Search for God
Even history clearly shows and it can be concluded through research and investigation also that the man of the past and even pre-historic man was aware of a higher being (who is named as God or any other name) and he humbled before Him and worshipped Him and performed various rituals to seek His pleasure.
Now the question arises, that how man in the beginning became attentive to God? What was the cause that turned his thinking to God? Which factor made him inclined to go out in search of the creator of universe? What is the aim and cause of this view? Basically which factor was effective in compelling man to think about God and God-worship and to contemplate on these lines?
Replies to these questions are possible if one puts in a little effort: Human beings possess an instinct called as the instinct of finding out the cause of every phenomenon. Since the first day, man was aware of causation and he searched for the cause of every phenomenon and every needful existing being. If he became hungry, he went in search of food, because he considered eating as a cause of removal of hunger. If he became thirsty, he went in search of water, as he considered drinking water to be the cause of removing thirst. If he heard a sound from behind the wall, he became certain that it had a cause and went to find it. If he fell ill, he knew that it was as a result of a cause and he went out in search of its cure. In order to escape cold, he took refuge with heat, since he considered heat to be the cause of removing cold.
Seeking the cause and inquisitiveness is placed in the nature of all human beings. Every man is always trying to become aware of causes. Therefore, with regard to every phenomenon, the question, “Why and for what reason” arises. He always tries to satisfy his sense of curiosity through satisfactory replies.
Man is basically a ‘seeker of cause’ and he cannot give up this instinct or ignore it. All human beings – especially the earliest man – were having this natural instinct. Man lived in this world and was confronted by incidents and astonishing phenomena; the change of days and nights, summer and winter, movement of moon, sun and stars, peculiarities of animals and plants, lofty mountains, vast seas, flowing water bodies…he saw all of this with his eyes and fell into contemplation and asked himself: What is the cause of this world and who has brought it into existence? This universe must definitely be having a cause and the wise and powerful creator has created it and He is controlling it.
In this way, the earliest man became cognizant of Almighty Allah and confessed to his existence, and humbled himself before His greatness and in brief it can be said that seeking God is in the nature of man.
Although a group has fallen into doubts and became involved in worship of false deities and gradually sun worship, moon worship, fire worship and star worship…also appeared in human beings.
However the appearance of false deities is itself proof that man paid attention to his innate nature of seeking cause and concluded that a cause was necessary to control this world. But he fell into misunderstandings with regard to other aspects and considered false gods to be the cause and considered them as true creators, and became involved in their adoration.
In short, it can be said that man searches for the cause of all existing things and phenomena through natural instinct placed in his nature and in this way, he reaches up to Almighty Allah, who is the final cause of all things and One to whom all are needful. In this way, His being is revealed to them and they begin to worship Him.
Quran also considers seeking God to be an innate nature and says:
وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ خَلَقَهُنَّ الْعَزِيزُ الْعَلِيمُ
“And if you should ask them, Who created the heavens and the earth? they would most certainly say: The Mighty, the Knowing One, has created them…” (43/9)
وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَ الْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ فَأَنَّى يُؤْفَكُونَ
“And if you ask them, Who created the heavens and the earth and made the sun and the moon subservient, they will certainly say, Allah. Whence are they then turned away?” (29:61)
Then He says:
وَ لَئِنْ سَأَلْتَهُمْ مَنْ نَزَّلَ مِنَ السَّماءِ ماءً فَأَحْيا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَوْتِها لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ قُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لا يَعْقِلُونَ
“And if you ask them Who is it that sends down water from the clouds, then gives life to the earth with it after its death, they will certainly say, Allah. Say: All praise is due to Allah. Nay, most of them do not understand.” (29:63)
The Holy Quran has used many simple and very basic techniques to prove the existence of God; methods, which are nice as well as easy to understand for everyone. This style is not complex and difficult like the reasonings employed by philosophy, that it may not be understood by all. This most simple method does not require prefaces and advanced learning.
Every person can benefit from it in accordance with his or her awareness and knowledge. That simple and beautiful method is called as ‘evidence of order’ that awakens the innate natures of seeking God. Therefore study and contemplation on the secrets and peculiarities of the created world is one of the best ways of knowing God.
In a large number of verses, Quran has mentioned examples of the astonishing aspects of universe and wants man to think in the right way and to conclude the existence and being of the Almighty Allah from the order and compatibility. According to Quran, each phenomenon of the world is a divine sign (Ayah). Ayah implies a sign or a mark. If man sees the phenomena of the world as they are, he would begin to believe in existence of their creator; although Quran is not a book of natural science that it may discuss secrets of the phenomena of the world in detail and expose them to man. But it has mentioned in brief their astonishing aspects only to prove the existence of the maker of Universe so that it may awaken the minds of those who have the faculty of thinking; and that it may call their attention so that they may discuss and be curious about the exposition of astonishing secrets of Nature and in this way they may begin to have faith in the creator of the world. In addition to this, they may also benefit to secure the needs of life and inhabit the world.
That is why it can be said that the science of knowing man, knowing animals, knowing plants, knowing lands, knowing space, physics and chemistry are the best ways to know God.
In the Holy Quran, there are numerous verses which mention examples of the astonishing aspects of creation which awaken the nature of man to seek God, so that he may begin to have belief in the existence of a wise and a powerful creator through his conscience. So that he may see the creator of the world with the eyes of his conscience and that he may become attached to Him. These verses can be divided into different groups and each of them talk of one particular aspect:
The Almighty Allah says in Quran:
فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ مِمَّ خُلِقَ * خُلِقَ مِن مَّآءٍ دَافِقٍ * يَخْرُجُ مِن بَيْنِ الصُّلْبِ وَ التَّرَآئِبِ
“So let man consider of what he is created: He is created of water pouring forth, Coming from between the back and the ribs.” (86:5-7)
And He says:
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَكُم مِّن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ إِذَآ أَنتُم بَشَرٌ تَنتَشِرُونَ * وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَن خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجاً لِّتَسْكُنُواْ إِلَيْهَا وَ جَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
“And one of His signs is that He created you from dust, then lo! you are mortals (who) scatter. And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.” (30/20-21)
And He says:
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلاَفُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَ أَلْوَانِكُمْ إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِينَ * وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ مَنَامُكُم بِالَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَابْتِغَآؤُكُم مِّن فَضْلِهِ إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ
“And one of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your tongues and colors; most surely there are signs in this for the learned. And one of His signs is your sleeping and your seeking of His grace by night and (by) day; most surely there are signs in this for a people who would hear.” (30/22-23)
And He says:
“And Allah has brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers – you did not know anything – and He gave you hearing and sight and hearts that you may give thanks.” (16:78)
And He says:
نَحْنُ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ فَلَوْلَا تُصَدِّقُونَ / أَفَرَءَيْتُم مَّا تُمْنُونَ / أَأَنتُمْ تَخْلُقُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْخَالِقُونَ
“We have created you, why do you not then assent? Have you considered the seed? Is it you that create it or are We the creators?” (56:57-59)
And He says:
هَلْ أَتَى عَلَى الْإِنسَانِ حِينٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُن شَيْئاً مَذْكُوراً * إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَّبْتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً
“There surely came over man a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning. Surely We have created man from a small life-germ uniting (itself): We mean to try him, so We have made him hearing, seeing.” (76:1-2)
Important points are mentioned in the above verses for man to contemplate on:
1. Previously man was nothing, except a mixed sperm, which underwent various stages to finally assume the shape of man. This process is worth contemplation and study.
2. Human beings are created in pairs so that they might reproduce and also derive comfort from each other; and God has put love and mercy amongst them, which is one of the divine signs.
3. He created human beings in various colors and races, who speak different languages and this is also a remarkable sign and it is worth contemplation.
4. In the beginning man was not aware of anything and he leant everything from eyes, ears and other senses and conscience. And this too is an astonishing sign worth contemplation and study.
5. Sleep, rest and willingness to obtain livelihood is also a great divine sign.
If man looks at his beautiful structure and ponders well on the extraordinary system and its astonishing aspects, he would conclude that it has not come into being on its own by coincidence. On the contrary it has a wise and a powerful creator.
The Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran:
وَهُوَ الَّذِى أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ نَبَاتَ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ فَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهُ خَضِراً نُخْرِجُ مِنْهُ حَبّاً متَرَاكِباً وَمِنَ الْنَّخْلِ مِن طَلْعِهَا قِنْوَانٌ دَانِيَةٌ وَجَنَّتٍ مِنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَالزَّيْتُونَ وَالرُّمَّانَ مُشْتَبِهاً وَغَيْرَ مَتَشَبِهٍ انظُرُواْ إِلَى ثَمَرِهِ إِذَا أَثْمَرَ وَيَنْعِهِ إِنَّ فِى ذَ لِكُمْ لَأَيَتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
“And He it is Who sends down water from the cloud, then We bring forth with it buds of all (plants), then We bring forth from it green (foliage) from which We produce grain piled up (in the ear); and of the palm-tree, of the sheaths of it, come forth clusters (of dates) within reach, and gardens of grapes and olives and pomegranates, alike and unlike; behold the fruit of it when it yields the fruit and the ripening of it; most surely there are signs in this for a people who believe.” (6:99)
And He says:
وَفِى الْأَرْضِ قِطَعٌ مُّتَجَوِرَ تٌ وَجَنَّتٌ مِّنْ أَعْنَبٍ وَ زَرْعٌ وَ نَخِيلٌ صِنْوَانٌ وَغَيْرُ صِنْوَانٍ يُسْقَى بِمَآءٍ وَ حِدٍ وَ نُفَضِّلُ بَعْضَهَا عَلَى بَعْضٍ فِى الْأُكُلِ إِنَّ فِى ذَ لِكَ لَأَيَتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
“And in the earth there are tracts side by side and gardens of grapes and corn and palm trees having one root and (others) having distinct roots – they are watered with one water, and We make some of them excel others in fruit; most surely there are signs in this for a people who understand.” (13:4)
And He says:
فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ إِلَى طَعَامِهِ/ أَنَّا صَبَبْنَا الْمَآءَ صَبّاً / ثُمَّ شَقَقْنَا الْأَرْضَ شَقّاً / فَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا حَبّاً / وَ عِنَباً وَقَضْباً / وَزَيْتُوناً وَنَخْلاً / وَ حَدَآئِقَ غُلْباً / وَفَاكِهَةً وَأَبّاً / مَّتَاعاً لَّكُمْ وَلِأَنْعَامِكُمْ
“Then let man look to his food, that We pour down the water, pouring (it) down in abundance, then We cleave the earth, cleaving (it) asunder, then We cause to grow therein the grain, and grapes and clover, and the olive and the palm, And thick gardens, And fruits and herbage, a provision for you and for your cattle.” (80:24-32)
And He says:
أَفَرَءَيْتُم مَّا تَحْرُثُونَ / أَأَنتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَّ ارِعُونَ / لَوْ نَشَآءُ لَجَعَلْنَاهُ حُطَاماً فَظَلْتُمْ تَفَكَّهُونَ
“Have you considered what you sow? Is it you that cause it to grow, or are We the causers of growth? If We pleased, We should have certainly made it broken down into pieces, then would you begin to lament.” (56:63-65)
And He says:
ألَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الْأَرْضَ مَهْداً وَسَلَكَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلاً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجاً مِّن نَّبَاتٍ شَتَّى / كُلُواْ وَارْعَوْاْ أَنْعَامَكُمْ إِنَّ فِى ذَ لِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لاُِّوْلِى النُّهَى
“Who made the earth for you an expanse and made for you therein paths and sent down water from the cloud; then thereby We have brought forth many species of various herbs. Eat and pasture your cattle; most surely there are signs in this for those endowed with understanding.” (20:53-54)
Some very important points are mentioned in the above verses also so that man may ponder over them:
1. Man is in need of different types of foods, and vegetation and plants guarantee this need and produce food for him.
2. Plants depend on water for their own growth, which falls from the sky as rain.
3. Although trees and shrubs grow from the same earth and use the same water, they produce different kinds of fruits and grains.
4. Plants, like animals are also created in pairs.
5. Creation of fruits, grains, vegetables are remarkable and deserve contemplation and attention. In these verses, Quran has called attention to the world of plants and vegetation to highlight astonishing aspects of the plant kingdom so that all may become aware of God creator and that they may benefit from them and their fruits.
The Almighty Allah says in the Holy Quran:
إِنَّ فِى خَلْقِ الْسَّمَوَ تِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَفِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ وَ الْفُلْكِ الّتِى تَجْرِى فِى الْبَحْرِ بِمَا يَنْفَعُ الْنَّاسَ وَمَآ أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الْسَّمآءِ مِنْ مَّآءٍ فَأَحْيَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا وَبَثَّ فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ دَآبَّةٍ وَتَصْرِيفِ الْرِّيَحِ وَالْسَّحَابِ الْمُسَخَّرِ بَيْنَ الْسَّمَآءِ وَ الْأَرْضِ لَأَيَتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ
“Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the cloud, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand.” (2:164)
And He says:
أَفَرَاَيْتُمُ الْمَآءَ الَّذِى تَشْرَبُونَ / أَأَنتُمْ أَنزَلُْتمُوهُ مِنَ الْمُزْنِ أَمْ نَحْنُ الْمُنزِلُونَ / لَوْ نَشَآءُ جَعَلْنَاهُ أُجَاجاً فَلَوْلَا تَشْكُرُونَ
“Have you considered the water which you drink? Is it you that send it down from the clouds, or are We the senders? If We pleased, We would have made it salty; why do you not then give thanks?” (56:68-70)
And He says:
اللَّهُ الَّذِى خَلَقَ السَّمَوَتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَأَخْرَجَ بِهِ مِنَ الثَّمَرَتِ رِزْقاً لَّكُمْ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ لِتَجْرِىَ فِى الْبَحْرِبِأَمْرِهِ وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ الْأَنْهَرَ
“Allah is He Who created the heavens and the earth and sent down water from the clouds, then brought forth with it fruits as a sustenance for you, and He has made the ships subservient to you, that they might run their course in the sea by His command, and He has made the rivers subservient to you.” (14:32)
1. These verses describe the beautiful water cycle in nature. The water in oceans evaporates through heat of sun and appears in the sky in form of clouds; and then through the movement of the winds, is transferred to different parts of the earth, where it falls in form of rain and becomes available for human beings, animals and plants. This is one of the divine signs that He has created such a novel system.
2. Although sea water is saline and bitter, rain water is sweet and potable.
3. Water, which is the nectar of life for plants, animals and human beings; was created as a liquid, so that it may flow in the form of streams to be made available for all and also used as mode of transportation (shipping).
Creation of water and its cycle in nature is one of the amazing signs of His creation and for those who have sense, it is worth contemplation; and the order, coordination and connection between human beings, animals, plants, heat of the sun, wind and earth show that these are the best evidences of the existence of a wise and powerful creator.