“Say: ‘Praise be to God. He will show you his signs and you will recognize them. Your Lord is not heedless of what you do.” (Qur’an 27:93)
“This is a message that must be delivered to men, that they may be warned thereby, and that they may know that He is one God, and that wise men may heed.” (Quran 14:52)
In many other verses, Allah emphasizes that one of the most crucial purposes of the Qur’an’s revelation is to invite people to think.
Invitation to think
In the Qur’an, God invites people to reject the blind acceptance of the beliefs and values that society imposes on them and to reflect by casting aside all prejudices, taboos and limitations of their minds.
Man must think about how he came into existence, what is the purpose of his life, why he will die and what awaits him after death. He must ask how he, himself, and the whole universe came into being and how they continue to exist. While doing this, he must free himself from all limitations and prejudices.
By thinking while isolating his conscience from all social, ideological and psychological obligations, the person must eventually see that the entire universe, including himself, was created by a superior power. Even when he examines his own body or any other thing in nature, he will see an impressive harmony, plan and wisdom at work in its design.
Examples in the Quran
Also on this point the Qur’an guides man. In the Qur’an, God shows us what to think about and what to investigate. With the methods of contemplation given in the Qur’an, he who believes in God will better perceive God’s perfection, eternal wisdom, knowledge and power in His creation. When a believer begins to think in the manner shown in the Qur’an, he soon realizes that the entire universe is a sign of God’s power and art, and that “nature is a work of art, not the artist himself.” Each work of art displays the exceptional skills of its creator and conveys its messages.
In the Qur’an, people are called to behold numerous events and objects that clearly testify to the existence and uniqueness of God and His attributes. In the Qur’an, all these testifying beings are referred to as “signs”, which means “proven evidence, absolute knowledge and expression of the truth”. Thus, the signs of God encompass all beings in the universe, in that they reveal and communicate the nature and attributes of God. Those who can perceive and remember will see that the entire universe consists wholly of the signs of God.
This is indeed the responsibility of humanity: to be able to see the signs of God. Thus such a person will come to know the Creator who created him and all other things, he will come closer to Him, and he will discover the meaning of his existence and his life, and thus prosper.
From atom to the universe..
Every thing, the breath of a man; the political and social developments; the cosmic harmony in the universe; the atom, which is one of the smallest pieces of matter, is each a sign from God, and they all work under His control and knowledge, abiding by His laws. Recognizing and knowing the signs of God requires a personal effort. One will recognize and know the signs of God according to one’s own wisdom and conscience.
Undoubtedly, some guidelines can also help. As a first step, one can examine certain points emphasized in the Qur’an in order to acquire the mindset that sees the entire universe as a composite of the things created by God.
Chapter in the Quran: “The Bee”
The signs of God in nature are emphasized in a chapter called “The Bee”:
“He it is who brings down water from heaven. From it you drink, and from it spring the bushes among which you feed your flocks. And He causes crops to grow for you, olives, dates, grapes and all kinds of fruits. Surely in this is a sign for a people who reflect. He has made the night and the day subservient to you, and the sun, the moon, and the stars, all subject to his command. Surely there are signs in that for people who use their minds. And also the things of various colors which He created for you on earth. Surely in this is a sign for a people who learn from it. He it is who has made the sea subservient to you, that you may eat fresh flesh from it and take ornaments from it to wear. And thou seest the ships cleaving through it, that thou mayest seek His bounty, and that thou mayest be thankful. And He hath founded mountains upon the earth, that it should not move under you, and rivers, roads, and landmarks, that perhaps ye may be guided. And they are guided by the stars. Is he who creates equal to him who does not create? Won’t you then learn a lesson?” (Qur’an 16:10-17)
In the Qur’an, God invites the people of understanding to reflect on the things that other people overlook or simply reject using such bare terms as “evolution”, “coincidence”, or “a miracle of nature”.
In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day, there are signs for men of understanding: those who, standing, sitting, and reclining, remember God, and contemplate the creation of the heavens and the earth: “Our Lord, You did not create this in vain. Glory be to you! So save us from the punishment of the fire.” (Quran 3:191)
As we see in these verses, men of understanding see the signs of God and seek to fathom His eternal knowledge, power and art by remembering and contemplating them, for God’s knowledge is limitless and His act of creation is beyond reproach.
For people of understanding, everything around them is a sign of this creation.