Part 1: The blessings, gifts, and favors of Allaah upon His creation

Dr. ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz Al-Muslih

Man lives in the shade of Allaah’s numerous and perfect blessings as he wallows in His expansive favor.

          These blessings are too abundant to be counted. To demonstrate the abundance of His blessings, He revealed Surat “An-Nahl” [The Bees], which is also called “an-Ni‘am” [The Blessings]. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{If you count the blessing of Allah, you will not reckon it.}

[Quran 16:18]

. He also Says (what means):

{They recognize the blessing of Allah, then they deny it, and most of them are ungrateful…}

[Quran 16:83]

          What then are the most manifest of these divine gifts which Allaah bestowed upon His slaves, thereby favoring them, and which none are able to do or give except Allaah?

The blessing of an upright creation

Allaah The Almighty Created the father of mankind, Adam, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, , with His hands to honor him, and He created him in the best of stature.

          Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{Indeed, We have created man in the best of stature.}

[Quran 95:4],

and He infused life into him with His spirit. He commanded the angels to prostrate in his honor and with esteem for his offspring, as He The Almighty also Says (what means):

{When your Lord said to the angels, “I am forming a man out of clay, so when I have completed him and infused life into him with My Spirit, then fall down before him in prostration.” All of the angels then prostrated—all together—but not Iblees. He was arrogant and was of the disbelievers. He said, “O Iblees! What prevented you from prostrating for what I have created with My Hands? Are you arrogant or are you of the haughty?”}

[Quran: 71-75]

          Then to complete the blessing upon man, He created his spouse with whom he could share his solitude. Allaah The Almighty Says about this (what means):

{He is who created you from one soul and made of it its mate, that he may dwell in comfort with her} until {they supplicated Allaah their Lord, saying: If You give us one upright, we shall be of the grateful.}

[Quran 7:189]

. Al-Qurtubi, May Allaah Have mercy upon him, , the exegete, said in his Tafseer:

The meaning of ‘upright’ is that he will be a complete child without any deformities.

          Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{He who created you, then fashioned you, then proportioned you.}

[Quran 82:7]

, i.e. He made you proportionate with a complete form.

The blessing of provision and the universe and all it contains being subject to the service of man 

          Allaah The Almighty put man at the center of worldly authority, having made the world swift to serve him beneficially and continuously throughout his life.

          Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{He is who created for you all that is in the earth.}

[Quran 2:29]

          He also affirmed that whatever is in existence works to serve man. Allaah Says (what means):

{He subdued for you what is in the heavens and what is in the earth; it is all from Him. Verily in that are signs for a people who consider.}

[Quran 45:13]

He also Says (what means):

{Do you not see that Allaah subdued for you what is in the heavens and what is in the earth, and He conferred upon you His blessings, apparent and hidden?}

[Quran 31:20]

          Allaah then detailed some of these blessings. He Says (what means):

{He created for you livestock, in which is warmth and benefits, and from which you eat. There is beauty in them for you, as you drive and as you graze. They bear your heavy loads to a land you would not reach except through great difficulty. Verily your Lord is truly kind and merciful. He created horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and as adornment, and He creates what you do not know.}

[Quran 16:5-8]

          Allaah then Says (what means):

{He is who sent down water from the sky, from which you drink, and from which come trees on which you graze. Thereby He causes for you the growth of crops, olives, date-palms, grapes, and all kinds of produce. Verily in that is surely a sign for a people who reflect. He subdued for you the night and the day and the sun and the moon, and the stars are subdued by His command. Verily in that are surely signs for a people who intellectualize. He also subdued what He created for you in the earth of different colors. Verily in that is surely a sign for a people who remember. He is who subdued the sea that you may eat tender meat from it, and that you may take out of it ornaments that you wear. You see the ships plowing through it. He subdued it that you may seek of His bounty and that you may give thanks.}

[Quran 16:10-14]

He also Says (what means):

{Allaah is who created the heavens and the earth. He sent down water from the sky, bringing thereby produce as your provision. He subdued for you the ships that they may course through the sea at His command. He subdued the rivers for you. He subdued for you the sun and the moon, both being constant, and He subdued for you the night and the day. He has given you all that you asked of Him. If you count the blessing of Allah, you will not reckon it. Verily man is truly unjust and ungrateful.}

[Quran 14:32-34]

          Look then, my dear brother and sister, at the blessings outlined in these passages from the book of Allaah. Look how these blessings expressed in the first passage started with the creation of the universe and everything that is in it for the sake of mankind. You can thus see the extent of the Creator’s concern for all people. The purpose of creating animals was then explained; that they were created for the benefit of man: for consumption, clothing, warmth, riding, carrying loads, and as beauty to behold. Then the discussion turned to the descent of rain, that man may drink thereof, and then its benefit to the growth of trees upon which animals graze and from which various fruits are borne. All of that is for the sake of mankind. Then came the creation of seas and rivers, which ships course through to transport Allaah’s blessings of goods and provision to mankind, and in which are fish with tender meat and pearls to adorn. The passage ended by speaking about a great honor that Allaah conferred upon man, that He gives him all that he asks Him of. The exegete Jamaal Ad-Din Al-Qaasimi, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said in Mahaasin at-Ta’weel:

{He has given you all that you asked of Him}: i.e. all that you need in order to amend your conditions and livelihoods, as you asked or requested of Him implicitly without naming them.

The blessing of guidance by embedding (necessary) precedents and uncontested facts in the mind:

Ever since he was created, man has not ceased to wonder: Where do I come from and where am I going?

          Many are the answers given by different schools and philosophies, being just as Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{Each party exults in what they have.}

[Quran 30:32]

The minds were confused as they wondered: who has absolute, self-evident, and necessary knowledge which man is unable to do without? The truth is one, not many. Allaah Says (what means):

{That then is Allaah your Lord: the truth. What then is after truth except delusion? Whence then are you turned away?}

[Quran 10:32]

          The principle of non-contradiction (negation and affirmation cannot coincide) is one of these necessary innate axioms which Allaah embedded in the human mind to guide it to the truth.

          Nations, old and new, have agreed that man's existence came from Allaah, The Living Maker who Manages the universe, mankind and life. One group, however, alleged that nature produced man by chance. Their first contradiction is seen by Arabic speakers, as the word for nature, tabee‘ah, is a passive participle meaning something “created”, thus requiring an active participle, i.e. a “creator”. [Translator’s note: The same could be said in English for “nature”, from Latin natura, “birth”, from natus, “born”, which requires a “bearer”.] The word itself confirms the existence of The Creator The Almighty. As such, their claim that nature is the active source of everything is baseless. Allaah Says in refutation of some pre-Islamic Arabs who held this opinion (what means): {They say, “There is not but our present life. We die, we live, and nothing causes us to perish except the passage of time.” They have no knowledge of that. They are only guessing.} [Quran 45:24], i.e. their opinion is delusional and baseless. He The Almighty Says (what means):

{They have no knowledge of it. They only follow assumption. Verily assumption suffices nothing of the truth.}

[Quran 53:28]

That is because the fundamentals of beliefs can only be built upon certitude, not on mere possibility and illusion.

          Moreover, mankind is more advanced and has more freedom than nature. We go into space and dive into the depths of the seas, while nature is subdued, restricted, and bound to its own laws.

          May Allah have mercy upon the poet of Islam, Muhammad Iqbal (d. 1938), who addressed the atheist advocate of his time, Karl Marx (d. 1883), by saying:

How far the orbits are from you, for you  are free,

while they are but compelled as they return and flee.

          Allaah The Almighty Indicates this truth, Saying (what means):

{Indeed We have honored the children of Adam; We carried them through land and sea; We provided them of the good things; We favored them with preference over many of whom We created.}

[Quran 17:70]

          Furthermore, nature is deaf and dumb, careless whether man is guided toward the truth or away from it. Thus, the opinion that nature haphazardly created the living world is to give credence to the idea that if ink was spilled on the ground, it would eventually produce a grammatically correct and eloquently written book free of error (referring to the Mus-haf), while the ink itself has no knowledgeable writer behind it.

          The renowned Muslim scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, May Allaah have mercy upon him, said in Dar’ Ta‘aarudh al-‘Aql wan-Naql:

It is unacceptable that man's desposition and formation be the result of a “nature” that lacks intelligence and will, as mankind was made with far more order and wisdom than those seen in the construction of homes and the production of spectacular crowns worn by kings.

He also said:

It is known that the transformation of semen into a human or a beast is a greater wonder than silver transforming into a ring, or wood into a bed or a door, or yarn into a woven garment.

An intelligent poet realized this and said:

          Could you reckon the articulate mind

an invention of nature dumbfounded?

          We see the magnificence of a blossom’s symmetry, the beauty of an eye's artistry, the harmony in the arrangement of teeth, the delicate system of blood vessels and nerves, the extraordinary design of the human cell, and so forth of what we see in the world of human anatomy.

          The Yemeni prominent scholar Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem al-Wazeer (d. 840 A.H) said in Īthaar Al-Haqq ‘Alal-Khalq (1/48):

"If it was possible that such as this could exist without a maker, it should be that there are constructed homes, written books, knitted garments, and fashioned jewelry without builders, writers, weavers or jewelers."

          The Noble Quran explained this particular naturalist fallacy. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

{In the earth are neighboring tracts, vineyards, crops, and date-palms sharing a single root system and otherwise, watered with one water. We favor some over others regarding fruition. Verily in that are surely signs for a people who intellectualize.}

[Quran 13:4]

          Mansoor As-Sam‘aani (d. 489 A.H), an exegete of the noble Quran, said in his Tafseer:

In this verse there is a refutation against the advocates of “nature”, as the same water, soil and heat produce fruits that are different in color and taste … and it is impossible that a single nature produces two different things.

          This line of reasoning was also reflected by the most renowned exegete of the Quran Al-Qurtubi, who said in his Tafseer:

The Saying of Allaah The Almighty (which means): {watered with one water} … is the greatest proof for the invalidity of naturalism. If nature was the doer in making such things with water and soil, there would be no variation.

          Rather, variation is a certain indication that the Maker and Creator is the one administrating and managing these varieties united by a single essence, yet varying quite differently in color, taste and benefit. Such wisdom shows that behind the scene is one Wise and Intent, Cognizant and Acquainted: Allaah, The Living and Sustaining—not nature inanimate.

          Botanists have demonstrated this, explaining how plants are nourished through capillary action. The plant takes the specific nutrients it needs and leaves what it does not. This has been explained by what is called the process of natural selection. It can thus be said to a naturalist: Natural “selection” means there is a choice, and a choice requires an intent and decisive intellect, so does the plant have intellect or does “nature” perceive what it does?

          Nature is a dumb, deaf and blind idol which has been deified by this materialistic culture since the day religion was put aside. So, faith in nature and faith in idols are much the same, as both are faith in something inanimate, unable to reward for good or to punish for evil. This is a veil over reality and denial of the Hereafter, when reckoning and retribution will take place. The oppressor is thus now in a better and more fortunate state than the oppressed.

          Is this the right way to seek the truth, O human mind!? If you did justice, you would say: I was unable to restrain my desire, so I covered the truth while believing in my heart, or due to some doubt I had about the truth, and my ignorance prevented me from knowing how to dismiss it.

          Allaah The Almighty Tells us about idols, Saying (what means):

{Do they have feet by which they walk, or hands by which they strike, or eyes by which they see, or ears by which they hear? Say: Summon your partners, then plot against me and give me no respite. Verily my ally is Allaah, who revealed the book, and he is allied with the righteous.}

[Quran 7:195-196]

          They wanted to make of this deaf and dumb “nature” a god with an action , while it is merely an idol that collapsed under the gavel of clear-cut, certain, and intuitive proof brought by Islam. We shall present this proof for the people of this age, which is plagued by this superficial idea for which there is no evidence save mere illusiion.

Related Articles with Part 1: The blessings, gifts, and favors of Allaah upon His creation