Unity of the Majestic Maker, will you still have any questions and doubts and hesitations?
Now come and look at a tree carefully! With its leaves appearing in spring all regularly and its flowers opening all proportionately and its fruits growing and ripening in wisdom and mercy and itself dancing with the blowing of breezes, consider its fine expressiveness. Then consider the exact balance in the wise order illustrated with the words of fruits smiling with a manifestation of mercy and in the tongue of blossoms smiling with a joy of grace and the leaves becoming green with a hand of munificence. Also, consider the delicate arts and designs in the balance showing justice and exact measure, and the various beautiful sweet smells showing mercy and benevolence in skilfully-made designs and ornaments, and the seeds and stones that are each a miracle of Power in sweet tastes. All this demonstrates in an extremely manifest way the necessary existence and Unity of an All-Wise Maker, All-Munificent, All-Compassionate, All-Benevolent, Bestower of Bounties, All- Beautifying, One Making Excellent, and the beauty of His Mercy and the perfection of His Lordship. If you can hear all together the tongues of the dispositions of all trees on the earth, you will see what beautiful gems there are in the treasury of Whatever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies God.
So, O unfortunate heedless one who supposes himself to be all free in ingratitude! If you do not want to recognize an All-Munificent One of Majesty, Who makes Himself known to you and wills to be loved by you in such innumerable tongues as these, then these tongues should be silenced. Since they cannot be silenced, they should be listened to. By closing your ears to them, you cannot be indifferent to them and escape from them. For even if you close your ears, the universe does not stop speaking and creatures are not silenced. Those that testify to Divine Unity cannot be silenced: plainly, they will testify against and condemn you.
Glory be to Him in Whose hand is the dominion of all things. There is nothing but its treasuries are with Us and We send it not down but with a known, determined measure. We loose the winds as fertilizers and drivers of clouds to make an electric current between them and send down from the sky blessed water and provide you with it; you are not the ones who store it. (Qur’an, 15.21)
Just as a perfect wisdom and grace and beauty of art are apparent in particulars, results and details, so also the universal elements, which seem to be in confusion and are fancied to be random and coincidental, take up positions dictated by wisdom and art. Thus, as is pointed out by its otherwise services, light radiates so as to show and expose to view the creatures of God on the earth by the leave of the Lord. This means light is employed by an All-Wise Maker Who makes visible by it His unique arts in the exhibitions in the market of the world.
Now consider the winds: as is pointed to by the other benefits they provide, and the functions they perform wisely and generously, they hasten to carry out extremely numerous and important duties. This means that that movement of theirs in waves is a being employed, a being despatched, a being utilized by an All-Wise Maker. That movement is a speedy endeavouring to carry out the orders of the Lord.
Now consider springs, streams, and rivers! Their welling up out of the earth and out of mountains is not by chance. For as is testified to by their benefits and uses, the results of Divine Mercy, and as is demonstrated by their being stored up in mountains according to a measure of need, and by their being sent according to a measure of wisdom, they are subjugated and stored up by an All-Wise Lord, and they well up in ardent obedience to His commands.
Now consider all the varieties of stones and jewels and minerals in the earth! The purposes and the benefits connected to them and their being prepared and arranged appropriately to the needs and necessities of human and animal life show that their decorativeness and beneficial properties are by the decoration, arrangement, organization, and fashioning of an All-Wise Maker.
Now consider the flowers and fruits! Their smiles, tastes, beauties, embroideries, and scents are each like an invitation and menu on the table of an All-Munificent Maker, a Compassionate Bestower of Bounties; they are given as various invitations and menus to each species of beings through their different colours, scents and tastes.
Now consider the birds! A certain indication that their twittering and chirrupping is an All-Wise Maker’s enabling them to vocalize is the amazing way in which they communicate their feelings to one another with those sounds, and express their intentions.
Now consider the clouds? A certain indication that the pattering of thunder and lightning is not a futile noise is that such strange atmospheric events as those are made to happen in vast space and that drops of rain are milked out of them with which to feed the living creatures on the earth so needy and longing for them. All show that that pattering and crashing are most meaningful and full of purposive wisdom. For at the command of an All-Munificent Lord, rain calls out to those longing for it: ‘Good news for you! I am coming!’
Now look at the sky and consider carefully only the moon out of innumerable bodies in it! The important instances of wisdom attached to it in connection with the earth demonstrate that its motion is by the command of an All- Powerful and Wise One.
Thus, the universal elements we have mentioned from the light to the moon open in large measure a most broad window. They proclaim and show the Unity of a Necessarily Existent One, and the perfection of His Power, and grandeur of His Sovereignty.
So, O heedless one! If you are able to silence this voice resounding like the crashing of thunder and extinguish this light brilliant as the sun, forget God! Otherwise come to your senses! Say: ‘All glory be to Him Whom the seven heavens and the earth and all within them glorify’. (al-Isra’, 17.44)
The sun runs its course to its place destined, that is the determining of the All-Mighty, the All- Knowing. (36.38)
The sun, the lamp of the universe, constitutes a window onto the existence and Unity of the Maker of the universe, which is as brilliant and radiant as the sun itself. Indeed, despite their great differences with regard to size, position, and speed, the twelve planets including the earth, known as the solar system, move with perfect order and wisdom and perfect balance without even a second’s confusion, and are bound to the sun through a Divine law known as gravity, that is, they follow their leader. This demonstrates on a large scale the grandeur of Divine Power and the Unity of the Lord. For you may compare how tremendous a Power and Wisdom are engaged in having those lifeless bodies, those vast, unconscious masses, rotate as they do, and in employing them with infinitely perfect order and balance in various ways and over varying distances and in varying motions. If chance were to interfere in this vast and complex event to the slightest degree, it would cause an explosion so great as it would scatter the universe. If it were to stop the motion of one of them for a minute, it would cause it to leave its orbit and collide with another planet. You can imagine how awesome would be the collusion of bodies thousands of times bigger than the earth.
Referring to the All-Encompassing Knowledge of God the wonders of the solar system, that is, the twelve planets, which are the followers and fruits of the sun, we shall only consider the earth, our planet, which is here before our eyes. We see that this planet of ours is made to travel on a long journey around the sun by a command of the Lord to carry out a most important duty in a way to demonstrate the grandeur of the Lord’s imperial Power and Majesty and the loftiness of Divine Sovereignty and the perfection of His Mercy and Wisdom. Like a ship under the command of the Lord, it has been filled with God’s wonderful creatures and made like a moving place of recreation for His conscious servants. The moon has been ‘attached’ to it with precise reckoning for mighty instances of wisdom, like being an hour-hand telling the time, and given various mansions through which to journey. Thus, these aspects of this blessed planet of ours prove the necessary existence of an All-Powerful One and His Unity with a testimony as strong as the earth itself. You can make an analogy with the rest of the solar system from this.
Furthermore, the sun is made to turn on its own axis like a spinning-wheel, in order to wind into a ball the immaterial threads called gravity and tie the planets with them and set them in order. The sun is also impelled together with its planets at a huge speed towards, according to one theory, the constellation Lyra or the ‘sun of suns’. This most certainly occurs by the Power and at the command of the All-Majestic One, the Monarch of Eternity. It is as if He makes the solar system perform a manoeuvre like an army composed of His soldiers under orders, and so demonstrates the majesty of His Lordship.
So, O astronomer! What chance can have a hand in these affairs? The hands of what causes can reach them? What force can draw close to this? Come on, and say! Would an All- Majestic Sovereign such as this display impotence and allow others to have a part in His Sovereignty? Would He give to other hands, to living beings in particular, which are the fruit, result, aim, and cream of the universe? Would He permit others to interfere? Would He leave man especially, to his own devices, who is the most comprehensive of those fruits, the most perfect of the results, His guest and vicegerent on the earth (one who has to rule on the earth according to His laws) who serves as a mirror (reflecting His Names)? Would He leave him to nature and chance and reduce the majesty of His Sovereignty to nothing? Would He reduce to nothing His perfect Wisdom?