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That is Allah, your Lord! there is no god but He, the Creator of all things: then worship ye Him: and He hath power to dispose of all affairs.

(1:2) Surah al Fatiha – Islamic Web Library

1:2:

(Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds)


All things sing the Praise of God


The following excerpt is taken from “Islamic Theory of Evolution” by T.O. Shanavas pg.
181-182:


God endowed all creatures with minds. Animate and even inanimate creatures, such as
fire, winds, and mountains have selves and a subjective faculty with which they can
experience and respond to the Divine Will. The Quran attests to the existence of
subjectivity with faculties endowing experience and response within the inanimate
world, even though human beings do not comprehend it:


Quran 17:44:
The seven skies, the earth, and all that lies within them, sing hallelujahs to Him. And
there is nothing that does not chant His praise. But you [human] do not understand
their hymns of praise. Truly He is very clement and forgiving.
We also read:


Quran 41:11:
Then he turned to the heavens, and it was smoke. So he said to the earth and the
heavens: “Come with willingness and obedience and they replied: We come Willingly.
The latter verse can be interpreted scientifically. According to contemporary cosmology,
the entire universe was filled with radiation and plenum of matter (originally hydrogen
and helium) formed from elementary particles (quarks) in a dense, primeval fireball of
creation called the Big Bang.


The smoke described in the above verse is most likely a reference to quarks and atoms
before they condensed into galaxies. The Quranic verses here describe a universe that
was responsive to God since its inception after the Big Bang. The heavens and the earth
in its early gaseous embryonic state (“smoke”) responded to God by saying, “We come
willingly.” (Reference 1)


The following excerpt is taken from “The Holy Quran: Text, Translation, and
Commentary pg. 706 note 2229:


“All Creation, animate and inanimate, sing’s God’s praises and celebrates his glory,
animate, with consciousness, and inanimate, in the evidence which it furnishes of the
unity and glory of God. The mystics believe that there is a soul in inanimate things also,
which declares forth the glory of God. For all Nature bears witness to His power,
wisdom, and goodness.” (Reference 2)


Self-Subjectivity of the Natural World


According to T.O. Shanavas,


“Moreover, the Quran substantiates that natural events such as thunder, fire, and wind
have self and subjectivity: “And the thunder extols His praise, and the angels are in awe
of Him…” (13:13). The subjectivity of fire is well documented in other verses also.
When Abraham was cast into fire, Allah said “…O fire, be you a coolness and a safety
for Abraham.” (21:69). A verse relating to Solomon reads: “So We subjected the wind
to him [Solomon]; it ran softly at his command to wherever he pleased.” (38:36) These
verses guided Jalaluddin Rumi to write: “Air, and earth and water and fire are (His)
slaves. With you and me they are dead, but with thy God they are alive.”
(Islamic Theory of Evolution, pg. 182)


The Evolver (Rabb) of all the Worlds


The following excerpt is taken from “Islamic Theory of Evolution” pg. 131-132:


The first command that came to the Prophet was:


96:1-2: Read in the name of thy Sustainer (Rabb), who has created created man out of
a germ cell.


The general translation of the word Rabb as Sustainer does not contain its overall
meaning. The noun Rabb is derived from the Arabic word Rububiyat, the meaning of
which cannot be fully rendered in English with one word. Based on his analysis of the
works of early Arabic lexicographers, Abul Kalam Azad, a Muslim Quranic scholar and
commentator from the Indian subcontinent, deciphers the meaning of the word as
follows:


“To develop a thing, stage by stage, in accordance with its inherent aptitude and needs,
its different aspects of existence and also in the manner affording the requisite freedom
for it to attain its full stature.”


Likewise, Imam Aul’l-Qasim ar-Raghib (11th century), in this book Al-Mufradat fi Gharib
al-Quran (The Vocabulary of the Quran), defines the meaning of the word Rabb as
follows:


“Rabb signifies the fostering of a thing in such a manner as to make it attain one
condition after another until it reaches its goal of perfection.”
The major components of the meaning of the word Rububiyat are thus: (a)
development of a thing by an external agent, (b) a step-by-step process, not an instant
event, and (c) the freedom for the objects “to attain full stature” within the overall
creative process. Therefore Rabb, the derived noun from Rububiyat, means an evolver.
The use of the noun Rabb as an attribute of God suggests that God lets organisms
evolve, affording them the freedom to attain complete perfection within the limits of His
laws of nature. (Reference 3)


Lord of ‘al alamin’ (All The Worlds)


The following excerpt is taken from “Maariful Quran” vol 1 pg. 64-65:


Al -‘alamln is _the plural of ‘alam (world, universe, kingdom ). “The worlds” include all
possible forms of — existence: the sky, the earth, the sun, the moon, stars, wind and
rain, the angels, the jinns, animals, plants, minerals, and, of course, men. So, ‘the
Lord of all the worlds” means that Allah alone gives nurture to all the forms of
existents that are to be found in this universe, or in the millions of universes that
may lie beyond our own universe in the outer space. Imam Razi, the great
commentator of the Holy Qur’an, says that the existence of an indefinite space
beyond our universe can be proved on the basis of rational argument, and it is
also certain that Allah is All-Powerful, so it should not be at all difficult for Him to have
created millions of other universes in this endless space. It has been reported
from the Companion Abu Sa’Id al-Khudri ;that there are forty thousand worlds; our
world, stretching from the East to the West, is only one of them, there being many
more besides it. According to the well-known commentator Muqatil , the number of
worlds is eighty thousand. (See Qurtubi)


As for the objection that no man or animal can live in the outer space owing to the lack
of the kind of air which should be compatible with the physical make-up of man, Imam
Razi replies that the inhabitants of the worlds in the outer space need not necessarily
have the same physical make-up as that of the inhabitants of our world which should
make existence in space impossible for them, and suggests that their organic
composition and the requirements for its nourishment and sustenance might just be
totally different. Imam Razi postulated these possibilities some eight hundred years ago
without the help of the modern facilities for observation and exploration, yet the
speculations of the scientists in the age of space travel endorse his view. (Reference
4)


Hidden Treasure: Allah’s Relationship with His Creation


According to Ibn Kathir,
“Al Alamin is plural for Alam, which encompasses everything in existence except Allah.
The word `Alam is itself a plural word, having no singular form.”
Why is the creation called ‘Alam?
Alam is derived from Alamah, that is because it is a sign testifying to the existence of its
Creator and to His Oneness.” (Tafsir ibn Kathir pg. 43-44) (Reference 5)


“Muslims believe that God is the only true reality and sole source of all creation.
Everything including its creatures are just a derivative reality created out of love and
mercy by God’s command,”…”Be,” and it is.” and that the purpose of existence is
to worship or to know God. It is believed that God created everything for a divine
purpose; the universe governed by fixed laws that ensure the harmonious working of all
things. Everything within the universe, including inanimated objects, praises God, and is
in this sense understood as a muslim. An exception are humans, who are endowed with
free-will and must live voluntarily in accordance with these laws to live to find peace
and reproduce God’s benevolence in their own society to live in accordance with the
nature of all things, known as surrender to God in the Islamic sense.” (Reference 6)


Hadith Qudsi:


I was a hidden treasure; I loved to be known. Hence I created the world so that I
would be known


The following exerpt is taken from:


The Concept of God, the Origin of the World, and the Image of the Human in the World
Religions
(pg. 109)
“According to Ibn Arabi’s school of wahdat al-wujud (Unity of Being), the world is a
unity that appears as a multiplicity, and it is this facade that is both deceptive and
brings about forgetfulness. He who has the eyes and the will should transcend the
manifestations (tajalliyat) ad see the Oneness that lies at the heart of all the creatures.”
“Semnani’s school of the wahdat al shuhud (Unity of Witnessing) also advocates the
Oneness of God and the underlying unity, though not by transcending the world of
multiplicity but by seeing the unity within it. As the Quran says , “Whosoever sees,
there is the face of God”.”


“The image of man, according to Sufis, is that of a crescent, which symbolically
represents receptivity and passivity. The moon is dark, and had it not been for the sun,
it would not have been illuminated. And so God is the sun, from whom all light and love
emanates, and man is the moon, within which divine light is reflected.” (Reference 7)


References:

  1. Shanavas, T.O. (2005). Islamic Theory of Evolution: The Missing Link between
    Darwin and the Origin of Species. (p. 181-182).
  2. Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Translation and Commentary of the Quran. (Surah 17 verse
    44). .Quran Arabic with English Translation & Commentary (Tafsir) by Abdullah
    Yusuf Ali, Free Download (quran4u.com)
  3. Shanavas, T.O. (2005). Islamic Theory of Evolution: The Missing Link between
    Darwin and the Origin of Species. (p. 131-132).
  4. Shafi, Muhammad (2008). Maariful Quran. (Vol .1 pg. 64-
    65) http://www.islamicweblibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/maarifvolum1-english.pdf
  5. Kathir, Ibn. Tafsir Ibn Kathir. (vo. 1 p.
    115). https://archive.org/details/TafseerIbnKathirenglish114SurahsComplete
  6. (Link)
  7. Koslowski, Peter (2001).The Concept of God, the Origin of the World, and the
    Image of the Human in the World Religions. (p.109)

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