What Is Colour? How Is It Made?
Some details have an important place in the
minds of humans and they never change. Let us begin with trees, which
are very familiar to us. The colour of trees is most often either green
or shades of green. It is well known that during autumn, leaves change
colour. Similarly, the colour of sky is either blue, shades of grey when
cloudy or yellows and reds at sunrise and sunset. The colours of fruit
never alter; the rich and varied colours of the apricot and of the cherry
are set, and are always familiar to us. Every living being and every object
held under light has a colour. Have a careful look at the things around
you. What do you see? The table, the chairs, the trees you see through
your window, the sky, the walls of your house, the faces of the people
around you, the fruit you eat, the book you are reading at this minute…
Each one of them have distinct colours. Have you ever thought how it is
that all these colours have been formed and arranged?
Let us examine in general what is required for the formation of colours
that play significant roles for life. (These points will be discussed
later on in detail). For the formation of a single colour, for example,
red or green, each of the following processes has to take place and, importantly,
in the following sequence.
The importance of colours in man's life is indisputable as every object
acquires a meaning with its colours. Imagine that none of the colours
you see in this photograph at the top (including black and white)
exist at all. Certainly, you would not be able see any of the objects
in the photograph. For the formation of even a single one of these
numerous colours present on these objects, quite a few factors must
be fulfilled, all at the same time. Allah has made the formation of
colours dependent on the existence of a very detailed system.
1. The first condition
required for the formation of colour is the existence of light. In this
respect, it will be useful to start with examining the properties of the
light coming from the sun. For the formation of colours, the light coming
from the sun to the earth must have a certain wavelength to produce colours.
The proportions of this light, called "visible light", to all other light
rays emitted by the sun is one in 1025. This hardly believable,
tiny proportion of the light rays that are necessary for the formation
of colour reach the earth from the sun.
2. In fact, most of the
sunrays diffused by the sun across space bear some characteristics harmful
to the eye. For this reason, the light arriving on earth must take such
a form that it can be easily perceived by the eye and not harm it. For
this, the rays must pass through a filter. This giant filter is the "atmosphere"
which surrounds the earth.
3. The light passing through
the atmosphere is spread over the earth, and on hitting the objects it
encounters, it is reflected. The objects on which light falls must not
be of a type that do not absorb light but reflect it. In other words,
the structural quality of the objects must also be in harmony with the
light reaching the earth so that colour can form. This condition is also
fulfilled and a new light wave is reflected from the objects on which
the light coming from the sun strikes.
4. Another essential step
in the process of colour formation is the need for a perceiver to perceive
the light waves, which is the eye. It is essential that the light waves
be in harmony also with the organs of sight.
5. The rays coming from the sun must pass
through the lens and the layers of the eye and be converted into nerve
impulses in the retina. Then these signals must be conveyed to the vision
centre of the brain, which is responsible for making sense of sight.
6. There is a last step that has to be fulfilled
for us to "see" any colour. The last stage in the formation of colours
is the interpretation of the electric signals, which arrive at the vision
centre of brain, as "colour" by very special nerve cells located there.
As seen, for the formation of a single colour, a very detailed and interdependent
sequence of processes is required.
All the information we have about colour indicates that every process
that takes place during the formation of colour is set on very delicate
balances. Without these balances, we would inevitably be left in a fuzzy
dark world instead of a clear colourful one, and would even lose our ability
to see. Let us suppose that of the above-mentioned items, only one - the
nerve cells that perceive the electric signals generated by the retina
- does not exist. Neither the sunlight being within the visible spectrum,
nor the other parts of the eye being completely functional, nor the existence
of the atmosphere would be adequate and compensate for this lack.
The Role of RetIna In
Let us examine the retina
closer and in more detail. Let us suppose that the pigmentary substance
called "rhodopsin", operating in the retina, is absent. Rhodopsin is a
substance that ceases functioning under heavy light but is regenerated
in darkness. The eye cannot see clearly in dim light unless sufficient
rhodopsin is produced in the eye. The function of rhodopsin is to increase
the efficiency with which the eye generates a nerve impulse from dim light.
This substance is produced as much as required exactly when it is needed.
When the rhodopsin balance is maintained, images become clear. What would
happen if rhodopsin, which is very significant for the process of sight,
did not exist? In that case, man would be capable of seeing only in bright
light.2 It is therefore evident that there is a perfect
system within the eye, which has been designed down to the smallest detail.
Then, whose work of art is this system, which saves us from darkness and
presents us a world full of colour?
Every stage mentioned thus far includes a series of processes, which
require the existence of wisdom, will and power in their being brought
into being. It is plain that there is no chance of such a chain of processes
existing in such harmony having been formed by chance. It is also impossible
for such a system to have been formed over time. The result would not
change at all even if millions and even billions of years were allowed
to pass. The systems to comprising a colourful world would never emerge
by coincidence. Such perfect systems can come into being only as a result
of special design, which is to mean that they are created. Allah possesses
eternal power and wisdom that cover the whole universe. Examples of Allah's
matchless artistry in creation stretch across the entire order of the
universe. The unique design evident in the formation of colour is also
an outcome of the peerless creation of Allah. Allah has power over all
(He is) the Originator of the heavens and earth.
When He decides on something, He just says to it, 'Be!' and it is. (Surat