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Nature as Viewed by the Holy Qur’an

Nature has always been respectable and heavenly in the eyes of the religious man who regards the world of nature as the scene of divine glory and beauty, and damaging nature as the cause of transgression and rebellion against God.

The Holy Qur’an in more than 750 verses, referring to the phenomena of nature and its various dimensions and beauties, guides us to study nature and take lessons from it.

فَانْظُرْ إِلى‏ آثارِ رَحْمَتِ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يُحْيِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِها إِنَّ ذلِكَ لَمُحْيِ الْمَوْتى‏ وَ هُوَ عَلى‏ كُلِّ شَيْ‏ءٍ قَديرٌ

So, observe the effects of Allah’s mercy: how He revives the earth after its death! Indeed, He is the reviver of the dead, and He has power over all things. (The Holy Qur’an, 30:50)

إإِنَّ اللَّهَ فالِقُ الْحَبِّ وَ النَّوى‏ يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَ مُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتِ مِنَ الْحَيِّ ذلِكُمُ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى تُؤْفَكُونَ

Indeed, Allah is the splitter of the grain and the pit. He brings forth the living from the dead and He brings forth the dead from the living. That is Allah! Then where do you stray? (The Holy Qur’an, 6:95)

وَ اللَّهُ الَّذي أَرْسَلَ الرِّياحَ فَتُثيرُ سَحاباً فَسُقْناهُ إِلى‏ بَلَدٍ مَيِّتٍ فَأَحْيَيْنا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِها كَذلِكَ النُّشُور

It is Allah who sends the winds and they raise a cloud; then We drive it toward a dead land and with it revive the earth after its death. Likewise, will be the resurrection of the dead. (The Holy Qur’an, 35:9)

وَ اخْتِلافِ اللَّيْلِ وَ النَّهارِ وَ ما أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّماءِ مِنْ رِزْقٍ فَأَحْيا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِها وَ تَصْريفِ الرِّياحِ آياتٌ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

And in the alternation of night and day and what Allah sends down from the sky of His provision with which He revives the earth after its death, and in the changing of the winds there are signs for a people who apply reason. (The Holy Qur’an, 45:5)

The importance of nature in the Holy Qur’an is concluded in 3 aspects:

  1. Swearing by some phenomena innature:

Allah (SWT) swears by some natural phenomena in the Holy Qur’an, such as:

وَ التِّينِ وَ الزَّيْتُونِ وَ طُورِ سينينَ

By the fig and the olive, by Mount Sinai. (The Holy Qur’an, 95:1-2)

فَلا أُقْسِمُ بِالشَّفَقِ وَاللَّيْلِ وَما وَسَق وَالْقَمَرِإِذَا اتَّسَق

So, I swear by the evening glow,by the night and what it is fraught with,by the moon when it blooms fully.(The Holy Qur’an, 84:16-18)

وَالسَّماءِ ذاتِ الْبُرُوج

By the sky with its houses(The Holy Qur’an, 85: 1)

وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحاها وَالْقَمَرِإِذا تَلاها وَالنَّهارِ إِذا جَلاَّها وَاللَّيْلِ إِذا يَغْشاها وَالسَّماءِ وَما بَناها وَالْأَرْضِ وَما طَحاها

By the sun and her forenoon splendor, by the moon when he follows her, by the day when it reveals her, by the night when it covers her, by the sky and Him who built it, by the earth and Him who spread it.(The Holy Qur’an, 91:1-6)

  1. Introducing nature as a “sign” (Ayah):

Nature and its phenomena are introduced in the Holy Qur’an as Divine signs:

إِنَّ في‏ خَلْقِ السَّماواتِ وَ الْأَرْضِ وَ اخْتِلافِ اللَّيْلِ وَ النَّهارِ وَ الْفُلْكِ الَّتي‏ تَجْري فِي الْبَحْرِ بِما يَنْفَعُ النَّاسَ وَ ما أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّماءِ مِنْ ماءٍ فَأَحْيا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِها وَ بَثَّ فيها مِنْ كُلِّ دابَّةٍ وَ تَصْريفِ الرِّياحِ وَ السَّحابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ السَّماءِ وَ الْأَرْضِ لَآياتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

Indeed in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, and the ships that sail at sea with profit to men, and the water that Allah sends down from the sky with which He revives the earth after its death, and scatters therein every kind of animal and the changing of the winds, and the clouds disposed between the sky and the earth, are surely signs for a people who apply reason. (The Holy Qur’an, 2:164)

  1. Choosing the names of some Chapters from some natural phenomena such as Baqara (cow), Ra’d(thunder), Nahl (honey bee), Nur (light), ‘Ankabut (spider), Fajr (dawn), Shams (sun), Hadid (iron), Layl (night), Qamar (moon), Tin (fig), An’am (livestock), Kahf (cave), Naml (ant), Dukhan (smoke) and Najm (star).

The Holy Qur’an considers the sky, earth, sun, moon, stars, clouds, the abundance of water falling from the sky, the growth of plants, the beauties of light, the various effects of color and the wind as manifestations of nature. As such, natural resources such as the forest and the tree are the best examples of nature.

Accordingly, there are three lessons in looking at in nature:

  1. The existence of a creator and lord:

 Beyond mentioning nature and its manifestations, the Qur’an intends to state that this nature has an originator who controls it and has used these blessings for human comfort and well-being. For this reason, in some verses of the Qur’an human is highly encouraged to travel and explore the earth and see how God began the creation:

قُلْ سيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ بَدَأَ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ اللَّهُ يُنْشِئُ النَّشْأَةَ الْآخِرَةَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلى‏ كُلِّ شَيْ‏ءٍ قَديرٌ

Say,” Travel over the land and then observe how He has originated the creation.” Then Allah shall bring about the genesis of the Hereafter. Indeed, Allah has power over all things.(The Holy Qur’an, 29:20)

  1. Thanksgiving:

Recognizing that all of these blessings are designed by God and there is a purpose for their creation, we humans, thanking Him, must appreciate them and do not use them wrongfully.

  1. Belief in the Resurrection:

One of God’s miracles in the world is the revival of nature; a nature that dies in winter and loses its greenness and vitality, but is revived in the spring as if it takes another life.The purpose of this apparent description is to show the possibility of life after death, and how human will be revived after their whole body has decayed and disintegrated:

يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَ يُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَ يُحْيِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِها وَ كَذلِكَ تُخْرَجُونَ

He brings forth the living from the dead, and brings forth the dead from the living, and revives the earth after its death. Likewise, you too shall be raised from the dead.(The Holy Qur’an, 30:19)

The article was written by Hujjat al-Islam Sayyid Mostafa Daryabari and Dr. Morteza Karimi

About Ali Teymoori

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