Plants come in more than 500,000 varieties and occupy a vitally important place in human life. This limitless resource, placed at mankind's disposal by Allah, is the source of the fresh air we breathe, the food we consume to survive, and much of the energy we use. Plants are also the self-renewing source of strikingly beautiful sights, delightful scents and stunning colors.
Plants are very specialized living things whose photosynthetic ability turns light into food and energy. Mechanisms in the green leaves constantly produce oxygen, cleanse the air and ensure ecological equilibrium. Their aesthetic features—such as taste, scent and color which appeal mainly to human beings—reveal the infinite knowledge, artistry, compassion and affection for human beings of Allah, their Creator. To date, only some 10,000 species of plants have been studied in detail, along with their unique systems that provide unique benefits. And this research had determined that every plant possesses features of such a kind as to astonish even the informed observer.
For those who wish to know Allah, appreciate His attributes and draw closer to Him, it will be useful to take a rather closer look at the miracles of creation to be found in plants, and even in a single leaf, and at the plants as a whole, a world so full of marvels. In this way we can find a doorway to stunning truths, ones that you may have imagined were reserved for scientists alone, offering genuine interest to any attentive individual.
With the reason and understanding bestowed on them by Allah, believers can see the miracles He has placed before their eyes. But we need to look through a lens of reason and wisdom. All those who learn to regard their surroundings with reason and wisdom will, in addition to perceiving the artistry in a flower's color, shape and perfume, also learn about the systems that make that flower what it is and thereby, bear clearer witness to the sublime knowledge and might of Allah.
He reveals that there are signs—clear indications of His existence—in the creation of Man and other living things:
And in your creation and all the creatures He has spread about,
there are Signs for people with certainty.
By examining photosynthesis, a characteristic feature of plants that helps them thrive and also support animals—as well as the flawless design of the leaves that carry out this process—you will witness the miracles that Allah continually performs in these living things.
As you read through this book you will encounter various foreign names and technical details that at first glance may seem difficult, even incomprehensible. However, they are all explained in such a way that even a reader wholly unfamiliar with the subject will have no trouble in understanding them. The important thing here is to realize that Allah has created everything in the universe, right down to the tiniest details, with His superior knowledge and delicate measurements. You can then witness and appreciate the living examples set out in the verses below:
He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and the earth belongs. He does not have a son and He has no partner in the Kingdom. He created everything and determined it most exactly.
It is Allah Who created the seven heavens and of the earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge.
Intelligent Design, in other words Creation
In order to create, Allah has no need to design
It's important that the word "design" be properly understood. That Allah has created a flawless design does not mean that He first made a plan and then followed it. Allah, the Lord of the Earth and the heavens, needs no "designs" in order to create. Allah is exalted above all such deficiencies. His planning and creation take place at the same instant.
Whenever Allah wills a thing to come about, it is enough for Him just to say, "Be!"
As we are told in verses of the Qur'an:
His command when He desires a thing is just to say to it, "Be!" and it is.
[Allah is] the Originator of the heavens and Earth. When He decides on something,