Surah Al Nahl (No. 16) Verses 66-69
The Existence of God (2)
THE EXISTENCE OF GOD (2)
"And verily in cattle (too) will ye find an instructive sign. From what is within their bodies, between excretions and blood. We produce, for your drink, milk, pure and agreeable to those who drink it.
"And from the fruit of the date-palm and the vine, ye get out wholesome drink and food; behold, in this also is sign for those who are wise.
"And thy Lord taught the bee to build its cells in hills on trees, and in (men's) habitations; then to eat of all the produce (of the earth), and find with skill the spacious paths of its Lord; there issues from within their bodies a drink of various colours, wherein is healing for men. Verily in this is a sign for those who give thought."
In the above mentioned verses the Holy Quran has given a vivid description of the bounties of Allah and drawn our attention to the wonderful working of Divine laws and adduced His Existence from the unmistakable signs of Divine mercy, power and wisdom visible in the universe.
The Holy Quran, as everybody knows, is not a treatise on systematic theory; hence one should not expect various arguments employed by theologians arranged under different heads, nor has the Holy Book made use of technical terms in order to demonstrate His existence. On the other hand, one will find convincing arguments couched in simple phraseology here and there from one end of the Book to the other so that the reader may not grow sick of the abstruseness of philosophical discourses extending over many a page at a stretch.
In Ch. XIII the Quran demonstrated the Being and the sovereignty of God from the constitution of the universe and the laws of nature working with great precision. Here, in this chapter, the Holy Book has deduced His existence from three distinct products of nature, viz., milk, fruit-juice and honey.
Of all the arguments employed by theologians to demonstrate the Being of God, the argument from design is most convincing, hence the Holy Quran has laid the greatest stress possible on this particular line of reasoning, which we are now going to discuss in detail.
The Holy Quran says: Consider! Of all the items of your food, three products from nature are most useful, nourishing and palatable, viz., milk, fruit-juice and honey; it is why they are coveted by everybody: the healthy and the sick, the rich and the poor, the old and the young, the cultured and the uncouth, the master and the slave, the bourgeois and the proletariat. In short, all human beings in whatever walks of life they may happen to belong avail themselves of these three greatest gifts of Nature.
But consider! How is milk produced, and whence does it come? - this invigorating drink which you use right from your childhood up to your old age. If you pause and reflect, how it is prepared, this one item of your daily food alone would suffice to convince you of the existence of a Being who has created this universe and rules it with wisdom and power.
The milk is prepared in the same body which contains all sorts of impurities, the very idea of which is repugnant to you.
Again consider! The medium of excretion of this nectar of life is situated in the case of animals - cows and goats - adjacent to the medium of excretion of dung and urine! In other words, in one and the same factory, of one and the same matter i.e. fodder, is produced milk and urine, side by side! Does it not lead us to conclude that certainly there exists some All-Wise and All-Powerful Being who controls this machinery - this animal organism? Who is that Being who has devised this most wonderful and most intricate system? Can unconscious matter work in this miracle? Who directs the milk to flow towards and get accumulated in cow's udder? Milk and urine are both prepared in one and the same body: but who keeps them apart? How is it that they never intermingle? This is impossible without the directing hand of some controlling agency which is All-Wise and All-Powerful. Surely this agency is none other than Allah, the Creator and the Governor of the universe. Again consider various fruits - grapes, date-palm, pomegranates, oranges, pears and apples etc. - you squeeze juice from these fruits and prepare so many delicious beverages and drinks from it. The juice thus obtained is used not only as a refreshing drink, but also as a health-giving tonic by the sick and the invalid; Nature has endowed these fruits with medicinal properties as well. Moreover all these fruits can be used as food and they are actually being used as such all over the world. Lastly, by mixing the juice with sugar and other ingredients you prepare so many delicious dishes!
Now tell me, says the Holy Quran, how come these fruits come into being? Who rears them? Who ripens them? Do they not grow out of the earth? Do they not draw their shape and form and flavour from the very particles of dust which you would at once eject out of your mouth, if it happens to enter your mouth some how or the other!
You grow the vine, the date-palm, the apple-tree and other plants in one and the same piece of land - garden - but the roots of an apple tree never assimilate those elements which go to produce an orange. Who directs this intricate process? Who has taught these unconscious roots to discard useless elements and assimilate only those which are useful to them?
Surely the roots of these plants and trees have no power of discrimination at all - they are not endowed with reason - then who supervises this vast machinery? Who controls this stupendous factory? Is it anything less than a miracle that you throw the stone of a date-palm away and after some time the obedient earth returns the same stone in the form to you in the form of a date-palm - full-fledged and pregnant with several thousand dates? Who has instructed the deaf and dumb mother earth to preserve that stone and then transform it into a lovely plant? Does not this systematic working of Nature prove that there is a mighty Mind controlling in this universe?
Lastly consider the most wonderful product of nature - the honey human being howsoever wise and intelligent he may be.
The bee is a small creature - slightly bigger than a fly - rustic and uncouth - knows neither reading nor writing; has read neither geometry nor menstruation; possesses neither reason nor intelligence; yet shows unmistakable signs of both by each and every act performed by her in her daily life. How strange! Yet how thought provoking!
Look at bee-hives! These are, in other words, those factories established by Nature, where honey is prepared for your use. If you gather all the flowers of a big garden and obtain the services of all experts in your country, and place millions of dollars at their disposal, even then they won't be able to produce a drop of honey.
The bee, on the other hand, is one of the humblest creatures of Allah and He, in His Mercy and Grace, had appointed her to prepare this wonderful gift for the use of man. The Quran has very aptly used the word "auha" (past tense of wahyun) to indicate that the bee does carry out her job under Divine Guidance; and there is no doubt that this small creature could never have made her house or prepared this health-giving food without the direct inspiration of Allah.
Let it be understood that the instinct inherent in the bee is aptly referred to by the Quran as "wahy" (revelation from Allah).
The bee assimilates the juice of various kinds of flowers and fruits and forms within her body this honey which she immediately stores in honey combs, whom the Quran has designated as "buyut" (houses). The honey-comb itself with its hexagonal cells geometrically perfect is a wonderful structure and is sufficient to prove the existence of Allah, the Creator and the Fashioner of this universe.
How else, I ask, can one account for the choice of a hexagon, on the part of the bee, in the presence of a triangle or a square? The bee knows nothing of geometry; how then does it manage to make such perfect hexagons?
Reverting to our discussion, the different kinds of food from which she makes honey give different colours to this wonderful preparation e.g., dark-brown, light-brown, yellow and whitish.
The Quran has used the word "zululan" to denote the idea of humility which is visible in the life of a bee. She has been ordered by Allah to prepare honey for her own use, as well as for human beings and she carries out the Divine behest with perfect submission.
Having drawn our attention to these three gifts of nature, the Quran says that in the preparation of milk in cow's udder, and of juice in fruits and of honey in bees, there are sure signs of the existence of a Mind and Intelligence controlling each and every department of this vast factory known as the universe.
Without the directing and the controlling hand of an all powerful and all-wise God a small and insignificant creature like bee could never have succeeded in making her house - honey comb- or that sweet nectar of life known as honey.
(Courtesy: Yaqeen International)
Continuation from: - The Existence of God (1)