Allah's art of natural causes

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Human beings ascribe natural causes to everything. The logic of “shadows are caused by the presence of the Sun” prevents people from seeing the miracles in life. For most people, miracles are “a chain of natural causes.” Here is an example of how this chain comes about:

Bread is made in a bakery. Bread is made from flour in the bakery. The flour is brought to the bakery from the factory. The factory receives the flour in the form of wheat from the distributor. The distributor obtains the wheat from the farmer. And the farmer obtains the wheat from his soil... There is a system of natural causes that people find perfectly credible. However, looked at with an open mind, this chain is in fact “a chain of miracles” every detail of which is created by Allah.

Allah reveals in one verse how He made the Sun their natural cause after first creating shadows:


Do you not see how your Lord stretches out shadows? If He had wished He could have made them stationary. Then We appoint the Sun to be the pointer to them. (Surat al-Furqan, 45)

Thought of in terms of causes, it might be seen as quite unremarkable for a flawless human being to form from the combination of a sperm and an egg, but in fact it is nothing of the kind. Anyone reflecting honestly on the subject will realize what a great miracle it is for a single drop of fluid to turn into a human being with a mind and soul. They will clearly see that Allah has created a human being by manifesting a great miracle. Allah’s sublime creative artistry is obvious, looked at with an open mind, no matter what the sequence of natural causes may be. As Allah reveals in another verse:

… “Do you then disbelieve in Him Who created you from dust, then from a drop of sperm, and then formed you as a man? He is, however, Allah, my Lord, and I will not associate anyone with my Lord.” (Surat al-Kahf, 37-38)

Looked at anew, the Earth seems to be suspended in the huge emptiness of space. It might seem unremarkable for the Earth to remain suspended in the profound voids of the universe through the effect of various forces of attraction, but it is nothing of the kind. Under normal circumstances, one would expect the Earth to be dragged into the Sun because of its gravitational attraction, or for its equilibrium to be completely impaired. But that is not how things stand. The way that our huge planet has remained in the same orbit, with the same balances, unharmed for billions of years in the boundless universe, never being damaged by any other celestial body and with all the conditions necessary to support life, cannot be explained away in terms of natural causes. That is because natural causes are dependent on very delicate balances, and that equilibrium could go wrong at any moment. Indeed, looked at through the logic of “natural causes,” it would seem more reasonable for the Earth to be damaged and obliterated. The fact that no such thing happens is due to Allah’s sublime compassion and protection. In another verse, Allah reveals:

We made the sky a preserved and protected roof yet still they turn away from Our Signs. (Surat al-Anbiya’, 32)


The heat of the Sun reaching the Earth at just the right level to meet human beings’ needs might also be regarded as unremarkable. The fact is, however, that the way the warmth of the Sun reaches our Earth despite the great distance and emptiness between them is a most important phenomenon. In double glazing, there is a space between the two surfaces in order to prevent the transmission of heat. This gap is intended to reduce loss of heat. Looked at in those terms, and bearing in mind that a vacuum cannot transmit heat, it is harder to understand how the warmth from the Sun reaches us without disappearing. Natural causes should make it impossible for the heat of the Sun to move through a vacuum. It is through the will of Allah that the heat of the Sun moves through space to the Earth, as if locked onto its target.

What people think of as “chains of natural causes” are in fact signs leading to faith requiring profound reflection. These signs are very important as instruments drawing believers closer to Allah.

Of all the countless signs leading to faith, just thinking about the eye alone is highly enlightening. The eye provides us with a clear image at all moments. Not even the most perfect camera can perform the same automatic optical operations as the lens in the eye. Even the automatic focusing of a camera requires a special effort and takes time for a clear image to appear. When a human being looks somewhere, however, he never thinks “I must now adjust the lens in my eye for looking into the distance.” It is of course impossible to imagine that such a detailed creation is performed by an unconscious lens. Allah has made the lens the natural cause of the clear images perceived by the eye. But it is our Lord, Almighty Allah, Who creates a bright, colored and vivid world in our minds. There is no doubt that with His creation our Lord is the Praiseworthy.

If Allah so willed He could have created everything with no natural causes. The existence of natural causes is important in order for us to comprehend the infinite wisdom of Allah. The way that natural causes are made interdependent on one another is proof that nothing can be the result of chance. With His sublime wisdom, Allah determines all things most exactly right down to the finest detail.

2008-11-02 06:21:16

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