The Ability to see the Signs of Allah
Say: "Praise be to Allah. He will show you
His Signs and you will recognise them. Your Lord is not heedless of anything
you do." (Surat an-Naml: 93)
In many societies today, the Qur'an is assessed very differently from
what is the real purpose of its revelation. In the Islamic world, in general,
very few people know the contents of the Qur’an.
Some Muslim people often hang the Qur’an on the walls of their houses
within a decorative cover and elderly people read it from time to time.
They assume that the Qur’an protects those who read it from "misfortune
and trouble". According to this superstition, they consider the Qur’an
a sort of amulet against misfortunes.
The Qur’anic verses, however, inform us that the purpose of the Qur’an’s
revelation is entirely different from what is mentioned above. For instance,
in the 52nd verse of Surah Ibrahim, Allah states: "This
is a communication to be transmitted to mankind so that they can be warned
by it and so that they will know that He is One God and so that people
of intelligence will pay heed." In many other verses, Allah emphasises
that one of the most crucial purposes of the Qur’an’s revelation is to
invite people to ponder.
In the Qur’an, Allah invites people to reject blindly accepting the beliefs
and values society imposes on them and to ponder by pushing aside all
the prejudices, taboos and constraints on their minds.
Man must think on how he came into being, what is the purpose of his
life, why he will die and what awaits him after death. He must question
how he himself and the whole universe came into existence and how they
continue to exist. While doing this, he must relieve himself of all constraints
By thinking, while isolating his conscience from all social, ideological
and psychological obligations, the person should eventually perceive that
the entire universe, including himself, is 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 within its design.
At this point again, the Qur'an guides man. In the Qur’an, Allah guides
us as to what we should reflect on and investigate. With the methods of
reflection given in the Qur'an, he who has faith in Allah will better
perceive Allah’s perfection, eternal wisdom, knowledge and power in His
creation. When a believing person starts to think in the way shown in
the Qur’an, he soon realises that the whole universe is a sign of Allah’s
power and art, and that, "nature is a work of art, not the artist itself".
Every work of art exhibits the exceptional skills of the one who has made
it and conveys his messages.
In the Qur’an, people are summoned to contemplate numerous events and
objects that clearly testify to the existence and uniqueness of Allah
and His attributes. In the Qur’an, all these beings that bear witness
are designated as "signs", meaning "tested evidence, absolute knowledge
and expression of truth". Therefore, the signs of Allah comprise all the
beings in the universe that disclose and communicate the being and attributes
of Allah. Those who can observe and remember will see that the entire
universe is only composed of the signs of Allah.
This, indeed, is the responsibility of mankind; to be able to see
the signs of Allah... Thus, such a person will come to know the Creator
Who created him and all other things, draw closer to Him, discover the
meaning of his existence and his life and so prosper.
This book can never adequately show the innumerable signs of Allah, nor
can any other work. Each thing, the breaths a human takes, 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 of Allah and they
all operate under His control and knowledge, abiding by His laws. Recognising
and knowing the signs of Allah calls for personal effort. Everyone will
recognise and know the signs of Allah in accordance with his own wisdom
Undoubtedly, some guidelines may also help. As the first step, one can
investigate certain points stressed in the Qur'an in order to acquire
the mentality that perceives the whole universe as an articulation of
the things Allah created.
This book is written to draw attention to some of the subjects that we
are advised to ponder in the Qur’an. Allah’s signs in nature are emphasised
in Surat an-Nahl:
It is He Who sends down water from the sky. From
it you drink and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds.
And by it He makes crops grow for you and olives and dates and grapes
and fruit of every kind. . There is certainly a sign in that for 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. There are
certainly signs in that for people who use their intellect. And also the
things of varying colours He has created for you in the earth. There is
certainly a sign in that for people who pay heed. It is He Who made the
sea subservient to you so that you can eat fresh flesh from it and bring
out from it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships cleaving through
it so that you can seek His bounty, and so that perhaps you may show thanks.
He cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so it would not move under
you, and rivers and pathways so that perhaps you might be guided, and
landmarks. And they are guided by the stars. Is He Who creates like him
who does not create? So will you not pay heed? (Surat an-Nahl: 10-17)
In the Qur'an, Allah invites men of understanding to think about the
issues which other people overlook, or just dismiss using such barren
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 people of intelligence:
those who remember Allah standing, sitting and lying on their sides, and
reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: "Our Lord, You did
not create this for nothing. Glory be to You! So guard us from the punishment
of the Fire." (Surah Ali-‘Imran: 190-191)
As we see in these verses, people of understanding see the signs of Allah
and try to comprehend His eternal knowledge, power and art by remembering
and reflecting on them, for Allah’s knowledge is limitless, and His creation
For men of understanding, everything around them is a sign of this creation.