Jan 1, 2014

Manifestation of God’s Oneness: Inspired By Nature Part 1

By Melody

Part 2
Bismillah
I was listening to Amr Khaled’s explanation of one of Allah’s 99 names “Al-Ahad” (i.e. “the One”), and I was inspired to write this article. The evidence we have around us is truly striking as manifestation of His Oneness. I had not thought so deeply about this attribute before, and I took it for granted. This name holds many beautiful meanings to which I cannot do justice in one article. Thus, I will go through only a few points below. The more we dwell on this important principle, the more examples will come to mind, so feel free to add your own thoughts at the end of the article.

We will start with the basic meaning of the name – He is the One and Only with no associates, who has no rival, partner, or peer- for “There is nothing like unto Him” (42:11).  He is One, Unique. This name is directed to both the non-believer and the believer. For the former is it there to inspire belief in Him, and for the latter, it is there so they can apply the principle of His Oneness to their everyday life. The shahadah can take less than 30 seconds to say, but may take up to a lifetime to firmly settle in the heart.

First, I will go through some of the proofs of His Oneness. Let the points sink into your heart and take some time to dwell on them. The more you dwell on something, the more you will begin to see, thus letting 'la illaha illa Allah' fill your heart, mind, and tongue.

1) God’s Universe is run by fixed norms

There are many examples of this fascinating concept. SubhanAllah, signs around us that we take for granted, upon closer scrutiny, bear magnificent proof of His Uniqueness.

Gradation

The first is the concept of gradation; a consistent norm we find across all aspects of the Universe. If we start right back at the beginning, it has been agreed that the Universe did not appear, with all its giant celestial objects in orbit, suddenly in the form that we see it today. This was a gradual process of many, many years slowly progressing to achieve this form. This concept we find also in Islam. Allah (subhanawataa'la) tells us that the Universe was created in 6 days:

"And We did certainly create the heavens and earth and what is between them in six days, and there touched Us no weariness" (50:38).

Why, one may ask, would the Lord of the Worlds, All-Able and Powerful, not create the Universe in an instant, although He is capable of that? Why didn't He create the celestial objects suddenly in the form we see them today? The concept of gradation is a fixed norm that He has set it in place as proof of His Oneness, and also to teach us the important lesson of progression. In order to appreciate this further, let us take other examples...this time using examples closer to home. 

Take, for example, the development of a human being. We all started off from two cells – an egg and sperm; their fusion induces cell division until these cells form into a ball called an embryo. The embryo becomes a foetus and once it has developed sufficiently in the womb, it is ready to leave. The completion of pregnancy takes, on average, 9 months. The fetus does not appear in its final form overnight, but is part of a gradual process of many months. Next, once the baby is born, it develops slowly to become a child, then a young adult, and eventually an adult. 

This process, as well, happens slowly and gradually, we do not feel it. You look in the mirror everyday and you seem the same. Even when you know you have grown older, it does not come to you as a shock. You never wake up in the morning thinking, “My, I do look majorly different from yesterday!” Nor do you think that about your family members. The way to know that you, or those you live with, have changed is by looking at the before and after, either by pictures or comments from family and friends who have not seen you in a while.

This concept is the same with other creatures as well: they all start off small and get bigger, eventually reaching their peak. This includes plants and trees too, which start off as a seed and, with nutrients and sunlight, grow and produce different sized trees and shrubs!

Ponder also over the night and day, how they merge so subtly into each other; ponder over this beautiful sign we have before us. How do two complete opposites merge in such a subtle manner? This is a beautiful and pleasing scene to watch!

The examples are indeed endless! This concept could indeed be God's way of teaching us a lesson, not only that He is One, but to do things gradually. It can thus be applied with other aspects of our life, such as the seeking of knowledge. Cramming in knowledge all at once will not help us in retaining the information. This is because it is going against the unified system that He has ordained. Knowledge is to be taken in gradually, a little at a time; this is the best and most efficient way to retain it. It really is striking. Sometimes we can be so impatient for change that we desire things to change overnight, but it doesn’t happen like that. We can learn this from nature. 

Similarly, when changing spiritually for the better or worse it doesn’t happen overnight. The shaytaan, for example, when wanting to corrupt a soul, starts with the minor sins, whispering and convincing the individual that it is not a big deal and there are worse sins out there. And before you know it, you have fallen into a major sin! This is the reason Allah (subhanawataa'la) tells us to avoid the steps leading to fornication and not just fornication itself. The steps we take lead to bigger steps, eventually reaching the peak (i.e. fornication):

"And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way." (17:32)

Thus, when wanting to change for the better, it is important to remember this principle: take things a little at a time, in small digestible sizes. However, be constant with them, and life will be simpler for you; this was the design that He put forward for us. If you try to take things all at once, it will go against the system and may have drastic consequences on your body and soul. Indeed, there is reason why the Quran was revealed over the span of 23 years, and not all at once (although He is Able to do so).

So, even if it seems as though you are so far from the goal you wish to achieve, remember the examples around you. Ponder on how Allah (subhanawataa'la) has shown us His ability clearly through nature- that time, patience, and His will can produce the greatest of creation from the smallest of seeds! Narrated 'Aisha: Allah's Apostle said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah's is the most regular and constant even though it were little." (Bukhari)


 Insha Allah, I will continue discussing Allah's Oneness in the next part.

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