Ayat no. 78-81
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
And he strikes out a likeness for Us and forgets his own creation. Says he: Who will give life to the bones when they are rotten? Say: He will give life to them Who brought them into existence at first, and He is cognizant of all creation, He Who has made for you the fire (to burn) from the green tree, so that with it you kindle (fire). Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like of them? Yea! and He is the Creator (of all), the Knower. (36:78-81)
We were discussing about the deniers of Hereafter and the Day of Judgment. Man looks at the machinery of the universe with his short sight and issues statements or decisions. He says, “A man who died has become dust. The dust has got scattered and then transformed into other matters. How can these scattered elements be recollected or gathered again?
How can a body be reconstructed? How can it be re-enlivened?” Then he thinks about the Day of Judgment and expresses wonder on Paradise. Today, there are four milliard people. What about their number from the beginning to end? How can so many people be accommodated in Paradise or Hell?
Such vain thoughts make him deny what God says in the Holy Quran. We have said earlier that Ibne Abi Khalaf once came with Abu Jahl, crushed a bone with his hand and scattered its particles saying, “Who will make this alive when it has totally rot and scattered far and wide?”
Its reply is only one sentence, “Look at the absolute and limitless powder and might of God.” Unless man does not realize this Might of God, he cannot but express such astonishment. There are three statements about these verses: One, attention to the origin of man’s body.
Who brought them into existence at first…
That is One Who created him for the first time. What was his beginning? There was neither bone nor flesh, neither a vein nor skin. One Who constructed man with these things will reconstruct him once again. Dispersion or scattering of particles never takes them out of God’s knowledge. As regards doubts about the eater and the eaten one also, it is said that the original elements are preserved, wherever they may be.
…and He is cognizant of all creation,
He Who has made for you the fire (to burn) from the green tree, so that with it you kindle (fire).
The maker is the same who devised it in such a manner that the green tree (Afaa) when pressed, water comes out of it. But when its branch is pressed and rubbed with the branch of the Narkh tree, sparks and fire come out. Can He then not make the dead alive again? He can surely reconstruct man from his scattered particles.
The third statement:
Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like of them? Yea! and He is the Creator (of all), the Knower.
Here is a rhetorical question. Would the One Who created heavens and the earth not be able to enliven the dead? The machinery of heavens is much greater than the creation of man and earth and whatever is in it.
Certainly the creation of the heavens and the earth is greater than the creation of the men, but most people do not know. (40:57)
There are innumerable heavenly bodies in the outer space and some of them are millions of times bigger than earth. Only God knows what is therein. They move in a fixed manner and determined distances are maintained between them.
There are also millions of galaxies and their orbits. Again every galaxy has millions of suns, some of them being millions of times bigger than our sun, which is one million and three hundred thousand times bigger than our earth.
Light travels at a speed of three thousand kilometers per second and sun’s light takes eight minutes and eighteen seconds to reach earth. How long is the distance? There also are stars so distant that it would take a light year for their light to reach us.
For some it would take a hundred light years, some, a thousand light years, some even a million light years just to be seen by us. There are even some stars whose light, since their creation, has not yet reached us yet.
It is said that if a train is sent from earth to reach, say our sun, it would require 350 years to reach there. If they shoot a missile to the sun it would take twelve years to hit there.
Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth…
Is not the One Who is the Creator of such huge heavenly bodies, able to make the like of them? Here “them” means “Like man”.
Another reason of saying, “the like of them”, according to some researchers, is such that it requires a little foreword. It is that man has stages. His first stage is the material body: Flesh, bones and skin. Another stage is the facsimile body, which is devoid of matter.
The third stage is breathing and the fourth is soul and intelligence. From these, some are in the same first stage, which is always subject to changes. The rest of the stages are invariable. First when man is created, the food that man eats is digested and it assimilates into the body.
The food, which is taken, takes its place. When one becomes ill one is unable to digest food and thus one becomes lean and thin. The body gets diluted and it has no substitute. In brief, food turns into blood and the foodstuff reaches every part of the body.
In other words, the body, systematically and regularly, undergoes changes. It gets diluted and is replaced by another thing. Thus this flesh and skin is in a state of constant change. That which grants it unity and synthesis is a soul or a spirit.
Souls, intellect and the facsimile body are such that they never change. Rather they inch towards perfection. Our present body is like or similar to the body thirty or forty years ago, it is not ‘the same body’.
When man dies, the body made of flesh and skin turns into dust. But the similar body and its soul and spirit remain as they were. In Qiyamat the body with flesh and skin will appear with changes. The body of Hereafter will be a body that will not have impurities and its requirements.
In our present body, if we do not wash and shave for two or three weeks, or if it does not get sleep, if its impurities (excreta etc) are not driven out, it causes illness and trouble. In the body of the Hereafter there will be no such impurities and the body would be refined.
About the refinement of body in Hereafter, Imam Sadiq (‘a) is reported to have said, “The body of a pious man is like gold mixed with dust. To make it arise, come rain. Then those golden particles of a believer’s body get reconstructed and are brought to the Gathering Field.”
The body of the Hereafter is like the worldly body, not exactly the worldly body. Hence, as explained earlier, our body of today is ‘like our body’ which was thirty or forty years ago, not exactly that body. Thereafter, the Lord Almighty says:
Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like of them?
That is God is able to create similar bodies, though the soul, spirit and mind or intelligence are the same.
Yea! and He is the Creator (of all), the Knower.
Yes, it is so. God is able and He is very creative (Creator of everything), very wise. Gods being the Creator is in the sense of His innumerable creations, His multiple actions having no limit. The machinery of creation (universe) has no limits. He is Wise. Wisdom is from Him. When you look at this vast machinery, you realize that its Creator is Most Wise.
Is the Creator of my body and your body Wise or not? Had the eye been placed on the chest, besides looking ugly, the aim of it would not have been fulfilled. Even if all the intelligent persons join together to construct a better body, it is not possible to do so.
All sensible people agree that there is no fault of any kind in the construction of this body. Nothing is more than necessary in it. So much so that the extension of a tube or intestine, which was, formerly being looked upon as unnecessary, is now considered essential; that is, its existence is necessary to avoid appendicitis. It is not only in excess, but it is also useful.
Is not the God, Whose knowledge and intelligence like this, able to recreate!